Thursday, January 31, 2008

Last Man Standing just died.

A lot of folk forget that alcohol is a poison. Don't look at me like that, it is! It's a toxin.
That's why it affects us so efficiently. It makes us drool, slur, feel euphoric, our legs wobble and worst of all, it makes us think we can dance. It is also why when we're younger and not terrific drinkers we vomit it back up so regularly when we drink to much of it. Our bodies reject it. Our bodies try to save us from ourselves.
Naturally we ignore our bodies and keep practicing to keep drink down and after a while we pretty much succeed.
Alcohol metabolism is normally a pretty simple chemical process. Basically the liver attempts to detoxify the body of alcohol by breaking toxic alcohol into acetaldehyde (another toxic chemical), and then reducing acetaldehyde to acetate or acetic acid which quickly convert to glucose in the blood. Your liver can break down about a unit of alcohol per hour, depending on factors like body weight, regularity of use and sometimes race. It's when we overload our bodies that we head into unchartered territory.
Because we forget alcohol is a toxin we treat it with utter disrespect. Certainly in this country we use and abuse it with wild abandon. Over Christmas I drank like like a sailor on shore leave. I wouldn't be so cavalier with any other poison. I wouldn't ingest any other poison- apart from caffeine- and worse, I am a 'good drinker' -which just means I can drink a lot and stay upright.
Every weekend Dublin is awash with binge drinkers, and it's not-as our papers like to cry- ONLY our youth. Just because the older generation are not falling about the streets and vomiting into their shoes does not mean that they are not binge drinking, far from it. It means that- like me- are probably good drinkers. Conditioned to hold their hooch.
Wine drinking has rocketed in this country, beer is cheap as chips to buy in supermarkets and off licenses, we are geared towards social drinking, private drinking, celebratory drinking and reward drinking. Hell, I like drinking. The reason I'm off it at the moment is purely because I felt my body and mind needed a break after the Christmas excesses, and I've got to say, and probably have been boring the ring of of anyone who asks, I feel bloomin' great, more energy, sleeping brilliantly, skin looks terrific, why I'm alive, ALIVE!

I also can't wait until the end of February so that I can run into a bar and shriek 'RUM AND COKE BARKEEP, KEEP "EM COMING!"

All this bring me back to the alcohol=poison line and a story I read today in both The Sun and the Daily Mail ( no seriously I will get help).
Observe.

"A finance graduate collapsed and died after copying a tequila and gin drinking contest from a Hollywood comedy film.
In the space of 45 minutes, David Reid and a friend downed half-bottles of the spirits, as well as shots of whisky, having already spent the day drinking beer and cocktails.

The 22-year-old, who had landed a job at the Bank of New York and was just setting out on his career, began speaking "gibberish" and was carried to bed. When his friend checked on him during the night, he was dead.

His father Philip Reid, a former pub landlord, told of his shock at how a single drinking session had taken his son's life.

"A lot is said about the superficial effects of binge-drinking, such as fighting, but this shows it can kill," he said.

David and his friend James Lynch had been attempting to emulate the "last

man standing" scene from American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile, which ends when one "contestant" passes out.

"A drinking contest might be fun for 15 minutes, but the consequences are not worth it."


Yep, David died from alcohol poisoning. Tests found he had 524mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The driving limit is 80mg.

He also had cannabis and cocaine in his system. A potent mix no doubt, but it was the over dose of alcohol that killed him.

I suppose you can't put a young head on old shoulders. As I often tell the Little Goth Kid-making her eyes roll-, life is not a movie. We are not actors. If we get a scene wrong we rarely get a chance to do retake. I hope she and her friends make it through their teens and early adulthood without harm. I really do.
But everybody takes risks, we humans do silly things, stupid things from time to time, if we're lucky we live to fight another day, maybe get older, maybe learn a bit of sense, but if not, well we pay the price for our folly.
David Reid paid the price for his. And it was a heavy one.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oh Scotty, beam me up!






A while back I did a piece on this fine fellow
For about a week I went about scottifying all manner of things, then I got distracted and I forgot about poor old Scott.
But huzzah! There I was blithering about during my lunch break, reading some mindless gossip as I scoffed a chiken wrap when what should I stumble over only this
Eeeeeee. I love it, the poses, the tan, the Magnum, the never cracking a hint of expression, the No1-ism, the clothes. It's unreal, it's beyond parody. It's it's well it's Scott again.
Don't ever change Scott, the world needs you, not for the reason you think, but for other reason you couldn't even begin to possibly fathom.
He has Scottified my wednesday, why not let him Scottify yours.

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A question of infidelity.

While perusing the cess pool that is the Daily Mail ( I"m sorry, I have a problem) I cast a bleary over this
Now far be it for me to pretend to know the inner workings of their marriage, but it strikes me as utter folly to consider having children with a man who has just cheated on you, possibly more than once.
But to my question. What's the deal breaker with you when it comes to relationships?
I have always maintained that I would drown the paramour if I discovered he was cheating on me with another woman. I don't think I would be able to pick up the pieces of my shattered heart. I don't think I'd be able to forgive and forget. I don't think I'd get over it. You can't just switch love off and of course people make mistakes, we are human after all. But for me, the idea of my paramour kissing another woman or smiling at her or holding her hand, brushing a lock of her hair back from her face. Yeah, it makes me reach for my mental machete.
Of course relationships survive affairs, marriages live through all sorts of ups and downs, some even emerge stronger than before. But that one for me would be it, the deal breaker. I know me, I wouldn't be able to look at him the same way. Maybe on a superficial level I'd forgive, but deep down I wouldn't. It would burn through me.
I trust him you see. I've had to step outside of myself and open up. To allow someone else to have sway over my well being. I've laid it bare with him. No bullshit, no gloss, this is me, warts and all, foibles and flaws, the good the bad and the down right ugly. He's taken it all on board, he didn't flinch or run away screaming-even after he met my mother.
He's really a good man.

So I asked him earlier. 'What would be your deal breaker?'
'Probably being asked what would be my deal breaker before I've even finished my coffee in the morning' said he before fleeing for the shower.
'Mine might also be people who leave the toilet seat up!" I yelled after his departing figure.
So, would you forgive, or would you be found buying rolls of chicken wire and cement blocks at Woodies DIY?

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lipotrim, still crap, still expensive, still ridiculous.

If you're interested in previous warblings about lipotrim feel free to look here and here
Right. You'd imagine most folk would get that I'm against Lipotrim and why, but it appears not. So, once more into the breech dear chumlies.
I got an email over the weekend from an outraged reader and Lipotrim user castigating me for my mocking ways and my dislike of ALL fad diets including the current fad Lipotrim. I won't post her mail because it was a private email and as angry as she was she wasn't offensive ( note to anyone, if you do send me offensive mail I will post it, I won't be offended, but you will make me laugh).
Now this lady was seething. She seemed to be of the opinion I was single handedly scaring people off Lipotrim and thus forcing them to forgo their life changing metamorphosis from fat caterpillar to Monarch Butterfly. She said I had no call to be so snippy about people trying to lose weight and it was obviously easy from me to be snide but not easy for others to lose weight.
Erm, right. I don't know what's easy for me right at this moment, but I'm going to assume she thinks I'm one of those charmed people who never have to work at anything and everything is easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Listen up lady and caterpillars, I think it's terrific if you want to lose weight. I think it's super terrific if anyone wants to lose weight. If you came here asking me about anything and I thought I could be of service to you I'd be the first one applauding your efforts to whatever it was you were planning to do. I'm ALL for folk doing things.
My entire objection to Lipotrim is that it is a truly terrible thing to do to your body. I think people who latch on to Lipotrim as the great white hope are being conned.
For people who had not come across Lipotrim basically it's a total food replacement diet. Initially it was designed for MORBIDLY OBESE people who needed to lose weight fast and dramatically to improve their health and perhaps to stop them from dying. Now it is used by fat housewives the world over as a quick fix for weight that has accumulated over a number of years through poor eating habits, over reliance on sugar and carb heavy food and little or no exercise.
Lipotrim is expensive and totally unsustainable. And because I don't like to talk out my arse ALL the time, I took a quick gander over through the Lipotrim support blogs this damp and soggy morning.
What I discovered confirms what I long suspected.
One after another, women are logging on, talking about the shakes, the grumpiness, the fact that they can no longer even sit down and have a meal with their family, or have a slice of toast or god forbid! a piece of fruit. On top of all this 'self-sacrifice' women are suffering from headaches and mysterious aches and pain, lack of energy and terror of the dreaded weekly weigh in and wondering why?
Er, here's a thought. Maybe you're feeling unwell and exhausted and depressed because you're not eating anything.
Another thing that made me laugh, but not in a happy way, more like in a tired cynical way, was the amount of women who are on their second and third and even fourth round of this stupid bloody nonsense. One after another the posts went as follows.
'Hi girls, this is my second/third time on this brilliant diet, I lot 900 stone last time in only three months!! LOL. but the weight just crept back on over the winter, plan to starve myself again now, whoo hoo can't wait until I'm in ketosis!! I plan to loose (sic) 1000 stone this time round!! Just keep going girls this diet REALLY WORKKS!! Go LIPOTRIM!!!!'
Right, it's clearly working brilliantly.
As I've said in every other diet related post I've ever done, I am against diets. But I am particularly against diets that involve total food replacement, because unless you are a complete dunce and a nit wit, it must surely dawn on a person that food, actual to goodness food, is an essential part of day to day living. Restricting all food is folly, messes up your metabolism and panics the shit out of your fat cells who will be mightily prepared for such a occurrence happening again by storing even more fat in case of famine.
Yeah you'll lose loads of weight, same was as anyone who starves them selves lose loads of weight, but unless you an Olsen you cannot live your entire life in a state of permanent starvation. Plus if you never understand why you put all the weight on in the first place you're doomed to repeat your previous mistakes.
Stable weight requires stable eating habits. We in the west are provided with every sort of food imaginable, but just because it is at our fingertips does not mean we need to eat it. People gambling on the quick fix only to find it's next to impossible to sustain eventually give up and grow large with food again because they have never addressed the ACTUAL cause of their weight gain. People who actively change their diets, reduce their intake of highly processed foods and empty calories and recognise trigger foods and alter how and what they eat stand more chance of losing weight-over a period of time- and keeping it off. Far better, but so much more effort than people who rush helter skelter from one fad to the next.
And because it bears repeating, becoming fat or obese or even morbidly obese does not happen over night, neither does losing weight.

