Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Next...

The clock on the corner of the screen tells me I'm probably a sad cunt for being in, alone, on New Year's Eve.

It's been this way for three years now.

However, this year at least I drank a few pints and a scotch with 5X in the Palace Bar, listening to music, before coming home before the clocks strike twelve.

Very pleased to have seen the man for the first time since July, pleaseder still that we made it merry, and now I'm happy to switch on RTE to see if they've finally replaced Celebrity Jigs 'n' Reels in the schedule...

...

...

....and they're showing Tubridy. Happy New Year.

Expires.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here's to you, crazy Hillary. Jesus loves you...

The 30th of December. Ah yes. The night of one of Radge's greatest romantical misadventures.

Seven years ago it was. I was a pup at 23, a pup, an innocent who had all too rarely crossed swords with the female kind. 2001 was one year into my working life but it was still the era of 32A, of boozing and the 'staring wall' and freeing up my bed for the lads and their conquests. I, you see, got none.

None.

Barren as they come, old 2001, but there was to be one saving hurrah before January came with all its craven promises. It came in McGowans.

We lived fairly close to the Coppers of the Northside, so would venture forth from time to time to partake of the late drinking and shit music. This night it was myself, Johnny, Kev and Austin.

I think it started in Hedigans but they fucked us out early, so we did a headcount and got a taxi. I remember Rick Astley was playing above our heads in glorious stereo, so I frowned, died a little bit inside and ordered a pint.

We went upstairs where the ladies lay waiting. Waiting for what, I hadn't a clue. I was just happy to mind the jackets and become one with the bathroom floor later.

Then she appeared.

I was talking to Austin at the time. When she approached I was full sure she had him in his sights. He's a publican, an older man in a peer's body, so I figured a lady of her obvious vintage would look to him for maturity and coitus. Not so. She dismissed him enthusiastically and clung herself to me like a wrinkly adhesive.

She wanted to know everything about me. Where I was from, what I did, this and those. In my naivete I thought at the time she was... well... I didn't know what to think but I was on my way and glad of the attention.

Then she kissed me. "This is new," I thought, unfamiliar had I been to the female advance for a long time previous.

"But wait," I thought on, "she's old enough to be..."

"I'm 40," she said. "How old are you?"

"I'm 29," I lied, like she cared.

I was getting used to her very quickly indeed, a story to tell the boys at the least, a fucking bit of action, finally, at the most.

"So tell me about yourself," I swarthed, suddenly comfortable in my dotage.

"Well, I'm Hillary. I'm married, well, I'm separated. I'm here with my nephews."

I saw three lads looking on, pretending not to be looking on. They were obviously older than me.

"Your nephews?"

"Yeah, my nephews. I go out with them all the time. You've bleedin' gorgeous eyes..."

I was getting a bit anxious, my gorgeous eyes looking to my boys for safety but they were nowhere to be seen. Austin had long since fled.

"Yeah, they're me nephews anyway. I like goin' out with them. A bit of fun now that I'm not with that bollix of a husband. Twenty five years I was with him."

"Twenty five years you s..."

"Do you have a girlfriend?"

I lied again.

"I do, yeah. She's at home."

"What would she make of you kissing older women in McGowans?"

"Well she's very permissive about stuff like that." I was getting confused. I had to invent a whole person in miliseconds.

"Is she permissive about anything else?"

She kissed me again. I broke away from her subtly.

I was doing the maths.

"Just that if your girlfriend wouldn't mind, I could come back to your place. I'd be gone in the mornin', just a bit of fun, like."

"Ah I don't think she'd like that now."

"Ah go on for the craic," and then the killer line, "you could do a lot worse than old Hillary."

If ever a sentence whacked me back to sobriety, that was the one. I put on my jacket, figured the lads could look after their own fucking coats for a change, and legged it.

50, easily.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The phone.

Oftentimes I'm prone to a great stupidity.

Witness last night. Went out for Owen's birthday to Bowes, got hammered and had a burger afterwards. Breaking my body for the last time this year, I should have shown more temperance but the shindig took over.

I don't remember getting home, or going to bed, or what happened between. No memory.

I woke up this morning with the fear. The worst fear I've known in a long time. I knew I'd been sending texts but could not recall to whom or the content. Fuck fuck.

I couldn't find my phone, looked all over, nothing. Nothing. Fuck. What did I...? Fuck.

I went into town to buy a new phone and block the old one. I sat down to have a coffee and turn on my new mobile, but couldn't get the back off to put in the battery. Fuck.

I went to HMV to spend a voucher and then back to the Vodafone shop. "I can't open this piece of shit phone you sold me an hour ago."

He sorted it in seconds. I put in the battery and SIM card and waited for the post-mortem texts to come my way, like the lad in the Diageo ad whose friends text him, saying, "you really fucked up last night" or some such.

Nothing beeped except for Owen telling me that Steven Gerrard had been arrested for assault.

I got the bus home, made another coffee, put in all the numbers I could remember and kept wondering who I'd been texting last night. Was it her? Shit. Was it her?

Then, all hope vanished, I found the phone I thought I'd lost, charging up under a mess of clothes on my bedroom floor. I switched it on, checked the Sent Items, and held my breath...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Peh peh, peh peh peh...

To my surprise on Christmas night I found myself down amongst the ten of us playing Trivial Pursuits and being really very clever indeed.

The men against the womenfolk and we won, possibly because I'm really very clever indeed but probably because Owen has a store of many, MANY useless facts in that nearly 30 head of his.

We played charades too. There's a non-American name for it but I've forgotten it. My sister Anne on the swivel chair was the highlight but I still haven't a fucking clue what she was trying to mime.

The reason I was surprised to be taking part is that usually I get to be a grumpy little stay-alone tosspot once the dinner's in the belly, but this year I was seasonal and happy and not a little locked. Earliest I got to bed was 2.30am in the three or four days down there. That was last night, I was utterly broken.

Wine, beer and whiskey. Wine and beer and whiskey. Together. Apart. Before and after and during everything. Too much. To the max. I am a fucking lightweight.

= = = = =

The Royle Family. Over three series and one Christmas special, I don't remember a slip in quality. Not one. The best sitcom ever made in my book, and then they go and spoil it all...

The other night's episode was poor at best and complete doggerel at worst.

Exposition-exposition-signposted gag-signposted gag-something about a recliner-put the turkey in the bath while Dave has a shave-oh fuck off with yourselves, lads.

Come on. No Anthony, no Cheryl... In fact, not a even a mention of Anthony as far as I could tell. I swear to Jesus, they must have written the script in between episodes of Coronation Street on a Monday, lost half the cast's phone numbers and recorded the thing on the Wednesday, finishing just in time for dinner.

Lazier than Denise's left arse-cheek, the whole thing.

Crap.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas party?

Me: I think I was chatting her up.

J: Oh is that what that was? You seemed a little anxious to me.

Me: I think I should go home.

J: No, stay. Free drink.

Me: If I drink any more.... I think I should go home.

J: Ah no, stay and have...

Me: I'm going home.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

2008

Update - minutes after I wrote this blog Ollie's dad showed up, safe. It's the best phone call I've ever received.

= = = =

It's my 300th blog, this. I'd better make it readworthy.

It's tough to summarise what kind of a year it's been. The frame of mind isn't too good at the moment, my friend Ollie's da went missing recently and there's still no sign. It's in the papers and there are posters and such, so I hope he won't mind me posting this. Just once he knows there's been a sickness to my stomach for eight days now and I hope, I pray that John turns up safe and sound.

So that's what it is at the moment. Everything else, the Christmas jollity and piss-ups and festivities have no lustre, just waiting waiting waiting for news. I'm going to see Ollie on Tuesday.
Anyway, the year.

January seems like almost a year ago. By then all the talk was of impending weddings and stags. Johnny's was first up. He got married in May and we prefaced it by boozing in Liverpool. I recall little, save for a lot of Scouse around the place and sitting where The Beatles once played.

Not much of a Beatles fan so I have no idea why that sticks out among the broken barstools and spottings of Ron from Brookside.

By the time the wedding came I'd fixed on a plan to leave work for four months and go travelling around Europe for two of them.

Nothing goes to plan and it was broken up by spells at home, but even now I think about Strasbourg and Salzburg and Bruges, and I promise myself to get it done again, only in bitier sized chunks.

With so much time and so little to animate myself with, I took blogging to a new level. Well, a new level for me anyway. I'll leave claims of my greatness to my adoring tens of readers.

I've posted over double the amount I ever did before, and made lots of new 'pretend friends' as Rosie would call them. Singling her out, her blog infuriated me throughout the year for its sheer addictiveness. I never got bored.

Terence and Snakevally shined brightly yet intermittently, but at least I got to sup with the lads in person, the former as recently as last night in John Mulligan, the latter on a two-day introduction to Paris that... well.... he knows.

There are many more favourites but just look in the sidebar. I am currently mostly reading NaRocRoc.

In sexier news, there was very little sexier news. Some, but not much. Nakedly answering the front door to my sisters with my semily clad and recently-sired ex in the bedroom, cowering, was amusing in the extreme. Not one I'll live down.

Another romantical episode at Emma and Owen's wedding did not end well for Radge, but not everything can.

Speaking of Owen, he got me the drunkest, fuckedest I've been in all of my days. Galway at the start of July. His stag. Underpant shopping. Busking badly. Shay Given. Morning vodka. Scenes missing.

Post Euro 2008, post France and post Germany and Austria and Belgium and Spain, post weddings, I returned to work but it hasn't been all bad. The lads and the ladies make it bearable, even if I leave of a day wanting to chew my own arms off if it'll get me a sicknote.

And then there's the Homepages book. I always wanted to have some form of story published by the time I was 30, and short as it is I still felt good about it, and hope that it does some good in turn.

So that, my friends, is it. Hold John in your thoughts over the Christmas, may he turn up safely at the door, and I will be back, oh, probably tomorrow. I can't help myself.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snip snip snippets.

The dodgy box seems to be kaput. It's had a good run, but is only leaving me with RTE One and, irony of ironies, Setanta Ireland now.

Johnny says he won't fix it for me, which means he will, but maybe I'm better off away from King Of Queens and Frasier re-runs. OK, I'll have a little cry if I miss any Liverpool games, but if it means watching five series of Six Feet Under all over again it will have been worth it.

