Monday, June 28, 2010

Grooveshark

Fuck you, World Cup, getting all good and stealing my days and nights away from me.

Nights I would have spent getting angry at Friends, Lee Evans and Laser Eye Surgery advertisements are now made out of football, decent football, and precious little to complain about. To write about. To think about.

Giles and Brady and Kaka and Dunphy and Robben and Dunphy and Bill and Darragh Moloney are doing all my thinking for me.

Where has this left me? Back in the 1980s, if you must know. I swear to fuck I listened to eight Pet Shop Boys songs in a row in work today, with a bit of Talk Talk and Madonna to boot. La Isla Bonita. What is happening to me?

Things got particularly rowdy in the office at one point, either a birthday or somebody bringing their baby in to be cooed over, so I found myself scrambling for my headphones and searching out the first song that came into my head. It was Owen Paul's 'My Favourite Waste Of Time.'

That has never happened before.

More to the point, what has the World Cup got to do with my being on the turn, on the turn to the tune of a series of camp 1980s classics?

Fuck all, Bill.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Soap

Would you let this man into your home? This shambling, drunken devil with a shoulder bag and little sense of his own environs? If you would, thank you.

If this rings a bell, you were a partygoer in an estate far away from anywhere and you saw me walking down the street, in my cups, and you saw me stop and ask if I could use your jacks.

Dying for a piss, y'see, dying for a throne in a stranger's townhouse.

The owner took sympathy on me and led me inside. He stood sentry outside with his wife or his girlfriend and a couple of their friends, one voice asking another...

"Who the fuck is that? Who's in the toilet?"

"I don't know, some fella, don't know where he came out of."

"Jesus. You wouldn't see me letting a stranger into my house."

"Ah Siobhán, he seems grand, he's wearing glasses for fuck's sake."

"Lots of serial killers wear glasses. What if he legs it off with the soap?"

"I dunno, seems pretty clean to me. I don't think he's going to rob the soap. The mirror, maybe."

The owner: "Nah, it's stuck to the wall, sure."

I was, of course, pissing away with the laughter and the nightful of stout and lager beer. Eventually I finished up, stole just a smudge of soap (lavender) and flushed. I checked the fly and opened the door to find five round strangers staring at me, blushing back at them.

"Thanks folks, I, eh, I appreciate it. Eh, I, ehm, I like your soap. Have a good night."

Manners make a man.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Testimonial

A colleague of mine, let's call him Nick because that's his name, said this to me today.

"I read your blog for the first time recently.

"You come across as a very bitter and lonely man but it's really quite well written."

Have to say I was pleased with that.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Empathy

I had started a very po-faced piece about acts of God and a book I read as a child called 'The Greatest Disasters Of The Twentieth Century,' but I deleted it because I knew from the start it was going to need all sorts of silly things like structure, narrative and memory.

I'll start again.

I've always loved a good disaster.

This probably dates back to Hillsborough and my initial reaction to that, when I had more fascination with the breaking news flashes and the sheer enormity of the event that was unfolding than I had empathy with the families of the deceased.

I don't feel bad about this as it's hard to find a ten-year-old kid who can grasp tragedy on such a large scale, they just react to what they're being fed by serious-faced-newscasters and screaming eyewitnesses.

Ever since that day I've had a fascination with these things and not from a 'let's get everyone together and throw a fundraiser' perspective, it's much more of an enthralled yet uneasy spectatorial thing.

I would worry about myself if the thought of something horrific happening to my family, friends, fake Facebook friends, colleagues and fellow bloggementarians didn't turn my stomach in on itself and make me all vomity. It does.

It's the abstract that has, up to this point, taken my empathy away and perhaps it's also the inner tabloid journalist that got killed somewhere between leaving college and finding myself writing an Electronic Programme Guide for Sky circa 2007.

September 11th, the South East Asia tsunami, the death of Gerry Ryan, Hurricane Katrina, the election of George W. Bush, twice, Ireland's recent Eurovision capitulation, the 2010 World Cup, Mary Coughlan, Eijofylfoofoofighters (the volcano), Bono, Saipan, the HSE and the death of Katy French.

Tragedies all, you'll agree, but I stayed stone-hearted throughout the breaking blips and soundbites, the investigations and recriminations. I never once picked up the phone to tell Joe how awful I thought something was and I never gave to charity because I know how charities roll.

