Friday, December 31, 2004

My Impending Nuptials

When anyone asks me to do something fairly far off in the distance that I don't really want to make a decision about just yet, I invoke a stock answer. For example, Wednesday afternoon, Amy said to me 'Hey lets all go to see Destiny's Child at Lansdowne Road next June!' Er, no, I thought. This would need careful manipulation to avoid.

'June, eh? Ah, who knows where I'll be by summer, I could be married by then! Well, actually, no, I probably would want a summer wedding so I would probably still be engaged next summer but-' And the impetus to give an actual realistic answer was gone as I began to detail all my imaginary wedding plans. This ploy also worked with my mother earlier today.

'How about,' she said 'We go to Prague for your birthday in March!' She's been doing this for ages, 'giving' me a holiday for my birthday and bringing herself along with me. Now, I don't know much about anything (I had to run off and look up Prague in the atlas to see where it actually is) but I do know where the boys went for their holidays back in September. Prague. From what I can make out from what they have told me, and I may be wrong in this, Prague is built entirely from breasts and lager. And policemen just itching to arrest young Irishmen for frivolous non-crimes such as sharing chips with prostitutes and climbing on to the back of a large statue of a cow singing rebel songs. [Note: The boys were singing rebel songs, not the cow. That would be weird.] I could not holiday in such a place! I could not gallivant freely around a city of such dictatorial type! Nay, I say to Prague!

'I may be married by March, mum' I answered coyly and dropped my eyes. Mum looked at me suspiciously and said nothing. This little gem is not working however to avoid answering the irritating refrain of 'what are you doing for New Year's?' which I have been hearing since Stephen's Day. Answering 'I may be married by then' to a question about your occupation for the evening is borderline. In all fairness though, I might be. It's only 3 o'clock. Who knows what could happen by dinner?

I am writing this with my sister and her friend pacing around the computer. Sally keeps roaring 'Come the fuck on!' at me because she is waiting to use the computer for her college homework. The friend is waiting to show her how to use the computer.

'I would not' her friend just said 'like to get an email from Lucy! Look how much she writes!'
'It's not an email' said my sister boredly. 'It's her blog.'
'What's a blog?' questioned the friend.
'I haven't a fucking clue. It's absolute crap. I hate it.' She added meanly. Then started kicking my chair from behind.

I really should go now. I can't take this much abuse. And I have a husband to find before dark.

Can You Keep Up?

I have a new phone. It is smashing. It is a navy clamshell with a wee silver stripe and when I get a text message it goes 'cuckoo, cuckoo' and when I get a phone call it plays 'Lose my Breath' by Destiny's Child. It also has a tiny camera which you can take pictures of your dog doing funny things with then save these photos as your wallpaper. I think we can all finally admit that I am shit-cool.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Just Imagine

What I would really love to see is two people who met on the internet getting it on in real life.

Take Raggamuffinzebra and Mossy for instance. Imagine them meeting up in the real world. 'Ahem' Mossy would say nervously. 'I'm looking for Raggamuffinzebra.'

'..., I... I'm Raggamuff- Mossy?' RaggamuffinZebra would whisper in disbelief. The pair would stare wordlessly at each other for a moment. I, naturally enough, would be present to move this dumbshow on a bit.

'Go on, you two, go get a drink or something.' I'd urge kindly. Then I'd reassure Raggamuffinzebra that I'd take over her shift at the diner or whatever and I'd tell Mossy that I'd look after his three-legged, one-eyed beagle for him and I'd send the pair down the road for an awkward yet magical first excursion.

Later Mossy would walk her home in the moonlight and they'd share a shy kiss. Raggamuffinzebra would go inside her house and take off her waitress uniform and her small son would say 'Mom? Have I got a new daddy?' and she would look on him and smile sadly and think bittersweet thoughts about the sad yet happy circumstance of getting knocked up at a young age. Mossy would go home with his one-legged, three-eyed beagle and stare solemnly at the stars. Maybe he would write a song. If I know Mossy, and I think I do, I think he would write two songs. And play them in the field outside Raggamuffinzebra's house on his guitar.

And I would fall in love with a cowboy called Roy, mainly because of my fondness for people that rhyme, and he would mess around with my best friend Jeannie and I would storm in on the two of them and scream 'Damn it Roy! I've had my heart broken one too many times!' Then I might or might not go on a mad, steaming homicidal rampage against all mankind, with my new best bud Thelma in a red soft-top. It would ultimately end in suicide, a shoot-out, widespread redemption and repentance or cannibalism. All or nothing, I'm that kind of girl.

This is how I imagine internet romances playing out. This would of course never work out because Raggamuffinzebra and Mossy would not get on well in the real world. The sexometer on late-night TMF only gives them a 17% rating. Maybe this is because I tried to save money by just texting in 'RaggMuffLvsMos' to save money, forgetting momentarily that text messages were NOT like telegrams and charged per message not per word. You're living in the past, hon.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Kind Relief

Sometimes it's nice when someone tells you you look horrible. I am so used to perfection I often forget to check in the mirror before I come out. 'Hey Lucy, you look awful. Also, you stink of drink. Also, your fly is open. Ha ha, made ya look. You dunce.' See? How much humiliation could I have avoided if I had been told this? Much. Sometimes you have to rely on your family to deliver the brutal truth.

My mum and sister were up shopping in the capital today and graciously bought poor hungover me dinner. And sat there staring as I ate it. 'Everyone is so rude in Dublin.' My sister sighed, looking at me like it was my fault. 'I am going to kick the next person who walks in front of me. Why are you eating so slow?' She admired her immaculate reflection in a butter knife. 'I thought you said you were so hungry you could vomit.'

'Hence the slow eating, you div.' I fired back, eyeing warily the plate of pasta before me. 'What do you want for Christmas?'
'I told you, clothes and CDs and make-up. What do you want?'
'You haven't got my present yet?'
'Mum hasn't. I'm pimping for her.'

'Is this true?' I demanded of my poor mother.
'Youre hard to buy for!' she insisted. 'Anyway you havent bought any of your presents yet either.'
'There are three perfectly good shopping days left. I really don't see the point of making a song and dance out of this Christmas malarky. And no, I'm not hard to buy for, I like loads of stuff. CDs or books or clothes or- ooh, I saw two bronze greyhounds outside an antique shop on Aungier St. that I really like. Get me them!'
'Greyhounds? What would you do with them?'
'Put them outside my house to ward off unwelcome guests like the ESB man or the people collecting for raffles.'

'That is stupid.' Scoffed my sister. 'You have sauce on your shirt. What is with your hair? Phew, you stink of drink! Did you like, sleep in a brewry?'

Thank you, thank you. That is all I wanted.

Learning Curve

I was late into work this morning, something I haven't done (much) since I started here. Wandering up to the librarian's desk I burbled my apologies guiltily.
'Oh dear,' she said sympathetically. 'Wasn't the traffic awful?'
'Ah, no actually, it was grand, it was the stonking hangover and late bedtime that really tripped me up.' I scoffed in my usual witty manner.

WHAT?! For future reference, dork, when you have fucked up and someone offers you a get-out clause, you take it. When your boss does it, you grab it with both hands and stick it up your jumper. And run like hell.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

A veritable orgasm of poor planning

Oh, it's all go here! First of all the library figures are on the up and up, and there has been a colossal ONE HUNDRED people through the library doors since 9.30 this morning (There's a monitoring system- I didn't count them or anything). Also, I am personally all of a tizzy due in part to the poor planning of a certain alcohol-based social event I am arranging for tonight and also because I like feeling tizzy as it makes me feel drunk. My quandries are as follows:
  1. I forgot to buy tights for tonight
  2. I forgot to buy food for tonight
  3. I forgot to buy drink for tonight
  4. I forgot to buy anyone's Christmas presents
  5. Someone told me the new Harry Potter release date and I have no-one to tell. I hate this
  6. Christmas is Friday. FRIDAY. Did you know about this? They should advertise the damn thing better or something.
  7. I lost my packet of Hubba bubba somewhere in the management section and when I went back for it someone had robbed it. Bloody students

I am awash with worry. I am going to go lie down in the staff room until someone comes looking for me. Probably be about 2007.

Monday, December 20, 2004

A Sincere Plea

This morning I got a steam burn trying to warm my hands over the kettle as it boiled. The tone around my house has recently moved beyond mere 'cold' into the morbid apathy of encroaching death, where all who enter feel impelled to plunge into bleak obscurity by something, be it the damp chill of every item of clothing you allow to sully your warm skin, the fearsome sight of your breath fogging perceptively from your lips when you first open your eyes in the morning or the strange dislocation from limbs, from fingers, toes, noses- all extremities, in other words, that cool and freeze and tingle back suddenly to life when you move them around.

As the week segues into Christmas, and the tawdry glitter of the tinsel and plastic Christmas ornaments I hung off nails in our sitting room walls fails to warm us with a transcedental inner glow, the easy sleep of death beckons benignly. Which brings me to my point: can I stay in yours tonight? I'm sure the heating will be fixed by tomorrow, so it'll only be for the one night and I'm a really polite house guest. I'll even cook you eggs in the morning. Please? If only to save me from the fate of waking up dead tomorrow. Share the love. It is Christmas after all.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Tragedy!

I have new boots. They don't go tap-tap when I walk though. How will the students hear my echoing tread and learn to fear me if I glide soundlessly around the library? Tell me, what is the good of working in this place if I don't inspire fear with my every footfall? Just another dream I have to relinquish, along with becoming a doctor on Casualty. SIGH!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Ho bloody ho

That's it, I am done with Christmas shopping. There is nothing out there! I have spent ages (alright, thirty-five minutes of my dinner break) looking for stuff to buy, and what do I have to show for it? Nada! And it's so boring thinking about what other people want! What about what I want, eh? And I really, really can't be bothered actually getting people good presents. I tried to ring Marie to find out where all the youngsters were getting their jeans nowadays (that's what I was going to buy my sister) but she was a big fat waste of time. Spent twenty minutes blathering on about absolutely nothing. God, Christmas is so boring. Also Marie, but she is boring all year round.

