071414
Current tunes:

"California Sun," Ramones:


"She's the One," Ramones:


"Oh Oh I Love Her So," Ramones:


"Any Way You Want It," Ramones:


"Chasing the Night," Ramones:


070614
VICE Japan's piece on Chongryon-established 조선대학교 in Tokyo:


070414
Selling the Disneyland tickets I ended up not using on Craigslist...

Edit: Sold it (coincidentally) to a dude from Hawaii.

061814
Current tunes:

"Every Thug Needs a Lady," Alkaline Trio:


052614
Current tunes:

"Headlights," Eminem:


"Рядом со мной," Кино:


052514
Landon Donovan on being left out of the World Cup squad:


052514
This one made national news and Reddit: Hawaii raises minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

052214



Landon Donovan left out of the U.S. Men's National Team's World Cup roster.

The 23 players heading to Brazil are:

Goalkeepers:

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
Tim Howard (Everton)
Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders:

DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla)
Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
John Brooks (Hertha Berlin)
Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)
Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg)
Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

Midfielders:

Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake)
Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes)
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)
Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)
Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg)
Julian Green (Bayern Munich)
Jermaine Jones (Besiktas)
Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards:

Jozy Altidore (Sunderland)
Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC)
Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Also, the squad list for the 대한민국 축구 국가대표팀:

Goalkeepers:

Jung Sung-Ryong (Suwon Bluewings)
Kim Seung-Gyu (Ulsan Hyundai)
Lee Bum-Young (Busan IPark)

Defenders:

Kim Chang-Soo (Kashiwa Reyson)
Yun Suk-Young (Queens Park Rangers)
Kwak Tae-Hwi (Al-Hilal)
Kim Young-Gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Hwang Seok-Ho (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
Lee Yong (Ulsan Hyundai)
Hong Jeong-Ho (Augsburg)
Kim Jin-Su (Albirex Niigata)

Midfielders:

Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City)
Ha Dae-Sung (Beijing Guoan)
Koo Ja-Cheol (Mainz 05)
Han Kook-Young (Kashiwa Reysol)
Park Jong-Woo (Guangzhou R&F)
Ki Sung-Yueng (Swansea City)
Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton Wanderers)

Forwards:

Son Heung-Min (Bayer Leverkusen)
Park Chu-Young (None)
Lee Keun-Ho (Sangju Sangmu)
Kim Shin-Wook (Ulsan Hyundai)
Ji Dong-Won (Augsburg)

And the England national football team:

Goalkeepers:

Joe Hart (Manchester City)
Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion)
Fraser Forster (Celtic)

Defenders:

Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
Leighton Baines (Everton)
Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
Phil Jagielka (Everton)
Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
Phil Jones (Manchester United)
Luke Shaw (Southampton)

Midfielders:

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)
James Milner (Manchester City)
Raheem Serling (Liverpool)
Adam Lallana (Southampton)
Ross Barkley (Everton)

Forwards:

Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)
Rickie Lambert (Southampton)

050314



042714
An old post from /r/soccercirclejerk but, eh:

"Whilst living in London, Karl Marx became a Chelsea fan. That's where he got the idea of a classless society."




042714


Chelsea defeats Liverpool, 2-0. Man City defeats Crystal Palace, 2-0.

We played sloppily, Chelsea defended the fuck out of the ball, and we had a poor game, but we're not out of the title race yet. Liverpool and Man City can win all their remaining matches and it will come down to goal difference. Since it's not realistic for Liverpool to beat Man City on goal difference at this point, we have to hope that Man City will drop points against Everton, or maybe even Aston Villa or West Ham. We've come this far already; not giving up hope yet.

042014

Liverpool beats Norwich, 3-2. At this point, Liverpool has secured qualification to the Champions League. Chelsea's loss to Sunderland yesterday and Man City's draw against Sunderland earlier in the week gives us some breathing room, in that we can afford to draw a game and still win the league. We can also afford to lose a game and win the league, but only if we beat Man City on goal difference. Four down, three to go.

041814
Anger and frustration grows as the fourth day of rescue operations fails to turn up survivors:





041814

Latest updates on the Sewol ferry disaster.

