Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The great overdo

Yesterday has bled into today and I've seen it happen. No fucking sleep and I feel like a discombobulated cretin. What had been a minor 'oweeee' in my throat has slowly metamorphosed into a fully running 'man flu,' whatever that is.

I dislike the term 'man flu,' I do, because I always picture some mocking madam elbowing her female cohort at the sniffle of the nearest male. "Yer man over there," nudge, wink, point, "him and his fucking man flu. Try and foist a period on him. OR A BABY!!!"

DUH DUH DUHHHHH.

Cough.

Overdid I did, though, at the Christmas. Sure it's 'The Great Overdo,' what with the buckets of spirits and stout and lager beer on offer down home in Luimneach. Puff pastry mince pies were winkled out of Marks And Spencer for our destroyment, as well as plentiful...

Yeah you know all this. We don't do it any differently, really, save for the fact that Maimie Radge creates - at the last count - 146 desserts per person. We're enough to keep dentistry out of the recession and my heart in irregular skips.

Cut to now and I'm back in the black pool, as the Vikings gave it, and I'm working from home because none of my colleagues could be fucked with the office while the turkey's still moistish. Suits me fine with my spluttering and simpering, and my nose the colour of this scarlet Christmas jumper.

If you could see me now.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kseniya Simonova

Another video, contextualised below. This is quite something.



'This video shows the winner of "Ukraine’s Got Talent," Kseniya Simonova, 24. Her talent, which admittedly is a strange one, is mesmeric to watch.

The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears and she won the top prize of about $130,000.00

She begins by creating a scene showing a couple sitting holding hands on a bench under a starry sky, but then warplanes appear and the happy scene is obliterated.

It is replaced by a woman's face crying, but then a baby arrives and the woman smiles again. Once again war returns and Miss Simonova throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman's face appears.

She quickly becomes an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier.

This outdoor scene becomes framed by a window as if the viewer is looking out on the monument from within a house.

In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a man standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying goodbye.

The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine , resulted in one in four of the population being killed with eight to 11 million deaths out of a population of 42 million.'

Friday, December 25, 2009

The worth of passion's pledge

My mother on the genesis of 'Raglan Road,' last night in the minor hours.

"It was written about a woman called Hilda Moriarty from Dingle. She was a student who caught the eye of Donough O'Malley, uncle of Dessie, from Limerick.

"O'Malley ran for office for Fianna Fáil instead of my father, who got sent to Iceland instead. Before he went on to become Minister for Education he met Hilda Moriarty, resident at the time on Raglan Road on Dublin's southside.

"Unbeknownst to her future husband, she had also caught the attention of Patrick Kavanagh. He fancied her so he wrote the poem about her."

= =

My da on an encounter with Luke Kelly. Everybody in Dublin over a certain age has a Luke Kelly story.

"It was Good Friday and myself and Dave Moore were walking up Grafton Street with a thirst on us.

"We saw Luke Kelly walking down towards us, so we stopped him.

""Here, Luke, you're the man to talk to," I said. "Any idea where we'd get a jar?"

"...to which he responded: "Lads, do you think if I knew where to get a pint on Good Friday I'd be stood here talking to the likes of youse?"

"The man made a fair point."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'll probably do what you tell me

This is a vow to post during Christmas.

I got into work an hour ago, updated the horse racing pages and then took to the blogs. I really couldn't be fucked with work when the windchill factor is making me shiver like an unwieldy analogy.

A lot of people saying 'that's it' for the festive period, that they won't be around until the tin of Roses is full of empty wrappers and Coffee Cremes. Bollocks that. I don't know how other people spend their Christmases, but for me it's a quarry of drink, food, Mass avoidance and wishing The Royle Family hadn't disappeared up Caroline Aherne's arse.

Really, it's like every other Sunday with added lightbulbs.

Constantly refreshing the live interweb feed for the football aside (the folks jettisoned their Sky Sports package years ago), I'll have nothing but time for these stylings, such as they are, and reflections on 2009 and all its tribulations.

For me, it comes down to a day in June - the 22nd - as I sat on my own cradling a pint amid the throng in John Mulligan.

"Look at you, all your sisters married and you sat there, sacked."

This from a fellow butchered colleague, gallows humour at its finest.

