Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm back....hopefully with a vengance...

Hello everyone!!!

My little honey has set me up with her laptop which she hasn't used since finishing college so I am back up and running.

Having no PC has been very weird. I saw daylight which was particularly scary... But in seriousness it is kinda like a mobile phone. It is something that you have just gotten very used to having. Its only when it is absent that you truly miss it. Like waking up and having no cigarettes......you can do without for a bit, but the fact that you have none makes you wan one all the more.

So I missed the big shindig in SL's gaf... I am annoyed that I missed it but it was for good reason. It was my little chickys birthday.So a bunch of us had a lovely meal in cactus jacks and shit loads of booze in the viper rooms. Great night but sore head this morning.

So I really need to catch you guys up on a month and mores events in the life an idiot, which I will endeavour to do over the next few days.

Since I missed the party I would like to put forward he idea of another one as soon as possible. Well that's it from me.......Now I just have to read a fuck load of posts before sleep.

Cooommmmeeennnttttss

I know my PCs gotten a bit slow lately but it always takes years for the comments to open or reload or to register your new comment. Its much slower than opening a new page. Why is that?

Now this is handy


Oh hell yeah. Booze delivered to your door.

Mwahahahahahaha



Big thanks to last night's hosts! Super night, yummy food, great laugh and no mad axe murderers! Though when you come to think of it, the hosts have more to be worried about than me.....mwahahahahaha.....

Seriously it was great meeting the other bloggers and putting some faces to the avatars (dots, togas, snakes, edible flowers and all, but no tux!) Thanks, thanks, thanks!

Anywhere but here

Just watching the start of the rugby.

The Argentinians? Bellowing their national anthem out.

Us? Half of the team embarassingly mumbling Ireland's Call.

They look like they want to be anywhere but there.

*sigh*

WTF is a pasty?

I saw this for the first time yesterday on UKTV Gold. It appears to be an ad for a pasty chain. I don't think I've ever even had a pasty. So why am I fascinated by it?

Not happy with that at all.





At least it has temporarily brightened up my Sunday.

Sunday

I hate it. Genuinely hate it. What's there to like?

I don't know about you but I'm the sort of person that needs to give himself little things to look forward to if I'm to get through the week. Nothing mad mind you; football on telly one night, maybe a couple of hours out at a movie another, friends over on a weekend. Little things just to focus me from day to day to day. Sunday throws me.

Just as it has done since I was a kid it looms large over me like a shadow. It's the day before work primarily (don't get me wrong, I love my job but it is still work), the day when the weekend is almost over. Tomorrow it's back to worrying about how to pay the bills, how my job is doing, what has to be done around the house. Having a bit of the post-alcohol blues today probably doesn't help.

Apart from all that, something I've been looking forward to for a few weeks is over now and that I don't have anything else on the horizon.

One thing is keeping me upright for the moment. My kids are coming back today from babysitting in their grandparents house last night and, even though they've only been gone a day, I miss them.

True my little guy will make me watch the rugby tonight against my will and full in the knowledge that it's not going to go our way. In fairness to him though I did want to switch off at half time when we were both watching this





He convinced me not to and for that I will be eternally grateful to him and I will always defer to his superior judgement from now on.

Blog party


So there was me hoping that first thing this morning I'd be the first to post about last night. Third? WTF is that about? Polka was posting before people had left here! You people are seriously strange as if I doubted it after Polka turned up in a polka-dot dress with a dish that contained, nay was entirely, flowers from her garden (and tasty they were too!) and Atreus in a toga with name badges (no, I wasn't joking).

Everyone had a different experience, I suppose. Ash knew no-one (she said her kids were to never know about the circumstances of first meeting us all "Yeah, just heading off to someones house I've never been to before to see some people I met on the Internet"), Polka, Atreus and GB knew MW and I but knew no-one else, Shan and the lovely Mrs Shan (Jesus, what did she make of us all?) only knew me really, weird then that after a really short period of time it was like being in a room of old friends (which, I suppose we all are).

Regrets too from Idiot and his hammered PC, and Tib who wanted updates by text from his weekend away in Sligo. I did my best.

The food was as varied as it was tasty. Flowers (no, seriously I wasn't joking), apple crumble, quiche, lamb koftas, peanuts (mmmmmmm, peanuts).

Why did we all turn up last night? I don't know about the rest of you but for me it was a similar reason as to why I got involved in all this in the first place; to make new friends. It's never the easiest thing to do at my age but I'm damned if I'm finished yet. I've always liked being part of communities, groups, whatever, but the older you get and the more you settle down into parenthood the more fragmented your life becomes and, usually, the further you drift from other people.

Maybe this is a last effort at resistance.

Then there was the ring on the doorbell at quarter past midnight. Shit, I thought, the neighbours have finally lost their patience with all the animated conversation. Nope. Just like any good gathering there was a surprise to be had and JTM made her appearance after her original engagement.

I bailed relatively early (I was fairly plastered and I did have a little one to be up with this morning) but not before we even took a group photo for posterity




Talk of the staff Christmas party already ;)

Everyone has left!

MW is still up drinking possibly, but the rest of us have all left, Personally I just want to say you are all really fucking weird and I am seriously reconsidering posting here again!

No in all honesty what a fantastic night our hosts were amazing and it was great to meet so many people whose posts have entertained me over the past few months.

The selection of food was just as varied as what we write about here, for gods sake I even ate a damn tasty flower!

If I offended anyone in any way I apologise but I did say a long time back that I get drunk really easily and with that comes random blurting from my mouth.

So from myself and P thank you all so much for a great Saturday night.

PS : The snake was cool just as I had hoped.

They're still there

I bet they're still there, hanging out and drinking lovely drinks.

We had a blast. It was great to meet the people we hadn't met, and pppffftttt to those who texted, asking how things were. :-D

Saturday, September 29, 2007

So tonights the night

Well for at least 8 of us anyhow. Tonight we have a mini meet and what am I looking forward to mostly, seeing the little snake that MW has staying in her living room, should be fun. I have my partner coming along so please be gentle with her, she ain't into all this blogging malarkey, and we shall be providing quiche for all to savour.