041314
Liverpool beats Manchester City, 3-2. Three down, four to go.






041214

This is it. Possibly the most important match of this season. Liverpool against Manchester City. Pre-match thread over at /r/LiverpoolFC. Kick off is at 2:37 AM in Hawaii time.

041014
Current tunes:

"Sitting on the Curb," Pepper:


"Coming (to America)," The Bar:


"Pompeii," Bastille:


"I Don't Wanna be an Asshole Anymore," The Mezingers:


040614


Liverpool beats Westham United, 2-1 . Two down, five to go.

033014

Liverpool beats Spurs, four-nil. Top of the table. One down, six to go.

032914
Crystal Palace defeated Chelsea, and Manchester City drew against Arsenal. If we win tomorrow's game against Spurs, we'll be back on the top of the league table, and if we all the remaining seven games, we win the league!

031614
Check out this Flappy Bird-inspired iOS game made by a friend: Eppy's Flappy Guppy Quest.

I think I invented about a dozen cuss words playing this game.

031614
My girlfriend said that she was in the mood for some pizza after work, so while waiting for the game to start, I ordered delivery for her.

While it was amazing that technology allowed me to order pizza from Hawaii for a girlfriend living across the Pacific Ocean in Korea, Korea's antiquated reliance on Internet Explorer and ActiveX (and Windows XP, although not specifically for this case) caused me to take over an hour to successfully place the order.





031614












Liverpool beats Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford!

Match and post-match treads over at /r/liverpoolfc.

After that, head over to /r/reddevils to their match and post-match threads and bathe in the sweet, sweet tears of Man United supporters.

Highlights:


031514

Liverpool-Manchester United pre-match thread on /r/liverpoolfc.

...Or if you're so inclined, the pre-match thread over at /r/reddevils.

Match starts 3:30 AM in Hawaii time. Took a nap so I can stay up and watch the game. Who the fuck are Man United? Let's go, Reds!

030414


It's been a month since I've left Korea...

To be honest, I was afraid that distance and time would fade my feelings for her, but that hasn't been the case at all. I can't speak for her, but for me, I'm in love with her now more than ever. I love her completely and absolutely.

Things have been going great between us. We've been talking marriage... Which won't be an easy task, with the complicated process of immigration, for one. And while I love her, and I would be willing to do almost anything for her, and I would never put anything out of question for her, I just don't see myself ever moving to Korea. So in the case that we do eventually get married, she would have to immigrate to America. She would have to leave her family, her friends, her job... Not to mention the immense social and cultural difference, not just between Korea and America, but even between Hawaii and mainland America.

It won't be easy, but that's the direction this is going. She will be down here in May, and we'll talk more about all this then, but for now, I just want to take it one day at a time and enjoy the moment. She an amazing girl, and I've been truly, truly happy ever since I've met her.

030114
Current tunes:

"Kicking and Screaming," Funeral for a Friend:


"Муравейник," Кино:


"Из окна," Noize MC:


"Repeater," La Dispute:


"There Will Be Tears," Frank Ocean:



022414

"Big-time soccer violence in Scotland had always been aboot really thick Weedgies who never went to church knocking fuck oot ay each other to establish who had the best brand of Christianity."

- Marabou Stork Nightmares

"Football's Most Dangerous Rivalry": VICE's documentary on the Celtic-Rangers football rivalry:


022314
Women's reaction to pornography:


022014
My brother suggested that I should fly down to Seattle in July to see the Sounders host Spurs in a friendly.

021614
Game of Thrones season four trailer:


021414

"Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere."

- Emma Goldman

021314


020814
Highlights from Liverpool's 5-1 win against Arsenal:


020614
Yep, I was not ready to go back to work today.

I keep telling myself that I should keep myself busy, it will take my mind off of her, but so far it hasn't helped much.

Currently, the plan is for her to fly down to Hawaii on May 27th. Then we will fly down together to California on May 30th, in time for my brother's wedding the next day. After the wedding, we will fly back to Hawaii together, and she will fly back to Korea on June 2nd.

020514
I just talked to my brother on the phone after over a year of having absolutely zero contact with him. It's time to forgive, forget, and move on. There's nothing more important to me than family. I love him and missed him.

