Friday, September 26, 2008
As I meandered along and the sun went to bed in the mountains a golden dog put its head out of the window of the car in front of me and looked to be enjoying the view every bit as much as I was. And I wished my own beautiful brown dog was with me, more than I've wished for anything in a while.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Fenton, Green Ink and Lottie all have lovely beards, and I was made to feel quite inferior for looking rather clean-cut. See, I have an excuse though: I had an interview on Monday for a grant that would cover my college fees for the year. I was inevitably interviewed by old people. Old people still tend to have very judgmental minds about hirsute faces, so I figured it best to reveal my baby-face, and smile a lot. I spent the entire interview convinced they could see right through me, that the blood on my collar would betray my face as one that is not accustomed to regular scrapings. But, word has reached me (officially confirmed by a call today at lunchtime) that I've been awarded the grant. You obviously can fool some of the people some of the time. So I'm calling it the 'five-grand shave'; at least until I can come up with something a little wittier.
Anyway, despite the general suckiness of Snoop a great night was had by all. I think.
Well, I had a great night and you're all rides, especially Darragh. The lovely Annie (the non-Welsh version has put her thoughts on the evening here. Given her continuous camera duels with the over-enthusiastic Fenton I expect a fairly epic post from everyone's favourite new blogger Green Of Eye, Little Miss will no doubt give us a slightly surreal take on the evening if she ever has the energy to be up late blogging again, and I expect the Bluebirds to be funny and to fully rip me to shreds for being an awful patronising bollocks for a while. Darren should be too busy masterminding our bloke-blogger (only) Bill Murray appreciation night to write anything.
No Broken Flowers allowed, apparently.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sarah's horrific 18th party.
Bryan draws on Martin Luther King for a little wisdom in these odd times.
Katie talks about cheese and makes me laugh.
Darragh terrifies everyone with his yearbook pics. But how fucking good does Maybury look?
Darren and Green Ink join the milky meme.
Through Bryan again, I found these Implicit Association Tests that are great if you're at a really, really loose end at work and like to think you're being helpful to the scientific community. Apparently I have a 'strong automatic preference for Judaism over other religions.' Go me.
Monday, September 22, 2008
As our coach reached Holyhead in Wales for the return journey my bro slumbered with his head against the window whilst I used my iPod to see if My Bloody Valentine could make even the back of a load of buses queueing up look beautiful. It seems they can.
I looked across the aisle to see another pair of brothers, somewhat younger than us and with their dad in tow. They must have been about 7 and 14, I'd say. The little one looked about to drop off and leaned towards his brother, who stopped him doing so. I thought this was a shame, but fully appreciated how awkward teenagers can be about physical contact and affection. However, it turned out the older one was just putting on a fleece so his lil' bro could rest his head against him more comfortably. The wee fella curled up, put his head on his brother's side and went straight to sleep. I looked at the older lad and he smiled.
Touched by this, I went to put a hand on my own dear sibling's shoulder. For some reason he suddenly woke up just as my hand was hovering above him. "Ted*, what the fuck?" he grunted, and turned his head back away from me. I looked back over at our miniature comrades. At that exact moment the gaggle of ladies down the back started to shriek with laughter at something. the little fella woke up with a start and thumped his brother in the stomach.
About 5 minutes later I had a bit of a coughing fit, as I seem to have been doing consistently over the past month or so. The Bro woke up, opened his bag and grabbed a bottle of water and handed it to me. He said "I like you" and went straight back to sleep. I gazed across the aisle and saw a small head on a much larger chest, with a big arm around him.
*Ted is an affectionate nickname we both use for each other.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
And, topical chap that I am, I'm going to regale you today with my Santa Claus experiences. Not my experiences with the big fella, but of being him.
Note: once I started writing this I realised that it needed to be in four parts, as it would make for one hideously long post if I put it all in one. So here's the first part of Andrew: the Santa Years. More will follow soon (unless everyone thinks it's shite).
1. Disco Santa: The Rise to Power
"Andrew, the regular Santa for the Brownies' Christmas party has cancelled, would you be able to do it? You'd look so handsome."