Roll on 8(ish)pm

Friday, September 28, 2007

An apology


I have been asked by Idiot to put this post up, at least it aint SL this time.

He is really really apologetic for not posting for an eternity and also for not commenting on the fantastic writing that you are all doing, he has a problem though, his computer is very very sick, some would say broken.

He hopes to post again very soon and misses us all so much.

Question Time?



What y'all wearing tomorrow night? I don't get out much (almost never!) and was just wondering? Jeans and dressy top or party gúna? I can't even remember the last time I wore make up.

Husband flu strikes again




I have a dilemma - the husband is crashed out in bed, after sleeping for ten and a half hours last night, two this afternoon while I was out, the baby slept and my poor daughter amused herself! and he went back to bed about 5. Methinks he must be ill.


But given his comatose state, I'd better not pop out to get the Euro lotto - 130 million tonight!! Of course I wouldn't win it and it would be a waste of money and a trip out , but part of me keeps thinking, but what if tonight's the night!?
Ok, this was weird - I was looking for a better picture and I put in 'euro lotto money mountain' - and bizarrely, on the first page it linked to our blog, with my post with the Cinderella picture, with the tag line 'you've all gone out, you bastards... ???? Why??

2 Funerals and a Hatred of the Catholic Church

I attended a funeral in Dublin yesterday (and no I am not still there and no I didn’t fly so yes I did get the train/ferry straight after work on Wednesday, travel overnight, arrive in Dublin at 8am, attend the funeral at 10am, go to the afters for a few hours then get back on the ferry at 8pm that night and spend last night travelling back to London and head straight into work from the train station-just in case anyone gives out to me for not seeing them while I was back, I didn’t even spend time with my family! And yes I am completely knackered and yes it does make me think that I should really try to get over my fear of flying). Anyway, the funeral was that of a very close friend’s brother and, even though I didn’t know her brother at all, I wanted to be there if only to give my friend a big hug. Her brother was only 25 and died from an illness he had been battling for several years. The ceremony in the church was very moving, particularly as so many of his friends were quite beefy in physique and began by trying to maintain a hardened, tough exterior in front of their girlfriends which inevitably failed as the mass progressed and they were forced to give up the act as tears streamed uncontrollably down their faces. A particularly poignant moment came when the niece of a friend of the deceased stood up to read a poem she had written herself questioning why something bad would happen to someone so good, but she broke down after a line or two and a friend had to join her on the alter and help her finish it. So basically the scene was as you would expect it to be at the funeral of a person who had suffered an untimely death. Only one thing was amiss; the priest. For the first half of the mass this idiot referred to my friend’s brother by the wrong name. My friend eventually had the opportunity to correct him on her way up to do prayers of the faithful at which time the priest merely looked bored, gave a half nod of his head and offered the family no apology for his mistake. Throughout the rest of the ceremony, which he rushed along at an unprecedented pace (the entire mass was over with in less than 40 minutes, any other funeral mass I’ve been to has dragged on for at least an hour and, in a lot of cases, longer), this so-called human being maintained an attitude of not only disinterest but even callousness. His response to a little girl breaking down into floods of tears was ‘Well, there’s no shame in crying’. No one had suggested that there was any shame in crying, it’s a funeral for fecks sake, why wouldn’t people cry?! Talking about it afterwards to another friend it transpired that when first approached about the funeral this priest had asked, ‘are you sure you’re street is part of my parish?’, he didn’t meet with the family beforehand (which I always thought was customary), he didn’t suggest any readings to do at the ceremony and basically had no hand in the organising of any aspect of the mass. My friend sat in the pub the night before with a few friends trawling through the bible looking for something appropriate to read. The sermon he gave was atrocious and offered not an ounce of sympathy or consolation to the family and friends there. In it he spoke about going to visit a children’s hospital and seeing a 6 month old baby who subsequently died from the same illness as my friend’s brother. The tone of the speech was ‘lots of people die regardless of age’ instead of saying how tragic it was that someone so young had died, and I also even got the vibe that by using the comparison of a 6 month old baby that the priest was subversively suggesting that my friends brother should be thankful that he lived to the age that he did. The family had wanted to play a song that had been a favourite of their brothers at the ceremony and also have people up to the alter to relay personal anecdotes about him but both of these requests were dismissed.
From my point of view this priests’ attitude and behaviour from start to finish was despicable. I can only guess that the reason for this priest’s complete apathy regarding the funeral was because he didn’t see fit that ‘his’ church should be used for a funeral when the people attending were not regular church-goers. To this I would have two responses: Firstly, in Ireland there are few, if any alternatives to a church funeral and so this is just the ‘done thing’. Possibly, given an accessible alternative many people would avail of this. Secondly, it is not for a priest to judge who should or shouldn’t have the right to celebrate the life of a deceased loved one in a church and it is certainly not the right of the priest to use the funeral of a young person to express this judgement or make his personal opinions known.
The last time I attended mass was almost a year ago and it was another funeral, also the brother of another close friend. Tragically he also was very young, only 30, and had taken his own life. This was again an incredibly sad funeral however, yet again, the priest (who was very old and I would imagine had worked in rural areas for most of his life) seemed to use the sermon as a platform for his own agenda. Instead of offering his sympathies to the family and offering words of comfort, he spent the duration trying to reconcile the fact that somebody who had committed suicide should be having a funeral at all. It was as if the fact that he was the celebrant of the mass proved him to be a very liberal, open-minded person and he wanted to point this out to people as well as voice the reservations he had regarding the matter. He then went on to speak about how young people don't go to church anymore and gave his tuppence worth's opinion of what he thought of people who only showed up to mass sporadically. Maybe its just me but I wouldnt have thought that church attendance figures would be foremost in the minds of people who have just lost a son/brother/friend.
Throughout my life priests have disgusted me. When I was in my teens I couldn't bear to go to mass but also couldn't bring myself to tell my mother that I wasn't going to go anymore and so manys a morning I spent freezing my arse off in the fields near the local church. To me this was preferable to sitting inside in the warmth having to listen to some aul crotchety f*cker with a chip on his shoulder the size of the grand canyon waffle on, expressing opinions that I didn't agree with as if they were indisputable facts. The fact that I have to darken the doorway of this medieval institution in order to say goodbye to a friend/family member or show my support for someone who has lost someone dear to them, and look on as the priest exploits this loss is something which really bothers me. If I can end this blog with a question I would like to ask does anyone know where one can avail of a secular funeral service because when I die I sure as feck don't want my body to spend its last moments above ground in a Catholic Church in front of some aul fella who's intent on using the occasion of my funeral as an opportunity to voice his opinion on some irrelevant topic in the knowledge that he has a captive audience and they cannot escape.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Further relfexions on the weather....

