Tuesday, December 30, 2008



"Y'know," she says, "you're always using terms like 'It just dawned on me' and 'it suddenly struck me'. It's as though you're constantly having these little epiphanies."
She's right. I do, and I am. It's how I work. Here's another:

It dawns on me, at 5 in the morning, entirely unrelated to how much whiskey, vodka and peach schnapps I've just quietly consumed, how lucky I am to have met her. To have found her. That I am no intransigent leopard, but a man with a massive capacity for mistakes, complicated feelings, confusion and, yes, even cruelty. And a much greater capacity for goodness and recovery from those mistakes. That I've found someone who balances me out, knows who I am and loves me for all that entails. And doesn't think that entails anything too arduous. Who loves words even more than I do, and flicks and flips them with glee. Someone who breathes kindness and sincerity.

It struck me forcibly, not now but at the moment I met her, that she is quite the thing.

Saturday, December 27, 2008



This little fella has gone back to Kenya for Christmas, to spend it with his family. I didn't realise it at the time, but I'm told he won't be coming back. No chance to say goodbye, but sometimes a swift, sharp exit is a very good thing.

Monday, December 22, 2008


If I had a clue...

As a fan of Kings of Leon I was torn as to whether or not to buy tickets to their gig last Friday. Perhaps it was the fact I've already seen them live a couple of times, perhaps it was that the Point being renamed The o2 somehow seems to piss on my teenage memories of seeing cracking gigs like Ash in '96 and Blur in '97 there, perhaps it's the fact that the hordes of new fans they seem to have gathered in the wake of Sex on Fire making every radio station's daytime playlist would inevitably annoy the shite out of me, but I decided not to go. Then last week the rumours circulated that U2 would be supporting them and some inevitable pangs of envy flared up.

Too late though, I had tickets to Kerbdog at Andrew's Lane for the same evening. You don't remember them, but they were great. This would be cool, I thought, it's a chance to see a real band, with real fans, in a real venue. And other italicised smug sentiments.

As it turns out though, I'm a little too old to watch Cormac Battle drunkenly shamble his way through the set and spit at his bassist. And he is definitely too old to be doing it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Bad Santa (Part 2)

It's taken me far longer than I intended, but here's the second part of four stories charting my experiences of being Santa for the amusement of various folk.
2. Cuddle-Me Santa: Infamy
Hot on the heels of this questionable success, I was asked to continue as stand-in for NicotineSanta at the local primary school - my old one. this stretched my Santa-ing abilities no further than wandering into all the classrooms and saying hi to the kids. Some of these young rapscallions knew me from around, so it was the acid test of the suit's effectiveness and my special Santa voice (more on that later). The funniest moment came when I was in with the 3rd and 4th class kids (9-10 year-olds) and my brother's best mate's little brother, whom I had met a few times, scrutinised what little of my face he could make out and nervously asked "Do you know my sister Suzanna?" I assured him that Santa knows everyone and moved on quickly. The beard, and the voice, had passed muster.

Now, about the voice: I figured Santa should have a deep, booming voice. Mine's deep-ish, but really quite meek in volume and resonance, so this ended up putting quite a strain on my larynx. Taking my cue from the Lord of the Rings movies (as I am wont to do in may aspects of life), I was aiming for somewhere between the gentle-but-commanding tone of Ian McKellen's Gandalf and the somewhat more sinister sound of Christopher Lee's Saruman. in reality though, I'm pretty sure I ended up sounding a lot closer to Aslan - not the one voiced by Liam Neeson in the Narnia movies ( I reckon I'd get laid 24/7 if I sounded like Liamo), but that asshole Token from South Park meets when he decides to become a lion.

I preserved this veneer of austerity for quite a while, until i found myself in the Junior Infants class. A wee blonde-headed girl of no more than 4 came up to me with her lunchbox, opened it up, and put a little box of tiny Smarties in my hand and said "These are sweeties for you, Santa." The big voice was entirely dropped and I crouched down to her level, saying something along the lines"Ahwouldyoujustlookatyouwithyourdoteylittlefaceandyourcurlsandandyourweelittleshoesandyourlovelylittleface?"

SternSanta act now abandoned, the kids swiftly realised that I'm something of a softie when it comes to little people and swarmed me from then on in. Legs were clung to, songs were sung and tears were shed (largely by me) as I finally made my exit. Santa's rise to power was complete, the key demographic had been cracked.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Mtoto mtundu sana

I made one of my brief visits home last night, as I do about once a week, or so. Stuff has been weighing a little heavier than usual the last few days so it seemed a good place to be. Having suffered the latest indignities that my beloved Arsenal had brought to my life I decided to right some football worngs by staying up til about 1.30 in the morning playing Pro-Evolution Soccer 6 on the Playstation with The Bro.
Wandering, shivering and cranky into the kitchen in the morning, I greeted my mum and said, "It is beyond me why I stayed up so late last night."
"It's beyond me too", she replied, "you're an eejit."
"Sure you're only young and foolish once, aren't you?" I smiled.
"Yes, but honey, you're 27."

Ah. Right.