If you want to come over here and give out to me for disabusing tripe like Lipotrim and Slim Fast and The Cabbage Soup diet and The Only Eat Tiny Pebbles diet and Grapefruit juice diets, come ahead, feel free. I"m a big girl I can take it.
But I will point out one thing, and this is the same thing I pointed out to the lady in question. I don't go to Lipotrim blogs-of which there are legion- and lay into struggling dieters, mocking their efforts and sneering at the hopeless course of action they are about to embark on. I reserve the right to be mocking and sneering of whatever the hell I like on my own blog, and if what I say irks the ever loving shit out of you well, you're free to NOT read it, disregard it, roll your eyes skyward, run off to a Lipotrim blog and talk to your 'girls' ( nothing annoys the shit out of me more than grown women referring to each other a girls, but hey, I don't go to other sites and rant about that either)
I don't really care what you do. But if you want to lose weight safely and with some hope of keeping it off, it might just be time to be less outraged and more aware that diets like Lipotrim are big business for its makers because they already know that you'll never win with it, and bless you, you're putting the makers of Lipotrim's kids through college.

Lipotrim! I'm still against it!

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Rich and miserable.

Top of the week to you all. I have a busy day ahead so I'm up early, poppered up on coffee and ready to get grumpy with the computer.
Yesterday I went to Dundrum shopping centre to see Sweeney Todd with The Little Goth Kid, and The Spaniard (the film was gory, entertaining, love Helena) After the film, we three poodled about the centre itself pondering what to have for lunch. We went with sushi.
Now while sitting at the counter and in between gobbling noodles, peas and eating raw bits of fish I was hugely entertained by two ladies sitting beside me. I"m going to call them Portia and Constance.
Portia was about fifty, she was thin to the point of brittle, she had choppy blonde highlighted hair, she wore designer jeans tucked into knee high boots, a dazzling white shirt, a Ralph Lauren Blazer and more gold than her body weight should have been able to support. She had the obligatory welder's mask shades shoved high up in her pompadour.
Constance was younger, the beta female of the pair. She was almost a photo fit of Portia, but less put together, her hair was long and ironed straight, she too wore skinny jeans, and glasses, and a shirt and a blazer, but somehow I could tell she didn't have the effortless style of Portia.
First off the way they ate was hilarious. They would pluck bowls off the belt and then ONLY eat the fish, avoiding like the plague the little beds of rice they came on. They drank about four glasses of wine each in less than half an hour. And then there was the conversation.
In between taking miniscule bites of food and deep gulps of wine, they spoke about the struggles and trials they faced daily. The difficulties of getting their clearly vast broods of children into the right classes, the right school, the right teams, the right colleges, the right everything.
These two women bitched CONSTANTLY about every aspect of their lives. I have never heard two more unhappy women. I cannot adequately describe the deep loathing and contempt that crept into their voices when they spoke of their husbands. I know I only heard a brief snap of their conversation but the hatred was so... visceral. They hated their cleaners, and spoke with fury about how they had to 'show them' how to do their job. They bitched about their friends, discussing gleefully how one had 'really let herself go' and how another was 'losing it' with her kids. They both sounded un-naturally happy at the thoughts that the housing market was stagnant, exclaiming cheerfully that far too many people were convinced they were millionaires just because they owned a house.
Both of them were furious about someone called James and how cruel he was- the bastard. I must have missed that one, I have no idea why he was cruel. But I'm sure it was a humdinger.
It went on and on, furious, cold, angry, hurt, raging, bitter. After a while I had to tune them out, difficult as they were so loud even people across the counter glanced their way occasionally.
When they got ready to go, I stole a look at their shopping bags. Harvey, Massimo, Lacoste. The best money can buy. I felt flash of envy.
I glanced to my right. Gothy was in the middle of telling the Spaniard about how Jared Leto's brother was like the drummer of like 30 Seconds to Mars and how like, Leto had like told the crowd at the gig she'd been at that like, they were all one big family and that like she thought that was hilarious, and a bit like culty of him, and I could tell from the Spaniard's expression that she had no idea who or what the hell a Jared Leto was and if Gothy was telling her she had just joined a cult or not.
But she said nothing and nodded along, catching my amused eye at one moment and grinning.
My momentary envy evaporated, here we were, women, 16, 35, 44, not rich, not skinny, not glamorous, no cleaners, not angry. Okay, we had no high end shopping bags either, but as Gothy hoiked up a chunk of rice with her chop sticks and informed us that Jared Leto was not as hot as he thought he was, all seemed right with the world.
When I dropped The Spaniard and Gothy into town and drove home, I was still thinking about the women. Who the hell knows what goes on behind closed doors? Both Portia and Constance looked -on a superficial level- like they had everything. But clearly the were missing something. Surely you cannot be so nakedly furious and unhappy if your life is fulfilled. I'm being genuinely honest here when I tell you, I have NEVER heard anyone speak with such open hostility about their lives before. Never.
I wondered about them for a while longer. When I got home the Paramour-who had spent the morning chasing a ball around with other grown men- called me from the kitchen, where he was reading about grown men who chase after balls but in a professional capacity.
'Hello.' I said, taking off my coat.
'How was the film?'
'Musical and surprisingly gory.'
'Look what I have.'
He opened the over door and there is was, rhubarb crumble.
'You are a prince among men.' I said.
We many not be rich, but I love him and he loves me and we're happy. I'd take that over all the shopping bags in the world.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Motivation for fatcats and possibly for chumlies of Fatcats!

Right ho! Top of satdee morning to you all. Day 26 of the great dry and the reason I don't drink at the moment became clear to me this morning when I sprang out of bed before 8 in the am-unheard of! All my bitching and moaning about missing rum (and I do) fell by the way side as I realised I felt sprightly and gleefully in hungover. I looked across to the paramour, who lay crumpled with nowt but his Gloria Swanson face mask visible and I suddenly felt a burst of EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

I decided to capitalise on this by heading out for a long slow run, whereapon I got lost once again, but I didn't care because it's a beautiful day, mild and almost sunny, and I feel good.
But firstly.
The week.

Sunday, a skippity hoppity poodley 10 k run, slow and peaceful, listening to Ray Montagne, coveting homes and gardens. Nice.

Monday short 6k, but that wasn't the best bit, oh no, not by a LONG shot. I have found a new way of torturing myself. it is called skipping and I highly recommend it and also fear it. I took myself off mid loop to the Band Stand in Bushy Park where I did skip until I had completed 600 revolutions. Then-gasping for air- I put my rope back into my fanny pack and ran home. Then I walked to my pappy-in-laws- house to drop him off a jumper and back home, a further 2k of calf singing.


Wednesday-I walked to Rathmines and back. About 10k.

Thursday- I was pretty chained to the desk on thursday but I did a lot of stretching and yoga mid-day. Which made me really sleepy for some reason, also I am attempting to do a handstand. Can you do a handstand? I can't. I am as clumsy as a two-toed spider. But I'll master it, oh yes.

Friday-Skippy skippy, another 1000 + 20 by accident. Hard work. But terrific fun, so many variations.

TODAY! I ran a wonderful 15k, no twinges, no aches, no niggly pains and aches. Felt hella strong on the way home. Off now for breaky.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

A Discovery.



With this banana I do juice. Er no... wait.


Happy Ginger Day chumlies. Another end to another week. 25th of January, half way there, only 25 more rum free days left before Friday 29th of February. We can do this Melvin, oh yes.
But what's the discovery? Bananas aren't juicy.

Today's concoction in the Breville. 2 apples, one kiwi, one delightfully ripe banana. It was thick, but delicious.




Gratuitous Carrot-top shot, only for the laydeeees. Go on, you know you can't resist.

Brownie Points for hate?

Some people are so fucking heartless that they can take your breath away. From today's Times.

"A drunk-driver who killed a cyclist has been sentenced to ten years in prison in the US, after the judge heard a recorded jail conversation in which she laughed about "taking out a tree hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman and a gay guy all in one shot."

Melissa Arrington, 27, a barmaid and exotic dancer from Tucson, Arizona, could have received as few as four years behind bars after she killed cyclist Paul L'Ecuyer while driving under the influence on the night of December 1, 2006.

Instead, she was sentenced to 10 years - one year shy of the maximum prison term for negligent homicide - after the judge heard a telephone conversation between her and a male friend one week after L'Ecuyer was killed.

During the conversation, the man told Arrington that an acquaintance believed she should get a medal and a parade because she had “taken out a tree hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman and a gay guy all in one shot.”

Arrington laughed. When the man said he knew it was a terrible thing to say, she responded, “No, it’s not.”

Superior Court Judge Michael Cruikshank said the conversation was "breathtaking in its inhumanity."

Mr L’Ecuyer, 45, a Tucson-born counsellor and human rights worker.

A keen athlete, Mr L'Ecuyer had been riding his bike on a five-foot wide bicycle lane, when Arrington swerved off the road, hit him and continued another 800ft before stopping."

It's truly amazing how cockroaches always manage to survive disasters.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Glorifying Death.

There has been a spate of teenage suicides in the UK and at long last one paper has actually touched on something that I have long thought.

