Tuesday, January 31, 2006

making bets with oneself

Or the day I realised I suffered from o. c. d.


This afternoon I fell foul of one of my quangos, namely the habit of making bad bets with myself.

A friend had just suggested a dastardly plot that sounded too good.

So I was nice and polite, but didn't get too exuberant, thus ensuring that if it came asunder we would still be friends and if it came to pass, I could then get excited.

Fifteen minutes later I'm doing the simplex crossword on the Irish Times website, simian sole that I is.

And then, the clue: 9 across 'divide into two equal parts (6)'

The bet was out of my subconcious before I even read the damn clue.

If I had read it first, I would never have bet on it.

It wasn't even hard. But I had to cheat to get it, and therefore I lost the bet.

Doom will fall upon my plan, just as well I didn't get too happy about it.

And worst of all, I'm back in my o.c.d hell of making bets.

Visions of my future include me drawing a chalk circle around myself and living inside it.

What fun.

Ho hum.

Moral of my story: read the clue before making the bet, and remember to establish ground-rules: cheating doesn't affect outcome.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The difficulty with Pi

I was never good at maths or resisting cakes.


In other news.

Green Party - John Gormley TD, very kindly agreed to be interviewed on my radio show about the Council of Europe interim report on illegal detentions. We talked about rendition flights and the possibility that these have landed in Shannon.

The US refute that the flights landing have been on their way to Guantanemo or have had illegal detainees aboard - yet we aren't allowed to check.

But if there is nothing to hide, then surely it is in everyone's interests - the US and Irish - that these flights are checked.

So why aren't the Irish government pushing this?

I would like to urge any politician who wants my mere scant scrap of a vote to push this.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

making a fool of oneself

If I were funny, it would be that self-effacing sort of humour - you know how it goes.

One of my favourite such sketches is that classic Dudley Moore and Peter Cook one, where Dud is auditioning for Tarzan. Poor Dud, as enthusiastic and gushing as can be, hopping on one foot, trying to convince the casting director that he would make a great one-legged Tarzan.

The acting class is getting serious, and I am beginning to realise that I'm not really the best student in the class.

This is fine, or it would be fine, if I didn't enjoy the classes so much. That's the tragedy, I mean, when I was twelve, I was a grand wee performer.

But now. Well, I try me best, and sometimes the lines I come up with are ok, but generally speaking, if I were to get a report card, it would say something along the lines of D+ 'She tries her best and is always on time to school'

The thing about being a grown-up, apart from the greying hair, the pleasure I derive from cuddles, the news (when did that happen) and the growing crumudgingliness, is that you can face home truths without collapsing in a fit of visible pain and anguish.

The tragic thing about this of course is that I were a bit less stoic, and a midge younger, I could collapse in a fit of visible pain and anguish, rather than act as though a pole might be thinking of placing itself in my dexterior.

Oh well, I guess I make the other folks look that bit better.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

the cringe-factor

Ouch. Sometimes being a human is enough to make me want to metamorph into being a cuddly toy, or perhaps a crash helmet.

Take now. Or don't if you would rather not. Just change the url and pass by.

Anyway, here I am, sitting in a cringed up position - I mean, I'm twenty eight, who am I kidding?

Myself allegedly.

Here I am, betwixt my Yoga Class, my Acting Class, my radio show, and my dull job. And now, I'm applying for a job which:

a. I won't get
b. If I did even get, I would be too chicken to take
c. Could be potentially embarrasing if anyone knew about it. Anyone who knows me that is. I doubt anyone reading this knows me.

Blah, bluh, ick.

Where did I go wrong?

Until the age of thirteen, I was an affable type. Then on stage, doing a mime (oh the shame), my friends stood up in the audience and skwalled 'Aoife - there's Aoife'.

Now, I would take a bow. Nah, I just wouldn't be miming at all.

And yet, the exhibitionist lurks within this upstanding librarian-esque person I've become.

Like ying and yang or possibly Jekyll and Hyde, I live in a state of flamboyant existential angst.