Everyone is just getting things I can nick from work this year. There's only so many pens and packs of post-its to go round, so if you want something exotic like a stamp pad or a quire of photo-copy paper, get in with your order fast.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Raise a Glass

Oh, wow. As it turns out, I am a whole lot better with a drink in me. After having three glasses of mulled wine at the Christmas lunch we held in the staff room at lunchtime, I have been cracking jokes with students, taking the piss out of staff members and generally weaving through the stacks with a big smile on my face. I am such a lightweight. Lucky I avoided eating anything at the lunch so I could really enjoy my semi-drunkenness! Everyone is avoiding me though. They saw me at the Christmas party. They know exactly how this could turn out.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Sigh no more, Ladies, Sigh no more...

On a recent journey to the Mace down the road to buy toilet paper (Ah, toilet paper. Proof that I am only part-God) I came across a delightful wee jewelry shop selling magical and sparkling things which my eye was immediately drawn to. With a somnambulant stumble I drifted inside and gazed rapturously at the contents of the shining glass cabinets. 'May I help you with anything?' greased the shopkeeper, gliding close to my shoulder.
'No, no' I hissed through gritted teeth. 'Just looking.'

'That's a lovely piece' he remarked in an off-hand manner, gesturing towards a spot on the cabinet where my drool had collected over a silver necklace. 'Pearlized-rainbow-quartz-moonstone-diamond, inlaid with unicorn hair and the blood of a virgin' he murmured.
[I don't know what the fuck he called it, okay? I was caught in a frenzy of greed and lust]

'Ahhh' I sighed, with considerable pleasure. Somewhere within me I summoned hitherto unrecognized strength, and with a wrench I pulled myself away from the cabinet. 'No, thank you' I said primly, peeling the fingers of my left hand away from the edge of the counter with those of my right. 'I think I have all the Rainbow quartz I need right now.'

'My, but that's a divine piece you're wearing!' he cried, gesturing at the vile-looking hunk of crap that I was currently wearing around my alabaster throat. Blushing prettily, I blustered something about my necklace being like a big ol' bicycle lock compared to his charming work and extolled the virtues of some turquoise crap hanging behind the till.

You will surely recognize with sadness the actions of a smitten woman. I was sold. He had me at 'My, but...'. Even his taunt of 'There's a matching pair of earrings with that' couldn't rouse me from my lovesick stupor. Soon after I found myself saying 'I'll take the lot' and watching with bile in my throat (lovely and alabaster as it is) as his assistant wrapped them up. Even the fact that they're a Christmas present for someone else can't lessen the preying guilt and self-disgust at having being so cheaply won by a smarmy shit.

Alas! The gormless stupidity of a forsaken woman!

Life's little lessons

Today is a momentous day. Though yesterday brought with it the frankly terrific hour-and-a-half training session on how to correctly load paper into photo-copiers, today is a new day and with it comes a new challenge. Manual lifting. Apparantly I have been doing it all wrong! I pondered this as-yet unlearned skill last night as I lugged home a bale of briquettes from Spar. In case you're interested, I carry a bale of briquettes like I'd carry a baby, if I had one; namely upside down and under my arm. I don't think you're supposed to drop babies every 100 ft and kick them in fury while cursing foully though. Then again, babies aren't really for bringing home and burning in your fireplace.

To sum up, I have concluded that I am not ready for motherhood just yet.

Monday, December 13, 2004

All I want for Christmas...

Blackberry 7100v.
It has, appararantly, quad-band network support and excellent Bluetooth capabilites. Despite applying to my old friends at the national telecommunications regulator for an explanation of these terms, I am still none the wiser. Being the shallow and fickle young madam that I am however, I only really want it cos it looks shit cool. And lets face it, when you're twenty-one, notoriously irresponsible and feckless, and still pleasantly surprised by the amount of money paid into your account every month, that's just about the only reason you need to spend an horrendous amount of money on something.

How may I service you?

When I get up in the morning, yawning freshly awakened life into my icy house (heating's gone again), the only thing that gets me up out of the cosy snug of my duvets and sends me shivering into the grey morning light is the thought of my work.

The opportunity to fine, renew, check out, check in, to desensitize and sensitize, to reset due dates, to shelve books with a staggering nine decimal places, to put order on the the little corner of the library that is my personal responsibility, to direct and advise weeping undergrads whose first foray into a library has come as a shock: these little things are what drives me. Public service- how it completes me!

Cripes!

Confronted on my way to work this morning by the sight of a large pile of dog vomit, meaty chunks still intact, I was sourly reminded that I have not fed my dog in over three weeks. The poor bastard! Luckily he lives with my mother, not me and I presume she feeds him. I still feel guilty. I like guilt though as the effects it produces are close enough to your average hangover to convince me that I've been drinking. Deadly.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Part-Time Students; Full-Time Assholes

The youth of today! I have been rudely assailed by generation Y! There I was, sitting at the main desk of the library, topping a load of pencils using a bread knife from the kitchen, when some cheeky little feck squeals from the other end of the counter, 'Uh, like, hello!'

These night-time hours are fairly dodgy- all the part-time students who aren't smart or civilised enough to get into regular education come sauntering in, demanding special privileges because they live in far off places like Bray or Meath. And they have the cheek to demand I get up and walk all the way over to where they are standing, even though I am doing vital library work topping pencils! What would become of the place if no pencils were topped? I'll tell you what would happen: absolute bedlam. Crazy mad things would start happening, and all because of those selfish-as-shit part-time students.

Do you know anyone who is a part-time student? Or lives in Bray or Meath? Kick 'em for me, would ya? I'll never have time to get to them all.

Pure Class

Style largely depends on the way the chin is worn. They are worn very high, just at present.

Lady Bracknell, The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde
It is incredibly lucky that I am so goddammned stylish. The average naive young graduand might find it daunting, terrifying even, to have to contemplate the fashion challenge that is their official conferring of an academic qualification alone, but not I. I, you see, have watched a lot of Trinny and Susannah.
Unlike the high streets of Dublin, that kept trying to force upon me cowboy boots, culottes, kaftans and spangled-maternity type tops. No, I said firmly; these frivolities are not for me. I am a classic, elegant young lady with aspirations to marry big and end up in Hollywood. The classiness of these graduation photos must remain absolutely unquestionable for the Behind the Scenes special VH1 will do on me in years to come!
And so I went my own route, beating the streets tirelessly in search of the perfrect graduation outfit. It had to say 'Hello, I am an intelligent, educated young woman newly blessed with a degree from this proud establishment. See how this august institution continues to brace the finest young minds against the harsh challenges of the modern world? Splendid! Also, haven't I got nice pins?' Not a lot to ask for, I think we'll agree. Something with a semblance of intelligence, dignity and which makes my legs look nice. Easy.
At my last check I am only halfway there, being as yet naked on the top half. Nothing says 'respect my intelligence' like a topless graduate, right?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Sliding into depression

I am blue. Blue in the sense that I have been standing by rickety-looking bookshelves and nudging them, hoping they will fall down on me. I have been awarded my own section in the library. It is number 332- 370. Those of you who comprehend the Dewey decimal cataloging system will know that these shelves house some of the most boring books in the world. In other words, economics, finance, health and educational policy and law. Who got the good parts like French porno or humour, I want to know. I am perturbed.

Yesterday I went into the shop up the road to buy some lucozade and the man there offered me a white Siberian tiger for only €30.00. I declined. He urged it further.
'You won't find it cheaper anywhere else!' he said.
'Maybe in Siberia' I chuckled.

This is a lie. I have no clue about the current price of white Siberian tigers bought directly from Siberia. Also I have no interest. My own crushing boredom has removed any previous concern I had for zoology and economics. Selfish, selfish Lucy.


Monday, December 06, 2004

Unfortunate Events Forseen...

This is not going to be a good week. I can just feel it. One of the boys have somehow managed to break the washing machine (Second time in a month, beat that!), I have no Christmas tree up yet and this morning a big clump of hair came off in my hairbrush. I expect to die in a bus crash by Friday. If I never post again, you shall know the worst has happened. Either that or I went and got myself a life and some dignity. The bus crash is probably the most likely.

Reality Bites

My co-workers hate me. This is weird for me. Everyone who knows me likes me. Or else they're polite enough to pretend they do. How did I end up with a bunch of feckers that not only hate me but who don't even have manners enough to feign liking me?

Bastards.

Wise Words

Just pour me a drink
Cuz I need a kick
I don't wanna think
I just wanna sip..
David, Nellie McKay
Only losers read song lyrics from CD sleeves, right? Like I need validation on that point.

Missing You

Hurrah! Aoife is home! Abashed, hungover and repentent, but home all the same (that's what a week with two dozen accountants will do to you!). It was a hard week for me all round. Tuesday was especially difficult, when the sight of a cheese sandwich very nearly reduced me to tears. 'Eck' I pouted (prettily, naturally), 'Aoife always used to love cheese'.
'Stop staring at my sandwich, you f*cking weirdo.' Said my cruel co-worker. Ah, I sighed to myself- Aoife used to love to call me that.

I would think of something else that prompted me to think ruefully on my absent friend, as three examples are always nicer than two, probably because of the human fascination with the number three, drawn from familial imperitives, implications with the Christian holy family and trinity, attractions to community and a love of toblerones (?- three sided chocolate, mmmm), but hey, I'm still young, don't wanna put all my eggs in one basket. Also, am suppposed to be on the front desk in two minutes and I was already late in this morning, so....!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Things I learned this week, part 3

Your lunch break is still your 'lunch' break at 4.30pm. Ha. Only the middle classes say 'lunch'. Death to the bourgeoisie!

Things I learned this week, part 2

That people are weird. And, no, it's not just me.