He was awesome enough to invite my girlfriend to his wedding in California in May. I really appreciated the gesture. She was happy to get an invite too, so right now we're trying to work things out to make it happen.

020514
She just sent me a text saying that she loves me. I messaged back saying that I love her too. We've never said that to each other until now. I loved her for a long time. I just never said it because I didn't think the feeling would be reciprocated. I would have preferred if we didn't exchange our first "I love you"s by text message... but I still feel incredibly great.

It feels great to love and to be loved. I miss her.

020414
Current tunes:

"When Will I See You Again?" Billy Bragg:


"Twenty-three," Swingin' Utters:


"아름다운 이별," 옥주현:


"Cricket," Dance Hall Crashers:


"날개뼈," 다이나믹듀오:


"Spanish Bombs," Tijuana No!:


020414
Today was our last day together.

In the morning, we got a quick bite to eat at a KFC that was right around the corner of the hotel. Neither of us ate dinner last night, so we were both starving.



I finished packing my bags and checked out of the hotel.









Took the bus to the airport.



After dropping my bags off at the airport, we headed down to a beach in Inchon for lunch. This particular beach had seemingly endless rows and rows of restaurants, all selling seafood.









The food was amazing!











Then we went back to the airport and waited for the departure time, trying to take in all the time we have left together as much as possible...





020414
Yesterday was such a surreal day. So much things happened, and they happened in such quick succession, that it all felt like a dream.

We started the day in Hongdae, and got lunch at an Italian place.



While we were eating our food, I jokingly said to her, "유선씨, 나 내일 가니까 좋죠?"

She laughed a little and responded, "아니에요."

I chuckled and went back to eating my food. I looked up at her about half-a-minute later and saw that she was wiping her tears from her eyes.

"미안해요! 그냥 장난치는거였어요!" I was completely shocked to see her crying. I never wanted to allow myself to show her my tears, but I also started to cry in response to seeing her cry.

This happened right as our waiter was bringing us our pizza, so imagine how awkward he felt...

After lunch, we walked around Hongdae a little bit, and decided to go back to the hotel and hang out there since it was a particularly cold day outside.

On the cab ride home, she started to cry again. I wiped the tears from her eyes and asked her why she was crying.

"형진씨한테 정들었나봐..."

In the hotel room, we opened up and talked about us, and where this was all going.

She told me that she was considering not seeing me anymore after I go back home. I told her that I didn't want that. I told her that I didn't want to lose her. I told her that I liked and cared about her. I told her that I couldn't imagine my future without her. She cried. I cried. We talked for hours and hours, into the night. We shared our deepest thoughts. We woke up the next morning together in each other's arms.

I woke up thinking how happy I would be if I could wake up next to her every morning for the rest of my life...

020314
Watching the Super Bowl right now. The only channel showing it in my hotel room is a Japanese channel.

Japanese commentary and no commercials—it'll have to do:



Edit: Congratulations to the Seahawks!

020314
I woke up sobbing this morning as the realization that I have less than two days with her before I go back home hit me.

012914
Leaving for Korea in a few hours. Excited to see my girl, my family, and my homeland!

012814

I had the day off from work because I'm leaving on a trip tomorrow, so I'm glad I was able to watch the match.

Highlights from today's Merseyside derby:


011914

The Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl!

011414

David Choe from the DVDASA Podcast on Korean women:

And then when you tell me about your mom beating cancer five times. And she's still coming home from the hospital and still cooking dinner that night.

She has brain surgery, she had a chunk of her brain taken out, she comes home, and she's fucking cooking kimchee the next day. That's insane.

Everyone only hears me talk shit about Korean women. Like, saying bad stuff about them, which... most of it is true.

But another part of it is because I respect them too much. You know, it's because of that. Because Korean women can have a part of their brain taken out and still cook kimchee the next day. I'm scared of that. You know, there's only room for one asshole in the family, and it should be me.

Like, when I see my mom and dad fight, I already know my dad's going to lose that one. I'm like, "Come on, dad, you already know the ending of that story."


