Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mena Bean Ui Chribin comes out swinging.

The elderly post mistress named int the Roscommon abuse case has come from her cornor swinging.
Observe, from the Indo.
"Yesterday, in a statement issued to the Irish Independent, Mena Bean Ui Chribin (81) said the State should not seek "to scapegoat" a private citizen to "deflect blame" in the case. "I did not provide any financial assistance whatsoever to pursue or maintain any legal action in this case.

"Any help I provided at the time to the family involved was given in good faith. I am since shocked to learn of the revelations that have unfolded," she added.

The postmistress also criticised the authorities in her statement.

"I believe that the State authorities must address their shortcomings in this matter and not seek to scapegoat a private citizen in order to deflect blame. In this regard, I am seeking legal advice and I will consider pursuing any or all legal avenues open to me. I will not be making any further statements on this matter."

Ms Bean Ui Chribin, who is involved with religious group Ograchas Naomh Papain in Santry in Dublin, had told health officials that the Roscommon mother needed support and not intrusive action."

Now I don't like the whiff of this old Biddy nor her organisation, but she has a point to a certain degree. This being Ireland, any conflation with the words Catholic and child abuse immediately gets our backs up. Mena, sticking her oar in where it shouldn't have been makes her a convenient pole for our angry lightening strikes.
The real culprit here is the health board who left those children in a morally bankrupt home, where they suffered year after year after year until finally one child, driven to God knows what kind of despair, made another serious claim that could not be ignored, and then the wheels of 'support' began to slowly grind again.
No, it would be very easy to lay the blame on a dislikable woman, but that would be wrong, a distraction, a smoke screen. Like the wizard of Oz the Witch is easy to deal with, the real monster is still behind the screens.


Friday, January 30, 2009

How Many Eggs is too Many eggs?

I've just had button mushrooms and a three egg/one yoke omelette. Side by side of course, not mixed. Etheline informs me that I eat too many eggs, ( roughly about 12 a week, but usually sans yoke) but I think that's hooey. Yesterday I had 30 grammes of porridge and skimmed milk ( yes, I weigh it, I am that sad), so it's not like I eat them every day.
Really, food should not be a complicated business.
But how many eggs is too many eggs and is that annoying harpy correct?


Dear Gene Simmons, or Dude from KISS.

Unless you want me to come over there rip that weird lizardy toungue clean out by the roots and ram it up your jacksy, you'd better stop FLIRTING WITH MY CARROT TOP!
Love and peculiar rock signs


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ted Haggard, Not Totally gay, but Totally in Denial.

Oh Ted, Teddy, Teddington, the more you skippity hop the more your Flatley like flailing amuses me.
Ted Haggard, as many of you may remember was the fire and brimstone preacher that once told Richard Dawkins to get thee behind me Satan, or words perhaps not quite as close to that effect.
Ted was a preacher, a fire and brimstone preacher, a family man, a god fearing man, with a phone line to the president of the united States and a mystical line linking him direct to the Lawd-ah!
Ted was popular, oh Lawdy yes he was! He could sell out large arenas with his stage shows, pacing the stages like a heavenly hyena. Ted was magical, he was God's Showman. He lifted his congregations to dizzying heights, feeding the religious fervour with raging sermons, condemning the SINFUL behaviour of people, casting dow-win those who rejected the lawd and his teachings. Ol' Ted was a preacher of the old skool, a man's man, rightful leader, head of his household by gum, a spiritual maverick with one hand on the bible the other...well actually the other playing reach around with a male hustler and a meth vial.
Now I know-ah what you're thinking. Wait, wait, where does the meth vile and the hustler come into the lawd's mighty works. Search me, but then I never did claim to understand the workings of the truly devout.
Old Teddington when caught out, did his godly best to explain himself-ah, first he lied. Then he lied some more ( it appears to be the way to go about this kind of stuff) Then he admitted he had 'fallen' (presumably onto the chap's winkle) and then before you can say 'repent' he was whisked away by some other preacherly dudes with dollar signs fading from the eyes and Christian forgiveness clogging up their sinuses.
They were gonna fix Ted, Lawd willin'. Fix him up and get that money making machine back on the road again.
But there are somethings that just can't be fixed. A love of cock seems to be one of those things outside the remit of most fixers ( I completely understand, Teddy).
Old Ted, feeling a bit miffed by the sudden parting of the sea of allies, tried various way to secure forgiveness understanding and funds from his clique, but holy cliques are god fearing righteous types and they won't turn the other cheek if they think you're admiring it.
Behold then, for what is the fallen arc-preacher to do?
Old Ted wandered into the wilderness of non public appearances. Lo he did cast about, battling invisible foes and Son of the Morning like urges and people who didn't really want to buy insurance from him. Ted struggled, LAWD did he struggle. Was he a sodomite? True he liked get jiggy with other men, but surely that does not a sodomite make?
Ted donned sack cloth and ashes, albeit well cut Italian sack cloth and the ash blended fantastically with his newly styled hair cut Andre the hairdresser convinced him to try out, the bouffant was so aging.
He tried to get jiggy with only his wife, he tried to council other dudes to avoid feelings of lust and unbridled sweaty oily rampant sex- if he could avoid it with his wife he could avoid it anywhere, right? And if he could avoid it so could they. And if they couldn't avoid it they ought to see him after and try some cuddle therapy, oh yes, that ought to be the next port of call.
And so it came to pass, Ted, the Lawd's number one spokesman did see the error of his ways. It was a road to demascus type bitch slap that forced his hand. Ted saw the light, he saw that the light was good, he saw that he had been worshiping the wrong lawd all along. Why of course he was going through rough times, of course he was misunderstood, of course he liked Will and Grace. He was...he was...
Suddenly the gilded gates opened and a choir of heavenly European drag queens did sing.
He had purpose again, fire in his belly and balls of steel. Fie upon his folly, a pox upon false gods. He did see the light! He did see it glow. What a fool he had been, why had knowledge forsaken him so long, why had be been so forsooked? There could be only one, for was it not written, 'I am the lord thy god, let there be no god before me.'
And lo Teddy did rent his ash cloth and turn his u-haul round. He put the pedal to the metal and as each mile passed beneath his fiery wheels, his heart, once so heavy and drab, sparkled and shone with love and serenity.
"Oh Lawd, I was lost, but now I am found.' Ted shrieked, tearing into the television studio car park on two wheels, the light of life keeping the uhaul on the road behind him. 'Your prodigal son has returned, the sheep has found his way back to the flock! Rejoice, Rejoice!'
And the mighty studio doors did swing open and a chorus of make up artists and sound people did bow as the one true god stepped forth from the shadows.
'My son, happy is the day you made this choice.'
'God, forgive me, I should have seen it sooner, but I was blind, too blind to see.'
A hush fell over the assembled mortals.
'Ted Teddington,' The god said, 'Yay though you have wondered far in valley of the shadows of Utah, no evil have you felt, for with your rod and my staff we are one again.'
And Teddy did weep, and Chrissy the sound engineer fell backwards in a dead faint.
God clapped. 'Now, slaughter the fattened calf!'
There was an awkward silence.
Bowing and scraping, a minion crept forwards. 'And for everyone else, your Godliness?
'Oh right, they gotta eat too, finger food and teeny tiny sammichs.'
And so the minions did scatter and Ted Teddington, with his homosexual attachments and new haircut did rise once more to sit at the right hand side of Her most highest of Hosts,


