Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Iascaireacht

Cé gur gheall mé dom féin nach ndéanfainn gearba a scrabhadh a thuilleadh, ar ndóigh sin go díreach a bhí ar bun agam ag an deireadh seachtaine. Chuaigh mé thall go Londain le cuairt a thabhairt ar fear atá mar chara agam, agus mar leannán anois is arís. Nó b'fhéidir mar leannán agam agus mar chara anois is arís... ní fheadar. Thar a bheith simplí ach casta mar sin féin, mar a bhíonn na cúrsaí seo i gcónaí. B'fhearr dom deireadh a chur leis an caidreamh, b'fhéidir, ach níl an misneach agam seasamh siar agus rud éigin níos fearr a éileamh dom féin i láthair na huaire. Easpa féinmhuinín, an ghnáthrud.

Agus le breis crá agus creach a tharraingt orm féin, chinn mé ar teagmháil a dhéanamh le fear eile fad agus a bhí mé sa chathair, iar-leannán eile, an fear céanna a chur fonn filíochta orm ar an mblag seo i mí Dheireadh Fómhair (I know, an náire. Filíocht!). Theastaigh uaim bualadh leis arís chun go bhféadfainn mo cheann a réiteach, ionas nach mbeinn ag brionglóideach air a thuilleadh. Bheadh deoch againn agus thuigfinn nárbh é an duine céanna a bhí i mo cheann agam, bheadh díomá orm, agus faoiseamh, agus rachainn abhaile arís le leanacht lem' thóraíocht.

Pfft. Ar ndóigh, níor oibrigh sé. Bhí mé ag insint do mo dheartháir mar gheall air agus bhí mé buíoch dó as an tuiscint agus an chomhbhá a léirigh sé dom, mar a bhím i gcónaí. "It never seems straightforward for you alright..."

I'm even more grateful to him because he didn't say what I was thinking - that I really don't make it easy for myself.

Spamtastic

Penis Theft Panic Hits City!

Found in my spam folder this morning, along with "Shock her with your new wang". Why is it that I have never once been spammed with anything ladybits related? Do any of you get vagina-themed spam? Is it just that the spammers have me pegged as a small-willied and impressionable man?

Monday, April 28, 2008

FortyCoats

On rainy days like today, I love my raincoat. The big hood covers my dorky headphones, keeps my beautiful new €17 bob dry and frames my impish charm. It does impair my vision slightly, however, so my sincere apologies to the driver of the 15A bus (I was never the best at crossing roads anyway). Still, at least he saw me coming.

They saw me coming at the weekend too. I wore my favourite coat for my weekend's fishing trip, confident that I looked every inch the city sophisticate. "Look at you in your loud coat!" said Fish #1. Cue a silent and indignant huff, which went completely unnoticed. "Look at you in your loud coat!" exclaimed Fish #2 on Sunday evening, oblivious to Fish #1's earlier faux pas.

Sigh.

Favourite Coat (Detail).
Not Loud, Pretty.
(You know, like me...)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Back Monday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hollywoods Ain't Glamourous

Bikini waxing: a not-strictly-necessary evil* that hovers somewhere between smear tests and root canal treatment on the scale of things I don't want to do on a Wednesday evening. I decided to try a new salon this time, having fallen into a bad habit of overexposing myself to Sinéad in the place across the road with my panicked witterings while she waxed (she burned my skin the last time and I'm not entirely sure it was accidental). So to Urban Wax for what proved to be a markedly less traumatic experience than some of my previous adventures - though no matter how reassuring and professional a beautician is, pouring hot wax over my ladybits and ripping it off again before she goes for the finish with tweezers and a determined look is never going to endear her to me.

*Unfortunately vaginae with sideburns just aren't in at the moment.

Review: Happy-Go-Lucky

I asked my colleague as I was leaving the office yesterday evening whether it was any good. "It depends" she said "on whether or not you like your woman in it. She's... um... you'll probably like her". So I went along with a mild sense of apprehension.

The verdict? What he said.

Childhood Trauma #73

Davey's helpful comment yesterday that "learning is for sissies" got me thinking generally about sissydom and what a complete and utter sissy I was as a kid. I'm still a bit of a sissy these days, but now I think it suits me. Back then it didn't, but I was such a fucking sissy that I hadn't a clue what to do about it. Then I read Felix's #5 this morning and the true extent of my sissyness as a kid washed over me again in a wave.

There is incident from 1988 that haunts me yet, a public humiliation from my time in rang a haon with Múinteoir Ciara where the memory of the burning in my cheeks is still so vivid that I have to lay a hand to my face to check that I'm not blushing again. It was the year of our first Holy Communion, that rite of passage that signified, well, I'm not too sure on the whole Catholic side of things but it was significant for me in that I bought a set of swings for the garden with my communion money. Before we could get stuck into a bit of Holy Jesus, however, there was the ritual of the First Confession.

