Wednesday, January 30, 2008

You've Been Flirting Again

I had an absolute cunt of a day in work today. Approaching deadlines, encroaching work experience students, technical glitches, bureaucratic hitches. A ton of stupid shit that needs to be sorted, oh, some time last week. And I looked like I was having one of those days in work, too. I'd gotten up late this morning having gone to bed last night with damp hair, leaving me with a do like an extra from the Lion King. Jeans, blah jumper, grumpy scowl. Hot. I headed out late morning to do a few things around the village. Get my boots fixed after wearing the heels off them at the weekend, pick up my medication, buy some lunch. And returned half an hour later perplexed but much cheered.

First to the cobbler's; a cheeky redheaded chap as befits his profession. So when would you like to come back and see me? Cue a quizzical look from me (surely he can't be flirting with me?) and then an embarrassed pause from him. Come back, I mean - to collect your boots?

Then to the chemist's to get my prescription filled. What's your address? Right. Oh, I have another address here, a Rathmines one? Oh. (again? Come off it...) You're a very mysterious lady then, aren't you? Keeping me guessing... I can't be sure as I was panicking and backing slowly out the door at this point, but I think he may actually have winked at me.

Feathers ruffled, I headed in to the deli next door to buy lunch (well, Monster Munch, if I'm honest, but I decided that a turkey sandwich wouldn't kill me). I stood waiting for the sandwich man to finish chatting to his mate, pretending not to earwig on their conversation but trying to keep my sniggers to myself (he's funny). Finally it was my turn. So, what gossip have you got for me? I'll trade you salacious gossip for a sandwich. You look like you might have something good to share.

WHAT THE FUCK?

I'm going to work unwashed and dressed up like a car crash from now on. It seems to work for me, at least with the village shopkeeps.

At Least The Gaeilge List Is A Shorter One

Trailing along behind as I am in the Gaeilgeface category, I really don't think Paddy Powers would fancy my chances in the other categories. My personal catharses have earned me some sympathy votes in the Popularity Contest Best Personal Blog category and my greenness has earned me a nod in the Best New Kid On The Block category, but the competition is fierce.

I do it for myself!
It's just a hobby, I don't really put much store by it.
So what if nobody reads it?


I'd love a prize.

Woo Hoo!

Aitheantas sa deireadh thiar as úsáid fánach na Gaeilge ar an mblag! Seachain do thóin, Rua... Dáiríre, is mór an onóir é go bhfuil éinne sásta an seafóid seo a léamh fiú, gan trácht ar í a mheas agus smaoineamh ar duais a bhronnadh orm aisti. Mar a luaigh mé cheana, táim sáite sa Ghaeilge amuigh ansin i saol na hoibre agus coinním an spás seo le haghaidh seafóid phearsanta, i mBéarla don chuid is mó ar mhaithe le m'fhíor persona grata a choinneáil faoi cheilt. Ach briseann an dúchas trí shúile an chait, agus is deas iad na deiseanna atá tagtha i mo threo de bharr úsáid na Gaeilge anseo ó am go chéile. Cuireadh le colún a scríobh in iris; Iris clóite (probably... sé sin gach seans go mbeidh sé clóite seachas ar fáil ar líne amháin)... Blagáil anois mar chatagóir i gcomórtais liteartha an Oireachtais... Iomrá ar an nGaeilge agus blagáil sna meáin... Léitheoirí ó gach coirneáil den domhain a thagann anseo ar mhaithe le raiméis mar gheall ar buachaillí agus ólachán a léamh trí Ghaeilge... Agus pleidhce amháin thall i Londain a rinne tréaniarracht (le cabhair ó Focal.ie) breacadh amháin a aistriú go Béarla mar gur cheap sé go raibh sé ag déanamh trácht dó féin. Níl teorainn lena ego, is cosúil.

Tá sé de phribhléid agam bheith in ann an teanga ab ansa liom a úsáid go laethúil, san obair, lem' chairde. Mothaím ciontach, uaireanta, nach scríobhaim inti anseo. Ach ag deireadh an lae, fuck it. Má tá roinnt agaibh anseo díreach ar mhaithe leis an nGaeilge a léamh, roinnt agaibh toilteanach freagraí a scríobh i nGaeilge agus roinnt eile fiosrach a dhóthain le iarracht a dhéanamh na breacthaí Gaeilge a aistriú, is leor sin dom' ego féin i láthair na huaire.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Brain Go Kabloom

One thing I should not do to unwind after a very long day in work is settle down with a nice cup of tea to watch former D:Ream keyboardist and bona fide ridey particle physicist Dr. Brian Cox explain the mysteries of the universe to me. I am spectacularly shit at any form of math or science and I can't manage basic numerical tasks such as addition and subtraction - never mind grasp the intricacies of quantum mechanics.

I'm tired now and ready for bed but instead I'm sitting here in front of my laptop worrying about spacetime.

Very Large Headphones As A Form Of Non-Verbal Communication

I have very small ears. Very very small ears. So small that I cannot fit those annoying little i-pod style headphones into them, and so must wear big jumbo DJ style earmuffy headphones instead. For a time their special-needs ridiculousness was emphasised by the fact that my mp3 was a tiny 1gb thing, about half the size of the earpieces. I now have a large, ungainly i-pod, between that and the headphones I may as well carry a boombox to work.

They have their advantages though. On a practical level, they keep my ears warm on cold days, insulate me from the annoying prattle of the world around me and generally allow me to walk around in a bubble, colouring the world to fit my mood (note: I've learned -the hard way- not to wear them when I have a jittery hangover). To chuggers, salespeople and crazy motherfuckers on the bus they say: I cannot hear you, don't waste your time.

But to cute boys who also wear big jumbo DJ style earmuffy headphones they seem to say: Hello... what are you listening to?

Durty Talk

The Chancer this morning takes an affectionate swipe at Ros na Rún and the raw sex appeal of Connemara budgies, but they've also included this link to Irish phrases to use with your child. My mind's in the gutter this morning and all I can think of when I read them is a recent request to talk dirty as Gaeilge (bizarrely, this happens more often than you would think. It takes all sorts, eh?). I defy you to read them yourself and keep a straight face...