It's hard to say no to your mum at times like that. So I took the plunge and strapped a pillow to my chest, donned the smelly suit and the frankly rancid beard (previous Santa was a seventy-something chain smoker), sound-checked my 'Ho-ho-ho' s and went out to face the baying brats.
I figured it was best to take a fairly solemn approach to the whole thing - Santa does a lot of these gigs, he's gonna be nice about it but is hardly going to seem overjoyed to be there.
My main function there was to hand each and every little girl a present. Obviously, Santa knows everyone's name in the entire fucking universe so there was a leader handing me the presents and whispering the names for me to call out. Now, sound is somewhat muffled when wearing all that garb, so I couldn't hear some of the names very well but was reluctant to have them repeated, for fear of exposing my mortality. It never fails to astound me what some people call their kids these days, so I didn't bat an eyelid when I heard the name 'Gossamer'. I figured it was the parents' idea of a stinging rebuke to the Durex company for producing those flimsy Gossamer condoms that led to their daughter's existence in this world. "Gossamer, where's Gossamer?" I called, "Come up and collect your present from Santa, you happy little accident."
"Erm, it's Eimear, EI- MEAR", hissed the leader.
Before wrapping up, the children were to treat Santa to a rendition of his favourite song. The first bars of 'Jingle Bells' struck up...
OH. MY. SWEET. LORD. The feeling of power that runs through you when people start singing a song about you is really quite something. I stood there soaking it in, feeling like Kim Jong Il or one of those lads. But before long I gave way to my natural instinct at being greeted by this anthem of praise to me. I danced. The children laughed gleefully and I danced.
"...over the hills he goes, laughing all the way." Yes I fucking do!
Turns out I'm an infinitely better dancer when wearing a pillow and wellies, something I've borne in mind when preparing for every festival I've been to since.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Darren discovered the joy of combining milk and water for your shower.
It was thirsty work.
Little Miss was her usual classy-but-anonymous self.
And the natural way to finish off.
Late during the night Lottie had her email open. she is subscribed to my comments and told me that I'd just been spammed. I was a little surprised as I've never been spammed before. turned out I hadn't been, I just had a comment from a young lady called 'She Likes it Loud', alerting me to the fact that she had done her milk picture, sans clothes. I think Lottie assumed this was a link to a porn site, but no. Here are her results.
Then, today, feeling that I really ought to contribute one genuine bath picture, I twisted my bemused sister's arm to take a few more shots.
Expect results from the other three culprits soon. And if you haven't participated yet, get in the fecking bath/shower/bidet/whatever and do it.
Right, that's enough of that.
Annie will be quaking in her cowboy boots now.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Listened to Hitler's Nuremberg speech on the radio. The call to arms permits a facile eloquence, and it is easier to lead men to combat and stir up their passions than to temper them and urge them to the patient labours of peace. the flattery springs from this: that the affirmation of strength contains a permission of stupidity.
(1) Do not worry too much about the indiscretion, foolishness or banality of what you write. Leave Time to take care of it all - either to kill it and hide it forever, or else to change it in its magical way into something strange and rare and not silly at all. This diary, if it is read at all, will make no one blush two hundred years from now. Someone might blush a little in a hundred years, just as I have squirmed after reading some of Keats's earliest poems this morning.
(2) It becomes more right and acceptable to believe that the other things in the world were made for us to enjoy, if we think that we were made to be enjoyed.
These truisms pounced on me very early in the morning, when I was half in dreamland.
One that would be much more in character, as opposed to this one, which is pretty much just me as I am. I might even pretend to be a lady. I seem to spend a huge amount of my time enjoying blogs written by ladies recently, so why not be one myself?
But then, things are, or soon will be, mightily busy.
And I've already thoroughly exceeded any rational quota of navel-gazing.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
At this stage you've all seen Annie's startlingly great pictures of Rosie wallowing in a bath of milk here and here.
But have you seen Billy's tribute to them? This had me doing a serious amount of LOLing and ROFLing and all that kind of nonsense when I saw it. So the meme that Billy has started is to photograph yourself in the bath with milk. You can put your own slant on it, it just needs to involve a bath and milk.
