Thursday, November 29, 2007

Half and half.

Well I dusted myself down after the trauma of my PS I Love You experience, slept a little later the next morning, and lay in wait for the weekend. It wasn't long in arriving, with the call coming from Johnny at 3pm on Friday to drop down to him for a couple of sociables.

It was the first great lost weekend of the year.

And it November.

We saw out Friday in Forbes Quay, later to be joined by Owen. Must have been hammered because by the time I got back to my place it 1.30am, and I fell outside the flat doing a damage to my shoulder. I bear the scars still.

Woke up the next day in a rotten heap, and swore I wasn't going to make a return visit to Johnny's place to watch the Liverpool game. The mountain would come to Mohammed, as he and Cowzer showed up at Radge Central bearing armfuls of Stella.

I'd recovered at this stage sufficiently to down one or two. Then I got a taste for it. Newcastle vanquished, Cowzer headed off and myself and Johnny decided to be 20 again. Over to Spar for bottles of Lech (4/10), Tyskie (6/10) and Praszky (N/A - drunk by then) and more Stella or Heineken or something. Jesus.

Then Kenny arrived around 8 bells - more gargle. He did one at 11 so myself and Johnny headed for Downeys for pints and whiskey. All I remember is baulking at the spartan nature of the seating arrangement and swaying manfully on my crooked stool.

Midnight or so we found a party next door to me so, takeaway beer in tow, we headed inside to a nicely decorated slightly-older-than-student house with festive cheer and bellies full to the brim with the day's destroyment.

I don't remember much about that party, save for wandering into various dormitories searching for God only knows what. And God knows what was unfortunately not got.

Aftermath: I woke in the middle of the night, around 4am, to discover an empty flat. I'll admit to loneliness at that point, I'd come used to the company again, but these things happen. The days after saw me become more and more, not less and less, wretched as I realised the poisoning I'd done unto myself.

Worth every last drop of sweet, sweet Lech though.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

My slow death.

Tonight I saw 'PS I Love You.' I just thought I'd say it. Get it out there. No pink elephant in the room. Judge me, hate me, disparage me, I deserve it. While there's clearly no hope for me, by writing about my experiences now I can protect you, my dear, dear readership, from a cinematic fate worse than having your balls needled by syringes of nitric acid. Or Rumour Has It.

Denise coaxed me to the premiere, and seeing as I've been laying around Radge Central picking my nose and watching Keeping Up Appearances all week I thought it'd be a good idea to get out for a few hours.

As we finished our dinner and taxi'd up to Parnell Street I'd little idea of the horror in store. I figured I could handle a chick flick, I'd just daydream throughout about nice boy things like football and model airplane maintenance.

The film had started when we arrived. We settled down to Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler having an anaemic little squabble that only married couples in Hollywood films can have. It was an interminable scene in which all I gauged was the worst Irish accent in celluloid history (his) and a cutesy little pointy pixie face spouting inanities about how all he wanted was wild sex (hers). It only got worse.

I won't go through it scene by scene, as memory tends to black out such irreversible trauma, but one sequence really had me reaching for the suicide pill tucked safely between the old receipts in my wallet.

Yer man has died and is leaving posthumous notes to herself telling her how to move on in her life. One of these malignant little epistles leads Swank and her two mates to the fictional land of Oireland, where a trip from Connemara to Dublin takes no more than a donkey trek across a couple of hills. Herself goes to Whelans with her mates and spies a ruggedly handsome singer. At this point, she's ganting on a bit of the old in-out, so she chats him up and he dedicates a song to her.

For reasons too preposterous to waste time on here, she leaves the venue sexless and crying for Butler, still popping in and out of the film from the grave with an accent part Terry Griffiths, part Terry Wogan, part Bob Marley and fully fucking annoying.

Next scene and she's fishing with her friends and mourning the fact that she never got her end away with Shane McGowan or whatever his name was. Circumstances lead to the three dull bints getting stuck on a lake for a few hours, and just when I hope against hope that they'll succumb to the scurvy and this terror will end, along comes the coastguard. Yep. It's the singer from Whelans who has a nixer as a boatman on the very lake that....


Not ONLY that, but he also turns out to be the former best friend of yer one's dead husband.

Christ almighty. I won't even get into the script, which would make an episode of 'The Young And The Restless' look like 'The Sopranos'.

Swank is a very competent actress, but times must be hard for her to take on this shite. Even Kathy Bates, in a fart of a role as Swank's mother, can't redeem this muck one single iota.

Nul points.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Soup dreams

It's coming, and soon! Tomorrow's my last day in Setanta Central until the week after next, and mercy me but I'm an excited man. Have been in remarkably chipper form the last couple of days, annoying the heads of my colleagues with my exaltations and hyper-activity.

They hate me. I can tell.

