Sunday, December 30, 2007
Knowing me as you do, have any of you any suggestions?
Friday, December 28, 2007
- 2 new dresses, one blue, one flowery, each of which cost me just €3 (one of them kinda looks it).
- Another dress that's just fucking mental looking. I can't find any photos of it on Zara's website so you'll just have to use your imaginations. Black jersey material, puffball sleeves, white pussy bow at the collar, short tulip skirt. I'll be taking Galway by storm tomorrow. Or by surprise anyway.
- Black jeans. How very retro.
- Ruffled french knickers. Because I'm classy.
- A nice ginger body scrub, to slough away my hangovers.
- My gazillionth pair of shoes (sorry, Red). I was going to go for some pointy toed stilettos in Nine West in honour of a shoe fetishist I'm fond of, but I fell for a pair of brogue shoe boots in the end. Much more me.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Chuala mé an oíche cheana gur bhris sé suas lena chailín. Bhíodar le chéile ar feadh na blianta. Bhí sé amhrasach faoin gcaidreamh le tamaill sách fada (cé go ndéarfadh sé sin liomsa ar aon nós, is dócha). Cé gur chas mé leis cúpla uair, ní rabhamar le chéile ach an t-aon uair amháin sin, breis agus bliain ó sin. Deacair an tionchar a bhí ag an oíche sin ar an mbeirt orainn a chreidiúint. Ní fhacamar a chéile ó shin mar go bhfuil cónaí air thall i Sasana. Mí nó dhó ó shin chuir me stop leis an gcomhfhreagras eadrainn, níorbh fhiú dom an chrá croí a tharraingt orm féin fhad agus a bhí sé fós ag siúl amach léi.
Agus ansin dúradh liom thar dinnéar an oíche cheana go bhfuil siad scartha. Gur eisean a chur deireadh leis. Tuigim go mbeidh sé trína chéile, nach mbeidh sé ceart ná réidh le smaoineamh ar éinne eile fiú ar feadh i bhfad. Ach chur mé ríomhphost chuige, dhá líne, díreach le rá go raibh an scéal cloiste agam, go bhfuil súil agam go bhfuil sé okay agus go bhfuil mé ag smaoineamh air.
Gach seans go mbeidh aiféala orm. Ach b'éigin dom dul sa seans.
So imagine my surprise a few years ago when my sister went in to the other room to fetch my present and emerged with a hamster. The lady in the pet shop had been reluctant to sell him to my mother, worried that the child wouldn't appreciate the gift. "She's 21..." When they got him home they opened the boot of the car to find him swinging from the bars of his cage by his little pink feet. I was thrilled with him. He was like a little ball of cotton wool, brilliant white with bright pink eyes. And he was mad.
I named him Heimlich after the manoeuvre because when I fed him each day he'd stuff his cheeks with the entire contents of the food dish and then wait until I'd left the room to squirrel it away under his bedding, presumably in case I changed my mind and decided to take it back. He soon grew large and portly, so I trained him to do trapeze across the bars of his cage (for banana chips) and got him one of those exercise ball thingys which he used to chase the big dog around the kitchen. He'd sleep all day while I was at college, I'd wake him for playtime in the evenings. One day when I woke him I noticed he was a bit off, when I took him out to play he started walking around in circles, agitated and unable to turn to the right. I looked like an absolute tit sitting in the vet's, cradling a shoebox, tears in my eyes. The prognosis was grave; it was either a bad cold which had caused his brain to swell (!) or a tumour. The vet injected him with an antibiotic and a sedative and told me to bring him back the following day if there was no improvement. He recovered but it knocked him back, a few weeks later I went to wake him and found that he'd died in his sleep.
My brother and I gave him a funeral in the front garden, where the dogs would be less likely to dig him up and present him to me at the breakfast table some morning. We buried him under the daffodils, in an empty Tampax box. Snivelling, we waved at the neighbours who were seeing some visitors off. Two twentysomethings burying tampons in the flowerbeds... Just another Sunday afternoon in Naas.