Everyone reading this should consider themselves tagged but in particular I want to put out a nudge towards:
Anto. Might be a bit late notice to make it this week's Friday photo, but you've plenty of time to get it ready for next week.
Lottie. I see you as the kind of lady who would enjoy bathing in milk anyway. Well, I haven't seen you in a bath of milk, but you know what I mean.
Green Ink. You could surely come up with a brilliant interpretation.
Mulley. Damien, the people (i.e. me) have spoken and what they want is less about Twitter being good for business and such things, and more pictures of you, in a bath, with milk. Try it and see.
Right, thanks to Billy for getting a cracking idea started. Everyone should give this one a go.
My effort(s) will hopefully be ready and posted sometime over the weekend.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I miss the old fecker.
Bloggers have no rights to long holidays, he should know that at this stage.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Mind you, what have they come to expect here? there's not really a discernible pattern, is there? Fucked if I've spotted it anyway.
International weekends are resented by a huge amount of football fans, given that they take away the services of our beloved club teams, who unfailingly provide a higher standard of football than that which we see from any national team. Therefore, I rarely watch Ireland these days. The Staunton era vaccinated many fans against the international bug for life. Still, given that the FAI decided to abandon their noble-but-ultimately-doomed experiment of putting a simple child in charge of our national team and given the job to an actual fully-formed adult, I thought it might be worth at least checking out Trap's first competitive match in charge.
It was, just about. The members of the defence managed to look like they'd previously met and kicked a ball together - something of a rarity for a while now. The midfield was given a large measure of control due to the imperious presence of Steven Reid, who showed himself to be the class-act I've long suspected him of being. If he hadn't been so unfortunate with injuries he might even have been able to bring a modicum of dignity to the Simple Stan years. A generous referee let Aiden McGeady and Stephen Hunt away with what, to my mind, appeared to be two bookable tackles each in the first half. McGeady set up Kevin Doyle for the first goal and the completely inexperienced but competent Glenn Whelan got a fortuitous long-range goal in the second half, with the Georgian keeper offering all the resistance of wet kitchen towel (not Bounty, obviously, that shit is the bomb) to a shot that should have been easily saved. Of course, Ireland are now world-leaders in giving away soft goals at the end of games and it will take more than one charismatic Italian to knock that habit out of us. 17 year-old Levan Kenia scored a very good late goal to mean Georgia only went down 2-1, a scoreline that flattered them. Normally this would be described as a consolation goal, but given the circumstances in Georgia at the moment that would be massively disproportionate.
Our Nordy friends were a bit unlucky to lose 2-1 in Slovakia and England kept everyone amused by labouring to a 2-0 win over Andorra.
Sunday saw the All-Ireland hurling final take place between Kilkenny and Waterford. I don't watch GAA all that often but I do have a strong preference for hurling when I'm doing so. A bit of a scrap broke out after about 8 seconds but that proved to be the end of Waterford's resistance as Kilkenny took control from pretty much the first minute on. I watched this match with an Australian and a German and was reminded that the beauty of hurling lies in its speed, skill and simplicity. At no point did I have to explain any rules or tactics, it was all just there to be enjoyed in one of the most devastatingly clinical performances I've ever seen in any sport. the only awkward question was "This is a final, right? So Waterford are the second-best team in the country?" About as precise and piercing as a Henry Shefflin free. 3-30 (39) to 1-13 (17) it finished. And that was given a gloss from a Waterford point-of-view by the Kilkenny substitute goalie doing a convincing impression of the Georgian one the night before. Ouch.
Still, a massively impressive show from Kilkenny - one that people from anywhere in the world could, and no doubt did, enjoy.
Word reached me this evening that Scotland's Andy Murray had reached the final of the US Open in tennis after knocking out the Wimbledon, French Open and Olympic champion Rafa Nadal. This hugely significant has seen 'Britain's Andy Murray' lauded all over British news channels. It'll be interesting to see how quickly he returns to being 'temperamental Scotsman Andy Murray' when he loses to the legendary Roger Federer in the final.
So there you go: sports. It wasn't that painful, was it?
Saturday, September 6, 2008
First off, a new blog I stumbled across and felt pleased about: Bowerbird.
