Friday, February 25, 2005

Sponge! I never knew ye!

For the past couple of weeks I have been slaving away trying to get all our Annual Reports in order. There aren't all that many, and they're not in that much of a mess, but for some reason this task is taking me quite a long time. Some might call me lazy; I prefer 'creative worker' or uninhibited by time'. Or 'Lucy, maiden of the dawn with the glowing locks'. But I'll answer to anything, essentially.

This morning, cruising around government websites, I came across this little beauty. Guess what these guys do: test people's quality of life. Seriously. Just look at this. And this. And this. This is news to these people. Discovering amazing non-facts like these would be ideal for me. Last night I discovered that SquareBob SpongeHead [SquarePants SpongeBob. SpongeHead SquareBob. Squarehead Spongeman?] was a living creature and not just a weirdly animated bathroom item. Sponges are living things. This is amazing. And just look at this! The library service position is vacant! Can I cold-call them and ask for a job? Or would that be a small bit needy?
No. I am going straight home this evening to talk to the round yellow chap in my bathroom about his living and working conditions. All this time and I never knew!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A Stinging Blow

Having been away at home all weekend, and in Carlow on Sunday night for the opening of Rag Week with Annie and Marie, I saw the boys for the first time since Thursday at half past ten last night, as I rolled in from working late, all bedraggled and trailing bags after me. Bedraggled and scruffy because of Sunday night's alcohol overindulgence and having been rained and snowed upon waiting for a bus. Obviously. Misery isn't really misery without some unexpected precipitation and a hangover.
'You were locked on Thursday,' Burt said accusingly.
'Ah' I said with little interest.
'You were more drunk than I've ever seen you, ever.'
'You picked Aoife up and then dropped her on her arse. In the middle of the dancefloor.'
'And you slapped me in the face.' Suplied David.
'And you laid into me for calling you a drunk.'

I needn't tell you any more of the horror of that night, as I hardly think you need any more proof that I am a vile, debauched, spitting, biting mess of a creature. Only with a drink in me, naturally. I am lovely sober.

Nothing speeds along a good bout of misery like some beautiful melancholic music, so last night I opted for Declan O'Rourke's lovely Since Kyabram, which Annie lent me over the weekend. Track three, Galileo, is so whimsically lovely it hurts. Actual physical pain. Maybe thats only the echoes of my seemingly constant hangover, though.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Commoners Have Let Me Down

Ahem. Am I not getting something here? Last night, thrilled with the realisation that my mother would be away in Paris for the weekend (note: She booked it in December. Lucy's realisation comes Feb 16th. One wonders how I get up in the morning) I swiftly formulated a plan to throw a party in my parent-less homestead this weekend. Trembling with anticipation (and the cold, heating not yet back on) I put my thumbs to work immediately. 'Party in my gaff this Sat. You are invited. Bring bottle of vodka. And whatever you're having yourself' I texted off to a half dozen intimate acquaintances. Replies? None. Three hours later Kathy texted back to say she had 'college work to do'. Yeah right, more like a rival party to attend. Since then, nothing. Does nobody get it? I don't give parties very often. And when I do, invites are like gold dust. I certainly don't invite just any raggamuffin. And now, when I deem to invite a few raggamuffins to drink vodka and sit in my kitchen listening to me talk for a few hours, the ungrateful scuts don't even respond! I am at a loss. Utterly without hope.

Speaking of hopeless losers, would you like to come to my party on Saturday? It's free in (before midnight) and if you behave, I'll let you sit next to me and brush my hair.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Jealous? Moi?

Bah. This place disgusts me. Naturally, I am stuck working tonight, Valentine's night. No-one even asked if I wanted to work. Maybe I had better plans, something to go to, hoards of eager suitors with romantic and/or debauched notions lining up outside my door. I didn't, as it happened, but would it have killed anyone to check? Instead I'm stuck here, checking out books to all the other losers who have nothing better to do tonight but come to the library. It's not all bad though. When it gets a bit too much, you can just remind yourself that everyone you will speak to over the next hour will, like you, not be having sex tonight. And that placates my huffy indignance just fine.