The process was explained to us in detail, the priest introduced, we were reassured that our confessions would be heard on the altar rather than in the confessional boxes lest the claustrophobic amongst us have a shit attack on the big day. We then had a quickfire Q&A as a prelude to the practice confession we were going to make to our teacher. Which is when it all went horribly wrong. My friend Martha put her hand up, the picture of genuine, worried sincerity, and asked what would happen if you hadn't got anything to tell the priest, because, she reasoned, "Rosie doesn't have any sins!"

Cue silence while the 32 eight year olds and their teacher ponder this hitherto unforeseen snag caused by the innocence of the class Goody-Poxy-Two-Shoes. That's right, I thought miserably, as the lot of them stared at me and my already red cheeks turned puce. I don't. I'm 8. I could make one up, but that would be a lie, and a sin on the altar.

I went home that day mortified at having been singled out from the crowd because of my virtue. I gave my brother a thump, muttered a bad word under my breath at my mam and thought about dipping her purse for tenpence (a step too far - but thinking about it was a good start). I resolved once and for all to rid myself of the nickname the class clown had bestowed upon me - "The Walking Talking Statue".

I've been moderately successful.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bill Murray

I know it's not de rigeur to say anything that's not super super nice about Irish bloggers, but sometimes my mouth just runs away with me. Like when I'm having a busy but chronically dull run of things in work and my google reader keeps spouting the same shite out at me, albeit from different bloggers. This past week I have primarily been bored to tears by various takes on (a) teh gobháirnmint's Little Book of Don't Panic and (b) the pie-in-the-sky conversion of the Carlton cinema (I'd link but that'd be like poking the inoffensive offenders with a stick, when my only beef with them is that I'm bored and they have failed to amuse me).

I realise the irony in posting this, given that some of the biggest tags in my cloud over there on the right are "boys", "drink", "me", "stupid" and "blogging" but hey, I'm out to prove a point. Or just to have a pointless whinge. One of those anyway.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Where Do I Sign?

My academic careen "career":
School's out, you say? Well fuck the real world for a game of soldiers. What kind of lessons can one learn in a university? I'll take three courses in nothing particularly useful, please (psychology - which I dropped like a hot snot, archaeology which I loved with a passion apart from the wet ditch with a spoon and a toothbrush lark, and modern Irish which turned out to be alarmingly useful).

Oh, those three years flew in! A masters? Why, I wasn't planning on getting an actual job anytime soon and it was very nice of you to ask, so why the hell not! [a year scurries by in the blink of an eye] What do you mean the thesis deadline has passed? My, time flies when you're in the bar having fun. Sure I may as well hang on here a bit, seeing as I'm enjoying myself. Six months more sound good to you? Lovely.

Fuck. Broke. Need a job. Am now overqualified in, well, Irish. Spelling still needs some work though, and grammar is a disgrace. Choices: pensionable state number or flaky college position. No contest. Free fees should I decide to pursue further study? Why not, it's not like I have a boyfriend to hang out with at weekends. A two year HDip in translation? Wonderful.
I'm sure there are bigger eejits out there, but fuck them, I'm the one who has 9 hours of grammar exams coming up [correction - 6 hours, 3 x 2. Good job it's grammar and not maths, eh?]. At least the end is in sight though. Or at least it was. On Friday morning I met with some interesting characters in another department of the venerable institution with which I am gainfully employed. They entertained me for a couple of hours and when I was leaving they jokingly suggested that I stay, or at the very least that I consider doing a PhD with them.

Hmm.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

OMG, Roysh?

The lift doors opened and I made for the door, moving to one side to let the manicured brunette with the ugly but expensive handbag step in. "It's nawt!" she exclaimed, as I stepped out past her. I smiled in what I hoped was a confused but pitying manner, wondering what it was that wasn't but not wanting to embarrass either of us by stopping to ask. Southside Dublin accents can be an awful handicap sometimes, all those mangled vowel sounds and unattractive drawls, and hers was a particularly obnoxious one.

I rounded the corner and stuck my key in the lock, except I didn't, because it wouldn't fit. Because it wasn't my door.

"It's naught."

My presumptuousness and I, however, live on the first floor.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Romance

The Kiss, Rowan Gillespie, 1989

Do you think that after dark, when everyone has gone home and Earlsfort Terrace is deserted, her hands reach up to caress his face and draw his lips closer to hers, and his arms encircle her and cup her arse, pulling her to him?