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fat, Fit, BMI, Folly, Guesswork, Smoking, Weightloss.

Better than BMI, not nearly as good as not smoking-->

I have long poo pooed BMI ( Body Mass Index) readings as anything more than guesswork. It's a 'guideline' I suppose, but hardly a good one. Most of the bigger dudes in my gym would be classified as having a high BMI, yet none of them are carrying any excess unhealthy weight. A pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as a pound of fat, so you cannot rely on scales to work out fat in a body.
Healthy and weight don't always go hand in hand. Some of the runners I know would be told to eat more if judged on BMI alone, yet their streamlined shapes are exactly what is required for their sport and none of them strike me as unhealthy either.
I know some folk that work in fashion and have delightfully low BMIs, hurrah! Of crouse they only eat cigarettes and only drink coffee and nibble on sushi if they feel faint headed. Healthy, nope, but look look, their BMI is so rosy!
BMI takes nothing into account other than height to weight ratio, and the margins are pretty vague too, there can be as much as twenty pounds or as little as one pound difference between 'frowned upon BMI' or 'Thumbs up BMI'. What a load of hooey.
Short of getting immersed in water and callipered to within an inch of your life, the average person can quite clearly see if they're carrying too much weight by stripping off their clothes and standing in front of a full length mirror in good natural light- I do however like the shape chart as a guide. This looks to me to be far more accurate than BMI, even though it's hardly completely sound either.
I'm wittering on about this because I had to waste twenty minutes this morning talking about BMI with someone obsessed with it( due in no small part to their doctor's rather outdated views)
This person has given up smoking of late and has put on a few pounds ( it's not Gimmie, he's svelte as a greyhound) This has led the doc to witter on about BMI and unhealthiness. I suggested the fact that they no longer smoke thirty fags a day surely had added IMMENSELY to their health, and that pounds gained can be removed as he gets fitter and fitter. I said one can get fitter much easier when one is not fucking up one's lungs with the millions of poisonous chemicals.
But no, all of this fell on deaf ears, it was the sodding BMI that was all important.
BMI, I find I am against it this morning.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Father Question. Roscommon Abuse Case.

I wondered what was the situation with the father (or fathers) of those poor children so horribly abused in Roscommon. I knew there had to be more to it than had been released. Twenty Major has a link and a post up that pretty much confirms my suspicions that what we know so far is only the very tip of the iceberg.
My god, what the hell were the HSC or WHB doing that they allowed this to go on for so long?

One thing. As Conan pointed out in Twenty's comments, this case is ongoing. Please be sensible if you feel the need to comment. Most of us don't know anything more except what is already in the public domain. That is upsetting enough, let us not add arms and legs to it.


Screw you Four Star Pizza!

Damn you Four Star Pizza! You have made me agree with Tom Dunne, he of the nervous titter and torn coat.
Your spokesperson is a wally. Staying in is NOT the new going out, any more than standing up is the new sitting down. Saying so just makes you sound like a tool.
Stupid soundbits that make women agree with Doctor Hibbard like Radio presenters. I am AGAINST them.



Generally speaking I fear no man or woman. But this morning, as the grey clouds unleash one wave of rain after another on my office roof I find I am nervous, nervous as The Marklar when faced with a shoe he may or may not have walked past one million times before.
Why my anxiety? Because it is not yet gone eight am and already my friend has been on the phone, and YES she's running behind. I try to not panic. She's panicing, I'm going to avoid fight or flight. I can do this Melvin.
Yes, I know what shop she is talking about, yes I know the make up person, yes I WILL be finished my work in time to meet her, yes, I'm happy to trail about shops looking for the perfect dress to wear ( and I will be wearing it as will four others) No, I don't know where that shop is. No I've never head of such a thing., I did not know that. Is peacock a colour? Who can say? I'm sorry I don't know the difference between those two materials? In a sash? Wait! There are sashs?? I haven't cut my hair, I swear! Ring who? Your sister? MY sister? Why would I ring her? Oh, which sister? Oh that sister. No I don't know where that is? Yes I live here. No yes, no, yes, no yes....argh.
The Tasmanian Dust Devil will be married this year and one way or another I refuse be the one who has the stroke. Refuse I'm telling you. I have until midday to ingest whatever it is that stops strokes and melt downs before the occur. Whatever that might be.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear Jessica Simpson

Unless you are applying for the role of Dog The Bounty Hunter's next wife, this is probably not a good look to be sporting.
Yours, with namaste styled affections,


Guilty by Association.

Up until a few weeks ago the only thing I knew about Tony Quinn was that he ran those expensive Educo Gyms and sold lots of powders in cans that have pictures of muscle folk on them.
But as woo would have it, he seems to have been popping up all over the place of late- even to the degree of having his very own an anti cult protest(!).
Anti cult eh? This of course sparked the eyebrow of cynical raising, the Fatcat sonar if you will.
It appears the dude or Guru Tony if you will, has been hosting extremely expensive seminars in exotic locations where clients can go along and work out how to unlock the secrets of their minds. For a not inconsiderable fee el Tone will 'splain to you why and how you need his guidance to make the most of your life. Once your inner something has been released or 'splained to you, you can then return home and use his teachings to guide you through the pitfalls of life the rest of us mere mortal must navigate Tonyless.

Quoth model mum and stylist and somebody I'd actually never heard of Lisa Fitzpatrick.
""I think it's a case of whatever works for you. Some people go to fortune tellers and if that works for them, I'm all for it.