Just Toasty

Eek. The oil has run out again. And embarrassingly enough, it did so on the same evening Aoife and I managed to seduce the lovely Joanne into coming home with us after drunken shenanigans involving Frenchmen and small shots of something plunged in Red Bull at Pal Joey's in Temple Bar. Ironic. Or Alanis Morissette's version of irony at least. As we sat on stools eating toast in our kitchen (beside a grubby plywood something we have hilariously renamed our 'breakfast bar'), marveling at Aoife's ability to conjugate boire at 4am with the excitable Frenchies, we began to realise the old house was rather chilly. Aoife, in her usual inspired manner chose to kick half-heartedly at the radiators a few times but I, sensing the situation required an informed eye, slipped outside to check the boiler and kick that instead.

'I'm afraid', I announced on my return, 'that the boiler is officially fucked'. Joanne started mumbling something about getting a taxi home, where it was warm and the sofa was not stained with dried-on curry sauce. Sensing a crisis approaching, I came up with the grand idea of starting a fire in the sitting room [In the fireplace, obviously. Our house is not bad enough for arson just yet]. One hour, three dusty brickettes and half a packet of fire lighters later, I sat back proudly to survey the smoking mass of embers before me.
'Just toasty.' Drawled Aoife. 'I don't know why we need central heating at all if you can lay down excellent fires like that all the time.'

So now my house is freezing again. Not as cold as December of course, but all the same, not too pleasant.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Why bastard? Wherefore base?

In a pathetically weak effort to be current, I read a newspaper yesterday. Specifically, the Irish Times. Being the fuzzy minded youth that I am, I had trouble handling actual news and after flipping to Doonesbury and scowling momentarily at the crossword, I turned to the letters page. I really should read the paper more often. Apparently, on Tuesday, right-wing columnist Kevin Myers in his regular opinion piece, An Irishman's Diary, criticized the lassitude afforded single mothers by the Irish government's overly generous social welfare policy. He also called children born of unmarried parents bastards. Wednesday's paper saw two vaguely critical letters about the column on the Times' letters page; by Thursday the the entire page was given over to vehement objections and impassioned disagreement. Also, a grudging apology from Myers. Terribly excited about this controversy, I gestured wildly at the paper and squeaked shrilly. My unimpressed co-worker glanced over and said: 'Oh, that. That was all over the radio yesterday. Had you not heard about it before now?'

No, I had not! Nobody gossips properly anymore. Mass media has made us all so lazy. Keen to catch up, I hastened to find Tuesday's paper in our filing cabinets. Then I realized all the filing cabinets were upstairs and since I was feeling so tired I really couldn't be that bothered. Instead I looked it up on their website (don't try this at home; we have a subscription and you don't). Shocking stuff! As I harbour secret yearnings to be a limp-wristed liberal myself, I was instantly stirred by the piece. My heart quivered in my breast. Maybe that was just a minor heart attack though. Then, of course, I had no-one to vent my spleen on. Everyone already knew about it. I briefly entertained the notion of writing my own letter of complaint to the paper [Dear Madam, Kevin Myers is a wanker. Respectfully, Lucy Aughney] but that would necessitate getting up to find an envelope. So I ruled that one right out.

Instead I pasted particularly objectional paragraphs from the article in an email and sent it off to my mother, charmingly headed 'To the mother of a bastard'. Of course, she rang me later to say she had already used that joke. Twice. I am so behind on my wry japes. Then, last night-miracle of miracles!- I found someone who didn't already know about the article and the tumult it had aroused (Aoife) and testified self-righteously for a quarter of an hour. Aoife, in her usual brutally blunt manner pointed out that my rage may have been drawn more from a feeling of personal hurt rather than an objective disagreement with the issue in question. To prove her wrong I screamed abuse and started to cry. Not objective my eye!