Two birds, one stone

One might think (wrongly, I feel) that adjusting oneself to staff and conduct of a new workplace would necessitate quite a bit of time and effort, keeping one's head down and trying to fit in. As is common for me on most points, I demur. My preferred method of workplace adjustment and alignment is to get stonkingly drunk at the Christmas party, tell your boss dirty jokes while teasing him for hiring a complete waster (ie. me), dance like a mad thing and tell your co-workers (known for only four days mind) that you love them, and finally, round off the evening by snogging someone from another branch. Worked like a charm for me!

Everyone knows my name now (though 'the-new-one-who-got-off-with-John' is a bit of a mouthful) and there is no need to gradually reveal my annoying weird side, as it has been fully outed! Result!

Things I have learned this week, Part 1

That there are people who know less about computers than me... and they all go to DIT

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Some Guidelines

Taken from DIT staff manual, Procedures for dealing with workplace difficulties:

It is not acceptable to:
  • Use bad/inappropriate language to a colleague
  • Be verbally abusive either face to face, by email or telephone
  • Make inappropraite personal remarks or jokes about colleagues
  • Use a sarcastic tone when dealing with colleagues
  • Behave in a patronizing, dismissive way
  • Use nicknames for colleagues which may be offensive or hurtful
  • Repeatedly arrive late for work or when scheduled for a particular task

What the hell am I supposed to do all day?!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

So this is what a real job looks like!

Whoo boy, was I in for a rude awakening when I started my new job! I was frozen in a state of actual shock on the bus home last night, staring blankly at the small red 'stop' button for ten minutes and missing my stop. What had just happened, I wondered?

I arrived, unusually for me, one and a half hours early. The library doesn't open till 9.30am here apparently. No-one told me. My first day was spent wandering the stacks and trying to hide from my co-workers. Seriously, they all expect me to talk to them and stuff. It's embarrassing.

Gone are my constant internet access, my masses of free alone time, my lengthy solitary lunches. Now I have no computer, no chair, no email, no staff card and no clue. And I have to pass the time of day with everyone ALL DAY LONG. Hell on earth, friends.

What I do like about this joint is the unforeseen opportunity to expand my sadistic side. Besides the more obvious thrill of asking people for fines and being downright rude to them, I also get to squint suspiciously at the students as they come in the gates, watching for food or drink which I can then bellow at them for bringing in. It is magnificent. I tremble slightly after doing it. It more than makes up for the friendly co-workers (ugh) and the constant presence of students.

Well, almost.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Happy Talky Talky

So far I have used the following phrases in conversation with soon-to-be-former-co-workers who are wishing me well in my new job;

'Right-o, see you now'
'Ah... have a nice life'
'Yep. Yep. Yep. Thanks a lot.'
'Smashing. Right. Good luck.'
'Deadly. Right. Go away now, please?'
'Ha ha, I'm getting out and youre still stuck here!'
'Er, is it home-time yet?'

I am exceptionally bad at small-talk. And big-talk.

Richie McRich

Ah, yes. November twenty-sixth. Hereafter known as 'Tax-back Day'. I am rolling in dough. I am heading to the bank now to cash this huge mother of a cheque, after which I will spread the money evenly on a carpeted area, smear myself with butter and roll around in it. Buttery money, mmmm.

Last night saw the debut of my Australian accent. It's not too hot, and doesn't go far beyond 'Oi, Kylie! Throw some shrimp on the barbie! Wanna play some rugger?' but the Australian I shared it with seemed fairly impressed. Of course, he was hoping to get off with Marie at the time (Marie- pretty much a sure thing) so he may have been humouring me. No matter, I love to be humoured! Especially when I am rich rich rich! Ach, I love saying that.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Crushing Disappointment

Hier soir, I went with my good friend Aoife to see Bridget Jones 2: The Edge of Reason. Unfortunately Trish tagged along and ate all my Malteasers and totally pissed all over my big Bridget Jones parade. Only kidding! They weren't my Malteasers, they were Aoife's.

BJ2:TEofR (nice truncation, non?) is really, really bad. What's worst about it is it is not all that bad. It is bad because it is a completely different film to the book and deviates entirely from the first film and from any diurnal constraints. It would, however be a good film if it were judged on a different scale, namely a scale of crap films like Maid in Manhattan or Two Weeks' Notice, which are severely crap. In other words, it is crap but only because it's not crap enough to be really crap. Do you follow? Maybe I am moving too fast.

More, more, MORE!
How do you like it, how do you like it?
More, more, MORE!

How do you like my love??????

[Musical interlude to allow you to gather your thoughts and ponder my words.]

Actually, the music was extremely crap also. After about the third time they pumped out some mind-numbing disco tune to symbolise Bridget's joyful and carefree sexual empowerment (bah to sexual empowerment, I say), a few words uttered by my mother last weekend filtered through the fog of romantic tosh that surrounded me;

'Your sister saw Bridget Jones 2. She loved it. She wants the soundtrack for Christmas.'

Oh no. Oh NO!! I feel a repeat of last Christmas coming on, when I was forced to listen to the soundtrack of Love Actually for the entire holiday, due to us being in Galway, having only one CD player and my sister being really mean and punching my head.

Back to last night's excursion into hell: a sizable portion of the cinema's occupants actually applauded when Darcy proposed to Bridget. (If you have just covered your eyes and cried aloud at my revealing this fact, grow up. BJ2 has less dramatic tension than I have suitable comparisons for it's lack of dramatic tension. Which is none. How many romantic comedies have you seen lately? I have seen many. They always get it on in the end. Live it, learn it!) Even more sighed huskily when she caught the bouquet at a wedding, or when she trotted smuggly into the distance with her posh lawyer on her arm (after a wedding. In the snow. On Christmas. I am dying of tweeness).

These people are meant to be! Look how Mark glares sternly at Bridget's blubbery ramblings! He obviously loves her! See how she repeatedly prostrates herself before him (usually in front of posh lawyer types) in an effort to fit in! How adorable!
Look, posh laywers! Oh, Bridget has fallen over again! The posh lawyers are laughing! Ooh, large knickers! Bridget falls over! Smarmy Daniel, ooh he's naughty and sexy!
Twisttwisttwist!!! Bridget says something inappropriate... in front of posh lawyers! While wearing big knickers!
Smokes fag out window! Eschews use of all pronouns! Bugger! Cor blimey, Englishisms abound!

This sums up most of the film, but is a lot faster. Also, you didn't have to sit through the excruciating throwaway lesbian plot point, solely added for increased voyeurism, while I did. Just send me the bloody €8 you would have spent going to see this and we'll call it even.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

HP&PofA

Ha! Hilarious! Only if you have an inkling what the acronym above means though. If you don't, it's sad and juvenile. Like me.

Claire taught me to lie

'Please urinate in this cup and when you return I will weigh you on this impossibly exact weighing scales and ask you probing questions about intimate body matters.'

Can you think of a better way of spending your lunch hour? I know I can't. The good news from my pre-employment medical exam is that I do not have diabetes. The bad news is that I may have lied. On the rather dubious advice of a co-worker, I lied on my medical questionnaire about my alcohol and nicotine intake. I am going to hell for sure.

Then again, if hell is where all the dead drunks and smokers go, it'll be quite a party.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Have you got eyes in that head of yours?

Look to the right-hand side of this site. No, your right. And scroll down a bit. See that? Under my archives you can now access all of your favourite Lucy Aughney Newsletters, written in my younger years when I was lazy, disconsolate and time-wasting. Or in other words, when I was in college. Something I should tell you about the Newsletters: they haven't aged well. Like Kevin Costner in that respect. Not so much like Kevin Costner apart from that.

Eek!
Amy has updated! Disappointing in her lack of commitment, but that's Amy all out for you. Donna has posted also! The slightly depressing news is that Donna has finally renounced Christmas and all things tinselly and holly-bedecked. I think it is a mean way to get out of giving anyone presents.
My prelimenary Christmas list is available for consultation here.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Fashionista

Amy's sister Cathy maintains that she is the one who forecast the return of tweed and ponchos. Despite my frequent attempts to persuade her otherwise (screaming 'nooooooo!' at her) she refuses to be swayed in her claim. She is not the only one who can dictate the tide of global trends however. Since May I have been saying 'Pearls are the new diamonds' and 'Cowboy boots will be big, baby' and 'I'm hungry'. Some of these are now widely accepted facts. For example, I am always hungry and everyone knows it.

I now stake out my fashion predictions for the next season.

1: Spats. Such as these.
2: Feathers
3: Polka-dot
4: Big skirts
5: Jodhpurs
6: Sports wear
7: Hi-tech Minimalism
8: Drinking champagne and gin (not together)

I advise you to go out and spend as much money as you can on pursuing these trends. Ignore the fact that I just made them up. Pursuing ridiculous fads is the one part of modern life I enjoy getting involved with. The rest of the time I like to believe I am a libertine in 18C France. Vive la revolution!

A Tender Display of Familial Affection

Conversation with mother, 11.45 am, November 19th 2004:

Mother: Hello?
Lucy: Hello, you. How are you so busy you never ring your only daughter?
Mother: You're not my only daughter.
Lucy: Yes, but I'm the best one. You should have stopped after me.
Mother: I should have stopped before you, but that's of little consequence. What are you doing?
Lucy: Working. And ringing you. And making you feel guilty for not being a good mother.
Mother: Multi-tasking, I see.
Lucy: Yes, very much so. So, what are you doing that you didn't ring me all week? Your parental duties are way off. You'll have to pull some overtime this weekend.

Mother: Does that mean you need money?
Lucy: No. God, you're so cynical.
Mother: I was busy. Tuesday was the twentieth anniversary of the library being set up here, and we all went out-
Lucy: Were you pissed?
Mother:... no.
Lucy: Well, of course you weren't cos me or Sally weren't there to put you to bed.
Mother: The amount of times I've had to put you to bed worse for the wear...
Lucy: Ah, but that's your parental obligation kicking in right there. I feel no such obligation towards you.
Mother: Fine. What do you want for Christmas?
Lucy: World peace.
Mother: Got that last year. What do you want this year.
Lucy: Alright, an end to pain and suffering in the world. And an ipod.
Mother: What's that?
Lucy: Like a music player that you download music on to, and its tiny and pretty and you can get them in different colours.
Mother: Wouldn't you need a computer for that?
Lucy: Oh yeah. I want one of those too.
Mother: Right. I'll tell your father. He'll probably end up getting you soap.
Lucy: Ha. What do you want then?
Mother: Oh, I dont know. A new daughter to replace you.
Lucy: Oh, you'd keep Sally, would you? Even though she's the one who's still dependent and taking money off you and I am up here in a strange city working my ass off to stay afloat?!
Mother: Don't you owe me €100 from last week?
Lucy: Point taken. So, twenty years ago this week, eh? I was one.