Nothing is curing this hangover.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Her parish church is massive, it must have a capacity of 1500 or more. The congregation on Sunday numbered about 60. Most of them were alone, most of them were middle aged or older. Almost all of them chose to sit alone too - whatever mass gives them, it's not the comfort of a sense of community. The liturgy was familiar from my years of attending mass as a child; there is some consolation in the routine of standing, sitting, kneeling, going through the motions. So far, so inoffensive. Until we got to the homily (the priest's chance to freestyle for a few moments after the gospel has been read). This week's topic? Vaginae.
Did you know that the Virgin Mary was a virgin? "She was a virgin prior to the conception of Our Lord. A virgin even after his birth, for through some miracle she was not defiled by the act of giving birth, her virginity remained intact. She chose to preserve her pure and virginal status ever after". Words bellowed in admiration by a celibate man in his mid seventies who has presumably never seen a vagina and thinks himself the better for it. It grates on me that the Catholic faith worships its leading lady for her intact hymen above all else.
The plural of vagina is vaginae. Who knew? (not I)
- Make gingerbread men
- Walk the mutts
- Make a turkey and ham pie
- Reply to all the messages I've gotten over the last two days
- Go out, get festive, find a man under some mistletoe
Monday, December 24, 2007
These things do seem to happen around Christmas time, but it may be no bad thing. I feel lucky that there is so much else going on to lift the spirits, so much love and support on hand, so many welcome distractions. We had another family gathering this afternoon, the one over which he usually presides, dickied up in his Santa suit (stuffed with pillows) to dole out the presents. I had expected a subdued affair but he had rallied so much by this morning that everyone was in buoyant humour, so we drank a toast to his health and made with the merry. Hopefully tomorrow's turkey and ham will go a ways to restoring him to health, and he'll be back to my nana soon. She'll miss him tonight.
Fuck it, I thought, brimming with vodka and confidence, he's cute and he smells very nice. He's also 6'6 in height, and you don't see that every day. He's dull and he's not getting my phone number, but I quite fancy a kiss at the end of the night. It's Christmas, after all.
Closing time was approaching and people were making noises about taxis and house parties. He shuffled uncomfortably, looked anxiously at me and then made his pitch.
"So, um, yeah, um, would you like to go outside? Or maybe around the corner?"
Friday, December 21, 2007
I sometimes worry that I'm wasting my talents.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The Leitrim Lady was warning the Swede that there'd be trouble if he hadn't gotten us another Dublin Fire Brigade calendar this year, as she has a bit of a thing for firemen. "Nah, firemen don't really do it for me" I prattled, rolling like a steam train into the rest of the sentence while my inner voice screamed for me to shut the fuck up, as she knows from past experience what to expect. "There is one profession I've always had a thing for, but it's a bit weird..." As soon as I had that much said, I knew I'd regret it. I declined to say any more so they started guessing, loudly, waiting to see me turn pink. They guessed it and I'm not sure whose face was more of a picture, the Leitrim Lady's or mine.
They know too much.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I had a numb arse all morning.
The canal bank walk to work was so lovely this morning that I stopped a while and took a seat beside Paddy Kavanagh. Smoked a cigarette and sat there just thinking for a bit. It was nice. I was never crazy about Kavanagh's poetry (Paul Durcan and Dermot Bolger are more my style) but today it seemed to fit the morning.
From green and blue things and arguments that cannot be proven.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
And man, can she scream. I sat there, bottle in hand, stroking her cheek and cooing soothingly, as distressed as she was and feeling like her wicked stepmother. She settled after about 10 minutes, thank fuck, and she's been sleeping peacefully ever since. I know because I've been checking every 3 seconds or so, terrified that anything might happen to her, or worse, that she might wake and start screaming blue murder at me again.
It's hard not to take it personally when a baby makes strange with you. I worry that I've no natural aptitude for it, that this squalling, hiccuping, 5 month old redhead can sense my anxiety and is planning to exploit it. That I'm somehow less of a woman because of all of this, and I've already got a complex about being a bit of a tomboy. Typically, I never really wanted kids until I was warned that I might have trouble having them. Now I worry that I might not get to have a suspicious, squalling hiccuper of my own.
Not that I plan on it any time soon, mind you. I really like my sleep, you see.