Rock 'n' Rhiannon

Well, you may have enjoyed her adventures in America, you may have suffered through her misadventures in love, you may enjoy her carefully constructed observations on all kinds of things in life. But the Google chat I've just had with everyone's favourite Welshie, Annie Rhiannon , as she lolled around Rosie's flat watching daytime TV exposes her as the true ditz that she is. And reveals far more about my secret rock n' roll past than you ever wished to know.

annie.rhiannon: have you ever played bass in a band?

me: No
that's an odd question!

annie.rhiannon: yeah I know

because I told my friend that I have a crush on a guy because who used to play bass in a band and she said...
"Oh for GOODNESS sake Annie, EVERY boy once played bass in a band, it is the easiest instrument in the world, even I have once played bass in a band. Go on, ask the next boy you see if he ever played bass in a band."

me: ha
if I'd ever been in a band i would've played bass
or maybe tried to sing, but that would have had most unfortunate results

annie.rhiannon: I actually once played bass in a band myself

me: really?

annie.rhiannon: come to think of it
yes, i blogged about it so it must be true

me: heh, what were you called?

annie.rhiannon: http://annierhiannon.blogspot.com/search?q=bass

"dynamite", embarrassingly I don;t remember the name of the other band

me: nice post
i had one with my sister when i was seven
i was fucking brilliant at playing the tennis racquet

annie.rhiannon: hee

me: our song was called 'Wet and Hot', because it had been a sunny day, but rained a bit

annie.rhiannon: haha that is hilarious you have to blog about it
I'm actually "lolling"

me: we couldn't understand why our mum didn't like us singing about being wet and hot

my brother was supposed to be the drummer

but he was three, and less interested in getting on top of the Pops than we were

annie.rhiannon: haha

me: My mum got very embarrassed when i ran running into my sister ( who was trying to take a pee at the time) and shouted "Wet and Hot just got into the top ten!!"
if it had gone straight in at number one that would've been unrealistic

annie.rhiannon: haha
now i am lolling my pants

me: it kinda ended there, i think

we tried to lay it down in the studio but i felt that the bass was really taking away from my vocals

annie.rhiannon: "Wet and Hot"

me: If i blog about it i'll probably just be really lazy and cut and paste this
with your consent, obviously

annie.rhiannon: of course

but are you going to put my HAHAHAHAs in?
probably not a good idea

me: Not as articulate as you'd like to come across?

annie.rhiannon: not exactly

me: Just cos you're all good and proper at blogging...

I'm never gonna win an award, join me in my quest for mediocrity

yeah, the HAHAHAs are going in

i'm blowing you out of the water, Rhiannon

annie.rhiannon: hee, I look forward to it

I'm hitting "refresh" impatiently

Tuesday, December 9, 2008



The very nice Limerick lass I was sitting beside earlier at the dinner at my Big Cousin's wedding in Cork wanders past me, looking sullen and tractor-like in my awkwardness and cumbersomosity on the dance-floor.
"Hey, you having a good night?" she asks, with smiling sincerity.
I'm having a dark moment here, so I scowl, "I think I prefer funerals, no-one tries to make you dance."
She looks truly horrified, and may well have had a restraining order out on me for the rest of the night.

Late on, nearing 4 am or something stupid like that, I'm sitting at a computer in the lobby, checking my comments like the needy tool that I am, when a gangly creature emerges from the darkness.
"What are you doing there?" she asks, annoyingly, in a Cork-Dublin chimera of an accent.
"Do you have any cigarettes?" I spit back.
"Only in my room, I've a carton there..."
"I only need one, not two hundred, thanks. And I want it now."
Unperturbed, she purrs "Why do you have a beard, is it for Movember?"
"No, it's December now so that would be fucking stupid."
"I've never kissed a beard, y'know."
"Me either, I'd imagine it's horrible." This is still not enough. She takes my bottle of Heineken and drinks from it. I am every bit as appalled as the Limerick lass was at my attempt at humour earlier."You hang on to that, love. Night"

Nada y nada y nada y nada y nada y pues nada

Hey bro. Wats d craic? Wz tinkin. How wud a man get into handin out soup 2 pikeys r sometin like dat durin christmas?

And so began yesterday evening, with a text message from a well-meaning and (hopefully intentionally) hilarious friend. Why he sought out my advice on the matter I'm not entirely sure, as my interaction with the homeless has never really extended further than to pass on a cigarette and a patronising smile to someone sitting on Nassau Street or the Ha'penny Bridge. The timing was interesting though, as I was on my way to the launch of a book in aid of Focus Ireland, a charity which aims to provide assistance and shelter to the homeless, of which there are a shameful amount in Ireland.

Along with my own little contribution, Homepages contains short stories and photos from many of Ireland's finest bloggers. Far too many of them to list, though I can tell you I've had a sneaky peek already at the entries from Twenty and Eli, and both are superb. Compiled by Catherine Brodigan, proprietess of Two Wheels on My Wagon and all-round good egg, and featuring a foreword from Pauline 'Mrs. Doyle' McLynn, the book represents excellent value for the 14 euro it costs.

I've thrown a good few links around this post, but the only one you really need to click on is HERE, the only place you can buy the book, as it won't be in the shops and is being printed on an on-demand basis in order to maximise profits, all of which go to Focus Ireland. Go on, order yours now. And get a few for friends and family while you're at it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Tried it once and then liked it, and tried it again

January 2007.