Well, it seems I could be cured because tonight, watching the Air India film on RTE One and being familiar with the memorial from various trips to Ahakista in West Cork, I cried stupid salty man tears with ne'er a woman in the room to show my sensitivity off to.

I'm either growing or dying. I'm off to bed to have a word with myself.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shorts

Graeme McDowell looks like a fat Patrick Dempsey.

= = =

Six euro for a bottle of Heineken in a plush Dublin city centre hotel on Saturday night. A wedding. Happily we drank our way through the fiscal pain, surely a metaphor for our country's current plight? That was a rhetorical question.

= = =

We watched 'Office Space' instead of the football last night. No regrets. Milton (Stephen Root) deserves his own film.

= = =

Look at that day, look at it! Now look away and remember that you're on the late shift tonight and the closest you'll get to a cool breeze will be the air conditioning, blowing recycled fart right down on top of you.

= = =

I dislike writing in the second person singular.

= = =

I'm moving out of the flat, three years and three months after moving in. Away from the scurvy cooking smells from overhead, away from those annoying bastard students next door, away to a place with an actual kitchen, a big screen television and a Fitzbollix to drink with. August. Can't wait.

= = =

This week I will go to see 'His and Hers,' I will watch my first World Cup match in a pub, I will read the book 'Dancer,' I will think about entering that writing competition with the closing date approaching, I will fail to enter said writing competition due to a complete absence of words and structure, I will eat halibut, I will drink the finest wines available to humanity, I will throw something at John Terry's slanty head, I will feel better.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bloods

No place smells of nothing quite like the waiting room of a GP's surgery.

The sound is of doors buzzing open, polite phone calls, credit card machines, Ryan Tubridy and coughing but the smell is of nothing but clean, with a whisper of lemon and something disinfected.

There's never anything good to read, not in this Suffolk Street version anyway. You have VIP Magazine and the latest Closer, OK! and Hello! and all sorts of vacuous raggage but they make no allowance for the fact that men need tending too. One's kingdom for an Uncut or, heaven forfend, the Times.

I settle on my iPod and some leaflet about smear testing, the details of which are blank to me now. Reading myself away from myself. I put it down, switch off the iPod, open the window and look out at Grafton Street while I wait for my name to be called.

The Viking Splash Tour passes below with a whoop and holler and I look around the room again, a young girl reading my discarded leaflet with a questioning expression on her face. She sees me seeing her and puts it down, while I overhear the locum ask the receptionist something about chlamydia.

I shift in my seat, search my bag for some reading material and find only a receipt for fish fingers, waffles and milk. I think about leaving because this is just a scheduled check-up, last week's sickness long since bettered, but I stick it out and put myself in the shoes of the girl with the leaflet.

'Pregnant?' I wonder, because everybody else seems to be. Green wee, perhaps, or something exotic and horrible caught on holiday in Greece with the girls. I settle on 'women's problems' and my mind, by way of reflex, reverts immediately to the football and the fact that I'll miss the kick off if I'm not called, sharpish.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Plastic people

Vuvuzealot

-noun
1.
a person who shows zeal against African horns, talks to Joe, complains loudly on buses, as loudly as the vuvuzela itself.
2.
an excessively vuvuzealous person; fanatic.
3.
a member of a radical, warlike, ardently patriotic group of peaceseeking fairweather 'soccer' fans in Clontarf, particularly prominent from a.d. 2010 to 2010, advocating the violent overthrow of plastic African horns and vigorously resisting the efforts of the Romans and their supporters to heathenise the Jews.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Manchego

I'm just waiting for the manchego to kick in, a cut of cheese before bedtime to keep the subconscious as separated from the conscious as can possibly be. Y'know? All interesting, like.

My realworld self is just baulking and lazy since the finishing of a late shift and the writing of the world's worst match report.

"England were shit."

Edit. Edit.

"A lucklastre England..."

Fuckin' typos.

"If I tell you in 1500 characters or less that it was a 1-1 draw, with little bearing on either side's chances of progression, can I go home and throw cans at bad advertisements? Oh, and King got injured."

Click. Save. Gone.

With 10pm dead and in the ground I collected a couple of beers from the pub across the road - licencing laws don'twithstand - and that fuels me now, getting all riled up at that prick from the BT ads and all funnyboned by Dylan Moran and Chris Rock.

Chris Rock is good ("You've got two options in life. 'Married and bored' or 'single and lonely.'") and Dylan Moran is a genius but I'm too lazy and full of Spanish curd to rewind and reproduce. Get the DVD.