Monday, December 17, 2007
(complete with tips for the cautious drinker)
in joint Second Place we have:
Buckfast and Bulmers
Vodka and White (Lemonade)
Gin and West Coast Cooler
Tia Maria and Milk (with Kahlua and/or Vodka as optional extras)
Gin and Bitter Lemon
Jaegermeister and Red Bull
***New***Vodka with Lemonade, Lime Cordial and Water
but First Place goes to:
Campari and Orange Juice
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Bee Movie or Enchanted?
Neither. Things to do (not really, but I will conjure up something)
Boo Hoo. Maybe I will go to both. In a row. maybe it would put me in the right frame of mind for Mr. Magorium's Magic Emporium. Maybe not.
Sick. Sick and wrong.
Says the girl who rates a movie based on whether someone loses an ear.
Violence is sexy!
As testified to by the scratches on your kitchen table.
Honestly, I have no idea what he could be referring to.
I mentioned recently my theory that people do not like funny women (just as they do not like very clever ones) and last night's programme appears to support my complaint. I know the programme was dire, I know the "experiments" were clumsy and are far from scientifically valid, etc. Nonetheless, the results sounded depressingly familiar. The experiment was thus: Two actors were sent speed-dating, two weeks in a row. On week one they were advised to be average, attentive but not funny. The man scored just one tick out out of 20 potential dates, whereas the woman scored 10. Second time around they were told to be funny, as witty and humorous as possible. His chances increased five fold, hers halved.
The conclusion drawn was that being funny is seen as a socially dominant trait and whereas women find that very attractive in a man (I agree), men tend to find it threatening in a woman and thus unattractive (told you so). The actor's assessment of it was interesting - once she stayed quiet and let people talk about themselves they were much more receptive to her. The psychologist surmised that the sense of humour most valued in a woman is an ability to laugh at her partner's jokes, rather than a propensity for cracking them herself. The vox pops were unanimous, both men and women professed to prefer funny people. Put to the test though it doesn't seem to ring true. How depressing.
So it's back to batting eyelashes and smiling shyly for me.
The programme's experiments also indicated that chat up lines don't work at all. Take note please, gentlemen.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
This has happened before. Last time it was in the wee small hours of the morning, he'd fallen out of bed and she couldn't lift him from the floor. She went to call the neighbour for help and ended up stopping a man on a bicycle who was passing on the street. He came in, helped her to get Granda back to bed, made sure there was nothing else she needed or nobody she wanted him to call and then headed off on his way again. "Like a modern-day St. Martin de Porres, he was" she told me the next day, St. Martin being the only non-white saint in her canon (the cyclist was black). It's tiring and upsetting to see these incidents becoming more frequent for them. It's gratifying that she'll call here when she knows she needs cheering though (she phoned there a little while ago to thank me for the tea - "I feel like I've had a little holiday!") and if that's all I can do for the moment, so be it. I still have good craic with him even though he's talking through his hole a lot these days (imaginary dogs and and excess of toilets are the topics du jour - he reckons his house has 6 bathrooms at the moment... it has two) and we're all learning to cope.
Still, my heart went out to Annie when I read her post this morning, and to Terry Pratchett and his legions of fans when I saw his sad news. His humour, as ever, is good for the soul.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
It was really good to spend the few hours talking like we did, but demanding too. When you spend little time alone, you tend to make it count and I found some of our conversations difficult. Ever anxious to know how I am and how I'm getting on, he wastes no time in asking me. Asking me about yesterday's visit to the doctor, my progress, the consequences and how I'm feeling about them. Talking to me about work, how I'm doing for myself there and where I see my job going. Enquiring after my mental health, whether I still have black days and how I manage them. Congratulating me on looking well, doing well, feeling well and expressing myself with honesty, diplomacy and grace.
For my part I'm just as inquisitive, and he answers me with the same warm candour. There's a lot I don't know about my dad and where he comes from. He tells me about it over dinners like these, or when we go walking, or on long car journeys. Some of it is very hard to hear; his childhood was very different to the one himself and mam have given me. I know I can be an awful whingebag sometimes (for my own amusement, often as not) but I also know that I have a lot to be grateful for.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Only 6 of the 100 who featured are women. I've been saying it for a long time and people disagree with me for the most part but I remain convinced that people do not like funny women, just as they do not like very clever ones. A sweeping generalisation, I know, but when it comes to the braying masses I think it's true. Shane Hegarty touched on it before when he wondered why Maeve Higgins has never appeared on The Panel and Una summed it up nicely in her comment on said post: The deeper meaning: women aren’t supposed to be as funny as men in all in anyways, so let’s just rotate pretty people that have a media profile.