A spectacular personality clash with a new boss (and by that I mean that I am great and she was an atrocious cuntgoblin) leads to me being laid off from a TEFL job in a horrible school in Dublin. Dumb luck means that I get a new job very quickly that pays double what I was getting before. This also means teaching in a secondary school. Dealing with teenagers every day. Being accountable for my actions. Not being hung over in class any more (or at least not openly talking about it). Moving out of my theoretical 'lad-flat' in Ranelagh and moving home. Driving to work.

These days I cruise around the place like Lewis Hamilton after popping his cherry, but back then I was only learning, and had to drive to work in 'Little Red', my mother's Nissan Micra. I'd drive the ten miles of nasty, meandering, narrow roads every morning, then park up the road from the school and try to find the balance between nervous nausea and too-much-fucking-nicotine-nausea. About two and a half cigarettes at that time of day, I found. I won't name the part of the world I was in, but they were strange, resentful little inbred mountain children I was teaching, for the most part. Sometimes it was fine, but for the most part I returned home with my white knuckles gripping the steering long after I'd parked at home, unable to get out of the car for another five minutes, inhaling and exhaling loudly to myself. Then, ashen-faced, I'd sneak around the back of the house for my last smoke of the day.

I've now spent too long setting the scene.

Point is, the music that soundtracked this time in my life. Little Red, being from the nineties, had a tape deck rather than a CD player. I can rarely stand the crap tunes and witterings of daytime radio, and the place I taught was so remote that you even lost reception from the mainstream stations once you'd reached the point of no return in your journey. So cassettes were really my only option. Unfortunately, most of my tapes had perished when my sixteen year-old misadventures with Bacardi and Coke on a school night had taught me that yes, that feeling in my stomach was the impending return of that evening's spaghetti bolognaise and yes, next time a toilet would be a better receptacle for it than a my tape collection, which included a prized copy of Now 29. My mother's collection in her car consisted largely of Sting and, shudder, Phil Collin, so that was about as useful as a cock-flavoured lollipop.
Fortunately a couple of decent tapes of mine had survived the eruption, including REM's Out of Time. So, I cruelly overplayed this album morning and afternoon, and it became the soundtrack to nervousness, fear of the roads, and fear of the kids. Music often takes me back to a certain periods of my life, and this provides a particularly strong example. I hadn't been able to listen to it since.

I'm a sophisticated fellow who now has such gems on CD, too. I've no stereo of any kind in my car at the moment, but it dawned on me the other day when I was about to undertake a longish drive that I could now play music off my new laptop. Out of Time needed to be reclaimed, to have new associations with better things. So I played it for a stint of my journey and now, just like that, instead of nerves and nicotine it sings to me of the Naas road and new beginnings.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Not easy

A Softer World is one site I don't visit nearly often enough.


for anyone

Monday, November 24, 2008


A question, what is it?

"My talent is to imbue a project with much more significance and theatricality than it actually deserves. This gives a sort of incandescence to it that makes things that are not all that bright, shine very brightly. I can bring that to the party. But, like it says in Blade Runner, the light that burns twice as brightly, burns twice as fast. How brightly I have shone," he says.

No, this is not me descending (or ascending, surely) into an altogether unastonishing fit of hubris, but rather the words of Gerry Ryan, as quoted in this great piece in the Sunday Indo (you won't catch me saying that too often). Assuming that article isn't lying, and I don't think it is, that quote is taken verbatim from Gerry's eagerly-awaited autobiography, entitled Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up.

This raises a few question marks for me, one in particular: where the fuck is the question mark in the title of your book, Gerry? I'm a simple creature who gets all conflustered when confronted with sentences that look like questions, but apparently aren't. It makes me feel slightly ill. One can only assume that Gerry and his publishers are not entirely comfortable with the usage and application of question marks. So, with this in mind, I asked members of the public to devise some sentences for Gerry that might illustrate the many and varied ways in which this radical young upstart of a punctuation mark can be applied.

"Gerry, did some eejits really pay you a hundred grand to write about yourself?"
Finbar O'Crotch, Leopardstown, Co. Dublin
This demonstrates the classic use of the question mark, whereby the questioner expresses doubt about a piece of information they have been privy to, and uses the question format to seek clarification on the matter from a more informed party.

"That fat bollix? I heard he once ate 94 Curly Wurlys in an hour and washed it down with a litre of Baileys."
Seosamh Uachtar-Reoite, Knocklyon, Co. Dublin.
Here we see a classic example of how the humble question mark can be used to transform a simple statement of contempt into a trenchant, rhetorical, interrogative statement used to confirm the identity of the subject of a sentence. The second sentence does little to illuminate our understanding of the issue at hand and can, as such, be ignored.

"I thought he died of gout in 1998? Or syphilis? Something like that, no?"
Francoise McBackalley, Athy, Co. Kildare
An interesting example, this. Here we see the question mark being used to express an element of doubt creeping into what the questioner had previously assumed to be gospel truth. Also notable is the third question she asks. Mrs. McBackalley was originally a native of France, where an upwards inflection, accompanied by the word 'non', is a rather more common form of question that it is in our own country.