A reverence of mumbo jumbo has a lot to answer for, and one of those things is our attitude to death. This is something I've noticed more and more over the last few years.
We glorify death, we make it seem romantic, tragic and airy-fairy. No one is ever dead, they're sleeping, they've 'gone back to god' they're 'angels' they're 'legends', they're 'at peace' they're 'looking down on us from heaven.'
You know what? They're not. And we need to stop pretending they are.
They're dead and any potential at a life has died with them. They are corpses. They are rotting under the ground, worm food, decomposing, empty shells, everything that they once were, what they they could have become, died the moment their heart stopped.
Dead. Over. Finito. Gone.
Suicides, especially teenage suicides bother me the most and it's time we called a spade a spade. When a teenager kill his or her self this is what happens.
They will never laugh again, they will never celebrate another birthday, they will never go to the cinema again, they will never go for a walk on a beautiful frosty morning. They will never watch CSI on a friday evening eating popcorn. They will never have a gossipy bitching session with friends again. They will never be on Bebo again. They will never go to another concert. They will never buy that dress, that play station game, a new car. They will never go on holiday, get sunburn and drink too many cheap cocktails. They will never read a beautiful novel on a rainy winter day. They will never eat Malteasers and Vanilla ice cream again, never drink a good glass of red wine. Never lie in the arms of a lover, flushed and grinning, easing the cramp out of their toes.
All of the fantastic moments life can provide will never be realised. They will lie cold in the grave, over, done, forgotten about. And yes, we do forget, memories fade, the sharp pain of loss recedes. We remember the dead in an abstract way, but out of sight and out of mind. We, who continue to live, will grieve for who we lose, we will mourn their passing, but we will live, we will get over it, we will experience everything life has to offer us, good bad and indifferent. we will live on, we will have moments of high joy, and boredom, and grief, and delight, and anger and frustration and every other emotion that ONLY the living enjoy.
The ridiculous overblown nonsense posted on condolence sites is -in my view- an insult to life. Take Kath French's tribute page. Here are a few examples.
"Katy, may God bless you and keep you in his care. I can only imagine how you look now, more beautiful now that your an Angel...'

"RiP Katy Happy 2K8 even if its a lil late Hope ur bein looked after well up der Always in mii <3 xXx

"katy i never new you in person but your death has really saddend me . i hope one day when it is my time i'll meet u lot..."

"kathy u were a true star whogot the chance 2 shine on earth now shine in heaven!!! we all make mistakes but who are we 2 judg..."

See what I mean? You're in heaven, you're shining like a star, anything but what she is, dead. Can you imagine a vulnerable teenager reading that tripe and thinking ' look at the outpouring of love. if I killed myself I'd be famous, people would care. I'd get a tribute page. I'd make an impact.'
It's bollocks of the ugliest order. We need to stop trivialising death. No disrespect to clever teenagers, but a lot of teenagers are dolts. They look at things like this and inexplicably are mightily impressed.
Listen up kids and would be suicides. When you die you will never ever have another chance to make your life better, you will never become anything other than a corpse. Life is fleeting, is is fragile. Fight for it, make it your own, don't ever give up. Live it. Enjoy it as best you can and remember one thing, on your blackest day, wait, hold on, give it 24 hours, maybe the next day will be better. Maybe you can make it better. Call somebody.
You will never be an angel, you will never 'see' your loved ones again. Words on tributes pages are just that, words, they will never replace true love,a family, a beating heart, a future.
Fame is fleeting, death is eternal.
There are no second chances, this is not the time to gamble on an after life.
Make a good choice.
Live

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Christine Gallagher. False Prophet Suffers, but not stigmata.

Weeeeeeeee. I feel a burst of gleeeeeeeee.
Golly fools and their money are so easily parted. I think I might start up a religion of my own. Hubbard did it and he got spanking rich and what a laugh he must have had. Clearly the more ludicrous the claims the more gullible people prise open their wallets.
Might not work in Ireland though, we're becoming just a tad suspicious of snake oil peddlers. I may have missed the boat.
Observe.
From today's Indo
"RTE last night denied claims that a legal gag order had been placed on the popular 'Liveline' show over comments made about controversial visionary Christina Gallagher.

Callers were warned to tone it down on the popular phone-in programme on RTE radio yesterday after they spoke out against the woman, who claims to suffer stigmata, and her self-styled House of Prayer.

Liveline host Joe Duffy said callers would have to be careful what they said or risk being the subject of a lawsuit after several people rang the programme yesterday and spoke of their personal experiences with the self-styled prophet."

Several callers, including those who support Ms Gallagher, were responding to claims made in a Sunday newspaper at the weekend concerning the apparent wealth of the self-proclaimed "visionary" who claims to receive messages from the Virgin Mary.

The two-page newspaper feature, complete with photographs of a BMW, a sprawling mansion and pictures showing Ms Gallagher leaving a local DIY shop with a trolley full of household goods, claims she is living a life of luxury with a multi-million euro property portfolio and top-of-the-range luxury cars, despite not having any visible means of support or income.

Crumlin-based solicitor Donal Corrigan, who reportedly called the newspaper's claims "gutter journalism" was unavailable for comment yesterday and did not return phone calls when contacted by the Irish Independent at his office yesterday.

The newspaper published photographs of a palatial mansion in the seaside town of Malahide, north Co Dublin, where Christina Gallagher is reported to have moved into two years ago.

The €4m home, No 2 Abington, is set on 1.2 acres in the luxurious private estate set on manicured lawns with plush water fountains and sculptures. Well-heeled neighbours include former Boyzone star Ronan Keating and pop star Nicky Byrne of Westlife.

But House of Prayer supporter Fr Gerard McGinty claimed that Ms Gallagher is merely staying at the mansion as a guest "to get away from it all".

He denied she owns the mansion, an expensive BMW or a string of properties in her native Co Mayo as the newspaper and Liveline callers had claimed.

Ms Gallagher came to the public's attention 20 years ago when she claimed she saw visions of the Virgin Mary and receives regular messages from her.

Since then she has built up an empire of House of Prayer "churches" in America and Mexico as well as the original House of Prayer on Achill Island.

The Co Mayo centre now pulls in busloads of pilgrims, many from America, despite not having official Church status or charitable status."

To get away from it all, eh? What exactly is she 'getting away' from? Legitimate questions?

Donal Corrigan happens to be the old fraud's solicitor. But back to Christine, if anyone is interested in this scrote I'll pop her website up for you to take a gander. Think The Tom Cruise video said nothing? He ain't go nuthin' on Christine.
Here, knock yourself out. http://www.christinagallagher.org/en/

But I understand if you don't want to bother, it's the usual unsubstantiated mumbo jumbo bollocky poppycockery ALL frauds waffle on about (Right Sylvia Browne?). Nothing but broad guesses, nothing specific, lots of religious hocus pocus. (fuck me, you'd think the 'mother of Christ' would be able to give date, like 'Now Christine, God was saying last night that he'll DEFINITELY be sending a tsunami on Thursday, 3rd of Feb, so if you could just go on national television and warn all those people, cheers you're a peach.'
But oh no, that never happens, nothing that the great 'seer' can pinpoint as a fact. Why would she need to do THAT?
Fucking frauds, they're all the bloody same, they have nothing, they can produce nothing, all the can do is suggest and hope that something might happen SOMEWHERE in the world that they can go 'oh look I previsioned that.' (NCFOM)
They are the eunuchs of humanity.
Poisoned, delusional, empty, money and power hungry, thieves and liars, this succubus is no better than any other psychic/Reiki/animal telepath/fortune teller/snake oil peddler. They are show men and women, step right up folks, fill the coffers and I will feed you any lie you wish.

This old 'simple' fraud is one rich minnie, and no amount of bullshit can cover it. Have a look at this site and pay careful attention to he bold. http://www.unitypublishing.com/aug30_98.html

Everyone see that? Far from 'getting away from it all' Old Christine is simply getting it all. Another fucking leech, another vulture circling the weak and the faithful, waiting to pick them off, one 'vision' at a time.
I"m glad this mountebank is being called out on her swindle, I'm glad people are FINALLY opening their eyes to this sort of ridiculous trickery. It's easy enough for a crafty fox to claim she's receiving messages from the invisible head rooster in sky, the chickens will flock to her, then she can have her fill. But people need to stop being fucking chickens and start being... er, something else, but hopefully something not idiotic.

Visionary seers, I am AGAINST them.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I don't like fruit.



I have always found fruit dull and uninteresting. And sticky. And I hate sticky. However, I have a new and ingenious way of ingesting the wretched stuff into my healthy person. Behold the Breville Total Fruit Juicer! This baby set me back 59 of my finest euros, down from €99 in Superquinn.
It is noisy and slightly terrifying to use, but the outcome is yummy and it pulps the shit out of oranges, leaving a smooth delicious and -MOST importantly -nutritious drink. Washing and removing the pulp after takes no more then two minutes.
Tomorrow I'm going to put in a banana, two kiwis and a handful of strawberries and smoosh them into a drink. No more will I have to eat the wretched things.
Huzzah. Huzzah I say.

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Marriage, Weddings and Eloping.

I am to be a bridesmaid.
My oldest friend has set a date, her wedding is to be in June. Not next June-she informed me- but June 2009.
God help me. God help us all.
I mean that, this will be like a military operation. There are to be three bridesmaids ( all of us the same height-she said) a maid of honour, a flower girl. She has booked the hotel for the reception and is already planning what the chairs will be covered in. There will be fittings and tears and tantrums. I know this because I know my friend. When I told the Paramour that she had set a date, he raised an eyebrow. 'And what sort of tranquillizer will she be on between now and then?'
Quite.
What is it with weddings in this country? A few weeks ago the Paramour and I were traveling into town for dinner. Our cab driver was chatty and during the course of our journey he informed us that it was his anniversary the following day and that he was two years married. Then he told us he was still paying off his wedding.
'Really?' We asked.
''Aw yeah,' said he, ' 30, 000 grand it cost.'
'FOR ONE DAY!!' WE squeaked.
'Aw yeah, she said if she had to do it all again she'd keep it smaller, but sure we've loads of cousins and all...'
He trailed off.
THIRTY GRAND!!
Are people barking mad?

