Las Vegas (Beinge the parte numbered two of parts that shalt comme in threes.)   Leave a comment

sunThe feeling of peace and serenity was what, ironically, kept niggling away at me, ruining my mojo, annoying; itching like a badly wiped arse, as the twilight closed in and I left the ‘civilised’ world behind.  I puzzled constantly over what it was about this place, this emptiness, as the grinding truck ate-up the miles, and a recalescent sun sank below the distant purple mountains and night closed in.  Apart from the constant rumbling rattle of the truck’s diesel engine and the one tinny, distorted speaker again blaring-out Bellamy & Co.’s excellent Knight of Cydonia, there was no noise.*

The sense of enormity, this vast open space and the hot, semi-dark of the late evening, instilled a sense of freedom I haven’t felt since Alaska and it was that sense of freedom – not the kind of ‘freedom’ sold to us by politicians, or lawyers; not the ‘freedom’ written on age-cheetos 2old parchment, or sold to us on cereal boxes, but a simple, uncomplicated sense of perspicacity; a sense of ‘being’ and of being alive – that was puzzling.  Don’t get me wrong.  Break down out here and I don’t think the ‘being alive’ bit would last long.  Break down out here and without water, or help … well, you’ve seen a bag of Cheetos?  You’re baking, your brain’s swelling up like a Yorkshire pud on gas mark 6, Bear_73e2c5_2184459and you’re casting your mind back to that episode where my hero,  Bear Grylls, drinks his own piss*; Mother Nature, meanwhile, in her own inimitable style, is sadly declaring, all right soft lad, thanks for poetic, emotional shite earlier, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to kill you!   I can see it now: my desiccated body, as dry as a nonagenarian’s crotch, slowly turning into chamois leather, as hungry, calculating, vultures vulturepeck-out my dead, unseeing eyes and a coyote staggers away, pissed, after feasting on my liver.

With the dim yellow headlights doing their best to point the way and at 70mph, being as much use as a blind man using his cane to pilot an aeroplane, I fell beneath the stern, watchful glare of the indigo mountains.  Signs for Las Vegas and Boulder City and the Hoover Dam became more and more frequent.  Remember, these are places that I have only read about, or remember vaguely, from Geography lessons in which I was far too busy scribbling on the back page of my exercise book, re-enacting dogfights from the Battle of Britain, whilst the teacher prattled on about places I would never see, and peoples I would never meet.  To all intents and porpoises, I didn’t give a toss.

dam

Sadly, it was too dark to take in that concrete tribute to man’s efforts to tame nature, but crossing it reminded me of a scene from a sci-fi movie: harsh white lights illuminating the bare concrete expanse, and side roads seemingly disappearing into the contrasting black of the hillside, creating the impression of hidden underground test sites, where men in white lab coats dissect aliens and two-headed, supervillains are birthed in hermetically-sealed glass boxes.

Boulder City came and went.  A brief flurry of activity and lights that was far behind before the excitement had chance to manifest wholly.  Now you see me, now you … wonder if you really did see me!  Like first time sex: over and done with before it’s even got started, but leaves you with a big grin on yer face, deep in the knowledge that something amazing happened!

grin
* I say, ‘apart from,’ as if it is of no consequence.  If you can imagine sticking your head in a blender then you are there in the truck with me.

* I’m never going to kiss him ever again!

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Posted 20/08/2016 by markyrog in hamster wheel

Back on the Road (beinge the parte onne of parts that shalt comme in threes.)   Leave a comment

Your device is having trouble recognising you.

hp-envy-fingerprint-readerWhy, why, why does this stupid fingerprint reader on this notepad thing keep telling me it doesn’t recognise me?  Move your finger to the right, move it to the left, try a longer stroke.  It’s giving me advice on the art de pleasure une femme*, yet it knows me not.  Not a massive issue in the great and grand scheme of things.  As long as the message displayed isn’t your mirror is having trouble recognising you!  But I guess when that issue arises I’ll neither know, nor care; the world will have become even more of a Magic Roundabout than it is at present!

4.2

Hey, I know that guy!  He’s looking over as if he knows me?  I’ll give him a wave.  See, he just waved too.  I’ll go over and say hello.  Oh, hang on.  He’s coming over here!

And so we set off again, down the rutted, muddy rutruttrack that is the mind of the ever-so-slightly-mad-as-a-fucking-hatter writer of this blog; meandering through the stinging nettles of experience, wading through the quagmire of random thought, getting caught in the redback’s flossy web of emotions, and redback-spidergetting a kick in the general bollocks that litters the path from cradle to grave.  Be sure to bring some butties.*

 

It’s 3.20 of the oh fuck! variety in Good Old Blighty and once again I’m up in the air.  Quite literally this time.  I’m umpteen thousand feet up and heading for Arizona; Muse, H.A.A.R.P. is on my music thingy and although cart3I’m tired, the plane is quite comfortable.   Considering I’m in cattle-truck class, that’s not a bad result.  I was rather worried, as I’ve torn the cartilage in my knee and it throbs like a  carthorse’s dick.  Looks like I’ll be going under the knife when I return to England and although it’s total-knee-surgerygood to be getting my money’s worth out of our glorious N.H.S., I’m worried about it being an end to my footy career.  There goes the England call-up.  I can’t even drink myself into a gibbering, slobbering wreck, as me and alcohol are no longer friends.  Now, yes, I know, dear reader, that we’ve played this particular record till it’s worn, scratched and the label’s fell off, but I’m still off the alcohol after three months and so, without footy, I’m a bit lost.

e-cigarette

Maybe I should start smoking?  Y’know, be all sophisticated and debonair with a bloody great vaping dildo clamped between my teeth; puffing out cumulus cloud-sized wafts of whatever issues forth from those things and bringing back memories of the old cor blimey, wotcha cocksparra, up the old apples n pears, ‘Git arrrta mah paaahb!’ London smogs. peggy-mitchell-eastenders-barbara-windsor Should make the elderly feel at home and create a little nicotine-flavoured ambience at the same time.  I mean, they do so many exciting, deluxe, luxury flavours for those things: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, Tetley-216-Tea-Bagspoached egg flavour, or even strawberry poached egg flavour!  Now, if they did a Tetley flavour I might be a little tempted … or maybe a vagina flavour?  Essence of Pubescence!  Now there’s a cologne for the middle-aged, mid-life crisis-ridden male.  NO, I’m not going into anything to do with a penis flavour.  Forget it!  My bike’s got a crossbar.

dejected-dog-9075013The ending of latest romantic interlude sees me once again metaphorically sat on my suitcase, at the side of the road, thumb extended and spitting-out the gritty sand that got into the last ‘I love you so much!’ sandwich I took a bite of.  Is it me, dear reader?  Am I not interpreting correctly?  Obviously I’m not.  I just entered, ‘I love you so much and want to spend the rest of my life with you,’ into the great god Google, hit the translate key and it came up with: Oh, I’m sorry.  Did I say I love you?  What I meant to say was I don’t really love you, because I don’t know what love is.  It’s just some word I bandy around as it makes me feel good.  But, thanks anyway; now I really must be going to ‘really love’ the next person, because I’m a superficial and shallow individual, with no concept of what it actually means to love!