"If someone wants to read into angels then let them on and if someone else gets help from Tony Quinn's seminars then it can only be doing good for them.

"I would never put down anything whether it's Reiki, massages, acupuncture or Tony Quinn's methods," she added.

And given that Lisa is about to launch her own Style and Body academy, she's all about building confidence from an early age.

Quite. Angels. Reiki. Fortune tellers. Oh my.

You can read the rest of Lisa's path to spiritual enlightenment here.

(I particularly liked how model mum Lisa can now talk freely to those pesky college educated weirdos, thank to Tony's motivational stewardship. Nothing says self help success more than being able to tolerate college folk.)

Anyhoo, never one to pass up a story, the venerable Sunday world did a look see on El Tone's unlocking ways. The story with photos can be read here.
You can read it yourself, it's quite entertaining.
Now it's hard to know what to say about this kind of thing. I'm am always reminded of Gamma's line about fools and their money whenever I run across the woo laden. And yes, my personal view is we're dealing with a sophisticated form of woo here. Energies? Auras? Hypnotism? Expensive retreats? But there again if people are willing and indeed eager to part with their hard earned cash and get a tan in the process, who am I to get sneery with it?
I remain HIGHLY sceptical though, normally when it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it's a god damned duck. And you can find ducks on any old pond, not just expensive sandy sun kissed lakes.
I will slot this one under 'Questionable Duck hunting.'


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Leaving My Lover over a Slap Chop.

"You're gonna love my nuts" Yep, oh yep indeedy.

When the paramour asks, 'But Cat, why? Why would you even consider leaving someone like me, for god's sake woman, I make you breakfast on the weekends!' I'm going to grab him by his locks and scream, 'SLAP CHOP! THAT'S THE WHY!!"
I'm telling you, it's not normal to be so fascinated by something like he is fascinated by Slap Chop. He sent me a link to this contraption last week ( think of how much chopping of things we could do), on Saturday when we went to buy soup spoons in Stock he let out a squeak when he discovered a Master Chop in store. But when I suggested he buy it-since he's so fucking gobsessed ( yes, gobsessed) with all things slappy choppy- he guffawed and said- I shit you not- 'Hu-ho, no way Cat, you see only the Slap Chop can be taken apart and cleaned. Nope, it's got to be the authentic Slap Chop.'
This morning he admitted to dreaming about the Slap Chop, where upon I promtly started eyeing up the the rental section in the weekend addition, over bacon and eggs and coffee that he had made.
If I hear one more word about the Slap Chop I will scream.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Babies and Nursery Staff killed in Belgium Attack.

Jesus, this story is horrendous. Why babies? Why on earth would anyone do this? They're saying he is from a psychiatric hospital, but if so how was he out and about is he was that dangerous? Poor defenceless little things. My heart goes out to their parents. Imagine getting that call? I can't even begin to imagine their agony. It's so cruel and heartbreaking.
I need a dandelion break very badly today.


Human Engineering.

Oh how I wish he was on display!-->

I am going to try attend this over the weekend. Looks fascinating no? Anyone else going along?


The Roscommon Response.

"How could this not be noticed or seen?" Judge Reynolds asked. "Why did nobody do something? These children were failed by everybody around them. No right-thinking person could or should stand idly by and watch without doing anything."

It's interesting to read the fallout- or the start of the fall out- from the Roscommon case I blogged about yesterday. Interesting and a bit shattering. Judge Miriam Reynold's questions are good ones, indeed the most apt. Why did no one do anything?
This forty year old woman had family, the children went to school, the HSE were involved from very early on, the patrons of the pub she drank in most nights would have known her mothering skills were lax.
Yet no one did anything about it.

"Yesterday locals in the Roscommon village where the mother (40) subjected the children to six years of depravity admitted that "everyone knew" the children needed help but nothing was ever done to help.
" ( Irish Independent)

If that is true, and I can see no reason to believe it is not, then I hope a lot of people stand before a mirror today and look themselves in the eye.
I've said before on this blog that it's hard to step out of the herd, it's hard to kick up a fuss. Most of us just want to live and let live, make sure we don't rock the boat too much as we make our journey through life.
But there comes a time when as decent human beings we must be prepared to speak out when we know in our heart of hearts someone is doing wrong. Especially if the wrong doing involves children.
Of course nobody wants to point an accusing finger at an innocent person, nobody like to be the lone voice in the twilight, but fortitude and valour are not flaws. Being compassionate and brave enough to put other's suffering before your own fear of mistake is not an ill judged cause.
If only one other person had stepped forward earlier, maybe those children could have had some years shaved from their torture. If only one person had reared up and said they would not cease until that dreadful woman was fully investigated. If only the school where the children attended- cold, riddled with lice, in ill fitting clothes, with all the behavioural signs of breakdown- had intervened. If only the WHB had challenged the High Court Order. If only Mena Bean Ui Chribin had stayed her hand and kept her nose out of the WHB business.
A lot of 'if only'.
And none of it makes the slightest difference to the lives of six vulnerable children who were so badly let down.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, if that's the case this particular village is guilty of neglect.
I hope those children find some peace in their futures. I hope for their sake the can move beyond this terrible start to life. They deserve a chance. I hope lessons have been learned from the whole sorry saga. But I can't help feeling we'll be all sipping our coffees and shaking our head at some other travesty in the near future. Unless as people we are unafraid to speak up before the fact and not after, that possibility is always likely.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

There's Nothing Brave About Being a Bad Mother

When a man sexually abuses his own child it's abhorrent and despicable to us, we recoil at the idea that a parent could harm their own flesh and blood in such a manner, but when a mother does it -for me- that's even worse. I don't know why I feel that way, I just do. I feel if you've carried a child within you and given birth to it you ought to love it and protect it with every fibre of your being. I'm not saying fathers feel less love or protectiveness for their own children either, but just that mothers, well mothers should be mothers.
The case of the woman who abused her six children in Roscommon is awful, what those poor kids when through is horrific. The statement made by the son she sexually abused almost had me in tears.
That poor little fellow, he'll never be the same again.
The news emerging that a right wing Catholic organisation delayed the removal of those children is alarming to say the least and I expect over the coming days there will be a lot of anger directed towards them and question asked about their role in this mess.
But being a bad mother is not just about physical or sexual abuse and as usual the Daily Mail has managed to do what two cups of strong coffee could not and jar my sleepy self into a wakefulness. Cross wakefulness.
Reading about this sort of shit in a way is just as upsetting as reading about the Roscommon case. Not because this woman Shelley Price has physically abused her child, but because she is emotionally abusing her and because the stupid bitch can't keep her big mouth shut about it.

