Saturday, December 29, 2007

The magic.

I've been musing on the magic. Not your garden variety rabbit from a hat nonsense. No no. The kind possessed by some, that thing more than charisma, more than charm, more than looks. That zing. Orla got me thinking of this, she's a believer in the magic.

Some people have themselves the magic, an elan that can't be bought or earned or sought or cultivated, it's there or it is not. Call it a natural magnetism. I'm waffling but what's the point in trying to pin it down?

I even know some with it. I won't name them in the here and now but there are those that demand attention by the simple wink of an eye or raising of a brow.

As for little old me, I can't claim to such things myself. I'm a potterer with his plus and minus points, but I do believe I can intuit the magic in those around me. The few.

I am sober, in case you were wondering.

Christmas has passed. Went to Limerick for the family dealie, all passed without menace or malice and I'm back now in Radge Central, supping tea and preparing for another day in work tomorrow. Plod plod.

New Year's Eve approaches, and I reckon I'll do as I've done for two years now and ignore it utterly. I promise myself not to plummet to the depths of 'Celebrity Jigs And Reels' as I did last year. I'll simply pick a good film from the ever expanding collection behind my head here, buy in a couple of beverages (just a couple mind) and play ignorant to the destroyment around me. Enjoyment, you see, should be voluntary and not compulsory.

2008, the year of the weddings, awaits. By this time next year I'll probably be married by osmosis, it will simply have seeped into my veins from over-exposure to vows and cake.

I'd like certain things from the year, but I'll keep them private for now. Learning how to smoke a pipe is low down the list of priorities as things stand, but if the opportunity arises... Always good to have a skill.

Apart from that I want a year of ambition, of inspiration and yes, of realisation.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Radge's Review Of The Year

And I've got to get myself, back to the gaaaaar-den....

I'm having Joni Mitchell this year, or more to the point the song that is either called 'Stardust' or 'The Garden,' not sure. As I sit in Radge Towers set to compose my review of the year, I'm in musical form. Currently playing is 'White Chalk' by PJ Harvey's album of the same name. Jesus. YouTube it. It's a lesson in ethereal majesty or some such nonsense.

Anyway, on to business at hand.

Album of the year: Close call this, my CD purchasement has taken a serious downturn this year, but unsurprisingly The National's 'Boxer' takes it from Radiohead's 'In Rainbows,' just about. Every time I hear 'Green Gloves' I wish it was the first time again, when JW gave me a listen in the office back in the summer. Got no work done that day. Come to think of it, got no work done most days.

Film of the year: As opposed to my musical profligacy, my DVD collection is getting out of hand. I've narrowed it down to a dead heat between 'Once' and 'Into The Wild.' The former restored my faith in Outspan, aka Glen Hansard, in a little gem of a film with great songs and an all too fleeting loveliness. Also could swear I saw 5X's old place on Mountjoy Square in one scene. The latter is Sean Penn's best creation, about Alexander Supertramp's travails as he tries to get to Alaska and leave disgusting material decadence behind. The bear scene at the end is hard to shake.

Worst film of the year: PS I Want A Lobotomy.

On to the personal...

Surprise of the year: Radge? An educator? Surely not. Yes though. This I year I returned to the South Circular Road to teach Sports Journalism, and realised an unknown ambition. Finished now, bar these pesky corrections, it was a hell of an eye-opener.

Weekend of the year: Westport for Ollie's birthday is up there, but I have to hand it to three weeks when myself and Johnny got drunk as LORDS between Friday afternoon and the early hours of Sunday morning. Cowzer and Kenny put in stellar appearances too, but it was myself and Titface that stuck to the cause and got immoderately bluttered. See the 'Lech' entry for details.

Night out of the year: January 2nd, when myself and Richie decided on a quiet few in the Long Stone. What started out as a discussion on an unnamed project ended up in Q Bar with Chinese Chris and his mates ("ah stop it Chris, you're always at this lark") and the most unfettered dancing this side of 5X in his souped up heyday. Lord. The birthday deserves a mention too, but for sheer abandon it was Chris Night '07.

Newcomer of the year: Many, MANY this year, including Mad Mandy who told me she loved me after one date, Apparently Too Tall Elaine, Brian and Mark May and Darren who joined the Setanta throng and not to be forgetting Angel, Faela and the Bob Dylan poster which seems oh so long ago now, Kenny's bird 'Ken,' Aisling Eile and her troupe of Corkonian lovelies, and Dorte with her little blue one and whiskey rocks and general goodwill towards little old me. However. 'Newcomer of the year' goes to Dave Delany for the third year running, though Dockers came dangerously close this year.

Kev Murphy of the year: Well, there are two... Work Kev and El Tolteca Kev. If they meet the universe will most likely collapse unto itself. There's no separating the two in terms of champness though.

Drunken falling over of the year: Outside of my flat after phase one of my weekend of the year.

Dickhead of the year: Yer man in work who ignores me every time I say hello, probably because I don't wear a suit. I just really dislike that lad.

Satan of the year: F**** C*o***. Do the maths.

Belle of the year: Belle.

Pike of the year: Pike.

Nar of the year: Nar.