Mother: Yep.
Lucy: Hey, wasnt it my first birthday that you didn't make it home for? I remember that.
Mother: No you don't, you were one for God's sake. And I did try to make it home, the bloody roads were icy and I skidded and nearly crashed into a ditch. I could have died if I'd kept trying to drive home. And, may I remind you, I was driving two hours to work every day, just to pay for all your stupid baby things.
Lucy: You are so selfish. My first birthday.
Mother: I could have DIED.
Lucy: Yep, I'm definately going to need that ipod now.
Mother: You're not getting it, you're getting books.
Lucy: I have books. I want an ipod. They're cool.
Mother: [sighing loudly] You are so shallow. Are you coming home for the weekend?

Lucy: Might do.
Mother: Are you or aren't you? Because I'm having people over if you're not.
Lucy: Yes, I am. You can have people over anyway, I'm not such a disgrace I need to be hidden away you know.
Mother: [Sniffs] That's debatable. Right so, I don't need to talk to you any more then, do I? Seeing as I'll be seeing you later.
Lucy: You'll have to talk to me then.
Mother: Not if Sallys around, I can talk to her.
Lucy: Fine.
Mother: Fine. The dog says hello.
Lucy: No he doesn't, stupid.
Mother: That's because he's not talking to you.
Lucy: Why?
Mother: Because you are so rude to your mother. He is very sensitive to bad manners.
Lucy: Oh, go away.
Mother: You rang me!
Lucy: Grand. I'm hanging up now.
Mother: Fine. Bye.
Lucy: Yeah, right.

Normal families do things together like board games and country walks. Mine insults each other. And gets drunk. Can't wait till Christmas!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

What?

I am just back from Bewley’s of Grafton St where a grateful Aoife treated me to a delectable feast in celebration of her glasses being returned to her. Induced to greater intimacy because of the successful return of her glasses, she confided her deepest, darkest secrets to me.
'When I get off the bus in the evening' she said in a low whisper, shielding her face against the flashing lightbulbs of cameras as American’s snapped pictures of the stained-glass windows. 'I like to run home. Fast.'

'Ahh' I said, my brow furrowed in confusion. 'Why, exactly?'

'Cos I like to get home as fast as I can. I hate strolling along slowly!'

'But the bus stops six houses down our road. All our neighbours must see you sprinting like a mad thing.'

She sat back with the glint of challeng in her eyes. Or maybe it was the camera flashes reflected in her glasses. ‘So? You’re so concerned with appearances!’

Yes, I’m afraid I am. Those of us that have lovely appearances need to be sure to maintain them. Which is why I was so amused to see Waterford Wedgewood’s latest Annual Report (pdf). Slapping a drug addict on the cover with some gimp riding him is hardly a good marketing move.

Remember this day

I have almost collected my Irish Examiner personal radio tokens. None of your fancy ipods for me! All I have to do now is track down the jackass who swiped last Friday's Examiner and wreak my revenge on them by stamping them all over with my library stamp. Then I will glue a borrower's slip to their sneaky ass, and barcode their shifty eyes shut!

Jeez, a librarian's accessories don't sound very intimidating or weapon-like. So that's what's wrong with me! No where to act out my violent impulses!

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who lose stuff all the time and those who find it. There's also a third group made up of people who stand around and say helpful things like 'It's always the last place you look' or 'when do you remember having it?' but these people will soon be extinct due to their tiny brains and heedless ignorance of the danger inherent in irritating people who have lost stuff. Evolution is our friend. Though it did take away our tails, which I don't think I will ever quite get over.

Until this morning, I used to be a loser. Until this morning, I could lose pretty much anything I managed to hussle into my possession. Perfectly manageable items fell into my clumsy fingers and promptly fell back out again. I have even, on a shamefully high number of occassions, scurried around my house looking for something only to stop, mid-scurry, and wonder blankly what it was I had been looking for.

But no more! For now I am a finder! Note my eagle eyes, my fine-tuned teeming brain, my stunning good-looks (of little consequence here, but needed to be said)! Oh, children shall sit round fireplaces and hear stories of my proud victory for years to come, how, on that vibrant Thursday morning, a fair maiden by the name of Aoife searched hopelessly for her glasses.

'Alack and alas!' She cried. 'It is all for naught! They are lost to me forever!'
'Not so, gentle maid!' spoke the valiant Lucy. 'For I have found them, here on the stairs, under your coat!'
'Blessed Lucy, how can I ever repay you?' implored the weeping Aoife, clutching her beloved glasses to her chest.
'I ask no payment.' Lucy answered gravely. 'Only that you remember this day... forever.'

At which point the strange boy who had spent the night on our sitting room floor pointed out that he had spotted them first. Tsk, tsk. Glory breeds many petty jealousies.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Pre-Partum Anxiety

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
Invictus, W.E. Henley
As I wend my way through my final days here at work, sloping sullenly in on grey mornings and scurrying franticly out in the dark evenings, I find solace in muttering these nerve-strengthening and resolve-stiffening lines to myself. In much the same way that I scowl and mutter Philip Larkin's This Be The Verse to myself when forced to converse with my parents. Or Wendy Copes's Bloody Men when waiting for a bus. What I'm saying here is that I tend to talk to myself a great deal. Which may account for the fact that I am not generally liked.
The tax office sent me a 'Claim for tax repayment during unemployment' form the other day. Do they know something I don't?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Recent Acquisitions

My aunt went to Estonia last weekend. She brought me back a gift. This is fairly like it. Last week she gave me juggling balls. I believe a word needs to be had with her regarding the art of appropriate present giving.

Dilemma

I have a problem. My fringe is in a critical state at the moment and I am unsure of which course of action to take with it. It is currently at a length somewhere between daringly long and daringly short. The question is what to do with it now, as it is extremely unmanagable and tiresome. Should I take the plunge and trim it myself? Or should I embrace change and allow it to grow a bit, leaving the way open for exciting new haristyles in the future when I can part it at the side and thrust it from my face with careless (but lovely) irritation. Decisions, decisions.

I dont want to lose the thing completely of course. I enjoy having something to pull on when anxiety strikes. And it will be useful when age besets my youthful brow and lines it cruelly. But it is quite high maintenance. To fringe or not to fringe? That is the question.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Financial Concerns

According to The Irish Examiner of 03/11/2004, the average industrial weekly wage is €560.60. I do not earn anything near this. According to AIB's net worth indicator my net worth score is -3. My actual worth is negative €3,600. This would be worrying if I did not know for a fact that it is only a matter of time before a rich man comes along that I can marry.

I have just said this to one of my co-workers and he says that it is all relative and even though I have no money and am not actually worth anything, I am better off than the people who have lots of money and properties and stuff cos they have to pay insurance to protect all their stuff and alimony to all the wives they trade in for younger models (ie. me). And people who are worth something are more likely to be kidnapped and held for large ransoms. My life would only be worth about €1.20.

I kind of see his point but I really don't want to. I'd rather have the money.

Letters to the Editor

Here follows some correspondence I have recieved from my many fans over the weekend. Read and pretend for a few moments that you are as popular and as cool as me. I have not corrected the glaring grammatical and spelling mistakes as I would like you to appreciate how dumb my friends really are. Enjoy!

'Well Tramore WON the County Final yesterday!! So we are now in the
Intermediate Championship next year, and we will go on to the Munster
Champsionship and then the all ireland and then Europe!!!


We will put Tramore on the map yet!!!

I went out after yesterday, it was mad there was bonfires burning on the knock beside Rachel flemings house on our way back, my dad decided to do the same to our knock and then the firebrigade came along!!! And the gardai!! I only had 6 drinks and then went on the water and blackcurrant!! I am very good#!'

-Mairead, Tramore dweller and arsonist


'hey lucy,
how are things? i found your blog about sweden v interesting - i may never pay a visit there now i know no polar bears roam the streets - which is exactly what every tourist wants to see!'


- Celia, polar bear lover and adopted English person


'Lucy you cad,

How was Waaaaaaaterford this weekend? Have fun at the Arabian Derby, you lucky b*stard? I decided to shun drink for the weekend, which meant I SAT AT HOME DRINKING CHEAP TAKE OUT RATHER THAN SPENDING HARD EARNED CASH IN THE PUB. Sorry, I must have pressed caps lock there. I'm too lazy to fix the sentence.

If you don't hear from me for a long period of time just presume I'm in jail. Just realised today that I've been driving around with my tax out by three months. I wonder how I'd survive in the joint. I'm not very hard, I tend to cry and run away a lot. So I better hurry up and tax my car.'

-Joanne, bra expert and part-time criminal


'all gud here,,, v rough weekend.... am still extremely sick... very very very sick... why do i do it to myself why????'

-Ashling, ill person and amateur alcoholic


'My kidneys still hurt!'

-Jenny... actually, I dont know this person at all.


A Narrow Escape

Extract from email delivered to all staff 15/11/2004 by HR manager:

'Colleagues,

I wish to advise you that the office will be closed from 12.30pm on Friday, 24th December 2004 until 9am on Thursday, 30th December 2004 for the Christmas holiday period.'

Thank GOD I have a new job and do not have to stay in this dratted place for Christmas. I would shrivel up and DIE if I had to work those horrid Christmas hours. I intend to be continuously sozzled through Christmas. Which will be quite a challenge as my Mother has decided we are going to spend it in the back-arse of Limerick. Ick. I may have to attend mass.