I don't think I'm a feminist (I'm not sure though, because I'm not too sure what "feminist" means). There are times when I feel duty bound to stand up for myself and my vagina though. I'm due to attend a seminar tomorrow on women in the workplace, which I have mixed emotions about. It sounds very 1970s girlpower, doesn't it? I was telling the Gorilla about it a while ago, and he was appalled to think that such a thing might be necessary in 2007. Being an equinanimous sort he found it hard to imagine that anyone would feel at a disadvantage because of their sex (except when it comes to relationships, where for some reason he believes women to have an advantage. Looking at him, I don't fucking think so). I was telling him about how I've experienced it in work with the likes of this shitehawk and how I often hear women in positions of power being spoken of in very masculine terms. I say I have mixed emotions about it because I too would like to think that such a seminar is not necessary, just as I'd like to think that mace and attack alarms are not necessary for the walk home after a night out. I'll be interested to hear what they have to say.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
I don't do it with everyone, just those who already know and love me (and are duty bound to listen to me). Gingerbeard and the New Daddy got the brunt of it the other night (and I do mean the brunt of it; I was stressed out before the gig in case people didn't show and once the place had filled up, I kinda let loose...) but they're both still talking to me.
Friday, December 07, 2007
What harm indeed.
I was walking at a fair pace along Nassau St when a man caught up with me and asked directions to the Burlington Hotel. I gave him directions and he offered to walk with me for a bit, given that we were going the same way anyway. He seemed pleasant, charming even. Olivier, a Frenchman, new to Dublin and working with American Airlines. From the get go he made with the flattery, telling me how beautiful I was, how charming, how I was the first Irish girl he'd spoken to who wasn't completely up her own hole and who didn't belong in London. Embarrassed, I fended him off as best I could. No, I'm not the most beautiful girl you've ever seen. Don't be silly. No, I am not fascinating. No, my job does not make me a cultural patriot. No, there are plenty of women in Dublin who are just like I am, only more so. No, there is no need to carry my bag for me. No, I'm okay thanks, I'd rather not hold your hand. I kept conversation as neutral as I could in the face of his come-ons and over-the-top flattery but by the time we reached my apartment block it was clear that he was gunning for an invitation. And equally clear to him that one would not be forthcoming, despite promises of dinner, flowers and eternal love.
So he gripped me by the wrists and pinned me against the gate before I could get my key into the lock.
I feel sick thinking about it.
I extricated myself, told him politely that I had appreciated his company for the stroll home but that he was making me uncomfortable now and that I really wanted to go home. He kept trying. I repeated myself, pushed against him, wriggled from his grip. He tried to catch me again, but I'd gotten my key in the lock. I slipped through the outer gate and closed it behind me, and asked him to leave. He asked if he could come in to use the bathroom, and tried to grab the strap of my handbag through the railings as I backed away from them. When I said no, again repeating that I was going to bed and that I'd like him to leave, he shouted that I was not the woman he'd thought I was, that my face was that of someone completely different and that he was disappointed in me.
I've never before felt unsafe walking home in my city, up my street.
Fuck him. With a capital F.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
What could go wrong, right?
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Miss M and I had been drinking of an evening with her elder brother and as ever were reluctant to go home before we absolutely had to, so he offered to bring us along to a party. It was a crazy shirt party (should that be krazy with a K?) being hosted by some of his crazy middle-aged friends (though now that I'm 26 I realise that they were probably in their early thirties at most). We were already crazy drunk by the time we arrived. Noticeably so. Covered in scratches from a tumble into some bushes en route we barrelled in full of beans and made with the merrymaking. The next couple of hours are a bit of a blur (I do know I spent much of the night in the garden, smoking) but another brother of Miss M's arrived in the wee small hours, straight from shift, and upon seeing the state we were in decided he'd drive us home before settling in to a beer himself. Miss M, it transpired, had neither budged from her perch on the couch nor removed her coat. She'd methodically eaten her way through all the chips and was eating what was left of the dips with her fingers, a happy, sticky mess. I was eventually lured in from the garden by the promise of a lift home and steered towards the front door, Miss M trailing along behind me. I opened the door, and there he was.