= = = =

Since I started this blog I've done reviews of the year in December. Musing on this year's categories. I'll probably just re-hash last year's and throw in a section on blogs just for the bejaysus of it.

= = = =

I'm working the 3-11 again. Last night's beer is still playing away in the gut, we had the work Cris Kindle or however you spell it. Maybe it's kringle. Meh. A good night, hadn't been out for the last week, so it was good to sit about the freeness of the liquor.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

50 bad things.

Can't summon the words for a proper blog, so here are 50 bad things...

1) Lee Evans.

2) Bullying with no response.

3) Farting at mass.

4) A mobile phone that never rings.

5) A mobile phone that rings too much.

6) Ringtone ads.

7) Davina McCall.

8) Busy cunt suits.

9) Cucumber.

10) Rio Ferdinand, innit.

11) 'Half empty' sorts.

12) WKD.

13) Ads for WKD aimed at men. AT MEN!!

14) English stiff upper lips.

15) Obese people eating chips alone.

16) McDonalds.

17) White shite - films with a white-background poster.

18) Leinster supporters.

19) Munster supporters.

20) Rugby supporters.

21) Rum and diet coke.

22) Text language.

23) Bad spelling.

24) Diarrhoea.

25) Old women counting change.

26) People who call me 'man'. "Alright, man." "Fuck off. Learn my name."

27) Garmin.

28) Trying to come up with something other than 'sorry for your troubles' at a funeral.

29) When she looks the other way.

30) Chuggers.

31) Now magazine.

32) Achy morning bones. Not boners.

33) People who can't take a hint.

34) Limerick solicitors.

35) Unfulfilled sexual frisson.

36) Talking and talking and nothing to say.

37) David McWilliams.

38) Leaking roof.

39) Tabloid news headlines.

40) Eating loudly.

41) Constant sneezing without nose-covering.

42) Bragging and then feeling like a cunt.

43) Wearing sunglasses indoors.

44) Hocking snot on the bus.

45) Battery running out on the Creative.

46) Sex And The City. The Movie.

47) TV3.

48) The global eco.... oh kill me.

49) Eggs.

50) I love everything else.

Monday, December 15, 2008

In ainm an athair...

I walked to St Peter's Church, lit a candle and listened briefly to the Indian mass taking place to my left. I'm not a mass-goer normally and this was pure incense and surreality. I blessed myself and ran.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The twenty brides of Radge.

The never weres, the almost cames and the always woulds...

....

I wouldn't hold her hand because I was five.

She left Dublin. When she reappeared I swore I never fancied her by 'doing the starfish'.

She was too sporty.

I said seven awkward words.

I was 'like a brother to her.'

She looked the other way.

We tried. We failed. We never mentioned it again.

Fuckin 5X.

I fell over a bike.

The best date I never had.

A knockout, but she didn't knock me out.

I turned the cheek.

She stole from me, kidnapped me, and expected to do it again some time.

Naked photo message two days in.

She was apparently too tall.

"I fuckin' love yeh, 'Radge.' I know I'm a bit locked, but..."

Hot. Hot. Cold. VERY COLD. Warm.

Where the fuck did she disappear off to?

The voices in my head got too loud.

No one liner on this one.

Confessional

I log into this most days but there's no point trying to dig out my secrets. Tempting as it sometimes is, I'd be fucked with a capital FUCKED.

It's very interesting, though.

Interesting overmuchly, voyeuristically speaking.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Work.

I worked with Davros tonight. We made it out to be the first time we'd shared an evening shift since the dawn of time or 2001 or something like that.

Back then Billy would be in and the lads would sellotape computers and chairs together while I'd look on, curious and irritated. They'd practice keepy-uppys, I'd watch, envious and irritated. They'd squabble and shout and go smoking, I'd sit quietly at my desk and try to figure out this sports journalism lark.

That was then.

Tonight we barely spoke, too fixated on not fucking up. There was the odd touch of gallows humour but mostly we just sat, typed, updated and tutted at the technology. Not a hacky sack in sight.

Back then I wouldn't have made the mistake. This evening I think my subconscious compelled me to it.

Leonard's Corner.

A few quality jars with the Big BM this evening after the class, I forecast the man will start blogging soon. I will subscribe.

And to Elmo, what a birthday present. She knows.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Colouredy reciprocity...

An interview with the great man. 5x.

1) In the film 'The Commitments,' did you laugh at the line of dialogue: 'What did Evel Knievel want? God sent him. Wha'? GOD sent him. On a fuckin' Suzuki?'

I did, but I'm not really sure why now. I think it's because everyone else was laughing, but the joke itself is largely irrelevant, it's just your man says it with the 'duorty' Dublin taxi-man accent that he could have said anything and everyone would have broke their shite. "What did Evel Knievel want? God sent him. Wha? GOD sent him.

"But that would presuppose now, more of an ontological or teleological framework from withing we could properly think about a god, or Gods? Wha? Wha? Says you!!"

Actually, that would have made me laugh harder. If I could have understood that at 12 years old.

As it stood, I got the jist of the humour enough to see how it could work. You see, what he's doing there is expressing his lack of admiration for the cocksure Joey The Lips Fagan by pointing towards his mass-produced Japanese motorcycle as a likely indicator of less than divine provenance. It's a joke that clearly sums up end of the decade 80's Dublin. In many ways.

2) You left Ireland. Why?

I'll paraphrase the great Roy Keane when the same question was put to him during the Saipan Incident of 2002. Ireland, you're a liar... you're a fucking wanker. I didn't rate you as a country, I don't rate you as a holiday destination, and I don't rate you as an island. You're a fucking wanker and you can stick your Rose of Tralee up your arse. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the homeplace of my ancestors! You can stick it up your bollocks."

3) Describe your perfect opening twenty minutes to a day.

Well that would have been this morning! Honestly. My whiskey-leaded eyelids fluttered open as waves of ecstasic undulation reverberated around my body.

When cogent thought was finally possible between the shards of pure euphoria lancing my neural pathways I remembered the series of incidents from the night before and glanced down to see perhaps the most beautiful little blonde of my lifetime sucking and yanking away gamely on the old SnakeValley.

Once she had her fill from the tap, and gargled, a good vintage I'm told, off she went to make me some toast and marmalade. What the fuck more can I say here? What did you expect me to say? You KNOW me!

4) Describe your perfect closing twenty minutes to a day.

I was tempted to just say the above in reverse order but I'll just say, it's probably staring at a photo of a distant loved one, knowing that, wherever they are, they are thinking of you before finishing the cocoa and turning over, content.

Nah. Only messing. Coming into the arse of a 20 year old as she rips the sack of you from underneath then both collapsing in a sweaty crumpled heap of oblivion. Obviously.

5) Musically, what really fucks you off?

R Ampersand B. It doesn't even make any sense, where are the Blues here? And the rhytmn is always the same so why focus on that as a feature? Or maybe that's the point? In any case they should change it to Rectum and Barse music. Why? Because those are the two areas of your body which are the closest to shit. Brown, smelly, uncompromising shit.

Just picture it. A lump of steaming human shit there, right there in front of you. No frills, ifs or buts. Not a comfortable thought is it?

6) Describe your old flat on Aungier Street and the goings on therein.

Disgraceland. Well, that's too long a question to be getting into, and my memory ain't the tight battleship she used to be so maybe I can lazily re-paste something from my blog from that era?

'Hang on.... No. THIS is it. THIS is the most tired I've ever been. In an absolute jock so I am. What's new eh? Grapefruit juice and Peach Schnapps together that's what. It's called a Gloucester, because it affects the eyes first. I made it, fuck off you. There's nothing left in my skull cavity save a mere impression of a brain, an insubstantial artefact, ephemeral and impotent. I'd love to give up the drink but it won't give me up, such is the path of the alcoholist. What's that? You want me to drink you? Oh , but I can't… Can I?.. ..mmm……brownest of browns… G is for the rotting entrails in my gut, U is for the unusefulness of my mind, R is for the red eyes squeezed tight shut, N is for the nob worn down in the grind. GURRNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!'

As for the flat itself? A two bedroomed fully furnished apartment with spacious saloon, fitted kitchen, central heating, access to court. Bins on Thursday. If you want to throw out a box you have to cut it up.

7) On a scale of one to ecstatic, how pleased were you to be leaving your last job in Ireland?

I've been far pleaseder to leave jobs than that in my time. What? Sitting around chatting, talking nonsense, watching sport on TV, occasionaly updating a chart or rattling out a paragraph here or there? That's not work. I was ecstatic when I knew I finally would never have to work with my uncle delivering slabs to construction sites from 9 in the morning till 8 in the evening. That, my middle-classed chums, was work. And don't get me started on the coal truck... Still, it toughened me up.

8) What have you yet to achieve that you'd most like to?

I've never been able to beat M.Bison on Hard using just Dhalsim in Super Street Fighter Turbo Championship Edition Ex Plus Alpha. That's the kind of thing that eats away at a man.

9) Your favourite cinematic moment?

Oh there's so many ! And every time you drink with me I'm sure to come up with a different one. So for now I'll list the first three to come to my head - Donnie's ashes flying into the Dude's face in the Big Lebowski, Arnie's 'pushing pencils" line from Predator, all those orgasms in Amelie (quinze if I remember correctly).

10) How ideal is Paris?

Ideal for me anyway. Let's tick the list box. Arrogance, Sexual Supremecy. Giant Phallic Tower. Refined taste, but with a certain unapologetic grubbiness. That's my Paris. As Ernest Hemmingway said - "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast" Et pour finir, je te donne François Villon, le poete maudit, qui a dit, (en l'ancienne langue bien sûr) et je suis d'accord avec lui - "Il n'est bon bec que de Paris" A plus z'amis!

The Homepages project.

On the right hand side you'll see a link to 'Homepages: Tales From The Irish Blogosphere.' The book is released today.

All the purchasing details are on the site, it's for the very worthy Focus Ireland and is the brainchild of Catherine, who's also linked under Back Pedal Brakes. She has done a stellar job.

For some reason, hyperlinking is not this laptop's strong suit, by the way.

(Always blame the technology.)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

"He's no Daniel, is he?" "No, Margaret. He is not."

Sakes. There's a party on next door. Students.

I'm old, I'm drinking tea, I'm in work at 9 in the morning, working on a Sunday, shut up ta fuck.

If not, can I avail of free Bulmers? What are you kids drinking these days anyway? Oh. Buckfast and piss. Don't mind if I do. The piss does nothing for it but when in Rome...