I mention all this because according to Brenda Power- sorry Sneezy- some footballer called Tomas O'Shea has married his girlfriend in a registry office. He did this on the quiet and only contacted his family and friend by text a few hours before hand and asked them to come. Then Brenda said something like, 'do you think this is a good thing or is a wedding not for family and friends too?'
Er, I would say weddings are for whoever is getting married. But I'm funny that way.
Surely there should be a middle ground. 30,000 grand is ridiculous. How stressful must that be? Who puts them selves in such crippling debt for one day? Why does getting married have to be so ridiculously expensive anyway? Who is it all for?
30,000 grand, 30,000 grand!
Another gal I know got married abroad for a fraction of what it cost here and everyone who went took some days or a week and got tanned and beautiful and rested in the days before the actual wedding. I myself went to a Scots/Catalan wedding in Barcelona, beautiful reception, wild good fun, terrible folk singing and again a FRACTION of the cost here.
Maybe that's what people should be doing, maybe it shouldn't be about the money and should be about the couple and their commitment to each other rather than if you've asked every second and third cousin.
I won't however be saying any such thing to my friend. She might kill me. It's only 17 months away, I know this because she informed me, while managing to convey that this is barely enough time to organise a dinner let alone a wedding.
I know it will be a beautiful day. It had better be or she'll kill it.
Hummm, pass me the Valium.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger has died.




Actor Heath Ledger was found dead at his Manhattan apartment in New York.

A police spokesman said Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the apartment, believed to be owned by Mary-Kate Olsen.

The housekeeper went to tell Ledger the masseuse had arrived and found him dead.

The 28-year-old Australian-born actor received an Oscar nomination for the hit film Brokeback Mountain. he is survived by his
family, including two-year-old daughter Matilda with his ex-girlfriend Michelle Williams.

Poor Heath, what a talent. What a waste.
RIP.

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The worst haircut, ever.

Yesterday's little fears over the decimation of Gingeros, or Carroticus Topimus, opened a whole slew of hair related tragedy within in my early rising, newly skipping, mentally fragile self. It also posed some interesting questions. Why does straight hair turn curly? Why do we dye out hair for years when our own hair colour is lovely? Why do we straighten, curl, dye, braid, perm, highlight terrorize our poor hair so much.
I am guilty of hair torture too. Terribly guilty. I have only to close my eyes and waves of traumatically shattering memories wash over me, unbidden and unrelenting. But one hideous memory scalds the most. And it was not one of my own making.

It was the summer 1985, and I was enjoying my 13th year on this Earth. I had-through no fault of my own- fallen madly in love with a four foot nothing boy called Gary who liked me as a 'friend'. He in turn was mad about some hussy girl from Coolock who didn't know Gary existed.
It was all a bit tense in our mixed group, hormones boiled, affections and fancying were rampant yet unspoken about, jokes could be cruel and the first sign of weakness could lead to the pack turning. Because of being the youngest I had to work extra hard to be accepted. I always felt unworldly and unsophisticated and slightly stupid compared to the 15 and 16 year olds who were my peers. A fringe performer, gamma to their alpha.
We hung around arcades, played 23 hours of space invaders a day, went bonkers as soon as the sun set and resisted until the last possible second commands to return home. I let Gary know I was in love with him by being unspeakably rude to him at all times and rolling my eyes whenever he spoke to me.
But no matter which way I played the 'notice me' game, Gary was oblivious to my charms. I wore items of clothing stolen from Gamma's second husband's chest, granddaddy shirts with enormous belts, huge v-neck sweaters that smelled of mothballs and pipe tobacco and hung to my knees. I wore rubber bangles all the way up my arm, I cinched my wast in with butterfly belts, I wore plastic button earrings, I wore one green plimsoll and one yellow at the same time, I learned all the lyrics to Thriller the album, including Paul McCartney's lines in 'Say Say Say'. I was snarky, I was charming, I told jokes, I was a fast runner, I could blow smoke rings without gagging, I could jump off the swings at a really high arc, I had the highest score in Space Invaders until some lisping Cure head beat it ( I was outraged and we played doubles until neither of us could feel our fingers) I was everything a boy could want...as a friend.
Seriously hampered by a lack of boobage and the inability not to blush whenever anyone made a joke about my 'affections' I had all but given up my love quest by that hot August bank holiday weekend. With little option, I decided to be content to trail in Gary's wake, punching him in the arms and ignoring him when he spoke.
Then fate stepped in in a most unique way. My terrier-a sulky beast who looked like Freeway from Hart to Hart, bit Gary's younger brother on the calf- well I say bit, he pretty much removed a fair chunk of Gary's brother's leg, terriers shake their heads a lot when they bite things, it can and did get nasty. Then Gary's mom gave out to me, then I cried, then Gary put his arms around me, then-realising this way my opening- I sobbed all the more- then that stupid bitch started to like him, because he was 'kind'. Then I plotted to poison her. But I didn't know how.
When they snogged behind the Wendy House I pretended I didn't care, but I ran home weeping tears of rage and jealously and heart broken anguish.
Oh it was like a Greek tragedy. Unloved and broken hearted I moped around the house, getting under every one's feet, recording broken hearted songs on my Casio recorder, writing heartfelt poetry the likes the world has never seen before.
'His arms are blistered by the summer sun.
I am undone.
His eyes,
wise and open
do not see,
this heart
now broken."
(the songs were worse)
Forlorn, dejected, miserable and rejected, I trailed around after my father sighing, waiting to be asked what was wrong, so that I could sag and reply, 'Nothing.'
But it was summer and my father was busy with things arable and so my misery festered and grew like a bacteria on a damp doody. Even Etheline,-who was a bundle of rage herself because our mother had enrolled her in piano classes with a harridan in WIcklow Town whose idea of teaching was to strike her pupil's fingers when they made a mistake- gave up trying to annoy me. I was unreachable, I was besotted, I was heartsick and weary.
But then my Greek tragedy turned into an Irish travesty. And the cause of this travesty was called Carmel.
Carmel is my mother's friend. She is also an amateur hairdresser. She used to go up to an old folk's home on the weekend and set and curl hair. Because most of those old folk were in comas and not exactly compos-mentis, Carmel's confidence in her hair dressing abilities exceeded her actual skill by light years, LIGHT YEARS.
MY mother- the lilac couch, the biological incubator- had her part to play in this too. Fed up with me sighing and not eating, she went out of her way to get to the bottom of my woe. Upon learning that I was 'too ugly for life' her solution to my wretchedness lay in convincing me, a lass with shoulder length multi layered glossy hair, that my style was too 'flat' and that if I- and get this- got a 'body wave' in it, it would look so much nicer and by extension I would look so much prettier.
Now at thirteen I had yet to recognise the passive aggressive fury with which my mother regarded her youngest daughter. Back then I just thought she was a mad furious pot clatterer who took a lot of tablets, and took little notice of her. I was unaware the reach of her deviousness. And thus, in my head this 'body wave' she spoke of only meant one thing. With unflat hair I would snare Gary without having to go to the considerable trouble of training the dogs to kill on sight the hussy who had vexed me so.
And so we went to Carmel's.
I should have known I was doomed when I saw the tiny tiny curlers. For what could tiny tiny curlers produce only tiny tiny curls?
I should have realised short choppy layered hair did not suddenly sprout Rapunzel like lengths when curled. I should not have allowed her to 'give it a trim' first I should have understood that Carmel wouldn't know the difference between a 'body wave' and a camel. She was my mother's friend was she not? Who the fuck knew what kind of legally prescribed drugs they were on, nor what they saw in their own alternate universe?
I should have questioned the length she left the 'solution ' on my tightly packed bonce. Her 'whoops, I nearly forgot about you' should have pre-warned me to the coming horror, as should the slight burning of my tender scalp.
She undid the curlers and I looked with growing stomach churning fear as each tightly bound corkscrew of hair fled her stubby fingers and retreated back to my scalp.
Then she blow dried it.
And that's when the full atrocity came galloping home.
I was a mushroom.
Tight densely packed curls rose straight up halo like from my head. I looked like the world's ugliest lamb. I was Sean Penn In Carlito's Way. I was Bozo the Clowns uglier unmade up sister.
I was destroyed.
'Well.' Carmel said hovering over my shoulder. 'It will relax a bit now in the next day or so.'
MY mother put down her tea and cocked her head to one side. 'At least it has a good sensible cut to it Carmel, sure it won't be long growing out.'
I said nothing, I was rendered dumbstruck.
I was a mushroom, and mushrooms don't talk.
Suffice to say it did NOT relax any over the next few days. It stayed tightly packed until my straight hair started to grow out, this enabled me to look both flat and curly at the same time, like some Lous XIIII reject. Also the solution fried the ends to a crisp, changing the colour so that I was a piebald mushroom. I stayed close to home for the reminder of that summer composing different types of poetry.
'Evil womb bearer,
sleep well
for soon
you will
be back
in hell
from Satan's side
you did appear
to torment and
torture,
through pain
an fear.'
The 'body wave' took eight months to cut out and when the final frizzled curl fell I was utterly scalped. Short haired. Boyish. But as luck would have it my boobs decided to grow, my face lost some of it's kiddish chub and my hair style suddenly looked gamine and stylish. My mother glanced at it one day and suggested I should grow it into a bob.
I nodded and smiled and ran back upstairs to my room. I took my birthday money from FatPig and got my father to give me a lift to the hairdresser in Wicklow Town.
I sat in front of the mirror, swaddled in towels.
'So what would you like me to do?' She asked.
I smiled. 'Take it all off please. A number one all over.'
'Are you sure? It's going to be very short.'
'Yes I am.'

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Government surveillance

Well, the good humour didn't last long.
According to Brenda Power, from March the Irish government are going to keep and store all our personal emails for a period of three years. They say they won't view the content of the emails, just the names of who sends and receives said emails, the size of the emails and the times they are sent or received.
Right to privacy? What might that be?

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Save the ginger!





Huzzah! It has taken 21 days, but finally I have fulfilled another of my resolutions. 7:30, chumlies, 7:30 I was up and squinting at the coffee press. That exactly half an hour before eight. Before!
Oh I know there are some of you sitting in work since eight going, 'so what? I do that everyday.' But to you I say ' all right, keep your knickers on. I don't.' ( Yesterday I didn't even wake up until 11:55. Admittedly I may have been in a mild coma, but still)
Now, on to matter most grave and serious.
Did you know that to be a ginger you must have a recessive gene? Did you? And that gingerism is under threat? I read that this morning (early) and almost Ashley Cole-ed (ran off the road) in shock and deep terror.

"The first online dating service exclusively for people with ginger hair has been launched in an attempt to save their fiery locks.

Redhedd.com could prove vital to the future of gingers, who make up about two per cent of the world's population.

