Friday, November 28, 2008

Big Hearts And Deep Pockets

For realsies. Click the picture.

In other news, I lost my temper yesterday and put my foot through the screen of my 178 inch plasma LCD HD FYI TV. I've been using my Nokia N95 meanwhiles but it's proven frustrating, what with it being imaginary.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Review: Kisses

When Kylie lifted her grubby fingers to her lips and blew Dylan a kiss, the grey picture blushed, just for a moment, into a glorious rosy pink.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Caught By Defuzz

I was blessedly ronnie-free until relatively recently. I spent ten years on Dianette as a result of my having polystyrene ovaries and so never had to worry about facial hair, so bursting was I with ingested womanly hormones. I was fat, mental and darkly depressed, sure, but sublimely smooth of skin.

Yes, until relatively recently. Some three years ago I began to wonder if my chubby crackedness could be blamed on the meds rather than my gen for chocolate and high drama, so I sought alternative treatment. In the hope that I might some day be able to have babies, and the like. Though I haven't dropped any sprogs just yet, I now sport the merest hint of a mustache and a pair of peachy soft sideburns. I'm told you wouldn't notice them, but then he also tells me that I look beautiful in the morning, when I know fucking well that I look like Wurzel Gummidge after a bottle of cooking rum when I wake.

It's been bugging me, though, and now that I'm shaving my legs and waxing my ladygarden in an effort to appear kempt and tempt his affections, I decided it might be time to tackle the 'tache. Depliation seemed wiser than epilation what with my delicate skin, so I came home this evening and slathered my mush in Boots' finest no-more-mo' cream. Timed the four minutes carefully, washed it off to reveal slightly reddened skin and luxurious swathes of sideburn still stubbornly clinging to my rosie cheeks.

Rinse, I did. And repeated. Four minutes later I washed it off again, this time revealing the makings of a rash. Not all over, just where the 'tache and sideys had been. A nice dead giveaway. With a bit of luck the makeup I put on to try to hide it in the morning will cake to the cankers and my glamorous new look will be complete.

It ain't easy, being this sexy.

Review: Dido's New Album (No, I Don't Know What It's Called)

It is, regretfully (but perhaps not unexpectedly) shite.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Call Me What You Like

i should write something later, otherwise every time i look at my blog i will see Good Charlotte and cry.
The Jaffa Cake:
i was thinking that. you'd feel better if you put something else up.
i would. but what?
i won't write about you. don't fret.
The Jaffa Cake:
i don't mind you writing about me, as long as it's kept fairly oblique. and that's not because i'm trying to hide things, i'll always feel that way. a little bit.
i know. i hope i haven't put anything up that you're uncomfortable with?
The Jaffa Cake:
not at all, i've really liked everything. apart from the crack about my ginger 'tache.
it's catching, i tell ya. i have an appointment for a wax with the beautician tomorrow. in case it spreads to your beard.
(thinks: this would make for vaguely uncomfortable cut-and-paste blog comedy gold)
The Jaffa Cake: cut and paste away, by all means. i think i have my new nickname for you.
well, i do like lasagna.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Good Charlotte

Charlotte the Vet called on Saturday morning. She had called me the night before on her mobile to reassure me that the Blonde was moping, evidently missing home. Charlotte has been calling a lot, updating me on every step of the Blonde's recovery. I thanked her, and she told me that Peter would call in the morning.

But Peter didn't call. Charlotte did. Charlotte called with a catch in her voice. Hi, Rosie. Then she started, ever so quietly, to cry.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

How Many Syllabubs Is That?

Fréamhaíonn sé mé a deir Gabriel Rosenstock agus é ag caint ar haiku a chleachtadh. Tugann sé dearcadh eile dom ar cad is áilleacht ann.

Labhair Rosenstock freisin ar an íonghlanadh intinne a ghabhann leis an haiku. Go dtugann scríobh agus léamh haiku peirspeictíocht nua dó ar an saol, saol atá níos glé agus níos glaine dá bharr. Táim tógtha leis an smaoineamh seo - go bhféadfainn machnamh a dhéanamh i seacht siolla dhéag. Ach is dócha go n-oirfeadh foirm an senryū níos fearr domsa - baineann siad le faona daonna seachas dúile an dhúlra, agus is duine daonna lán faona mise.

Trathnóna inné bhí mé i mo shuí ar bhínse in aice na canála, ag fanacht leis an Jaffa Cake le dul ag gig an Jimmy Cake. Bhí seisean ag rith mall agus bhí mise préachta leis an bhfuacht, le creathanna i mo cholainn, ar tí an chantail. Chinn mé ar haiku a scríobh; triail breith ar an nóiméad agus an ruaig a chur ar mo cholg.
ag feitheamh, foighneach,
an fuacht, láimhíní in
uachtar ar fhaisean
Dá bhféadfainn chuile éispearas a bhíonn agam ar bhruacha na canála a scagadh mar seo, bheadh suaimhneas intinne i ndán dom.

