Monthly Archives: February 2008


Since Humphrey’s death I haven’t had a self-indulgent blog about her, mainly because I understand how little she meant to anyone who wasn’t me or Michele. Even the people that liked her and appreciated her company couldn’t understand how important she was to us. We learned a lot from her during her short time with us and I know that she’ll be one of the lives I think about on my deathbed. Michele and I both regularly feel dread rushes of pain when, during our daily lives, we are reminded of her.
Tonight Michele took me to a parrot rescue just south of Philly. We went there because Michele and the owner of the rescue had covertly planned that I should fall in love with a Princess of Wales parakeet that they were looking after. Her name is Princess Leia…obviously. And obviously I loved her. If our house comes together, which is looking more and more like a “when”, then she together with a beautiful couple of eclectuses will be joining us there.
In my sad little dream world we will have a housewarming party that would involve my parents, my sister, Marshall, everyone in the UK fatherland that we know (you’re all invited), together with everyone over here that we know. That would make me very happy indeed…even if you couldn’t make it for reasons of common sense.

More Football/Muggy-Bonehead

Washing the wheelsMichele’s dad has been a keen explorer of the Internet since Verizon managed to get their shit together and get his DSL working. Imagine his joy when he discovered that he already has a starring role within Google Street View! Washing his car, naturally.

An attack of ennui combined with a new found hatred of cube farms has prevented me writing much recently…or doing anything constructive at all. But to get the blog rolling, here is an update to the football/muggy-bonehead guide.

Muggy Bonehead

  • Cube farms. So for 40 hours a week I have to sit in a small beige cube, illuminated by strip lights. Can’t I just do community service instead ?
  • Cars and driving. Not to disrespect dear Walter, who has indeed been very useful, but nowadays my indifference to cars, SUVs, and their drivers has mutated into plain hatred.
  • Kanye West, P Diddy and all of the other platinum hip-hop twats. Did you see Kanye west at the grammys ? Calling him a talentless egocentric tosser would be an insult to Michael Winner and Jim Davidson.
  • The average holiday entitlement given to workers in the USA.
  • Salt and Sugar in every bloody thing.

There’s a lot of snow on the ground which is keeping things cool and pretty.

The Broad Street Bullies

The Broad Street BulliesLast Saturday we had a dip in the waters of unfiltered Americana with a trip to see some proper Philly sport: Ice Hockey. Over here they just call it “hockey” but they also call budgies “parakeets” so what do they know. Anyway, to the average baseball-cap-wearing, cheese-steak eating Philadelphian, sport is very important. Much like football to the English. As an Englishman, and a neo-Philadelphian, I’m atypical because I think sport is a bunch of brainless shite that exists solely to keep peoples’ minds off of real politics; but that’s a tough one to argue these days.
Every bar I have ventured into over here, with literally only one or two exceptions, has had American Football on TV. They call it “football”, but also they call Sellotape “scotch tape” so what do they know. If you’ve never seen American Football, imagine 3 hours of muscular men in very tight lycra pants, or fat blokes in nylon jackets and radio headsets, spitting all over the place. That’s pretty much it. Only more boring. I never thought I’d miss proper football; over here they call it “soccer” but they also call Miller Lite “beer” so what do they know.
But, if you find a bar showing “hockey” you see something very different. You see fighting basically. Hockey is like Rollerball on ice, but more violent. They really do have fights, with fists and blood and everything and the refs only break it up when the crowd starts to seem bored. It’s probably the closest the human race has come to Gladiators since the Romans. But dull it’s not.

We got given a couple of very expensive tickets to see the Philadelphia Flyers(AKA the Broad Street Bullies) play “the ducks” or some such bollocks and thought we’d give it a go. It was probably the most American experience and also the most Philly experience we could have hoped for. We got there early so we could look around. There are a couple of bars on the ground level, and one even had a band doing very loud rock covers. There is also no shortage of places to ingest and egest unhealthy food. Here’s a picture of us enjoying a cheese-steak, some crab fries and some beer, in a bar, listening to a mediocre rock band, before the game.

The best bit is that you can take food and drink into the arena while your watching the action. This is not only a nice addition to the proceedings but pretty essential. You need to drink to provide your mind with enough cushioning to survive the outrageous amount of advertising you’re bombarded with. In common with all other American TV sports, hockey has pauses in play every 30 seconds or so, and that’s clearly so that the time can be stuffed full with ways of prising cash out of the punters. All around the arena are animated digital displays bombarding everyone with commercials the whole time. Every time play stops you get told about great ways to spend your money until play resumes.

It sounds like I’m being very negative about the experience but, quite honestly, we both thoroughly enjoyed the evening. We were quite pissed by the end though 🙂

Loads more to talk about…but another night.