Celebrities including Hollywood star Nicole Kidman and DJ Chris Evans keep ginger in the spotlight.

But, because they have a recessive gene, some fear it could die out within 100 years.

'The mission is to save redheads,' said website founder Steve Warrington.

'To do this we have to mingle them to concentrate the two genes that make red hair,' he added.

The site features polls and quizzes created by red-headed users and blogs on the day-to-day lives of gingers around the world.

Users can also buy mugs and T-shirts proclaiming the joy of being ginger. The US site could be a hit in Scotland, where about 13 per cent of the population – the highest proportion in the world – have ginger hair.

Charles Kennedy, the former Liberal Democrat leader who also sports a crop of red hair, said: 'The fightback starts here.

'Against the more gloomy predictions, I have taken encouragement from the fact that, although I am married to a dark-haired woman, my two-year-old son is defiantly red-headed.'

Could you imagine a world with no ginger? Would it even be worth living at all? No carrot-top? No Nicole Kidman, no Lohan, no Chris Evans, no doc Morris from ER, no Shaun White, no me.

What? I never told you I was a ginger? Well I was. I was ginger right up until three, then fate decided I had enough problems with having the mother I had and dimpled knees, so it changed my hair to a auburn, then a russet and now it is...well a darkish brown with a lot of red through it, lighter towards the end. Mongrel hair. Odd coloured according to the paramour, who can hardly talk with that beard of his. (Also I had straight hair when I was young, now it is not straight, not even a bit)
One of the most beautiful girls I ever met had bright red hair, ringlets and ringlets of bright red hair. I coveted it. I'd probably have cheerfully scalped her had it been legal to go about scalping folk. Of course she also had alabaster skin and amazing blue eyes.
The bitch.
So huzzah I say, thank god somebody has set up a website to save the ginger. I mean fuck it, they have breeding programmes for pandas don't they, the lazy leaf eating shits. Oooh, don't let the pandas die out. yeah right, screw pandas, if they're too lazy to mate that's their hard luck. We should be setting up- breeding programmes for gingers, especially curly gingers.

Also, did you know that this is supposed to be the most depressive day of the year? Debts, failed resolutions, cold weather, no christmas cheer left, doom gloom.
Pah! Poppycock. It's Monday, the start of a week, the beginning, a clean slate. Who could find that depressing?
I might go for a run. I might have toast. Maybe I'll juice something. I don't know what I might do. It's so early. So very early. But I won't be gloomy, oh no. For what? What good does that ever do? It's a new day, a new dawn (really). Had I a horse I might go galloping over the horizon, with a gilded lasso, hunting nervy red heads. But only for scientific purposes you understand.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

motivation for fatcats and possibly for chumlies of Fatcats!

Tuesday-15k 15k 15k, 15k 15k 15kaaaaaaaay. Oh it were cold and it were hard and it were a bit achy on my right hip, but it
were done.

Wednesday, wet- I did a soggy 5k look around the 'hood came home and performed some seriously poor attempts at yoga.

Thursday- looked at skipping rope, looked at ceiling, looked at rain. More yoga.

Friday- 20 push ups, 50 sit ups, 50 star jumps, another 50 sit ups. Am building jump box. It rained, a lot.

Saturday- I"m still in my jammies, but I've got a 10k planned for this afternoon. It's threatening rain, but holding off. Am bringing jump rope in my fanny pack. The 000 on the counter is starting to mock me.

A point of interest, the not drinking is causing my weight to drop. I'm no more active than usual, in fact due in no small part to the sodding weather I"m considerably less active than normal. So my one or two pound drop per week over the last three weeks is only due to my lack of alcohol (and possible helped along by my not eating cheese).
I am starting to miss red meat though. The paramour was scoffing a cheese burger+onions+relish the other day while I dribbled lemon over my cod fillet and I swear to marmalade, if he'd turned his back for even a second I've have snatched it and run off like a fox.
I have also purchased a Breville whole fruit juicer. Now to accompany my egg white omelette and slice of whole meal toast I can blend some fruits and make a good nutritious fruit drink-excellent for me as apart from bananas and plums I'm not a big fruit eater. Huzzah. Or something.
However tonight I go to the cinema to finally see No country for old men, and thus another alcohol free night shall pass. Yes I've been sleeping better, yes I have more energy, blah blah chee di rah, I'd have sold my soul to Memnoch himself last night for a glass of good red. Fortunately I got over it and then I felt better. I can't believe I was stupid enough to say I'd do this until the end of Feb-especially seeing as I LIKE drinking- but there you have it. My resolve might falter here and there but my stubborn streak will prevail.
Either way, I'm sure some of you are suffering slightly today and so to you I say 'RASSSSSP.' You may, if you feel inclined, return that rasp next Friday night when you're trundling off to the pub and I am sitting here chewing on my fingers.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Happy Ginger day Chumlies!



Golly, I love his humps, his humps, his lovely ginger humps.

Oh Gingerday, here you are again. What a strange day you are Gingerday, without the drink and the going out and the counting down and stuff. I just don't know what to make of you. Neither does Smurf. He fears he may have to take his children out of the private school my weekend takings were paying for and he's down to his last ruby tooth.
But as I am a little trouper, I feel duty bound to wish others a happy hooch filled Ginger day. I hope that they go out and drink and laugh and tee-hee and wake up tomorrow feeling less sprightly than I will be feeling because you see Gingerday, that's the only grenade I have left in my arsenal- I might feel slightly better than some folk tomorrow morning.
Oh Kapow.
Another reason for my befuddlement Ginger day, is that it has come to my attention that be-gingered stud and flaming love muffin Carrot Top might not be the au natural ambrosia as I had once thought. Now naturally I fought against this outrageous slur on my moist making rectangle Adonis, but then someone, who shall remain nameless -but you know who he is Ginger day and if you felt like doing a spot of karmic kicking I wouldn't let on I knew anything about it, a few ginger hairs visibly here and visibly there on that peerless booby should be enough to push him over the edge- sent me the above photos, and on deep and naked inspection I am irked to find he might be on to something.
Of course it could just be the camera.
Yes, that's it.
The camera. Everyone knows it adds, stuff.
Have a nice weekend drinkers and everyone else.

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The Fears of a Clown.



Well slap my thigh and call my lady patch Audrey. New research has shown that children are scared bloody witless by clowns. Who'd a thunk it?
From the BBC

"Children are frightened by clown-themed decor in hospitals, a survey suggests. How did the smiley circus entertainers become a horror staple?
Anyone who has read Stephen King's It would probably never choose to decorate a children's ward with clowns.

And it probably comes as no surprise to horror fans that a University of Sheffield study of 250 children for a report on hospital design suggests the children find clown motifs "frightening and unknowable".

It is the fear of the mask, the fact that it doesn't change and is relentlessly comical


One might suspect that popular culture is to blame. In It, made into a television movie in 1990, Stephen King created a child-murdering monster that appeared as a demonic clown.

King's It has sparked a slew of schlocky movies over the past 20 years, known as the killer clown or evil clown genre.

Examples include Clownhouse from 1990 where three boys at home alone are menaced by escaped mental patients who have taken on the identities of clowns they have killed; Mr Jingles from 2006, where a killer clown takes its revenge; and 2004's In Fear of Clowns, in which an artist with coulrophobia is stalked by a clown resembling one of her paintings.

S.I.C.K., Killjoy and the Camp Blood Trilogy are other low-budget examples of the genre. But perhaps the highlight is 2001's Killer Klowns from Outer Space, with the tagline "In Space No One Can Eat Ice Cream"."

Yeah yeah yeah, I don't think we can blame Stephen King at all, the reason used Pennywise the clown in IT is because he ALREADY knew they were terrifying. Although King certainly amped up the terror. Between the wind resistant balloons and the razors in the gums and the 'We all float down here' eeeeeeeeeeeek, damn you king, I want MegRyanFish to cuddle in terror.
But clowns have always been frightening and I'm not a 100% sure why, even as a youth I remember going to the circus and being relieved when they went out of the ring, sure they're funny when doing pratfalls and what not, but the laughter was always slightly strained and fearful.
The paramour has two great fears, people hiding behind things and leaping out at him screaming 'RARRRGH' and clowns.
(There was/is a place in Barcelona called Tibidabo, it's a fun park, where you can be chased by midget clown with knives. I know personally of one strapping man who was a near gibbering wreck after such an encounter)
Children often don't find stuff as amusing as we adults thing they will. Beautifully made wooden toys for example. We buy them for their worthiness, hand craftiness and clunky cuteness. We present them, beautifully wrapped, to excited children who rip open the paper and then oh so politely thank us-as their parents have thought them to do- before they hurtle back into the living room to play with Girl's World or the bright yellow plastic Tonka truck someone else who actually understands children bought.
But children have this one nailed and I am totally in accord with the mini people.
Clowns are scary buggers, me no likey.
Clowns, I am against them.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Street Violence, are we on a slippery slope?



I was following a case in the UK recently and the facts revealed yesterday are disgusting and shocking. It's a heart breaking case about a nice, good, family man called Garry Newlove who tried to stop a gang of teenage thugs from vandalising cars on his road. Garry was subsequently kicked to death.
HIs attacker Adam Swellings, who had downed nine pints of lager on the night of the attack, and two other gang members - Stephen Sorton, 17, and Jordan Cunliffe, 16 - are all facing life imprisonment after being convicted yesterday of Mr Newlove's murder. Two other youths, aged 17 and 15, were acquitted of the same charge.

And interesting note about one of the little shits, Sorton, "Sorton, who has a previous conviction for assault, kicked Mr Newlove, who survived stomach cancer 13 years earlier, so fiercely that his training shoe was later recovered from underneath the victim."

Jesus wept. Swellings through the first punch. Let's have a look at him.

"Adam Swellings, 19, who has at least 11 previous convictions, including assault, battery and restraining order breaches, had been arrested a week earlier for punching a man who caught the gang damaging his car.
He was remanded in custody for a week and faced magistrates on the morning of Mr Newlove's murder, pleading guilty to battery and common assault.
But despite protests by the Crown Prosecution Service, JPs allowed him bail on condition he stayed away from the streets of Warrington. Soon after the court hearing Swellhead, as he was known, gathered together other members of his gang to celebrate his release and was back drinking, smoking cannabis and causing trouble in Warrington."