= = =

I'm just back from seeing Des Bishop in Vicar Street. He was good but I kept thinking he was looking directly at me. "Don't look at my FUCKING FACE!" I wanted to scream above the laughter and jokes about the Irish language*.

You can't deny the man's swagger and he paces his sentences just.... about... right but from a couple of rows back he looks a little bit like Lee Evans and I'm not forgiving anyone who reminds me of the chimpish little shit.

Still, affable fellow is old Des with his newly grey hair and his tales of ridin' his brother. At least I think that's what he was talking about, the sound was a little bit off.

Just when he really tickled me he'd give an apologetic 'I'm just joking' or 'I'm only messing'. Disappointing. Maybe he wasn't looking at me after all, he was playing to the two stony-faced grannies slightly off to my left. They didn't take.

*Rosie would have baulked at his pronunciation.

My birthday cake.


Quite the artiste, our Aisling.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Fuck off Beyonce...

Last night I got in a taxi. The taxi man refused to turn the radio down, and FM104 has never been my friend. Beyonce came on with her latest cynical attempt to divorce emotionally stunted young ones from their pocket money.

If I were a boy
(You're not. You're a dickhead)
Even just for a day
(You will always be a dickhead)
I’d roll out of bed in the morning
(...go on...)
And throw on what I wanted and go
(and subject my minions to drivel and shite)
Drink beer with the guys
(probably Budweiser)
And chase after girls
(they'd tell you to do one)
I’d kick it with who I wanted
(kick what? Be specific)
And I’d never get confronted for it
(you'd pay them off with your ill gotten gains)
Because they’d stick up for me
(Jesus, not sure how much more of this I can... OK... One more verse)

If I were a boy
(as opposed to a cunt. Oh, and please acquaint yourself with the first person singular)
I think I could understand
(kill me)
How it feels to love a girl
(this is fucking painful)
I swear I’d be a better man
(again, you're missing a comparative)
I’d listen to her
(fuck the tea. Maybe a Jameson)
Cause I know how it hurts
(...when you have to listen to shit like this on the radio)
When you lose the one you wanted
(for being a cunt)
Cause he’s taken you for granted
(being a complete tossbag is a burden. I'll give you that one)
And everything you had got destroyed
(including your Gucci handbasket?)

If I were a boy
(WAS! WAS a boy)
I would turn off my phone
(because women are incapable of mastering simple mobile technology? Bint)
Tell everyone it's broken
(you're a fucking liar too?)
So they think
(which you pay people to do for you)
that I was sleeping alone
(ah here... fuck this for a game of scarper)

= = = =

I could have gone on for four more verses, but once again I'm deciding on which nut to impale.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

If I was a horse...

This is the bad time. This is the day after the hangover, worse by far. Class tonight and nothing prepared. Same story. Typical Tuesday. Thankfully I'm not in work but I feel like a boiled and broken shite.

The birthday, however, was great. Travelled down to see the folks on Saturday, took it easy, then on Sunday we took a road trip to Dingle.

The place was deserted, I'd never seen it like that. Foggy and subdued, not a fat tourist or a camera in sight. My mam sent myself and my da into John Benny Moriarty's for stout while she visited my grandfather's grave, then joined us back there for black sole which was very pleasing.

Meanwhile, the lines of communication had broken down and Aisling was busy cancelling my surprise dinner in Dublin. Apologies to those who planned on showing up, it was so well conceived that I didn't heed the signs, signs so obvious to me in hindsight.

We left Dingle and hit Limerick again at 7pm. Birthday cake and telly, then the pub for myself and Radge Senior. Then home, and more drink, until in the dead of the night I turned my bedroom carpet a glorious shade of technicolor. My da didn't enjoy the wake up call, but he came through and fair fucks to him for that.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

On the cusp.

It's my birthday tomorrow. 30 on the 30th. Holy fuck. How did that happen?

Here are some highlights from my twenties, in quote form:

"Give me back that notebook. If she finds out it's over for me."

"There's a flood. Let's drink to it."

"Not playing football today lads. I'm off to Warehouse with Denise."

"I'm moving out. No I'm staying. No I'm moving out. No I'm getting drunk instead of doing any of that."

5X: "Ardour expressed in gaseous form is ardour poorly expressed. Or so my granny always said."

"I had BRAIN surgery (insert number here) days ago."

Julie: "I don't want the lifetime commitment, I just want a day all about me."

"What does this thing do? Oh. Who knew? Again?"

"I'm gonna head off lads. OK, one more. Right, I'm away lads. OK, two more."

"Where's Dick Mack's?"

Johnny: "You do realise we've lived together so long, we're entitled to half of each other's stuff?"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Apparently Too Tall Elaine.

It was another date in a series, back when I flirted with such things as women and wine.

I reckon it must have been just over two years ago when I first came across her profile. I know this because I was using my sister Anne's laptop, while I stayed with her for the week that turned into three months.

We had the banter online, she was a nice sort and I enjoyed seeing her messages on the screen. She was a good bit younger than me, 21 or 22 I think, but she seemed to get it.

Seemed to get it.

After a few weeks I wanted to put a few drinks to the fake name, so I suggested meeting in town. She agreed. All well and good.

I was in the Stags when she cancelled. It was very short notice, I was a couple of hours from our date, but she said she couldn't go through with it.

I was relieved, it meant I could turn my couple of lip looseners into a fiesta of ale and codology. I was a bit vexed at the same time, not like I was proposing a lifetime commitment.

I didn't contact her for a while after that - no point when there were plenty of others to virtually connect with.

She texted me weeks later when I was back in the same seat in the Stags, in the same company, drinking myself to the same stupidity. Small talk, she said she was sick and needed looking after. I joked that I'd be right over with some Lemsip and a moist towel.

This went on and we agreed on another date. She promised she'd keep this one, that she'd acted like a schoolgirl the first time. "Very well, see you Wednesday so," I probably wrote back.

On the day itself my phone beeped. "I know this is a strange question," she wrote. "But what height are you?"

"5'7," I responded. "5'9" in heels."

"LOL. Just that I'm a bit taller. Is that a problem for you?"

I didn't care. I'm not easily intimidated.

Cut to later on and she showed up at Trinity. I was expecting an athletic six-footer with a testosterone overkill. What I got was a 5'5" banker with braces.

She remained convinced, however, that she was taller than me. She told me she wore runners to compensate. I thanked her profusely and thought she was a fool, but I didn't want to make the girl feel bad so I suggested the nearest pub where we could sit and she could dazzle me with her tedium.

So it passed. She spent the whole night talking about her teddy bears, about how much she loved her daddy, about how she found it hard to find men tall enough to match her. All five feet five inches of her.

I had sent her the link to Radgery.

"What did you think of the blog."

"Well, to be honest, I didn't get it. You use a lot of big words."

Oh Christ.

We went on inanely. She went on inanely, more to the point. I just thought of the most painful places I could needle myself in.

"The left bollock."

"Sorry?"

"Oh my apologies. I was thinking of a funny joke someone told me earlier."

"Heh heh, anyway, I sleep with 'Fluffy' but 'Bunny' stays in my handbag and guards my make-up."

"Wow. That must be... Wow."

I started talking about something or other and she interrupted me. She was picking a scab and looking confused.

"So, are you, like, really intelligent."

....

....

"Yes."

"It's just that I was with this fella once and he used a lot of big words but he wasn't very tall..."

"I have to go. Really sorry. But I'm about to get a text message from someone trying to save me."

"Eh?"

"Only joking, but it's getting late and I've an early start."

She collected her bag and we left the pub. As we were walking down Dame Street she hit me with it. She broke my fucking heart.

"Look, I'm really sorry, but I'm not looking for a boyfriend right now."

"That's fine."

"You're not pissed off with me?"

"Well, to be honest, I'm a bit disappointed but given time I'll get over the pain."

"Aw, honey, I really hope we see each other again as friends some time."

"Yeah, me t... TAXI!"

I sent her on her way, and never saw Apparently Too Tall Elaine again. A stone cold fox.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Faking it.

Bluffing and blogging. That's my life as I currently live it.

I have three classes left to give, only three, and I'm fucking delighted because I've filled them up with guest speakers and exercises. Hence I'm getting paid to sit a lot, bluff a little and interject in all the right places.

I talk a great journalist, all boundless enthusiasm and feature-writing savvy. The reality, between you and me, sees me sat in Setanta Towers loathing the barefaced screen in front of me. Every day.

Particularly gruesome are the 7am shifts. I did one yesterday. The sheer horror of it would kill a dead pig.

I don't tell the class this. "Get in there, follow my notes, and you'll be sitting one-on-one with Mourinho, sipping mojitos and accessing his mojo, before the year is out."

One of them mentioned yesterday he'd picked up the Setanta annual and failed to see any of my articles. I said I wrote under a pseudonym, 'Tom Humphries', and quickly directed him to shut the fuck up and give me five paragraphs on the vagaries of the transfer window.

That'll learn him.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Repartee.

Upon encountering several new contacts on my MSN list...

He says:
She wrote 'Hey. Name? Age? Location?'

He says:
I just deleted and blocked her and all the others.

She says:
ah feck that could have been interesting

He says:
Nah, scam merchants.

He says:
Too tired for the cold-calling-prostitutes tonight.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Feedback.

My mother liked the Avril post. Anne showed it to her. That being said she'd probably prefer me to be writing an ode to the present, and not the past. Makes two of us.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No title.

The neighbours would have heard all sorts of shouts, grunts and moans coming out of Radge's hovel this afternoon. Unfortunately for me, there was no hussy being sired to within an inch of her lucky little life. No no.

I was watching Liverpool. They drew 0-0 with Fulham at Anfield. At ANFIELD. A frustrating flurry of broken down counter attacks, Robbie Keane doing a very good impression of a lost and wandering dickhead, Torres looking like Robbie Keane, no Steven Gerrard. A sad lot.

I'd looked forward to this match ever since my trip to Clonmel to see Denise got postponed. A day of nothing much, sipping coffee and mind uncluttered, loads of football to keep me away from myself.

Liverpool spoiled my idyll, the cunts.

In happier news, I picked up 'Lars And The Real Girl,' 'I'm Not There' and 'In The Valley Of Elah' last night in HMV for only twenty five notes. I watched the first in this trilogy last night. It's very good, Ryan Gosling again doing a fine impression of the world's best actor.