"Sure, who would actually spend their money on anything that langer has to say? There's a fucking recession on and Lenora wants one of them dolls that shites itself for Christmas, don't she?"
Billy 'Smeghead' O'Sullivan, Mayfield, Co. Cork
The addition of the word 'sure' here is not technically necessary in order to make this question effective, but does add an extra element of incredulity to it. Mr. O'Sullivan's mixed background gives linguistic colour to these questions, both in his classic Corkonian usage of 'langer' and, more significantly, the way in which a simple whinge metamorphoses into a question through his augmentation of 'doesn't she?' - a remnant of his 14 years spent working as a badger-hunter in Essex, England.

Mr. Ryan, I hope this proves helpful in your ongoing quest to burn like a star. As a simple man I would not deign to comment on the contents of your autobiography past the cover, so I'll leave it to the professionals.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Caught By The Fuzz

I was done for speeding last night. At least, I'm pretty sure I was. I was in a 100kph zone and saw a cop car in my rear-view mirror, tucked into a slip road where they couldn't be seen by approaching drivers. I looked at the speedometer: 103. Fuckfuckfuck. I know for a fact that there is no way the cops will have let such a minor indiscretion pass though, as it was 2.30 in the morning and there was absolutely fuck all traffic on the road. One doesn't sit there, bored shitless and getting paid overtime, for hours and let someone off for only exceeding the speed limit by a couple of kilometres per hour.

I've written about speeding before, badly, in my third ever post. The wise old head of Grandad was the only commenter who seemed to fully get my point that speeding, in itself, is not especially dangerous. 3 kph over the speed limit certainly didn't drastically enhance my chances of having an accident, especially not on a completely empty stretch of good quality dual carriageway. I'll hold my hands up and accept the fine and penalty points that are no doubt making their way to me as I sit here. But, at a time when the government are cutting corners and fucking over people involved in first, second and third levels of education, I'll question the wisdom of using Garda resources for such purposes at such ludicrous times. Still, here's a few quid towards the coffers, lads. Glad I'll be claiming last year's taxback soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I write about sport when I've nothing to whine about

Bock has, inevitably, put up a cracking post already on the Munster vs. All Blacks match last night. As someone who's lived in Leinster the last 16 years, with a Roscommon grandfather and a Belfast mother, I can pretty much claim allegiance to whatever province I feel like. But as a born Corkonian, who once uttered such gibberish as "He's some langer, like" without a trace of irony, it's always been with Munster that my heart has lain. (Fuck me, that was a cumbersome sentence.)

As anyone who saw the match can attest, Munster came bloody close to emulating the team of 30 years ago. And that would have been great because, let's face it, our constant harping on about a rugby match thirty years ago doesn't really speak volumes for our sporting pedigree as a nation. Munster's crowd lifted them to a scintillating display in the first half, and one of grim determination in the second - epitomising the word 'dogged'. Granted, if the All Blacks' out-half Stephen Donald hadn't been performing such a convincing impression of David Blunkett breaking in a new pair of ballet shoes then the margin might have been somewhat greater than the eventual 18-16 to the All Blacks, but this still takes nothing away from the herculean efforts of the Munster men, many of whom were pretty much dead on their feet by the end of the game. Rugby seems to be one of those sports where the concept of a 'glorious defeat' is still alive and well.

I'll finish with a video of munster's Kiwi contingent performing their own haka before the all Blacks did theirs, a couple of minutes that simultaneously summed up their patriotic pride and their passion for their adopted province. Spine-tingling.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


For the sake of it

Christ, a week since I've posted. Six months of blogging now and I don't think I've ever left a gap that long. I'm alright though, I did write posts on both Friday and Saturday that took fucking ages, only for Buddha, Vishnu, Chuck Norris, Jesus and Blogger to conspire against me and delete both posts. Three hours or more worth of writing gone in a couple of singular moments of dimness. Devastating.

Thing is, I wanted to recount the story of how Rufus Sewell had shot me in the balls with an arrow during the week (you know who Rufus Sewell is, you just need this link to remind you). And that's got to be a tale worth hearing. But, it's Sunday evening and I really haven't the heart to dig up that kind of trauma again. Turns out it was eerily prescient too, but that's another story for another time. For now I'm just saying that I'm alive and cheerful.

In the interim, you stay classy, San Diego. And if you see that smug Rufus Sewell prick about the place tell him I haven't forgotten, he's not all that, he can expect an invoice from my doctor any day now, and I'm still considering legal action. The bastard.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


On Making Someone a Good Man by Calling Them "A Good Man"

There is a short story by the wonderful Dave Eggers that goes by the above title (or something like it, I wanted to put the story here but inevitably can't find the book) in which the narrator talks about a man he knows and finds to be somewhat intolerable.

Then, one day, he does something simply decent for someone and is told by them that he is 'a good man'. The narrator feels that, from this point on, the man's continuing conduct is elevated and improved to such an extent that he may actually have become deserving of such a compliment. The suggestion being that being called a good man inspired the bloke to try and live up to such a title.

I reflect on this today because yesterday I was told by someone whose opinion really counts for something that I am a good man. I haven't been told that in a long time, aside from in the colloquial, platitudinous sense that colleagues might use it, i.e. "Do you mind helping me out with this? Good man."