Shelley is about to admit to one of the great taboos of motherhood. No matter how hard she has tried, she says she can't bring herself to love her elder daughter, Catherine.

'I know what people will think. Everyone will hate me. I'm the woman who doesn't like her own child. But I'm speaking out because I'm convinced I'm not alone,' says the 33-year-old.

My heart goes out to the poor little girl in question. How horrendous must it be for her to know that her mother has to force herself to be nice or interested in her, how painful must it be for a little girl to seek affection knowing it is conditional. What about this girl's development, her self worth, her confidence, Jesus, her happiness?

"When she wasn't well with teething and tummy aches - all the normal things babies go through - I took her straight round to my mum. I couldn't get rid of her fast enough.

'I would never have let her come to any harm, but I didn't want to deal with her myself."

I'm sure Shelley Price would be horrified at what went on in Roscommon, she might read it and ask 'how could she?' Well I'll tell you something, I don't feel any less disgusted by Shelley Price and her 'brave admission' than a woman who forced her teenage boy to have sex with her. They're both guilty of damage, both guilty of putting their own fucked up wants and needs before that of their children. They are both guilty of abuse. The only difference I can see is that one woman has admitted to her monstrous behaviour and the other is still dressing it up.

UPDATE) On the Roscommon case. Oh the hateful hands of interference.
"Senior childcare workers with HSE West told the judge that on September 30, 2000, a voluntary agreement was reached between the health board and the mother, to have the children cared for by an aunt and uncle.

But the mother had become involved with "a right-wing Catholic organisation" to finance and support her going to the High Court to get an injunction restraining the Health Board from acting.

The mother personally moved the injunction at the High Court three days later, Judge Reynolds heard.

HSE West childcare manager Paddy Gannon said that after she obtained the ex-parte injunction restraining the Health Board for carrying out the care arrangement, she personally presented it to childcare officials in Co Roscommon.

"It was a bolt from the blue," said Mr Gannon.

"The Health Board was prevented from moving the children from the home as part of a care plan."

Mr Gannon said that around the time of the High Court application, he received correspondence from Mina Bean Ui Chroibin, stating that it was support the family needed and not intrusive action by the health board.

Mr Gannon intimated that he believed Bean Ui Chroibin's organisation was behind the application to the court, but he had no evidence to that effect."

LIke I said over on Twenty's site, if this is true and this woman stalled the removal of those children I hope Mina Bean Ui Chroibin is feeling proud of her involvement today.

"A Co Roscommon mother-of-six has been to sentenced seven years in prison after pleading guilty to incest, sexual assault and neglect of her children.

At Roscommon Circuit Court today, Judge Miriam Reynolds said she would have given the 40-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, a life sentence had she been a man.

However, Judge Reynolds said she was restricted by the terms of 1908 legal act, which carries a maximum seven-year sentence for incest cases involving women.

The woman had pleaded guilty to two counts of incest committed in June 2004 and on a date unknown between July and October 2004.

She had also pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual abuse against a son on the same dates and to neglecting and ill treating each of her six children from 1998 to 2004." ( Irish Times)

Wow, seven years for a lifetime of misery. That's a messed up ruling right there- albeit the only one the judge could hand down.The 1908 act clearly needs to be reviwed.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Arrest me Officer, I'm guilty of twee in the first degree.

The 25-year-old genetics student from Aberdeen University can play the fantasy fireman, serve as a "buff" butler, sexy soldier or even a revealing James Bond. But it is his portrayal of a peeling policeman, Sergeant Eros, which has placed him unwillingly at the centre of an extraordinary spat between the real-life boys in blue and their political overlords.

This made me laugh out loud, frightening myself as I was rather grumpy before hand.

"It was the 22nd time Mr Kennedy had appeared before the bench since his first arrest in March 2007 and he has spent 123 hours in police custody. Since his first brush with the law he has faced charges including possession of an offensive weapon – his truncheon and a fake CS spray – and allegedly fitting a flashing light to his car.

But so far none of the cases brought against him have yielded a successful prosecution and with two further court dates pending, there is mounting anger over claims that the legal actions have cost some £170,000 of public money and have risked turning the police in and around his native Aberdeen into a laughing stock.

The latest followed his arrest while driving home from Aberdeen's Tiger Tiger club dressed in full uniform. He said he had been forced to flee the nightspot fully clothed after being threatened by an angry boyfriend."

Oh Sergeant Eros, what a big truncheon you have! Oh honestly, you'd have to imagine in this day and age, what with crime being rife and all, that police might have more to do with their time than arresting a 25 year old stripper, preventing him from warming the cockles of his audience.
Seriously. No seriously.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Motivation...somewhat lacking.

I was telling Kim the other day that folk in my gym looked decidedly glum and much put upon at the moment. Chumley Finn wants to do nothing more than curl up around a good book and pretend the outside world has fallen off a cliff, and I have insomnia.
I can't decide what gives exactly and find myself asking whence the energy vortex? It's got to be a January thing, no? A natural lull in energy levels, a post Christmas crash of sorts. I noticed it out and about this morning, folk looked not grumpy per se, but tired, deflated, we all seem that bit jaded.
As another day stretches out before me, and my egg white omelette settles boringly in my stomach I find I am swaddled in ennui. I must work for a few hours, I must attend the gym around 11:30 to make my 'can't really be arsed' legs run for 10k, I must return home and have lunch, then kick a cat out of my chair and work some more. Then I've got to go to bloody shops. Then dinner, then work, meh, same old same old.
Anyway, I was being all 'meh' and 'oh woe is me' and 'wah I'm tired' when the Paramour sent me an email about a friend of ours. Without going into a huge amount of detail, the email was sent to him from the wife of a friend of ours who is in hospital in a foreign country. Her husband, our friend, had a particularly nasty accident just before Christmas, resulting in a serious head injury. In her email, this lady expressed delight that our friend could come home for a few hours from hospital, and that he could read long sentences again, that he was learning to cook again. That although confused he was starting to remember things said to him five minutes beforehand.
I read it, feeling relieved, feeling ashamed, feeling like a bit of a divvy.
Yes January can be a bit of a chore; yes watching what you eat can be tedious; yes, working can be arduous; yes going to the gym can be a pain in the arse sometimes. But I can do these things without thinking. There is nothing wrong with me. Apart from being a bit tired I am robustly healthy. I can decide whether or not to mope or metaphorically kick myself in the arse.
Today, I believe I will kick my self in the arse. Because, really, it occurs to me that it's not such a bad day after all.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Sex Education and the Curious Young Adult.