If only Keane could do the same in a football sense I'd be on my way to some sort of elation. Instead I'm sitting here praying the Rags don't beat Villa.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Neat freak.

The flat is in a heap. In a messy state of nonsense. My mind has been more organised lately, feeling better in a general sense, but conversely my place of residence is not at its most charmismatic.

I've left the washing up for a couple of days, the aftershave and toothpaste are on the sitting room floor, I'm surrounded by notes from my class, and the smell has returned. Something is decaying, I think it's the spuds I threw in the bin yesterday.

Old clothes thrown on the chair, DVD cases containing CDs, CD cases containing nothing at all. This isn't like me. Johnny didn't train me to be unkempt in the home.

I normally look after the place, keep the sheets clean for the lady caller that never shows up, as if from nowhere. Wash the dishes as I use them. Spray Febreze about the place. I'm tidy as a rule.

Now, however, I'm wondering how the fuck that stain got there, and no, it's not THAT.

On closer inspection, it's not a bottle of aftershave on the floor. It's water. And the toothpaste is nothing more sinister than a tube of KY Jelly...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dumbing down.

Breaking news ticker on Sky News:

"BBC controller comments on departure of John Sergeant from Strictly Come Dancing saying, 'We are very sad to see him go.'"

What kind of a world are we living in at all?

Tonight, on Prime Time...

"Ya serious?"

"Yeah, honest to God, in front of his ma and da."

"Jesus."

"He was locked he was. He'd nothin' on but a smile."

"What did they say to him?"

"Nothin'. They were watching the news."

"I'd be scarleh I would."

"I KNOW!"

"Fuck sake. He done that a few months ago he did. Well not that, but he went running into me ma's kitchen chasing the cat."

"But you don't have a cat..."

"I know. He was locked he was."

"He'd want to watch himself. I seen him go after Leanne last week and he went to mooch her."

"What did Peter say?"

"Peter wasn't there, he'd have fuckin' kilt him."

"He's a dope. But d'ya know somethin'? He can be the nicest fella when he wants to be."

"Like when?"

"Like the time with the fire extinguisher."

"Oh yeah. I forgot about that. Still, he's a bit of a dope, isn't he?"

"FUCK IT! We missed our stop."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm sorry, what?

I've been off the gargle for a week now, and have stayed away from all the fatty foods that called me home for the past thirty years minus thirteen days.

It's good, therefore, to know that through this thin haze of returning health I can still do things like leave a full roll of tin foil in the fridge and only discover it two days later.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chef's special

When I was in college I worked in a restaurant in the Blanchardstown Centre. Kays Kitchen. I worked the cash register part-time for two and a half years. They were good peoples, the majority. One or two dickheads but you're going to get that anywhere, aren't you? (Apart from in my current job. I love them all apparently.)

Kays was good to me. The owner, Bernie, a friend of a friend of my mam's, took me in and gave me shelter and free chicken nuggets. ALL I could eat!

The staff was generally made up of people from the area, decent skins who couldn't understand why I was taking two buses from Glasnevin to sit on my ass, taking abuse from customers and firing out 5p coins like they were going out of fashion. I told them, like I just told you, I was just in it for the nuggets. And the occasional cottage cheese and pineapple tartlet.

Anyway, I got thinking on two separate incidents tonight. Two acts of kindness that stuck with me.

The first was on a busy Saturday afternoon. The chicken kievs were selling like hot cakes, the hot cakes were selling like hot cakes, I was sweating like hot cakes. Hot cakes fucking everywhere!

A woman and her young child approached. They were getting a dinner and a dessert each for a combined total of thirteen Irish pounds and fifty pence. The woman realised, to her dismay, that she didn't have any cash on her.

I was in a bind. I would have loved to tell her to eat up and come back later with the money, but the day manager was standing over me and I had to hold firm. No money, no food.

The next person in the queue spoke up.

"Excuse me... hello... excuse me... I'd like to offer to pay for this lady's food."

The woman who had forgotten her purse graciously accepted the offer of kindness, and shuffled off. I didn't charge the next lady for her coke, unbeknownst to Hawkeye counting her takings nearby. She'd saved someone from embarrassment in front of her child, and I was happy to have witnessed it.

The second story is a dinger.

An old tramp lady - let's call her 'Louise' - used to come in from time to time. Bernie took a shine to her, and told the day manager that whenever she appeared she was to eat for free.

Louise would never take the piss. She'd just go for a scone and a cup of tea. The girls on the floor would make a fuss of her. I'd carry her tray over.

One evening in particular she was sitting down, eating and sipping. It was a quiet evening as I recall. I served a girl at the register who stood out as a fine, fine thing to me. I flirted a little bit, again with the free ketchup, before she took her seat next to Louise.

I took no more notice of them until the girl came over to me, somewhat cagily.

"Sorry, look, I bought a slice of cake from you. I'm not going to eat it now but I'd like that old lady beside me to have it. It hasn't been touched.

"The thing is, I don't want to seem like I'm taking pity on her."

Having fallen in love ever so slightly, I told her I'd get one of the girls to clear her table, and then bring the cake back out as a gift from the sweet counter.

The girl walked out and I was pissed off I never got the courage up to ask her how her French orals went in secondary school. Oh, and Louise loved the cake.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Deleted.

Now there's a sign of maturity, or maybe cowardice. I've just taken down last night's post. It didn't sit right.

The second, and hopefully last, time I've self-censored.

(I've kept it as a draft though.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Avril

She began in third year, in school. On the bus. On the 19. I was aware of her because I figured she had the reddest hair I'd ever seen. A deep red, and she always looked slightly pissed off. I liked that.

At that point, though, she didn't have me hooked. She was just someone I saw daily on the bus home and she was as relevant as the man who sat in the same seat every morning reading The Irish Times. I'd sit beside him so I could steal illicit glances while he read the sports pages, but I could never fall for him.

She was different because she was female and my own age and deeply beautiful.

In fourth year it started proper. She was now getting the bus from the top of my road every morning with her sister, who was pretty but didn't have the same deep hair or mystery about her. I became regimental in my routine. I'd switch off The Big Breakfast at exactly 8.12am because I knew that ten minutes later I'd catch my first glimpse of that long straight red before I turned the corner on to Botanic Road.

I'd approach and sometimes she'd entertain me with the slightest glance, other times her eyes were elsewhere.

She rarely spoke to her sister standing with her. The rare times that she did I couldn't discern it, too soft and distant a sound and I could never get a grasp.

I'd wait for the 19 even though the other buses would have done me just fine. Nobody can obsess like a 16-year-old.

Coming home from school I'd stick around for as long as I could because I knew she'd be on the later bus. I was a schoolboy loiterer and I told nobody why, but eight times out of ten she'd be there, sitting upstairs while I wore my uniform and ridiculous purple overcoat, pretending to look interesting.

School itself was made bearable through daydream, even though I stopped seeing her in the mornings once I got to fifth year. I was made to plan harder ways to cross her path, but I managed it, by and large. She was usually on that same bus home.

For two years I'd sit in the class and invent in my head the romance to come. I wondered how many other sisters she had, where she actually lived. I envisaged her at my debs, bringing her to McDonalds, getting into pubs on her pretty little coattails and buying her Woodys.

I thought about staying on the bus to see where she got off, and maybe I'd follow her, but I never went through with it because even then I knew the difference between schoolboy ardour and schoolboy stalking.

Sixth year came and a double life. By night, living with fancy female college students and learning the ways of pub. By day a post-pubescent puppy who always looked up to where she sat when the bus pulled off. Some days she looked back, most days she didn't.

17-years-old. I talked the talk but kept her secret. Same bus home, same routine, same eye contact, same silence. I'd reach deep inside myself.

"If she's on her own, and sitting three seats back on the left, I'll say something to her."

The bus would come. Her infernal sister would be there. I'd sit further up so I might get the look when I moved to alight. On and on and.... every day.

One time she was on the 19 of a morning. I was surprised. She was on her own. She was studying notes, French mock oral examinations. There was a name scrawled on the top that I could see from the seat behind her. As far as I could see, it said Avril. A name. Not a particularly nice name, I thought, but a name.

This was coming towards the end of my final year in school. I'd have to do something about this. Feel the fear and blah blah blah... Still. Nothing. Until...

...a few weeks before we finished up, the French oral exams were taking place. I knew this because I was just after fucking up my vouvoyers from my s'il te plaits.

Waiting on Parnell Square, the bus approached.

"If she's sitting on her own, and there's no other seat upstairs than the one beside her, I'll say something."

I went upstairs, and that's exactly what transpired. I took the seat next to her and sweated buckets under the pressure of deciding what to say. I had to. I knew it. Right now. Fuck it.

"So, eh, so were you doing the French orals?" I managed.

I wasn't even looking at her, but became aware of her lifting her head ever so slightly to my right.

"No."

That was it. That was all. They were the only words that ever passed between us.

Today, eleven and a half years on, I passed her in the street...

The Superhunks.

I know what 5X would tell me to do.

"I'm in a bind, I want to blog but I can't get the words."

"It's easy," he'd say. "Just rate the superhunks."

But I'm thinking no. In this time, in this moment, I'm just thinking that I've only ever referred to the man as 5X in this blog. In the outside, to his face, he's been called Sire, Melwith Lippe Swillager, Del and a cunt by many, many of the ladies of Naas. But foremost he's been called an awful man.

Only in Ireland could you be called an 'awful man' and take it as a compliment, because it's meant as such.

And I'm thinking that the rain outside is reflecting the current mood perfectly. It's all a bit drab, but that's how life seems after a wedding, a wedding where everything's heightened. You like people you normally decry, you toast with those that would usually make you swear. You take fancies at women because of the situation and too much champagne.

Meet them the next day and they're not a bit special, and neither are you because you're wearing that old t-shirt from two days ago. That same t-shirt caked in sweat from the mad rush to collect the suit and buy the card you almost forgot. That same suit you've worn eight or ten times. That illusion-giving suit that's now a crumpled mess on the bedroom floor with a stain that will never be identified.

And I'm thinking I'm going to be told to cheer the fuck up, but I'm thinking I really don't give a bollocks and, what's more, I'll start sentences with conjunctions if I want to.

But I probably will cheer the fuck up tomorrow.

Oh, and it's George Clooney for me.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Kev's wedding.

At one point I had a beer, a glass of champagne, a whiskey, coffee, wine and water in front of me. I think there was dancing done and a jacket lost and found, and there was me, confused and stupid at 2 in the morning.