Tá sé sin go deas - That’s nice
Is maith liom é - I like it
An maith leatsa é? - Do you like it?
Ar mhaith leat briosca? - Would you like a biscuit?
Ba mhaith - I would
Maith thú - Good for you
Maith an cailín - Good girl
Ba mhaith liom péint dhearg - I’d like red paint
Féach ar seo - Look at this
Go raibh maith agat - Thank you
Fáilte romhat - You’re welcome
Cad ta á dhéanamh agat? - What are you doing?
Táim ag súgradh - I’m playing
Níl tú ag féachaint orm - You’re not looking at me
Tá sí ag gol/caoineadh - She’s crying
Thit sé ar an urlár - It fell on the floor
An féidir leat é a fháil? - Can you get it?
Is féidir - I can...

Sex And The City

He had an idea for a book; something with popular appeal, cheeky, topical and with a sense of humour. The kind of book that would be labelled sassy were he a woman. All about dating, relationships, sex; men, women and the internet (to give it that "modern" twist). He mentioned it because were he to write it, there'd be a chapter in it on me.

He seemed genuinely surprised by my less than enthusiastic response.

I am constantly appalled at people's total and utter lack of cop-on when it comes to affairs of the head, heart and/or the bits in between. Surely he should know that I would never be okay with being a chapter in a book? No matter how brief the affair I will always want to be Erato, not Carrie fucking Bradshaw.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Reasons To Keep A Man In The House #1

Beans Means I'm Really Hungry And Haven't Bothered To Go Shopping. Again.

It's just taken me 25 minutes to open a tin of beans. And even then I managed to spill some. Where the fuck is the Swede when you need him?

Why My Head Still Hurts On Monday Evening

Things I Was Supposed To Do This Weekend:
  • Go to see a film with the New Daddy and maybe have a drink (note the singular) in the cinema bar (where it's safe to say you'll only have the one because it's like drinking in the lobby of an unpleasantly cheap hotel).
  • Meet Annie and Jenna for cocktails, Scrabble and gossip about boys.
Things I Wasn't Supposed To Do This Weekend:
  • Have a cocktail party where I drank all of the cocktails and everyone else drank beer. And then go out.
  • Pay €6.10 for a pint in a disgracefully unhip city centre bar.
  • Buy rounds of Jaegerbombs on my already-into-the-overdraft Laser card and think it some kind of free money and booze deal when the barman consents to give me cash back (note: not in the same bar, I'd have needed the credit card to buy them there).
  • Drink the bottle of champagne that the Leitrim Lady presented me with on my last birthday and that had been kept back for a "special occasion". Am now pretty sure that bringing a drunk brother, two of his friends and comatose Polish man back to your flat does not constitute such a special occasion.
  • Tuck the comatose Pole up with a blanket on the couch and head off with the other three to a rave in an underground garage, to dirty dance like an uncoordinated epileptic until it was very very bright outside.
  • Not go straight to sleep when I did finally get home. In fact, not go to sleep at all.
  • Send Annie a rambling, shambling, apologetic text message begging for a raincheck.
Had I done what I was supposed to do I'm pretty sure I would have two new friends and a bruised ego after a serious Scrabble shitkicking. However, chances are I'd also have a nasty tummy bug, as the New Parents and Fake Neice all caught a dose of something rotten. Having done instead what I wasn't supposed to do at all I now have one of the worst hangovers in living memory and a big shiteating grin to go with it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Please Call Again

No post today, Rosie's incapacitated. She outdid herself last night, and again this morning. In fact she pretty much kept it up til mid afternoon. Now she's paying for it.

Come back tomorrow. And bring biscuits, she'll probably be hungry.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Height Restrictions

The Littlest Red and I got stuck behind some lanky Poles at the gig last night and spent much of the evening on tippy toe, trying to see the DJ do, well, not very much really but that's not the point. We concluded that folk should be graded by height on the way in, with a shortarse section up the front, beanpole corner down the back and an average joe paddock in the middle. The Littlest Red is, as her name suggests, very little. Five foot three and three quarters, she tells me, with the pride of someone telling you that they're nine years, three months and six days old. At five foot seven and a half (see, I do it too!) I'm amazonian by comparison but I've always wanted to be either smaller (petite, like she is) or taller; properly tall, statuesque.

We'd been discussing this in the beer garden and when we came back inside I spotted just such a girl. She must have been six foot in her heels, blunt bob haircut, rangy limbs, confident swagger. Yeah, I thought, that's exactly what I'd go for. I turned around to point her out to the other pair as an illustration of the ideal I'd been trying to explain to them when I heard someone admiringly exclaim "Jaysus! Look at that big bitch!"

*sigh*

I Think I'm Turning Japanese

I arrived into work about an hour and a half late this morning after badgering my brother into giving me a lift and laughing unhelpfully ("Ha ha! Parkingsons!") as he executed a perfect 27-point-turn into the smallest space in the car park. Drinking on a school night is neither big nor clever but fuck it, it's good fun. It makes for a long Friday though.

We were in the Sugar Club last night where Mr. Hideaki Ishii was strutting his stuff. Or rather, shrugging unassumingly behind his decks while the assembled audience of trendies went fucking mental. I've never seen so many cool haircuts and ironic beards in the one room. Luckily our friend the Littlest Red, my brother and I are all extremely cool and trendy too (she has a mullet, he has an ironic beard, I have an ironic iconic sense of style; she's a photographer, he's a designer, I'm a joke social butterfly) so we fitted right in. The crowd were Cool As Ice, self consciously slouching in their skinny jeans and obscure pop reference t-shirts, sucking on Tiger beers and ironic Guinness to go with their ironic beards. Heads nodded approvingly for The Hideous Penguin and Sebi C's inspired support set. Then Krush strolled out onto the stage and all pretence at chic ennui went out the window. He shrugged his shoulders and flexed his arms, they roared. He shook off his jacket and I swear the guy beside me had an orgasm.

And then he played.

I want to be a DJ when I grow up.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Googlechatting

19:38
Dear Jesus, please make Rosie better soon so I can ... [censored - it was something to do with puppies and sugarlumps but I don't want to ruin his carefully constructed image of himself as a misogynistic prick] love LC.

19:41
Also, Jesus, if you are still listening, please could you give Rosie a prod to see if she is awake, because I'm worried I might be talking to myself here.