Do I sound angry?  Bitter?  Then I do so humbly apologise.  I was trying for so much more!angry

*Haven’t a fucking clue.  Don’t ask!

*It’s hot where we’re going, so don’t bring anything that won’t last.  My Boursin cheese is reverting back to a liquid state; the bagels I plan to use to stop the truck rolling if I need to change a tyre, and my parma ham is looking somewhat like the contents of King Tut’s sarcophagus.

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Posted 22/06/2016 by markyrog in hamster wheel

The Ramblings of a Person of Misplaced Sanity. (Title changed. I’ve decided I’m not an ‘idiot’, rather just a little off-centre!)   Leave a comment

 

An Ode to a Car.

O noble steed,
Forever ready,
Starts first time,
His name is Neddy.

 

Yes, lerghies and gentlegerms, that’s right, Old Neddy has finally gone.  With 134,400 Boxer-taken-awaymiles on the clock, I sold him on.  It eases the conscience to know I didn’t send him to the knacker’s yard; I didn’t hand him over to the glue boiler and paintbrush maker.  He was in a poor state but still passed his M.O.T. first time.  bonersI guess the equivalent would be your 88 years-old grandfather demonstrating how he doesn’t need Viagra!  I had to laugh when he passed the M.O.T., as I’m pacing up and down like an expectant father, wondering just what this is gonna cost me in the long run and will it all be worth it in the end? (Just like an expectant father!)  He comes out and passes me the certificate, saying, “Everything’s fine.  Just run it into the ground now.” I laughed aloud as I told him I’d been trying to do that for the last ten years.  Damn thing just wouldn’t die!  And so I sold him for £125.  That makes the price of silver at just short of £4.17 per piece.  Judas would’ve been proud of me.judas_takes_money

nissan-qashqai-360His replacement – my new steed – is a Quashqai 360, with more bells and whistles than Ye Olde Bells and Whistles Shoppe!  So many buttons to push; each one bringing an ‘Oooh!’ that would make a New Years’ Eve pyrotechnics display director spontaneously orgasm.  Thinking of naming him Onion. (Outstanding New Improved Old Neddy.)  Despite the fact he’s magnetic red (red onion), if he doesn’t start he can be a bad onion; when he does well he can be sweet onion; if he doesn’t start he will make me cry; when we get into a pickle …   I’m not quite sure whether I’ve had him long enough for him to warrant a name though?  It’s like farting in front of a new girlfriend: you really want to just to get it out of the way; let the real ‘you’ shine through, but you’re not quite sure whether you know her well enough yet.

Now I understand why these people take up two parking spaces: they’re terrified of everyone and everything else on the road!  I think I’ve joined The Lousy Gobshite Can’t Fucking Park Brigade!  (You’ll find they meet on a Thursday night; after the I Own a Mercedes/BMW So How Dare You Be On My Fucking Road Association.)

Anyway, the deed’s done and he’s off to a new home.  Like coming off the side of a trampoline: sorely missed!trampoline

 

I’ve just finished a long-term contract at a school in Bolton and I say with all honesty that I’ve never met such a great bunch of kids!  If I were human, then I almost certainly would’ve shed a tear upon leaving.  They – and the staff who work so hard (and the kid’s parents, too!  (Never thought I’d hear myself say that!)) – all deserve a great big pat on the back; in fact, I would take each and every one of them to a cow field and personally push them over.  They really are a great bunch and deserve to do well.  I entered my Year 7s into the Royal Mail Letter Writing Competition and out of over 100,000 entries … one of my kids won!  Woohoo!  I got fuck-all.  Pah!

On the subject of school kids, I was contacted by one of my old pupils. (As the eye donor said to the doctor.)  It’s the one I always knew would do well (Yes, you know who you are Critchley!) and I was so surprised.  (That she’d contacted me, not that she’d done well!  She’s somewhere down south (Sorry – daahn saahf, innit!), at uni.  She’ll be studying drugs and alcohol, or some such waste of her parents’ hard-earned cash.  Tomorrow’s captains of industry!  I fully expect her to earning a six figure sum by the end of it.  (That’s a whole £19.23 a week!)  It was so good to hear from her and I felt really humbled by the credit she paid me, although I deserve every fucking ounce of it.  Poor child!  We started with scissors, paper, stone, to see who would get her, but it wasn’t until the fourth death from Russian Roulette that I lost my nerve and agreed to have her in my form. student

She’s a star, really, and she knows it.  As are they all!

 

I was away with some friends, up in the Lake District.  It’s a kind of sad time.  It’s another reminder of how fleeting our time is and how we need to live, or as the outrageously talented Mr Bellamy advises: Don’t waste your time, or time will waste you!  Incidentally, luckily I checked my ticket to see Muse, as it’s this Saturday.  They’re such talented musicians.  I wish I had an iota of Matt Bellamy’s talent.

muse-2013

 

Had one of my earth-shattering, pointless existential moments again and came up with …

An experiment:

Man falling through sand timer.

Take a time piece and loudly count down one minute, from 60 to zero.  This is your life, ticking away, from birth til death; then, after zero – your death – reverse and continue counting upwards.  This is the world continuing after you have gone.  Time continues, the world moves on, and you slip away into the past, further and further, and no-one remembers.  And we’ll love, and we’ll hate, and we’ll die, all to no avail!

History is a thing of the past.