I fell asleep on the jacks.

Messy messy love the weddings, me.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Is it infected?

You'll have to excuse my recent inactivity. Being on tour is a hoor when it comes to finding time to blog.

In reality it's been same, same, same. Had a quick pit-stop in Limerick to see the doctor, these stomach woes need attention so he's sending me to a gastroe... gasteroenti... a stomach specialist who will hopefully nail the source of my woes and send me on my way afresh.

The waiting room was terrifying in its sterility. The room smelled of nothing at all. I've never been in such a scentless room, with the sick heads in the accompanying seats only adding to the surreality of the situation.

This sitting room of mine smells like old coffee and the bin (which needs changing), but at least it's identifiable as 'single man haven.'

Back in Dublin early enough yesterday on a promise to prepare tonight's class in advance. That didn't come to pass - instead I entertained Austin, ate almond fingers and drank tea - but the session went well this evening. I saw out the full two hours for the first time, and they were still debating and surmising as I packed up my man-bag. Good signs. I've piqued something, hopefully.

Cut to right now and I've just seen Liverpool salvage an improbable draw against the Spaniards, and I have Julie's third season of Entourage to get through. No school for two weeks which is very nice indeed, and not in work until 3pm tomorrow so I can be confused by electoral colleges until the small hours.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spinal Flood.

Did you know I was in a moderately successful late-90s acid-pop-rock fusion troupe called Fust? No... Well read on...

Dave Fanning: You're releasing a Greatest Hits album - 'You Just Got Fust.' - exactly ten years to the day since you first played on my own show in the 2FM studios...

Me: ...I didn't know that. That's funny.

DF: So you'd say it was an accident?

M: Yeah, pretty much. Everything is. The fact is even if any of us wanted to remember something like that, chemically it would have been impossible.

DF: Good times?

M: I'm assured they were. Really we were just fucking around at the start. Myself and Phenyl (guitarist/flautist who left the band in acrimonious circumstances in 2000) were in Waltons and the magic found us, y'know? We felt wedded there and then, chemistry, bam, and we were very drunk which helped, frankly.

DF: Tell me how the rest of the band formed.

M: Shrooms, man. The silent something. But seriously, yeah, we needed a rhythm section and I was always impressed by Oli's finger tapping in the pub so I said fuck it. OC saw it too. Up to that point it was just me and Phenyl laying down what we could but we knew we kinda had to share it around make it big and fuck it to the big boys. Not that we had peers as such. We invented that shit.

DF: Your first gig was at the Mean Fiddler as I rec...

M: Mad shit. We were off our box but the music held. Great fuckin' show man. Luckily somebody had their Marantz handy. None of that MP3 shit back then...

DF: It was 1999. The technology had been...

M: Well we didn't fuckin' know about it. We were just throwin' it out there. Anyway, yeah, we got a recording and brought it to Eno. He told us to get-the-fuck. So we took it to someone else who played it to someone else...

DF: And a deal just like that?

M: No man they told us to get fucked. Still, we believed and eventually it took when we met Muck. He did right by us. At the start.

DF: Of course, there was trouble after?

M: Google that shit man. I'm not going over it again. But he was the man at the start. Got us onto Jools Holland, Jo Whiley, Whiley Fox, Bobcat and Sloane. You know?

DF: No I have no idea who those people are. Anyway, cut to 2000, your first two albums 'Get Fust' and 'Ridicule' have both been lauded. You and Phenyl are at the peak of your powers, the deal with Sony, Slane, Dalymount. Any of this ring a bell?

M: You're getting it man. I don't remember any of that shit. You take any photos?

DF: You serious?

M: Probably. I remember the feeling, and the music was pretty intense stuff and took its toll. The devil's in the details though and he steals that shit away. Bring lawyers into it and anyone would get messed around, you know. Royalties and all that bollocks. Phenyl cleaned up in more ways than one.

DF: Is there a bitterness now?

M: Life's too short but if he comes round my way he'd better have a fucking excuse note from his mother, know what I'm saying?

DF: Not a clue.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Idiots.

Some joy tonight on the teaching front. A small amount. I didn't fuck up much, there were no awkward moments and a stimulating conversation about snooker.

That works for me.

I heard about Russell Brand, that stupid big-haired wankwit, and Jonathan Ross, that stupid floppy-haired wankwit, and their prank on the actor Andrew Sachs on Brand's BBC Radio Two show over the weekend. Appalling stuff.

They left repeated messages on Sachs' (he played Manuel in Fawlty Towers) answering machine, explaining how Brand had done the sex thing with his granddaughter.

Ross started it off by shouting 'He fucked your granndaughter!' while Brand left his initial message, and got worse. It was like two teenagers making a crank call to the quiet kid, high on solvents and crassness.

I wish I hadn't YouTubed it. It wasn't subversive, clever, dry, sarcastic or interesting. It wasn't bawdy. It was just the worst kind of knick-knack, like sticking a banger in a letter box and running away.

Sorry all the expletives. I'm very fucking tired tonight.

Monday, October 27, 2008

15 minutes.

I'm going to fail blog writing 101 if I sit at this laptop a minute longer, typing nothing.

In the middle of a busy working day yesterday I received a call from a solicitor - I think he said his name was Brendan Scott - telling me that he represented the singer Enya and that she was initiating legal proceedings as a result of my recent blog.

With goals flying in over in England and not a minute to think, I just told him to do one, that I was busy. I was momentarily thrown as I didn't recognise his voice.

The confusion brought on by a busy period in work, allied with the previous night's leftovers, caused a momentary breakdown on my part. I forgot where I was. I couldn't figure out why I was staring at an untyped goal alert. "Could she really have....? No, there's no way, is there....? Jesus. Maybe I'll delete it... What the fuck? What the fuck? Oh wait. Greaney."

He's pulled this kind of stunt before, though I still don't know how he disguised his voice so well. A part of me was disappointed that I wasn't to appear before the courts and plead comedy. That would have been fun, if a little financially crippling in my stupid little world. As things stand, I'll have to get the fucker back.

What's next?

Well?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Brennan's bread.

'In the inner sanctum of Enya-world, the two people most trusted above all are Nicky and Roma Ryan, her closest friends. Nicky and Roma are not merely friends, but her lyricist and producer, and not just her lyricist and producer, but the two people who forged Enya; discovered her; nurtured her talent; made her a star; and they continue with every last detail of every record, down to the way she looks in photos...'

I fear for Enya. While being forged sounds very mystical and Lord Of The Rings-ish, it can't be fun being a 47-year-old womanchild, cut off from the Brennans of Donegal, making music that sounds like a bath and wandering around a castle alone.

Not only that, but she has Bono for a neighbour.

"Look over the fence Ali, it's Enya, fellow star of Ireland, our country, our GOD, SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAYYYYYY!!!! Now where are my fucking pop tarts?"

Back to Enya. I can see her now, pottering around in her water-coloured gowns shaped like leaves, keening for Clannad and those days sat at the piano while her brothers and sisters played outside in the sun. She's there sowing the seeds of her secret little language, living among the elves and lilies of her brain when BAM! Nicky and Roma come and steal her away and tell her she can't talk to her kin anymore.

There was a mint to be made. A wall of sound to be built. A womanchild to be cultivated. ENYA TO BE FORGED!!!

(Generic impending doom music) DEH DEH DEHHHHHHH!!!!!

So they make albums and albums of bath music and squirrel away billions and billions of lovely monies and buy a castle in Dalkey.

They let her roam free for the first while, but soon take to drugging her, keeping her like a flower in the attic, feeding her fishheads and only wheeling her out for take after take of garbled secret-language chanting.

One night Enya breaks free. She busts down the attic door. There are gold and platinum records everywhere. She stalks the hallways of a mansion she hasn't seen sober for ten years. Cavernous, empty.

She sees light under the door. She opens it ajar and peeks through.

Roma and Nicky are in full business suits, no longer the loving hippies she believed kept her locked away for her own good.

Roma, lamb fat dripping down her face: "Warners were on. They want more chanting."

Nicky, who looks a bit like David Crosby: "Fuck Warners. We've got Ari Gold at 7. Where are my moccasins?"

Roma: "Beside the bucket."

Nicky: "Did you feed it today? Those fish-heads smell gone-off."

Roma: "Shit. I forgot. I'll go up now. (Calls out) Oh ENYA!!! DINNER'S COMING!"

They hear a sound from behind the door. Enya's cowering, scared senseless. Her world collapsed. TWEED EVERYWHERE!

Roma: "Enya, sweetheart, darling, (secret language-secret language-secret language), me and Daddy Nicky were just putting on a play."

Nicky: "That's right. A play. We were playing Music Mogul. It's your favourite play, remember?"

Enya, clarity coming back to her, becoming empowered, mind clearing, EPIPHANY!: "Fuck you two. I want to speak to the Irish Independent. Set it up."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Soon come.

It's all about me. Me me me.

I'm trying to wind down from work, given the fact that I walked out of Setanta Towers roughly 46 minutes ago. It's 00:18 now and I'm back in there at ten in the morning.

I don't understand how I need to wind down, though. My last hour in there was spent picking my nose, bouncing the little spongy basketball off the window, and writing a snooker report. Five very sensible paragraphs on John Higgins beating Ryan Day in the London Something Watches Glasgow Grand Prix Final Rematch The Third Yarrump.

"The trick is in convincing the reader you have slightest fucking clue who Ryan Day is."

Anyway, it's not like I'm overloaded on adrenalin having played to 535 million people at Knobworth (sic). I'm just restless and interesting, trying to figure out what that weird moment was earlier on. A strange feeling came over me as I walked up Hawkins Street and saw the rain sheeting down on the Screen cinema, with the sun as background.

A thought came to me then, a moment of literary largesse, and I can't get it back.

But it soon come.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pleading patience.

That fucked up Friday feeling is here, it's to do with the impending late shift. OK, it's also based in the last two nights of carousing, but it's mostly work.

Dang.

I haven't had words for the last four days, and none come easily to me now. I've even put on 'Master And Everyone,' the album by Bonnie Prince Billy. Normally it soothes me into my writerly ways, but it's not casting its spell as readily today.

Too much on my mind, and too little in it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Blue.

A lazy day and scattered. A general unwellness. I tend to feel like this after stag parties, though this one was tame by comparison with Johnny's in Liverpool and Owen's over in Galway.