'It should be noted that although Wednesday, 29th December 2004 is not a statutory public holiday, we have decided to grant this additional days’ leave in recognition of ongoing progress in our programme of work throughout 2004 and to encourage continued high performance in 2005.'

Encouraging, non?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Ah, Sweden

'We possess in-depth knowledge about telecommunications, IT, radio and postal services. Let us tell you more.'

????

This is from the Swedish telecommunications regulator's website, on a blank page. No links, no directions to another site, nothing. They are doing this just to try me. I suspect English-language site sabotage. I am going visit the Swedish version of the site and translate everything with my Swedish-English Dictionary. Damn you, Swedish fiends! I shall overcome you!

It must be really boring being Swedish. Being, as I am, a naturally fair-minded person who likes to do her research before thoroughly lambasting a whole nation, I spent some time carefully backgrounding and arranging my notes on modern-day Sweden's history and policies. Or, I googled Sweden and clicked on the first thing that came up. Believe what you will!

I went to this project with one thought in my mind: What does Sweden DO? Besides shelter Estonia and Finland from the nippy breezes coming off the North Sea, I mean. Norway has fish, I knew this much from Leaving Cert geography. But Sweden? And so I ended up here, where I am pleased to discover that temperatures in Sweden today range from -3º to 10ºC, depending on where you are and how much alcohol you drank. (Oh no, wait, that's wrong) But there's more- here in the weather section you have your first clue as to the Swedes' wacky sense of humour:

'No, it isn't true that polar bears walk the streets of Sweden!'

Really? Just when Sweden was getting interesting. I trudged on through the site (like an outcast polar bear trudging through the woodland, as he has been banned from walking down streets by the cruel Swedes), ruthless in my search for a true symbol of Sweden. What do these beautiful (predominantly blonde) Scandanavians have to say for themselves, I wondered:

'The international cliché of Sweden portrays us as nation of capable, decent, well-groomed but also slightly phlegmatic and boring souls, who not only obsessively clean and polish our own idyllic little Nordic nest, but are also presumptuous enough to have opinions about how other, bigger, more important nations should run their affairs.This image certainly contains a grain of truth.'

Hey! Don't be so hard on yourselves, guys!

'Sweden is a small Nordic nation that, in the space of a century, has transformed itself from a poor, underdeveloped agrarian country into one of the world's most modern and prosperous welfare states and industrialized nations: truly a feat worthy of taking pride in. Indeed, we are proficient, hard-working, conscientious and well-groomed - well, perhaps a little boring and naïve too, for that matter.'

Well....

'To an outsider, the Swedes at first glance may also appear to be a shy, withdrawn, anonymous people. But don't let yourself be fooled by this surface appearance. Beneath it lurks madness, sensuality, sentimentality and - not least - a well-disguised national pride and self-confidence.'

As I progressed through the site, I noticed a pattern emerging in the Swede's bold depiction of themselves. See if you can spot it here:

'The impression is that Sweden came out of nowhere to a role today as the world's third-ranking major power in international product and interior design - after Italy and Great Britain.'

Or here:

'It is widely reported, both inside and outside our borders, that little Sweden is the world's third largest music-exporting nation, "beaten" only by the two superpowers of modern music, the United States and Great Britain.'

Hmmm. Always third-place, never the bride, eh Sweden? Seriously though: Sweden, a World Power in the international music market? Think about it: when you hear the words 'Swedish music', what comes to mind? That's right, Abba. Hardly something to be crowing about, methinks.

'Garage rock is the latest musical genre to be hit by the "Swedish invasion", as the phenomenon is called in the American press. The biggest name is The Hives, sometimes labeled "the new Rolling Stones".'

The Hives? Originators of the infamous Shite-And-Overhyped phenomenon? Ah yes, now that is a proud addition to the international music scene.

So, have you guessed it yet? What Swedish people stand for? What they do? I hear someone yelling out 'blandness' at the back there. Close, but no cigar. 'High taxes'? 'Clean streets'? 'Humourlessness'?

All good answers, but unfortunately not the one I was looking for. Maybe this will give you a clue:

'In many respects, Sweden is generally considered one of the world's most modern and sophisticated civilizations. And this is true.'

Yes, that's right- it's overblown self-importantance and egotistical tendancies! Not convinced? Björn Borg, Sven-Göran Eriksson and Ulrika Jonsson. Need I continue?

Ain't that a Kick in the Head?

Ouch. From the latest Dilbert newsletter, written by creator Scott Adams:

Dear Dogbert,

Lots of people write blogs, but I’ve never heard of anyone who actually reads them.
What’s up with that?

Kurt


Dear Skirt,

Blogs exist to fill the important market niche of writing that is so dull that your eyes will burrow out of the back of your head to escape. People do read blogs, usually by accident, sometimes on a dare, but those readers are later mistaken for Mafia victims with what appears to be two holes in the back of their heads.

On closer inspection, you might find their eyeballs clinging to the drapes directly behind them. Unless the cat gets them first.

Sincerely,
Dogbert

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Love Letters

This guy is deadly. And now we correspond! [Reality check: one email does not a correspondence make.]

Lucy -

Thank you for the European perspective. If you play your cards right, maybe you could be my European correspondent in the field.

Oh wait, my blog is about jerking off, getting drunk, and overeating. So I guess I don't really need a European correspondent. But if I did, you'd be the one!

Yes, the election was not a good time. Fortunately, there is weed, so I'm going to make it.

Thank you for the email and making me blush.

Best,
Jason

Did you notice his outrageously blatant yearning for me?! I mean, you have to read between the lines a bit, but when you do...steamy! He practically declares it: Lucy, I love and adore you, you divine Irish colleen you, I want to have your babies.

Then again, a man with such unshakable faith in the advances of science is a real turn-off. I like my men to be like the Comic Book Guy off the Simpsons: tortured, pessimistic and bitingly sarcastic. Maybe with non-yellow skin and five fingers on each hand, though. Alas, for my exacting standards!

Crazy World

Boy, oh boy! Just back from taking my first ever ride on a Luas tram! It was... anticlimactical, to say the least. And slightly unnerving. The Luas is pretty much the slowest thing in Dublin today, except for maybe Marie. [Gratuitious Marie joke- getting very old now.] The Luas crawls down streets at a depressing 5 m.p.h., grinding worryingly round corners and shuddering still at it's stops. Blind, three-legged dogs and people with walking frames could outrun it. (I'd like to see that race though!)

Even more bizarre are the passengers, particularly one rather odd young man who spent the journey from Abbey St to St James' Hospital sat down on the floor in the middle of the carriage, slicing off chunks from a block of HB vanilla ice-cream with a plastic butter knife, scraping it into an empty milk bottle, adding milk and shaking vigorously. Needless to say, this was quite a messy thing to attempt on a (barely) moving vehicle, and he slopped a good bit on his hands, trousers and oddly enough, the back of his head. He finished this operation by Heuston Station and, stretching his legs out in front of him, proceeded to clean himself up with a baby-gro he pulled from a Guiney's bag.

Moral of the story: You shall spot the crazies by their Guiney's bags. And their tendencies to make milkshakes on public transport.

USA- AOK?

Cool! Civil War in America! Blue States want secession from South!

Driving Test

I suck at this. Not surprising given Tuesday evening's events.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Crippling Failure

Yesterday evening I sat my Driver Theory Test. And failed. Before you break into loud peals of hysterical laughter prompted by this fact, please bear in mind that I am a very sensitive and delicate person and am likely to start crying. Also, I dont give a f*ck what you sh*theads think, it was really f*cking hard. And who the f*ck wants to know how to drive anyway? Not me!

Having only procured the test booklet on Saturday, I spent most of Sunday and Monday (okay, half an hour on the bus. Then I fell asleep. It is dull as sh*t.) chortling at the stupid sample questions.

'How dumb would you have to be,' I demanded of those who had the misfortune to be in my company since Saturday, 'to get these wrong?! I mean, look- "When pedestrians are crossing the road ahead of you without waiting for the green man, you should A) Rev your engine to hurry them up, B) Honk your horn to move them along, or C) slow down and allow them to cross"! Come on!'

Ah, Lucy, you stupid, confident, wildly beautiful girl. How young and naive could I be? Extremely young and naive, as it happens. The tiny Chinese girl who came out giggling of the Theory test after me and sat smiling to herself until the invigilator called her up has more self-awareness than me. And she was wearing ballet slippers. And had pink hair.
'You don't know your road-signs' the invigilator told her sternly. She burst out giggling and covered her mouth with blue-nailpolished fingers. The invigilator cracked his cruel face into a smile and handed her a certificate. 'You passed ' he said, kindly.

She skipped happily out of the waiting room and I watched her with an indulgent smile, one I usually save for the parents of small children. With a start, I realised the invigilator was frowning deeply at me and holding a piece of paper. 'Lucy Aughney?' He said stonily.

'Yes?' I scurried up to the glass panel.
'You failed. Thirty-four.' Que Lucy's sinking heart and urge to start drinking.
'Oh.'
'One more and you would have passed'.
'Right-o, thanks.' And I stumped off out the door and up the street.

See the unbridled bravery and courage in this scene? See how our mighty heroine stares defeat in the face and suffers the cruel injustice of being beaten by pink-haired girls whose first language isn't even english! See her who, sensing a challenge, stands up proudly to invite it! What strength, what unyeilding grit! Behold and be amazed, friends!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Purposefully Obtuse

Perusing, as I do regularly, the Arts Pages of last Week's Independent Review, I came across this little gem, secreted inside a review for Kings Of Leon's latest release, Aha Shake Heartbreak [an item I am restraining myself from buying until my tax comes back and I am adrift in cash city. Roll on Friday!]:

It's a typically Leonine bout of trenchant riffing, the two guitar lines circling warily like boxers sizing each other up, while the pirouetting bass line plays referee - the very formula that proved so startling on Television's Marquee Moon.

What can this possibly mean?!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Who Am I?

Confused about politics? Try the World's Smallest Political Quiz. I am a left-wing, tree-hugging, liberal pinko, apparantly. I honestly don't know how that happened.