Wedding of the year: The only one, which was Vik's in Galway. It was another cracker of a weekend, and I've just the 17 or 18 to contend with next year. Between myself and Mirabilis, we could start up a consultancy on wedding attendance. Suppose we're just at that age though.

Lunch of the year: Myself and Dave and the aforementioned Mirabilis in Burger King there last week. For no particular reason at all really, I just enjoyed my Angus Burger. Also the hot water bottle lunch with Aisling in Limerick. Thankfully she laughed.

Fernando Torres of the year: Fernando Torres.

Book of the year: 'This Book Will Save Your Life,' by AM Holmes, loaned to me by our Denise.

Embarrassment of the year: The Austrian I met in McDonalds, Catarina was her name, circa Hallowe'en. It was in the bag and I fucked it up royally in a style known only to me over my lovelorn years of nothingness. Made a great story for the lads though.

Fadings of the year: Too many to mention, I'm an absolute hoor for heading off before midnight these days, and have been known to go whole weeks without boozing. Only one thing for it, I'm off to Johnny's to get destroyed.

What else? Moved in on my own this year, ending ten years of Johnny's own brand of utter distaste on a daily basis. Happily his campaign of hatred remains and I seat myself regularly at his side and take the abuse like a man. Verbals only, by the way. I've always said we're not interesting enough to be gay. Meanwhile, Anne and Emma have done nothing to separate themselves in the 'Sister of the year' stakes for the 25th year running, Nancy's with the folks and watching Discovery Channel into the small hours every night, I'm missing this year's Christmas Party (hence the early review) and 2008 will be a dinger. Finally....

Champ of the year: Radge. Self praise is great praise.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Katy French

Katy French died last week. She was well turned out, your average sparkled blonde that you'd see wetting themselves at the windows of Brown Thomas, and no doubt had some degree of savvy to so successfully court the media since, well, February or something when she broke up with that chef whose name I couldn't be bothered remembering. Marcus Foxington-Toast I think it was.

French's was the lowest common denominator form of celebrity, though, spawned as it was by looking all pretty in little or no clothes and exacerbated by the toilet paper that is the Sunday Independent. She was photographed a lot, went to meet the kids in Calcutta, embraced the (hopefully) dying embers of reality television for RTE, celebrated her 24th birthday and died after doing, in all likelihood, a fuck load of coke.

Now, to each their own, and you can't really blame the girl for getting caught up in drugs and champagne and Lilies and Barry Egan and whatever goes with the bottom feeding world of Irish celebrity, but I have been appalled by the aftermath of the powder sniffing model's demise.

Front page spreads with blackgrounds (sic) bearing Katy French, 1983-2006, a martyr for the Celtic Tigresses, 'goodbye Ireland's rose', a tribute on the Assets website, a weepy Rosanna Davison, the end of the world as we know it.

I'll rewind a bit.

'Goodbye Ireland's rose.' Our Diana, they're calling it.

Jesus Christ. Is it not a sad indictment of our materialistic little isle that 'our Diana' was a dolled up cokehead that courted celebrity from her first toot in the morning to whatever she got up to at bedtime? I'm probably being naive here, harsh even, in assuming that she did little other than snort the devil's dandruff in between winks at the camera, but I'm reaching for perspective.

Diana, publicity seeker extraordinaire that she was, deserved her iconic status on account of spending countless years in the company of those execrable royal bastards, for her AIDS work, landmine crusading (she was against, not pro, I should clear that up), etcetera. Yes, she bled the media dry and used their fawning to her benefit, but the public display of lamentation after her death was acceptable, justified even.

On the other hand we get Katy French. A young one who, along with Glenda Gilson and Davison and whoever presents The Afternoon Show, kept the disgusting 'Sindo' in rotation and got destroyed with that wretched Gavin Lambe Murphy. For me, the thing worth lamenting is the fact that it was she, and not that odious little scrote (who couldn't wait to tell all about his drug exploits with the doomed model) that snuffed it. And then snuffed it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Play us Aslan, will yeh??

Just saw Once. A little cracker of a film, it is. I was sceptical approaching it, what with Glen Hansard's recent missteps in terms of, well, coming very close to disappearing up his own hole. However, he makes this work nicely, very natural like and the songs with Marketa Irglova by and large stand to scrutiny. Yeah. Well worth your time.

Even 5X thought it praiseworthy, irony of ironies given the caricature he did of me recently, replete with Frames t-shirt. Doesn't he know I've long since moved on to stalking Matt Berninger and company? Plainly not. He lives in Paris after all.

Last week came the advent of Radge Lash '07, or Radge'n'Richie lash as this was. Bowe's was more than a hospitable venue though they could have thrown in an aul platter for our 100 euro, but that's a minor quibble. Myself, Richie and Niamho started things off before dribs became drabs became a throng of willing drinkers such as ourselves.

I'll say it for Dr. Fell, he's in league with some serious beauties there. Me? I was content to drink a Jameson and a Powers and a JD and Jagebomb courtesy of Aisling and become a silhouette of my normally soberous self. We hit Doyle's afterwards. Apparently. I'm cloudier for the recollection.

Not quite restored to myself yet, was really some session, and been on the dry since and watching earnest Irish musicians make really very good films indeed. There's no 'P' in 'Once'.