011414
"Liverpool FC - Back To The Top 2013/2014":


011214
Welcome back, Sturridge!

Highlights from Stoke City Vs. Liverpool:


011014
Conan hires a professional organizer to clean Jordan Schlansky's office:


010114
Current tunes:

"It's Alright, It's All Good," 바비 킴:


"Seventeener," The Lawrence Arms:


"Песня для радио," Noize MC:


"Нам нельзя," Дай 5ять:


"Crosshairs," Bambu:


"Broken Wing," Alkaline Trio:


010114
2014년에는 oㅅ씨랑, 나랑 잘 됐으면 좋겠고... 직장일도 잘 됐으면 좋겠고. 그리고 네 가족, oㅅ씨, oㅅ씨 가족 모두 건강하고 행복했으면 좋겠습.

Oh, and I also wish that Liverpool will win the Premier League this season. Haha.

Happy New Year!

010114
"Victory on New Year's Day," by Irvine Welsh:

"Happy New Year, ya wee c▮▮t!" Franco wrapped his arm around Stevie's head. Stevie felt several neck muscles tear, as stiff, sober and self–conscious, he struggled to go with the flow.

He returned the greeting as heartily as he could. There followed a round of Happy–New–Years; his tentative hands crushed, his stiff back slapped, his tight and unresponsive lips kissed. All he could think of was the phone, London and Stella.

She hadn't phoned. Worse, she hadn't been in when he phoned. Not even at her mother's. Stevie had gone back to Edinburgh and left the field clear for Keith Millard. The bastard would take full advantage. They'd be together right now, just like they probably were last night. Millard was a slag. So was Stevie. So was Stella. It was a bad combination. Stella was also the most wonderful person in the world in Stevie's eyes. That fact made her less of a slag; in fact, not a slag at all.

"Loosen up fir fuck sakes! It's New fuckin Year!" Franco not so much suggested, as commanded. That was his way. People would be forced to enjoy themselves if necessary.

It generally wasn't necessary. They were all frighteningly high. It was difficult for Stevie to reconcile this world with the one he'd just left. Now he was aware of them looking at him. Who were they these people? What did they want? The answer was that they were his friends, and they wanted him.

A song on the turntable drilled into his consciousness, adding to his misery.

I loved a lassie, a bonnie, bonnie lassie,
She's as sweet as the heather in the glen,
She's as sweet as the heather,
The bonnie purple heather,
Mary, ma Scots bluebell.


They all joined in with gusto. "Cannae beat Harry Lauder. It New Year, likesay," Dawsie remarked.

In the joy of the faces around him, Stevie gained a measurement of his own misery. The pit of melancholy was a bottomless one, and he was descending fast, falling further away from the good times. Such times often seemed tantalisingly within reach; he could see them, going on all around him. His mind was like a cruel prison, giving his captive soul a sight of freedom, but no more.

Stevie sipped his can of Export and hoped that he could get through the night without bringing too many people down. Frank Begbie was the main problem. It was his flat, and he was determined that everyone was going to have a good time.

"Ah goat yir ticket fir the match the night, Stevie. Intae they Jambo c▮▮ts," Renton said to him.

"Naebody watchin it in the pub? Ah thoat it wis oan satellite, likesay."

Sick Boy, who'd been chatting up a small, dark–haired girl Stevie didn't know, turned to him.

"Git tae fuck Stevie. You're pickin up some bad habits doon in London, ah'm tellin ye man. I fucking detest televised football. It's like shagging wi a durex oan. Safe fuckin sex, safe fuckin fitba, safe fuckin everything. Let's all build a nice safe wee world around ourselves," he mocked, his face contorting. Stevie had forgotten the extent of Sick Boy's natural outrage.

Rents agreed with Sick Boy. That was unusual, thought Stevie. They were always slagging each other off. Generally, if one said sugar, the other said shite. "They should ban aw fitba oan the telly, and get the lazy, fat fucks oaf their erses and along tae the games."

"Yis talked us intae it," Stevie said in resigned tones.

The unity between Rents and Sick Boy didn't last.

"You kin talk aboot gittin oaf yir erse. Mister fuckin couch tattie hissel. Keep oaf the H for mair thin ten minutes and ye might make mair games this season thin ye did the last one," Sick Boy sneered.

"You've goat a fuckin nerve ya c▮▮t..." Rents turned tae Stevie, then flicked his thumb derisively in Sick Boy's direction. "They wir callin this c▮▮t Boots because ay the drugs he wis cairryin."

