Friday, June 25, 2010


Icerain Icerain, baby

I did not get that job, as I thought. I suspect that the postion was sewn up long before they even advertised it, and that my interview last week was the kind of sham that educational institutions are obliged to conduct, for reasons I'll never understand. This surly fucker does not appreciate having to take an unpaid day-off from his temporary job to get suited and booted at crack of dawn o'clock for a joke of a ten minute interview. There will be other jobs, but it's hard to imagine one that I would be better qualified and experienced for. Fuck 'em.

It only started to really get to me when my mother called as I was on my way to work this morning and sounded genuinely heartbroken for me.

Further to this, some bollix decided to invade our home in the middle of the night the other day (I'm leaving Rosie to write all the descriptive stuff about our shared experiences these days, as she's so much better at it), leaving us both sleep-deprived and a little shaken. My system has yet to sort itself out and the primal rage that had me barking threats and obscenities at him like a rottweiler at a postman has yet to fully subside. A fat American nearly got me run over by a bus earlier and I didn't know whether to bellow at him or burst into tears.

Time for a holiday.

Fortunately, our renowned skills in assisting people with house and dog-sitting have brought us a free stay in this place, starting tomorrow. Not bad, I suppose. Still, the downside of it is that if i want to use the local municipal swimming pool I have to follow French law and abstain from sporting a nice comfortable pair of swimming shorts. Apparently I'd be refused entry in loose trunks but the bienvenues would be a-flowing were I to rock up in these bad boys. You gotta love them.

However, to fully achieve rehabilitation fully I reckon I may have to treat les femmes francaises to the sight of the semi-legendary Andrew gooch in these:

Mais oui.

Disclosure: Oddly bulbous crotchal region not blogger's own.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Pigs and needles

Music-wise, I'm all about the dead guys at the moment. Mark Linkous (otherwise known as Sparklehorse) and Elliott Smith - two men who were appreciated by many before their respective suicides but whose brilliance will probably only be fully recognised in years to come.
It's disarming the way every now and then music can still make you feel like an insecure teenager finding meaning and empathy where most likely none was intended.
 You ought to be proud that I'm getting good marks.
It's there when I'm yelping internally at everything that makes me frustrated.
And watching pounds and pounds on the digital scale.
I wanna new body right now, I'm a butchered cow.
The staking out of our house by a mentally-ill sparrow who goes for my face when he's not going for our door and just wants to live with us, just wants to be like us.
I wanna be a pig, I wanna fuck a car.
And the job I interviewed for last week and would love to get and should get but won't get.
Needle in the hay.
And the tension and burn to write but not the words.
And make music but not the skill.
Needle in the hay.
 And wishing, come to think of it, that I enjoyed my love's company just a little bit less so that everyone else didn't seem so crap by comparison.
I wanna be a tough-skinned bitch but I don't know how.

And my own jaw-clenching ineptitude.
I wanna be a shiny new baby with a spongy brain.
I wanna be a horse filled with fire that will never tame.

Wanting to blog more and not having time.
Or not knowing how.
Wanting to be able to make her smile every second of every day.
Looking to surpass myself just the tiniest bit, for once.

Needle in the hay
Needle in the hay
Needle in the hay.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Save Me From Apathy, Save Me from Hell - Flatlake 2010

Yes, dear readers, this is a photo of me with the mighty Crystal Swing. Now, you might have thought that I'd be altogether too surly a sort of fucker to request photos with such folk, but you'd be wrong. As of this moment, Andrew is happily going on record as stating that quasi-incestuous, hucklebucking langerpop is very much the way forward.

Now, a few questions you may have regarding said photo:

Where? The Flatlake Festival in Co. Monaghan, a glorious mix of parish fete tweeness, Monaghan underager boozefest, and serious literature thinktank. As curated by Patrick McCabe - warped mind behind The Butcher Boy.

Why is the photo so blurred? When I saw Crystal Swing being harangued for photos by passers-by I decided that this was an opportunity to good to pass up. Rosie concurred, but was silently laughing so hard that her hand wouldn't stop shaking as she snapped. The group just looked bemused, as I was about seventeen years older than anyone else asking them for a shot.

Andrew, why do you look like such a paunchy buffoon in this shot? This is an optical illusion, caused by the fact that Crystal Swing collectively resemble a cricket wicket when standing next to each other. I kinda fancied the gamey-looking ma beforehand, but Jaysis love, Skeletor wants his face back. I am, in reality, a svelte size 8, and not remotely bloated by the bottle of Captain Morgan and coke in my left hand.