A number of years ago I came to the conclusion that I am a dapper gay man trapped in the body of a oversized girl.

Bluke*

(Bl-uke: combination of blah and puke, to feel stupid and nothing whilst also being compelled to vomit - commonly experienced by camp women who wish they still smoked, anything really)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

To the future I say!

Isn't it strange that if you took the media as your main source of facts, which of course none of us worldly types do... ahem... that older people would seem a bit dotty, irrelevant, or more likely invisible.

Yet, day on day we get older ourselves, and the majority of us would prefer that we have the opportunity to continue motoring on for a good while.

I don't understand the logic though - surely we should want to make oldness sexy (or if that's too contraversial for you) at least cool? I mean, it is where we're all headed after all.

And take your average famous old person at the moment - Mick Jagger, Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney, Ozzie Osbourne, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Joan Rivers. In general they are or at least were in their day - eviler, odder, more musical, more bat eatinger, sexier, cooler, funnier than those that proport to the mantle of fame these days.

I feel mostly bored and irritated, but in gentler moments, sorry for so called celebs. Take Ashley Simpson (think that is her name) - seems like a normal vacant teenager with a large nose. But why, when I turn on the TV is she there yapping on about not getting nominated but wanting to be nominated for a grammie. Who cares.

And, sure even as a minor celeb, you do care, well, keep it to yourself.

Isn't it nicer to be humble. 'Qui? Moi? Un Grammy? C'est magnifique?!'

Than a bumbler 'me i oh my, why not me i oh why iii i i me me my?'

Ick.

I like the old people, they rock a lot more originally and bolder than any of the sappy bunch we have now.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Special People

We were wonderful, special and wholesome types, who felt spectacularly wonderful and in the know, as we sat spellbound listening to Noam (we spent an evening together, don't you know).

Fancy, Noam Chomsky, he who is in touch with truth of the struggles of the whole world in a far greater and deeper way than I am in touch with the truth of the struggles of my own life. Imagine, this man, this insightful commentator, visiting us in Ireland. Our opinion is important, we are important.

He may have called us shoe-shiners, but to him we matter.

Afterwards, with pints, being the Irish way of mulling over things, we gushed and blurbled. Noam, was of course, sadly absent.

Then it occurred to us.

Ireland is only like the size of Manchester or something (one of the drinkers posited Connecticut, but I know not enough of this far off place, so I'm not sure).

We don't matter.

We really don't matter.


Still. Good talk though.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Matching Socks

In my local shop there was a sign advertising an expert ironer. The possibilities were endless - I would generously employ someone who clearly was devoted to their expert subject and in turn could devote the additional free time to my favourite hobbies, or just to those endless nameless ways I spend the hours when not working or sleeping.

She was a lovely woman, yet her expertise was clearlyfar beyond that which I needed. €1.50 per garment, except for as she put it, 'like a big thing - a dress or that'. Fortunately I don't posess many dresses, being more the skirt and top type of gal, yet unfortunately I don't posess the €1,500 it would take to clear my hot press nor the further €2,000 it would take to clear those items currently acting as insulation or a sculpture akin to that in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which I fondly refer to as the washbasket.

So yesterday evening, I valiantly dug the iron and its board out and set them up in front of the TV. Immediately I was struck by the need for a snack. A healthy snack. Some herbal tea and a tangerine later, I felt energised, and decided to practice my yoga moves. Following some limber moves accompanied by Boards of Canada, I was exhausted and not a little hungry. I decided to make a roast chicken dinner. Yum.

Several hours and calories later, I began my quest. But Joan Rivers was on the box, and she's hard to hear over the hissing of my iron, so more sensibly, I decided to match socks.

Well I would have, if I could have found a pair.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Totally riVeting TV

What has happened to the last two hours of my life? They've disappeared, into the unknown, as I sat riveted to 'Shipwrecked 2006 - Battle of the Islands'.

Naively, I believed that reality tv had gone the way of the dogs, what with celebrity BB platforming once-noones as they crumble further into a state of mental unbalance.