I haven't felt like a good man for quite a while; too many idiocies and idiosyncrasies have put paid to that. But hearing those words with sincerity means that I might just become one, sooner or later.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Wearing the badge of the chosen whites

Because it's great, and because I'm hazy and lazy today, here's a picture I've stolen from Michelle, who got it from http://www.patrickmoberg.com/

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Serendipitous Mash-Ups

Something truly momentous happened today. One of those historic moments where in years to come you will look back and remember exactly where you were when you heard about it.
For as I was driving along with The Brother this evening, sans car radio, he began to sing 'Sloop John B' in the style of Johnny Cash, just as I repeatedly sang the "I'm a reasonable man, get off my case" refrain from Radiohead's 'Packt Like Sardines in a Crush Tin Box'.

And it sounded only fucking glorious.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


If things don't get better from now on it's all just going to become laughably morose around here and, let's face it, no-one wants that.

The time is going to have to come soon enough when I step out of this funk.
When I want to do something more than sleep all the time.
When I crease up with laughter again.
When I start doing properly the things I am paid to do and the things I'm paying to do.
When I start offering myself fully again to the people who mmight need me, or even like me to be there.
When I remember what it is that those people like about me.
When I write again as I'd like to, not fearing every word I put down. Not intimidated by those who are better than me.
When i don't feel the need to write posts like this any more.

I could even try and make it today.

Saturday, November 1, 2008



Sorry, that header had to go. I was going for 'child-like and simple' but ended up just 'simple child'. Which, I think you'll agree, is a very different thing. I'll make a sexy new one soon enough but for now I'll just go with stark and minimal. My gnomic little blog descriptions are back too, whch must come as a relief to everyone.
OK, I'm still kinda sick here so don't have a lot to say. I've vowed to myself enough times not to just write posts for the sake of them, but actually thinking and composing shit takes time and effort. Not my strong points. I'm mentally composing something about my week at home doing fuck all as I get ravaged by tonsilitis but if i ever get that finished and onto something alittle more transferable than my cranium then it's going here, not here. Incidentally, I believe the deadline has been extended for a week or something, so if it sounds like the sort of thing that you could enter into, then why not?

I just saw on MTV a few minutes ago that Dido has a new album coming out. I, for one, am salivating at the prospect of this. There's new tracks on that link and everything! Apparently, she's been "experimenting". Mmmmm.

Right, this Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand thing. Seriously, what the fuck? It's laughable that the whole thing only really blew up a couple of weeks after the calls were broadcast, once the the shitesheets got hold of it. It must have taken some superb investigative journalism to have dug up a story about a broadcast on national British radio. Strikes me that Russell Brand was only doing the kind of thing that he's always done. Wossy should probably have known better but just wanted to seem cool in front of his friend Wussell. I had a friend called Wussell once. He stole two of my Top Twumps so I punched him in the ovawies. Twue story.
Point is, two jobs lost and one hefty and expensive suspension seem massively excessive to me.
Yes, they've made their point that there's a line that shouldn't be crossed but still no-one really knows where that line is. All anyone's learnt is that when rival stations take a story and inflate it to saturation point and stir up a load of uptight morons to complain about a show they would never have considered listening to, then heads do roll. I find it a sad precedent for broadcasting and freedom of speech in general.
As for Manuel's grand-daughter, expect to see that little slapper using this to get herself on the cover of Nuts and Zoo magazines within weeks. "Exposed like never before!!!", no doubt. And accompanied by a heartfelt interview about what a toll the whole affair has taken on her dignity. Which excites me almost as much as the new Dido album.

Oh yeah, the US election. I think it was around the time of Dubya's re-election in 2004 that I vowed to myself never to visit the USA until it proved again, in some way, that it contained a significant base of intelligent life. Naturally, that strong and principled stance would've been abandoned in a milisecond if something like really cheap flights or a terrorist plot to blow up the Budweiser factory had materialised. This now looks like it may not be necessary, however, and that has got to be good news for all. Of course, if they do decide they want McCain to reign over them, the people of America will have to accept that the average life expectancy for males in their country would suggest that the world would have to make do with Sarah Palin as its most powerful figure for a couple of years.

And on that bombshell, I'm off to eat Millionaire's Squares and see what calamities befall my beloved Arsenal this week. Bonne weekend.

Wait, I forgot to say that if you haven't checked out the Irish Sentinel yet, do so now. What's wrong with you people?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


A Whinge

I seem to have gone a bit quiet here recently. Inevitable, really.
The tortured artist in me is dying to write about my pain using such words as searing, blinding, and maybe even coruscating. That's not really how it is though, so I won't.

Then yesterday the doctor diagnosed me with acute streptococcal tonsilitis (known as 'throat AIDS' to the more tasteless of us). An opportunity to put those pretty adjectives to use maybe? Nope, it's more just excruciating than anything else. But that word must be passé at this stage.

The question is, when someone is suffering an illness that makes swallowing even a sip of water extremely painful, why make the antibiotic that cures it the size of a fucking ostrich egg?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008



Well, I could stay all sad, but i just found this.


It appears the potential snot production of two human bodies is absolutely boundless.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kids on Prozac
The lies we tell
Creatine creatures and
how your face fell
Tears in the dark
headbutting glass doors,
hissing and snarks

Petrol and razorblades
How little you know
Sliding scales,
Jimmy Wales
Ribands and robes
Laws of the jungle
Inquests and probes

Cysts and trysts
Meaningless lists
Skittles and Ritalin,
Sundown and vitamins
Tomato bread
Bottled piss

I want none of this.