I spent most of my time up north out on my own, exploring and running.  It’s funny trying to get up a 17% gradient.  It’s like time has stood still whilst someone blowtorches your lungs.  Jogging on the spot for eternity!  It’s so funny going past people out walking their dogs, enjoying a leisurely pace; me slopping past them like a wet rag, trainers squelching in sweat and eyeballs bouncing off cheeks.  I can’t help but think I’m doing something wrong?

Took myself up to Muncaster castle, Britain’s most-haunted castle; at £7 to walk around the grounds of an 1870s ‘castle’, that’s closed, one can understand why it’s fucking haunted!  No-one on this earth is gonna pay that.

The trip was a bit like Star Wars Episode One: promised to be good, but turned out to be a complete fuck-up of epic proportions!

Anyway, where were we?

Thinking of getting another tattoo, but not quite sure whether it’s a good idea.  If I do, then it’ll be something guitary, maybe like this?  tattoo4I’ll have to wait until I’ve finished renovating the house to see whether the funds will allow for such an extravagant decision.  I’m not going through a repeat of the last debacle involving a tattoo.  That was a bigger fuck-up than those idiot scriptwriters killing off Ned Stark so early on!  I mean, what the fuck was that all about?  ned starkRemember: a tat’s for life not just for Christmas, so will have to have a long think about it.

The thing here is to define just how long a long think actually is.  Is there a scale anywhere by which long thinks are measured, or is it just a by-word for procrastination?  It’s like the old how long is a piece of string?  Who really cares how fucking long it is as long as there’s enough for the job at hand? Actually, a better answer would be more along the lines of: it’s twice as long as from one end to the middle.  Hey, have I just answered the age-old question?  Wow! I might be getting debated and discussed for generations to come.  Rogers’ string theory.  Who is gonna play me in the movie?  Oh, I do hope it’s Benedict!

teaAll this higher-order thinking is leaving me a little parched.  I think a brew is required.  I’m trying to remember which Roman leader said, ‘Friends, Romans. Countrymen, lend me your teapot.’  So many tributes to the humble cuppa go unsung.  It’s a little-known fact that Lennon and McCartney’s mega hit All You Need is Love, was, in the early stages, called, All You Need’s a Brew.  So many tunes! Smash hits like With a Cup of Tea From My Friends; I’ve Just Seen a Brew, and who can forget the mega-track, Lucy in the Sky with Lapsang Souchong!

I’m presently disassembling my bathroom.  Not being satisfied with that, I’ve decided to wreck the whole fucking house in the meantime.  I’m totally redesigning the whole room, so there’s no basin, bath, or toilet.  Talk about fallout!  At times like this we understand why there are two handles on plastic bags.  Extending the bathroom by the length of my penis seemed like a good idea.  An extra ten inches has made a big difference.  Now, I’m looking at it and thinking, ‘You soft tit!’  Can’t thunk what got into me.  There’s nothing wrong with pink tiles and a purple-spotted shower curtain.

Well, I’ve managed to stay sober for the last week, after a short prolapse – sorry, relapse.  Yes, I slipped by the wayside and lost a few more brain cells, days, and the will to live.  I refuse to sink back into the old ways because of more ups and downs on the Rogers’s Rollercoaster of Life.  Once again I’ve been left tied to someone’s gatepost, waiting for the RSPCA to come take me away and put me to sleep.  I didn’t bite the hand that feeds, I just kinda pissed on the floor once too often.  (There’s meaning in that somewhere!)

Fix me a drink, make it a long one, hey, comrade, a drink, make it a strong one!   So, getting drunk?  It seemed a good idea at the time (as always) and I gave myself good telling off every hungover morning.  I guess there’s no sense in dwelling on it.  Hating oneself over something so trivial doesn’t solve anything.  I mean, forgiveness is the better part of valour isn’t it?  Or that’s what we’re lead to believe by those all-knowing, holier-than-thou religious types, so hot on forgiveness, rabbiting on about it?  But when it comes to it, when it comes to actually doling-out a little more than just the words of their omniscient all-powerful deity, and exercising a little forgiveness, then it’s nothing but empty, meaningless vocalisations.  The milk of human kindness didn’t get put back in the fridge last night and it’s tuned into a foetid, stinking, fizzing, lumpy mess.  Forgiveness obviously only works when it’s coming their way, on torn and bloody knees.

There’s so much hatred in the world and so much of it to do with religion.  My god’s better than your god!  Why can’t all these religious types get together and go ten rounds?  The winner is the last one standing.  That way they can fuck off and leave the rest of us alone in peace … instead of pieces!  Their all-forgiving deity isn’t much help, either.  He’s well and truly taken his eye off the ball.  Come ride with me through the veins of history, and I’ll show you a god who falls asleep on the job.

In my living room I presently have stored: a bath, a bath panel, a shower and shower screen, a new shiny, glittery ceiling pack, a radiator, a very expensive mirror, a 27″ television and all sorts of other odds and sods.  I can’t move and the place is a shithole.  It’s difficult to keep going when things are like they are, but got to keep going and see it through.  When it’s done I’m going to have a nice deep bath, with smelly candle, cup of tea, and Kindle; and I’m going to stop in there until I turn into a prune.dog-bath

It’s 5.30am and sleep, too, has decided it’s better off someplace else away from me, so I got up and made a brew.  Could murder a Belgian bun right now.  Had to settle for a toasted bagel, but – well – it’s just not fair!  It’s one of those times when nothing short of a sweet and juicybun pastry, topped with virgin-white icing and crowned with a little nipple of a glace cherry, can tame the savage breast.  Oh, to nibble on that sweet, red juicy nipple right now!  Actually, I’m a bit of a cake whore, so anything with fresh cream in would do.  At this moment, an iced fucking finger would do!  When I say an iced fucking finger, I don’t mean an iced finger that’s used as a … aw, you know what I’m trying to say!

I hope I have a more productive day tomorrow.  I’ll probably not be out of bed until gone 10am.  It’s a real struggle to get moving and get something done.  It’s like a mucuscolorchesty cough: no matter how much wheezing and hawking we do we just can’t shake loose the mucous that clogs our bagpipes.  On a good day, we might cough-up a lump of the old bronchial chewing gum, maybe accompanied by a spongy bit of lung tissue, but it doesn’t make any difference and, eventually, we give up and drown in our own snot.