Ach bheadh easpa ábhar léitheoireachta oraibhse ansin.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quality Viewing

I'm sitting in with the Leitrim Lady, the Swede and his KK watching nothing much on telly when the phone beeps.
Primordial radar! World's smallest muscleman - Discovery Channel. This one's called Romeo and he has a big audition tomorrow for Cirque du Soleil. His da's worried.
Excellent. We switch over and sit, rapt, for the final fifteen minutes of the programme. As the credits roll, the phone beeps with another text.
Paralysed rabbits on Channel 4.
With friends like mine, who needs a TV guide?

Review: Quantum Of Solace

It was very exciting. Though the Leitrim Lady didn't try to drop the hand once.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's Not Off The Ground I Licked It

It was Thursday evening. Jelly, I thought. I haven't had jelly in years. I rooted around at the back of the cupboard and found two packets of raspberry jelly. That'll do. And fruit. All I could find was pineapple, and tinned pineapple at that. Does raspberry go with pineapple? Probably not.

I wanted a good set, so I put both packets in. Remembering how frustrating it was as a child when the lumps refused to dissolve, I took the kitchen scissors to the slippery blocks and cut them into slimy little nubbles before adding the boiling water. Andrew used to eat bars of jelly as a kid, instead of chocolate. I thought he was disgusting. I popped a square of it into my mouth. It was disgusting.

I chopped the pineapple rings into raggedy chunks and spooned them into the warm jelly. They smelled of tin, not coconut, like fresh pineapple does. I don't like fresh coconut much, but fresh pineapple smells like furze and tastes like sunshine. Tinned pineapple smells sad, and tastes a little bit lonely.

They floated. I hadn't expected that, and for some reason I found it horribly disappointing. Perverse, really, as floaters are generally more exciting than foodstuffs which sink. I think it was at that point that I realised I wouldn't be able to eat it until the morning, and that I didn't really want to eat it anyway. How depressing.

It was a ridiculous episode, and alarmingly typical. I don't know where I get these notions or why I feel a compulsion to tell you about them.

I had a bowl of jelly for afters in Nana's on Sunday evening. Somewhere along our conversational meander she mentioned that she'd had a cup of Oxo the evening before. I asked her if she meant Bovril (which is also mankygank) but no, she meant Oxo. She dissolved cubes of beef stock in hot water and drank it. "Funny" she said, "I didn't enjoy it". I'm not fucking surprised. We're not that different, my nana and I.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Through The Wringer

There are times when I would dearly love to pour my heart out onto these pages. To squeeze every last drop from it, like water from a sponge, so that I might watch it bounce back. It gets heavy, you see, sodden with every upset, mine and yours. It swells with every tear it sucks up. I am a sucker in the suckiest sense, as greedy for weltschmerz as I am for schadenfreude. I never know whether to laugh or cry. Skadeglädje är den enda sanna glädjen, but what does that make weltschmerz? Honey to this bee.

So lend me your troubles. I'd appreciate the distraction. I'm worried, and facing a worrisome week. This Wednesday I find out if I still have a job come February. Well, not a job, but my job. I don't want to be a victim of the current economic climate. I'm a gaeilgeoir, for fuck's sake. I can't emigrate.

On Thursday my favouritest doggle, The Blonde, is to have surgery to see if she has a tumour on her bowel. And that worries me so much that I can't even think about it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Roses For Rosie

I'm a hoarder. He's a Swede. The autumn spring clean was traumatic. But when he made to put the glass vase into one of the black sacks I had a(nother) little tantrum. "It's our only vase!" I wailed, snatching it back from him and trying to hide my grimace when my grabbing fingers became glued to its grime. It's never been used, he reminded me, and we both looked at the sticky evidence cradled in my arms. But... "Nobody is ever going to buy you flowers!" he pointed out. Or joked. Or pointed out. It's hard to know, sometimes, with his gallows humour and my thin thin skin. But he wasn't being a prick, just pragmatic. We've lived together for three years now and in that time nobody has bought me flowers. But I will not allow him to consign my hope to the bin, so the vase stays.

Then last Sunday evening, the Jaffa Cake arrived over with an armful of roses. I was overcome; charmed and pathetically embarrassed. Til we got inside and my inner four year old took over, making with the in your face!!! for the Swede's benefit and ruining the touching moment. But the truth is, apart from my dad, he's the only man ever to have bought me flowers. Chatting to ma confidante about it (and him) she confessed to feeling the same the first time someone bought flowers for her. She thought he was taking the piss, felt embarrassed. "But he just wanted to buy me flowers because he liked me. WEIRD." She is too much like me, this confidante, and I feel for her in this. Because she shouldn't be. "We need to get over this shit, don't we? I mean, we're pretty loveable birds" I say with a sigh and a giggling optimism. She agrees.