On a somewhat similar topic, this is how America looks since Tuesday.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

News From The Hill

Eh, hello?!

'Democratic insiders, still in shock after Sen. John Kerry’s excruciatingly narrow defeat, are unhappy with the lengthy and politically charged remarks that his running mate, Sen. John Edwards, made while introducing Kerry for his concession speech in Boston yesterday.

“It sounded like he was already positioning himself to run for president in 2008,” said a lobbyist who was one of Kerry’s top fundraisers and who spoke on condition of anonymity. “If there’s one thing we didn’t need at this time, it’s another campaign speech.” Noting that President Bush carried Edwards’s home state by a whopping 56-43 percent and helped elect Rep. Richard Burr (R) as Edwards’s successor, the lobbyist added, Edwards “may not be the person we want to head our ticket in 2008.”'

Bush's suspicious bulge at the debates was a bullet-proof vest, by the way. Or an ipod, according to DIX in the Guardian.

Oh, Dear

I have just made an utter fool of myself. One of the lawyers came down to look for a book which he couldn't find which I then did find after he left, and was so excited at this that I felt the need to chase enthusiastically up the corridor after him. Here follows a faithful transcript of my behaviour:

Lucy, chasing enthusiastically after lawyer, runs up against co-worker in corridor.
'Oops, I am so sorry!' she shrieks, and shoves co-worker aside to pursue lawyer. Co-worker laughs nervously and follows slowly. Lawyer disappears inside office doorway. Lucy arrives at office doorway. Beat. Lucy realises she has fogotten her swipe card. Lucy looks guiltily at previously manhandled co-worker advancing up the corridor. Lucy runs frantically down corridor towards co-worker who cowers against the wall.

'Ooh, I forgot my key-card, and I have to give this to Sebastian!' Lucy gestures wildly with copy of Regulatory Law. Co-worker winces in anticipation. 'Could you let me in, please, please, please?'

Co-worker lets Lucy in reluctantly. Lucy runs through open-plan office and arrives, puffing and triumphant at lawyers door. 'Found it!' She bellows at lawyer. Lawyer stares and explains how he no longer needs it. Lucy slides her despicable self out of the office.

Welcome to my world: popularly disliked and generally pitied. You're gonna love it.

Damo

Still a little bit of your taste in my mouth,
Still a little bit of you laced with my doubt,
Still a little hard to say 'Whats going on?'

Still a little bit of your ghost, your witness,
Still a little bit of your face I haven't kissed,
You step a little closer each day, that I can't say 'Whats going on?'

Seriously. I know I'm not supposed to like the radio remix and should dismiss it as crass consumer-pimping, but come on!
Pure quality.



Just When You Think You Know Someone...

Just listening to Damien Rice's B-Sides CD (didn't buy it obviously, as am broke; robbed it off Marie) and wow, the professor & la fille danse just about fractured all the half-hearted sneers I had for the man. I hate this. I love to sneer. I live to sneer.

Well, I went out last night, thanks to the cunning and wily persuasion of Kathy R. That, and the large quantity of Marie's vodka I gratefully ingested. Thanks, dude. We went to some place in Temple Bar (haven't a CLUE where) where we were given padlocks on a piece of ribbon and told to find a member of the opposite sex with the appropriate key and marry him. Maybe. Needless to say, I did not in this frivolous endeavour, being essentially disdainful of arranged nuptials, and instead danced wildly and hit people in the face with my padlock. I am the doyen of cool. [er, is doyen masculine or feminine?]

Mildly humourous incident from Tuesday: was sitting around watching telly with the boys, having seen the radiant Aoife off to her graduation ball. She was gorgeous, absolutely. I'd post a photo but I don't know how to do that. And I don't have a photo.

It should be noted that the object of our attention was Ban this filth, featuring several fairly graphic porn clips, which the boys watched with mouths agape [agape: is that a word?]. Followed up by the Call On Me video. Need I emphasize the flesh content of the evening's viewing? I think not. I changed over to E4, where an episode of the Sopranos was on. A swarthy mafia Don sweared lengthily at someone, using the word c*nt in the progress. The boys cringed.

"'C*nt' is a really ugly word' Remarked one of the boys sourly.
"Yeah, and 'pr*ck', that's rotten' Agreed the other. "Definitely not cool." And they both glowered fiercely at the TV.

Bearing in mind their viewing history, and tendency to murmer "Filthy bitch. I'd do her" in reponse to any female appearing on the TV, I think we can all agree that this is a hypocritical display worthy of the White House.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Ohio

From the Irish Times online update service:

'Mr Kerry's running mate, Mr John Edwards, refused to concede Ohio this morning. "We have waited four years for this victory, we can wait one more night," he said. "John Kerry and I made a promise to the US people, that in this election every vote would count and every vote would be counted. We are keeping our word and we will fight for every vote. You deserve no less." '

What grace! What poise!

Edwards 2008!

I remember back in 2002 reading a piece in Vanity Fair about John Edwards and how he was tipped to be the Democrats' man in 2004. What happened, I wonder. Edwards is hot, in a JFK kinda way. Edwards for 2008, says I!

[Can you smell the desperation yet?]

Oh. Bush camp claims victory. That's nice.

Tense Times

Not really. According to Fox News Bush is a vote away from victory. My head is hurting. This girl has the right attitude.

'I arrived at 1:30PM. You could smell the democracy in the air. Like springtime but politics. And, underneath, the faint scent of horse manure.'

According to my calculations, Kerry can win if he takes the last five states. Is this likely? No. Consider it a raft to cling to in the storm. The IT guy has just come in and told me, with considerable glee, that Iran will be invaded next week. Where he gets his information I don't know and didn't ask; the man can see where I go on the net all day, I'm not about to antagonize him! Anybody up for a drink before the war?

PS: Why is RTE showing very dull, very unsexy footage of the Dail? Do they know there's an election on in America?!? Poor old Carole Coleman, they'll have to pull her off Washington- she won't get another interview for the next four years!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Doom

Was all set to post hilarious and self-deprecating string of anecdotes vaguely connected to reality but have been suddenly struck by horrible, deadening, soul-sapping wave of tiredness. As in,so tired that I just realised I no longer had chewing gum in my mouth and started worrying about where it had gone. As in, so incredibly tired that I wonder if I'll be able to remember where I live. [Yes, I will; it's the messy place with the broken washing machine and an assortment of hungover people in] So no irreverent witticisms from me this evening! Don't beg, its demeaning.

Am going home now (early, you might note) to slip quietly into a coma. Hopefully will manage to make it home before this happens, as my neighbourhood is not that nice after dark. Nor in daylight.

Friday, October 29, 2004

What Classic Pin-Up Are You?

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You're Brigitte Bardot!

What Classic Pin-Up Are You?
brought to you by

Seriously, I'm Ross?


I'm Ross Gellar from Friends!
Take the Friends Quiz here.
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I Cant Stand the Rain

God, it's wet. I am not really a person who minds the rain in general, mainly because I don't spend nearly enough time on my appearance to care about it getting spoilt, but also because I am quiet a pathetic soul at heart and crave the kind empathy one can share with a bus shelter full of equally wet people. Also I am not much of a conversationalist and relish the weather playing up so I can bellow cheerfully about it to acquaintances and co-workers in lieu of actual attempts at small talk. But this isn't about me. It's about you!

Or whoever posted that mildly insulting comment here the other day. I stumped home merrily in the rain last night, the property section of the Indo held over my head to avoid drowning and to provide a marker for my rescuers should I happen to tumble down a drain. After arriving home and cleaning the newsprint off my forehead, I waited patiently for young Aoife to wander in with young Grainne, both of whom have decided that Thursday night is now 'Lucy night'. 'Lucy night' consists of getting slightly jarred and laughing derisively at Lucy for the entire evening. Wonderful fun, tickets available at the door.

I hate rain competitiveness. 'We got soaked!' gasped Aoife, falling in the door an hour later.
'So did I.' I groused.
'We had to walk out in the road to avoid a massive puddle and almost got killed by passing cars!' said Grainne proudly.
'I fell into a puddle and started screaming "fuck!" at it, really loudly and this old lady gave me a dirty look!' I countered.
'We got drenched by a bus!'
'Two buses!'
'Three, and we nearly dropped the vodka!'
I gave up. Sometimes the sign of a true victor is in knowing when you're beat. Or something equally life-affirming.

'Someone posted a really mean comment on my blog today.' I announced sadly a short while later. Gra and Aoife glanced up from their pint glasses of vodka and coke.
'Really? What did it say?'
'Something about me being an insulting bitch. And pious, for some reason.'
'Pious? You? Hardly!'
'Yeah, that's what I thought.'

'You should write back and abuse them and tell them to keep their nose out of your fucking blog!' advised Gra.
'That' I said regally. 'Would be lowering myself to their level.'
'Ahh.' They said, and nodded appreciatively and looked on me with awe.

Yeah right. More like stared at me for a moment before returning their attention to their glasses. I sighed internally and went back to trying to stick post-its to my eyelids. I know my place.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Lucy's Guide to Living

Having spent most of the morning in quiet meditation on life and other stuff [other stuff being the reading of The Phoenix and the review section of the Independent from cover-to-cover; this gig is a job in name only], I have come up with a new approach to life. Not merely a set of guidelines, this philosophy for living is so all-inclusive as to be practically a religion. I, naturally, am head and greatest prophet of my new-formed religion. Not too bad for a Tuesday morning!

Up to now, brothers and sisters, I have led a life that could be kindly classified as misguided. If I had a mantra, it could best be described as 'Do whatever you want as long as you can tell funny stories about it at parties'. But like many lost souls, I had to hit rock-bottom to find my way to the top again. Rock bottom came for me as I stood in the Baldy on Saturday night, watching the scenes of revelry and drunken debauchery that is a Saturday night in any licensed premises in Ireland revolve around me. Is this it? I questioned, somewhat in the manner of the Strokes, although less musically adept. Realizing I had reached a crucial stage in my life, I felt it necessary to confirm my suspicions by getting drunk again on Sunday night. Yes, I ascertained, I had been correct in my previous assumption; I was in fact experiencing a spiritual epiphany.