= = =

A word for Therese, whose blog has been my first port of call of a morning since I discovered it around the Spring. I can't laud the old Ampersand Seven highly enough as she counts down, or up, to this project's conclusion. Looking forward to what comes next.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Good World Restaurant

(In my cups I took this down last night, too close to the sarky givings out of a man that isn't me. However, Andrew spotted it in his feed reader and concurs with my appraisal, so back up it goes. I'm taking out the Paulo Tullio reference though.)

If you want balls of fat served in tissue paper - go there.

If you want a shcatter of beansprouts deep fried in crap and renamed a spring roll - go there.

If you're looking for globules of diarrhoea masquerading as a satay sauce - yeah.

If you order the crispy chilli chicken and boiled rice - fuck, I'm out of words.

This is supposedly Dublin's best Chinese restaurant.

I'm not fussy, but the shit we got served was just insulting. Insulting. I'm a generous tipper but fuck if I didn't gather up the coppers after that effluent.

Bleugh.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All that glitters...

I gurbled something to the gold dress girl, sought out my jacket and left. These things always end the same way, they do, different dress but the same sentiment and a mild sense of my own lack of comfort in compliment-giving.

That being said, I won't be too downcast because the room was full of my kind and I made no more nor less a tit of myself than my fellow single brethren.

Fucking office parties. They're meant for team bonding or some such wankology but usually end up on a cool day in March when the pang of realisation hits.

"I didn't... Oh fuck, I did too."

The same thing every year but at least there was some prime fillet beef and not the usual tat and mashed potato with the bits left in. That at least.

I can't be doing with the forced jollity, though, as there's always someone at the next table that you half know and fully want to avoid.

"So how's your year been?"

"Graysh, yeah, we had some setbacks but they've really pulled things back together so, like, yeah, you've got to be happy with that. I reckon we can turn a profit by spring so (looks around) let's fucking get locked like. And yourself?"

"Getting by. See ya."

"Later, man."

"(Sac.)"

The music. The music. Fuck off 'Galway Girl.' Fuck off 'Candle In The Wind.' Do one 'Merry Christmas Everyone,' you cretinous cock of a song.

And Aslan.

= =

When the free drink runs out you're left with shots at the bar, shots in the dark and a fuckload of meekness at the morning's delayed start time. That's all it amounts to, really.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What to do?

Christmas Party tonight and I'm weighing the pros up against those cons.

Pro: Free meal and drink for the duration in a readily escapable City Centre spot.

Con: Connie McEldowney won't be there. I had a big grá for Connie before she upped and left for brighter things, like a heavily levied income at a mildly less beleaguered series of pods.

Pro: One or two of the female number crunchers might fall afoul of my ready quip.

Con: There's midweek Premier League fitba on and I do hate to miss it, even if it does feature Berbiggub and Blackburn.

Pro: Mirabilis will be in attendance, so if all else fails we'll sit aside the dancing floor and poke fun at Attention Seeking Social Pariah Number 1.

Con: My arch nemesis won't be there, and by arch nemesis I mean the lad that got me drunk last night.

Pro: Myself and (recent re-blogger) Terence can resume our love affair from the weekend just gone in Waterford.

Con: I'd end up dancing, and nobody should have to witness that.

Pro: No work tomorrow.

Con: The same cunts that always do the music are doing the music, and they tend to play the fucking Fields Of Athenry. A lot.

Pro: Dinner plates. Their heads. 1-0.

Con: Having to make small talk with people whose names I should know by now.

Pro: Free drink.

Con: Teaching a class before it all kicks off, don't want to bring my notes to a place of potential destruction.

Pro: Ale gratis.

Con: Somebody, over the course of the evening, will inevitably ask: "Are you STILL working here?"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gone fishin'

I'm off to the countryside for the weekend where I'll likely drink my own husk in Leffe or homebrew or whatever the fates provide.

I'd like to think I'll come back with some stories, but I'll pre-empt all that by painting a picture of my foetal self, gasping for 'agua' like some dying Mexican in a Coen brothers film. Y'know, the one with Mickey Dolenz.

Yeah.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The cull

"You see, Radge, in your life you will meet four types of people. People you love, people you like, people you 'know' and people you detest.

"Few will fall into the first category. It's reserved for your family, your girlfriend and your closest friends.

"The second category is wider. Work colleagues that you might drunkenly chat to, try it on with, meet and pass the time of day before you realise you've exhausted all possible avenues of repartee. They're good souls, but...

"Also friends of friends, lads that are too tall to strike any kind of real bond with - the great Dr. Fell aside - but you get on fine with them.