It does hurt of course, which is ridiculous because it really shouldn't. It's not meant to be about me or my mother, it's meant to be about women who abuse the system by getting knocked up so they can get a house, or who take welfare handouts gladly instead of working. Apparently. Figuring out my opinion on this makes me feel distinctly unwell. I never thought of myself as having any morals but it seems a few firmly held convictions are lurking in there somewhere, doing queer things to my stomach when someone questions their validicy. Discounting the rank crassness of much of the piece ('And how many girls - and we're largely talking about teenagers here - consciously embark upon a career of mothering bastards because it seems a good way of getting money and accommodation from the State? Ah. You didn't like the term bastard? No, I didn't think you would.'), which all of the complaining letters to the editor found issue with, the argument behind the ugly words, which less took offence to, reeks of misogyny to me.

Single parents aren't all women, and aren't all young. They aren't all single parents because they had irresponsible sex but apparently having sex at all is still enough to attract blame in Ireland. And they're not all unemployed, even when our constitution, out-dated as it no doubt is, prizes the mother's place in the home and recommends the state assist her in making her remaining there economically viable.

Speaking as a bastard myself, as the daughter of a woman who never married the father of her children, and a man who stuck around just long enough to bring them up with her, Kevin Myers is a vile piece of shit. I've never wanted to spit at someone before but his words encourage me to try new things. According to him however, my illegitimacy increases my chances of being a mob member. With bastards accounting for 31.4% of births last year, that's quite a mob to start calling names, Mr Myers.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Fame as finally come for me! My mother has had my graduation picture put in the Munster Express, Waterford's weekly source of valuable and necessary news items. Try this one, found under Tramore notes:

Buala Bhos!

Well done indeed to the two teenage girls going home from school who took the time and trouble to repack a senior citizen's shopping bag when she dropped it as a stray dog annoyed her.

This ones mad, because I actually live in Clarinwood, so it's probably my dog fouling up the place:

Thank You

A group of residents at Clarinwood, Tramore wish to extend sincere gratitude to John Deasy T.D. for his diligent representations on their behalf involving a number of collective and individual matters, including the provision of dog fouling warning signs.

Honestly! They put this crap on their website but I can't find my picture anywhere! Somebody in that office has very strange priorities. It's alright though, I'm sure my mother has bought the paper and cut it out for me. It can now go in my scrapbook of fame. Also in there is five-year old me giving the bouquet to Kathleen Watkins, me coming third in my school's obstacle race, aged ten, and me receiving an Oscar for best sound engineering. One of those awards is not entirely true. The fun is in the guessing.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Quota Filled

As of today, I have enough friends. I'm not taking on any more. I get enough hassles from the ones I have already without taking on new meat. So, from here on in, no room at the Lucy-inn. You're either already in or you're out in the cold. Everyone who I consider my friend will recieve a Lucy Friendship Pack in the post, containing some or none of the following: a lock of my hair, a handwritten poem about mountains, a copy of my typing certificate from Transition Year (22wpm) or a photo of my dog. Don't come crying to me if you don't get your Friendship pack; I will merely fix you with a frank stare and repeat slowly: 'Everyone who I consider my friend...'.

PS: Some of my original friends may, of course, die. In fact, at some point they all will. To remedy this problem I propose to draw up a panel from which replacements will be drawn. To apply for a place on this panel, please forward your name and favourite cast member of The O.C. to my HQ. Any applicant who suggests lazy-eyed teen alco 'Marisa' will be immediately dismissed and a team of rabid dogs despatched to their home. Or Marie. Whichever I have handy, really.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The End of Faith

This book sounds BRILLIANT. Not that I intend reading it or anything. I think that reading the review has provided me with quite enough material to keep me belligerent and irritating whenever I am drunk over the next few weeks.

This ain't nothing new

Last night I watched the Superbowl. A s a person who has never seen American football except in films, I must say right now that it is an extremely dull sport. There is a huge amount of standing around and yelling, and lots of complicated number sequences that I do not understand. Why does anyone watch this crap, I wondered. Then the cheerleaders came on screen, all heaving cleavage and dazzling smiles and the boys in my living room went silent. Ahh, I murmured to myself as comprehension dawned.

Still, the rules of the game elude me. Thinking that Americans (which I have also had little experience with outside films) followed the same rules of logical numerical progression as ourselves, I glanced up from my perusal of the Observer's travel section to find the words on the screen changed from '3rd&11' to '1st&10'.

