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!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


A dozen things I want TODAY

1. Money
2. Car
3. Ability to drive and neccessary doccumentation to do so in the country in which I am resident
4. Hammock
5. i-pod
6. Computer and ability to operate aforementioned item
7. Banjo
8. Swimming pool
9. 'Goodbye Babylon'
10. Day-bed
11. MY boots
12. Eh, world peace?