It’s 3.47am and outside the rain is falling heavily, albeit in fits and starts.  The wind, too, is gusting and I’m wondering whether anyone else is lying awake listening to it hammering on the windows, gurgling in the gutters, cold and forbidding; I wonder if they lie awake wondering what tomorrow will bring and if they, too, are cursing a Belgian bun-shaped emptiness in their lives.  I’m really craving something sweet right now.  Man, I hope I’m not pregnant.

Well, Muse were absolutely fucking awesome!  They were beyond absolutely fucking awesome, in fact; they were a phrase that is as yet to be invented that betters absolutely fucking awesome.  It was a full house and they nearly brought the roof in; the stage show was great and I didn’t expect the bleeding great space ship that did a circuit of the building.  If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, then watch this and then go and see them:

Drones

MATT

I guess I’d better put this to bed, so to speak.  It’s yet another 5.30 almost.  We shall close our eyes and as we drift off into the all-encompassing shroud of blissful darkness that is sleep, we shall pull-up the covers, smile, and to the world outside say fuck it!sleep-deprivationAmen!

Posted 07/04/2016 by markyrog in hamster wheel

Does my bum look big in this?   Leave a comment

I do believe it’s about time I stopped going on about the passage of time. Although I think it’s important to at least try to encourage us to get our backsides in gear and go do something to enhance and enrich our otherwise stale existence, I’m afraid of sounding rather like Roy Batty. blade-runner1I mean, I wouldn’t want you, dear reader, to think I was suffering from chronographobia (Haven’t a clue what the technical term is, so I made one up.), Yes, it’s inevitable that all these moments will be lost like tears in rain, so I’m changing tack; anyway, I’ve always believed that a change is as good as a breast – or two!

huge_boobs

Anyway, along with insanity, rejection, paranoia and bouts of diarrhoea (From both ends!), health has also been a constantly waged battle in the bag of skin commonly known as Rogers.

As a kid, I was shite at sports, coming in second-to-last, beating only the school ertard. (I remember his name was Podmore and he didn’t know which way was up unless someone tilted his chin in that direction.) Yes, I was a little podgy, but I was big-boned (Still am Ladies!), or it was my glands, or some such nonsense; nothing to do with the poor diet, the tons of crap food I was shovelling down my cakehole!

Sometime in my early teens and for whatever-I-don’t-know bloody reason, I went for a run. I didn’t go far, but I do remember how I enjoyed it, having to push myself to keep going. Now, I’m not saying I suddenly became Nike reborn in mortal form, nikenor can I claim to have been nipping at Daley Thompson’s heels, and I certainly did not burn-off the excess layers of chubbiness that plagued me (And I hadn’t even started drinking!), but it did plant a seed that has served me well over the last few years – apart from my knees, that is, but they’re always bitching and moaning about having to carry me, and I’m always warning them that they can be replaced!

In my twenties, whilst I lived in Liverpool, I went through a phase of visiting a local gym. I was at that foolish age where bench presses are cool and the weight on the bar needs to look impressive. That is, until about the third repetition, when suddenly you realise that the extra 20kg was a tad too adventurous. The bar sinks quicker than the Costa Concordia, but unlike its skipper, you can’t abandon ship because it’s about an inch above your throat! To compound the misery, the only other person in the gym is a really ’fit‘ girl, busily working on her stretches. No help there, but definitely potential for great embarrassment! With a supreme effort and eyeballs a-popping, the bar is moved backwards.3-steps-to-a-big-bench-press It comes to rest across the thighs, cutting off circulation to everything below the hips and squeezing two thirds of the body’s blood supply into your dick, which almost pops. Life and pride is saved; you got out of it without looking like a complete idiot and without the need for medical assistance!

Around about this time, I started running more seriously. I remember I used to go running with my sister’s ex-husband and he’d push me into keeping going when everything was telling me it’s time to stop. It was the good, persuasive type of encouragement that kept me going, even though all my body’s vital organs were in open rebellion. I can still hear his calm words of encouragement now, over twenty years later… the bastard!
fat runnerNot disturbed yet by the need to go out and do the work thing, the early hours of the morning would see me donning a tee shirt, a thick jumper and a rain jacket, hood tied tight and setting off up the East Lancs road. I’d leave the bath to slowly fill whilst I was gone, to ensure that I didn’t stop. If I did, then I’d flood my bathroom and the flat below, inhabited by the miserable old witch who complained at every squeak of a floorboard. (Ooh, she was miserable; she was dangerous, too! She once opened her front door to me (No double entendres please!) sporting a big black eye. I thought she’d been mugged or something. Turns out she’d knocked herself senseless with a tin of peaches). I remember measuring the distance whilst driving that way and was rather surprised to find it was eight and a half bleedin’ miles! I’m surprised I didn’t give myself a prolapse! When I got back it’d be straight into that nice hot bath with a cup of tea.

We rely upon the automobile so much these days and it’s difficult to imagine life without it.  I certainly can’t imagine life without my old warhorse, Old Neddy (130,000 miles and still going strong!). But before the car era, I used to have an old bicycle, which I rode everywhere. Now that thing was excellent for keeping the flab at bay and it didn’t bother me the least to cycle four miles to work and four miles back each and every day and I went everywhere on it. Three gears it had, not the eighty-seven that today’s youth has to contend with. (You see them peddling along in a low gear, with their tongues out and legs a-blur, as you walk past them). Eventually, I remember, the frame snapped up by the handlebars and it had to go to wherever bicycles go when they die. I tried to tape it together, but inevitably had to admit that, even for me, it was a little dangerous. Turning the handle bars in one direction didn’t necessarily mean that the rest of the bike followed. It kinda decided it wanted to go in the opposite direction, or, God knows how, both directions at once. I was sad to see it go, though. I thought about giving it a Viking funeral on a nearby lake, but settled for the local dump.

With all good things comes the inevitable fuck-up, and mine was getting involved with the now ex-wife. Comfort eating, obesedrinking and absolutely no exercise became the norm and my waist expanded to a circumference that rivalled Pluto’s. (The once-was-classed-as-a-planet-but-isn’t-now thingy, not the cartoon dog, who was a narrow bastard, never got fed, never shit on the floor and never tried humping Minnie’s leg!) I ballooned to a 44” waist and was no doubt heading for a go on the old chest toasters. The thing is I didn’t see it happening! Or maybe I did? We all have this image of what we think we look like to others, an often distorted perception of self concept. I mean, I knew I had put on weight, but a fatty? Not me! (Remember, I’m big-bonered!)