Apropos a rather toe curling and terrifying talk with Gothy about sex over the weekend, I can reliably inform you I am riddled with insomnia and questioning the wisdom of not drinking hooch when I clearly need a stiff drink every now and then.
How horrible to be young, how horrible and how marvelous. How exciting and fearful and dramatic and foolhardy.
It's hard to impart information onto the young about matters sexual- or indeed any other matter. On the one hand you want to wrap them in cotton until they are about thirty, ignoring their cries for freedom and independence by sticking your fingers in your own ear going 'la la la laaaa la' or offering up useful claptrap ala the Lilac One. 'You needn't think you'll be staying here when you're older'( sum total of the Lilac One's residential help to a fifteen year old Fatcat) and 'You better not come back here pregnant' ( sum total of Lilac One's sex talk)
On the other hand the adult must accept that an informed youth might take better care of themselves and not be afraid to talk to said adult should the need arise. But of course you also don't want to be too condoning lest they get the wrong notion, while simultaneously constructing a bridge so that they feel they can come to you.
It's like walking a tightrope, a terrifying scary tightrope where one false move could result in an STD, an eating disorder or an unwanted pregnancy or...I don't know, a whole other plethora of things that keep people awake at night.
'Honestly Gothy, you should really wait until you're absolutely sure you are with the right person.' I finished my talk on birth-control, dribbling weakly, pathetically sound biting my way to la la land.
Oh what crap. Teenagers, rampant with hormones, are incapable of hearing the underlying message which is to an adult no one is the right person unless you're over twenty-five and serious about shit and have had your heart broken by a fucking idiot and you've learned from it and anyway you're NEVER going down that path again....
I suppose it helps that my relationship with Gothy is such that she feels she can ask me all manner of questions about S.E.X. She thinks nothing of springing eyebrow twitching lines on the unsuspecting Fatcat. And it is good. Too long have teenagers waddled about in the mire thinking that 'pulling out' = birth control or that STDs are things that happen to other people. It's invaluable to be able to speak to a calm cool headed adult who will tell them what's what, even if that calm cool headed adult lays awake all night twitching and worrying about STDS and unwanted pregnancy and how to make a time machines that might send youthful young women back to a time when their biggest concern was whether or not Buffy would make it back from the dead. ( wot weeping).
Thinking back over my own sex education I was alarmed to find I didn't really have any, well none other than 'don't come back pregnant.' I knew the mechanics sure, but that was it. Nobody explained anything else, there was no talk of emotions or orgasms, the clitoris,( what a surprise find that was, like being in the Bond car and asking 'Say Sport, what does this red button do?) STDS, Chlamydia, cervical cancer, thrush, curved penis' hymens or any of the other things a young woman ought to know about. There was no chats about how not having sex might be AOK, how having sex ONLY when you're mentally ready and not because all your friends are doing it is AOK. Nothing about sex was AOK. And as a result it was deemed dirty, sinful, and topic non gratis with anyone who might set you on the straight.
I can't have that with Gothy. As much as foot cramp pains me, and as much as sleep eludes me, I do solemnly swear I will be that fountain of good information. I will attempt to guide, steer and chart courses through the murky waters of the fledgling sexually curious woman. I will not harangue and use stupid expressions. I will try to be realistic and forthright without being overly permissive.
I will sleep again, some day.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Crime Pays Rather Well.

I do not understand the judges in this country at all, they seem to be very lenient on thieves rapists and all round fuckers, and harsh as hell on people who come before them on minor misdemeanors or crimes that harm no one.
Observe from yesterday's Evening Herald.

"A HANDBAG thief who specifically targeted women out enjoying themselves in pubs has said she turned to shop-lifting so she could feed her serious drug addiction.

Kathleen Joyce (24) went "on a rampage", said a District Court judge, and took "bags, money, everything" from innocent female customers in numerous pubs and restaurants.

Joyce's behaviour was "absolutely frenetic" over a short period of time, agreed her lawyer Fiona Brennan.

Joyce, with an address at Annaly Close, Ongar, Dublin 15, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to 19 separate charges, most were theft, handling stolen property and failing to appear in court.

The mother of one stole her first handbag from a lady in The Living Room, Findlater Place on August 17, and her last handbag theft was from a woman enjoying a meal in Pizza Hut on September 27.

On September 14, Joyce stole handbags and their contents from three different women who were socialising in The Bell pub in Blanchardstown.

That same day, she took a bag from a woman in The Paddocks pub in Littlepace and another handbag from a woman in Cumiskey's Pub on Blackhorse Avenue, Dublin 7.

All in all, Joyce stole more than €2,000 worth of handbags and their contents from women while they were out socialising.

The court heard that Joyce has 40 previous convictions, mostly for public order and theft matters. Her convictions only date back to 2006.

Defence solicitor Fiona Brennan said Joyce has a "multiplicity of problems", including a serious drug addiction.

The court heard that Joyce has been in custody since early December on these charges.

Ms Brennan said Joyce has suffered severe difficulties in custody, including psychiatric problems which led to her being isolated, and this caused further distress to her.

The judge sentenced Joyce to a total of two years in prison suspended for two years. Judge McMahon urged Joyce to "do her best" and said that if she appears before him again she will go to prison.

So, we've got an out and out thief with a drug problem and 40 previous convictions who is still causing mayhem in prison out on a suspended charge and the judge who released here urges her to 'do her best.'
Do her best what I wonder. Her best thievery? Her best public displays of disorder? You can be sure what they know this woman stole is only the tip of the iceberg.
It's sickening to read that her thievery 'only' goes back to 2006. Wow, she's 'only' been causing misery for three years. I've been at the other end of theft and it's VERY fucking annoying and upsetting and getting thieves to pinky swear they will be good is bollocks. Last thing anybody wants to hear is that thieves are getting sympathetic judges cooing at them. So she has a drug problem, so what? Lock her bloody up. Make her understand the consequences of her actions. Maybe that way she might spend rest of her life not 'only' robbing hard working folk trying to grab a pizza or have a drink in peace.
Man, sometimes being a liberal is an impossible task.


Friday, January 16, 2009

One more thing.