19:44
OK Jesus, don't worry about it, I think I'll go and watch No Country for Old Men so I can write a kick-ass review on my blog.

A Very Nice Surprise

Well, sort of a surprise. She'd told me it was on its way, but I'd forgotten. Lady Red's mix tape Songs from the Red Scrapbook arrived in yesterday's post. I love it. I'm going to make one for her in return (though mine won't have pretty joined-up writing on it as I never did master that in school). I'd rather return her kind favour by doing something I'm actually good at, but as neither curries nor cocktails travel well by post, a mix tape it shall be.

Not that it won't be great - I think you'll see from my track record that I have excellent taste in everything; movies, men and music. It'll be slow, dirty, funny and probably full of beeps and whistles. Anyway, if you're into that sort of thing and you want a copy for yourself, I suppose I could send you one. Seeing as I'm at it. If you email me nicely*. Don't think it makes you special or anything though.

*Lurkers welcome. Yes, you, the ones that read this and never ever comment. This is an elaborate ploy to flush you fuckers out.

Regrets? I've Had A Few

  • Replying "kinda, sure work away!" when the dentist asked me if I still had any sensation in my jaw (turns out I needed two more doses of anaesthetic).
  • Using the 20 minutes of mild euphoria experienced after leaving the dentist's to buy unfashionable and ugly runners to go jogging in.
  • Deciding to walk home.
  • Wearing plimsolls today when wellies would have been more appropriate.
  • Making a "cheer up" cup of tea when my face is so numb that I can't blink, never mind sip like a lady.
  • Spilling said tea all over my duvet (for I have retreated to bed with my book in a huff).
  • Eating just half of my lunch when I should have known solids would be off the menu later.
  • Agreeing to go to fucking Cavan next weekend to speak about something that I don't really understand at a conference for bored and hungover students.
Still, tomorrow my brother turns the same age as me and to celebrate we're heading to The Sugar Club for what promises to be a very good night.

A Nasty Surprise

My favourite Heath Ledger tribute so far: spEak You're bRanes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Run Wild, Run Free

I hate Tuesday night telly. Come hell or high water, the Leitrim Lady makes it home in time for Prison Break (which is admittedly chock full of ridey tattooed men, but is so risible and convoluted plot-wise that it could star Adrien Brody and I wouldn't watch it*). How can something with so many "plot" "twists" be so fucking dull?

I watch Hollyoaks. I'm not hard to please.

Then it's followed by Desperate Horseshit, with that abomination Teri Hatcher doing a very convincing impression of someone I'd have to kick in the shins if I ever met her in real life. The only character in it that I felt any modicum of affection for (Lynette) got cancer.

So what to do instead? I decided I'd tire myself out so that I could retire early to bed and not feel that I was missing anything by... going for a run. Well, a jog. Jog #3 of my secret (not anymore) New Year's Resolution To Start Running Jogging. I think my curves are very attractive but it seems that many would beg to differ, so motivated by that and by FatMammyCat's making it sound so bloody easy, I decided I'd give it a go. Besides, I'd given my little bedroom telly to Crash Grandadicoot when he started failing a while back and my room is a complete fucking tip at the moment, so were I to retire there to, I dunno, read a book or something, I'd feel I had to make some effort to tidy it. Going for a jog just seemed easier. It would have been too, had I not the lung capacity of an asthmatic midget smoker. Runs #1 and #2 were miserable, snotty, cold affairs. Run #3 was, well, more of the same.

I'm back in my room now, burrowing into the mess with my laptop and my book (Michael Collins' The Keepers of Truth) and if I breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth slowly for the next few hours I'm hoping that my face might return to some semblance of a normal colour by morning.

*Lie

Yowl!

A rambling vignette, inspired in equal parts by last night's nightmares and Davey's post on censorship.

I've been woken the last two nights by horrible nightmares; blurry ones with lots of screaming and scary monsters. Nothing new there, but then last night I was out on the balcony enjoying a cigarette when I heard the very same sounds coming from the apartment block's underground car park. The hairs rose up on the back of my neck. Perhaps the last week and a half's cocktail of over-the-counter cold remedies was finally taking its toll and causing hallucinations? I stuck my head tentatively over the parapet to see if I could identify the source of the wailing (deciding that real-life scary monsters would be slightly preferable to ones that exist just in my head).

I saw a streak of ginger tear across the tarmac. Mystery solved. It was the fucking Bin Cats. These mangy moggies live in the basement, warming themselves on car bonnets and eating from the communal rubbish dumpsters. I make the Swede take the bins out in the apartment because on more than one occasion I've swung a bag up over the lip of the dumpster* only to have the shite frightened out of my by a caterwauling and clawing furball leaping out at me because I've accidentally smacked it in the nut with a week's worth of empty wine bottles. To be fair though, they keep the rats down and bother no-one but the lily-livered such as myself. Except for this week. For the Bin Cats appear to be in heat.

I remember the first time I heard cats indulging in some tender lovemaking. I was about 9, maybe 10 and staying overnight with my aunt in Dundalk. I was in a strange house, in a strange bed, with an overactive imagination. I wasn't quite asleep but I was getting there when I heard this sudden keening, answered by a mocking yowl and it sounded like it was coming from the house next door. I convinced myself that my aunt's neighbour was a witch and was torturing a baby, mewling back at it every time it cried. The neighbour (whom I'd met earlier that day) was a perfectly nice lady who displayed no outward signs of being an evil witch but for reasons best known only to child psychologists I decided that she must be sticking pins in a baby.

I did nothing about it at the time bar worry, I remember looking crookedly at my aunt the following morning and wondering if she was in cahoots with the neighbour, deciding that as she must have heard it too and had made no mention of it then she probably was. In which case I wasn't going to be the one to bring it up; they might end up boiling me for soup.

It was years later before I saw the neighbour's cat at home getting his rocks off with some cute wee pussy and heard those same yowls and screams. I'd forgotten about the night in Dundalk til then, banished it to the recess in my brain where I keep the things that haunt my adult nightmares. Last night's feline symphony and the previous night's disturbed sleep brought it rushing back again and I'm wondering now what prompted such dark and morbid thoughts in a bright and happy 10 year old.