Good writing, great images and a nice take on things. What more can i say? Get there.
Secondly, you all know about the Anti-Room at this stage but why do I feel like the only bloke who comments there? It may be written by young ladies but I don't think it's exclusively for them. Or maybe it is and I'm just secretly a giant lesbian. That would be nice.
Bigger and better bloggers than me have given a nod in their direction before but I really love this post at All The Lights are Broken.
EDIT: Oops, I just linked to the site itself there, I meant this post.
Ooh, dinner's ready. That'll do.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I turn right instead of left because I need petrol. I always need petrol. €40 should do it. I go into the shop to pay. Why the fuck did anyone let Tesco get their hands on fuel supplies? I consider a magazine, but realise I don't want to know about the secret love of a BB babe, whatever that might be. Nor do I wish to see them 'unclothed as never before!', as another publication offers.
Apparently €40 gets you half a tank now.
As I start to drive away apocalyptically loud hailstones begin to fall. It's September.
I want to switch on the car radio but I can't. It doesn't work. It hasn't worked since I bought the fucking thing.
The clock reaches towards 4 as I hit the M50. It's filling up like it shouldn't be filling up at this time. The moisture in the air means enough drivers are on enough of a go-slow to turn my 30 minute drive into a 50 minute one.
No sooner am I home than the beloved calls me for a lift. I am happy about this. The car will not start. I am not happy about this. I know that it will start later but later is no good right now.I walk to meet her instead. I am now glad I bought that severely-reduced-on-sale-but-still-too-expensive-for-what-it-is raincoat last month.
The rain is pissy rather than heavy, but it is consistent. There's a flash of lightning over a nearby hill and a tummy rumble of thunder right behind it. It's September.
For the sake of shelter we pay a visit to the bookshop. It doesn't have a name you would recognise above it and I like that. It also often doesn't have what I want, but today there is one copy of Persepolis left. This makes me happy. I will read it to sleep later on. No, later on I will drop the ladyfriend home and drive off, with my book snug in her bag.
I watch the news at 9. The 72 year old who sings songs about bombing Iran is ahead in the race to be leader of the free world. Gardaí are increasing their armed units. Belarus says it will no longer allow Chernobyl children to come on holidays to Ireland.
They tell me it will be the seventh anniversary of a critical event in history in one week's time. I think it was the day the world broke a giant mirror.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Anyway, before Stephen lynch could be enjoyed by a packed-out and madupforit Olympia, there was to be a support-act. 'That's grand,' I thought 'I've seen some very good support acts at comedy shows. The one at Colin Murphy's show last year was arguably better than the man himself. Though, naturally I don't remember his name.' But, bewilderingly, the people behind the Bulmers comedy festival (that'll be the one and only time you hear that brand name mentioned on this blog) chose to give the slot to Ruth-Anne Cunningham. Have you heard of her? I just about had, but only because I read too many Sunday newspaper supplements. And then, inexplicably, re-read them months later, picking up new and entirely pointless tidbits of information, such as the very existence of Ms.Cunningham. She had claimed to be Ireland's most succesful songwriter, or some such preposterous bollocks. So she bounces onstage wearing a dress that looked a lot like the one who brought her brother to her debs wore and trills "Just so you know, I'm not a comedian" in a D4 accent that confuses me slightly, given that she's from Donaghmede. The boos start immediately, though she does get a certain amount of rather patronising cheering as she launches into her first number. It's a Stevie Wonder song apparently, though she manages to bland the shite out of it so badly that it makes Stevie look like Marilyn Manson in comparison. The blandality (that's a hybrid of 'bland' and 'banality' that I've just cunningly devised, in honour of Ruth-Anne) continues with several other monstrously dull songs that she 'co-wrote with this, like, amazing guy who wrote for Diana Ross.' Diana Ross, in fairness, had an extraordinary voice, whereas Ruth-Anne, bless her, is ordinary at best. The missus and I both agree that we know people who could do a better job. Fortunately, this fiasco only lasts about twenty minutes, with a huge roar of approval greeting the announcement of her last song.