This particular post was intended to segue into something about Big Brother, but the muse takes me to one more nibble of manchego and therefrom to bed.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Oh my baby

A day indoors save for a trip to the dry cleaners.

Rock and ye olde roll, refusing all invitations towards the Iveagh Gardens and Dicey Reilly's and whatever madness lies therein and thereunder.

There was the football, which served as a constant reminder of Jonny Greenwood's score for 'There Will Be Blood.' Y'know, the buzzards, swarming non-stop through the commentary of George Hamilton, Stephen Alkin and, over on the other side, Camp Football Pundit Mark Lawrenson. Vuvuzelas my hole.

Thank fuck for BBC Four and 'No Distance Left To Run,' a documentary about Blur's reunion tour last year. No World Cup hyperbollix here, just one of the best films about music this charming man has seen for aeons and ages.

It made me crave a job where I have to warm up first with my own rider, some fizzy pop and a couple of Crunchies, before an inevitable descent into breakdance and breakdown.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bill of unfare

I've got the lurgy, a case of something unpleasant in the innards and a smasher of a headcold.

The latter is down to misfortune and the constant changing of the seasons, not to mention the fact that I ran out of Berocca and never stocked up, but the former can rest firmly at the door of the Porterhouse in Temple Bar.

Fuck them. Fuck the Porterhouse in Temple Bar and their luncheon brand of pig swill, billed on a pretty little front-and-back menu as breaded hake fillet and chunky chips, replete with pea purée infused with mint. No less.

I had no breakfast yesterday, you see, because the cupboards were bare and I didn't fancy a trip to see my pal The Unfriendly Bastard in Spar. I had some things to do in town anyway and found myself down Parliament Street way with the Thurles lad.

While he stuck to the basics, soup and a sandwich, I was driven demented by the yearning for a feed. Hence the plate of deep fried, fish-shaped shite, frozen chips and something green to resemble what I'd snat out earlier.

Hunger is a great sauce.

Cue me, twenty four hours later, on the way to an appointment on the Southside and stopping mid-walk to pretend to speak to someone on my mobile phone, my insides suddenly somerloping from Satan's food itself.

Did I make it? It was a fucking close call.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Taking the helicopter view

Mirabilis again. I simply asked her if she'd be free for a bit of lunch or a pint next week? This was her response.

= = =

Thanks for coming back to me asap on the below. I look forward to our face to face meeting when I can finally put a face to the name.

Re calendar dates for next week - I'll revert later and can diary you in then. Apologies for the delay with this.

If I have any other queries regarding your input, we can do a conference call later in the week. Could you please organise a meeting room and check with IT to make sure the facilities are working?

It will have to be an 8.30am dial in though as my calendar is very full for the foreseeable future and I have very few windows.

I'll be out of the country on a red-eye on Friday, but if there is anything urgent - you can contact me on the blackberry as I'll be picking up mails.

If you do have any trouble getting in contact, just notify your team leader. He is organising an off site training session for next week and will circulate the details to you all in advance.

If you could read the document in full before you attend, that will allow the session to progress at a much quicker pace and we will have time for feedback towards the end.

As you know I am a firm believer in 360 degree management, so please come to the session with a willingness to participate fully.

I hope the whole day will be conducive to team building and we will learn new methods to implement immediately in the office environment. This implementation will be monitored on an ongoing basis.

Your training and job progression is extremely important to me so please fill in the training document you received at your orientation and return to me at the earliest opportunity so we can begin a tailored training plan which will plot your career for the next 25 years.

= = =

Loves her work.

Football and DH Lawrence

I can't get excited about the World Cup, not at the moment anyway.

I think it's all the blanket regurge on Sky Sports News. Every Ledley King hiccup, each clearing of Steven Gerrard's throat, the documentation of Gareth Barry's bowel movements ad nauseam. Oh madonna!

It's this or 'Everybody Loves Raymond,' though, and that's a road I'm not about to go down.

It reminds me of the DH Lawrence poem 'Tourists,' which is just about the only poem I can recite in full. You're about to understand why.

'There is nothing to look at anymore. Everything has been seen to death.'

Horrible and succinct, no? Well that's what state the football has me in. There's nothing new happening and we don't have a Roy Keane shitfit to collectively wet our dungarees over.