Was there other good stuff going on? Yes, yes there was. There was Anne Enright doing a powerful reading, there was Jinx Lennon causing sore necks through vigorous head-nodding during a ditty entitled Stop Picking on Nigerians, there was roasting sunshine for more or less three days solid, there were hundreds of Chinese lanterns on the last night, there was only bumping into bloggers I really like, there was Shane McGowan droning " wurgle gurgle gurgle" over the verses of Mundy's tedious July, there was being able to camp right beside our car, there was the successful road-testing of our honeymoon tent, and there were dogs bloody everywhere for me to try and cuddle-attack. And there was Crystal Swing, making a horrendous racket with Lily Allen.

I may never need to go to another festival again.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Beware of Small States

A few years ago I spent about a month working in an orphanage in Tanzania and staying in a youth hostel there. Among the volunteers there were two brothers from L.A. in their early twenties. Let's call them Dumbo and Follo. Volunteer work is, much as I am loath to admit it, an egotistical pursuit in many ways. The volunteer gets a kick out of knowing that they're helping someone and gets a kick out of people saying "Oh, aren't you great to be doing that!" Nevertheless, these two clowns took the vanity of the exercise to magnificent levels. One brother could not encounter a Tanzanian child without the other brother making sure it was caught on video. Whereupon the child's ears would be assaulted with something along the lines of "You're WELCOME!! WE'RE JUST DOING WHAT WE CAN, LITTLE FRIEND." On one magnificent occasion Dumbo was calling home to his mother when the emotions of working in the orphanage overcame him and he started to cry. As he did so he quietly beckoned Follo closer and indicated that he was to start recording him. They didn't see anything comical in recounting this story to the other volunteers. Another time, the two were painting a classroom when Dumbo's wrist suddenly went limp and his brush began dribbling paint onto his pristine new boots.
"Dude, what are you doing?!" cried Follo.
"Bro, when we're back home I can wear these shoes to bars and when girls ask why there's paint on them I can tell them I got it painting an orphanage in Africa."
A grin flashed over Follo's face. "You're a fucking genius, dude," he said as he tastefully daubed his own footwear.

But I digress. Wildly. All you need to know about these guys is that they were chumps. They took chumpishness to transcendent levels. They were also Italian-American, as Italian-American as Paulie Walnuts or the gang from Jersey Shore. Guidos, as I believe they call them in the States. Only for some reason they fancied themselves as Jewish, despite the fact that they had no lineage whatsoever to that effect. They liked to prance around the hostel louding chanting and dancing at sunset on Friday evenings because that's when The Sabbath began. At other points one brother would wander into a group of entirely disinterested fellow guests and tell them not to look for the other one for the next half hour or so, as he was busy praying. Such spiritual fellows they were. It took only a little prodding after a couple of drinks to get Follo to admit one day that Madonna and her high profile Kabbalah guff had more than a little influence on them, and that that shit was hot in L.A. right now. They chose to wear their Judaism on their sleeves with obnoxious Israeli Airforce t-shirts, rather than red strings on their wrists. You could not have made these guys up.

And then there was Dani. Dani had just finished her two year stint of mandatory military service in the Israeli army and was now travelling for a bit before starting university in Tel Aviv. Dani went about her day quietly, and did not care one jot for the posturing of Dumbo and Follo, or the sorry advances they made at her. She laughed off jokes we made about Israeli military training consisting solely of throwing stones at Palestinians, and expressed exasperation at the whole situation. Two years of army bullshit still didn't seem to have put a warmongering thought in her head. She didn't think being Jewish made her better than anyone else. She wished it was all very different.


This all seemed to make a lot more sense when I began it a couple of night ago, feeling more shocked and saddened by a news story than I almost thought possible of my jaded head. I don't know exactly how I feel about it all. But I know that the actions of the Israeli army the other day weren't done in the name of people like Dani, but that they are enabled by people like Dumbo and Follo, stuffed to the gills with the romantic, dangerous bollocks that they attach to the idea of the rightful home of God's Chosen People.

As for the boys themselves? They couldn't be reached for comment as they are currently on a Buddhist retreat with the Jonas Brothers and three of the backing dancers from Glee.