I hope so.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

For Darragh*

Trips often, falls hard.
Plays on.



*See here.

Aincheist

Ever made rash plans to do something that you know you probably shouldn't? Something that you know you'll thoroughly enjoy but that you also know is a bit of a step back or a step down, sense-wise? (So much so, in fact, that you haven't really told people what you're up to.) Ever given yourself a month to think about it and then gotten into a strop on week one, spent week two not thinking about it, genuinely not thought about it for week three and then remembered with a week to go that actually, it's next fucking week?

I shouldn't have given myself the opportunity to (mis)behave in the first place, but now that I have it's going to be difficult to turn it down. I've never been very good at balancing common sense and the other thing.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rollerblade Skinny

A trip to Spar at 9.30pm was about the height of the excitement Chez Rosie today. I took a day off "work" to study and I've been sitting here all day in front of my laptop picking through the finer points of Irish grammar, trying not to waste time pottering around everyone else's blog (fail) and playing the Chancer's Enya/Prodigy mashup incessantly because, well, wouldn't you? I needed to rest my eyeballs and earlobes and get some fresh air, milk and toilet roll, so a stroll as far as Bath Avenue was just the ticket. The shopping trip was moderately successful in that I managed to avoid the temptation to buy myself some chocolate as a reward for my hard day's work, but I did cave and buy myself some cigarettes instead. I did buy crappy Marlboro's though instead of my usual brand, that way I'll only smoke the odd one and I'll regret each and every drag (rather than my usual slims, which I smoke with relish and thoroughly enjoy). It's like a shitty form of aversion therapy.

Walking home, smoking discontentedly, I noticed a few heads hanging around at the traffic lights outside Slattery's, looking like they were up to something. Closer inspection revealed that there were all wearing rollerblades. What a fucking cute idea! I often see the Trinners kids going for runs together down around here but that just looks distressing, particularly if you're as wary of group exercise as I am. Even more particularly if you're as shit at running as I am. Rollerblading's where it's at, and rollerblading under the cover of darkness at that.

Now all I need to do is learn how to rollerblade, then I could hang around outside the pub on a Wednesday night and make some groovy new friends. It can't be that difficult, right?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Salt And Vinegar?

Look who's back! King Coleslaw himself! Last seen disappearing in a puff of huff and strop on Valentine's day, the photoshop queen has made a tentative return. Bless. Make a big fuss of him now, or he might fuck off again to sulk in a corner. He made Blogorrah worth reading (if by reading you mean looking at the pictures) and personally I think he was criminally overlooked in the shambles that was the Irish Blog Awards (neither Annie nor I won anything - what nonsense!) as his Didl post (Vol. III) is one of the funniest things ever to have come out of, well, Nat's brain.

He'd better get cracking with something decent now that I've just given him the blogging equivalent of a dirty foot rub. Otherwise this will just be embarrassing.

Whingeing Explained

Auntie Flo' arrived last night, three months to the day since her last visit (blogs - useful for tracking your menstrual cycle). I'm so proud that I feel like calling my mam over in Kenya to tell her, so that she can be proud of me too.

And then I realise that I'm 27, not 12.

Jack over at Pandemian wrote a great post about what happens to her when she's premenstrual and doesn't know it;
There are many pleasant things about being sterile. [...] But my personal favourite is the sense of inner peace and beatific calm that settles upon you when you are able to finally let go of the constant low-level fear that is worrying about the tardy arrival of your period.
In her case she suffers from lapses in good taste while shopping. I suffer from that all the time. Mine instead seems to be heralded by crippling weltschmertz and a craving for cheese.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I Probably Should Have Just Watched Hollyoaks

I came home this evening and sat down and listened to Nuala O'Faolain's interview* with Marian Finucane, and I cried.

I've been thinking a lot about death over the last while. I haven't turned goth or emu or whatever it is the kids are into these days, I haven't started saying rosaries or lighting candles, but I have spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to lose someone, and what it might be to die. Wondering if it brought relief to Conor, feeling horrified at how his death has affected his family. Hoping that it was a release for my Crash Grandadicoot, wondering how my Nana will cope with the loneliness of losing the man she has loved for more than 55 years. I spent yesterday afternoon with her and for the first time since his death I got the feeling from her that she was feeling very lonely, crushingly low. I miss Grandad, but I have been missing Grandad for a long time now, all through the long months of his illness. Now I worry for my Nana. I think of the spirit and resolve it took her to care for him for so long and I hope that the same spirit and resolve will help her to cope with his loss. But it's hard.