I think I need to stop drinking.

I drink no more nor less than the next man, though the next man is usually lusty for pints. That bastard Irish condition, where you'd sooner go sipping than make your way to Glendalough for a wander, or Stephens Green for a good old sit. Put me in Nearys and I'm a happy man for the duration, put me in the Stags snug with Skehan and I'll show you contentment.

But the next day is always remorse.

I've long since stopped the phone calls, in my cups, to some soon forgotten missus, but I still text.

They're never sloppy, I keep my diction, but I look at them the next day and put my head in my hands.

"What was the bad thing?" I'd say to myself, or to Johnny, before that horrible dawn of realisation. Checking the phone like that lad in the Diageo ad, only I'd have no messages received, just sadness in the Sent Items.

I'm turning 30 soon, and I think there's a lot more out there than that fucked up Friday feeling.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kenny you monster.

Eugh.

I feel unwell. Carlingford was good craic, plenty of booze taken of a Friday night and no recollection of how Kenny ended up in the bed beside me. I checked around for the loss of my same sex virginity, and thankfully all remained intact.

Not that Kenny wouldn't make a fine sire, it's just that the gods of heterosexuality have chosen me as a disciple, and I'm not about to swing the other way. He'd say the same thing.

After morning beers I hit the road with Eric around 1.30 yesterday, and made it back to Charleville Road for 3. It wasn't until 5pm or so that I realised I was still locked, so one Domino's pizza later I took myself to bed, from which I have just risen.

I'm staring down the barrel of a 3-11 shift in Setanta now, happy I didn't embrace folly and stay with the lads that extra night. I'd be monumentally fucked as opposed to just a little peaky, a bit out of sorts. I think I just need a cup of tea.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bluttered.

Right, I'm off to shave and take myself to Carlingford. Kev's stag. If I don't come back alive, tell my mother I love her.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Him.

Me: Nothing? You love nothing?

Him: No. I love no-one, and no thing.

Me: How is that possible?

Him: I don't know. It just is.

Me: I don't understand. How can you not love?

Him: How can you love?

Me: I don't know. I just do.

Him: Well, I just don't.

Me: Do you not find that sad?

Him: I don't feel sad. I don't feel anything.

Me: That is sad.

Him: I'll take your word for it.

Me: Hang on, though. If you know you're not sad, you must know what sadness is.

Him: I used to know.

Me: And if you don't feel love, you must know what love is.

Him: I used to know.

Me: What happened? What do you feel now?

Him: I don't feel anything. Everything happened. You're not being specific.

Me: I have nothing to go on.

Him: I have nothing to say.

Me: How are you here?

Him: I'm here by accident.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Novel concepts.

I've been musing on book titles. I think they're all begging to be greenlit.

'The dos and dos of sexual frisson.' Tagline: Just do it!

'A brief history of history, abridged version.'

'Hey you, behind the bushes.'

'What the blind man saw.'

'Copy and paste.' Tagline: My story.

'Take off your clothes and sing me a song.' Tagline: The story of Ireland's third most prominent burlesque performer.

'Bite me.' Tagline: The truth behind cherries.

'Dennis.' Tagline: The untold story of a very specific otter.

'Why I never rhyme.'

'Withering Frights.'

'The fool and the duck.'

Monday, October 06, 2008

Show me the money.

"I'd happily end our friendship for a sum of money."

I probably shouldn't have offered to pay him off. I knew this wouldn't end well for Radge.

Incroyable!

5X has finally done the decent thing and blogged. What it lacks in conventional narrative, it makes up for in thrust.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Damning Facebook.

Who among you doesn't have a Facebook account? I'm curious. In my group of friends I can think of only one, and I admire her steadfast refusal to socially network.

She's not built for such things, relying on such antequated forms of communication like talking on the phone and chatting face to face. I doubt she's set up on MSN. I doubt she even knows what MSN is. If I told her, she'd probably say, "that sounds great, maybe I'll subscribe. Oh wait, I don't own a laptop or have the internet at home. And I don't want to." I think that's great.

I have something like 130 'friends' on Facebook. Apparently I'm a 'Facebook whore'. Christ, imagine those words spoken ten years ago.

"You're a Facebook whore!"

"I'm neither a face, a book nor a whore. You slut."

Of these so-called friends, I reckon at least 40% are people I've not uttered a syllable to in months or years.

Another 20% would be those I'm casually acquainted with, such as Lynda in work, with whom I've had one proper conversation - at a Christmas party - in roughly three years. The rest is comprised of my actual friends, family and colleagues, persons I can text or email (normally) or call whenever the urge takes me.

So what's the point? As my good friend Julie pointed out recently "it's fuckin' stupid. You write someone an email, then the alert goes to their work email, then they have to log into Facebook to see a mail that could just as easily have gone to their work mail."

She speaks good words.

I update my status regularly, pointlessly. The current one reads '(Radge) is thinking Facebook is great for catching people in a lie.'

I was given the brush-off in the last couple of days, later finding out on Facebook that the excuse was a lie. There was no need for it, I would have accepted the real reason, and it hurt a bit. Nobody likes being lied to. I only ever do it if I cover my tracks very well indeed. I'm considerate like that.

Pre-Facebook, my little heart wouldn't be a little bit broken.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Not quite lockt.

Setanta Towers, this evening.

Me: What you at?

Davros: Meeting Des.

Me: Oh.

Davros: Pint?

Me: Nah. Working tomorrow. Gonna take it handy.

Davros: So, a pint?

Me: No. I'll walk into town with you though.


Exit Setanta. Walking along Townsend Street.


Davros: So, we going to Bowes?

Me: No, not going for a pint. Gonna get some food and head home.

Davros: Where are we going for a pint though?

Me: Nowhere. I'm going home.

Davros: For a pint?

Me: No.

Davros: Right. Fair enough. I'll head into town with you. Have to kill an hour before I meet Des anyway.

Me: Grand so. Bowes?

= = = =

This is a blatant, poor man's rip-off of Gimme's post but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and all.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Finghin.

I couldn't write about her without writing about him. At some point normal service may resume.

= = =

Tissue paper hands, a round big belly and a bald head was Finghin, my grandfather. He had a good face, and my granny said that was why she married him. He had a great voice but never sang, a warm heart but I never saw him kiss. He was as stubborn as older gentlemen had every right to be but whatever she wanted, any thing she needed, he gave to her.

When I think of him now he's reading. It infuriated me as a child. I'd walk into that kitchen on the other side with a packet of Eclairs, offer him one, and wait five minutes until he'd looked over every last ingredient, carbohydrate percentage and best before date. I used to think Corn Flakes boxes were written just for him.

He's in my earliest memory, my hand in his, walking around Funderland. I must have been four or five. I used to fall asleep to the sounds of his tummy while he watched Highway To Heaven with her, and constantly harass him to bring me for drives.

"I'm bored!" I'd say. "Read a book!" he'd say. "But I'm only SEVEN!"

"Let me tell you something. Throughout your life, as long as you have a book to read, you will never be bored."

Then he'd relent and bring me to the Phoenix Park with a stick for conkers, or elsewhere, but he never did it without playing the book card first.

He made furniture, the best of which a great big desk that resides in Limerick now. It had four drawers on each side, and a middle one for lighters, pens, ink, papers and nonsense. He even fitted it with a clandestine hideaway for his whiskey. It was so secret that only he and my da knew where it was. My granny's blind eye turned to it. She was gone to bed by then.

He'd come back from "Superquinn's" with random rubbish that would never be heard from again. There was a can of Spam, two unopened cans of McArdles ale and a single packet of Smash in their utility room as long as I knew them.

We used him, myself and the girls, for homework duty. He could never turn us down. He'd start off by trying to talk us through it, but in the end we'd just come back and collect it when he was done.

He got older and weaker but the books and the steady hand remained until the end. The best intellect I'll ever encounter too, even if I live to his eighty years.

He passed away in Limerick on the fifth of December in 1996, five months after my granny. He was in his bed, reading, when it happened.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Putting the 'b' in subtle.

I'm buying morning coffees again, and I'm not miserable. You'd expect me to be, you may even want me to be, but take your schadenfreude and stick it up your bollix because being back in work isn't all that bad at all.

I wonder would I have managed the accidental alliteration of that previous sentence had I not returned to work.

I wonder would I have managed the accidental alliteration of 'accidental alliteration' had I not...

I have to go to bed.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Heaven knows I'm miserable now.

Ollie just texted me.

'Your last day.' it read. The fucker. He knows.

I'm back in work tomorrow, and the dread is building in me hourly. Not at the work itself, you understand. This December I'll be eight years in Setanta, so familiarity breeds a kind of comfort.

What I dread is the end of four months off, four months that landed differently in reality to how I'd planned them. The two months abroad turned into four broken up weeks, hotel rooms and trekking and drinking watching people walking.

Salzburg and Antwerp will see me again. So will Paris. Strasbourg too was enchanting, but Marseille and Brussels, Bruges and Vienna all left me a little bit cold.

Summer good times:

1) Dingle with Dave and Emma, then my da. Drinking down by the harbour, and busting my lip in An Droichead Beag and being so drunk I laughed about it.

2) Euro 2008. Torres with the winner in the final. Get that done.

3) Wicklow with Anne. We took a spin up to see the place where she'll marry John next June. A rural idyll if ever there was one. And she bought me lunch.

4) Heidelberg and Das Fest. OK, the music was pure shite, but Stef was a friendly face in too much alone time.

5) Salzburg. My favourite place from the summer, great food, bars and peoples.

6) Blogging. I've been more prolific than ever, and it helps when there's a loyal little group of commentators. Most of it's been utter shite (my Tropic Thunder review is not me at my most verbose), but one or two I might look back kindly on.

7) Spain. A week with the folks in the sun. Thawly enjoyable.

8) Owen and Emma's wedding. Magic from the Sunday afternoon to the Tuesday morning halflight. And a bit of romance to boot.

9) I nearly forgot, and I'm going to break the chronology. Owen's stag in Galway. We took it to the max, to bring back an old 5X favourite. Jesus. The greatest destruction of my life.

Summer bad times:

1) Gastritis. Still on the tablets.

2) Marseille. Dirty, shitty city where I got ripped off by a Cristiano Ronaldo lookalike.

3) Fleeing Vienna.

4) Belgian woes. I came over all melancholy in Belgium. No reason to it.