Tome Dunne is the Bunny Carr of Radio.
That is all.


Retribution in a Can.

Row row row my buns, gently towards your stream, verily verily verily verily, naked I'm a DREAM.––≥

Gadzooks, what a busy morning, first I slept it in, then I had to have coffee, then I was bothered by work related stuff, don't folk realise it's Gingerday? Any hoo, having had a spare two minutes to myself to gaze sleepily and crankily over the papers, a story-only one-made me laugh out loud. So hell's bells, let's share it.

MONTERREY, Mexico – Four teenagers say police in a northern Mexican town spray-painted their hair, shoes and buttocks to teach them not to paint graffiti on public property.

Emilio Alfaro of Nuevo Leon state's Human Rights Commission said Thursday the youths have filed a complaint alleging that police in Guadalupe slapped, kicked and painted them with spray cans after detaining them for vandalism.

The youths are aged between 14 and 16. They presented paint-stained shoes and photos of their painted heads as evidence.

Guadelupe's police department says several officers have been suspended while the matter is being investigated.

The youths were fined more than $200 before being released on Tuesday.

Guadalupe is outside the city of Monterrey.

I'm all for it! Eye for an eye punishments. I would like to borrow a large cow or wildebeest and have it plop in a certain some one's garden in retaliation for his blasted dog pooing in my front garden the other day. Yack. If people keep insisting on delivering junk mail to my home I want their addresses so that I can wheel my green bin to THEIR home and deliver unto them all my junk. I want to find the filthy oik who put a scratch in my car and introduce him to a carpet cutter I won, I won't kill him, oh no, just leave a big long scratch down his cheek. Seems fair.
Don't it?


Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Atheist Rung too High.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

I don't believe in a god, gods, spirits, angels, chatty dead folk, or the healing hands of the wooful. However, lots of folk do and that's just a fact of life. (In fact it is staggering to this agnostic/atheist fatcat that so many people are prepared to over look a god or two while dribbling on about mystical powers. 'I don't believe in God, per se,' the gobsmackers will witter, 'but I do believe in a higher power.'
A higher power huh? Whose higher power? Where? Higher than what? Whither the evidence. Aw forget about it.)
Anyhoo, by and large a lot of religious folk are good folk and it would be shameful for anyone to be mean or cunty to good folk because they hold a belief and live their lives as close to their beliefs as humanely possible. I reserve the right to be supremely cunty to folk who use religion to steal, or who think everyone else ought to abide by their rules just BECAUSE they happen to believe in a supernatural deity or two, but that's a whole other set of circumstances.
This shit ought to cut both ways, so it was with a mildly raised eye brow that I spooned granola into my maw and read the following article in the Examiner.
Now far be it from me to stick my beak into the American political business, but ain't Obama a self reclaimed Christian? Is he not a a god fearing dude? Does he not have Rick bloody Warren praying over his signing in? Why wouldn't he say 'so help me god'? Whose underwear gets into a bunch over such an expression. My pappy in law says 'God bless' whenever we leave his home, I don't stop in my tracks and berate him for his expression.
This kind of thing is what gets the back up of even the most moderate believer. If Obama self identifies as a Christian then let him say what has been said by so many presidents before him. Pick your battles wisely. Keep creationism out of schools, but allow people their faith, even if you think it is a wasted one.
There is a need for vocal atheists, too long have the religious held sway over laws, rights and communities, but to that end there must be a measure of accomadation followed. Atheists should understand that stamping your foot and demanding your way or the high way does nothing more than fuel the anger of those who might, with a bit of leeway, stand by your side some day.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go poxy swimming now. 20 lengths. Bah.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Anthropological Studies. Bizarre sexual behaviour of people

Many thanks to XXXX for sending me an amused link to the following. Let me see if I can shorten this little quirky quirk for y'all.
Girl goes on dating site, chit-chats with dude from dating site for number of weeks, girl meets dude, dude and girl don't hit it off, girl comes home, gets tipsy, dude calls, she goes to his gaff, drinks more, has sex, is sent home in cab and is angry because dude does not issue second date, complains on dating site that dude is jerk. ( personal responsibility, what on earth could that be)

"When the meal ended he only offered to pay for his half, and then bails. Doesn't offer me a ride or anything. What did I do wrong? It was so depressing since I really liked him online.

Naturally, I go home and drink almost a full bottle of wine when I get a text message from him. He asks if I want to come over his place and hang out, maybe watch a movie. I thought "This is great, he's going to make it up to me and maybe he was just nervous before". Well I get there and drink some more with him, and next thing you know we're having sex. At the end of the night he calls me a cab and I go home, THINKING that this is just the first of many dates."

What the holy mother of marmalade? It gets better, Dude then offers his 'side' of the date and subsequent belly slapping here.

But this comment by said 'dude' nearly made me spit up my granola.

Okay, so I'll give a little input on my side. I'm going to have to end up deleting this page anyway. Before we met I asked why she had no full body pics. She said it was because she takes all her pics and can't get her whole frame that way, but said she was average sized. I took that to be maybe 140, 150 at the most. Not ideally healthy, but she seemed pretty cool and I gave her props for messaging me. But when we met for our date, this girl was very VERY large and that is not something I am comfortable with. I reacted by acting a little rude because I felt deceived and it was unexpected.

One detail you forgot in your drunken stupor is that you texted me first, and asked to get together. I was in the mood and watching a lot of porn so I agreed. And I never invited you to any concert, I just told you about the concert. I never responded because I thought the best way to get rid of you was by ignoring you in hopes that you'll get the hint. Get it? Peace.

I'm still laughing at 'peace'.

It then gets even weirder when it turns out the lady in question had been on the site using and passing off photos of another girl as herself, then claiming she loves some chap she has never actually met.
I mean. It's like an interwebular episode of Knots Landing. I never even KNEW this kind of entertainment existed. Oh I'll never get a lick of work done today.
I think the moral of the story is don't go have sex with people who don't seem even remotely interested in you and then complain about it later.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Alcohol, Stopping, Restarting, Rethinking.

