Thursday, December 23, 2004

Should I stay or should I go now?

Just got word that I was successful in the interview yesterday. Dazed and confused (in a happy way). Didn't expect to get it, but now I'm getting the wibbles about moving. Why am I never darned certain about anything?!


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Christmas Tidings

Thank figs I'm finished work on Wednesday for Christmas. I had another interview today, and due to my general lack of self-confidence (as a consequence of the mess that is my workplace at present) I gave them all a right giggle for a half an hour. Ridiculous. I've got another one tomorrow (more important), and I'm really hoping that it will be a case of third one lucky. Two more interviews lined up in January - AAAAGH!

The hilarious thing is that I'm not sure what I want to be anymore. Sure, I've really enjoyed this PR stuff for the last two years, even if those mates of mine who are journalists do tend to turn their noses up slightly when we talk about work. I don't mind, I've really enjoyed the way it is constantly a challenge and is as difficult and time consuming as sin trying to wriggle out of awkward corners.

Being a chef appeals, but when I looked into it, I realised that I'll have to make financial sacrifices that aren't really possible with the mortgage and everything, so that is going to be delayed as a realistic choice for the moment.

For years I thought the writing was the goal, yet when I gave myself a bit of space and time at it, I wasn't able to achieve all that I thought I would - and realised that I love reading more. It's so strange, when you have loads of commitments, it gets into your head that without those constraints you could be more creative and free. Yet when it comes to it, in my case anyway, the voice I write with wasn't able to sustain past a short story without becoming shrill and dull.

To be honest I am less upset about it than I would have thought. Maybe it is the realisation that someday it might be right, just not today. Oops, I've got to go, just been summonsed to bed!

Friday, December 17, 2004


Work situation is no clearer, so why not take a day off I thought.

Perfect. Woke up at 11, had a tray with breakfast in bed, started reading this wonderful book.

A couple of hours in the gym, a nice lunch, and now getting ready to go out for a few drinks.

Why Not. Why not indeed.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Penquin Classics

Today was good and bad. Work is in a case of meltdown, and I'm serious this time, unions and everything involved - it's crazy coconut.

Had to go back to base where everyone is in a state of crisis. Has been eight months since I worked there and noone knows how long we'll be back for. Mixed bag of reactions.

On the plus, I discovered Penquin are doing this series of books based on seminal thoughts and they are cheap, beautiful and pocked sized. Recommend them to anyone who like I was a pensive teenager/student with pretentious notions of greatness.

Even for an old cynical twenty-something, they're simply lovely. Bought two - Nietsche (because I never have and should have) and Freud (read a little and talked a lot about it - should really learn what I'm mouthing about).

The Nietsche one has an elegant cover, very art nouveau (she said, hoping her terminology is write - gotcha there didn't I!).

Back to my old commute - an hour and a bit each way in Betsy (the trusty 1997 Ford Fiesta with a tempermental driver door lock).

Met a friend for chats and coffee and ribena, just home. Great to have a talk all over the shop - lots of venting, laughing, angering, smiling, sympathising and not a little chocolate.

All this uncertainty and strangeness in work makes me think. No answers yet, but lots of suggestions. Roam from leaving desk jockey job to become chef through to getting high powered PR job... Confusion reigns supreme.

Not sure where the future lies, glad I'm no longer an angst-ridden youth though - the emotion would have me spiralling. Now at the mature cheese stage of twenty-seven, I half admit that I half enjoy the drama and unanswered questions about the future.

Who knows? Maybe the little penquin classics will have an answer - I know they won't, but they will while away the hours, and maybe the old unconscious will make a decision for me, I sure know the ego struggles with staying awake.


Sunday dinner - roast chicken - and an evening of TV:

Just watched Bullitt with Steve McQueen, 1968.

Good film, but missed the first twenty minutes, so slightly confused.

Enjoyed the cinematography - nicely directed - checked Peter Yates' details and I don't think I've seen any of his other stuff. Although he did the original The Saint TV series, which is probably really impressive, I wouldn't know.

Also watched a Body in the Library, first in the series of a remake of Agatha Christie's Mrs Marple Series. Great - but I'd already read the book. Not as though it mattered, memory of a goldfish me. Turns out they turned the ending around to liven it up for TV audiences - became 'the love that knows no name', and in all honesty the effect was good.

Yawn, off to bed, zzzzz.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Arthur's Competition

'Perfection with batteries', I thought whilst buying a present in our local toyshop for a young friend. His name is KiKo, and he lives in a glass dome. I bought his co-shelf sharer Tu for the young friend and KiKo is now living atop our Beko fridge, singing little tunes and making munching noises when fed.