5) The Griffith/Setanta conundrum. Offered two classes a week. Only able to do one. And the spy in my class does not help.

6) Wedding aftermath. She's gone back from whence she came.

7) Finishing The Wire - the latest great DVD box-set gone to televisual heaven.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lime marmalade.

She was always humming, my grandmother. You'd walk into her kitchen and she'd be at the sink with some unknown tune, while he sat in his corner chair reading the Irish Times or one of his books.

I never remember asking what song was going through her head, whether it was something made-up, or if it was from some long held memory. I liked to listen though, as if I knew as long as she was humming she was happy. It was the world uncomplicated.

I had two homes. On one side of the house there was homework, dinner, toys, squabbles, my mother and father, Anne and Emma and I.

On the other side were my grandparents. He called her Chick, she called him Finghin with a fada on the second 'i'. The smell is lost to me now, but I reckon it was some combination of orange peel, faded cigarette smoke and washing up liquid. She was always at the sink, and would never let anyone else do the dishes. She'd watch us on the swing in the back garden, or my father in his workshop. Stationary and humming, with a reading bald man and Gay Byrne for company.

I think she was always checking to make sure nothing had happened, that everything remained. She liked to think of the world working, didn't hold much truck with weekends. Monday was her favourite day.

A few times a day she'd take a cup of tea or coffee and talk. We'd play snap and I'd win 10p. She'd sit and make salads. Nothing extraordinary but I'd take it all in.

I was in there, with her and Granda, every day.

I'd give him my homework and I'd listen to her tell me things too big for a child to hear. She told me the nature of depression, the nature of alcoholism, the nature of these things that a ten-year-old can barely pronounce.

She had never taken a drink in my lifetime, quitting the year before I was born, but she told me the temptation was always there. It was there for her Higher Power to stave off.

I liked that she never demonised it, though. She knew I'd grow up to take a drink, and that I'd seen my dad and granda half-cut on occasion, and she wouldn't put the worry in me. She said it was a great thing in moderation, but she couldn't do moderation.

I'd drive with them to Howth or through the Liberties, up to Hart's Corner or to the shops. It always annoyed me when they'd refer to "Superquinn's" or "Quinnsworth's", or when my granda would describe something as "highly" insulting or "highly" inappropriate.

She'd pass Giant Mints to me in the backseat when we'd drive her through Charleville Road, where I live now, to Grangegorman where she volunteered.

I loved hearing about old money, the glimmer-man, about my da's childhood, or her own early life when she moved to Castle Avenue in Clontarf from Dingle (my love affair with Dingle started years before I found it for myself, before I saw the house in Grey's Lane where she was born). Random stories that she gave to me.

She was patient and childish and unreasonable, and she never complained of feeling 'well'. But she taught me a lot about strength, and how it had nothing to do with size. She was good to the core, treating meanness as leprosy and making allowances for everything else.

When my parents moved to Limerick, I moved next door with them. It wasn't an easy time, I was 16 and stupid, they were old and ate too much Irish stew. But the humming never stopped and I kept listening. She even got to like the Smashing Pumpkins.

She passed away exactly a year after my folks headed southwest, on July 14th 1996. My granda followed in December that same year.

In the intervening months, my dad asked Finghin how he was doing since she'd died.

"The thing is, Mike," he said. "I don't still love your mother. I'm still IN love with your mother."

Such a thing to aspire to.

Comic blunder.

Stay away from Tropic Thunder. It is utter toilet. I nearly walked out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Disaster!

Shit shit shit...

Shit.

A less than auspicious start to my second term lecturing Sports Journalism. Christ this isn't good. My course administrator is in my class.

My course. Administrator. Is in my class.

Now this won't mean much to most, if any, of you, but for me it's ever so mildly catastrophic. She told me beforehand that she'd be 'taking my class this term,' but I thought this was admin-speak for 'I'll be overseeing things and making sure you have the necessary assistance.'

I didn't take it to mean 'I've always had an interest in sport so I thought I'd use my connections to wangle myself some of your unique brand of tutelage. Sir.'

Cue tonight's class, and the horrific realisation that I've got me a mole. If I fuck up she'll trot the eleven steps to the head of faculty's office and do me in, and my nascent career in lecturing will be lopped off at the head.

I will NOT be able to bluff my way through this one. Fuck.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Is it wrong?

It started the minute I woke. A simple text message. It read 'And I off.' Oh Ollie, I thought, I know exactly what you mean. He meant drink, it being the first day of the week, and I meant to please him.

Fuck this cold. Fuck the fact that I teach a new bunch of students tomorrow. Fuck being inside.

"I'm coming."

We met for lunch, open seafood sandwiches in Davy Byrnes. I made noises about heading straight off - as though I had a life - but the man Skehan knew me better. He suggested Kehoes, I wasn't prone to objection, and so began our latest destruction.

This day has held reverence for us for years, the devilish Monday afternoons spent lowering stout while others cursed and banged about another working week - our tiny protest a porter or ten in the Stags or Nearys before 6pm, and who to stop us?

Nobody.

Kehoes turned to Nearys and our party doubled to Noel and Melissa, Irish coffees and more lovely courses of lager and dark brew.

Shtap.

Noel had other business so it was left the three of us - Ollie, myself and his belle - to carry on with bluster and booze and diet 7-Up in the case of the lovely lady driver. From Neary's to Waga Mama (we sat beside some Leinster rugby goon by the name of Kearney, apparently) and then to Sheehans, a favourite pub of mine where you'll always find a corner to poke ridicule at one another and then fall home gassed.

So it has proved. I promised the quare pair I'd mark our night with a post, so here we are with me searching my fridge for biscuits and realising Ollie took the last one. The cunt.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Oh God, it's a...

Susan has tagged me with a meme, deviant sadist that she is. I'm supposed to tag six other bloggers, but I can't be so cruel, especially since Rosie spoke so ill of them in a recent post of hers.

How and ever, I always not so secretly loved these types of emails (before I'd ever heard of a meme) to while away the workless hours, and seeing as I have another week of arse-scratching ahead of me, I figured I might just take the time.

1. What are your nicknames? Radge to almost everyone, Titface to just the one.

2. What game show and/or reality show would you like to be on? I'd like to bring a vial of smallpox into the Big Brother house and get all biological warfare on their asses. Apart from that, I'd settle for a short colour piece on Nationwide.

3. What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD? Hmmm. I don't remember what VHS it was, but I can tell you that I bought Raging Bull on DVD for the aul lad back in the day. I'm credible like that.

4. What is your favorite scent? There's something about the word 'scent' that's a little unseemly. A little too CSI for my tastes. As for smells, freshly ground coffee, paint, churches and perfume on my sheets. Preferably not my own.

5. If you had a million dollars that you could only spend on yourself, what would you do with it? I'd buy my uncle's house on Bantry Bay. It's up for sale and I just about can't afford it at roughly 950,000 notes.

6. What one place have you visited that you can't forget and want to go back to? See number five.

7. Do you trust easily? Yes but I'm trying to quit.

8. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think? I generally think before I drink.

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days? I don't care for the way this question is phrased. But yes. Something has made me very unhappy these days but this is not the forum.

10. Do you have a good body image? I can't remember the last time Vanity Fair called to tell me.

11. What is your favorite fruit? I enjoy the occasional grapefruit.

12. What websites do you visit daily? My blogger pals, Football 365, Google, the job sites, the unemployment statistic websites.

13. What have you been seriously addicted to lately? The final series of The Wire. And memes (as lately has a relative meaning).

14. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is? I reckon she's kind to her peoples.

15. What's the last song that got stuck in your head? Ideal answer - Bonnie Prince Billy's 'The Way'. Actual answer - Nick Drake's 'Black Eyed Dog.'

16. What's your favorite item of clothing? My bedtime onesie.

17. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy? They look like something genital. I'll leave that image with you.

18. What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground? I'd think those American tourists should really be more careful with their cash, go to the nearest bank, exchange it and buy myself a new question.

19. What items could you not go without during the day? Micro cleaning crystals, Garnier Nutrisse with aloe vera extract and Closer magazine.

20. What should you be doing right now? Getting into my onesie.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saw me coming.

I've just discovered a drawback to living alone - nobody to moan to when I have a cold.

I currently have a bastard behind the eyes, and every time I look around for sympathy I'm treated to a sink full of dishes, a silent mobile phone and that stain on the wall that I've never been truly comfortable with.

Times like this I miss living with Johnny, when he'd tell me to stop moaning - "you terrible cunt" - and fire a medicinal bottle of Stella towards my snuffly head.

He almost always missed.

Anyway, yeah, this came on me this evening. Cactus throat followed by sneezing and the urgent need to moan. Fuck it.

In far better news, I have a new laptop. About time too, as my previous machine would give a tiny little simper and pass out after roughly seven minutes, much like the girlfriend I don't currently have.

Got this little dinger in town today. Not knowing my gigobytes from my Intel pentium processors, the salesman probably sensed blood the second I left my flat. Still, the keys don't stick and this Vista lark seems easy enough to negotiate. It won't let me download MSN Messenger though, so if anyone can help, leave an unmoderated comment.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Please be upstanding...

What a time, what a wedding, what surroundings in Dromoland as Emma and Owen got married. I had great, swelling pride as my sister walked up the aisle, flanked by my mam and dad, and the whole thing was magically done.

There was mania leading up to it, of course, from the moment I landed in Limerick on Saturday with my top button open. Buttons featured throughout, indeed. Done, undone, waistcoats, shirts, buttons pushed and hearts full. Yar.

Myself and Emma stayed up late on Saturday, drinking and talking.

They met through me around the 1999/2000, Owen a friend of mine from college. I shat it initially, he was four years older and she was finishing school.

Still, my initial anxiety soon abated and eight years on they're away to Tokyo, to Las Vegas and to New York on their honeymoon.

Sunday was a great preamble, full as it was of people arriving in the Clare Inn for beer and pre-wedding bawdiness.

Oh it was brilliant, I eventually took myself to bed at 3am for the day itself.

It went as weddings tend to do, with toasts and teary eyes, and a very beautiful bride. My sister Anne was on chief bridesmaid duty, dressed to kill and performing her tasks of nipping, tucking and organishing with aplomb.

I was among the last to leave the banquet hall, tired from dancing and whiskey on rocks. No sleep was had...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Nuptials

Wedding house. No madness yet. All happening tomorrow. My sister Emma and Owen. Hitched. Lots of tuxedos. Dromoland Castle. First dances. Bouquets. Drunk, sick heads at 3am. Residents' bar. Bad singing. Worse dancing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Staropramen.