There was an interesting article in the UK Indo today, about hooch and taking a break from hooch. I read it and smiled, feeling a preaching to the choir moment.
Although a devoted drinker, I regularly take breaks from hooch, mostly to give my liver a break, but mostly to remind myself that I can. I know it sounds obvious, but if you're a 'good' drinker like I am ( an oxymoron if ever there was one) a week here, a month or two there of not imbibing can be most beneficial.
Alcohol is a drug, and like any drug it can be easily abused. I am a dab hand at abusing it with gusto. It's terrifically easy to get into the habit of having a glass or two of wine every evening( home measure, none of your 4 fluid ounces nonsense, i.e two John Rocha glasses= half bottle); to give yourself permission to down an entire bottle of French red on a Friday because you deserve it after a long week; to drink like a sailor on Saturday because you're out and about with pals and Yo* ho ho and a bottle of rum, it's right crack; to spend Sunday in your leather chair watching Come Dine with Me, wine by your elbow, papers on your lap. It is, it's a pleasure. And naturally as it is a pleasure you don't want to think about any ill effects. 'Shuush' you will tell that weird little voice, you know the one, the questioning voice that always seems to poke you when you're feeling most like something the cat dragged in.
Even if you can quiet the voice, nothing reminds the devoted drinker more about their alcohol consummation than the trip to the bottle bank to recycle. As you squeeze bottle after bottle into the green or brown bin you can see quite clearly your harmless pleasure is quite a full on habit. Oh yes. Unless you are adept at kidding yourself into oblivion a weekly recycling trip is quite the eye opener. No, you think, I didn't have a party of five over, that shit is all mine. EEK!
My father used to say a person should never drink at home. But back then there wasn't the proliferation of off licences, supermarket hooch stores and wine shops. We didn't really drink wine at all. A person might go for 'a few scoops' on a Saturday night, maybe for a pint of two on Sunday and that was really it. Of course there were those who came into the pub bright and breezy at 12 noon on a Sunday, went home for lunch and returned back at the dot of four and remained there until closing- upright normally and still coherent, but they were a select few and to be sure very few of them ever hit seventy years of age.
My point was it wasn't the done thing to be imbibing during the week or of an evening at home. It just wasn't ( apart for Gamma and her gin, but that's a whole other story).
Nowadays, with increasing pub prices, drink driving laws, family commitments and two income stresses and strains, people need a way to unwind, to metaphorically pat themselves on the back after a tough day and hooch is the cheap and ready to roll pal when in need. If it is there, chances are you'll drink it. And it will be there because you'll have bought it.
Next weekend will be my third successive weekend sans hooch. And as always whenever I give it up I feel terrific. I really do, and productive. I have worked an extra two hours every day, I have been busy, I have taken up disgusting swimming, I have slept through the night every night without even once having to get up to wee, I don't wake up on turning over. My mornings are bright and breezy. In effect I am operating at full capacity.
I know all this. I don't really have any trouble at all not drinking. I'll stay not drinking probably until March. But once March rolls around I will be hightailing it out the door to the nearest Smurfs. Yes, I will.
I will attempt however to start taking my father's advice. I think I will stop drinking at home. I think I might finally understand that making the effort to get dressed up and go out and then have a drink is what folk call 'social drinking'. Certainly I will try stick to only drinking on the weekends. And if I try to trick myself out of my good intentions-and no doubt I probably will- well there's always the walk of shame to the bottle bank.

* No Santas were harmed in the making of this statement.


Monday, January 12, 2009

More Psychic Side Stepping.

Man, the woo merchants are so full of shit. A short while ago 'psychic' Anna Brennan was waffling away arguing her case ( why so negative, the number one outcry of the woo merchant)on a radio show. She was real, she was absolutely real, she 'helped' people, she even helped the police she was so real, she was afaid of nothing she was so real, she was really real, the realiest real of realington.
When challenged to back up her realness by Bad Psychics Richard Sutherland, Really Real Anna was snottily feisty enough to declare she would be happy to take the Million Dollar Challenge James Randi offers- bear in mind she was live on air at the time.
Huzzah I thought, some gumption. Finally a really real psychic prepared to put its really real money where its mouth is.
Well slap my thigh and call my lady patch Babs, it now turns out that really real Anna has in fact pooped her proverbial pants and decided that subjecting her awesome really real powers to a challenge is kinda not what really real Anna is all about.
Observe the woo ridden one as she explains in an email to Richard why her radio claims and her reality claims are so far removed from each other.

"Psychic Anna‏ 2/12/08
Good morning Richard,

I have passed the challenge to my solicitor to read over and will get back to you with his opinion. My opinion is that there is no way that challenge could be passed, and there is no way would I be held responsible for all my expenses. Why has John Edwards or Colin Fry not taken this test?

If I do go ahead with it I will not be dealing with Shannonside radio or yourself, I would rather deal with the American side of things - no offense.

One question however, do you believe in the resurrection of Christ and that he appeared to his apostles after the Crucifixion?

When I die and I am wrong about this I have lost nothing but if you die and you are wrong you will have lost everything.

I wish you and your family a Happy Christmas and peaceful 2009.



Weeeeell now, what to make of this. In her opinion the challenge cannot be passed. But why is this? Surely if Really Real psychic Anna Brennan is as really real as she claims she would have nary a scrap of trouble passing a test as easy as Randi's? All she has to be is...psychic.
Observe the 'Christ' waffle thrown into the mix. What has a man being nailed to a cross many many years ago got to do with proving psychic abilities? Your guess is as good as mine.
Here is the thing. if people want to go about claiming they are psychic so be it. But let them back up their assertions, let them prove themselves not liars, exceptional claims require exceptional evidence, the onus is not on us to buy woo, the onus is on them to prove it. I don't go around claiming I can fly, but if I did, I would accept people might need to see proof. And chattering to dead people is just as unlikely as me sprouting my invisible wings and soaring over the rooftops.
So far miss really real has been avoiding Richard's follow on emails, but it will be interesting to see what the outcome will be. 10-1 odds on 'I don't need to prove anything to be really real you know, I'm really real so there, na na ni na na.'
Psychic Anna, really? Your number has been called, now either step up or slither off the pot.

Oh, I should point out that the baby whisperer, Derek Ogilvie did attempt the challenge. Y'all remember how well that went.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Detest Swimming

I know it's good for you, I know it helps keep you fit, I know it's low impact, I know it's an all body encompassing sport.
But god damn it, I detest swimming.
That is all.*

* shakes head trying to unblock water from left ear.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

I really do hate PETA.