They bickered on. Stevie would once have enjoyed this. Now it was draining him.

"Remember Stevie, ah'll be steyin wi ye fir a bit in February," Rents said to him. Stevie nodded grimly. He'd been hoping Rents had forgotten all about this, or would drop it. Rents was a mate, but he had a problem with drugs. In London, held be straight back on the gear again, teaming up with Tony and Nicksy. They were always sorting out addresses where they could pick up giros from. Rents never seemed to work, but always seemed to have money. The same with Sick Boy, but he treated everybody else's cash as his own, and his own in exactly the same way.

"Perty at Matty's eftir the game. His new place in Lorne Street. Be thair sharp," Frank Begbie shouted over at them.

Another party. It was almost like work to Stevie. New Year will go on and on. It'll start to fade about the 4th, when the gaps between the parties start to appear. These gaps get bigger until they become the normal week, with the parties happening at the weekend.

More first foots arrived. The small flat was heaving. Stevie had never seen Franco, the Beggar, so at ease with himself. Rab McLaughlin, or Second Prize, as they called him, hadn't even been assaulted when he'd pished up the back of Begbie's curtains. Second Prize had been incoherently drunk for weeks now. New Year was a convenient camouflage for people like him. His girlfriend, Carol, had stormed off in protest at his behaviour. Second Prize hadn't even realised that she was there in the first place.

Stevie moved into the kitchen, where it was quieter, and he had at least a chance of hearing the phone. Like a yuppi businessman, he'd left a list of the numbers where he was likely to be at with his mother. She could pass these onto Stella, if she phoned.

Stevie had told her how he felt about her, in that ugly barn of a pub in Kentish Town, the one they never usually drank in. He laid his heart bare. Stella had said that she would have to think about what he said, that it had really freaked her out, and was too much to handle right now. She said she would phone him when he got back up to Scotland. And that was that.

They left the pub, going in separate directions. Stevie went towards the tube station to get the underground to Kings Cross, sports bag over his shoulder. He stopped, turned and watched her cross the bridge.

Her long brown curls swished wildly in the wind, as she walked away clad in her donkey jacket, short skirt, thick, black woollen tights and nine–inch Doctor Martens. He waited for her to glance back at him. She never turned around. Stevie bought a bottle of Bell’s whisky at the station and had arsed the lot by the time the train rolled into Waverley.

His mood hadn't improved since then. He sat on the formica worktop, contemplating the kitchen tiles. June, Franco's girlfriend, came in and smiled at him, nervously fetching some drinks. June never spoke, and often seemed overwhelmed by such occasions. Franco spoke enough for both of them.

As June left, Nicola came in, being pursued by Spud, who trailed behind her like a faithful salivating dog.

"Hey... Stevie... Happy New Year, eh, likesay..." Spud drawled.

"Ah've seen ye Spud. We wir up the Tron thegither, last night. Remember?"

"Aw... right. Hang loose catboy," Spud focused, grabbing a full bottle of cider.

"Awright Stevie? How's London?" Nicola asked.

God, no, thought Stevie. Nicola is so easy to talk to. I'm going to pour my heart out... no I'm not... yes I am.

Stevie started talking. Nicola listened indulgently. Spud nodded sympathetically, occasionally indicating that the whole scene was 'too fuckin heavy...'

He felt that he was making an arse of himself, but he couldn't stop talking. What a bore he must be to Nicola, to Spud even. But he couldn't stop. Spud eventually left, to be replaced by Kelly. Linda joined them. The football songs must be starting up in the front room.

Nicola dispensed some practical advice: "Phone her, wait fir her tae phone, or go doon n see her."

"STEVIE! 'MOAN THROUGH YA C▮▮T!" Begbie roared. Stevie tamely allowed himself to be literally dragged back into front room. "Fuckin chatting up the mantovani in the fuckin kitchen. Yir fuckin worse thin that smarmy c▮▮t thair, the fuckin jazz purist." He gestured over at Sick Boy, who was necking with the woman he'd been chatting up. They had previously overheard Sick Boy describe himself to her as 'basically a jazz purist'.