And now follows a cautionary tale. It’s a tale of testosterone and male pride; a tale of my dick’s bigger than yours masculinity that has seen many a fool shot down in hysterical laughter…

It all began when the ex-wife met-up with an old school friend. Not the one she cheated on me with, but one of the female variety. Anyway, after wearing-out their jaws all day, the friend announced that she had to get home as her husband was going for a run. Now, I’d been pootling around the park, doing two and a half miles for a while, so she pipes-up with, ‘Oh, Mark goes running. He’ll go with him!’

And so the stage is set…

At the appointed hour, there’s a knock at the door and there stood Jimmy, all five feet, eight inches, if that! At this point, the super ego, that little voice of doubt that resides in the back of our head – you know the one, its job is to keep us in check, feed us that morsel of uncertainty that keeps both feet on the ground – hit the floor laughing its tits off! With chest out, “I’ll have him!” I thought.

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2011 file photo, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gestures as he addresses the Mumbai University students in Mumbai, India. The Dalai Lama said Thursday, March 10, 2011, that he will give up his political role in Tibet's government-in-exile, shifting that power to an elected representative. The Tibetan spiritual leader, speaking on the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese control, said the time has come "to devolve my formal authority to the elected leader." (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File)

Three miles later, with my lungs coughed-up and dragging in the dirt like sacks of dead puppies, this pocket rocket is still pushing me on at a pace hitherto only experienced by Donald Campbell and passengers on Concord. Every muscle was screaming, ‘What the fuck!’ and the little voice of reason, having gone for a lie down, was conspicuous by its absence.  It was only when we got back to the house and I was able to spare some air to pass through my larynx in a manner resembling human speech, that I found he had been in the Royal Marines for twelve fucking years! marinesThe flaming, burning wreckage that was once my pride had embedded itself into Mother Earth at terminal velocity and was frantically scooping-in mounds of dirt in an attempt to bury itself for all time.

crash
It was great, though, and we went on several more runs over greater distances. It was like having a personal trainer and he pushed me harder each time. It hurt, believe me, but I began to feel better about myself. Inevitably, life got in the way as it tends to and we stopped running; the weight started coming back.

Now, readers of previous posts will know the battle that was raged against alcohol, but back then there was nothing to do other than drink beer. Life was crap. When she fucked-off it kind of inspired me to do something about my spreading gait. I’d known all along that this wasn’t me. Well, alright, I’ll admit that I was a total stupid arse and decided to get rid of the flab in order to try and win her back, but this was a time when my brain disappeared on holiday with The Clangers and the heart was left in control. Bloody stupid thing!

I joined a gym and man, did I hammer it: three hours a night every night and longer at the weekends. Work went on the back burner (Hang on, wasn’t it it always there?), as I set about recrafting and redesigning myself. The diet was totally transformed. Usually the last thing to be eaten after the chips and cheese-covered steak, the humble salad took centre stage, basking in the blazing brilliance of a super trouper; no potatoes, no bread, no red meat and no beer. Ten sit-ups was hard work and I couldn’t break a mile run in seven minutes. I knew the moment I could get under a seven minute mile, that things would change. Every attempt was a failure, but I was determined.

Eventually, it happened and from struggling to do anything, suddenly I was flying! All sorts of abs exercises, upper body, core strength – bring ‘em on! The weight fell off like I’d been peeled. I was down to a 34” waist and working hard. I felt good and almost had a totally flat stomach. Once, stood perfectly upright, I actually saw my dick! (I was stood upright, by the way, not my dick!) That was a great feeling (Again, not my dick!), to look down and see my best pal, with whom communication by braille had been the norm for so, so long! Wow! No more pissing on the toilet seat.

An unfortunate side effect of the diet and/or the stress was a bout of alopecia. My DSC00194 hair across the back of my head decided it had had enough and was off. My mate pestered me for ages to shave it all off; told me he would do it. I’d never fucking liked it, anyway. It used to just hang like a witches tit; style was not on the menu. So off it came! When the deed was done and what was left of my hair was lying on the floor like so many dead mice, it was one of those weird-yet -pleasant moments. It had taken-off ten years. A baldy was born!

My mother showed me a photograph she had taken a while back and I looked just like that greasy, fat, fuck of a father I was cursed with. I tore the photo up. I wasn’t going back to that – ever!

Then she came back!

After it had inevitably all gone tits-up, I went back to the gym, but I’d lost the spark. My back was a mass of aches and I just didn’t have the drive. I just found it so much more difficult to get back into and I really couldn’t understand why.

I didn’t put on too much weight, though. In fact, the best running I did was a year or so later, when I was in Darwen, in the north of England.

Now, Darwen is (How can I say this without offending Darwenners?) a shit-hole! With row-upon-row of pre-19th century millworkers’ houses, it’s sunk in a valley, hanging like a prolapsed uterus. However, up on the hillsides, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday what-passes-for-life, it is very pretty.

The hillside is steep and I look back in awe at my ambition: four and a half miles of lung burning, muscle-tearing, screaming agony. It hurts just thinking back on it. One section was so steep I was almost running on the spot. The only thing that kept me going was the voice in my head telling me that to stop is to fail. Oh boy, did I enjoy those runs: getting to the top of the first long climb and getting my breath back on the descent, then facing the next even steeper climb, forcing my lungs to take-in air, cursing my legs to keep going, one more push, almost there! Then the long downhill ambulanceswoop and the feeling of elation at having conquered the other voice, the doubting voice that wraps us in its warm, comforting I can’t do it so I won’t try embrace! Could I do that course now? I don’t know. I would have to seriously think before trying. It was only four years ago, so who knows? I’ve heard our fantastic paramedics’ response times are pretty sharp these days!

With more ups and downs than Blackpool’s Big One, my weight once again became an issue. It’s really weird how it creeps up like some apex hunter, hunkered low, ears down and tail twitching, waiting to pounce and – oddly enough – make a meal out of you; lurking in every shadow is Temptation! Temptation in the shape of steak, onions, peppers, smothered in grilled cheese, a mountain of fries; also the inevitable undisputed king of the calories: the beer! Temptation, thy name is cheesecake!

cheesecake-main_2219709b
What I’m saying is that whilst I wasn’t looking, my waist crept back up to a 38” Oddly enough I felt as if I was still in control and capable of easily losing the weight. After all, I was still playing footy twice a week and running a couple of miles occasionally.