In short, every summer one lives in a state of mutiny and murmur, and I have found the reason: it is because we will affect to have a summer, and we have no title to any such thing. Our poets learnt their trade of the Romans, and so adopted the terms of their masters. They talk of shady groves, purling streams, and cooling breezes, and we get sore throats and agues with attempting to realize these visions.

Master Damon writes a song, and invites Miss Chloe to enjoy the coo
l of the evening, and the deuce a bit have we of any such thing as a cool evening. Zephyr is a northeast wind, that makes Damon button up to the chin, and pinches Chloe's nose till it is red and blue; and then they cry, this is a bad summer! as if we ever had any other.

The best sun we have is made of Newcastle coal, and I am determined never to reckon upon any other. We ruin ourselves with inviting over foreign trees and make our houses clamber up hills to look at prospects. How our ancestors would laugh at us, who knew there was no being comfortable, unless you had a high hill before your nose, and a thick warm wood at your back! Taste is too freezing a commodity for us, and, depend upon it, will go out of fashion again.
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Excerpt from Letter to George Montagu, Esq. by Horace Walpole, Strawberry Hill, June 15, 1768.

I recently finished reading a volume of Walpole's letters that I came across in a secondhand bookshop in Galway. Ever the historical Romantic, things like this work for me. In an anthropological sense, I love to see examples of how societies gone by had mundane connexions with our own - including the weather. 6 years ago I studied Roman Satire and it's not totally easing reading but more than anything it gave me a sense of how like 21stC society, Roman society was. The poems talk of taking the piss out of men who wore their togas an inch too short; reminisce on a peaceful life in the country to get away from the traffic and rudeness of the city; slag off foodie show-offs and slutty women, etc.

I'm tempted to visit Strawberry Hill. It's only 7 miles from Heathrow and a do-able day trip.

The 'x's are a little in Jok
e to myself, they remind me of studying 18thC British Philosophy. Back then the English Language not only had fancy Spelling with x-es but they also used capitalised Nouns like in German and to Me it looked absolutely fabulous. A friend pointed out to me once that in modern day English the only pronouns capitalised are Him and I: does this mean English speakers believe they are on a par with God? (I could talk linguistics forever).

Anyway, I digress too much on my pseudo-intellectual rant. I get that way sometimes. But as you know I'm a lover of cultures past and present and I love witnessing the rare merging of the two; like in Harry Mount's book about Latin, when he explains the phrase 'ipso facto' using a quote from Ben Stiller in Dodgeball - classic, in every sense of the word.

Kick To Touch

In a conversation today about delaying a meeting, a friend convinced me to postpone it by saying, "Atreus, I think we should just kick to touch, let it wait til next week. It can wait...kick to touch for now."

A former rugby player, he used a phrase common to many but brand new to me.

Effing Freezing


I know the weather is the most boring thing to blog about but seriously I am so cold I'm considering doing the housework wearing gloves. And I don't mean rubber gloves. It is SO cold today and I normally spend September still trying to extend the summer by wearing shorts and flip flops everywhere in the vain hope that the sun might come out. Today I'm wearing a woolly jumper. And I'm still cold. How depressing is that? Brass monkeys......

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Man-Flu!

My hubby is ill. He has had a sore throat since the weekend and now he is experiencing full blown Man-Flu! Oh No! Now some people say that man flu is just a common cold, but in my opinion the problem with Man-Flu is that sometimes it is a common cold but sometimes it's cancer.....

You see when a man (my men -hubby, dad, son) are feeling ill they act like they are dying, "I have pains in my legs, arms, necks, I feel ill, I've thrown up, I can't sleep, my head hurts and I need an orange juice!" but when something really serious is wrong, like a lump somewhere, or blood where there shouldn't be blood, they don't say anything. Now my hubby was OK today, took his medicine and put his feet up, he even helped me by watching the kids while I did the housework. But he's not good at being ill, he isn't good at just lying around and doing nothing, so he feels like he has to make out that he is sicker than he says he is. Like when you were off from school sick, but on the mend, you wanted a few more days off so you played it up a bit.

Personally I'd do the same, but I forget what it's like to be able to relax away from work for a few days when I'm ill. Since the kids were born I've not been able to have any sick days, even if I'm feeling extremely ill I'll be up on my feet taking care of the kids, but sometimes it would be nice to got to bed and be taken care of for a couple of days, but it's not gonna happen is it? Maybe in the old folks home?

So for now I'll just tuck my hubby into bed (while avoiding face to face snuggling- I can't get sick) and tomorrow enjoy his company, maybe he'll be feeling up to reading me the papers while I mind the weenies!

The four martini lunch project


Ever seen this? Got reminded of it by Milan's mention a couple of posts back.

I have no great love of large international corporations from many years of reading books like No Logo, The Beauty Myth, Fast Food Nation and Fatland. Got distracted by this a while back, it's McDonalds UK website on which they have a section devoted to answering your questions.

In all fairness, someone in their PR(evil alien blood-sucking lizard) department said "lads, we're going to get murdered if we do a gloss over job on this. Why don't we answer the questions, all of the questions totally honestly? Mad, eh? Let's go for lunch to a wine bar and on later to Grouchos to celebrate!!!"

Have a trawl through where they give answers to questions such as:



and


They're all here:

PC-McCarthyism....the official backlash

I get reaaaaallllyyy angry sometimes at the stereo types of my generation, and in particular at the hidden oppression and inequalities of what I like to call PC-McCarthyism, so the time has come to share it with you.