'What?! What just happened? Did we just move back in time?' I demanded of the room.
Burt took a deep breath and launched into a lengthy explanation of the technicalities of the game, which seems to involve yards and other things I thought the EU made illegal when we all went metric. There's ten minutes of my life I won't get back again.

When he finished, with a knowing nod and a swig of his Stella, I hummed appreciatively and fumbled for the Funday Times supplement from that day's Times. Evidently, I am not made for such viscerally real experiences as this.

To sum up, and in a synopsis I'm sure you would have rather had at the start: Lucy watched sport yesterday and did not get it. Nobody is surprised by this rather unfunny revelation. Lucy sighs heavily and crosses another topic off her 'Things I can converse cleverly on' list. Getting to be a pretty short list.

Friday, February 04, 2005

We've All Been There

Email recieved from Ms McIntyre earlier this afternoon:

'Oh god I replied to u and sent it too him oh god I may well die'

Ouch. Too distressed to run spell check, Ashling? Your situation is indeed dire.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I, Being Born A Woman and Distressed

I have reached a new low. Yesterday evening, tricked into believing I was going to be seeing group naughtiness and sexual dilemmas in Closer, I met Marie and Claire outside the Savoy on O'Connell St. They were nearly an hour late and I was ten minutes early, which is an unusual occurrence (me being early that is; Marie is always late) so I was mightily pleased to see them.

'What ho, young pals!' I hallooed cheerily at them. Malice sparkled in their eyes. 'What are you smirking about then, turds?' I queried, polite as ever.
'Claire's seen everything else, so we have to see-'
'-Meet the Fockers.' Finished Marie.
'Everything? You've seen everything?'
'Yup!' Lied Claire promptly to a look from Marie.

I tried to persuade them to leggit up to UGC to see A Very Long Engagement with me but they just shook their heads sadly. 'I am too tired to walk all the way up there!' Whined Marie. 'I'm up since ten!' Bloody students. So I had to see Meet the Fockers. In my usual passive aggressive manner, I bought myself a big bag of peanut M&Ms and ate them all scowling at Marie and Claire and refusing to share. As a result of all the scowling and scoffing of chocolate, I felt pretty sick on the way out of the cinema.

'Look at her struggling to think of something critical to say about it!' Crowed Marie. 'You can't think of anything, can you? Because you liked it!' I had no choice but to nod quesily and try and suppress my nausea. That's another revenge plot thwarted by M&Ms.

Upon arriving home I discovered to my alarm David and Burt very cosily ensconced in front of The Terminal. They informed me that they had been food shopping- together -that day, bought toilet paper and toothpaste (enough of a shock in itself), and had taken the brave step of cementing their relationship by getting a Dunnes Club Card. Together. As a couple. Do you see why I am disturbed by this?

Oh, Gosh...

A disturbing thought from Mossy this morning:

'I have decided to try become more active on the whole blogging front. Its like sex. You really get into it at the start, then its still exciting but you want to try different ways of doing it and it just gets messy.'

Now, if that doesn't make you want to run and hide yourself in a cupboard somewhere, you have issues.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

All is Well

Burt (aka David Burtenshaw) is not moving out. Thanks to all NONE of you who offered to move into his room and cover the bills for me, but he's staying put for the time being. Last night I probed the matter gently.

Lucy: So...what are you watching?
Burt: [Avec much eye rolling at the telly] The soccer!
Lucy: Ah, right. So... are you moving out, then?
Burt: Dunno yet, may do.
Lucy: But, this Friday...?
Burt: No. Not this Friday. Anyway, Aoife said I have to give two weeks notice if I want to move out or she'll cut my balls off. So I thought I'd think about it a bit more.
Lucy: Aha. Good plan. And why, exactly, do you want to...?
Burt: Can't say. But I'm sticking around until I get a few things sorted out.
Lucy: Like?
Burt: Actually, it's more like a few people I have to sort out, if you know what I mean.
Lucy: Ah. No, actually. What people?
Burt: Can't say.

What does all this mean? Is he being purposefully obtuse or just enigmatic? Or has his wish to become a CIA hitman, declared last week while watching The Bourne Supremacy, finally come true? Who is his next hit? What the hell can he mean?