I'm listening to Brenda Power as I'm typing and she's just had some chap called Jim Beecher from Cork City County Council on the line who-while perfectly aware of the problems and anti-social behaviour carried out by gangs-more or less admits he has his hands tied when it comes to dealing with gangs of youths, especially as people are afraid to name them, due in no small part to an expectation of vicious retaliation.
The lack of action then emboldens the gangs, fueling their sense of invincibility.

So what's happening? And more importantly, what's to be done? Asbos? Children's court? More Gardai on the beat? Some more slaps on the wrist?
Why are gangs so violent now? Why are they so fearless? Why are they so lacking in even the slightest scrap of empathy for their fellow man? Why are more youths carrying knives and other weapons? What's the root cause of the viciousness? What pleasure can a gang get from terrorising decent hard working people?
Where are their parents? Do they defend them? Or are they incapable of controlling their children? Or do they wash their hands of them? Everyday you open a paper there are more and more incidents of assaults and attacks and younger and younger people involved in these incidents. These young people, already violent and beyond the law surely cannot grow up into anything other than violent adults, who will then breed the next generation of thugs.
It's a sad state of affairs to feel fear in your everyday life. To live in a place where your home is your prison. But even a trip into town on a bus can open your eyes to just how yobbish our youth have become. Smoking, screaming, feet up on seats, swearing and blinding, it's unreal sometimes. Maybe we've let it slide as we wallow in the spoils of a Celtic Tiger. Maybe we've turned a blind eye. But as the injuries pile up and the attacks grow more and more lethal and cold blooded, we, as a society can ignore it no longer.
But what to do? Thats the question, the million dollar question. What to do?

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cruise Control Might Be slipping.



You've probably already seen this footage, but damn, he's a total looper. His emissions are probably higher than mine too.
Onwards to the first Scientologist Presidential Candidate!

UPDATE: It's been taken off youtube, yu still available on Gawker.
http://gawker.com/5002269/the-cruise-indoctrination-video-scientology-tried-to-suppress

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NCT annoys blogger.

Right, I'm off to bring my car for the NCT test. Frankly I object to this sort of malarky. Why do I have to pay the fucking government to have my car checked out? It's 5 years old for Christ's sake. Bah!
Also, how did that fucking creep Mitt Romney win his party's presidential primary in the US state of Michigan? Do people not fucking read? Are they unaware of his nasty-assed wafflings. Do folk not learn?
Crank crank crank.

NCT update:

Apparently my emissions are too high and I need to replace the rubbers on my clutch and brake pedals because it is a bit worn.
Now I have to go back before Feb 15th. Gah!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Carry a donor card.




I've got an organ donor card. Also the little box on the back of my driving license is ticked for multiple organ donation. If I am brain dead and on a life support machine, I want whatever bits of me that may be of some use to someone to be harvested as quickly as possible before they degrade(organs that are suitable for transplant are the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas corneas and heart valves). I want the hospital to know this immediately. I don't want them asking my paramour or member of my family-should I die before them- about it. The decision is mine. I made it with a cool clear head. I realise permission will still be sought before they starting cutting and removing pieces-assuming they are of use- but my loved ones know my wishes and knowing that should make their decision easier.
The number of people waiting in this country for new kidneys and other organs grows and grows. Personally I would be a big fan of people carrying an opt out card rather than a donor card as I imagine it must be terribly difficult to speak with a grieving family and convey to them how important it is to harvest the organ of their loved ones a quickly as possible.
Can you imagine having to ask the mother of maybe a child who has been struck by a car, or a husband whose wife has collapsed and is considered brain dead, if it would be okay to start removing bits and pieces? Even a perfectly logical person can be unhinged and hog-tied by grief and consider the actions of the hospital vulture like and predatory, and perhaps dither over a decision while perfectly good organs wither and die.
Unfortunately the waiting lists for patients waiting for transplants are still too long. People find the removal of organ from clinically dead people disturbing. We focus on the dead instead of the living. And it's a shame.
We all die, if we're lucky we die old, full, just after having sex and in our sleep. But the reality is that some of us might die young, some of might die in accidents, some of us might get a disease and need a transplant to carry on living. Some of us might donate, some of us might need a donation. I would like to know that somewhere out there someone might be in a position to help me or my loved ones some day, just as somewhere out there I might be able to help them.
Carry a donor card. When you're gone, you're gone, but your last act on this Earth might just save some one's life.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Puddy is like my old Ford Fiesta.



Having spent a goodly amount of time in my vets this morning with Puddy wailing like a car alarm in her prison/hell/traveling box, I return to my desk mildly deaf and poor once more. Puddy of course must be knocked out for her ears to be treated and I get to go through the usual panicky wait until my vet gives me a ring to let me know she has survived her anaesthetic.
But it occurred to me as a I sat in the waiting room reading some piece of used toilet paper called the Daily Mirror, that Puddy is rather like my first car, noisy, expensive to run, slow, guzzles fuel, is constantly breaking down, but much loved.
My first car cost me exactly 40 of my Irish pounds. It was a Ford Fiesta, it smelled of dog and it had moss growing on the windows. I drove it out of the yard from whence I bought it on bald tyres, with a leaky radiator and a hole in the oil compartment. I then proceeded to drive it up the duel carriageway, smoke billowing out the back, roaring like a Sabaru Impretza due in no small part to the holes in the exhaust pipe, only for it to pack up somewhere in Stillorgan. Once I'd pushed it off the road and stood scratching my head for a while I named her Bess and fell wildly in love.
After I'd got her going again-and the tap of a hammer to the starter motor soon sorted her out,-me and Bess spent the next nine months tearing about Dublin, taking corners on two wheels and generally having a wild good time. I drove her everywhere, usually packed to the brim with like wise chumlies. She had no radio so we carried a kitchen radio around with us, the glove compartment filled with batteries for our musical pleasure. We also carried oil and water for when she ran out/over heated. Then I bounced her off a tree on the NCR thus eliminating one of the two doors from the joys of opening and shutting. Some of the floor boards had rotted out, and if you drove through a puddle you either got soaked or the engine cut out. But I solved the soaking by covering the gaping freezing holes with some carpet tiles from a skip at the back of Des Kelly Carpets. Cobalt blue and maroon carpet tiles, tres chic.
Oh wot larks, we would pull up outside trendy nightclubs, sparks flying from where the exhaust pipe- now held on with blue baler twine- would be trailing along the ground. I would climb out first-'Hullu hullu' and then my passengers. One by one chumlies of all makes and sizes would exit Bess, making her the sturdiest little clown car in all the land ( I think 8 was the most we ever fitted in to her, but Country Gay is quite slender).
At 6 in the am she would fill up again and off we would tear, roaring down the roads, waving and beeping at other sweaty dancers, sparks a flying, moss glowing in the early dawn light ( point of interest, when I was in my early twenties I didn't actually drink, I was near teetotaler, IMAGINE!)
But like Bonnie and Clyde, Sean and Madonna, Sean Bean and every woman he ever thought he might marry, our life together was cut brutally short.
See, Bessie was failing, and I, being cash poor and mechanically numbskulled, was complicit in her demise. First the knob came off the gear stick, never to be replaced, then a huge bolt PINGED out of her as I was hooring down the M50 one day, I think it was one of the bolts that held the gear box in place actually. Then the clutch cable snapped, but I managed to replace that, then the brakes started to go, then the speedometre stopped working and it was at this junction I did meet the Gardai.
T'was a sunny summer day and I was hurtling through the Phoenix Park at a probable 60 miles per hour, windows down, kitchen radio blaring Leftfield on the passenger seat, puffing away on a fag. Cheerful as you like.
Due to the blissful time I was having I didn't notice the Garda car behind me, nor their flashing blue lights, nor the first blast of the siren they gave me.
I did notice the second and the flashing headlights.
I said 'eeeek' and pulled in, pumping the brakes furiously as I did so.
Eventually I rolled to a stop and I sat there clutching the steering wheel, wondering if praying would help or get me struck by lightening.
An enormous blue lumbering beast approached the open driver's window. It blocked out the sun.
'How are we doing there?' It boomed.
'Bleaarghghfully.' I squeaked, having never been stopped before. I cleared my throat and tried again. 'Fine thank you.'
'Did you not hear the siren?'
We both looked at the radio. I switched it off.
Clunk.
'Sorry.'
'Do you have any idea what speed you were doing there?" He enquired, growing bigger by the second.
And I had to admit I was stumped. I had no idea. I explained about the speedometer not working and as I did so a spider, who had been living in between the door's sealing rubber and the frame dropped down from her perch to take gander at what was going on.
The Garda looked at the spider, then looked at me, then looked at the car. CAREFULLY.
I aways wonder what it was exactly that tipped him off, was it the twine, the moss, the rust? See, I think if old fucking Charlotte had just stayed in her poxy weby palace I might just have gotten away with it. I AM charming when in trouble.
'Could you step out of the car please.'
But no, spiders are so nosy.
Either way, one minute later I found myself leaning my arse on the bonnet of the squad car with the squad car driver, as the Garda who had stopped me squeezed his huge frame into the driver's seat, ground the gears and shot away from the kerb in Bess to test her 'road worthiness.'
We watched as he picked up sped, we watched as he shot around the corner, tyres now screeching like the Dukes of Hazard, we watched as he picked up more speed, we watched as he disappeared from view, leaving only a trail of purple smoke (fortunately with the dodgy exhaust pipe we could still hear him as Bess roared onwards, the little engine that could)
'I probably should have told him about the brakes.' I said to the young Garda beside me who was doing a fine professional job of checking out my bare legs and tiny vest.
'Why?'
'You've have to pump them a few times, you know, to get them to work.'
''Aye' said he copping an eyeful of side boobage, 'you probably should have told him that all right.'
And so we waited.
After a few minutes, the roar increased and finally Bess reappeared, hurtling back towards Chesterfield Avenue at quite a considerable pace. I clocked her driver. He was ashen- faced and his mouth was set in a fierce teeth clenching grimace. He skidded around the corner and finally came to a juddering shuddering stop, complete with gravel tear from where he was forced to use the handbrake, inches from the rear of their squad car.
We waited. I gulped.
He did not get out for a moment. Then finally he put his hat back on, dragged himself free and came to join us.
He pointed a trembling finger towards dear Bess, who seemed to be listing slightly on on side.
'That fucking thing' said he, quite ungarda like, ' is a death trap.' He looked at his partner, pale and tremulous, 'There's no brakes.'
'Apparently you have to pump them.' said his partner with a smirk.
'Ah well.' said I, 'see I meant to-'
The first Garda's head swiveled in my direction and the words died in my mouth, never had I seen a man so haunted, so sure he had been knock knock knocking on Heaven's door.
'This is what you are going to do.' He said, jabbing a finger the size of a canoe into my face. 'You're going to drive that thing home, we'll be right behind you, then you're going to ring someone to collect it and scrap it. Are you hearing me loud and clear? I don't want to see that, that thing on the road again. If I EVER catch that thing on the road again I will arrest you, do you hear me?'
At this point I noted there was a tiny note of hysteria to his voice and knowing when to shut up for once I nodded dumbly. I was then ordered to appear at my local Garda station with a bloody cert saying poor Bess had gone to the great wrecker's yard in the sky.
Oh I was bereft. I missed her, like the deserts miss the rain.
But a few weeks later I bought another ancient pile of junk and I was off again. At twenty we think we are invulnerable, we really do.
I hope Puddy lasts longer than Bess. She might be old and break down a lot, but I can't replace her. As long as she runs smoothly the wrecking ball will have to wait.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