Example A
A friend of mine got 450% abused and dismissed recently for suggesting that factors other than global warming may be affecting the climate change - this is so typical of PC-McCarthyism. The general PC view becomes sacred and any valid argument outside of this is slated. People need to get back to Socrates' philosophy of knowing nothing.

Example B
Then there's British police taking a racial case against Channel 4 for broadcasting the Undercover Mosque programme - which showed undercover muslims preaching about jewish pigs, women having half the intelligence of men, ok to marry 9 yr old girls, right and honour to commit jihad, etc. More classic PC-McCarthyism, attacking the messenger. In the West we are now living in a former-oppressed-minority-ocracy. The former oppressed minorities can get away with so much more than any other minority or majority social group.

Example C
Then at same time earlier this year we had the celebrity big brother fiasco. What was highlighted at the time, and actually admitted to publicly by the channel 4 boss, was that bullying a different nationality is worse than bullying someone for other reasons. Big Brother has had bullying in every series. BB 2006 had someone ostricised by 14 housemates and leave - but nothing was ever said. Add in the possibility that race may be a factor and its an international political scandal. This to me is totally wrong. Why should racial abuse be more important than any other abuse?

Example D
Then there's the Brian Ferry episode. By expressing admiration for Nazi art he was lambasted as a Nazi lover. It is possible to separate out the good and bad actions of a person or entity.
And then there's the holocaust law. This seems to be the first EU legally enforced belief and naturally it supports PC-McCarthyism. Will I get called up in front of the next McCarthy if I state that 5.9m and not 6m jews died in WW2?

PC morality evolved from Christian morality, and like Christianity, both have extremes and the extremes of PC inequality are surfacing with greater frequency.

This is my official stance.

I'm taking genuine utopian equality back.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The sort of letter Dads don't want to get

Dear Dad,

It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you. I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice. But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am.

But it's not only the passion...Dad she's pregnant. Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy. In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it.

Don't worry Dad. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.

Love,
Your Son,
John

PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that's in my center desk drawer.

I love you. Call me when it's safe to come home.

Career Changes

Seen today on a pole in Dun Laoghaire:



Pick one:

1. Prostitute
2. Iarnród Éireann restroom maintenance
3. Chimney sweep
4. Lap dancer on Leeson Street?
5. None of the above.

Almost makes up for the key situation




Oooohhhhh boy, do I have a treat for you...


I've lost my keys...


...in my house. Somewhere downstairs.


The other day my daughter asked me what the key box was for, the one on the wall inside the door. And I shamefacedly explained it was for putting your keys in so you didn't lose them. Every trip out of the house is preceded by a mini-panic while I search for them. This time they're not turning up, I had to ask my mother in law to bring my daughter to school, and pick her up again!


And I was meant to be going in to the passport office to give in my kids' applications so we can go on holiday. ARG!!


That knitting needle never turned up either...

Pure Silliness: Knowing you're not the favourite


"King Atreus, a message came for you during the night..."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Is this an ailment?

For some reason I'm exhausted these evenings. I was watching tv at 9 o clock and my head kept lurching backwards, falling asleep sitting up. And yet, here I am an hour later, messing about, looking at stuff on ebay and posting pointless posts. Why have I not gone to bed?

Holy Romp On The Top Bunk Batman



Turns out the entire Brady Bunch cast were banging each other.....and I always thought Alice was the one to suspect, think it was the Jay Leno chin.

Well Hello Mrs McFrillyknickers!

Yes, I am a mossie no longer. As you may or may not have guessed, the working title of this blog alludes to the fact that I am a newlywed – well, if you still count as a newlywed when you have been married for 6 months, which I have… as of Today! I haven’t quite given up my maiden name yet, remain the same in work so as not to confuse the poor customers and colleagues, but have decided that it is time to get the ball rolling as far as changing the name outside the workplace is concerned. I have sent off for the form to renew my drivers licence. Have phoned the bank to see what the usual procedure is in relation to changing the name on my accounts and all that lark. Am going to leave the passport be however, seeing as I just renewed it for another 10 years not so long ago and to be honest, cant really afford to fork out more money to the passport office right now. I suppose some of you (if anyone is actually reading this) are wondering why I’m not doing the “modern” thing and leaving my name as it is. In all honesty, I’m not too sure either. All I know is that, for me, it feels like the right thing to do. I know that my husband would prefer us to have the same surname, but he wouldn’t object if I decided to retain my maiden name either. I guess there is an element of thinking that when (if) we have kids that we, as a family, will all share the same surname. It does help that my new surname kinda reminds me of my old one and therefore to my ears has quite a nice ring to it. However, if the new surname was, oh I don’t know, “McFrillyknickers” or something, I would most likely leave well enough alone!

Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds...

...education and free discussion are the antidotes of both. (Thomas Jefferson 1762-1826)

Another week, another sporting defeat, and again reasons to feel let down by my countrymen. This time though the feelings of despair and anger have nothing to do with sporting professions playing under our banner.

An older boy in the schoolyard once told me that if you find a c**t there's generally an arsehole fairly close by. In my virginal innocence I never really gave it too much thought until Friday night in the shadows of the Stade de France. I'm sure everyone has experienced, at some point, what I think of as pseudo-republicanism. You know the type, the idiot who thinks he knows everything but in fact knows fuck all about The Troubles but yet feels obligated to brief all and sundry about their views on matters of an Irish nationalist nature and particularly those relating to the terrible misdemeanours they see as having been perpetrated upon us by our friends across the nation. I've known a few lads like that growing up, people born in 80, 81, or 82 who spout this type of shite but once questioned are exposed as not having a clue.

I had the joy of a quite unpleasant experience with two of this kind ahead of the match. The fine folk of the Rugby World Cup laid on a fan's village ahead of the Ireland/France game, typical Plastic Paddydom had broken out - Guinness posters, leprechauns, Irish music, overpriced watered down beer, ya know the criteria. The craic was great, the French and Irish taking the piss and enjoying each other's company. At one point I went to les jacques where possibly the worst display of all that is bad about the Irish on tour was demonstrated.