It might take a while though. My roses were wilting by Tuesday and, ever anxious to preserve the moment, I decided to dry them. They're strung up in my hot press, and I am sitting here like BlueBeard, with a cup of tea.

Review: Hunger

Well, said the birthday boy, I'm glad we went for dinner first.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Salt An' Vinegar

I dithered, my conscience eating at me. Fuck it, I thought, nobody will know. And I was almost, almost there when my phone rang. I silenced it guiltily and placed my order, then, thinking I'd have at least ten minutes to play with, I called him back. I got a whole two minutes of pretending I was out for a walk before your woman behind the counter bellowed at me. "I'm out picking up some dinner" I muttered "in the chipper". I trailed off in embarrassment and he laughed. That's not like you!

Yeah, yeah.

I hurried home with my greasy bag, joking that I hoped I wouldn't be mugged for my chips but glaring at the skangers on Pearse St. as they swaggered past, just in fucking case. Mine. I got home, poured a glass of wine, fetched a plate and some cutlery. I don't know who I thought I was kidding - I licked the salty grease from my fingers ten minutes later, then drank the nice warming rioja for dessert. In front of Ugly Betty.

Intellectual pursuits and culinary adventures will resume tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Short Post About Nothing Much Because Yesterday's Read Like A Desperate "I'm Okay! Really!"

There is something very satisfying about a hearty fart on a cold walk home, when you've your headphones on and are fully convinced that because you couldn't hear it, nobody else could either.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reader's Choice #7

Cock Shaped Zogabongs

For John, who doesn't blog any more, but wrote this and made me cry into my cornflakes. Damn him.

Over glasses of wine in Toast, we compare non vital statistics. Seven this year! one announces, and five hens. The SWF seems a little put out that she's had two hens and no weddings. I am appalled. I've been to two weddings... ever (chronicled here for your convenience - #1 and #2 - and I make the same awful "without a hitch" pun in both posts). I have never been to a hen. I am, I think, the champions.

Hen parties are great fun, I'm told. A bit tacky, sure, but after a few drinks you get into it. There are all kinds of things I get "into" after a few drinks; I would be well advised not to add hen parties to the already embarrassing list. I'm not sure just what it is I find so abhorrent about the idea. The costumes? I am no fashionista but I am allergic to Claire's Accessories; they bring me out in a rash. Cock-shaped zogabongs flatter no-one, least of all those with a head of curly hair that looks for all the world like a crown of badly trimmed pubes. A look I happen to be totally rocking at the moment. "Humorous" matching t-shirts are no better - distended photos of the bride-to-be stretched across her best mates' diddies don't flatter anyone either, and there's always one lumpy bumpy budgie who does not look glowing in lycra. Me.

I lie, though. I was once at a hen, of sorts. A quiet dinner affair with my mother, sister, aunts and I playing the part of the the in-laws. In an effort to imbue the occasion with a little zany bachelorette fun, the bride-to-be's sister had had some table mats printed with photos of the hen as a chick. But oh my. This leggy, beautiful blonde had not always been the belle, it seemed. She was once quite the proverbial duckling. My sister and I exchanged horrified sideways glances, a silent and secret pact never to betray one another's egos so. The bride-to-be thought the photos were hilarious. I admired her strength of character and sense of humour. And died a little inside.

As for the nuptials themselves, the "afters" of a wedding, I am assured, don't count. It's just as well. I was invited to an afters once, in a castle. I turned up midway through the speeches, awkward and inappropriately dressed. I had been invited as the bride's cousin's date (having previously dated another of her cousins) and so the groom introduced me to his family as Jezebel the Harlot. Not big on the Old Testament, they amiably called me Jess for the night. I, of course, lived up to my moniker and ended up crashing in the priest's room with the cameraman. One hates to disappoint.

And yet my reasons for hating hen parties are nothing if not disappointing. As with most of the things in life I profess to dislike, my disdain for hen parties is borne of nothing more than unattractive insecurity. I worry that I lack the requisite oestrogen to pull a hen night of my own out of the bag. I worry that I don't have enough female friends. Then I realise that I do, and begin to worry that they're all prettier than me. Which is nonsense, because as you all know, I'm a total fucking ride. I must be, if the company I keep is anything to go by.

In fact, I'm amazed that someone hasn't tried to marry me already.

I have warned my mother that should I ever dupe some dope into tying my knot, it will be done on the sly. There will be no pomp or circumstance, no photographer or cake. She pronounced herself disappointed, unconvincingly so. She knows I'm full of shit. I bluff and bluster about caring not a jot for marriage, but my raging insecurity will no doubt some day be won over by the idea of a sworn statement.