Not to say this doesn't entertain many people, it's just not to my own taste.

Perhaps if the people were less faux, and more good looking, and stranded on an island vying with the other island, such as on Shipwrecked, I might of course acquiese.

The dealio is this. Five people on each island. The Tigers have a school education and the Sharks have a college education (this being the hook so to speak - although to be honest that's not what has me hooked - we're not talking about a team of Oxford boatees versus Thems down the Mines).

Each week a Newbie spends three days on each island and on the seventh day, they decide where they want to comfy down for the remainder of the show.

The show takes place over a five month period.

Aw, now to the good bit.

Island 1 (Tigerland): two men, goodlooking in a 'ibiza lad' fashion, one girl just out of a posh boarding school, one girl just come out to her folks, and also just lefted school (local comp I think), and a bisexual cute young boy. All of the Tigers think they rock. They work hard building and have little squabbles and bickerings.

Island 2 (Sharkland): one man who is a bit 'oh I say' yet cute enough - but total nerd (wears panama hat), one man who is barkers - apparently he has ADHD, but he is also really annoying to the other Sharks (and fascinating as a result, tee hee), a surf chick who's nice and has a great expressive face that shows exactly what she thinks of everything (espec: barkers), a beauty who is a designer and seems a bit arty, a mouthy young one who reminds me of a young Janet Street Porter. All of the Sharkies think they rock. They are as lazy as sloths, a bit em, frothy on the brain-juice and think they are clever. They have out and out arguments, and can't agree on anything to do with building so spend their time 'discussing' things.

It was class. I really enjoyed the beautiful islands, the cute faces, fights, squabbles, sadness and joy. Blah, I don't think I've liked a show this much since BB3.

I hope next time it lives up to today!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

kitten

Tee hee - check this out, it's cute, fun and a little bit evil: kitten war

Pets are great. I'm not going to get a new cat even though I'd like one. For ages after Arthur, my furry friend, was run over by some twit (it has been almost a year and still I can't forgive) I didn't want to have another cat.

Now, I wouldn't mind, but it just isn't right, so I'm not getting one - we live on a nearly main road, I'm going travelling within the year, and besides, I'm still in mourning. But I have to say I miss his antics - he would bite the hell out of my hand, but he loved to climb on my knee or to play with a toy if you through him at it.

other people's quangos

It may be the first sign of my growing madness, but I've just decided that instead of trying to fit in with everyone else's viewpoints, I'm going to define normal as myself and all else as absurd.

Aw, the relief.

Seriously.

I went to school with this girl who when (as we oft would do) we would say someone was wierd, would interject 'define normal'.

To be honest, she was very normal and therefore fitted right in.

Still, her erudite observation has lead me to be tolerant for the past decade.

Nah.

I've really only been pretending whilst harbouring simmering tensions about people's opinions barely under my surface.

Take this man I was watching on a programme 'It's the dog or Me' (I think that is the name of this Channel 4 fly on the wall) who said that if his dog, which humped (mock) all in sight regardless of their age, sex, type of animal, was castrated, it would be (and I quote) 'like taking my balls'.

Em.

No.

It would be nothing like taking your balls. Ok, so you don't like the idea. That's your choice. But having a pet castrated is not like being castrated. That is just weird. And I defy anyone to define normal.

Monday, January 09, 2006

inky evenings

I'm definitely going travelling, that's my resolution. Now, the dull cold reality - eleven months of saving my butt off. And five years of paying the loan back.

But it will be marvellous. And you folks will be the beneficiaries of a not so clever world tour.

Anyway, all this self sacrifice means that I'm sitting at home instead of the pub. And we're getting videos (gosh showing my age) DVDs and crisps instead of the live theatrical performances and champagne we enjoyed chez moi heretofore.