Conversation in the queue had kicked off, there were easily 100 men in line for one toilet so you can imagine the banter. Amongst the parish was an English guy in a vintage Irish shirt, he started talking about the Irish in terms of "we", "us" and so on. All of a sudden these two, completely sober, Cork lads unleashed a torrent of bigoted abuse the like of which I've never seen before. It was pure vitriol about how this chap had the blood of Irishmen on his hands and shite like that. Despite a couple of people getting involved it continued to get heated, not by any means on behalf of the English guy who was trying to laugh it off. With threats of violence being made security eventually stepped in and lashed the two offenders out.

It turned out afterwards that the English guy had lived the guts of his life over here and was the son of a former Irish international who had owned the shirt he was wearing. A couple of us tried to make our excuses and apologised, the guy laughed it off primarily because he said he was well used to it, especially in recent years. That final bit has really stuck in my mind for the last couple of days. We're constantly being sold this new modern Ireland which it increasingly turns out is the biggest load of bollix that has ever being spouted. We're still going to be stuck with the old days of wankology once people like that are around. It's really been pissing me off over the past few days. Two friends on mine are emigrating (separately) this week, making it six from my year in college/school since the start of the year. The reasons to follow them are piling up.

More about alcohol.....

This started as a comment on Goldenbeers very moving post about alcoholism but got too long so I've turned it into a post! I'm so sorry about your cousin GB.

My dad became an alcoholic very late in life, late 70's he was, after my mother died. He was always a very mild mannered quiet man and all that changed. The things he did while drunk would probably be unforgiveable in most people's books.
We went through the "intervention" process but it didn't work. (Involves a kinda counselling where the family detail all the problems and after weeks confront the alcoholic and present them with an ultimatum). At his age he had nothing to lose by keeping drinking, no job, he didn't drive, no spouse to walk out on him etc. etc. We tried lots of places for help, treatment centres etc. all unsuitable for a man his age.
I know someone who works in an off licence says old people are in in their droves during the day buying drink. There's no help for old people with alcoholism as most treatment centres involve "work". And AA don't offer help unless the person is admitting to their problem. I was always expecting to find him dead at the end of the stairs. In the end he ended up in a home, where he lives now. But his mind has gone and it's a shame he's there because he was an extremely healthy, fit person otherwise who walked miles every day to keep fit. At least where he is now, he is safe and clean and very well looked after.

I don't drink myself. Maybe I'm afraid I'd have those tendencies. As the builders I used to work with loved to say: Kickly horse, kicky foal.....

The Etymology of Star Trek: Engage



Silliness that comes to mind when your infant decides to be awake at 5 in the morning and you just can't make the tea strong enough. I've not (yet) played rugby myself, though I expect our eldest to encounter it in school in the next few years. Listening to the referee tell the lads to engage, all I could think of was Captain Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Sad, I know.

But then the question came to mind: was this where Gene Roddenberry got the use of the word for the show? The standard play of a rugby match?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Big in Thailand

Once again for the easily amused the last 100 places 4nine£ was read from around the globe. Wave hello to your readers.

Skip ahead if you're bored.

1
Ireland
Dublin
0*
2
Venezuela
Maracaibo, Zulia
4,619
3
United Kingdom
Bristol, Bristol, City of
202
4
Unknown
?
5
Ireland
Dublin
0*
6
United States
Mountain View, California
5,088
7
Switzerland
Zrich, Zurich
769
8
Latvia
Riga
1,213
9
United Kingdom
180
10
Ireland
Dublin
0*
11
United States
Urbana, Illinois
3,764
12
Czech Republic
Kralupy Nad Vltavou, Hlavni Mest...
901
13
United Kingdom
180
14
Ireland
Dublin
0*
15
Unknown
?
16
Ireland
Dublin
0*
17
Ireland
Celbridge, Kildare
12*
18
Ireland
Dublin
0*
19
Unknown
?
20
Unknown
?
21
Unknown
?
22
Singapore
Singapore, Dakar
6,959
23
Unknown
?
24
Unknown
?
25
Ireland
76*
26
United States
Mountain View, California
5,088
27
Ireland
Dublin
0*
28
Unknown
?
29
Thailand
Bangkok, Krung Thep
6,122
30
Thailand
6,032
31
United Kingdom
180
32
Unknown
?
33
United States
Mountain View, California
5,088
34
Ireland
Dublin
0*
35
Ireland
Lougher, Meath
25*
36
Ireland
Dublin
0*
37
United States
Buffalo, New York
3,273
38
United States
Mountain View, California
5,088
39
Japan
5,900
40
United States
Fort Worth, Texas
4,480
41
United States
4,199
42
Ireland
Dublin
0*
43
Ireland
Dublin
0*
44
United States
4,199
45
Ireland
Dublin
0*
46
Unknown
?
47
United States
4,199
48
United States
Newport News, Virginia
3,443
49
United States
Forest Hills, New York
3,170
50
United States
Lady Lake, Florida
4,065
51
Unknown
?
52
United Kingdom
Wakefield
197
53
Canada
Montral, Quebec
2,957
54
Ireland
Bray, Wicklow
11*
55
Ireland
76*
56
United Kingdom
Gatwick, Bromley
297
57
Unknown
?
58
United States
Mountain View, California
5,088
59
Argentina
Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal
6,833
60
Ireland
Dublin
0*
61
Ireland
Sligo
112
62
Canada
Sherwood Park, Alberta
3,955
63
Ireland
Dublin
0*
64
Ireland
Dublin
0*
65
United States
Mountain View, California
5,088
66
Ireland
Rathcoole, Dublin
10*
67
Ireland
Dublin
0*
68
Unknown
?
69
Ireland
Celbridge, Kildare
12*
70
Ireland
76*
71
Ireland
Dublin
0*
72
Ireland
Dublin
0*
73
Unknown
?
74
Ireland
Dublin
0*
75
United States
Mountain View, California
5,088
76
United Kingdom
180
77
Ireland
Dublin
0*
78
Ireland
Dublin
0*
79
Ireland
76*
80
Hungary
Budapest
1,178
81
United States
Lafayette, Indiana
3,698
82
Ireland
Dublin
0*
83
Malaysia
Kubang Ulu, Pulau Pinang
6,593
84
Germany
Muenchen, Bayern
854
85
Ireland
Rathcoole, Dublin
10*
86
Mexico
Mexico, Distrito Federal
5,262
87
Ireland
Dublin
0*
88
United Kingdom
Milton Keynes
249
89
United States
4,199
90
United States
Mountain View, California
5,088
91
Ireland
Dublin
0*
92
United States
4,199
93
Ireland
Dublin
0*
94
Germany
Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen
594
95
United States
4,199
96
United States
Mountain View, California
5,088
97
United States
New Vernon, New Jersey
3,196
98
Ireland
76*
99
Ireland
Celbridge, Kildare
12*
100
Ireland
Rathcoole, Dublin
10*

