Category Archives: Brooklyn

Saints and Sinners

In the aftermath of my viewing of Argo on the way back from the US, the spy news just kept coming…

Or you.
Not you.

But let’s leave Jared Kushner and his back channels out of it for now. (Oo-er, missus!) I briefly mentioned the recent shenanigans in China in last week’s Apoplexy Tiny LetterContinue reading Saints and Sinners

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Stroke Bloke at Euro 2016

Some years ago, Mrs Stroke Bloke and I noticed that – not much like J. Alfred Prufrock – our relationship could be measured out in international soccer tournaments.

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons, maaaan.”

Back in the summer of 2010, I was introducing my new American girlfriend to a Scottish pal in a Brooklyn bar as we watched (was it?) the USA v England in South Africa.

And as well as being beautiful and funny, she already understands the offside rule!

But as Scotland fail, yet again, to qualify for a major tournament at France 2016, how do I find a team to give me a rooting interest? Read on…

[Join the conversation at the Apoplexy Tiny Letter here.]

Continue reading Stroke Bloke at Euro 2016

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To a Tee

Interested in Nerd Bait? Before digging into this week’s post, find out how The Wee Mermannie got the girl – deleted scenes from our Book Festival Gig are part of the bonus materials included in the first issue of the fabulous FREAK Circus!

FREAK Circus: Issue 1 Available Now!

The beautiful paperback artefact is here. The electronic version that includes the unexpurgated prose version of The Tail of The Wee Mermannie is here.

Right. Now. Back to the blog.

Last Monday, I noted neuroscientist David Eagleman’s remark that the idea that we are unitary people over time is merely an illusion of continuity.

The people each of us individually are at 10, 30, 40, “share the same name and some of the same memories, but we are quite different as a person.”

During the intervening week, I wrote a short story about a man who may – or may not – have lived a succession of quite different lives. Yet there are common themes in those lives. For example, in each case, the character’s father disappears from the scene in his early years.

Really? My dad died when I was 11! And mine! And mine! And mine! And mine! And mine!

It wasn’t until I was reading a passage in Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel All the King’s Men last night that I realised that my fiction had been taking a sideways look at Eagleman’s theme…. Continue reading To a Tee

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Crosstown Traffic

People love making transatlantic comparisons. Think Sting’s Englishman in New York. Think Toby Young’s How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. Think Jeremy Clarkson’s unfortunately abortive attempt to get himself shot in The South.

Aw, c’mon Jez. It’s just a bit of fun!

[Stroke Bloke’s back from holiday. To make up for missing last week, I commend to you this post that predated Ada Lovelace Day on 13 October.]

Continue reading Crosstown Traffic

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Reflektor Reduks

[Long-Suffering Girlfriend of the Blog Beth and I went to see Kahlil Joseph and Arcade Fire’s The Reflektor Tapes this past weekend. So, today seemed like a good day to repost some reflektions on the album Reflektor and… other stuff.]

And it just got spacier from there
Weirdly, the entire movie theatre lobby was an Italian restaurant

One of the many rubbish things about having a massive haemorrhagic stroke is that the ever-present factor of fatigue, and the whole brain lesions thing, militate against a quick return to the traditional, full-time workforce. Continue reading Reflektor Reduks

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Ben Stiller Is My Avatar

Hi there. I think that last week’s post, Damages, was intended as the first part of a pen diptych. But now a week has passed, I’m not entirely sure what the second half was meant to look like. Maybe it will have come to me by next week.

It’s yer age, duck

[Sign up for the apoplectic Tiny Letter to get the perfect soundtrack for today’s post.]

Continue reading Ben Stiller Is My Avatar

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Jazz

Was anyone keeping an eye on the award of the Man Booker Prize last week? It’s, like, the World Cup for novels.

Well, that’s not quite right. Historically, the Man Booker has only been open to authors of the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland, or Zimbabwe. So it’s kind of more like the Commonwealth Games for novels. The 2014 prize was the first year the prize was open to authors from anywhere in the world. AS Byatt said the prize risked diluting its identity, but blog favourite A.L. Kennedy was all for it.

And Commonwealth Games mascot Clyde says, “Ha ha! Keep the Yanks out!”

[Sign up here for apoplectic.me Tiny Letter distributions, and more hilarious insular nationalism] Continue reading Jazz

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The Sound Of Buildings

I met up with my attorney on the street in TriBeCa the other day.

“Did you get a new haircut? I thought so. You’d fit right in here, or in the West Village.”

It’s noticeable that the people most likely to pigeon-hole this middle-aged Scottish man as a hipster (even if he didn’t use the actual epithet) are solicitous recreational therapists and lawyers from Long Island. Clearly, I’m more square than hip.

OK, that’s a bad angle.

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Continue reading The Sound Of Buildings

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The Case Of The Peculiar Details

My recent trip to Brooklyn wasn’t all the insides of courtrooms and the outsides of container terminals, oh no.

Sean Connery’s let himself go…

One day, Mrs Friendoftheblogpaul — who knows a good walk when she sees one — suggested we take a wander through Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Continue reading The Case Of The Peculiar Details

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