And so we come to this summer and another opporchancity to change things. Out went the beer (Again!) and in came the salad (Again!). I started running just a couple of miles and the weight started falling off (Again!).

My mate’s fourteen year old son decided he was gonna take the old man for a run. You know that age, when ambition overcomes common sense? Well, as you can imagine, he set-off like a pig on fire, determined to impress (See above!) and after half a mile was claiming he only wanted to go for a short run and was turning back. ‘Oh no you’re not!’ thinks I and promptly set about chivvying and cajoling him onward, reminding him of the sweatshirt he wore: ‘Quitters never win! Winners never quit!’ I pushed him for another mile before he crashed and burned. Evidently, it was an ‘asthma attack!’ Terrible!

I’ve been out running in some beautiful places, but Seldovia, Alaska beats the lot! The air is pure ambrosia, no cars; peaceful, quiet and beautiful; I also ran the Homer Spit, six miles of complete and utter beauty. Inspiration is all around in the form of beautiful snow-capped mountains and the beautiful Cook Inlet. It made running back in England so much more difficult.
HomerSpit
As the weight came off, my knees no longer complained like they used to and I often heard them in quiet conversation, discussing how much better working conditions had become. (I wonder if knees smile?) I got down to the best weight I’ve ever been, at 185 lbs (Down from 222 lbs folks!) and I ran six miles with a mile warm-up. Alright, it did leave me feeling like I’d given birth and my pelvis had dropped off, but pain is temporary. To celebrate, I bought myself a whole new outfit (Again!).

My target is 182 lbs – that’s 13 stones and a loss of 40lbs – and I’m determined not only to reach it, but to stay there! It’s hard work and there’s no such thing as ‘a treat’, but the confidence gained from being able to get into a size ‘M’, from a size ‘FB’ is life-changingly amazing! It’s proving quite difficult to shift the last 4lb, however. It simply will not move. I get near to it and then it bounces up a little. I mean, I ran another six miles and then threw in a little uphill struggle, as a kind of treat, a cherry on the top. Oh boy, was I looking forward to getting on the scales. I could almost hear it, feel it beckoning to me, calling me forward. All sweaty and panting like a rabid hound, I stepped up. The numbers settled and …

188lbs!

Fucking sirens! How on earth did that happen? But I guess the thing is to not give up, so I’ll be out there again, wheezing away like a half-crazed asthmatic

.“Quitters never win! Winners never quit!” Remember that? I’ve tagged-on an extra mile, so am now running seven miles. It is difficult to switch-off the little voice of doom, simply because it’s got that much longer to peck at one’s head: Give up! Just stop and walk! You’re too old for this! Just walk for a little while!’  But keeping to the plan has paid off and I’ve now met my target.
IMG_0907job doneThe issue now becomes one of maintaining that weight. The danger is in switching off. It’s like a pick-pocket, the moment your back’s turned, it’s in there. I hear so many people talking about losing weight, going on this diet, or that diet; talking about how many ‘sins’ they’re allowed. The simple truth, folks, according to someone who once made sense, is that we don’t need to diet, we need to change our attitude to food. If you’re serious about getting fitter, then you cannot treat yourself – well, once in a blue moon at the most – and the formula is simple: less in and more out and being aware! I’m in awe of those grossly overweight people who are out there in the rain, puffing along like they are going to keel over and go tits-up at any moment. We are out there and we are doing it.

Rethpec bro!

.star trek  

Posted 13/09/2015 by markyrog in hamster wheel

Alright, you got me!   Leave a comment

apology-form

Yes, yes, yes! I know that, true to form, the last thing I wrote was about the importance of keeping this blog up-to-date and that was well over a year ago. Truth is I tried to write several times, but, just like u-bends in toilets, couldn’t quite get my head around it. Things always seem to get in the way of … well … things! Before you know it, many moons have passed and WordPress are wondering whether I’ve eventually shrugged off this mortal coil and am now sat on a cloud, polishing my halo and scribing shite on papyrus with my heavenly HB.
cherub

Anyway, like the proverbial bad penny, I‘ve turned up again and I fumbly apologise for my absence.
So, where does the time go? Old_clock

I find myself asking that question more and more frequently. As age catches up and knee joints stiffen, backs twinge and testicles become good buddies with knees; as we stand bemused and frustrated, unable to remember what the bloody hell we went into the kitchen for, or where we’ve just put that thingy we had in our hand not two minutes ago, there’s the constant urge to do more, see more; experience more of this shiny little blue gem we call home. It has to be done before there’s that sharp twinge in deaththe chest; followed by a booming knock at the door and you answer to find some bloody great tall, skinny chap, in a long black robe, holding a scythe that would have the local constabulary radioing for SO19, and he’s beckoning you with a finger only slightly plumper than a size zero model’s thighs.size-0 Off you go without even the chance to say, ‘Can I help you?’ You’re looking down on – or up at – your nearest and dearest, who are shoving your remains into a whopping great oven and squabbling over who gets your battery-powered twirling spaghetti forks, whilst what was once a living, breathing mass of confusion and diatribe contributes to the depletion of the ozone.

Of course, as we age there’s risk involved, but isn’t there risk involved in everything we do? Like stepping into the bath? Crossing the road? Breathing? Farting? Farting then breathing? Obviously, I’d rather not find myself, for example, arrested and incarcerated in a Mississippi prison, with a 300lb, right-wing neo-Nazi, sporting more tattoos than a tattooist’s design book;nazi who’s fighting inmates over who gets first go as they drool through the bars of their cell, sneering, “Let’s play mummy and daddy … and I’m daddy!” Love and hat tattooed across the knuckles of his hands: the unfortunate outcome of losing a pinkie in a knife fight with a mirror.
I guess every time we go out the front door it’s a roll of the dice -or, ironically, the die; every time we cross the road there’s a danger of becoming an insignificant splodge on the asphalt. Road kill!RoadKillPH

jackAh, I can see it now…
We are gathered here today to remember Whatshisface: an insignificant member of the human race, who didn’t climb Everest; who didn’t discover penicillin and who actually didn’t do anything of any significance whatsoever.