motivation for fatcats and possibly for chumlies of Fatcats!

Sunday-5k with the paramour. He was testing out his knee, hoping it would hold up so he could play a match on Tuesday. Playing matches is very important to the paramour, something about 22 men running after a ball and calling each other names appeals to his inner something or other.
Monday I ran a split. 5k with CG, and a further 6 on my own. It was during this I managed to tweak the tendon on my right foot, same place I was sore after the marathon.
So I took it handy for the rest of the week. On Thursday I spent half an hour doing bad push-ups and even worse yoga. I have neglected my upper body of late and it's starting to show. My weedy efforts at push ups are proof positive of my basic patheticness. Something will have to be done. Something.
Also I have purchased Deluxe skipping rope, complete with digital counter. Now I've been talking about buying a rope for quite some time, really from Memnoch's time to be honest, as Memnoch swore by them. Skipping was an integral part of his warm-ups and fitness regime and I have let THAT slide too.
My gym membership is nearly up and I am considering letting it go. Since I've taken up running I have less time to go to the gym and less inclination too. I am considering putting up a pull up bar outside and also investing in a set of kettle bells. Actually I can build a pretty decent home gym, based more on body weight and stamina than the rather regimented weight lifting I partake of in the gym. I haven't decided yet. I am mulling it over.
And also for Babs, how to start running.
Babs, if you're serious about the running buy yourself a decent pair of trainers. The rest of the clothing can wait, shit you can run in any old tracksuit, but the trainers are vital. I made the mistake of running in unsuitable shoes at the start and it hurt my knees, so don't make the same mistake I did. If you have time, contact these guys http://www.amphibianking.ie/ make an appointment and go get yourself properly checked and fitted.
Second, head out on your chosen day, have a route in mind, even if it's only a swing around the block, warm up, lots of gentle stretching and no bouncing and then take off at a brisk walking pace. wear a watch. Say to yourself you're going to jog for a minute then walk for a minute, see how that feels, if you don't feel at all bad, increase the jog part, say two minutes jog/ one minutes walk. Do this for your first time out. This is how I went from getting winded over 3k to being able to run a marathon. Slow and easy, increase your jogging time over the weeks and pretty soon you'll be running a continuous 5k. Once you can do that it's just a matter of adding on a kilometre here and there-depending on how far you want to run. Take it slow, listen to your body, expect the odd ache and pain as you introduce your body to a new sport, but not sharp or prolonged pain. Keep it up, run two or three times a week at least and hey pretso chango you'll soon be a runner.
Third, good luck and well done for embracing change. Ballsy, I am impressed.
Right, I've to have a shower and then to Tescos.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Ginger day Chumlies!



Guten morgen Chumlies! And Avast, another Friday rolls discreetly across my horizon. I have yet to peruse the papers and time is against me as soon I must go shower and head into town for a curious lunch with my Spanish friend. I say curious because she is on a diet and I am still off the hooch, day 11 now, day 11 and I am feeling pretty bloomin' good.
In case any retinas are still smoldering from today's photo, let me explain. I was going to post a pretty picture of my ginger love muffin Carrot top, but when it was up it looked all wrong for today's post. See, this post is actually an homage to Common Law, long term lady love to the Bearded One, (Gimmie, not Kim, nor Twenty) and as such the photo must be perfect. (Not that I'm saying Common Law is a muscly, walnut coloured She-ra, oh no. Nu-uh).

But she is awesome. See, I was tickled and slightly jealous of her no nonsense approach to the Gils of our doorsteps and the blithering excuses of our manly men, so much so that I practically squeaked with delight.

'You should have just told him to fuck fuck off.'

Eeee. So direct, so to the point. Like Gimmie I too would probably have been dribbling like a blatherskite should someone happened across my step. But no more. No longer. No, nope, never again*.
Next time I hear the click of my gate I will be waiting, no LURKING behind my front door today, just DYING to try that one out on any unsuspecting paper carrier. As soon as they bend down to shove adverts for cobble lock drives ways and fast food joints into my porch I shall open the interior door, leap into the porch and yell
'Didn't you see the sign saying no junk mail? FUCK FUCK OFF!"
Why? Because now I know ladies can have penises if we want, much like the good lady in the photo. Huzzah!
Huzzah for Common Law! ( who doesn't have a penis, but metaphysical balls of steel)
HUzzah!




*Although I still think I would rather like to have a button like Mr. Burns, that just releases the hounds. I've ALWAYS wanted one of those.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Being drunk is no excuse.

There are times, like when I read the stories like this one from the Independent, when I get to feeling rather stabby.
The little bollocks in question was drunk, and this is being used as a factor in his disgusting and violent behaviour.
Yeah right.
Bock the Robber had an excellent post earlier this week about how utterly appalled he was to witness a random an unprovoked violent act on a relatively pleasant night out, and how it threw him for a loop.
His reaction is the right one. He is right to be appalled, he's right to be sickened.
Gay, straight, male, female, black, Polish, American, lesbian, toting a Wicklow accent (fuck you Brendan O'Connor, you boring pig-faced troll) or indeed Brendan O'connor, everyone has a right to walk down the fucking streets of our capital and not be attacked by some jumped up little thug.
The fact that this little shit felt justified in his actions-hey, they're only queers, oops, well yer honor sorry 'bout that, but she looked like a fag-makes me very annoyed.
Where 's the hate coming from? Where did this 16 year old boy develop a hatred for strangers that do him no harm?
I'm going to take a wild and unsubstantiated guess that this apple didn't fall far from the tree. He wasn't acting in a group, and I accept a group dynamic can make even good kids get caught up in the swing of something they later regret. No, this kid acted alone, he approached these people, he demanded they identify themselves as his hated object, and then he launched into an attack, a prolonged attack.
This is unacceptable. The judge in this case needs to send out a very clear and concise message. It is not okay to attack innocent members of the public going about their lawful business. Being 16 is not and excuse, being from a socially deprived area is not an excuse, being poor is not an excuse, having a 'tragic' upbringing is not an excuse, being homophobic is not an excuse, being a vicious thug is not an excuse. Being an L plate thug is not an excuse and last but not least by a long shot, being drunk is not an excuse.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Animals, food, cruelty and us.



I have been watching a programme called' Kill it Cook it Eat' it every evening this week on BBC 3. ( I know I blogged about it before too) This Programme, for anyone who had not heard of it, shows the progression of the animals in question, from breeder to yard to abattoir to plate and includes a live studio audience who get to watch the slaughter and preparation of said animal. And also, should they wish, they get to taste the end result.
"The programme asks how these animals are raised, where they come from, and how they're killed and gutted. Should taste take priority over the welfare of the animal? And, ultimately, how young is too young when it comes to eating baby animals?"
On Monday it was piglets, to be made into suckling pig. Last night it was kid goats.
Now it is seriously disturbing viewing. You can see the little wee things being herded into the slaughter yard, gamboling and nervy, then they are stunned one by one with a bolt gun, then, still kicking, they are hoisted on to a chain and their throats are slit. As the blood gushed and splatters the walls, they kick their last.
It is gruesome and hard to watch.
But I believe if you are a meat eater-and I am- then you should watch, you should know from whence your food comes. You should know that when you sit down to a Sunday roast that what you are about to pour gravy over was one a young creature who had a mother and siblings and a life of its own, and that its life was cut short so that we might eat it.
I don't, I have to say, have a problem with watching slaughter, I'm from farming stock and I'm a meat eater, although I did feel bad for the age of the kids last night, it does seem awful because they are so young and so gosh darned cute. But mature goat meat is rather like mature sheep or mutton, vile. It is only when the animal is below a certain age that it is tasty to most palates.
It was however a pleasure to watch how these particular animals were raised. Not in the dark, not in tiny suffocating pens and not in pain or discomfort.
And this, not their deaths, is the point of my post today.
Jamie Oliver is hosting a show on Friday night on the wretched channel 4 which will highlight the condition in which chickens are kept and slaughtered. Expect footage of chickens being electrocuted and unwanted male chicks being suffocated.
The sequence is part of the TV chef's crusade to highlight the cruelty of battery farming, the show Jamie's Fowl Dinners, urges consumers and retailers to switch to birds reared under better welfare conditions.
Now top blogger and waiting supremeo Manuel has a link over on his site where you can register in an effort to improve the plight of our most eaten bird. If you have any interest in the welfare of our animals and food source it might be an idea to pop on over and sign.
As a meat eater I understand there is a level of cruelty involved the preparation of my dinner. Death is always ugly, and while most slaughter men do a quick and efficient job, there are some who do not. There is no need for any cruelty in the life of my dinner pre-slaughter house. The idea of animals packed tightly into cages, unable to turn, to sit, or to sleep disturbs me. The fact that some chickens from the moment they are born are kept in total darkness to keep them quiet is bothersome.
Eating an animal that has not had the chance to mature is against my better nature too. Yes there is a food chain, but where I stand on that chain is up to me.
Certainly over the last year or so my red meat intake has gone way down. I won't eat lamb or kid for that matter any longer, I no longer eat pork-except for rashers, which might also get the chop. I still like a good steak, but if I never ate one again I don't think I would weep. But chicken is a staple part of my diet-as is fish. However I now see clearly I have a very definite choice when it comes to what type of chicken I eat. And I will from now on be putting my money where my gob is. I will be seeking out only Irish bred chicken, nothing from Thailand or Asia where the standards of living for the birds is terrible, I will seek out free range birds where ever possible, and I will be taking more care and paying more attention to what and how my dinner was raised.
I will still eat chicken, unless that goes by the wayside too, and god knows anything is possible, but I will endeavour to remove my link from the chain of suffering some of these creature are subjected to.
I am not against using animals for food, but I am firmly against making them suffer before hand.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Stop bloody smoking. Your Health, my health, it is in our hands.