We stumble, dazedly, over to the rest of our cohorts when she exits the stage. "Why?", I ask, head in hands. "Well she had lovely legs" offers Darren. No, Darren, they were only nice legs, she couldn't manage to be interesting enough to have lovely ones.
Lynch appears onstage to a hero's welcome, and goes on to fully justify this. His opening song 'Waiting (For My AIDS Test to Come Back)' sets the tone for the evening and it's a riot from then on in. Songs about Nazi girlfriends, anal sex, retarded children, little gay robots and cocaine smuggling follow. All go down an absolute storm, as do his brief musical prods at Anne Frank and Christopher Reeve. It's possible that the Olympia was just stuffed with horrible, tasteless bastards but I've always felt that sometimes the best way to approach a sensitive topic is to mercilessly rip into it. It's why I hate being called a 'Proddy bastard' in a certain tone of voice but hoot with laughter at it at other times. It's why an Indian mate of mine will refer to himself as a Paki and rolls around the place when I start my Apu from The Simpsons impressions. And it's why Lynch gets some of the biggest laughs of the night when he makes a Holocaust crack to his Jewish sidekick, culminating in a glorious reconciliation to the tune of Purple Rain - fulfilling a Prince fantasy that Lynch had spoken of earlier in the show.
Overall, a relentlessly funny hour and a half of comedy, for most of which Lynch was alone onstage. He is a truly brilliant performer, eager to please his audience but strong enough to deal with a number of tirelessly idiotic hecklers. These people obviously consider themselves to be more amusing than the main attraction, but surely the way to prove that would be to get onstage themselves, rather than paying 30 quid to sit in the auditorium and piss off the majority of the audience. Assholes. Anyone going to Lynch tonight is in for a treat, I imagine it'll be quite a different set as he didn't even use a lot of his material last night. Bit of 'Altar Boy' tonight if they're lucky. And I'll be working. Yay.
Update: My mistake at the top, Darragh actually got in there first with his cracking review. His has actual pictures and factual accuracy. It also includes a picture of Ms. Cunningham, so you can make your own mind up about the loveliness/niceness of her legs. Darragh, nice fella that he is, shows a lot more sympathy for her than I do. I suppose he's right, she'd go down an absolute storm at o2 Party in the Park.
Monday, September 1, 2008
So you can imagine my delight when I opened my email a few minutes ago and found this:
From Mrs Rebecca Williams
N�[38 Rue Des Martyrs Cocody
Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
ATTN:DEAREST ONE OF GOD
I am the above named person from Kuwait . I am married to Mr Benson Williams, who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year 2004. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.
Before his death we were both born again Christian. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $2. 5 Million (Two Million Five Hundred U.S. Dollars) in the bank here in Abidjan in suspense account.
Presently, the fund is still with the bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that i have serious sickness which is cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church or individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavour that the house of God is maintained.
The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I don抰 have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don抰 want my husband抯 efforts to be used by unbelievers. I don抰 want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death hence i know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the Lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace.
I don抰 need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband抯 relatives is around me always I don't want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank here in Abidjan . I want you and the church to always pray for me because the Lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
Contact me on the above e-mail address for more information抯, any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church or individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply.
Remain blessed in the Lord. Yours in Christ, Mrs Rebecca Williams.
What a nice lady! Of course, I'm actually keeping the money for myself and not giving a penny of it to any church. But she doesn't need to know that...
I just have to email back with my bank details, etc and that juicy $2.5 million will come rolling in. That's over €1.5 million, y'know. Certainly puts an end to my worries for now. I've always had a soft spot for those Ivorians, the suckers.
But it ain't all bad. Tonight I'm going to see Stephen Lynch at the Olympia. Lynch deserves to be extremely famous but I wouldn't even have heard of him if it wasn't for the fact that Darren and Lottie have seen every single video ever posted on Youtube. Twice. I imagine after his Irish shows he may start to gain a little more recognition here.
Here's my favourite song of his. Don't watch if you're in any way easily offended.
Tonight should be absolutely hilarious. Tickets are sold out this evening but are still available for the Tuesday show here. Well recommended. I'd be going again but I have to work tomorrow night.
Which brings us back to crapness.