One of the few songs in my repertoire as a kid was one that I remember hearing sung at home, Wiela Wailia. The Dubliners had done a version of it and though I haven't heard it sung in years, I remember the psychotic words and the jaunty air perfectly. The full lyrics can be found here but in summary; There was an old woman and she lived in the woods, she had a three month old baby and a penknife long and sharp and she stuck that penknife in the baby's heart.

It's the kind of catchy tune that sticks with a kid.

*Wrong word? I don't think we have "dumpsters" in Ireland but "big fuck-off bin" would have made an already overlong sentence even more cumbersome.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Review: Messiah - The Rapture (Part II)

Yum

Not as good as Part I. The baddie was unconvincing. DCI Joseph Walker though. You would, wouldn't you?

Review: No Country For Old Men

It was very good. I liked it almost as much as the book. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell seemed like the kind of man you'd like to marry.

Blue Monday

Today, the third Monday in January, is being hailed as the most depressing day of 2008. There's even an equation for it, to express its dreadfulness in ugly mathematics.

JANUARY BLUES DAY FORMULA*

1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA

Where:
W: Weather
D: Debt
d: Money due in January pay
T: Time since Christmas
Q: Time since failed quit attempt
M: General motivational levels
NA: The need to take action

It's official, I've reached my nadir.


*© Cliff Arnalls in Cardiff University

Sunday, January 20, 2008

When There's Fuck-All On Telly

Sometimes I long for my own space, for solitude, for the complete absence of other people so that I can have room to breathe. Sometimes I crave a lack of company.

Not all the time though.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that being at home on my own on a Sunday evening and feeling a little bit lonely is not the end of the world. That the walls are not closing in on me, that I am not going to be left on my own while the rest of the world goes to a big shiny party to which they forgot to invite me. That being on my own does not equate to being Alone.

Tomorrow will be Monday. I'll spend the day distracted, surrounded, animated, happy; I'll forget all about the creeping disquiet of this Sunday evening.

Subtle Product Placement Works

Sitting in with my folks last night, watching the woeful Italian Job remake:

It's very exciting, isn't it?
Oh yeah. Wait for this bit. With the bike. It's great.
I don't know about you, but I'm on the edge of my seat.
It's a very subtle film.

Silence, punctuated by the occasional sarcastic "wow!" for particularly ridiculous stunts and the occasional superior snicker at the ludicrous dialogue. And then:

If we're selling the Peugeot though, can we see about getting a mini?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Existential Crisis Of The Blogging Kind*

*brought on by GingerBeard being mean to me just because he was bored in work.

"Write something good" the email said. Well if that's not a damning criticism of my recent efforts, I don't know what is. I never sit down with a topic in mind; my ramblings here are a result of whatever happens to be kicking around in my brain at the time of writing. Sometimes it works out for me, sometimes it doesn't and I end up splurging sentimental and grammatically abused waffle all over the internet for the world and its mother (though not my mother) to read. Like now.

I'm both immensely proud of my blog and constantly embarrassed by it. People who don't keep a blog themselves think it's weird, laying my life's edited highlights out like I do for strangers and the occasional friend to read. They are probably right. SWF, the Jock and I were catching up last night and in the course of filling them in on all my gossip (more anon) I fired up teh internets to physically show the blog to the Jock, who appears to be a closet technophobe despite her remarkable education and her great job in the meedja. "Oh!" she exclaimed "it's like a whole other world!". She has a point.

Patroclus writes about her experience of blogging with a fluent articulacy that is beyond me, I thank her for her foresight in writing it all down so that I wouldn't have to. I blog because... what she said.

A part of me wants everyone to read it (yes, even my mam if I could be sure that it wouldn't offend her and that she'd still love me in spite of my indiscretions) because although I insist that I'm a wallflower (and I can be) I am a whore for attention if I think that I've done something well. But I only want everyone to read it and like it. So GingerBeard's criticism stung (bear in mind that I am sick, I have a hangover and I have got the painters in, so I may be taking things a little more to heart than I should). Panic set in; what if my blog is... mediocre at best?

Then three very nice blog related things happened to me this week and restored my faith in the medium and in my efforts here. So I shall prattle on.

Out Too Late, Drank Too Much

Breakfast this week has been cough syrup, Sudafed and Solpadiene. "Fuck off!" screamed this morning's hangover, banging her cutlery off my brain. "I want Panadol and orange juice!"

Friday, January 18, 2008

Deá-Scéal Dearbhaithe

Féach anseo! Told yiz...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Things I Want To See On My Trip To London

  • The Terracotta Army at the British Museum, home of the most wonderful collection of treasure and plunder (I visited once before and walked around open mouthed with awe like a geeky bumpkin)
  • A burlesque show, because I've always wanted to be a naughty cabaret lady but am severely hampered by my inability to dance, sing or grow proper breasts (I'll be a month too early for the festival, but that gives me an excuse to go back)
  • The Tate Modern, where I shall dress in black, wear my trendy glasses and look knowledgeable and not at all intimidated by works I do not understand (though I'll miss Louise Bourgeois' exhibition by a week or so... boo)
  • Hyde Park, which I'm hoping I'll enjoy more than I did Central Park in New York (where I started crying because it was so cold but then stopped crying because the tears were freezing on my face and that hurt). I imagine Hyde Park to be very posh because the wardens have seen fit to publish guidelines for picnics on their website. Paper plate and napkin etiquette, one assumes. I'll be Yogi Bear, then.
  • LC. Probably.

Tús Maith

I got absolutely fucking drowned on my way in to work this morning and had to spend half an hour in a compromising position in the bathrooms, trying to dry my skirt under the hand dryer. I say trying because after half an hour it's still not dry; it's a warm and unpleasant shade of damp. I got lashed by the rain, thumped in the back of the head with a brolly by some dozy budgie who wasn't watching where she was going, splashed by a car and sprayed with mucky water by a passing cyclist (the indignity of it!). I'm still coughing like a consumptive and have managed to pass my pneumonia on to no less than four of my friends and colleagues (enjoy your duvet days and thank me later, guys...). I'd leave to go home and go back to bed myself but for the rain. Instead I'm sitting here eyeing up the radiator, wondering if anyone would notice if I hung my skirt over it to dry.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Spanish Exposition Art Competition!