the Irish disease

Following on from a previous post from Conformist #1 about secret drinking...

Over the weekend I learnt that a (distant) cousin of mine had passed away aged 38. I had only recently met him at a family occasion and can't pretend that we knew each other all that well, but my mother is quite upset about it. When she told me about his death she mentioned that he was fond of the drink. I didn't know that meself; hadn't seen him laying into the booze at family get togethers but by all accounts he was an awful boozehound.

'Fond of the drink' seems to be a very Irish thing. It means you're an alcoholic but maintaining some sort of normal life. And once you've got a sembelance of normality going on then it can't be too serious.

I'm counting up immediate family members that are 'fond of the booze'. Five of 'em. And I don't think my family is any way unusual in this. Surely there can't be many countries where barely functioning alcoholics are considered the norm.

For two of those people the drink became a REAL problem. Thats because one of them went batty and had to be hospitalised. The other one became a street wino in London and we haven't seen him in years. We know hes an alco because thats how far he sank as opposed to just drinking around the house like some of the others.

The Irish disease is well known; none of what I've posted is news to anybody reading it. And I'm sure after they bury my cousin we'll all go to the house and have a few jars; after all its what he would've wanted...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Vanilla




Funny, I just read MW's comment about vanilla perfume on the Vulva post - I used to wear vanilla perfume from the Body Shop when I was younger, around the time I met my husband. Everywhere I went I'd hear people asking each other, 'What's that smell, it's like those sweets,' or more often just 'Smella Flogs! Remember them!' I thought it smelled like playdough, as did many others. I loved it. Then they went and changed it and it's not the same any more.

My last two bottles were bought for me by my lovely cousin, one was confiscated at an Oasis concert (that's what I get) and thrown in a big bin (bastards!!) and the other was lost when I left my handbag on the train in Prague, on the way back to the airport. More about that later.

My cousin sent me a bottle of something else a few years ago that was pretty much the same, but since having my daughter I've gone off perfume. It felt wrong to be coating a teeny in synthetic or even strong smells, and I so hated when she was handed back smelling of old-lady perfume, it put me off.

But I loved the vanilla while I had it. And it certainly seemed to do the trick, pheromone-wise.

Welcome Sammy!




This afternoon we had a new arrival and we are now a family of six! The bank balance is now two hundredish euro lighter and we have a little red snake, about a foot long and about the width of a biro, living in a little tank (v.secure) in the corner of the living room!


He is so cute, the one in the picture looks a lot like Sammy No Shoulders, except he quite unusually has no marks on the bottom of his body (piano keys), he is sticking his little head up occasionally but every time I get the phone close enough to take a picture he goes all camera shy!


So here is a photo of his environment, this tank will last him for about 6 to 12 months before he grows out of it and we are planning on installing a bearded lizard when he moves into his grown up home......I know, once you start it's addictive!


His birthday is 7/7/2007....weird, and he's to be fed every Thursday, so on a Thursday from now on I'll be driving over to Walkinstown to buy a frozen baby mouse (pinky mouse) from Mr Tattoo! I'm sure Someone Living will have a much more entertaining take on the whole event,but that's it for now!


Oh next stop on my strange midlife crisis is another tattoo, I'm trying to decide between shoulder and thigh as a location!


A Valentine for Midge



My baby looked exactly like a baby Troll doll when he was born, fuzzy black hair and round little black eyes, so I'm trying to find one on ebay - just forgot to bid on one and lost it! But in searching I found this!





So Long, Farewell...

"One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. Goodbye, my dear".
-Doctor Who, "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", 1964.

After much internal debate and deliberation, I've made the decision to leave our little community. There's a lot of stuff going on at the moment and unfortunately I cannot make the necessary commitment to this group.

I would like to thank SL for the invitation and encouragement to participate in the first place and everyone else for reading and commenting. It's been fun.

Mr Pink X

Pushers


This is one I've thought about for a while, probably since I was a kid. Why am I putting it out here? Maybe to see if I'm the only one, or not as the case may be.

Does anyone else have friendships, possibly very close ones, where you're the only one doing all the work? You're always the initiator. You're always the one to make social plans, are the one to call or text first in a conversation, send the first e-mail. You might not realise you are but look back and you start to see a pattern emerge.

There are friends I've had for years and they have never ever been the one to suggest going out for a pint, or dinner, or even meeting up for coffee. Ever. And I've never been to their houses socially when they've been in mine.

A few times over the years I've experimented, left it with friends and not contacted them to see just how long it would take them to get in contact. On more than one occasion the answer has been never. And I've just fallen back into the pattern again. It's that or have no friends. After a while and if the pattern is one that seems to play itself out over your whole life from school to now, then you start to ask questions of yourself and your friendship with the people involved.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not portraying myself as some model of the perfect friend, far from it, none of us are. I'm also not saying they're bad people or that the friendships aren't worthwhile, far from it as they are my friends and I don't choose lightly. Maybe it's just that, when it comes to friendships, some people are pushers and some are the pushed and one type automatically gravitates towards the other.