Friday, October 17, 2008


The Week

dEUS at Tripod on Monday night were ridiculously good, playing with such power and skill that I felt both sickened and highly relieved that bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers sell out stadiums at massively inflated prices, whilst groups as good as this one have to toil away in pub-sized venues, charging 25 euro a head.

Still, the tiny venue definitely enhanced my enjoyment of the gig and it was great to be able to go right up to the front without being trampled on or suffocated. My only gripe was that they threw in Instant Street as their second song, before the crowd were really warmed up enough to enjoy it properly. The crowd seemed to be of a similar demographic to me, with most people a little too world-weary or self-conscious to throw themselves fully into jumping around or singing along. My neck hurt viciously the next day and it took me a while to realise that this was a result of some very enthusiastic head-nodding on my part. The band also had the decency to close their set on another of my all-time favourites. So thank you, dEUS, for the Roses.

Tuesday brought me to the Amnesty International Duke Special vs Divine Comedy gig, accompanied by bloggers of all shapes and sizes. I've always quite liked both of these artists, without being a huge fan of either. So the gig, with both performers only playing a piano and occasionally accompanied by a guitar, came as a reminder to me that in general I like my music fairly stripped down, without too many instruments clogging the mix. Darren and Darragh have both written comprehensive reviews of the concert that I can't really add much to, except to say that Neil Hannon covering Duke's 'No Cover Up' was one of the most emotional moments I've had at a concert in quite a long time.

Tuesday also brought the Budget to those of us in Ireland. I'm no expert, but I would imagine the 50 cent that has been tacked onto each pack of 20 cigarettes is largely going to have to go towards hiring extra customs officials and airport and harbour police to stop an increase in the amount of cigarettes being brought in by the case-load for sale on the black market. you can get 200 in Egypt for the price of 20 here now, y'know. It's easy for the government to pretend that they instigate these kinds of increases because they don't want people to smoke, but in fact it's far too valuable a source of revenue for them to wan t people to stop. Which means that a move like this is, in fact, calculated to take advantage of people's addictions. Likewise, the rise in petrol. We are addicted to driving in this country because our lousy public transport infrastructure gives us no other option. From where I work I can get back to Wicklow in about 35 minutes by car. Or, I can walk 15 minutes, take a Luas for another 15, walk another 10 and then get a bus that takes an hour and a half. I'll stand by my car for now.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


What Others Were Feeling Like Today #8


I awakened without a kiss, had breakfast alone, dressed without talk; I had nobody to brush, to kiss good-bye; I am having lunch with Mother, and tonight I will sleep alone again. Am I glad to be alone? Was there anything I wanted to do while Hugh (her husband) is away that I cannot do when he is here? No. I miss him deeply, I have no desires, no joy at my independence; and I feel as if i were half alive. this wonderful life I praise so often seems blank and stupid today. I could do without my mirror, without lovely clothes, without sunshine - none of these things are necessary when I am alone. I did a few things to take advantage of my solitude, sleeping on the left side of the bed, which I prefer to the right, and wearing gloves with cold cream. And then, of course, I was glad to have the bathroom to myself. Usually i have to scratch the door and 'miaow' desperately to be allowed in, and even then I often get a shoe or a clothes brush on the head. Also, I slept in fifteen minutes longer than usual.

Anais Nin


Is my inability to love based on fear of vulnerability & lack of spiritual generosity; or is it the profound belief in the utter hopelessness of human love? I think it is the latter, but it may be the former. I've never once tried. It's almost as if I know it's foredoomed; and yet of course I don't know. One thing is certainly true about me at the present moment: I have no desire for life. Even as I write this, the awful feeling of guilt about such an admission makes me want to erase it. Why on earth commit such a thing to paper? I suppose all diarists are lonely and uncreative people.

Kenneth Williams

Taken, as always, from The Assassin's Cloak.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Sighing, smoking, smiling slightly (Seasonal affection)

I sit on a bench in a bright, green space and contemplate the murk that has descended around my head in recent times, and the murk that seems to have surrounded many people - if the blogs I frequent are anything to go by.
There are too many things in this life that can cause confusion and unhappiness.

But, today, as I await the company of great people to enjoy great music with, the sun shines blindingly and endearingly, agreeing wholeheartedly with the trees and the people, agreeing with glass and grass, that this is no day for lying around like a tortured soul. Dublin must be one of the best cities in the world on days like this and I will sit and like it.

Am I that seasonally-affected?

Note: This was written yesterday. It is apocalyptically wet today and i feel like i'm right back in the quagmire.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Fibreglass Links/Sunday soliloquy

Christ, my blog looks like a child has vomited on it. That's where Saturday idling brought me and i have yet to have the inclination to clean it up.

Anyway, it appears to have been a week of marriage talk. First Darren was on about it, while Grannymar soon responded in her own very elegant way. Then i discovered that the Anti-Room folks were on the topic too. Of course, I did it way before either of them (and by checking up on it I've just seen two comments I had never read before. This is how on top of things I am. Sorry John and Morgor). And finally, at a par-tay on Friday Ms. Invisible Toast announced her engagement. It's an unusual situation but she's an unusual lady, and I know that all her friends wish her every happiness.