Nuala's interview seems to have stopped people in their tracks. It's easy to express sympathy, to offer kind words and hopes for the best. But it's very hard to sit and just listen. "Are you sure it won't give the people despair?" she asked. No, Nuala a chroí. You've made people think about what it is to be human - to be alive - agus is cúis misnigh agus dóchais sin i gcónaí.

*Broadcast on Saturday morning, it's been all over the Irish media since. Diagnosed 6 weeks ago with terminal cancer, Nuala speaks openly and with painful honesty about how life has been for her since her diagnosis. You can listen to it here or read the transcript here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

In Dreams

Via text:
You were in my dream last night. We were doing an English literature course and you were reading a book about Japanese symbols during it. What does it mean?
Rosie (optimistically):
That you miss me?
BGF (brutally honest):
I think it means that you're difficult and contrary.
Rosie (deflated):
Thanks.
[long pause]

BGF
(pretending to be contrite):
And cultured. Forgot the good one.

Aon Focal, Daw Focal

I rose from my bed at an unreasonable hour today to spend an interminably long morning interviewing trainee teachers. So keen was I to get the fuck out of there afterwards that I didn't even stick around for the free lunch, and I was starving. But I needed to get away.

For those of you unfortunate enough not to be Irish; a little background. We have two official languages here, Irish and English, and though most everyone speaks English only a minority are fluent in Irish. It is, however, a compulsory subject in both primary and secondary education and as a consequence all primary school teachers in the country are obliged to have a proficiency in Irish (let's not open a can of worms and call it "fluency"). Teachers who have trained abroad must pass an Irish language exam before we let them near the kids and teachers training here study Irish language and literature as part of their course. Which is where I come in. I don't teach them (thankfully) but I am drafted in a couple of times a year to put them through their paces and make sure they've done their homework.

It does not make for an ideal Saturday morning, and it's a good job they pay me an obscene amount of money* to do it. I had the same conversation 19 times over with 19 young women, each of whom broke out in a nervous rash at the sight of me and then did their level best to stay schtum for 10 minutes in order to avoid making any grammatical errors. Eventually most of them twig that I can't/won't let them go until they've spoken to me so that I might assess their language skills but this usually takes about ten minutes of gentle cajoling from me and a lifetime of fucking fidgeting and avoiding eye contact on their part. The conversations are excruciating, banalities exchanged in pidgin Irish** punctuated by uncomfortable silences and nervous laughter. They do, however, give me a valuable insight into the criteria for primary school teachers in Ireland:
  • You must be from either Mullingar or Wexford
  • If you don't play sports you damn well better play an instrument (preferably brass or woodwind)
  • You must express a distaste for all things Dublin and a burning desire to move back to Mullingar/Wexford and Mammy as soon as possible (Mammy is always to be referred to by her full title and with a capital M)
  • You must have no interest whatsoever in reading books (bar P.S. I Love You) or watching films (bar P.S. I Love You)
  • Your summer holidays will be spend in Santa Ponza.
  • Your musical interests will include Pink, Boyzone, Celine Dion and (bizarrely) Meat Loaf.
I fear for our nation's children. There is a strange and conservative atmosphere in the college - it feels more like a school (or a nunnery) and you know instinctively not to run in the corridors. The students are almost all female and wholesome with it, it's like one big girls' club.

Not for me.

*It's probably not an obscene amount of money to anyone who has a real-life grown-up job but when you're a monkey like I am and you're accustomed to being paid in peanuts, it's quite the pot o' gold.
**Occasionally I get a fluent one and the conversation flows. It's still limited to Mullingar/Wexford and Cecelia fucking Ahern though.

Review: No Béarla II

Luaigh mé cheana an díomá a bhí orm le No Béarla nuair a craoladh anuraidh é agus an phríomhlocht a bhfuair mé air ná cur chuige Manchán féin. Chonaic mé clár ón sraith nua tráthnóna inné, agus bhí díomá orm athuair.

Tá formáid an chláir athraithe acu; in áit Magan a bheith ag spaisteoireacht go hionsaitheach timpeall na tíre tá sé os comhair lucht féachana, ag óráidíocht leis agus ag taispeáint scannáin den taighde eolaíochta atá déanta aige ar cheist na teangan. Chuir na turgnaimh éagsúla na tionscnaimh a rinne mé féin is mo chairde don Young Scientists Exhibition i gcuimhne dom - bhí siad seafóideach, ró shimplithe; ní bhuamar aon trófaithe.
Ina measc bhí an cheann seo a bhíonn de shíor ag teacht idir mé agus codladh na hoíche: Cad a tharlódh dá gcuirfeá lucht na Gaeltachta faoi scrúdú polygraph le fáil amach conas a réitíonn siad le foghlaimeoirí Gaeilge? Fuck all, is cosúil.