"The third category? Wider still. These are the folks that you really hope you don't bump into while buying your morning pain au chocolat and foamy coffee. You have no problem with them, as such, but they straddle that line of 'do I need to talk to them or will a salutory nod suffice?' They think the same way about you so don't feel bad.

"The fourth category? Well, you find yourself wishing a very specific kind of harm upon them."

Wise words from 5X, spake over glasses of Ruby Leffe in Montparnasse last summer while ranking the 'woulds' from the 'wouldn't bothers.'

They came back to me recently when I was sorting through my Facebook account. I get embarrassed at having a Facebook account, truth told, because it seems all too sheepy when a greater stand against this kind of virtual interaction is called for.

I was on a cull.

My list of 'friends' or 'followers' or whatever the fucks had exceeded 180 so I took my imaginary red pen and hit delete, delete, delete. I had lazily agreed to any friend request that came my way over the space of a year and saw the page fill up with shite the likes of...

'Young one you fancied one night before realising she liked rugby scored 78,124 pseudopoints on Farmville.'

'That American lad who knew the other American lad who asked you for the time on Dawson Street THAT day is like, SO hungover dude.'


...and the clincher...

'Silly dull office receptionist grammar shunning bint became a fan of Stacey Fucking Solomon.'

...so something had to be done.

I tried to employ 5X's rule and immediately dethroned anyone I'd happily see burn in a house fire. That took care of about 30.

150 left, I went through it all again. Friends of far off relations - culled. Anyone I'd only met once - culled. Girls who suddenly stopped replying to my texts - Cul...no on second thoughts I'll leave them in.

I got it down to its current total of 127 and it still seems full fat when semi-skimmed will do.

Out of that 127 there are 34 people I converse with or drink with or give out about on a regular basis.

A further 72 fall into 5X's third category. I like 'em fine but I wouldn't necessarily have them in the flat or engage them in a heated debate on 'who has the prettier smile, Mary Hanafin or Coughlan?'

That leaves 22 that I really, really don't like but they're too connected to my everyday life to splice. These people are my gritted teeth clique, the sham merchants and nasty fuckers who make life miserable for me and mine in thousands of incremental ways, and yet I still have to know what kind of Shiraz they're drinking with their rabbit and colcannon mash.

Fuckin' status reports.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Somewhere, a village...

I should never have slagged off 'Val Falvey TD' as it seems that, when it comes to certain parts of Ireland, the gombeen is anything but fictional.

On Joe Duffy, just there now:

Joe: "I've Vincent from Cork on the line."

Vincent: "Hello Joe. I just wanted to say that the politicians in this country are getting too tough a time of it.

"Only this morning I opened the post to see the most BEAUTIFUL Christmas letter from TD Noel O'Flynn (he of a recent ignoble Prime Time appearance - Radge). It was lovely.

"The lettering was top notch and the message, from John 3:17, was beautifully done, Joe. Now, I don't think Noel would know me if I passed him on the street, so I thought it extra lovely to get this in the post.

"And what's more, Joe, he sent the same beautiful card and letter to my mother. Now, she's been dead for four years - I don't remember seeing him at the funeral - and he actually got her address wrong, but if she'd been around to see it she would have been thrilled."

Diwali (or always the quiet ones)

Indian music, I'm sure it has a specific name.

Kula Shaker tried to popularise it in the 1990s but even the sizable musical powers of Crispian Mills couldn't make it palatable to these isles.

Well I got a fucking blast of it last night.

She doesn't talk, the wife, at least not to me. I got a nod off her when we met in the laundry room there last week. I asked her how she was settling in? She nodded again and then looked down at the ground as if to usher me out without things becoming uncomfortable.

He talks, the husband, but only to complain about the bins. Sometimes I pass him while he smokes at the utility room door but it's a rare hello, more of a grunt and an exhale.

They fight. She gives him dog's abuse with the shrillest sounds this side of Anneka Rice while he gives it 'what the fuck did I come home to this for?' by way of response. It's all in the intonation even though the floorboards (thin as they are) rule out specifics.

Last night things were ratcheted up a notch. Screams and shouts and hurried speech, crying and wailing (his) and accusations and tirades (hers). Pots and pans hitting the ground above my head and fists bashing walls in anger. Quite the domestic.

Then, suddenly, it went quiet. "She must have finally done it," I said to my invisible bedfellow. "She's gone and offed him."

Then, suddenlier, this...



For a fucking hour and a half.

The make up sex must have been tremendous, and they're definitely on to me. Spoilsports.