Hitting Bantry anyway, myself and the aul boy heading down to Sean and Kathy's glorious abode by the bay. Oh brilliant. It's the most remote place I know, when the lights go out at night not a shape can be made out in the dark, and total silence. The smell of burnt wood greets upon entering, as the house opens into what surely must be one of the finest cottages in West Cork. Hopefully I'll remember to bring the camera this time and I'll post pictures that people will pretend to be interested in.

We'll be hitting the Crazy Horse Saloon no doubt, as I put on my drinking shoes once more with Murphy's and Jameson in mind. Ten days off the gargle now. Remarkable how such a small feat on a global scale is greeted by wonder here in our drunken little country.

I mean, ten days, a week and a half, and I feel a medal of some sort should come my way. At least a bronze.

It took all my willpower not to sup last night though. Left work with the intention of getting on intimate terms with my new d*d*y box. I use asterisks because you never know what trouble those hoors at Google will get me into. All the channels under the sun for the price of 28 pints. 140euro in old money.

Anyway, I eschewed the couch to head to Bowe's with Juliannus Mirabilis. We'd intended on one, and I was on the non-alcoholic shite anyway, but bless her we got yapping and the clock struck half ten before I cried no more and sent her on the way to meet James.

Birthday plans are finalised and there'll be a mail going out shortly. What else? Keep away from yourselves.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Terms and conditions need not apply.

I had an interesting conversation with one of the boys last week. A very close friend of mine who I hadn't seen in a while dropped into Chez Radge for tea and a purple snack. He'd just returned from a boating trip with some of the other lads, a regular enough jaunt they've taken over the years for boozing and carousing and this and that.

He was telling me this particular trip was quiet by comparison to previous times. A more sedate venture up the Shannon, with the ravages of time quelling the beer intake. Don't get me wrong, a good time was had, but one comment struck me.

In years gone by, money would have been tight, but that would be forgotten as caution went to the wind and each town was assaulted with abandon by these hordes of horny and drink-lusty Dublin boyos. This time, he said, was different because while everyone now had money to throw away on such debauchery, life had happened, engagements had been made, houses and apartments bought and stresses previously absent brought to the fore. He said that they had the money but the spark had gone, or words to that effect.

People do have money now, and capital, but the spontaneity that so marked out previous years - "let's rob this tractor, crash a gate and run" - has been lost to a tedium borne of impending domesticity. It troubled me when he said it.

I'm 28, 29 in a few weeks. I still get regularly gargled, end up with egg on my face after encountering mysterious Austrian women, wake up completely fucked and forgetful, chide my more settled friends, eat noodles from a pot and hold grandiose ideas of future writerly success and renown. I may moan about work, about being stuck in a Groundhog existence (see recent post) and give out about not having much money. But ultimately I'm happy with my lot, and the idea of still being able to sit in a pub on a random Monday afternoon and drink the day away and laugh out loud and long. It's a balance that fits me.

Yet I'm still subjected to the fear of other people that I'll never own my own property, buy a car, get a pension, have kids, play golf. It's not yet pushed down my throat, but it's coming. I know it.

I just don't necessarily want to follow the blueprint for life set out by some of my peers. l haven't come across a crisis point where I've missed the boat, so to speak, where the fear of not following the herd into early middle age has borne fruit, leaving me alone and crumpled in a corner and wondering why oh why I never opened that SSIA account.

I don't see why I have to own property. Why I have to get into debt to buy a car. Why I can't sit in the Stags on a Monday afternoon. Why I shouldn't buy quite so many DVDs. Why I should stave off happiness for a rainy day. Why I should eat steamed fish only. The done thing isn't necessarily my thing.

It strikes me that people are petrified of just floating on through. To most people that's the worst thing in the world. Don't get me wrong, I have ambitions for myself but they are my own and will come to pass in my own time. As I enter the last year of my twenties, I really don't want to be 50.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Seeking, seeking, seeking.

I thought I was having a heart attack the other night. Oh it was terrible. Went to bed on Sunday early doors, read for a while, then turned the lights off.

It was at this point that I started losing my breath and palpitating wildly. Terrible. The hands went all tingly and I had visions of laying there for weeks before some concerned family member would break in and discover my rotting corpse.

Happily this didn't transpire, I fended off the reaper and woke as normal the next day.

However, once I sat at my desk the palpitations started again. Sakes, says I, so I headed to the doctor on the advice of my peers. "Stress," he said. "Stress?" said I. This perplexed me as I've been going with the flow as normal lately, but he felt strongly enough to medicine me, leaving me non-alcoholic for weeks to come.

This is handy in a way. Just checked the bank balance. Oh mercy me but funds are tight as fuck. Where has it all gone? I kicked my addiction to Magnum Classics years and years ago. I don't gamble. I don't smoke. I've even been rationing the old nights out.

I think the problems start when you're paying 99 cent for a Toffee Crisp.