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.