Well, things got a little serious around here yesterday didn't they? What with me whingeing about my poxy ovaries and everyone getting their knickers in a knot over young Lorcan, the tiger cub the nation would most like to cuff around the ears. So I shall keep it fluffy today. I've hefted myself from my sickbed and made it to work this morning, so I'm full of goodish cheer. Still full of snot, mind you, but with less of the crushing pain across my sinuses that I've had for the past few days.

Anyway, I have a birthday coming up in a month or so. I shall be turning 27 and I am not one bit happy about it, but that's for another day. To celebrate my impending almost-middle age I've decided to go ahead and do something I've wanted to do for years - get a tattoo. Something discreet and tasteful; I'm going to get a floral design on my right foot. Exactly what design though? This is where you, gentle readers, come in. I'm looking for ideas. Each flower has a symbolic meaning so I need to take that into consideration (daffodils, for example, are said to signify deceitfulness, so that would not be good). So get your crayons out, your thinking caps on, your googlemachines fired up etc. and email your suggestions to me tout suite.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Eyes! My Eyes!

Have you seen this? The horror. I watched it open mouthed through my fingers. It was almost enough to rouse me from my sickbed. Almost.

Sometimes It's Hard To Be A Woman

I'm still sick, and miserable with it. I came home from work at around lunchtime yesterday, had a nap and then spent the day on the couch in my jammies watching DVDs and reading blogs, swigging heartily on my cough bottle and necking paracetamol like it was going out of fashion. My good humour was waning by teatime - I was thoroughly dosed but the drugs weren't working and I was getting new, jittery aches and pains.

Influenza, perhaps? SARS? No, worse. A period.

Really I should be thrilled. I have something called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which means that I don't really have periods and never had. I was diagnosed with it at 15 and treated with different forms of the pill for years - the hormones in the pill suppress the condition and simulate periods, so it's a solution of sorts. The hormones in the pill unfortunately also helped me to put on weight and made me depressed so in my twenties I decided that I'd had enough of being a pudgy bag of mental and would like to try a more progressive treatment. I did a bit of research, spoke to a woman who was being treated for infertility as a result of PCOS over in the UK, spoke to my doctor and asked that she recommend a specialist who would be willing to try an alternative treatment with me. She did and now here I am, four years later, menstruating.

It's great, really. The medication I've been on for the last few years is very hard on my system (metformin is traditionally used to treat diabetes and spironolactone is used to treat heart conditions and cirrhosis, I thankfully have none of those) and there have been times where I really wonder if it's worth continuing with. So I really shouldn't be complaining, this is evidence that all my efforts haven't been in vain. It's just a pity that Auntie Flo decided to pay her visit when I'm already feeling like a bag of boiled snot.

Womanhood, eh? It's not all high heels and lipstick. Still, there's fun to be had. I googled slang for menstruation, to see if I could find any that tickled my fancy.

I'm having my euphemism today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My Weekend: The Edited Highlights

Highlight #1
Best Comic Moment


Sitting in the Long Hall on Saturday night, drunk on good food and good cheer but not nearly as drunk as LC (who is very old and can't hold his beer) or the New Daddy (who never says no to a free pint and as a result had been on the sauce all afternoon, in the name of television).

Me:
Who's for a drink?

The New Daddy:
Jaegerbombs!*

Me:
LC?

LC:
No thanks. I'm an adult.

(scoff)

Ten minutes later after he'd tasted mine and shown a marked reluctance to give me back the glass, I offered again. "Cover your ears" he said to the New Daddy, who obediently clamped his hands over his ears like an overgrown and bearded child. "I would really like one..." he continued, "but if I do then... [censored]" "Aaaargh!" shouted the New Daddy "I can still hear you!" I, meanwhile, blushed to my toes and the three gents standing behind LC broke their shite laughing. He laughed too. "To be honest" he admitted "at this point it's about 50/50 anyway. I'm hammered."

*I handle it a little better than a certain other kitty.

Sick As Two Small Hospitals

This morning's appearance in work should be sponsored by at least 3 of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers. I'm smothered with a cold and as husky voiced as [something sexily husky voiced that's not Kathleen Turner]. I've already started on my should-be-patented get-well-soon regime but it has yet to take effect (except perhaps on my mood, which is decidedly upbeat for someone whose glands have swollen out as far as her ears). My colleagues are starting to fear for their own health so my hacking cough and I have been ordered home as soon as the rain eases off. "But I can't sleep" I complained croakily "and I'm bored!" "Watch a DVD, read a book. You're not getting any better in here."

I'm halfway through Graham Rawle's wonderful Woman's World so I think I just might.

My Weekend

What to say?

I suspect we're both waiting for the other to post something about it. That's the trouble with blogging, isn't it? Or rather, that's the trouble with getting involved with another blogger.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Performance Anxiety

Well, he's on his way. I've never had someone actually fly in to meet me for a date before (unless you count the Pilot, but that was his job. The flying, not the dates. He did that of his own volition). It's rather flattering and very exciting, though it does put one under a little pressure. What to do with him for the weekend? Obviously we're both very funny, clever, good-looking and like-minded individuals... on our blogs. What if he turns out to be a complete arsehole? Worse again, what if he doesn't but thinks that I'm a complete arsehole? "Just be your normal self" counseled GingerBeard. "It's bound to work sometime".

Another Lazy Arse Post

Today's horoscope for Pisceans courtesy of the Metro:

You'll be going through the motions and getting plenty done, but your heart and mind are elsewhere. Where elsewhere isn't really suitable for publication...

It's true, apart from the bit about getting plenty done. I've done fuck all this morning and now that my lunchtime meeting has been postponed I expect to get fuck all done for the rest of the afternoon too.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Snort and ROFL

What do dyslexic pirates say?

"RRAAAAAAAAAAA!"

(I'm in good humour this morning)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Stars Smile Upon Me

Finally, my genius is recognised by the monkey who writes the daily horoscopes! Unfortunately I read this just now instead of this morning and so I've been hiding my light under a bushel all day.

Pisces:
You need to let the world see the real you today. In order to do so, step out and give everyone a good, long look. Show off both your hotness and your intellect. In situations where you might have usually played dumb in an effort not to look like a know-it-all, today you should not be afraid to own up to the fact that most of the time (if not all of the time), you are the smartest person in the room. There is no point in trying to avoid intimidating people who aren't as smart as you.