So he isn't quite as amazing as Sonny from last night's viewing of I Robot, but we're still in 2004 and my budget is quite limited. Arthur, my cat is jealous, making sad little mew sounds and heading for the door.

What is it about buying crimbo presents that forces me to spend almost as much money on myself. Selfishness I suppose, but I don't normally go into toy shops, being on the wrong side of twenty. I think he's an investment, although he may end up on the shelf of my bookcase which heaves with various rejected show children from childhood and beyond.

PD James wrote this story about the future (I'll google it so I can put a reference here) where people couldn't have kids anymore and there was a growth market in fake children - Tiny Tears for grown-ups type thing. Hardly any of my friends have kids and those that do, were - how shall I put it - perhaps blessed with a surprise. But here we are heading rapidly towards thirty, and I'm in a toyshop buying myself a toy.

I just don't want to grow up.

I Robot (featuring John McClane)


Perhaps I'm just a sucker for the 'future = catastrophe in the form of evil machines' theory, but I-ROBOT was very entertaining.

Maybe my expectations were lowered due to the post-Christmas party hangover and the bloated post-chinese tummy. My co-armchair critic certainly didn't enjoy it to the same extent. And I did have a feeling that if any of my brain cells had been functioning the plot would have seemed a little thin and that 'Sonny' may have been irritatingly obvious as opposed to the complex web of humanity I saw tonight.
Or was it the fact that work turned a number of nasty loops on me over the past days, culminating in the current mire of uncertainty and chaos, that makes this nihilistic negative view of the future so plausible?

Normally I don't really enjoy this, to use the posh word, 'genre' so fulfilling. Even recently I openly scoffed and spluttered at 'The Day After Tomorrow' which left me bored (apart from the scenes involving the ship frozen in a New York street). And, heinous of all crimes, the soundtrack to 'Blade Runner' makes me fall asleep (literally, not metaphorically - perhaps it was played to me in the womb or something, who knows).

But all I can do is recommend 'I ROBOT', even if I think I should know better. Preferably have a hangover, and I think you'll feel the same - I mean, of course the future will be populated with robots, and naturally at some point they will 'go bad', so begin planning your fall-out shelter, as I can't confirm that Will Smith could save us, when the job calls for 'John McClane' who will probably be an old man or dead in the mid 2000s.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Job, not of the biblical variety

Hideous, cringe worthy, ghastly. My interview this afternoon. What self-harming instinct draws me to place my bruised ego and dishevelled frame in the hand of unsuspecting interviewers?

Normally I prepare, thinking about all the ways they can trip me up, and getting into that zone, where I don't think I'm hilarious and you are hilarious, and it is all just a gas. Or avoiding that inner show-(wo)man who has to improvise ways of making my here-to-fore indistinct career sound amusing, intelligent and interesting. Not today, no siree.

Instead I shone, crashed and burned. At least, I suppose, it is good that I realised after twenty minutes of garble that I don't want the job and these guys don't want me to have it. Yet, all that time spent ironing the suit, polishing the shoes, what a waste.

Went to the gym later and played at being retired. It was empty and I was terribly annoyed that I'd forgotten the swimsuit. Lots of huffing and puffing, skiing and cycling whilst watching Murder She Wrote (Jessica Fletcher's deceased husband - God rest his soul - was being falsely accused - post-humously - of MURDER).

Terribly irritated that I had to leave mid-way through, and can only assume that Jessica discovered that the MURDERER was her husband's right hand man who was making a play to be her paramour - although I did also suspect the sinister man was pretending to be the victim's daughter's companion... in fact I believe the TWIST may have been that he was the victim himself...but what about the corpse you say?

None the less, I had to leave, so I don't know. In a state of exhaustion, I went and hung around with my aunt, smoked, drank coffee and gossiped like no-one's business.

A word of advice - take tomorrow off and hang around with your auntie and Jessica Fletcher, but don't bother with the interview, unless you want the job that is.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

weak end

Friday and Saturday spent like a vegetable, of the couch variety. Burdock's Fish n' Chips on Friday - fresh cod and delicious vinegary golden chips, thick as your finger. Had to retire to bed, dragging my stomach behind me. Lovely sleep, although dreams of vertigo on Table Mountain in the south of France (even in sleep I'm geographically dyslexic) meant I awoke in a pool of sweat, although maybe it was grease from my tea, the jury is out.