Why the sudden interest in mortality, longevity and other –ity words that escape me? I don’t know! signpostCould be the loss of my mother, the cancer scare, or possibly the buffeting we’re getting from the turbulence that’s tossing this plane around like we’re attempting to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere riding what is, in reality, nothing more than a large beer can.
Therein lies a good analogy for life, too. I look out of the window and I see below the dark clouds stormthat we had to pass through to get to where we are (Umpteen thousand feet above where we are supposed to be!). Those dark clouds are there and their effects are still felt, but they are below us; above us only sky, as we race onward into the dark unknown.

Yes, life for Rogers, presently, is good. Could be better (Pretty obvious!); could be worse (Even more obvious than my ex-wife’s insanity!).  Things are going at a pace not seen for aeons. Also, dear reader, and very significant, I’ve not partaken in any alcoholic beverage for nine whole weeks! Pretty chuffed with myself! Healthy eating has also contributed to me being back in size 34” jeans, down from 38”. Bloody awkward ‘cos I just bought new jeans and now have to go back to the old ones. The urge to scoff-down a huge pizza is still nagging like a rude itch. In fact, given the choice of unlimited sex with two pretty, young, bisexual nymphomaniacs,lesbian or a deep-pan, stuffed crust, meat feast, with extra topping? pizza

Please don’t make me choose!

As the late, great Benjamin Franklin said, “Eat to live, don’t live to eat!” And I’m talking about food there, not the two pretty, young, bisexual nymphomaniacs.

Is it me, or is nothing sacred these days?  There’s just some things that shouldn’t be done.  The vuvuzela, the parachute jacket, Microsoft’s Clippy (It looks like you’re trying to watch porn.  Can I help?) and Lipton’s tea, all perfect examples; yet someone, somewhere manages to plummet the human race even further into damnation – or damn nation – and comes up with an idea so turgid as to render logical thought and speech completely unobtainable!  And here it is …

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As stated, I’m completely bloody speechless!

Five word weather: It’s really fucking pissing down!

The bad weather can’t dampen the spirit, though and Liverpool’s win over Stoke, on the opening day of the season is armsweet! Is there some magical cure for the things that ail us? Do we respond to the weather? A kind of S.A.D.? Is happiness and confidence a result of healthy eating, exercise and …yes, I’m going to say it …no alcohol?

In that case, I’m fucked!

But I face the future with a spring in my step and my tail up. The metaphorical equivalent being an erection like a baby’s arm holding an apple! Obviously, things will be up and down over the days- a bit like erections and McDonald’s Wi-Fi – but we are living in Smile Central right now and that’s good!smiley-face-1-4-15

Posted 13/08/2015 by markyrog in hamster wheel

Helloooo!   Leave a comment

And so, dear reader, let’s cast-back to our last bout of nonsensical waffle, where I most clearly stated the importance of keeping this blog up-to-date…

Here we are months after writing about how important it is to keep things updated and having not written a damned thing in many moons.

It’s difficult to comprehend, but Mother has been dead for over a year now. Where has the time gone? Did someone in a stripy top and a black mask nip in quick and steal a bag of months whilst I wasn’t looking? burglar

They (The Great Controlling Collective of the paranoid mind.) say that as we get older, the years pass-by quicker. It certainly seems that way. Or is it that we become more aware; busier; we cram more into our days? It seems that as kids we did soooo much more and each day was an individual eternity, stretching out ahead of us with endless possibilities; discoveries to be made, trees to be climbed, dens to be constructed and scabs to be picked. Then what happens?

So, as I was saying, mother’s been dead over a year now.  She went in with a broken hip and didn’t come out.  She had a heart attack, caused by 80% – 90% blocked arteries.  0That’s the thing about smoking: you light a fag and you roll the dice.  But, of coursed, it’s all about choices.  She just wanted to come home and sit in her chair and smoke herself to death.  It’s heartbreaking to hear your mother telling you she wants to go home, she wants you to take her home and you can’t.

Strange how people who didn’t care and did nothing for her suddenly think they’re being hard done-by when they get fuck-all? Like those who come sniffing around yer arse when they realise you’ve come into some money. Not vultures – maggots! shutterstock_142607215
It gives me great pleasure to tell them all that it ain’t gonna happen and go take the proverbial flying fuck at a rolling doughnut!

20050818-how-about-a-nice-cup-of-shut-the-fuck-up

Alaska was as expected: beautiful and busy.  I didn’t get to play at an open mic night, but I did get to play at a bonfire on the beach, a merry and drunken little soirre that went on into the night and beyond.  A woman took this picture of me and said it’s the cover of my first album.photo (1)

Got to admit that it’s a pretty cool photo.  I’ve got the front cover and now all I need now is the music to go with it.

I spent a bit of time in Connecticut, with an old friend who I’ve not seen since 1987.  It was fantastic to catch-up after so long.  The thing about real friends I think, is that when you’ve not seen each other for so long, yet you just slot right back in as if you’ve never been away.  Heidi does some great work with cats and dogs and horses, that others have given up on.  She takes-on those that otherwise would be put-to-sleep.  A lovely euphemism!   I could have easily brought home a couple of her charges, but one is a fucking huge Rottweiler, the size of a family hatchback, and the other is a little ball of black belly fluff.  Both were just amazing and so loving.

Did some interesting history-type things whilst there, too.  Found that the USS Nautilus was there and had been converted into a museum.  It’s amazing to think that it had been under the polar ice cap; the world’s first nuclear powered submarine!

I spent a bit of time looking a the Medal of Honour wall – real heroes, not some computerised get shot, fall down, count to ten and get up again, besmirching, money-making representation of a ‘hero’ – and was amazed at the selfless bravery shown by the men mentioned.  From saving others; attacking enemy shipping in no-win scenarios, to re-entering a damaged and sinking submarine and drowning oneself to avoid information possibly being extracted through torture.

Amazing what we are capable of!

Went down to the Mystic River and watched the boats. Amistad was there, a big clipper used in the film of the same name.  But best was the trip to the Hard Rock cafe, at Mashantucket, where I got my second Hard Rock cafe tee-shirt!  It was really cool.  On the wall was a shirt worn by Paul Simenon, and also one worn by the inimicable John Lydon.  The weather was good and so was everything else!