So yesterday evening I watched Gus Van Sant's 'Last Days'. While

a. I enjoyed the visual unravelling of the character much in the manner of watching good video art (in my interpretation good video art is that which you watch without yawning or pretending you're enjoying yourself of just walking off)
b. Kurt Cobain was zeitgeist for my generation and thus v intriguing and any insight into his world is thus rendered interesting
c. I just darned kindof liked it (i.e. 6/10 on my scale of 0= Matrix Reloaded 10=Eyes Wide Shut)

I'm having angst as I don't think you can just say you liked a film like 'Last Days' that posits itself to be an insight into the last days of a man's life, surely 'I liked it' belongs to the category of films that begins with Back to the Future and ends with anything by Jim Carey/similarly enjoyable entertainment but not purporting to be much more?

Don't get me wrong, I love entertainment, it's just that I think I should have an opinion on anything opinionated.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Purchasing Sofas Sucks

This house, which is often a nice place of comfort, has conspired with Classic Furniture, to make today a bit of a bad Saturday.

Now, it started off well - we had spent time chatting carefully with a salesperson, who assured us that our sittingroom would be a cosy pleasuredome on receipt of our new corner sofa. I duly signed away my hard earned cash (well, I will earn it, and that's what plastic is for, right?).

Then, with much kind assistance from my Dad, we hacked our old sofa apart in some paganesque frenzy last night. It currently resides in a bundle of fun out the back garden ready to be fit into my little car and driven to the dump.

It was all planned. The men would arrive with the shiny thing of bumfort and we would spend tonight in luxurious pleasure.

Naw.

They arrive and declare our house is too small. Nice. I guess I'd better get another so.

Then they remove the sofa.

So there we are, without anything but bare planks of wood upon which to plonk. Today is the first time in five years I had cause to think that carpet might have been the better choice.

And after gurning, wailing, laughing and walking about bewildered with tape measures and frustration, I decided to go visit the sofa company to ask for my money back.

Hah.

They think I should remove my window.

I rang a window company who told me that they might (not will) be able to do it for €150.

I tell this to Sofa-Charm Boy and he says, 'I think that was a bit expensive, in all fairness'.

I ask for my money back and he says, get this, 'I can't do it'.

Now I have potentially three choices:

1. get window removed at great expense and hope that someone buying my house likes my style in sofas
2. buy a sofa that costs twice the price (I'm broke and trying to save for holiday of a lifetime)
3. knock house down and build bigger one.

Blah.

In other news, sitting on a cold floor on a Saturday night sucks. I'm off out.

About Town

Not warming to the place due to the name, I avoided going to Gruel for probably oh a year or so, imagining some Dickensian overpriced experience.

I always thought I was too literal.

Eventually persuaded by someone who always knew the best places to be, I tried it, and enjoyed balancing on those old style boho chairs whilst chomping wholesome chow and feeling a little interesting.

Despite the shabby-chic it can be dear enough, plus many others I find also feel a little over trended by the name or the nature of the place so I don't visit as often as I would like.

Tonight four of us were feeling a little sad and in need of nurture of the edible kind, so we went and the waitress was lovely and the food was lovely, but the best things were:

1. the music: the cure, aw, the memories.
2. the fact that when she brought the brownie and ice-cream, she included four big spoons, even though we hadn't asked and then she asked me, as I was the orderer, if we wanted to share. So we did.
3. outside during a smoke-pause I had a nice chat with a trendy lady who was supping beer whilst smoking and I said that was very cool, and she said, yeah, but possibly illegal, and I said, sure that's even better and she smiled.

Not many people smile at you in the city, and I felt the ice melting away.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

health food junkies

Why is it that we're driven to make resolutions to give up the simple pleasures that we love? If your only respite from a dull day is a pint or a slice of cake, I thought that logic would dictate that you would eat or drink even more.

Dublin is very cold today. Everyone I talk to wishes they weren't in work today, that they were doing something else. Why do we always want to be doing something else?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Rain

Sometimes when it rains outside, I don't even notice.

Some people who see the drops, feel the wet.

Cold and horrible, maybe they think there is no end.

Sometimes it drips, leaves are pushed down, or

When its heavy I can't even see the road clearly.

If it rains for a long time, you look forward to the end.

The smell will be clean and the plants will look glad.

The street will be shiny and the day will be new.

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