I'd just like to be the pushed every now and then.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Come on guys

Our Father, who art in rugby, O'Gara be his name, thy tries will come, thy damage done, on earth as it is in paris.

duvet days




It's many, many posts since I've posted, but what should I feel more guilty about, not cleaning the house or not posting? I started this earlier, but then I felt that Vulva had to have pride of place and this post would be too domestic to follow it.


My little girl's Montessori school ran through the summer, which I felt was great a the baby was due in July. But she's been getting less and less enamoured with it - went off it after Christmas and while she's better than she was then, she wakes up most mornings saying 'I hate school' and not wanting to go. She had her first tantrum there, freaked them all out, and has been quite sad.


It occurred to me suddenly that she'd been there every day since Christmas - no holidays at all. No wonder she's feeling burn out. I was expecting to have a holiday a couple weeks ago and so didn't think about it and then that didn't come about. Poor kid!


So after a week of asking every day and evening, I gave her a day off today. Not hugely successful in terms of cheerfulness (fussy about food? Try screaming tantrum because there were weetabix flakes in her bowl of milk for dipping the weetabix into!), but oh well.


The thing is, I remember hating school so much and really really needing days off. She's only in playschool and it makes me sad that she already needs days off - how will she get through primary?


I don't know, but I do believe deeply in the importance of duvet days - I don't do it myself in work because as teacher I feel guilty about the students and other teachers who have to take my classes - though I did bunk off one Friday of my last job to go to Prague for the weekend - was so scared I'd somehow meet my headmistress in the airport for some coincidental reason! But usually I'm pretty good. School was another matter.


I'm so looking forward to a day when my kids are older and I get to not get out of bed for a day - sit drinking vodka smoothies and reading a trashy novel. Bliss!



De-clutter-ing


I'm trying to de-clutter. I'm trying really, really hard. I've walked in and out of the wardrobe many times, charity bag in hand, and come out with nothing. Why can't I bring myself to throw things out? It's driving me mad now.
I never used to be like this. I was great at throwing stuff out, did it regularly and was ruthless at it. But a couple of years ago we built a walk-in wardrobe in our bedroom. I felt like Mariah Carey in Cribs; 15 shelves for shoes and 3 seperate hanging areas for clothes (only one area for my husband). I even treated myself to a special luxury; all timber hangers. Chuffed I was.
But now I can't get rid of anything. I keep saying "I might wear that again" even though I haven't in years. But the space if full to bursting and I need to throw stuff out. But I can't. I've tried reading the Organising Junkie but nothing changes.
I need help.

Smells like....

I just saw an ad for a new perfume, Vulva (warning: not safe for work!). Yup. That's what I said.

It's not perfume for the va-jay-jay, it just mimics the smell of the, er, personal area. So it's the ol phermones trick again. But...what a name, eh?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

We're all part of the Special One's Army....


Ok, I'm a big girlie wuss and I love Jose. I can forgive him anything just because of his appearance. His arrogance, pride, stubborness, etc. are all charming to me. My subconscience always seems to equate beauty in men with virtue. I'll meet someone new and think, he seems like a genuiely nice person - then later I'll realise that I only thought that because he was pretty. I maintain that Ralph Fiennes was miscast in Schindler's List because how could someone with such pretty eyes be a bad guy. I know, I came out the film and my friend was aghast and horrified by the atrocities of humankind, and in my head I was thinking, I wish was Helen (the Jewish girl the Commandant secretly fancied).

Ok, I think I'm starting to sound like the "he didn't mean to beat me up" type, but it's not like that, as SL & MW will confirm, I'm anything but girlie. I'm just setting aside a moment to appreciate the Special One.

As for the title bar - wouldn't it be great if we had Jose as Ireland manager. If he joined 12 months ago we would definitely be on our way to Austria/Switzerland, who knows how far we could go. What's 5 million euro when we could have Jose going for pints in Dublin. Then Polka could introduce me to him and I'd just watch.

Keeping the Faith

I'm keeping the faith for the game against France tomorrow night. I know it's not right and I'm setting myself up for a fall, but I can't help thinking of that glimmer of hope deep inside me.


My phobia

I haven't been blogging in a while - have been waiting to get broadbanded by NTL so haven't been able to see the video blogs etc and everything takes an age etc. Anyhow. Tonight with my little dude well tucked up and (to be honest) feck all on tv I thought I would have a wee scroll to see what you guys have been blogging bout. Dear Jesus was I sorry I scrolled as I came across SL's recent blog about the purchase of a snake ( I think thats what it was about as I quickly had to scroll back up to a safer blog) I have no problem that I know of with snakes or reptiles but mice and rodents of any shape or form freak me out.

A couple of years ago my neighbour told me she had seen a r*t between our gardens and I wouldn't go back to my house until he / she / they were taken care of!! I would have happily married the guy who did the job.

My biggest fear is to be close to any rodent and I cant explain how awful I think they are. My skin crawls.

Surely this phobia is a fairly normal one. anyone any exotic phobias to report?? (oh I'm not too keen on heights either)

17th Century Shipwreck Off Korea

Hendrick Hamel wrote in 1666 of a land not yet known to most of the world. The inhabitants of Korea had become comfortable maintaining a private society, and in fact lived with a conscious effort to maintain that solitude. Their world changed dramatically on August 15, 1653, when a shipwreck deposited thirty-two survivors on an island off the coast of Korea. Crafted by Henny Savenije, a professor of English in Korea, the remarkable collection of information from Hamel and others gives clear imagery and insight into the experiences of the ship's survivors. There, they can learn of the ten-month long internment of the ship's passengers, their travels around Korea, and feel the true thrill of discovery. In the complete translation of Hamel's original 17th century manuscript you stop being a reader, and become an adventurer.

Pride?



I know, I know....another Beth Ditto photo from the fat girl! But I have a bee in my bonnet, again. I was delighted when Ms Ditto "came out" as a new "fat girl" icon, her size, her sexuality and her white trash roots were all irrelevant because she is such an amazing performer. Then Mika brought out his "Big Girl" song and I was delighted, it still makes me smile when my kids sing along to it at the top of their voices (Mika's album is on rotation in the car at the moment). The problem is I mistakenly took this new wave of fat acceptance as the beginning of something else, maybe "Fat Pride"?