Jack Lukeman AKA Jack L, the finest thing to come out of Athy, well, ever.
I'll admit I'm a fan. I saw him there, inches from my face, and distinctly remember thinking play it cool. "Oh FUCK!" I screamed "IT'S JACK L!"
He politely stepped aside to let me past, but of course I stood there grinning like a loon, rooted to the spot. Eventually he had to squeeze through the doorway to get past me, so I promptly turned on my heel and followed him back in, leaving my chauffeur in the car looking pissed off and Miss M still trailing along behind me. Realising I hadn't been as nonchalant in the face of celebrity as I'd like I tried to redeem myself by ignoring him and talking instead to/at his friend, only to overhear Miss M shouting SHE'S YOUR BIGGEST FAN at him and pointing emphatically in my direction.
Thankfully her brother eventually dragged us out and put us in the car. I woke up the next morning to a sore head, a red face and a kitchen sticky with Advocaat and vodka (we'd tried making Baby Guinnesses but had none of the ingredients, so improvised). Possibly not one of my better public appearances.
Write my novel
Spend a year in London
Get my novel published to critical acclaim and win the Booker
Spend a year in Paris
Win a Nobel prize
Spend a year in Australia
Climb a sizeable mountain
Have Adrien Brody fall in love with me and ask me to marry him
Today's post was inspired by Davey, whose lifelong dream is to present (not win) an award (read: loser) and last night's viewing of The Darjeeling Limited (which I liked very much).
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Oh. That's nice.
Monday, December 03, 2007
The three of us were in the sitting room later when I got a text on my phone, from the Leitrim Lady (all of 3 feet away).
So the good news is he didn't buy you what he was originally thinking of, in fact he got you a nice present. His original thought was an inflatable man and when he told me he got what he was looking for only in a different colour I thought it was a black inflatable doll...
He's a lucky man to have such a sage advisor. Last year we had a Christmas dinner with a few friends and he insisted that I open my present first. I tore back the paper to reveal a gift box from La Senza and everybody held their breath while I lifted the lid (me thinking if this is a lace teddy and suspenders, this cunt is moving out) only to reveal a cuddly pink hot water bottle that say Huggable across the front.
Reminding me of my single status via a large wind-filled man effigy would not have gone down well. He skates on thin ice, does the Swede.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Crucial Moments Leading Up To His Arrest
The man with the long sticky-out nose
pulled his trousers up so high
that he couldn't see where he was going
so he opened up his fly
and peeped out to have a look.
I have cried
and cried and cried
for the dreams
of you and me
that got destroyed
the excitement of hope
and the crash
of breaking futures.
Who dares wins!
pearl of shite,
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Pat's an Irish institution, a relic of my childhood. I love his poems, the humour and the humanity of them. Sometimes they make me feel very sad and worried for him. I've bought books from him a couple of times when he was having a bad day (I've never bought one in a shop). He was gruff and I was disappointed, which is funny as I don't expect any of the other authors I read to entertain me as I make a purchase. Today was a good day though, he greeted my hello with a beaming smile and chatted to me about his books. I asked him to write the dedication in Irish and asked him as Gaeilge, eliciting another smile. Tá Gaeilge álainn agat, a deir sé, Gaeilge ón chroí. I'd love to have stayed and talked with him for longer, maybe got him a cup of coffee and kept him company for a while. He has an extraordinary warmth and energy about him, an air of eccentricity and giddiness, and loneliness. I'd love to have stayed, but I didn't. I lacked the courage, afraid that I'd impose, or bore him. I regret it now; he's man enough to tell me to piss off home if he doesn't want me annoying him and who knows, he might have been gumming for a cup of coffee.
Tomorrow I'll post one of my favourite poems of Pat's. I'm too fuckin tired tonight though, after my interrupted night's sleep...