Spiritual epiphanies can be rather tricky to detect. Speaking from my own experience, I can tell you that they feel uncannily like standing up suddenly or like having a few drinks and no dinner. In other words, unusually, unnaturally woozy, rather light-headed and a little nauseous. Mine left me hungover and in desperate need for change in my life. And so I formulated my new credo.

1: Give up drink
2: Give up chocolate and crisps
3: Take long walks every evening to ponder one's life
4: Instead of internally cursing and thinking up ways to painfully murder anyone who skips ahead of me in the queue for the bus, think calming thoughts and radiate inner tranquility
5: Reflect on the joys of housework and spend evenings cleaning parts of home instead of lying on couch watching telly while painting fingernails with yellow highlighter
6: Decide what I wish to do with life, so that, when people ask me 'What's next for you, Lucy?', I will have something to say other than 'Marry a rich man' while laughing feebly
7: Spend more time with friends, even the boring ones like Marie
8: Eat sensible and nutrional meals, instead of starving self until 8pm at night because 'am not very hungry', then gorging oneself on crisps and chocolate. Give up crisps and chocolate entirely. Have I said that already? Mean it this time
9: Read more poetry. Listening to rap doesn't count, even if it does rhyme
10: Buy less books. Instead, join library and read classics. And not just rereading parts of Pride and Prejudice with Mr Darcy in and other books where I quite fancy main male character (ie. Dobbin in Vanity Fair; Sebastian Flyte [despite implied homosexuality] in Brideshead Revisited; Sherlock Holmes; Peter Wimsey in Gaudy Night [and yes, I am aware that it is silly to classify detective fiction as classics!])
11: Practice guitar playing. Saturday night's very public display of misguided narcissim with Gary Kent's guitar was dismal
12: Study for Driver Theory test. Must pass. Anyone want to lend me a book on it?
13: Rinse out drink cans and plastic bottles before putting them in recycling bin instead of burying them under a load of old newspapers.
14: Alter smoking habits until I can stomach the taste of the weird menthol ones Janine smokes. They smell really healthy and minty. Pity the are so vile
15: Learn to spell properly as cannot rely on Word's spellcheck forever
16: Watch intellectual documentaries and educational news programmes on telly, instead of stupid reality shows on MTV and semi-pornographic music videos on TRL
17: Drink more green tea as is apparently cleansing

Seventeen steps to happiness and inner fulfillment! Enriching, I'm sure we all agree. Actually, I just came up with these right now because even though I went to Eason's at lunch, I was unfortunately scared away from the self-help section by the fearsome amount of absolute losers pawing desperately at the shelves. Uh oh;

18: Be less judgmental. Instead, love all mankind. Except Pat Kenny, naturellement

Anyway, I wandered instead into the poetry section and very nearly bought another book of Christina Rosetti poems. Seeing as I have lost two books of her poems already and I only buy them because I am looking for one poem that I can't remember the title of and I am severely strapped in the cash department, I should really know better. Unsurprisingly however, I don't.

Monday morning blues on a Tuesday

I have just spent the last ten minutes wandering around in the cold loading bay behind my building waiting for some kind hearted smoker to let me in or out. I went out to put newspapers in the recycling bin and it was with a shudder of bitter resignation that I heard the cold click of the emergency door behind me. I have been waiting all weekend for something like this to happen to me. You see, I deserve this. I deserve to be stuck wandering around tips mid-morning in the freezing cold with no coat, because I am a vile, despicable alcoholic.

Dodging quickly through an open gate as a delivery van reversed in, I slunk back to the front of my building, ignoring the odd glances from passers-by at my coatless state. As I trudged wearily past the drunks and junkies on the dubious corner of Marlborough Place, I considered grimly my lot. I am poor. Broke, would be more correct actually. I am tired. I look a state. And I am constantly guilty. All these are symptoms of my one fatal flaw [one?!]:the demon drink. Being tired and looking a state are easily understandable physical side-effects; being broke is the unfortunate financial consequence of drinking to excess. Continuous, crushing guilt and shame is my own unique addition to this fearsome condition, and unhappily, the most adherent of alcohol-related side-effects.

Guilt is the sick feeling the morning after, which you know probably isn't a hangover, when you first encounter your mother as you stumble down the stairs. The steely look in her eye says it all; the only question is which misdemeanor is she pissed off about? The noise you made coming in at all hours last night? The state you left her kitchen in making yourself a late-night snack? The leaves you picked off trees on your way home and left strewn across the hallway with your shoes, handbag and a small fortune in copper coins? A veritable mystery, I think we can agree.

Shame comes later, with the enquiring text messages and phone calls mid-morning. Did you make it home last night? Do you remember what you said to so-and-so? Do you recall demonstrating your Beyonce-esque grind in the middle of the bar? No?! How much did you have to drink?! And so on. Shame lingers rather longer, mainly as your mother can be left behind at home when you head back up to Dublin, but the vague cloudy memories of your behavior, sadly, cannot.

I confess that I probably encourage such behaviour. After all, what would you talk to people about if you didn't behave badly on weekends and regret it bitterly for the rest of the week? Actually, guilt and a misguided sense of obligation is just about all that gets me up in the morning. That and Aoife banging noisily round the room. This, I conclude, is a very negative way to live. I need a new, more positive central core to my life. I plan on heading to Eason's on my lunch and swotting up in the self-help section. I may adopt a mantra. Please join me later, when I will have worked out my new plan later which I will gladly share with all. My love is your love, and so on.

Either that or I will just retire to a bar and get sloshed. Tricky one, that.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

What not to Wear: Crooked fringes, less than two coats and ponchos

I have made a terrible mistake. Last night, in an inexplicably idle and reckless state of mind I happened upon a pair of scissors lying on the dressing table in my room. Hmmm, I pondered, my fringe was looking a bit straggley recently. And so I cut my fringe. Lying on my bed, in the near dark. With such background elements, the outcome was never going to be good. A wiser person might suspect self-hating elements repressed in my psyche, but I know the truth; I am thick. Asymmetrics are back in this year, right?

On a happier note, I have recently discovered the secret to staying warm in winter. Staying in bed all day, ha ha. No, seriously though; wear two coats! I t's easy and a whole lot cheaper than having to buy a new winter coat! The benefits are numerous- you get more pocket space, more padding against unruly passers-by who jog up against you as they brush past and don't forget, the always excellent more-places-to-conceal-items-you-have-stolen-from-the-office-stationary-room. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

Apparently, ponchos are the new black. As in common, ubiquitous and slimming (hang on a second...!). God, I hate them. They are right up there on my Top Five Most Hated Woolen Items EVER, nudging matching hat, gloves and scarf sets out of the top spot. But I am part of Generation Y, the generation who embraces change and pursues compromise! So, if you must wear horrid woolen items, I merely advise you accessorise accordingly! With a poncho, the correct accoutrements are a sombrero and some tequila; with matching hats and scarves, facial hair and a job at Santa's grotto is recommended. Heed my words, friends and you shall not go awry!

Friday, October 15, 2004

No Regrets

Oh, sweet Jesus. I am still drunk. I just stuck my tongue out at someone. IN WORK!! I stuck my tongue out at someone I work with. I don't know what came over me. Five pints of fat frogs last night, maybe. I am such a lush.

Went to a lovely place last night, called Barcode, which is over a swimming pool. Felt very swish walking in over the pool, very Dallas. No, I don't know why swimming pools remind me of Dallas, they just do, okay?! The Dallas effect was slightly ruined by the boys making me run even though my left shoe kept falling off and I was crying plaintively 'wait, wait, don't run!'. Bastards. That and the ludicrously coloured beverage in my hand at all times. Did you know mixers and cocktails only came into vogue during prohibition era in America when spirits had to be disguised to avoid prosecution? Interesting...

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Social Regression

As I write, this sixty or so of my colleagues are up the hall working hard to get drunk and eat as much pizza as they can. This orgy of consumption has been prompted by the company launching a new website, something I knew nothing about until the other day. That shows you how involved in my work environment I am. Why am I not at this reception?
Either,
a) I have a strong work ethic, or
b) No-one likes me and I have no-one to talk to.

SIGH! Guess which one it is? I did go up for a while, slugged back one little glass of vinegary wine and stood by the bin, but really, I can't say I enjoyed it. The pizza didnt even look nice. All the toppings were those posh ones that no-one likes- pineapple, cajun chicken and mushroom. So there's boxes of the stuff sitting up there still, as everyone devotes themselves tirelessly to the wine and beer. Lovely.

God, I'm such a loser. What am I doing down here, seriously? The problem is it is very difficult to return to a party if you have already left. Shows defeat, really. Then again, nobody notices me anyway so I could just sit under a table and get locked on the free booze. God, I'm pathetic.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

A Rose By Any Other Name...

YOUR PORN STAR NAME:
(Name of first pet + street you live on)
Tiger Shanard
YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME:
(first exotic place-name that enters your head + Grandfather's first name)
Kerry Joseph
[...? At a loss for exotic place-names]
YOUR FASHION DESIGNER NAME:
(First word you see on your left + favourite restaurant)
Russian Romanos
"FLY GIRL" ALIAS (a.k.a J. Lo):
(First Initial + First Two or Three Letters of your Last Name)
L. Aug
ICON ALIAS:
(Something Sweet Within Sight + Any Liquid in Kitchen)
Banana Milk
DETECTIVE ALIAS:
(Favorite Baby Animal + Where You Went to High School)
Puppy Stella Maris
[Seriously, I have to have a favourite baby animal? I have trouble picking out socks in the morning!]
BARFLY ALIAS:
(Last Snack Food You Ate + Your Favorite Alcoholic Drink)
Taytos Heineken
[Now, that one rocks!]
SOAP OPERA ALIAS:
(Middle Name + Street Where You First Lived)
Sarah Priest
ROCK STAR ALIAS:
(Favorite Candy + Last Name Of Favorite Musician)
WineGums O'Connor (!)