Teilifís leamh, leadránach a bhí ann, le blas na seanmóireachta air. Ag pointe amháin luaigh sé go raibh roinnt eachtrannach, inimircigh go hÉireann ina measc, go raibh Gaeilge foghlamtha acu agus go bhfuil sí ar a dtoil anois acu. Mar a tharla sé, bhí ceathrar acu sa lucht féachana. Suas leo ar stáitse, bualadh bos, comhghairdeas libh as an éacht seo atá déanta agaibh.
Mo náire sibh, muintir na hÉireann, nach bhfuil sibh féin chomh dílis don teanga. What bollocks. Cuireann an cineál sin smaoineamh olc agus cantal orm. Cloisim go minic é; chomh luath is a thuigeann daoine go bhfuil Gaeilge líofa agam, gabhann siad leithscéal liom agus míníonn siad dom go bhfuil náire orthu nach bhfuil siad féin in ann í a labhairt. Cén fáth? Cad chuige go mbeadh náire ort? Léigh mé tuairimí den chinéal seo ar roinnt blaganna le déanaí chomh maith, cinn Patrick agus Maria ach go háirithe (agus caithfidh mé a admháil anois go bhfaighimse blag Mharia thar a bheith coimeádach agus uaireanta cúngaigeanta ó thaobh na tuairimíochta de, ach is dóigh liom go bhfuil go leor daoine amuigh ansin a bheadh ar aon intinn léi). Tuigim go mbíonn aiféala ar dhaoine nach bhfuil Gaeilge ar a dtoil acu i ndiaidh dóibh í a fhoghlaim ar scoil, go mb'fhéidir go mbraitheann siad gur chuir siad deis amú. Níl gá leis na mothúcháin diúltacha seo ar chor ar bith. Lig leis agus beidh leat. Ní dhéanann siad maitheas ar bith d'éinne seachas, b'fhéidír, Manchán.

No Béarla III, anyone?

Friday, April 11, 2008

¡No me toques los cojones!

To the unfortunate working in the United States House of Representatives who googled "fuck off in Spanish" and ended up here - ¡Que te pires!

And mind your language.

Lonely Hearts

A Warning Sign

Look what AJ's made! Apparently it's inspired by my relentless whingeing about being single and my half-baked notion to use my blog as a means of getting laid meeting my potential soulmate. Slowly but surely I'll turn the blogging world into one giant ugly plentymoremaybemates.com.

Or not. That kind of thing would probably get me kicked off teh internets. Anyway, I can't help thinking that posting a photo might be a better idea. If I looked like Mrs. Sarkozy.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Shopping Trip Goes Tits Up

This evening, after a long and sticky day at work and a long and sticky dinner in BonGa with my colleagues after work, I decided (out of necessity) to go bra shopping. Bras. Women* seem to get all of a flutter about them. Shoes I get, dresses too (I bought a lovely flouncy grey leopard print one today, it's very pretty) but bras do nothing for me. I may have mentioned once or twice that I am a little lacking in the diddies department, which I suppose might have something to do with my lack of enthusiasm. This would not be so bad had my body not seen fit to compensate for my flat-chestedness with some roundy-arsedness instead, but I can find plenty of lovely knickers to suit that; it's finding the cíochbheart** to go with them that causes the stress. The font of all knowledge (Wikipedia) maintains that 90% of women in the Western World wear the damn things, so how hard could it be to find a nice black lace one in my size? Very, it seems.

I'm fussy about the type of bra I'll wear and I fucking hate shopping for them because I can never find one I like that fits. Despite my jugs-envy, I won't wear ones with padding; I may not have much diddy to display but I think that what little there is looks better in silhouette than some synthetic foam or worse, those chicken fillet inserts. I tried them once as an emergency fix - I had a ball to attend and my dress (a panic buy) gaped at the bust. I felt a bit funny about borrowing them from a friend (they feel like rather intimate accoutrements) and the end result just made me look as if I had saggy C cups lolling either side of my bellybutton. FAIL. Busty bombshell I was not. I resent the slight padding of t-shirt bras, obscuring nipples as if they were somehow rude or inappropriate. I'm an A cup! Nipples are all I have!

Actually, I'm sometimes a B. It depends on the brand, which does not make life any easier. It means I spend ages in changing rooms trying them on and getting more and more pissed off by the minute while the saleslady hovers with her measuring tape, insisting that I should try the next size up. And then watching her face fall when she sees that the next size up gapes both visibly and risibly. Finding the right one is an almost spiritual experience, I don't like shopping for them but I do like wearing them.

Charlie Dimmock I ain't. Bring back corsets, I say.