My friends who frequent clubs of the night tell me that when the DJ plays Mika the girls go mad and they love it, but apart from that, and Beth recording an album, Oh and strutting around the stage in Glastonbury with only a pair of granny pants on (hey if Sienna Miller can do it?) nothing has changed, there are still no size acceptance groups in Ireland. In the States where size is a much bigger (oops) issue they have lots of these groups, support groups, sources for people who need bigger clothes, chairs etc, some of the groups are dating groups and then there are the nights out in clubs (the butterfly lounge of Mika's song).I know why we don't have these groups in Ireland, lack of pride, it's OK to be fat if you are unhappy and apologetic ( I apologise for my very existence on a daily basis) but once we have pride in ourselves then that can't be allowed. The overweight will be tolerated if they are dieting and express unhappiness at their tragic circumstances, but if they start to be happy....oh, that could be dangerous.

We could start to rock the boat, questioning why certain shops only make clothes up to a size 16 (14 in some really swanky shops), why are the larger clothes shops so expensive? Why are the clothes so unfashionable? (oh, if you are overweight you hate fashion...here take this mu mu) The "normals" don't really think if we say it's OK to be fat that everyone will be doing it, all rushing out to be morbidly obese? I feel it would be the opposite, as a lot of people's issues with food are related to their self esteem feeling accepted in a group might help break the food/feelings cycle. What could be so bad about saying it's OK to be you, here are some support systems, maybe exercise classes tailored to meet the limitations of the overweight, a lot of the time people are afraid of the gym changing room, or that they can't keep up with a regular exercise class, if everyone is fat (go on, say it out loud F A T)! There used to be an English size acceptance magazine available in Easons, "YES", I used to buy it, but they went out of business several years ago. Easons stock lots of magazines, "Construction Monthly", "Cat Fancier Quarterly" and several gay and lesbian magazines.

Maybe we need a Fat movement? Gay guys and lesbians fought for the right to be themselves, to be accepted, it's now illegal to discriminate against people due to their gender, sexual orientation or the colour of their skin but it's OK to discriminate due to size (oh, they must be lazy, having to waddle to the pie shop every twenty minutes will really be a time wasting problem, ) Seriously, this happens, do you never look at at fattie and think, "God, how did they get like that?" Let it go. Some people are skinny, some are fat, such is life in a western nation, if it bothers you just don't look!

So I'm trying to live by the mantra of be proud! But yesterday I was struggling, I was driving along Mika album blaring out and "Big Girls" came on, I had stopped at traffic lights, near a building site and I turned it all the way down, embarrassed by my feeling of self worth! I think this is probably why "YES" magazine went out of business, we wouldn't want people to think we very happy in ourselves, happy enough to buy a magazine about it! I don't want to feel less that confident, I'm the one who has to look myself in the mirror no one else, so I need to build up my inner strength!

Post script, in case you were wondering why I keep using picture of Beth Ditto in my posts, it's funny, she's the same weight and size as I am...so that's why! I just wish I had her youth and her talent!

Never Enough TV

Forget about making the ceiling support it. Don't worry about having enough room to walk around. Just use this:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sammy no shoulders II - the slithering

Feck it. MW Beat me to the punch. We're getting a snake.

Started off fairly innocently, looking at the fish tanks disguised as plasma screens (which were almost as expensive as a real plasma screen and, let's face it, would have roughly the same level of intelligent entertainment on it)


The frozen, vacuum packed mice and rats (really got interested now, my 12 year old self was positively jumping up and down inside)

And then the lizards, scorpions (what sort of crazy fucker needs to buy a scorpion as some sort of crazed status symbol? And can you imagine the late night parties? "C'mere Donal, let me take out spiky... Aw crap, where's he gone? Everyone, up on your chairs") and snakes

And then there was the little one. We're getting one of them. Primarily because there's so little actual maintenance involved and also because it's going to be really cool to see him eat a whole mouse every week.

He had me at "hisssssssssssss"

More of the deep stuff

I can't remember which blog I posted this on (what?!  I have 5!), so I'm putting it here again, cause I don't think it was on this one.  No, it wasn't, cause someone who had the same situation, but on the other side, answered me, I'm remembering now.

We were at the lovely farmer's market they have on a Sunday, and said hello to a nice woman we peripherally know (I know her husband more).  I was out with the husband and the baby, pushing the baby in the pram.  And when we walked away, I felt *horrible*.

She and I were pregnant at the same time.  She with twins, and having a lovely pregnancy, me with just the one, with my head in the loo all the time.  The due date was about 3 months ahead of me, and we had the same doctor at Holles St. I heard then that she went in, and the babies were born okay (section, I think?).  But they were in ICU.  For a long time.  And then I heard, from the dad, that they were having problems breathing.  They were in ICU, and then they were transferred to a hospital in Sweden, for some specialist care.  And that's where the twins died.

God, it's tearing me up to write this.  I didn't know that they died until the Christmas concert in LittleBoy's school, when one of the moms, who was looking at BabyBoy started tearing up and explained why (see, she knew them too, and I didn't know we both knew 'em).  Since that day, I've felt freaking HORRIBLE every time I see them.  One time, I think the first time the Dad saw BabyBoy, he scooped him up out of the pram and was dancing on the street with him.  It was lovely, and he does give BabyBoy extra attention when we see him.  But it tears me up inside...the same feeling that I had when I saw the pregnancy test come up positive.  Why me?  Why not the people who *want* babies (I'm not one of those mums who always wanted to be a mum)?  I have plenty who have gone through too much IVF and heartache, they should be the ones getting pregnant (could that be why my pregnancy sucked so much?).

Anyway, we see her again, and the only thing I can think is "Is she thinking how old the twins would be now?"  I KNOW it's worse for her.  And that, while she'll never get over it, she's moving past it (another thing I know a little about, since my oldest brother died about 15 years ago).

Gods, this has gotten longer than I thought it would.  But it's one of those little things that really effects (affects?) you, when you're someone who is me.

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