A mediocre World Cup, returning to the jungle, Mega Piranhas and Twin Peaks

Hello again,

Firstly, apologises for the lack of blogging in the past few weeks.

In the main I was gripped by World Cup fever, until I realised how average the whole thing was. We were told by pundits the tournament would improve with every round of games, and as I was covering it for a website (articles at football-talk.co.uk if interested) it became tedious to write about at times.

It wasn’t so much England’s elimination by the Germans, but that besides the Germans, who for me were the best footballing side of the tournament; there wasn’t much to grip the imagination.

Spain of course won it, in one of the most boring and bordering on violent Finals in history. Basically the Dutch kicked seven shades out of Spain for 120 minutes; luckily Andreas Iniesta spared us another penalty shootout. He and David Villa were the stars for the European Champions, but apart from that they were efficient rather than spectacular.

Of course we were not the only nation to flatter to deceive in South Africa, there was France and Italy out in the Group stages, and Argentina and Brazil both dumped out by the Quarter Finals.

Ghana were also a breath of fresh air with their open attacking football, with Asamoah Gyan and Kevin Prince Boateng showing attacking flair which could secure them big money moves in the close season. Gyan in particular showed fantastic character to step to take a penalty in the shootout against Uruguay, minutes after missing in extra time. And to boot it was a superb penalty, postage stamp, top corner.

Uruguay themselves had a familiar face as their star, as Diego Forlan carried them to the Semi Finals with some superb goals as well as being their playmaker. Safe to say his rotten spell at Manchester United is firmly forgotten now.

On the boxing front it has been hit and miss with regards to the Prizefighter series. First was arguably the best tournament ever with the Super Bantamweights, but then there was the drab affair which was the Super Middleweights. Just to add insult to injury I didn’t win a penny on either, my random bets were on all the duds.

An advert caught my eye this week in Boxing News as well, with Tommy ‘Hitman’ Hearns and Roberto ‘Hands of Stone’ Duran both visiting the good old S-O-T in September for a Dinner event. Having the classic fights involving these two fighters along with Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard, this has definitely tweaked the interest.

The job situation remains the same, although I did go for an interview to a PR firm last week in the Moorlands for a Graduate Journalist job, I will hear sometime this week I reckon. It was a strange interview though because at the end you can usually gather whether it went well or not, but this one I really couldn’t tell.

Maybe I’ve been to too many interviews.

I have applied to do some NCTJ exams in the fall, so hopefully they can help me get started.

I am looking at expanding my experience with the temp job set to finish at the end of the month; my friend is based in London and has offered to put me if I get some placements down there.

I have looked at newspapers based near his house in Acton (no idea where that is by the way) and also the Nationals (why not?) and some TV Channel press offices.

I sent the e-mails over the weekend so realistically I can hope for maybe one or two replies but we’ll see.

I have also started looking at gaining experience with radio, as there is a local volunteer radio station in the Moorlands that I have e-mailed to ask if I can help out.

I have to admit I did have an idea in mind when I got in touch, it was for a weekly Non-League football show discussing the local teams, but of course for someone who has very little radio experience this is very much a pipe dream.

But who knows, one day.

I got the minor inspiration from the book I just finished last night, ‘Good Times’ by Justin Lee Collins. He, like James Corden is very much a marmite person, you either love him or hate him. I thought he was brilliant on the Bring Back… series and the Friday Night Project (with Alan Carr coincidentally whose book I finished before JLC’s) so it was an amusing read as well as another story of going from nowhere to stardom, we can all dream I suppose.

I have just started a very interesting book last night, ‘The Black Panther Story’ wrote by a journalist back in 1976 about the notorious Black Panther killer who murdered a girl just down the road from my house at Bathpool Park. I remember watching a documentary about it years ago, when I loved Crimewatch with Jill Dando, and I stumbled upon it after seeing a book about the case in Waterstones the previous week.

I do occasionally crave a hard hitting true crime story, as when I read the ‘Lost Boy’ about the Moors Murders which was a superb book, disturbing but strangely fascinating at the same time.

Other impulse purchases have included Michael J Fox’s book, Bret Hart (the wrestler) and some bloke off Radio 2 who worked for the NME in the 80s I think, it looked good had some good reviews so I went for it. If it’s anything like my last impulse book, Mark E Smith (The Fall) then I am in for a treat.

One of the channels I wrote to was the Sci Fi channel (now spelt SyFy, I know I prefer the other way too) because I think it would be a blast working there as I am a big sci fi geek.

I also got a couple of B movies to watch this weekend too, Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus and Mega Piranha which features 80s pop star Tiffany (‘I think were alone now’ guilty pleasure I’m sure not just for me). I am not expecting much, but they will be guaranteed to be better than the sequel 2001 Maniacs: field of screams, quite possibly the worst film I have ever seen. I have watched some garbage but that took the biscuit, I have watched better camcorder films.

Speaking of camcorders, I decided to give the Blair Witch Project another chance, and 11 years later it is actually a better watch. It wasn’t ‘scary’ but it is intriguing, still the best camcorder film, Paranormal Activity, and the sequel’s trailer has just hit the web and looks promising.

I also managed to catch the new Predator film ‘Predators’ last Monday, it was a back-to-basics approach putting the predators back into the jungle and pitting them against a bunch of murderers and mercenaries which makes for some excellent set pieces, including my favourite a one on one battle between a pred and a samurai.

It also features a brilliant cameo from Laurence Fishbourne as a soldier who had survived a previous hunt on this alien planet, and he has completely lost it, which is understandable under the circumstances. You just have to see it and enjoy it.

TV wise I had heard good things ages ago about a show from the early 90s called Twin Peaks, written by David Lynch (from Eraserhead weirdness) and it has me totally gripped. There were only 7 episodes in the 1st series but it was a murder mystery, in a strange town and it has this really strange appeal, I can’t explain.

I can see where the X Files (which I loved got all the series on DVD) got its inspiration from in Twin Peaks.

I have held back on seeing the second series, and asked for the complete box set for my birthday which is next week.

My IPod nano has also died yesterday, so me asking for an IPod touch for my birthday was perfectly timed. I am little gutted mind, 1200 songs gone just like that, I will have to put some major time aside to fill this new one. It is strange this year because I am never usually specific about birthday presents, but this year I am, weird.

Ok that covers it for now.

‘Til next time.

Paul.

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