*These ones in particular.
**Translates as boob-bundler. Brilliant.

Honestly, It Was Like That When I Got Here

The contents of my handbag are spread out across the windowsill like wares laid out in a sticky little shop, drying in the sunshine following an incident with a tub of blackberries and blackcurrants in red grape juice. It's been that kind of day.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Calling It A Day

I had planned on writing a lovely post about underwear this evening, inspired by the nice ladies who hang out over at Annie's. Instead I went for a walk by the sea with my Nana where we ate ice cream and talked shite, and then came home and started reading Bete de Jour's blog. It's very good. I'm curled up in bed now and the laptop screen has acquired the distressing brightness of headlights at night when you're too tired to be driving. My flatmates have just arrived home and are slamming the doors of the kitchen presses with such gusto that I need to curl up under the blankets immediately lest I be tempted to get up and batter their heads in for making such an awful fucking clatter.

It's been a good day though.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A Little Light Reading

In the last six months or so I've ploughed my way through the following, in no particular order:

Cormac Mc Carthy's The Road (apocalypse)
Patrick Mc Cabe's Winterwood (paedophilia)
Gerard Woodward's I'll go to Bed at Noon (alcoholism)
Michael Collins' The Keepers of Truth (murder)
Anne Enright's The Gathering (suicide)
Don de Lillo's Falling Man (terrorism)
Kazuo Ishiguro's Never let me Go (organ harvesting)
Lloyd Jones' Mister Pip (genocide)
MJ Hyland's Carry me Down (unhappiness)

I've also reread Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad (misogyny) and John Banville's Eclipse (loss) just for the craic. I have loved each and every one with the exception of Mister Pip, but though I didn't love it I did like it - it just didn't give me the same itch to reread it as the others have.

But I need a break. Can any of you recommend something that will lift my spirits?

WrathMines

Hungry Rosie:
Turkey and cheese, please.
Normally mild-mannered shop lady:
Lovely. It's you that doesn't like the mayo, love, isn't it? I do mix you up with the girl from Lowe'ses next door. She's nice too.
Hungry Rosie:
[polite laugh]
Normally mild-mannered shop lady:
Ah FUCK!

The fuckin' builders have eaten all me fuckin' cheese. Bastards. I won't be gettin' anny more cheese in til the mornin'.
Ridey till boy (the reason I buy lunch there):
I had a lovely roll for my lunch, loads of cheese on it there was. Sorry about that... [winks]
I wonder would she slather him in butter and stuff him between two slices of bread of me?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Dating Service

I see that that Disgrace has been pondering his single status of late, which I suppose makes a change from him just muttering direly about his last relationship.
My honeymoon period as novelty single guy has come to an end. I'm now becoming an embarrassing loveless lump of drunken typical single sleaze bag.
[in conclusion] Ok girls, come and get it...
This has me thinking once more about blogging as a dating strategy. I read recently (via JazzBiscuit) about the British Psychological Society's advice to women on choosing an online dating name, advice which seemed to support my previous feminist(ish) rant about men not being attracted to clever or funny women. "She advised female lonely hearts to avoid screen names which attempt to be classy, or show how clever they are."

I've had two affairs* as a result of this blog, though you know that already. It makes for an interesting way to meet someone and I'm not sure if I prefer it to conventional methods (getting wankered and seeing what fate has to offer by way of entertainment). I met LC sight unseen and took my chances, I ended up spending two fantastic long weekends with him. I went out as a pretend friend with OneFor (whom I had met once before but didn't pay any mind to) and ended up sticking my fingers in his beard and asking him to kiss me.

Neither of my affairs were disasters, exactly, but nor were they raging successes; I still sleep alone. Both were short lived and disappointing in their way, both were a little easier because they keep blogs too (and I had read them) so I knew more or less what I was letting myself in for and both were a little more difficult because they had read my blog (and it was far too late to try to make a good impression). It can make for frustrating conversation, having your own flippant remarks and faux pas quoted back to you almost verbatim. It also drastically reduces your stock of witty anecdotes with which to fill conversational lapses, "I read that!" effectively unravelling your yarn and leaving you looking like a one-trick pony.

I'm not sure how accurate a picture I paint of myself with my writings here (SWF reckons I'm pretty true to form) but I do try to be classy and even when recounting my most idiotic adventures I try to do it in an articulate and clever manner. Because I find classy and clever attractive, though I suspect my definitions of both are a little different to the ones one might find in a dictionary. So am I fishing for romance through my blog, in some long winded form of online dating?

In between odes to my family, my friends and the demon drink, maybe.