This is not a rant against France. Who gives a fuck about France? Let them win the thing. I don't care. Thierry Henry could be brought up on pensioner molestation charges and I wouldn't bat a bollock, this country needs a nice warm cup of get the fuck over it.

Of course, come Friday I'll be euphoric, it's just the preamble and the weekend drinking postamble that has me all cross and broken.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

My cleanest dirty shirt

6.30am, the couple overhead fighting and fucking things around again.

Teleshopping on RTE1.

Rain about to pour.

Paracetamol, hangover.

The Sky Sports News night staff, janitors masquerading as newsreaders.

A shirt, a pair of jeans, socks and shoes strewn in different corners of the flat.

Tired but not tired.

Padraig Harrington's nasal whittle on an Optical Express ad.

Check sent items, the coincidence of a shared birthday.

Check inbox. 'Loving your blog.' Panic.

Back to bed, a slow sleep.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Alternatives

I wish they'd create a non-alcoholic drink that is pleasing to the palate, as well as socially acceptable, when it comes to those times where you're in a pub yet disinclined to sup.

Milk - my favourite of the beverages - is a no-go because I can only drink it when it's icy cold. The idea of bainne at room temperature puts me off, the smell of milk warming up is disgusting.

Apple juice could be a runner but you never find it in pubs.

Orange juice is grand but they always serve that Britvic shit, which is to orange juice what Friends is to The Royle Family.

I gave up fizzy drinks a couple of years ago when I started smoking crack. Give and take.

I refuse to pay for non-alcoholic beer on principle. It tastes pissed-in and it costs almost exactly the same as a normal bottle of beer.

Tonight I spent an hour in a city centre pub with Neuroskeptic. The weekend may have ended four days ago but I won't damage my liver for some considerable time on its account. On this occasion I decided on a lovely pint of water but next time, if I'm not drinking, I'll be a bit more adventurous and take a cider.

Elmo's the creative one

Let's just forget any of that happened, shall we? No need to go widescreen with the blog, "no need for braces, Donnie."

I have been given some excellent advice from across the Atlantic and it goes along the lines of 'leave Radge enough alone,' so I'm not changing things for the sake of it.

= =

Anyway, today's headlines:

I've become a lover of eating grapefruit.

I'm England's unofficial eleventh-choice defensively minded attacking midfielder at the World Cup.

I've heard you can 'burn' coffee in the diffusion stage. How can you burn something with water?

It's about time Yamamori offered me a free Chicken Katsu Curry.

I still don't foresee ever drinking alcohol again, and I'm back at the tip toppermost of my health.

We all fear an indiscriminate killing spree, as in Cumbria.

I asked my sister Elmo for a random line for this blog, and she came up with '____________________________ ← Random Line.'

Elmo's meant to be the artistic and creative one.

I'm growing ever fonder of 30 Rock. It's no Entourage but Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy is comedy gold. However, he's no Ari Gold, who's even golder.

Pat Kenny gave Michael Noonan a warm, tight hug during the ad break for The Frontline last Monday. There was nothing disingenuous about it.

I want to play for VVV Venlo at least once in my lifetime.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Studio Four

We went to The Frontline this evening, myself and my pal Mirabilis, and sat in the corner furthest away from anything with the other proles who weren't for speaking up, just lurking.

Several times during the broadcast I had to fight off the urge to shout the word 'penis' out, much as one must stand back from the platform as a train approaches. Death by RTE One.

It's hot under those studio lights, and with 827 cameras and lights and microphones hanging overhead it gets a little bit disorienting. I remember exactly half of fuck all from the first segment - something to do with builders and developers and that hoary old chestnut - as I spent most of it wondering how Pat Kenny got to look so aged, skin like some leftover turkey.

Michael Noonan was on then, talking about his wife Flor's struggle with Alzheimer's. Tough to see any man so broken, before the Jews versus the Arabs and some lefty in a 'Free Gaza' t-shirt heckling the Israeli panelist with semi-hearted jibes of 'murderers.' Or something. He was duly hushed, all the impact of a fart in a tempest.

No fiery exchanges. Not really, though our two friends from out yonder got a bit cross with each other, and it was over very quickly.

Then out into the pissings of rain where I got splashed - Benny Hill-sketch style - by a passing bus before I got a taxi home with the priest from Father Ted, the lad who spoke of lagging jackets and different humming noises. Tortuously boring.

No part of me wanted to know about his rhododendrons.