I watched that Fat Nation on RTE last night and colour me unimpressed.
'We're getting fatter', right right, 'it's because we eat more junk than we used to', right right right, come on get with the good stuff, 'we don't get enough exercise' erm, wither the informative stuff?
'Croke park hold 80,000 people, we could fill it four times with the amount of obese children in Ireland.' Okay, interesting.
'A BMI reading of....'screeech, hold up BMI? hardly a good way to test body fat, a person well muscled could easily be have a BMI showing him to be obese, why are they using such a poor example of reading body fat? Oh never mind, right right what to do about it all?
Oh?
Eat less processed food and walk to school, play outside. Erm, okay. Well thanks for that RTE, and super thanks for showing us the children in the fatcamps of America ($6000 a month!) and all those obese headless bellies. That was terrifically scientific of you.
It was a bit of a joke really. Nothing new to be learned or gleaned from the show. We're apparently going through a fat epidemic.
Le sigh. I'm so bored of it all.

So it was with withering tiresomeness I perused today's papers and stumbled across this in the guardian. I"ve added bold to the sections I found interesting. Also I am likely going to bore the ring off a few of you with my, 'stop bloody smoking' story at the end.


"People who adopt four principles for a healthy lifestyle can add as much as 14 years to their lives, a study revealed today.

Researchers found that not smoking, taking exercise, drinking in moderation and eating five servings of fruit and vegetables a day can have a huge impact on life expectancy.

Academics at Cambridge University monitored the health of 20,000 men and women aged between 45 and 79 from Norfolk between 1993 and 2006.

The study concluded: "The results strongly suggest that these four achievable lifestyle changes could have a marked improvement on the health of middle-aged and older people, which is particularly important given the ageing population in the UK and other European countries."

The research showed that a person's social class or body mass index (BMI) had no role to play in life expectancy.

The study, published in the journal The Public Library of Science Medicine, is one of the first to look at the combined impact of the four factors on life expectancy.

Participants, none of whom was known to have cancer or heart disease at the start of the study, were awarded a point for each of their four healthy behaviours.

These were determined as not smoking, not being physically inactive (defined as having a sedentary job and not doing any recreational exercise), drinking less than 14 units of alcohol (seven pints of beer) a week, and having a vitamin C level equivalent to eating five servings of fruit or vegetables a day.

After factoring in age, the results showed that, over an average period of 11 years, people with a score of nil - those who did not undertake any of these healthy forms of behaviour - were four times more likely to have died than those who had scored four.

The researchers calculated that a person with a health score of nil had the same risk of dying as someone 14 years older who had scored four in the questionnaire for engaging in all four healthy behaviours.

Smoking had the biggest single impact on people's health, with smokers 77% more likely to have died during the study.

Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables came next, with high vitamin C levels giving people a 44% better chance of being alive by the end of the study.

A low alcohol intake improved people's chance of survival by 26% and being physically active by 24%.
"

Eeek to the low alcohol intake. But I shall take it on board. After all I am in week two of the dry period and feeling rather sprightly. And alcohol, delicious alcohol is after all a poison, so perhaps less of it means I'd be less bloody poisoned. QED
The fruit and veg is also a bit of common sense.

But HELLO! There it is.
There's my old chum. I remember you!
Smoking is the number one destroyer of health, Numbero uno, the big cheese. If a person can cut out the filthy weed they are doing one of the single greatest things they can do for their body.
As an ex-smoker, five years and counting, I understand how daunting it must seem to do away with the crutch of a fag.
We smoke to reward ourselves, we are convinced that we are hooked on this really really strong drug nicotine, we need our cigarettes when we 're bored, stressed, full of food and sipping a coffee, or having just hoovered and washed the floors and fuck off I'm taking a fag break (reward)
Stopping smoking is not the hard part, nicotine believe it or not is really not that addictive a drug. It's pretty mild in fact. If you consider the side effects of not smoking most of them are psychological. You don't fall over and lie there shivering and sweating and shaking violently on the come down. Nope, you just carry on as normal, grouchily telling yourself you need a fag-convincing yourself you're suffering.
No no, the insidious weed had a far better way of staying with you.
It has you.
You tell yourself everything you want you to hear. You tell yourself you need will power, thus setting yourself up for the fall when your will breaks (denying yourself the 'beautiful fag'') You tell yourself from the get go that quitting is hard, thus immediately setting yourself a mountain to climb. You tell yourself loads of other people find it hard to quit too, thus arming yourself with friends and 'witnesses'. You tell yourself you LIKE smoking, thus doing away with some of impetus to stop, You tell yourself you'll cut back, thus giving yourself license to carry on smoking, you tell yourself you need them, thus giving them them more power than they deserve, you tell yourself you're a smoker, thus pigeon holing yourself into what seems like an unbreakable hold.
Smokers sometimes get very annoyed at me when I laugh about quitting. It's really not hard at all, I say, and they are outraged. They feel I am belittling their attempts and their struggles. But I am not. If you go about quitting smoking the wrong way then your attempt will be very difficult indeed. But if you go about it the right way then you too can give up a 30 a day habit in one go and never want another one again as long as you can be arsed living.
As with everything in life, the prep work is the key.
Make your decision. Do it. Ignore everything you've ever heard about giving up. Stop and listen to your body. What's happening to it since your last cigarette? Have you fainted? Vomited? Can you breath? Walk? Talk? Eat? Work?
If you haven't died and you can do normal things, then ixnay on the power of nicotine for a second. If you can do all of these things then lets see how much longer you can do it. If you have gone a day without smoking and you haven't died, let's consider something for a second, if you haven't died, or had any enormous physical reaction to not smoking then maybe, just maybe nicotine is not as powerful a drug as you were led to believe.
Second, I freely admit Allen Carr was a godsend to me, but not his whole book, one particular story which helped me above all others. It seemed a simple analogy, but this analogy is actually far from simple, this analogy was so visually powerful for me, that during the first few days of not smoking, every time I thought I had a craving I was able to conjure this image up and I laughed chumlies, I swear to you laughed at that craving.

The analogy.
Imagine if you will a dragon, small, thriving, powerful little bugger, living happily in your lungs. He's there right now kicking up a storm, decorating the place as he sees fit. Happy little chap, fat and cheery, getting his own way.
Now, this dragon lives on smoke, cigarette smoke to be exact. He's a hungry bastard and he insists on being fed regularly, some people feed him more often than others and some less, but either way he gets fed, and he gets bigger and more powerful as they years go by.
But what if, what if one day you decided enough was enough, you wanted your own lungs back, you decide he was getting too big for his britches? You decide the only way to get rid of this occupant was to remove the one thing that makes him strong, you take away his food.
Well as you can imagine he won't like that at all, he's going to kick up fucking murder. The first day he's going to storm about the gaff, pulling every trick in the books his knows, he's going to yank on brain cells and nerves, screaming for his breakfast, and when he doesn't get that he's really going to crank up the volume come lunch, and by dinner time he will be furious and trying his utmost to ge you to pay attention to him.
He's laying it on thick now and you're probably feeling a touch ropey, but you persevere, you decide you won't feed the little fuck-you think to yourself-because the moment you feed the little bratty bastard he's going to feel happy and strong again.
This battle might wage for a day or so, but what happens when you don't feed something?
It starves. It grows weak, it putters where once it roared, it limps where once it stomped. You're killing it. Oh you might get a few blows yourself, but you're killing it, and every time it tries to get your attention you think, 'fuck you dragon, go fucking starve.'
And starve he will. Because you have deprived him of the one thing he needs to live.

Now, I'm paraphrasing all over the camp here, but I found this for me worked above all other logic (fuck me, who doesn't know that smoking is bad for them, that never stopped me) and all other advice. For the first few days of not smoking every time I got a 'hey I should have a fag at this time' I"d counter with 'still there Barney? Fuck off. You're getting nothing. Ohhh weaker today aren't you ha ha.'
Chumlies four or five days after giving up smoking I awoke and went down stairs and made coffee. I was reading the news papers when it dawned on me. A shock! I'd forgotten to think of a cigarette for the first hour of the day. And that realisation that single dawning realisation was the beginning of the end for my poor old withered dragon.
I was no longer a smoker. I'd kicked that dragon's arse but good.
I still have my dragon, he's asleep, the little bastard, deep in a coma. He can stay there. I will never ever smoke a cigarette as long as I live, not through fear, not through willpower, which I believe is a crock and only makes you feel you're denying yourself something, but because I'm not feeding that little smoke loving fuck. Let the little bastard slumber on for eternity.
They are my lungs and I will decorate them as I see fit.
If you do give up smoking, at some point you will look around and wonder, 'how did I ever smoke in the first place?' I don't feel smug about being an ex-smoker, I only wish I could impart the sensation and relief of how I feel for having freed myself from a self imposed bad relationship.
If you can, and if you want, do give up. You won't know yourself in three months, you'll laugh, your dragon will slumber, your body will be your own again.
It is the single greatest thing you can do for you.

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