Whew, this is a dinger of a hangover. Myself and Ollie in the Stag's Head, setting the world to rights in our favourite setting, while steadily inebriating ourselves.

Then it was on to that new pub Le Cirk on Dame Street for pints of Staropramen. We liked the place, the staff were chatty and friendly and you could still smell the paint. Not bad for a former Centra.

We finished with an Indian in Diwali. I'd be a fan.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Get off your hole!

I just got off the phone with Terence, comrade in drinking and blogging and sometime journalysis.

I think we all agree that he needs to blog. This is a very public demand (well, public to me and the five of you). Get it done Terence. None of your shite.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Here Be Monsters.

The Strangers, I think it was called. These films have such vague, generic names that they're forgotten by the first shriek of "the lad in the ski mask is BEHIND you, you silly dumb bint."

And so it proved. The sound effects jumped me enthusiastically throughout, and Liv Tyler does a lovely lip quiver, but it's been done and done and done before. And what's with the hand-held? Does every film since Paul Greengrass' first burp have to come with motion sickness as standard?

Does it? That wasn't a rhetorical question, like.

Halfway through I had the strangest urge to slowly place my hand on the shoulder of the girl sitting in front of me, just as the tension was nearing the end of its crescendo, but I chickened out. She could have been one of THEM, for God's sake.

Time to take my paranoid yet critical ass to bed.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

If it ain't broke, break it.

Well, I did promise.

I'm not landed two hours and I've limbered up my tapping finger (slow learner, me) to type you tales of Spain.

1) I sat in the sun.

2) I swam majestically.

3) I did the dishes.

4) I drank beer and wine and whiskey in modest, then immodest, then modest amounts.

5) I ate a lot of quite nice food.

6) I checked my email, but couldn't summon the will to blog.

7) That was about it, really.

It wasn't the most exciting of weeks, to be honest. I just went where the folks told me and tried my best not to wreck their holiday. Once or twice the aul lad and I overdid it on the sauce, while my mam quietly judged us, but by and large it was all about the fuck-all-doing.

That being said, such glorious relaxation ends soon for me, what with my return to Setanta Towers in three short weeks.

Add our Emma's wedding to the mix and there'll be scant time for spending-a-week-staring-stupidly-at-the-gathering-nothingness, but I think I'm ready to rejoin the world.

I've been offered a new and improved lecturing post in the college. Two classes a week, each three hours in duration, a huge jump from what I had last year.

However, I have to wait to find out if 'big bill-paying job' will be compatible with 'small yet far more worthwhile job'*. It's out of my hands, something about contracts and nixers and bureaucratic idiocy, but I will prevail somehow.

I'm even prepared to juggle the two using subterfuge, just like Michael J Fox in 'The Secret Of My Success'. I just need to work on my lovable rogueishness.

*I really hope one of my fancy female students falls in love with me this semester.**

**Must remember to delete this post.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Offski.

That's quite enough from me for the moment, I'm heading out of the country again tomorrow for a week in Spain.

I could, in boredom, scooch down to the nearest internet shop/burlesque den, but I wouldn't count on it.

I'll come back in better form with tales to tell and, most importantly, a plan.

Love.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Seven Swans.

You should never listen to Sufjan Stevens while blogging or, if you must, make sure it's something cheerful and life affirming like 'Chicago'.

Stay away from the far too beautiful 'Seven Swans' though.

I'm fine now.

Service charge.

Big boss man, known to some of us as 'First Name First Name', wants to know when I'll be back to work?

Says I, for the 143rd time, it'll be September 29th and not a minute sooner.

While one part of me glories in the fact that I don't have to work for another month, another is getting very strange and lonely indeed.

As you probably gathered from my day-in-the-life style blog, it's a bit of a drag when all you have to do for amusement is go to the shop for XXX mints and watch television. One would think that I'd be taking this opportunity to seize this Dublin town anew and get rightly rubbered with whoever's about on any given day, but this isn't the case.

I feel isolated and anti-social today. I did yesterday too, and hope I don't tomorrow. I don't want to do anything, yet I don't want to not do anything, if you follow.

In my countless cups of tea and coffee I think back to my trip, how I relished the thoughts of it a few short months ago. I think of how I failed, even though it was sickness that stopped it earlier, much earlier, than anticipated.

It's left me with all this time to kill, and think, and be a little bit sad at things that should have happened but didn't.

= = =

I fell in love today, just briefly. It was with a waitress who paid me a little bit too much attention in Aya.

I wanted to tell her about my writing block, and ask her for five words on a sheet of paper, but gave her a slightly larger tip than she deserved instead.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lime juice.

I'm feeling all bloated and sluggish. Fajitas for one - you end up eating far more than is medically recommended or humanly possible.

I diced the onions myself.

My current writing block prohibits any kind of.... furtherance....to....

Ah fuck it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Yves Saint Lauradge.

8.06 and I'm out of bed. Nothing worse than waking four hours into a good night's kip, having to urinate, banging your knee on the doorframe and throwing any possibility of further rest to the gods.

Still, at least I get to enjoy this morning of murk and rain and general miserability.

There's no work to be going to, no commitments beyond the hunting and gathering of food and J-cloths, so here I blog.

When I was away recently I got to thinking about the younger Radge. It was a strange thing, memories that I'd long since squirreled away returned in glorious technicolor as I did little but sit and sip drinks and sightsee around.

Radge the parfumier.

I remember being in my back garden with my sister Anne and a few other friends, my granny looking out the window at us from her kitchen sink, when I took the idea of snipping the rose bushes outside and using the petals to make perfume. This involved getting several glasses of water and swishing the mixture around and testing it on the female members of my family.

My mam, ever supportive, told me it was absolutely beautiful - and that she'd happily wear it on a night out - so I took to going house to house, selling my flower water at a low, low price.

It sold moderately.

Radge the gardener.

This one I only barely recall, but involves a spade, my friend Ronan and his front garden. Ronan informs me that he was sitting inside with his folks, having a feed of toast and tea, when his father Noel walked in, all befuddled.

"What's wrong Noel," Teresa asked.

"Well, ****'s in the front garden. Or what's left of it. He's after digging the whole thing up."

Such industry! I was seven.

Radge in the battle of Pig and Cow.

This isn't one specific memory, more a signature of an entire childhood spent fighting with Anne, who - while only a slip of a thing - was a tempestuous little urchin at the best of times. We fought A LOT. My good friend Kev used to have ringside seats, and he'd commentate on our various bouts. "Pig looks at Cow crooked. Cow doesn't like this. Cow throws a pillow at Pig. Pig retaliates with a cup. Cow is rattled but determined. PIG GOES DOWN!"

I'm still not sure if I was Pig or Cow.

Radge the failed truant.

In fourth class I had a teacher called Sister Cora. She was a brick shithouse of a nun and a complete psychopath to boot, but she loved me for some reason. I realised I could get one over on her easily enough, and over a number of weeks came down with all sorts of imaginary sicknesses so I could go home.

She'd phone my dad, who worked from home in his Dublin days, and he'd promptly appear on his bike and wheel me home.

This was all very well as my mother - a teacher and by far the disciplinarian of the two - would not get back from school herself until 3pm or so, at which stage the horse had bolted.

One day, however, she returned early. 11am or so. I was up in the folks' bed watching telly, all delighted with myself, when my mother came up to check on me. She tells me now she knew instantly there was fuck all wrong with me, but she wasn't about to let on at the time.

Instead, she told me to put on some clothes, that we were going to go for a bit of a drive. I got all excited, forgetting instantly I was supposed to be writhing in some suspicious agony, and bounded down the stairs.

"Where are we going?"

"It's a surprise but you'll love it," she replied.

Next thing we pulled into the school gates, she produced my schoolbag from the boot of the car, and told Sister Cora to make sure I was ACTUALLY sick the next time she sent me home. What a brilliant humiliation. I never rang home sick again.

Radge the forger.

First year in that Jesuit rugby-obsessed school on the North side that dare not speak its name, my love for study was bettered by experiments with drinking, smoking, petty theft and heads and volleys in the park. OK, not the petty theft.

One maths test did not go at all well, and I failed with a miserly 37%. We were told we had to get the tests signed.

I turned to Kev, who informed me he was expert at forging signatures. He took a few practice runs on the test paper itself - on. the. test. paper. itself. - before applying the name of my mother in the most ham-fisted scrawl possible.

The teacher, a young one by the name of Ms Browne, saw this and passed no comment. God knows she must have felt sorry for me.

I thought I was out of the woods but stupidly kept the offending article. Anne, going through my stuff with scarcely a thought for my privacy, found it and vowed to show it to my mam. I was shitting it for about a week.

Just when I thought I was out of the woods, my dad found me in my granny's sitting room and told me my mother wanted to see me.

Imagine my horror when she confronted me with half a packet of Rothmans found in my jacket pocket. I was shell-shocked. The two of them lectured me for a good hour on the perils of smoking (while smoking themselves - my dad quit a couple of years later), and threatened to tell Anne, who would make my life miserable for aeons to come.

Lecture over, my dad brought up the subject of the maths test. Anne had ratted me out, the little bitch. My mam didn't flinch. "Yeah, I remember that, I signed that."

You win some, you lose some.

Radge the vagrant.

An old couple, Mary and Dermot, lived down the road from us. They were simple people. He an illiterate, she a bible quoting busy-body that people crossed the road to get away from.

I took against her, in particular. Knick-knacks, tricks and general cheek were the order of the day as I made it my life's mission to torment the poor couple, little shit that I was.

One day, I took a couple of footballs, bikes, jackets and sundries and put them in her fenced front garden when there was nobody around to see me.

Half an hour or so later I rang her doorbell, and Dermot answered.

"Hi Dermot, can I speak to Mary please?"

She appeared at the door.

"Hello Mary, myself and the lads were wondering if we can have our stuff back please?"

"What do you mean?"

"Our stuff. It's all in your front garden and we want it back."

"I did NOT take your TOYS!"

"They're not toys. And I'm sure you didn't Mary, but it's all in your front garden and we need it back."

"Yes, well, yes, well....I'll let you in. Dermot, where are the keys? I really have no idea how..."

"I'm sure you don't, Mary. I just hope this doesn't happen again."