So wir aw off tae Dublin in the green – fuck the queen!
Whair the hel–mits glisten in the sun – fuck the huns!
And the bayonets slash, the aw–ringe sash
To the echo of the Thomson gun.


Stevie sat gloomily. The phone would never be heard above this noise.

"Shut up the now!" shouted Tommy, "This is ma favourite song." The Wolfetones sang Banna Strand. Tommy crooned along with some of the others.

oan the lo–ho–honley Ba–nna strand.


There were a few moist eyes when the 'Tones sang James Connolly. "A fuckin great rebel, a fuckin great socialist and a fuckin great Hibby. James Fuckin Connolly, ya c▮▮t," Gav said to Renton who nodded sombrely.

Some sang along, others tried to maintain conversations above the music. However, when The Boys of the Old Brigade came on everybody joined in. Even Sick Boy took time off his necking session.

Oh fa–thir why are you–hoo so–ho sad
oan this fine Ea–heas–ti–her morn


"Sing ya c▮▮t!" said Tommy, elbowing Stevie's ribs. Begbie stuck another can of beer in his hand and threw his arm around his neck.

Whe–hen I–rish men are prow–howd ah–hand glad
off the land where they–hey we–her born


Stevie worried about the singing. It had a desperate edge to it. It was as if by singing loudly enough, they would weld themselves into a powerful brotherhood. It was, as the song said, 'call to arms' music, and seemed to have little to do with Scotland and New Year. It was fighting music. Stevie didn't want to fight anyone. But it was also beautiful music.

Hangovers, while being pushed into the background by the drink, were also being fuelled. They were now so potentially big as to be genuinely feared. They would not stop drinking until they had to face the music, and that was when every bit of adrenalin had been burned away.

Aw–haun be–ing just a la–had li–hike you
I joined the I–hi–Ah–har–A –– provishnil wing!


The phone rang in the passage. June got it. Then Begbie snatched it out of her hand, ushering her away. She floated back into the living–room like a ghost.

"Whae? WHAE? WHAES THAT? STEVIE? RIGHT, HAUD OAN THE NOW. HAPPY NEW YEAR DOLL, BY THE WAY..." Franco put the receiver down, "... whae ivir the fuck ye are..." He went through to the front room. "Stevie. Some fuckin lemon oan the blower fir ye. Fuckin bools in the mooth likesay. London."

"Phoa! Ya c▮▮tchy!" Tommy laughed as Stevie sprang out off the couch. He had needed a pee for the last half–hour, but hadn't trusted his legs. Now they worked perfectly.

"Steve?" She had always called him 'Steve' rather than 'Stevie'. They all did down there. "Where have you been?"

"Stella... where have ah been... ah tried tae phone ye yesterday. Where are ye? What are ye daein?" He almost said who are you with, but he restrained himself.

"I was at Lynne's," she told him. Of course. Her sister's. Chingford, or some equally dull and hideous place. Stevie felt a euphoric surge.

"Happy New Year!" he said, relieved and brimming over.

The pips went, then more change was put into the machine. Stella was not at home. Where was she? In a pub with Millard?

"Happy New Year, Steve. I'm at Kings Cross. I'm getting on the Edinburgh train in ten minutes. Can you meet me at the station at ten forty–five?"

"Fuckin hell! Yir jokin... fuck! There's nowhere else in the world ah'll be at ten forty–five. You've made my New Year. Stella... the things ah sais the other night... ah mean them more than ever, ye know..."

"That's good, because I think I'm in love with you... all I've done is think about you."

Stevie swallowed hard. He felt tears well up in his eyes. One left its berth and rolled down his cheek.

"Steve... are you okay?" she asked.

"Much better than that, Stella. Ah love you. No doubts, no bullshit."

"Fuck... the money's running out. Don't ever mess me about, Steve, this is no fucking game... I'll see you at quarter to eleven... I love you..."

"I love you! I LOVE YOU!" The pips went and the line died.