So I missed my chance to dazzle the world today. I need to be on the ball on Friday though, I've got a date and a very good impression to make.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Suzy Homewrecker

The Swede and I took down the Christmas decorations this evening. I wanted to leave the snowflakes on the windows - they hide the fact that I haven't washed them, um, ever. "But we have a squeedgie!" Okay... While he was at it he ran a finger over the telly, it came back coated in grime. He started dusting. "Hey, did you see that there is a big crack in the front of the telly here?" Yes. Yes I did. "Any idea how it happened?" Yes. Yes I do. And you do too, you shite. You know, because I shamefacedly told you exactly how it happened.

It was one of those hangovers that you think will never ever go away. I was in the flat on my own, talking to myself and rattling around like a dispossessed zombie, unable to eat, sleep or hold a conversation. There's only one cure for a hangover like that - Elf. All I needed to do to save my soul was to plug the DVD's scart lead into the telly. No big deal. Except that my coordination was fucked. I shuffled over to the telly, hunkered down, picked up the lead, scrabbled ineffectually at the back of the telly and then realised I couldn't quite reach the port. So I tilted it.

And dropped it flat on its face.

I nearly died. I was fragile as is, and this was just enough to tip me over the edge. Teary eyed, I heaved it back up off the floor, sat cross-legged in front of it and frantically stabbed at the buttons on the remote. No joy. Panic... til I realised that the main switch on the front needed pressing. You've never seen someone more relieved to see Midsomer Murders.

"You know I dropped it. I told you that. When I had a hangover. I tried to tilt it and..." (trails off in embarrassment). He laughed. "I was just checking! It's times like these I'm glad I'm a man." "Why?" I asked, "because you wouldn't have started crying?"

"No. Because I wouldn't have tilted the fucking television".

Exposed!

So much for waiter - blogger confidentiality.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I Use My Tongue

Irish Language: I love the way Rosie slips it in now and again - discretely, like a married man having an affair. Just enough to keep it interesting but without rising suspicion. No, I don’t know what I meant by that either.

...says Primal, here. He's right, I don't often write in Irish. I'm much more fluent in English, I have a better vocabulary, better grammar. I was brought up speaking English (although I was educated through Irish, from playschool onwards) therefore most of my clever colloquialisms are in English rather than in Irish and they're what make for rich prose. I invent words and phrases in English which I wouldn't dare to do in Irish, for I'd certainly get the grammar wrong. I'm studying at the moment in an effort to rid myself of these insecurities about my grammar, once I'm done I might write the Great Irish Novel. Til then, I'll carry on as I am.

Catherine mentioned the other day that she'd nominated me for my use of Irish in the blog, and I answered her honestly as I don't think I deserve an award for it at all -

i tend to only use it when i'm writing something i don't want everyone to be able to read

What a damning statement. Annie replied -

I think "secret language code" is probably the best use of Irish these days anyway. That and "looking cool in front of foreigners".

Most people would agree, I suppose. I've certainly used Irish for those purposes on the blog - I don't like private postings on blogs and this is a way for me to get around them. From time to time I write in Irish just because it feels more natural for my subject or because the events I'm describing happened when we were speaking in Irish. Ego has something to do with my choice of language too, I have to admit that I don't write the blog just for me, it's a matter of some pride that I have people who actually read this. I'm sure I wouldn't have the same readership were I prattling on in Irish, a fact I don't like one bit but which is nonetheless true. I simply don't have The Major's patience to publish everything bilingually.

I write in English as well because my job is closely linked to the Irish language community and I worry that the freedom my pen-name affords me would be lost should that community know the ins and outs of my private life - as I've mentioned previously. Day to day I'm an ambassador for the language. I'd like to keep this space for eejitry.

Úsáideann Mise Mo Theanga

Irish Language: I love the way Rosie slips it in now and again - discretely, like a married man having an affair. Just enough to keep it interesting but without rising suspicion. No, I don’t know what I meant by that either.


...a deir Primal, anseo. Tá an ceart aige; ní go rómhinic a scríobhaim i nGaeilge. Tá líofacht níos fearr agam sa Bhéarla, foclóir níos fairsinge, gramadach níos fearr. Tógadh le Béarla mé (cé go bhfuair mé m'oideachas trí Ghaeilge, ón naíonra ar aghaidh) agus mar sin tá an chuid is mó de na leaganacha cliste canúnacha atá agam i mBéarla seachas i nGaeilge, agus is iad a chuireann le saibhreas na scríbhneoireachta. Cumaim frásaí agus focail i mBéarla nach mbeadh sé de dhánaíocht agam iad a chumadh i nGaeilge mar is cinnte go ndéanfainn botún leis an ngramadach. Tá tuilleadh staidéir ar bun agam faoi láthair leis an easpa muiníne seo ó thaobh na gramadaí a réiteach agus gach seans ansin go scríobhfaidh mé úrscéal Gaeilge ár linne. Idir an dhá linn, leanfaidh mé orm.

Luaigh Catherine an lá cheana gur thug sí vóta dom as ucht úsáid na Gaeilge ar an blag, agus thug mé freagra macánta uirthi mar ní dóigh liom go bhfuil an gradam sin tuilte agam beag ná mór -

i tend to only use it when i'm writing something i don't want everyone to be able to read

Nach damanta an ráiteas é sin? D’fhreagair Annie -

I think "secret language code" is probably the best use of Irish these days anyway. That and "looking cool in front of foreigners".

Tá an ceart aici, dar leis an bhformhór, is dócha. I gcomhthéacs an blag is cinnte go bhfuil an Ghaeilge úsáidte agam ar an dóigh sin – ní maith liom blaganna le breacthaí príobháideacha orthu agus seo bealach domsa le fáil thairis. Ó am go chéile scríobhaim i nGaeilge toisc go bhfuil sí níos nádúrtha do pé ábhar atá faoi chaibidil agam, nó toisc gur trí mheán na Gaeilge a tharla na heachtraí a bhfuil mé ag trácht orthu. Baineann ego leis an rogha gan scríobh i nGaeilge chomh maith, caithfidh mé a admháil nach scríobhaim dom féin amháin agus gur cúis bród dom é go bhfuil lucht léitheoireachta agam. Táim cinnte nach mbeadh an lucht léitheoireachta céanna agam dá mbeinn ag spalpadh liom i nGaeilge. Rud nach dtaitníonn liom, ach atá fíor. Níl foighne an Major agam le chuile rud a fhoilsiú go dhátheangach.