I found a great Hard Rock cafe locator and can now start ticking-off those visited.  Two down and God knows how many to go.  We’re off to the Hard Rock Cafe in Glasgow and possibly Edinburgh, too, at half term, so that’s another two tee-shirt for the collection,  After that, it’s probably further afihrceld.  As you can see, there’s a hell of a lot of them to see.  I might have to start collecting pins rather than tees, otherwise I might need a rather large set of drawers.

It’s great to be home, though, even though Luis Suarez has pissed-off on us and we’re struggling without him.  Thing is, Liverpool matches were free-to-air in New England, y’know, being owned by Fenway Sports Group.  Now, it’s back to a mile and a half trek to the nearest pub to watch us turn in mediocre performances.

I’m back to playing footy again at the soccerdome.  Aching?  My God!  This time it’s like being shafted by the elephant all the other elephants call Big Dick … and he’s none-too-gentle in the shafting department.

It’s my own fault, as I’ve been living a life of bohemian decadence for the last two weeks.  It has to come to an end sometime, though and for me that’s tomorrow.  Back to work.  Ah, work!  As I lie here, I wonder what wonderful wonders the wonder that is work  will bring?  …..  And then I try my hardest to forget it  After all, it’s bleedin’ work!  4b0804f29d5338e763dd99ab8874ccd9

I’ve started renovating the house, but it’s all come to a grinding halt as, since I began writing this episode, lots has happened and – yes – many more months have passed.

We’ve been to the Glasgow and Edinburgh Hard Rock cafes, and the Dublin one.

After an uneventful drive up to Glasgee, we found our hotel – The Alexander – near the city centre. What can I say about the Alexander? In her day, she must have been a beautiful hotel. This can be seen in the craftsmanship of the joinery and the general feel of the place. Unfortunately, time has taken its inevitable toll and she’s now a withered old hag. If it was an animal, then the owners would be getting a visit from the RSPCA.

We had a decent room at the top and things seemed okay … until the rain started dripping-in through the roof. The next room was a no-no, but the one after was acceptable – acceptable except for the rancid smell of cigarette smoke in the hallway. Still the breakfasts were good and it had a weird Art Deco feel that was quite cosy.

Posted 20/04/2015 by markyrog in hamster wheel, life, my blog

Tagged with ,

Still Here … More by Luck Than Judgement!   Leave a comment

images (1)I realise that I haven’t written anything in a while – not that the literary world has been waiting with baited breath. I think it’s important to keep things up-to-date but life tends to get in the way of these things.
Oh, where to start!
I got myself back into work which was a positive move. It keeps the bank balance balanced and gives less time to ‘um’ and ‘ah’ over the more mundane issues surrounding living and breathing.images (2)
Life seems to have levelled-out and is in danger of making more sense. This is mainly due to me removing certain people from my life and realising that a leopard never changes its spots!

A great and totally unexpected ray of sunshine warmed me to the very soul. I bumped into the ex-mother-in-law and she told me she owed me an apology for the way she had treated me during my divorce. images (3)
Evidently, according to her, the ex-wife has (sic) “…ripped us off!”  Also, according to the ex-, I’m destitute and living out of bins. You’ve gotta laugh!

The other one showed her true colours when she started enquiring about whether my mother had left me anything after her death and then suddenly showing an interest in “us” again. I mean, I might be stupid, but I’m not bloody stupid. .I’ve also got fucking debt collectors knocking on my door.  How I deal with them depends upon how my address became linked to her debt in the first place.

Anyway, what it comes down to is that once we realise that these people just cannot understand what they do or why they do it, then we can accept that they just cannot and will not change. Sociopaths just do not know what they are doing.

I found this online:

… is to know your vulnerabilities. We need to “realize our own potential and maximize our strengths” so that our insecurities don’t overcome us. Because, she says, a psychopath is a chameleon who becomes “an image of what you haven’t done for yourself.” Over time, she says, “their appearance of perfection will begin to crack,” but by that time you will have been emotionally and perhaps financially scathed. There comes a time when you realize no point in searching for answers; the only thing is to move on. “
Taken in part from MW — By Caroline Konrad — September 1999

Quite an eye-opener and the funny thing about opening one’s eyes is that one can actually see! We then don’t tend to step in the dogshit of life as often.DSCN0751

In February my mum died. It was protracted and complicated, as to be expected. She broke her hip and complications set in; a heart attack followed and she died shortly after.
Of course, where there’s a will there’s a relation, and the vultures are circling! They never visited, never did a thing for her, never called, not for decades, and yet they suddenly think they’re entitled to a slice of the pie? Human nature never ceases to amaze me. I hadn’t even buried her before the maggots began to chow-down.
I’m also back into running, doing three miles a day. Not a massive amount but enough to fight the flab and not put too much stress on the old joints. I also play footy at the school I’m at. Man, that hurts! The day after, I always feel like I’ve been buggered by an elephant. No point in getting me to stop, as I’m like a dog chasing a stick.
I’ve also managed to curb the alcohol intake. I got fed-up of feeling like boiled shite the next day. Having said that, I did go out last night and have one or two …too many.
I got up at the open mic night at my local pub before I left, and did my version of Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road. Nerves got the better of me and I ended up playing it at 90mph. A couple of guys came up to me afterwards and I thought they were going to beat the shit out of me; incredibly, they both said “that guitar is fucking awesome!” Needless to say I was pretty chuffed at that.
Ah, I haven’t introduced you to my new baby. He’s a Taylor 214ce. images Not the top end of the Taylor range but still expensive enough to warrant a raised eyebrow. Amazing sound and looks! Wasted on me, really, but there comes a time when you just have to say aw, fuck it, and treat yourself to something lavish.
It has a flaw in the wood which makes him unique and reminds me that everything is not perfect; there’s imperfections in everything and instead of seeing them as erroneous, we should embrace them as they make us who and what we are.

I’m flying out to Connecticut to visit my mate Benson. Can’t wait!

Well, I’m off to do some work on the garden I don’t have, in the house I don’t live in. Then I might nip to the refrigerator which is really a bin and find a slice of chicken breast and salad that someone has thrown away.

Keep lovin’ n livin’.

Posted 31/05/2014 by markyrog in depression, hamster wheel, life, love

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