*What else to call them? They were neither relationships nor one night stands. Can anybody suggest a more suitable term? (Note: anyone suggesting "thing" will be barred.)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Free To A Good Home

The Blonde

Likes:
  • Sleeping.
  • Sliotars.
  • Swimming.
  • Sticking her head down the drain in the garden to look for tasty tidbits.

Dislikes:

  • Baths necessitated by an idiotic compulsion to stick her head down the drain in the garden to look for tasty tidbits.

The Urchin

Likes:
  • Attention.
  • Fighting.
  • Dry riding.
  • Prancing on the table when I've left the room, spraying hummus all over her face and my study notes.

Dislikes:

  • Getting caught. Also; baths.

It's Not Butlins, You Know

"How come you got a nice navy one?" Mam asked, the implication being that she was less than enamoured with the blue polo shirts they'd been told to put on to mark them out lest they stray from the group in Heathrow or - heavens forfend - Nairobi. "When you get into trouble, look for this colour" retorted its wearer, bustling off to dispense more well-meant but redundant advice to his adult charges. "Management" nodded my uncle wisely, sniggering and shaking his head.

My parents, my uncle and my beautiful leggy creature of a cousin are all off to Malindi (on the Kenyan coast) with a small Irish NGO to do some work with a local school, I was doing my bit for world peace by dropping them to the airport. After all of the upsets my parents have had in the last month (my Crash Grandadicoot's death, Conor's loss, the sad news that their friend has terminal cancer) I am hoping that the next fortnight in the African sun surrounded by what is by all accounts an energetic, vibrant and welcoming community in Watamu, will give them heart.

I'd have that "manager" in the navy t-shirt buried under 2 tonnes of concrete by day 3.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Ceann Cipíní

I got up this morning and dressed like a grown-up in anticipation of a half-day's work to be spent in the company of actual real-life adults. Tidyish hair, make-up, the whole nine yards - my one concession to whimsy were my white shoes with black tights, but you'd hardly notice. All of this primping and preening meant that I was running a little late, so there was a mild sense of panic when I did my usual root around in my cavernous handbag ("phone, wallet, keys, cigarettes...") and failed to find my wallet. Cue a frantic search of my pockets, the floor, the bin, the fridge (it's happened) but all to no avail. I mentally retraced my steps to the Ben & Jerry's counter in the cinema the night before, remembered stuffing the wallet clumsily into my coat pocket as I juggled the ice-cream, coat, scarf, handbag and tickets. And dropping the coat on the floor as I got out of my seat after the film. Fuck.

I never have cash, by dint of being both poverty-stricken and allergic to ATM queues. But I'd just been reimbursed for €240 worth of expenses. In cash.

After eleventy billion hours of muddling through various options on the cinema's automated phoneline (the recorded voice eventually adopting an exasperated tone, asking "What service would you like?" at which I barked "fucking OPERATOR!" for the millionth time) I was eventually put through to a nice lady called Janine somewhere in the UK, who eventually put me through to a nice lady called Gráinne in Dublin, who said she'd call me back.

I called the office to let them know that I had in fact done something stupid and would not be joining the adults after all, and then sat and waited for Gráinne to call.

Half an hour later she did. They'd found it. I didn't dare ask if there was anything actually in it, instead I gibbered at her about how I'd be over immediately. I picked up my bag and coat and hot-footed it to the bus stop, which was when I realised that I didn't have any money to get a bus because I had lost my fucking wallet.

Three quarters of an hour later I arrived flushed and anxious at the cinema, where a smiling manager presented me with my wallet, plastic fantastics and cash intact. I was so grateful that I made to kiss her, but she was having none of it.

May karma reward whoever handed it in. They made my day.

Review: Lars And The Real Girl

A very considerate film about love, loneliness and mental illness.

I liked it.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Review: Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon

I brought my Nana to see it last night. "Good choice, a film about a guy who has a stroke and then dies of pneumonia" muttered my brother, referring to Crash Grandadicoot's recent loss (stroke, followed by, eh... pneumonia). On paper it looked like an abominably insensitive choice of film to bring a grieving widow to see but my repeated readings of the book* over the years reassured me that she would find something in it to lift her spirits.

And she did, very much. I know this because once we got home, she called everyone she knows to let them know just how much she had enjoyed it. "It was very good. It had subtitles though, and the young lad in front of me had such a big head that I kept missing the last word of every sentence. Still, I got the gist of it."

*I thought the same actually, and hesitated recently over lending her my copy. But it was that or Meet the Spartans, so I took a chance.

Fuck Off Annoying Me, I'm Trying To Work Here

Me, Looking Foxy

"That's you, that is!" emailed GingerBeard, delighting once more in antagonising me to the point where the picture he'd attached (above) was not an unreasonable likeness.