Cloím leis an mBéarla freisin toisc go mbaineann mo phost le saol na Gaeilge, agus bheadh faitíos orm go gcaillfinn saoirse m’ainm cleite dá mbeadh an pobal dlúth sin ar an eolas faoi sonraí mo shaoil príobháideach – mar a luaigh mé cheana. Ó lá go lá is ambasadóir teanga mé. B’fhearr liom an spás seo a choinneal le bheith i mo phleidhce.

Friday, January 04, 2008

He Was Legend

The world and its mother have reviewed I Am Legend over the last couple of weeks, so instead I offer you a review of the guy sitting beside me in the cinema yesterday evening. He was spread out across my seat when I arrived, scratching his balls through his shiny white tracksuit. Great. Just the type I want to sit beside for a potentially scary film.

I'm an awful chicken when it comes to scary films. I don't mind gore in the slightest. Violence? Bring it on. But jumpy bits? No fucking thank you. I'll watch them happily at home during daylight hours with a cushion and the lights on but the cinema is a different story, because everyone can see you jump. I went to see Sunshine a few months back and when the lights went up at the end, the man sitting beside me turned, genuinely concerned, to see if I was okay. Mortifying. I felt confident that the gentleman to my right last night would show no such concern and would instead roundly take the piss out of me, perhaps by shouting "boo!" and grabbing my arm at tense moments. I curled into my seat and balled my coat up in my lap, ready to use it to shield my face from the scary monsters. The film started and his running commentary began.

My shiny-tracksuited and itchy-testicled friend turned out to be the best antidote to a jumpy movie that I've ever found. He'd start to twitch visibly every time the atmosphere in the film became tense and then to talk to/at Dr. Robert Neville (our on-screen hero) offering him sound advice on how to conduct his affairs in a manner that would not see him eaten by vampire zombies. "Don't go in there... don't go in there you fucking dickhead... just leave the stupid dog! Fuck... It's a trap. I bet you that's a trap. See, that wasn't there earlier so it must be. Fuckin' spa. Shouldn't have done that." The SWF was getting very angry at the occasional chatter coming from the two guys in front of her (she sssshhed them loudly, the ballsy lady!) but I was tickled pink with my guy's antics. The film itself was a disappointment but he made it for me. I hear the original novel rocks so I might read that some day, with a cushion and all of the lights on.

Huzzah!

Finally, OneFor has some cheery news.

Shameless Whoring

Everyone's getting very excited about the Irish Blog Awards. I didn't know what a blog was this time last year and so missed all the furore, I'd very much like to be in on the action this time. Or at least hovering down the back by the curtains, drinking too much, laughing too loudly and pretending that I know what's going on.

My introduction to blogging came in the form of Twenty Major, my inspiration to actually start my own blog came from reading Annie's one. I found Twenty's completely by accident when I was googling something else and through his links discovered so many others, some good, some bad, some ugly and some slices of fried gold. Incidentally - to the person who found my blog this morning by googling orange palms and hands that smell funny upon wakening, I hope you're okay...

Annie's blog was where I first read about the awards. I got a little excited. All of my new heroes in the one room! And the most popular ones win prizes! (well, the Irish ones anyway... about half of the blogs I read are written by dirty foreigners, and about a quarter by Irish expats). Once I started blogging myself though I realised what a challenge it would be to win at the 2008 awards; world domination is not easily achieved when nobody reads your ramblings. And blogging is not like Facebook or Bebo or MySpazz where you can simply ask people to be your friend - with a blog you have to quietly impress them with your witty genius and hope that they come back / bookmark your page / comment on your posts / add you to their links / write your obituary / proposition you with a dirty weekend. But I have persevered and it has paid off, you folks keep reading and your comments encourage me to keep writing.

If your feeling generous though, I could do with a little more encouragement...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

SWF Needs TLC

I don't know what was up with me these past few days but I've been awful fucking fidgety. Distracted, impatient, cranky. So on Wednesday night I spent the evening cooking up a storm, in an effort to ease my jangling nerves. The results? A massive pot of truly excellent chili (the Swede was digging in at 11pm and pronounced it to be "werry gub" - it was hotter than he'd bargained for) and another cauldron full of my should-be-patented beef and beer stew (I had no Guinness, so I threw in some Brahma beers instead). I have limited freezer space and can't quite manage to eat 10 dinners by myself, so I've been feeding the Swede whenever possible (he's been eating two dinners all week) and I had the SWF* over for dinner yesterday evening.

We haven't seen much of one another of late. I missed her birthday celebrations as I was ill (dentist-related trauma, don't ask) and we were both busy over Christmas, so last night was a chance for a proper catch-up. I had much to fill her in on; my recent torrid affairs and tidbits from everyone else's. I love gossiping with herself and the Jock** because no detail is too gory or insignificant. I think the friendships you forge in college are of a special nature; all the drink drugs wanton sex*** study and hard graft leads to very open, funny and honest, I-will-always-love-you-because-you-know-too-much relationships. Also; when the three of us are together we inevitably end up talking about men's willies, a subject which fascinates me and one which is so rarely if ever discussed in the polite(ish) company I keep.

Last time I saw her she had a new man (and presumably a new willy to discuss) so I was interested to hear how things were progressing. Or not. Imagine my dismay at receiving this email just hours before the dissection of their sex life was to begin over beef and beer stew:

I realised this morning that I wield a weird type of power in the office. Every time I get dumped (more on that later) one of the girls in work gets engaged the very same day! Looking back through the years, the 100% success rate can't be a coincidence. They should start setting me up with guys who 'aren't looking for anything serious' so that in a few short weeks, their boyfriends will go down on bended knee. I could charge for my services and everything!


Reminds me of an awful film that I took pains not to see. She was upset but pragmatic and very funny about it; to borrow a saying from my mother - if wit was shit, she'd be rolling in it. So we had a laugh and then we watched Top Gear, while discussing the relative merits of Clarkson and Hammond and whether or not it would ever be okay to have sex with Jeremy Paxman.