Saturday was spent with an Isabel Allende novel picked up the night before in an 'Enable Ireland' charity shop in Phibsborough - 'Daughter of Fortune'. When I bought it, we had a chat about how good it was to buy second hand books - a form of recycling, exposure to writers you're not willing to pay full whack for/don't know, money to charity. He says the writer loses out which is a fair point (but I'm still going to keep buying them).

Digressions aside, it was very enjoyable. Reminescent of Steinbeck's East of Eden, it looks at life in the Wild West before it was tamed and pays particular attention to a sad and difficult story with the main focus on a woman. Made me want to root out Steinbeck, only to discover to my annoyance I've left them all in my parent's house. As my brother claimed my room years ago, I reckon I'll have to buy them all again.

In Café Metro again today for a large cappuchino - delish. Sat outside in the half light having a smoke and a chat about our upcoming trip to Capetown. Avoided temptation of the chocolate mousse cake (white, milk and plain chocolate in layers, with fresh cream and raspberry coulis, torture on a plate) as the Brother is home from Germany, and a big dinner was planned over at home. Lasagne, my father's signature dish, fantastic. Himself (who informed me it is rude to refer to anyone in their first name/nickname on a blog, lets call him Faraday) had made his banoffi - the recipe was half-inched from a website a few years ago, but I'll try and find it here (wowzers it's still there, years later) - divine. Merry evening had by me, lots of wine (because I wasn't driving), sigh, bliss...

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Cuimhnigh mé ar scéal a léigh muid ar scoil. 'Dúil' ar ab ainm dó, faoi leanbh ag féachaint ar dáthanna álainn ag scapagh aníos tríd an fuinneog - ceapaim go bhfuil gloine daite san fuinneog. Ceapann an leanbh go 'jewels' a tá i gceist, is tá dúil mór aici dóibh. Deanann sí lán iarracht dul ag féachaint níos gearr orthu, is dá bharr, foghlamaíonn sí conas 'crawl'. Tá dúil mór agam anois bheith ag labhairt agus smaoineamh arís as gaeilge. Tá sé ag cur as dom nach bhfuil éinne a bhfuilim compordach cumarsáid trí gaeilge leo. Tá an teanga ag imeacht uaim, is ní thaitníonn an mothúchan sin liom ach oiread.

I guess reading Faraday the Blob reminicising over wonderful Bewley induced moments inspired that Irish. AND now I'm angry - I hate that I feel I have to apologise for my grammatical, syntax, spelling, punctuation in Irish.

That feeling comes from years of having to deal with those small nasty smug people who feel, in err, that they have more of a right to use this language, which is owned by anyone who chooses to try to express themselves in it. Oh the joy they take, in correcting the way I pronounce certain words, or just the merest gentle shudder at the fact that my accent is all Dublin. That's smug and quite simply if you're one of them, be comfy tonight in the knowledge that I abhore your arrogance. In short I hate you.

Comparable in terms of worseness (yes folks, I can err in English too) is that HORRIBLE Irish trait of disrespecting our language, one of few clues we have to the history of this little atlantic rock. You are destroying it and you're wrong. What made you so horrible and bitter? Why aren't you damn proud even if only twenty people speak it either badly or goodly across the globe at any given time?

I don't want to hear ever again those little yelping wails about bad experiences at school. As good old Denis Leary says, 'WEAR A HELMET'. Grow up, I hated all sorts of things in school, big frigging deal.

My French teacher didn't like my guts, so what, only an ass would condemn a whole language based on that. Yeah she was 'une fou' (or is it un fou? I dunno, but if you getting my drift then alles gut in den Weld) but...

French is wonderful, beautiful, expressive, fragrant, different, exciting, sexy.

I was brutal at Physics, and the teacher hated me, but that doesn't mean I turn a cold eye on cars and pneumonic drills. I have had plenty of fun with both.

We should have fun with Irish. As Mark Doherty suggests, 'teach Irish through Porno Films', or as Hector does, travel abroad, use any words at your disposal - Irish, English, French, American, Latin, German, Spanish, whateva you likin - and express yourself. That's what language is folks, a form of communication. Yeah, it can be a weapon - can be used to marginalise people - but surely we're past that in Ireland yawn, can't we just grow up here and use it to do what we people like to do best, WAFFLE?

Look at Bono, who apparently is named that because a mate called him 'Bono Vox' (nice voice in latin). That rocks, that is great, that is intelligent use of expression, where something becomes self-referential, takes on its own meaning. Lovely, it becomes a story. Perfect, perfect, nice.


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