I googled "irritant" by way of a retort and got lots of graphic photos of inflamed and scabby genitalia. 'Nuff said.

For The Day That Was


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Picking Scabs

Other women (I'm told) daydream idly about meeting the man of their dreams and falling madly in love with him. The object of their affections is a shadowy figure, half imagined and eminently possible; being a man very much of the future. I, on the other hand, have an unhealthy tendency to find myself very much mired in the past. Mucked up to the oxters in coulda-woulda-shouldas, poring over every little thing I did or didn't do and generally assuming the blame for any and all of my failed romances (presuming that if it wasn't something I did or didn't do, then it must be something I am). I daydream about ex-lovers suddenly repenting and declaring their undying affection for me. As I've said, it's unhealthy.

I keep letters, emails, texts. I've maintained platonic relationships with some - or tried to - but what betrays my imagined feelings for them is the presence of their friendly messages in my various inboxes long after I've replied, when normally I would delete them. I don't reread them, that would make me feel worse. But there is comfort in knowing that they're there. Occasionally I will be tempted to follow one up, suss him out, revisit familiar territory, scratch at old wounds. It invariaby ends in disaster.

So today I decided upon a purge. Wiped the archives clean.

Midway through my deletathon I got a text from someone I haven't been in contact with for more than a year, someone I had had a brief affair with and (unusually for me) I decided that I didn't want to see him anymore. He was getting very involved very quickly and talking about making some pretty big decisions based on a three week casual affair and I just wasn't interested. I told him so in no uncertain terms; I was very nice about it, but firm. I balked at his suggestion that I forget about it and we go back to something casual ("if that's all you'll allow me, well it's better than nothing..."). When all I'd said seemed to be falling on deaf ears I broke all contact. And now an innocuous text a year later, to ask me how I am and to let me know he's in town. All I could think was seriously, fuck off, wouldya?

There is no surer sign that I should quit flogging my dead donkeys. I don't want to be anyone's seriously-fuck-off-wouldya.

So Long, Motherfucker

So the scoundrel and scourge of Dáil Éireann has finally resigned. Just in time for my morning teabreak too, which was nice, as it meant I could watch it on the big fuck-off telly in reception with all of my smiling colleagues. It'll be all anyone in Ireland blogs about today, I expect, so I plan to write a heartfelt post about boys instead.

Anyway, Shane says it better.

Rathmines On Bin Day

Is very very smelly.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

GreasyLocks

After my recent hair-raising tale I've been inspired to share another hirsute horror story with you. It's long enough ago for me to laugh at it now. Just about.

For years I've had patches of psoriasis on my scalp. I've found that what works best for me is the occasional application of a coal tar pomade, which is every bit as unattractive as it sounds. It's a thick, sticky brownish goo, it smells like old person's soap but does the trick if applied before bedtime and washed out in the morning. I'd run out of the offending substance and high-hoed to the chemist's to get some, planning on having shining tresses for the following evening's trip to London. I went home, smeared it in, wrapped my hair (which was lovely and long at the time) in a turban and went to bed. The following morning I got up early and washed it, as usual, but it wouldn't wash out. In fact, I couldn't get the shampoo to lather. So I washed it again. And again. And again.

Four washes, and still not so much as a bubble from the shampoo, despite all of my exertions. I emerged prune-fingered and raging from the shower to reexamine the container my coal tar goo had come in. Only to discover that it was not in fact my coal tar goo. The pharmacist had given me the wrong stuff; this was some kind of petroleum jelly based unguent. I had smeared my hair in Vaseline and left it to soak in overnight.

I scraped it up into a sloppy, sticky bun and stormed down to the chemist's to demand an apology and a miracle solution. The assistant helpfully suggested that I try wearing it in a "wet look style" for a few days. I punched her on the nose and stormed off home to call the hairdressers.

They advised me to put talcum powder in it to soak up the excess grease, and then to try washing it again. My sister was drafted in and we spent an unhappy hour making a hair, Vaseline and Johnson's Baby Powder paste. Three goes of this (that's seven washes now) and still no progress so I called up to the salon to see if they could do anything more. They applied some kind of nail varnish remover solution to my hair that they usually use to remove years of Dax Wax from pimply men's hair and left me under one of those space helmet dryers for a half hour before washing it another three times, and then spent a fucking lifetime trying to blowdry it. "It'll take maybe a week or two to get back to normal" the hairdresser sympathised. "It's nice and soft though..." she trailed off, hopefully.

Thankfully greasy looking fuckers were all the rage in Brixton Academy that night. Though it took weeks for my curls to come back.