Stevie held the receiver tenderly, like it was something else, some part of her. Then he put it down and went and had that pee. He had never felt so alive. As he watched his fetid pish splash into the pan, his brain allowed itself to be overwhelmed with delicious thoughts. A powerful love for the world gripped him. It was New Year. Auld Lang Syne. He loved everyone, especially Stella, and his friends at the party. His comrades. Warm–hearted rebels; the salt of the earth. Despite this, he even loved the Jambos. They were good people; just supporting their team. He'd first–foot a lot of them this year, irrespective of the result. Stevie would enjoy taking Stella around the city to various parties. It would be brilliant. Football divisions were a stupid and irrelevant nonsense, acting against the interests of working–class unity, ensuring that the bourgeoisie's hegemony went unchallenged. Stevie had it all worked out.

He went straight into the room and put The Proclaimers' Sunshine On Leith on the turntable. He wanted to celebrate the fact that wherever he went, this was his home, these were his people. After a few grumbles, it struck a chord. The catcalls at the previous record's removal were muted at the sight of Stevie's exuberance. He slapped Tommy, Rents and Beggar around vigorously, sang loudly, and waltzed with Kelly, caring nothing about people's impressions of the obviousness of his transformation.

"Nice ay ye tae join us," Gav said to him.

He was still high throughout the match, whereas for the others it went drastically wrong. Again he became distanced from his friends. First he couldn’t share their happiness, now he couldn't relate to their despair. Hibs were losing to Hearts. Both teams were carving out ridiculous numbers of chances; it was schoolboy stuff, but Hearts were putting at least some of theirs away. Sick Boy's head was in his hands. Franco glared malevolently over towards the dancing Hearts supporters at the other end of the ground. Rents shouted for the manager's resignation. Tommy and Shaun were arguing about defensive shortcomings, trying to apportion blame for the goal. Gav cursed the referee's masonic leanings, while Dawsy was still lamenting Hibs' earlier misses. Spud (drugs) and Second Prize (alcohol) were bombed out of their boxes, still at the flat, their match tickets good for nothing except future roach material. None of this mattered for the moment, as far as Stevie was concerned. He was in love.

After the match, he left the rest of them to head to the station and meet Stella. The bulk of the Hearts support were also headed up that way. Stevie was oblivious to the heavy vibes. One guy shouted in his face. The c▮▮ts won four–one, he thought. What the fuck did they want? Blood? Obviously.

Stevie survived some unimaginative taunting on the way up to the station. Surely, he thought, they could do better than 'Hibby bastard' or 'fenian c▮▮t'. One hero tried to trip him from behind, egged on by baying friends. He should have taken his scarf off. Who the fuck was to know? He was a London boy now, what did all this shite have to do with his life at the moment? He didn’t even want to try and answer his own questions.

On the station concourse, a group marched over to him. "Hibby bastard!" a youth shouted.

"You've goat it wrong boys. Ah'm a Borussia Munchengladbach man."

He felt a blow on the side of his mouth and tasted blood. Some kicks were aimed at him, as the group walked away from him.

"Happy New Year boys! Love and peace, Jambo brothers!" He laughed at them, and sucked his sour, split lip.

"C▮▮t's a fuckin heidcase," one guy said. He thought they were going to come back for him, but they turned their attention to abusing an Asian woman and her two small children.

"Fuckin Paki slag!"

"Fuck off back tae yir ain country."

They made a chorus of ape noises and gestures as they left the station.

"What charming, sensitive young men," Stevie said to the woman, who looked at him like a rabbit looks at a weasel. She saw another white youth with slurred speech, bleeding and smelling of alcohol. Above all, she saw another football scarf, like the one worn by the youths who abused her. There was no colour difference as far as she was concerned, and she was right, Stevie realised with a grim sadness. It was probably just as likely to be guys in green who hassled her. Every support had its arseholes.

The train was nearly twenty minutes late, an excellent performance by British Rail standards. Stevie wondered whether she'd be on it. Paranoia hit him. Waves of fear shuddered through his body. The stakes were high, the highest ever. He couldn't see her, couldn't even picture her in his mind's eye. Then she was almost upon him, different to how he thought of her, more real, even more beautiful. It was the smile, the look of emotion reciprocated. He ran the short distance to her and held her in his arms. They kissed for a long time. When they stopped, the platform was deserted and the train was well on its way to Dundee.

ABOUT ME
Mark 형진 Kim
Honolulu, USA
December 19, 1980

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