*I asked her what she'd like her blog handle to be, she suggested Single White Female.
**She didn't get to choose her own. But in college she was a sporty jock, and now she works in radio, which is close enough to disc jockey for me.
***Total lie - I studied Irish and archaeology. Nobody ever wanted to have wanton sex with me.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I Am A Winner

AJ tells me he stayed in on New Year's playing Scrabble and for some reason he seems to think that this is sadder than playing the Game of Life and making a DIY volcano with your two siblings and your Best Gay Friend. Scrabble's not sad at all, if only because it is one of the few games at which I rock. (Cranium is another, isn't it, Marie?)

It's hard to find people to play with though. I refuse to join FaceBook (I waste enough time online on this blog and everyone else's) so I don't play it online, besides, there's something much more satisfying about sitting down at the table with your 1980s Deluxe Edition Scrabble (raised grids, swivel board, hard plastic scorekeepers with fiddly black pins... it's enough to get a nerd like me a little twitchy...). It's like doing the Irish Times crossword with a pen (pencils are for indecisive ninnies) instead of online, where you can check your answers (which is tantamount to cheating, in my book). As I play well and am obnoxiously competitive about it, playmates are thin on the ground.

The New Daddy and I went through a brief phase of Scrabble playing, usually in the company of a bottle of vodka and on one memorable occasion with the addition of 27 bags of Skittles (the flatmates arrived home to find us drunk as skunks and high as kites, full of booze, sugar and competitive spirit. Throwing tiles at one another and shouting, mostly.) In the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship he even placed an ad for an adjudicator on Gumtree (typical, everyone else uses the site to find a fuck buddy, we used it to try to find an even bigger nerd than us). We got a reply too, months later.

I know the date is passed but I'm intrigued as to whether there will be another scrabble faceoff any time soon. Are you planning anything?
Best Regards,
Nerd


Her name wasn't really Nerd, but it may as well have been. Fantastic.

Needless to say, I'd love to play more often. I see there is a Scrabble club that comes together on Monday nights in the wilds of Blanchardstown, but the 'Hood frightens me. (They also have support groups for coeliacs, amateur dramatists, alcoholics, céilí dancers, toastmasters, toddlers and smokers in the same centre. Maybe it would be worth the bus fare.) If anyone knows of a club in town (or wants to start one, and is cool and well disposed to vodka) let me know.

Ugh

I love my job, I do. But dragging my arse back in here today after the Christmas break sucks balls.

(Unlike Grandad, I haven't resolved to try to moderate my language a bit in my blogging this year)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

On Love And Sympathy

I spent this evening, the first of 2008, at a funeral. Kind of. The funeral is on tomorrow morning and as I'm back to work then (groan and whimper) I offered to head along to the prayers tonight with my dad.

Instead of the dead man being waked at home or being brought to the church, he was being laid out in the nursing home where he'd died and the family were having a few prayers said over his coffin. Dad and I arrived early, having allowed ourselves an unnecessary extra half hour to get lost en route. We wandered in the door of the home, me feeling queasy at the now all-too-familiar smell of old age and sickness (Crash Grandadicoot is still in hopsickle) and told the lady at the desk that we were there for the prayers for Martin. "Would you like to go on in?" she asked. "Um, okay..." She led us around the corner to a small candlelit room where he was laid out in the coffin, five chairs on either side of him and a small altar down by his feet. We sat down.

I didn't know the man. His son and daughter-in-law are close friends of my parents, friends of the family, generous and affectionate people that I have all the time in the world for. My heart has gone out to them over the last few weeks as they watched his rapid decline; It wasn't easy for him at all. So there I found myself, sitting next to my dad and a mere foot away from the corpse of a man I'd never met, only the second corpse I've ever seen in my life. It was surreal. We had half an hour there before any of the family arrived and when they did, I worried that it might seem intrusive - us sitting there talking quietly in the room with Martin's body. Dad handled it beautifully. As we heard them approach we stood to greet them, handshakes and hugs. "We were a little early, so we kept him company." The priest arrived in, said a few words, read from the gospels, offered his condolences. Martin's two sons spoke briefly after he'd left, his grandson read Paddy Kavanagh's On Raglan Road, which was apparently what he sang each week as his party piece for the home's Sunday afternoon cabaret. He only knew half the words, they said, so they left a handwritten copy of the poem in with him in his coffin. I don't know why it's important to me that it was handwritten, but it is.

And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.

I Am A Loser

I decided to stay in last night, to avoid the crushing disappointment of a shit night out on New Year's Eve. I hate the forced and fake bonhomie, I hate not knowing any of the words to Auld Lang Syne, I hate the mistimed countdowns and I hate not having someone to kiss at midnight. I hate waking up on the first day of the New Year with the same cunt of a hangover that I've carried for the past year, thinking plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. (I sometimes think things in French because I'm very pretentious).

So I stayed at home with my brother, sister and BGF. We played Wii badly, ate too much chocolate, played the Game of Life (Simpsons Edition) until I became despondent (shit job, no kids, living in Crone Condo, paying off my college debts...) and then made the exploding plaster of paris volcano that the BGF had given my brother for Christmas. We cast the mound, fidgeted while it dried and then attacked a quadrant each with poster paints (it was a competition... my effort is pictured below. I lost - too precise and too pretty, apparently. The brother's effort looked like a dorky Dalek, the BGF's was covered in shite coloured flowers and a brackish rainbow. Marks for effort, but poor execution. The sister won as hers was "most realistic" - it looked like scuttery curry running down the side.) The highly anticipated explosion was a bit of a let down; the baking soda bubbled like weak beer when we added the vinegar and the kitchen fucking stank. So this is what happens when you leave two art graduates, a sober alcoholic and a theoretical physicist to their own devices for the night. Wild, huh?

The Losing Entry

Fuck it though, there is a limit to the enjoyment drink and drug fuelled nights of wanton debauchery can give a girl. One occasionally needs to redress the balance with a night of all-out family-centred spazz-nerdery.

Done.

Now bring 2008 the fuck on.

Every Girl Ever

This made me laugh, and cry a little on the inside. Please, let this never ever ever be me.