And I may relent on the cake bit.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hy A Scullyas Lyf Adhagrow

I didn't mean to slam the door behind me, but it was stiff and I was fumbling. I walked the first five minutes with tears tracking mascara down my cheeks, listening for my name, the sound of regret and running feet. Nothing. I paused and lit a cigarette with a shiver and a snivel, then walked on. I thought of walking home, leaving the cold to bite me and becoming a martyr for my cause. But my leaving was for the sake of sensible, responsible, other unpleasant ibles. So I got as far as the seafront and I hailed a taxi.

Love Lane, please. I strapped myself in. Love Lane, he repeated softly. Are you okay? I nodded, catching a glimpse of myself in his mirror. He turned the heating up, turned the country sad songs down, swung the car around and carried me home. And for his silence I was warmly, pathetically grateful.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Five O Clock Shadow

And have you any photos of this latest one? Nana never misses an opportunity to get an affectionate dig in. The implication is that I have trailed a string of them along behind me, that I have a short short span of attention. It is flattering; I do have a short short span of attention, she's right, but not when it comes to the romantical stuff. When it comes to romanticaliness I'm all about the slow burn, the long haul, the big romance, the hard-won battles, but more often than not I come away singed. She doesn't see this because I am so mortified by rejection that I scrape off the char and swallow my pride like toast. I would rather she thinks of me as independent and flighty than insecure and um... flighty.

So she's curious about this New Thing. She liked the last one, you see - he had a big appetite (for such a skinny lad!) and was a Catholic (he wasn't, really, I don't even know where she got this from) so that was pretty much all her boxes ticked. She was all about him when I was all about him, but congratulatory and cautionary when I broke it to her that I had broken with him. You need to do what's right for you she nodded, sagely. Otherwise you can end up married, if you're not careful.


So I show her a picture. She scrutinises it, like a mugshot. I'm not sure what she's looking for, and I wonder if she sees any of the things that I do. He has one of those chin things she says, and I wonder what the fuck she's getting at. Seeing my confusion, she reaches for the right words. You know, she says, pointing again at his jawline, a 7pm.

I nearly wet myself laughing. She asks me, deadly serious, if I plan to stick with this one for a little longer. Will he stick with you? That's the $10 question, I suppose!

I love my nana. She's priceless.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

You've Got Male

Conas tá inniu? I asked him, enquiring after his health. Poor lamb's been laid low for the last week with a horrific dose of the feeling sorries for himself. Oh, I've been sympa as sympa can be, but there's only so much of that I can do before I begin to smell of pathetic. So I sent the text and braced myself for a gulping reply, engineered to elicit sympathy from this egocentric bitch. A moment later, the phone lit up. Better today, I think. Eating, showering, wanking and hoovering (not necessarily in that order).

I laughed. Because he lights up my phone, this friend, I got some Jaffa cakes in for the next time he drops over. It says on the tube that they're ideal for sports bags, but I'm sure they're good for whingebags too.

Mind The Gap

The train was filling up. Praiseach de phótairí strewn about the carriage, spreading legs and luggage across the seats in an effort to secure some space for their hangovers. Morning-after-the-night-before gaeilgeoirí. The worst kind.

She blustered onto the train at Mala, and the other passengers averted their eyes. Mine, however, were fucking glued to her. Mad, brassy burgundy coloured hair, denim jeans and a fringed denim jacket, she was all rhinestones and righteousness, looking about her like she wanted to batter the face off the next one who looked crooked at her. So I swept my handbag into a cuddle on my lap and nodded at the seat beside me. She looked grateful, and a little like she might bite me. Once she'd settled, the natter kicked off; each episode illustrated with photos from her camera phone. I'm pretty intimately acquainted with her domestic situation at this stage, everything from her ma's fibroids to her dog's gluecoma. He has a good heart though, she tells me, so he'll live for ages with it. He just keeps walking into things. I know people just like that, I tell her. She makes me smile all the way to Thurles, this pavee lackeen, and leaves me with a hug and a thank you. For what? I asked her. Nothing, she laughed, and she barrelled back out through the carriage with the same fonn troda on her that she had when she stomped in.

I think I fell a little in love with her.

As the train pulls away from Thurles we pass acres of flooded farmland. There are sheep standing in grumpy little clusters atop the hillocks that punctuate the dreary landscape. A pair of swans glide majestically across the submerged pastures, looking for all the world like they own the place. I stretch out and slip my headphones on, pleased that for the next two hours I can idle in daydreams. There are no more stops until Heuston, so I cast my thoughts adrift again to paddle across the sodden plains. More swan than sheep.