Sinful Origami Paper is the best new blog i've read in long time. I'm not linking to any one particular post because there's only a few so far and they're all very much worth reading.

Little Miss talks about inspiration. This is not a particularly new post but it is worth reading.

My dear cousin tampers with the classics, with promising results. Let her know what you think.

Fans attending England's match against Kazakhstan yesterday were forbidden to wear the 'mankini', striking a devastating blow against humour. England ended up winning 5-1, which was probably far more offensive to the Kazakhs than a few lads wearing neon dental floss over their rectums.

Oh, and after my whining post about my birthday, the card arrived from the chiropractor after all. Bastards.

Saturday, October 11, 2008



Ah I should be drunk by this stage.

Yet i really don't much like getting drunk any more.

What's with that?

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Aindí Leisciúil

I woke up yesterday a year older and a year stupider.

I did a quick stock-take:

Belly? Still there.
Painful left knee? That's new.
Concern for the global economy? Seeds of it.
Unsettling preoccupation with the idea of getting a Tesco Clubcard? Definitely new.
Cripplingly large measures of indolence and indecision? Still very much there.

So I skipped college, slept a few more hours and went home and drank tea and watched 'The Virginian' on TG4 with The Bro. What a show.

There were no cards in the post. This was a good thing, as last year there was one: from my chiropractor. I do not want to hear from my jilted chiropractor on my birthday, reminding me that they're still there if I'd care to pay 80 euro a week for temporary relief. 24 Nurofen only costs about 7 quid, lads.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


another pissed off moment

fuck's sake, i'm trying to be all deep and moody and shit with the irish poetry and spend fucking forever lining it up and getting it centred and all that shit and would you look at the way it ends up with the spacing all wrong and no gaps where i've been fucking insisting there should be gaps and me sitting here wondering why the fuck i'm not in bed.

i'm handwriting everything from now on, even my replies to comments.

Elvish poetry

agus uaireanta pléascann fuinneoga
titeann fallaí fásann neascóidí gránn
ar bharr do choicín briseann
hamburguraí amach ar na leapacha
chíonn tú cuacha beaga ag faire ort ón
seomra thíos ní féidir leat aon focain
rud fírinneach a rá teitheann do
chairde cacann pangur bán i lár an tí
Michael Davitt
and sometimes windows explode walls
collapse ugly boils erupt on the tip of
your nose hamburgers break out all over
the bedclothes you see small cuckoos
watching you from the room below
you're unable to say one fucking true
thing your friends disappear the monk's
cat shits on the parlour floor
(trans. Philip Casey)

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Is that how you spell 'lieu'?

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Ndugu wangu

I shouldn't have been welling up as I drove home this evening.

I shouldn't have taken my frustrations out on the wrong target in the wrong place.

A 12 year-old shouldn't spray deodorant on one specific spot on his arm until it burns his skin.

I shouldn't find him in bed, emptying the remaining contents of that deodorant into his nose.

He shouldn't have to listen to everything he says in his perfect English repeated back to him in shoddy impressions of his accent.

He shouldn't be called a thieving nigger.

He shouldn't have to talk about his deceased mother in the present tense because he thinks we don't know.

He shouldn't have to stand, propped up by a water fountain and unable to smile, and lie when I ask him how his day was, unable to hug him.

He should have something a little more familiar than my faltering questions in Swahili, and my blank looks when he moves past glib answers, desperate to tell me things he doesn't want the other boys to understand.

He shouldn't be in a boarding school, faux-friendly and freezing, 6000 miles from his father.

The Smellumentary

Fucksticks, I've been maimed (or memed, I forget how you spell it) again - this time from Darren, the big curly bollocks. Mind you, this one looks like it might just have some genuinely funny consequences in the outside world so I'm gonna go with it.

Right, apparently Mr. Maxi Cane is undertaking a 'smellumentary' ,where he goes without washing himself or his clothes for 30 days. The manky bastard. He wants suggestions for challenges he might undertake during the course of this stinking month.

Now, the whole washing thing has never quite taken off for me, and from time to time I've had to fend off the odd quip like "Andrew, you smell worse than the arsecrack of a lonely fat butcher watching Nigella Lawson in a sauna." (Following Maxi's wisdom I generally find a swift "your ma" does the job nicely.) So I'm really the perfect person to come to for advice. Darren suggests that our ideas should be something called 'legal', which has never sat well with me in the past, but I'll try to go with it.

1. Hugs

Random strangers can be awkward about hugs at the best of times, so see how well you get on when you smell like Johnny Vegas' knob-cheese. You could try certain scams like advertising yourself yourself as aiming for a Guinness World record in hugs, or take advantage of people's good natures by wearing a t-shirt saying 'PUT A STOP TO LEUKAEMIA FOREVER BY HUGGING ME IMMEDIATELY'. Or you could be a little more proactive and simply grab the fuckers, giving them no choice in the matter. when the boys in blue arrive to take you downtown make sure you hug them too. Other excellent targets include taxi-drivers and the doorman in the top hat at Brown Thomas.