Monday, October 11, 2004

Conclusive evidence

Finally! Just when I had lost all faith in the world due to recent disappointments (Cian O'Connor, Brian and Kerry and the death of Superman), some good news appears on the horizon. Almost makes getting out of bed when its still dark outside and forcing one's sensitive bed-warmed flesh into the icy morning air worth it. Almost.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

My name's fat frog and I live in a swamp...

Fat frogs. Very bad things. So bad they're good, even. So bad, they linger blurrily in your mind and on your furry tasting teeth for twenty-four hours after consumption, their strange greenish-blue hue an ever present smear on your retina. I distinctly recall dropping one (a fat frog, not a retina. I would definitely recall dropping a retina. ), hopefully one of Annies, laughing hysterically, and buying two more. That is the logic fat frogs forces you to embrace.

In other news, I am hopefully, due in the main to repeated bullying from Annie, on my way to a new job. A very lovely man in a recruitment agency has promised me this and I see no reason to doubt him. This forecasted development was my ostensible excuse for acting disgracefully and without inhibitions last night. That, and the joyous news that Grainne W., intrepid traveller of North America's finest establishments, has returned to the fold almost two weeks earlier than she was expected. Hurrah! I predict a repeat of last night's drama on the weekend when Gra is unveiled to her adoring fans in the hospitible interior of The Baldy Man, Tramore. Splendid stuff!

Speaking of splendid stuff, check out the Splendidiser on the website of Stephen Fry's adaption of Waugh's Vile Bodies, Bright Young Things. Simply too, too divine, darling.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Bothering Snape

Tee hee. Professor Snape in a light you've never seen him before. And some vaugely ridiculious cartoons. It is Friday after all!

Series of Unfortunate Events



Out December 17th, starring Jim Carrey, Billy Connolly and a load of kids. Smashing stuff.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Breaking news

Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has just announced his cabinet reshuffle. Ministers Smith and Walsh (Defence and Agriculture) are out, as is newly reborn Euro-bigwig Charlie McCreevey. My sector has a new boss (kind of). Former Transport minister Seamus Brennan is apparently unhappy at being bumped to Family Affairs, presumably because he will somehow miss associating himself with the fiasco that is public transport in Ireland. Family affairs though, what is that? INCEST, we call that down my way!

In other news, I was in Lillie's Bordello last week. That's right, LILLIES, hot Dublin hangout for hip, happening Irish celebs! No, I cant get excited about it either. I did not see Ronan Keating or anyone semi-famous, but I may have seen an Ireland rubgy player. I have a distinct memory of seeing someone and thinking 'Ooh! Now I can beat Eavan McGovern who's only ever got off with Brian O'Driscoll's mate!' Not that I got off with anyone of course. Too busy falling over and spilling things for any escapades in that direction.

Today, with the assistance of one of my equally idle colleagues, I have happened upon a new way of passing the time while at work. Namely chortling at idiotic animations and games here. May I recommend Buffy's swearing keyboard and Cliff Richard spot-the-difference. Only make sure you have your headphones on if you're in public or you may be pretty much mortified. Extremely diverting, I assure you.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Rain on my Parade

God hates me, He really does. Today I received the proud news from the finance department here at work that my wages have been paid up for this month and I will not receive any money for a fortnight. This I could deal with. What is more unsettling is the news that they are no longer content with taking a massive Eur65 out of my wages every week and giving it to the stinking government, no no- Come October, I will be losing Eur150 a week to taxes. Hello?? Does nobody else see a problem here?!

This decrease in income is going to cast a severe chill on my social life. I say social life, but since it is fairly obvious that I am lacking in the essential skills needed to entice friends into my company (otherwise I would not be writing crap in this blog that nobody ever looks at except to debate Mossy's sexuality) I think what I really mean is book-and-CD-buying-habit which, though usually done in public could in no way be construed as a social activity. One advantage to this uncomfortably poor and empty month is that I will be happily released as answering my mother's frequently posed enquiry: 'Are you saving much?'

Another advantage is the incentive this new-found hatred of my job (new-found you say? But shes been bitching about it for months!) offers me to get off my lazy (and now poor) arse and go and find a better job. What I really want of course is to be back in college where the living is easy, the coursework is simple and lets face it, the girls are both easy and simple! Nah, can't slag off students like that, its like shooting fish in a barrel. Or assholes in UCD. Just too easy.

In other news, Lucy revealed her inner sensitivity to the world when she tactfully changed the subject from her own financial and academic woes to another more universally agreeable topic: TV. Specifically, the crap program on Agatha Christie that was on TV last night. Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures (BBC2, 9pm). First of all, the ludicrous WWI hospital scene, with nurses and soldiers alike hacking up blood and phlegm and screaming. Not that they were being bombed mind. The hospital was in Torquay. Just as I was thinking; good grief, I'm lucky they haven't had limbs dropping off people so far, up pops a amputated leg on a operating table upsetting a young nurse who is dutifully comforted by her friend, a young Agatha. Mrs Christie is made of sterner stuff, apparently.

Next, the morbid fascination with the fortnight Christie went missing in 1925. No-body is quite sure whether she was faking it as research for a novel or was mental or just plain naughty but the producers felt the need to devote an hour of the program to this period. Childhood, courtship, marriage, divorce, second marriage and later life are packed, unforgivably I feel, into twee and vaguely forced vignettes, while her books are presented in a quick moment of postmodernism. Switching to jumpy black and white cinema reels of the age, we see Agatha pouring over a notebook, as second husband Max Mallowan stares at the camera and pulls copies of the books from his hat, behind his back, behind his wife's ear. This pointless jape is because the producers have unwisely titled the program 'A LIFE in Pictures' and must now stuff the odds and ends of Christies life in around the hour-long tedium of her disappearance in 1925. Lovely.

The nail in this stinker's coffin is a scene where the actress playing young Agatha gleefully explains the plot of one of her more tricky and deceptive novels- revealing the identity of the murderer in the process. Why oh why would anyone spoil a book for any ignorant audience members?? In an article on Movie twists I read last week the journalist refrained from revealing the fairly obvious 'Bruce Willis is dead!' one in The Sixth Sense yet these fools had managed to spoil the novel for any ignorant audience members. I still remember the angered shout I let off when, aged eleven, I discovered in the last few pages I had been duped by an ingeniously clever author into fingering the wrong crook. (Its The Murder of Roger Ackroyd if youre interested to know.) 'Thats not fair!' I'm sure I ranted, before lending the book to Dee Treacy and sitting around clamping my lips shut until she finished it too. I did keep my gob shut (I think I did anyway, Dee will surely back me up on this) and I waited till she let off her own yell of anger before joining in the rant against the dastardly final twist. Unlike those feckers at the BBC evidently.



Thursday, September 16, 2004

Musical Diversions

Yesterday I purchased a CD on the basis of two reviews I had read in newspapers over the weekend. I had never heard a track off the album, nor even of the artist in question before Saturday. Yet on the back of a review some noncy journalist in ironic specs dashed off in between cappuccino's I went out and bought it. Who said the press has no influence nowadays?

Some may find this rather troubling, that my music purchasing is based almost solely on what I have heard about an artist, on the spin created by evil record companies instead of what I can appreciate aurally myself. But I disagree. Experiencing and enjoying music, films, books all require some initial outlay before one can judge whether it is to ones liking. We can depend upon reviews for films and books, on dust-jacket blurbs, on the allotment of stars or marks out of ten, on recommendations from friends; but when it comes to music we are instantly wary. Our friends may not be the best indicators, nor a record's position in the charts. Music is hardly a more solitary pursuit than reading (the most selfish and anti-social of interests) so why do we spend so much time determining our music tastes yet will gladly attend a film or a attempt a book one is indifferent about? Why is music so much more personal a choice? Why does music seem to require so much more devotion and passion?

Woah. Totally had a Carrie Bradshaw minute there! That's what happen when you chain-smoke your way around town in the rain on your lunch break, straining to think what to buy your mother for her birthday! Light-headedness! Anyway, the CD in question is Nelly McKay's Get Away From Me which the Irish Times delighted me by saying it was a mixture of Eminem, Doris Day and Randy Newman. And that she is the anti-Norah Jones, which is always a good thing, though I distinctly recall Josh Stone and Amy Winehouse being labeled this recently also and look how they turned out! (Well, look how Josh Stone turned out then.) And look how pretty she is with her lovely yellow curls!

So it was with considerable excitement that I smacked my new CD into the stereo in the sitting room yesterday evening. The first two songs were promising, the third... rap. I know, I know, white girls rapping is enough to send one screaming from the room but this is actually not that bad. Not that as I found that out last night though, as Home& Away came on and poor ol' Nellie was relegated to background music.

'Whats that?' queried Aoife later, as she caught snippets of lyrics through the tears of Hayley's breakdown. 'Did the girl on the stereo just rap about cutting off people's heads?'
Uh oh, I thought as I hurried to switch it off, I cannot let Aoife's caustic tongue spoil this experience for me.

So I listened to it this morning on the bus. And I have a problem. Aoife is going to HATE it. First of all, its jazzy. Like pretentiously jazzy, but in a good way. Aoife hates anything remotely skin to jazz, just the sound of a saxophone sends shivers of loathing down her spine. Secondly, it is politically contentious. Not that Aoife is politically obtuse, but some of these songs are a little...provocative. And then theres the white girl rap. Actually, I suspect Aoife dislikes all rap but this is probably particularly offensive to her. And the lyrics are a little too surreal for Aoife. A little bit Suzanne Vega-folksy actually. Uh oh.

So what can I do? Hide it? Listen to it on the bus or at work? Defy her and play it round the clock in surround sound? Its such a tricky decision. Maybe I could blackmail her into letting me listen to it by threatening to inform the world that her favourite film is... When A Man Loves a Woman! Bwa ha ha ha ha!

Oops. Kinda gave it away there didn't I?
See, Mossy? SEE? This is the kind of crap I come up with when I am put under pressure!!