2.The Smoking Area

It's widely accepted that the most unfortunate consequence of the smoking ban was the fact that we all had to start smelling each other again in the pubs. Therefore the smoking areas should be a haven for those smelling like a septic goat scrotum, shouldn't they? Not if you're really doing your job properly, no. If your natural stink isn't earning you enough looks of contempt, try lighting up a stale Henri Winterman Half Corona and go around asking people if they have any change for the condom machine. This will obviously work best in those smoking areas that are so enclosed and sheltered from the elements that they stretch government legislation on the subject close to breaking point.

3. Seek expert advice

Treat your newfound odour as though it's a complete surprise and seek out various sources of help. Hug your GP if he has the wit to actually say "Erm, have you tried washing?" Mark my words, there are those who will assume you've done this and that your smell just builds up like that over the course of a day. Call those shite phone-in shows like Adrian Kennedy and Joe Duffy and ask their esteemed listeners for help. A hug must then also go out to Harry the Builder from Phibsboro who chimes in with "Eh, I just lash a fookin' loada Lynx Africa down me keks and go about me business bud."

Friday, September 26, 2008



I've taken recently to driving an alternative route home, one that skips the sluggishness and tedium of the M50 at rush-3hours and winds instead through the countryside, past hills and trees and lovely places like Powerscourt. I tried the same drive last week and stupidly took a wrong turn and ended up back on the motorway. But not this evening.

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


Snoop, Shaving, Bill Murray

Aided once again by the less-pervy-than-you-might-imagine Tony Fenton, last night threw an awful lot of bloggers together through the medium of hip-hop. I could link to them all but it takes fucking ages and shit and my throat really hurts today. The well-being of my throat is directly related to how much effort I put into blogging. Hence, feck all posts lately. Anyway, by the time I've finished writing this other people will probably have put their own takes on the evening up, with far more effect than I could manage. And they mostly had cameras. (There seems to have been a proliferation of shots of me looking pensive, which is interesting, given that my mind is rarely on anything loftier than Wham bars and why Chickatees taste so good when you eat then on a Saturday afternoon). Sadly, Snoop Dogg was truly muthafuckin' awful (muthafucka) so we went back to the pub and bonded over the more traditional medium of alcohol.

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


Fibreglass Links

These are fucking brilliant when you can't think of much to say and don't have a lot of time. I can see why some bloggers base their careers around this stuff.

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


Bolton Brothers

My weekend was taken up largely with the unique form of group therapy that is watching your favourite football team live and roaring yourself hoarse with about 2,000 other eejits of the same allegiance. Doing this on the cheap means spending a hideous amount of time on a coach and a ferry, gaining only snatches of sleep over a 24 hour period. Worth it though.

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


Bad Santa (Part 1)

Shorn of any ideas or semblances of creativity recently by college, work and the sniffles (honestly, I'm dying, like), I've had little or nothing to post about. I wrote one yesterday that was so shite I took it down about half an hour later, hoping that no-one had got round to reading it yet (incidentally, how does that work for people with feed-readers? Does it appear on your screen and get taken away? I'd like to think so. But, sadly, I imagine one or two of you will have read it. Sorry). The interweb is singularly failing to inspire or irritate me enough to find anything to write about. So I'm delving into the back-catalogue of my life to think of stuff worth telling anyone about.

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


Milky Muppet Memery

Determined to do this milky meme properly, Little Miss and I arrived at Darren and Lottie's place on Saturday evening armed with a camera and several forms of milk.

They don't have a bath so a shower had to suffice. It turned out to be more fun than I expected, with us all getting snap-happy and eager to see exactly how much could be done with milk in a shower. two wet t-shirts later (only from the males, sorry lads) we discovered quite a lot could be done.
Here's my blue steel pose.

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.

Lottie is a little scared of milk.

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


What Others Were Feeling Like Today #7

I haven't managed one of these posts in ages, for reasons I'm not quite sure of. They haven't gone away though. For newer readers, these are diary entries written on today's date, in whatever year is listed above them. They're taken from The Assassin's Cloak.


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.

André Gide


Two thoughts:

(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.

Denton Welch

There's No Good Reason Why I Haven't Been in Bed For Over an Hour Now

I have this weird idea that I'd like to set up a second blog.

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


Filled With Milky Goodness

I've overdone it a wee bit in recent times with the memery but here's one that only good things and hilarity can come out of:

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


Young people are desperately in need of wisdom and guidance

Have they not deported Grandad yet?

I miss the old fecker.

Bloggers have no rights to long holidays, he should know that at this stage.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Weekend Sport

I'm not sure why I don't post about sport more often, I suppose it's not all that interesting and it's certainly not what people have come to expect here.

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


Fibreglass Links

Right, it's the weekend and no-one's really reading, but here's a few things I've been liking this week anyway.

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


Early September

I leave work at around 3:30. The sky is grey and the stickiness that stuck all over the air for the past few weeks has been replaced by a sting.

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


Stephen Lynch - The review

Surprisingly, it looks like I might be the first to get one of these up from last night. Darren, Lottie, Little Miss, Darragh and McG (that's right, I pretty much only speak to bloggers these days) must all be busy with 'work' or some such nonsense. or else they don't think that strangers off the internet want to hear about what we did last night. Which is clearly wrong.

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.