I have always disliked PETA ever since I discovered Ingrid Newkirk would rather destroy a perfectly healthy animal than have it as a 'slave' or pet as we call them. Such fucked up fundamentalist thinking has always made me super wary of people and organisations like PETA. My ire for them was further increased when they released ads that equated owning animals to people slavery, feeding a child meat = child cruelty, and the fact that they are willing to plaster naked women all over the place to highlight the exploitation of animals without irony, all of this seals the deal in terms of utter fucking stupidity in my book.
But no! I was wrong diddly wrong wrong. They have other levels of sheer stupidity.
Observe the emergence of 'sea kittens.'
What are sea kittens? Why they are fish. Fish. FISH!
Peta, being the idiots that they are, have decided to all fish sea kittens under the misguided notion that it will stop people eating them due to their big eyed fluffy cuteness.
Except fish aren't big eyed fluffy mini cats of cuteness, they're fish. Or food as I like to call them.
This is evidence-if ever more was needed- to the twisted mindset of the PETA drone. Can't you just imagine the high jinks and hysterics when they came up with this one. 'I know! Let's call the sea kittens and draw super cute pictures of them.'
Dear PETA, Finding Nemo is a cartoon. Pelicans kill and eat ducks regularly, my real honest to god cats kill birds/mice/Napoleons regularly, dogs kill squirrels/other dogs/rats/cats and I like to eat fish. Not because they are 'slimy and not cute' but because if you wrap them in tin foil and add rock salt they taste delicious.
PETA, what a bunch of absolute gobshites.

Unrelated Note.
There's no real exercise to report this week as I didn't keep a diary, I ran some, I did some weights, I attended kickboxing. However, I hit two PBs this week and I'm feeling chufed about them. One was the Deadlift (DL) where I jumped from lifting 65kilos before christmas to 72.5 Kilos, I did a set of five at this weight and it was comfortable, if wearing on my wrists. Sorted by a hook grip. I could have gone heavier I feel but my form might have suffered and anyway this is not a race.
The second involced one armed rows. I went from a 15k to 17.5 k. I did two sets of eight either arm after a warm up of 15kx10. Again it was fairly comfortable and I'm happy with the increase.
Next week I will be working hard on squats as I plan to kick Non Memnoch to death in class.


Friday, January 09, 2009

You Can Never Too Thin, Too Rich, Too Busy.


Top of Gingerday to you. Another Friday, another start to my second hoochless weekend. What in the name of marmalade am I going to do to fill in the time normally spent slinging back glasses of red wine and rum. I admit I have replaced Friday's winefest with eating a chili burger so hot it makes my eyebrow twitch, but what of Satdee and Sunday ( these are the legitimate concerns of the new non drinker, it's not the non-drinking, it's the what to do with yourself while non-drinking)
Oh right, that's where the spare room come in.
I don't know how it is in other people's homes-I'm sure you're all near spartan- but in this home every unopened cardboard box, every piece of spare crap, every unworn jacket from eight seasons ago, every unused tool, every vitally important supermarket receipt from 2001, every piece of furniture that doesn't quite fit, well, it's all in the spare room, a room so packed with clutter and assorted crap it's impossible to open the blasted door now without something collapsing Jenga like somewhere inside.
So, to this end we- yes we- have decided to do something about it. We've decided to tackle it, sort it out, turn it from Stig's Dump into a spare room again. We are moving a lot of the crap into the attic. Oh yes. This will probably take care of another weekend sometimes in the future when we decide to clear out the attic. Eventually we might just move some of the crap to where it actually belongs, a dump far far away from the house.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Huzzah! An Exceptional Excuse.

I wrote here before about my quite shockingly bad memory for names. It's beyond ridiculous, bordering on rude. I've met heaps of people out at various functions and shows and hand on my heart I cannot remember the name of 98% of them. I mask this faux pas with the use of 'Darling'. 'Darling, how delightful to see you again, have you met Darling, Darling?' So skilled am I at Darling-ing my way about town I have almost but not quite managed to acquit myself in these horrific instances. Unless I am forced to introduce more than one Darling to a group of Darling, then I usually hit the rum and pretend I can't see people ( remarkably easy given my terrible eyesight).
But NOW! Huzzah Telegraph. An excuse has been gifted to me. A scientific excuse no less. It's not my fault I can't remember blasted names. I'm not rude, I'm not a feather head, they are not bland melting puddles of confusingly similar features. It is because I am clearly lacking in Oxytocin.
Oh science, isn't there anything you can't shift the blame onto? I heart you.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Goes? Goes bloody where or whatever.

'And then she goes-'
'And then I go, "well you should say that or whatever". You know?'
'And then she comes back and goes. "Did you see her?" And I goes,-'
'Yeah, whatever, anyway, I go she's a stupid Bitch. She's owes us a tenner. So we go upstairs and
Ish goes'-
'Yeah, whatever anyway, Ish SAID, 'there she is!".'

And on it went. I listened, not on purpose you understand, but with anxiety and a mild thought to throw myself from my own moving car. The previous snippet was only part of an incredibly long winded account of a key ring of all things, told to me by Gothy of all people in my car yesterday, of all days.
After every 'goes' I automatically corrected her with 'said', every time I did this she replied, 'yeah, whatever, anyway' and thus the story took almost the entire car journey, and believe me, it wasn't that interesting a story to begin with. Dragged out with, 'Goes' 'said', yeah whatever, anyway' it went on for an almost unprecedented twenty-five minutes.
The moral of the story? Do not give teenagers lifts unless they are mute or listening to ipods.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Get dressed before you go outside.

Oh sweet marmalade, please please please, it's 2009. I can't spend 2009 'tisking' under my breath.
Yesterday I had to go to various supermarkets to stock up on items we had eaten our way through. Schools are obviously still out, leading to a remarkable sludge of teenagers wandering aimlessly about. But wandering aimlessly about in PAJAMAS!
I'm telling you, it's beyond ridiculous. One girl stood at the magazine stand in pink stripped jammies, stuffed into fake Uggs that naturally had been worn to the point where the sole had slipped sideways and she was walking on the ankle part oh and a navy hoodie that was several sizes too large for her. This wouldn't really bother me if not for the fact that practically every other woman I saw was dressed the same way. Whatever about teenagers, everybody already knows they're daft, but grown women? In saggy PJ's and Ugg-esque boots?
I mean, I know I'm showing my age here, but is it that hard to put on a pair of jeans? I know I've probably said this before, but I hate the sloppiness. I do. I'm all for comfort at home and I was once caught in rabbit jammies back when I lived in town, but I didn't intend to wear them out, I needed milk and it was v. late and I've never done it since...well I just don't get it. Why do so many people- women- wear jammies and slippers around town? Is it a backlash against something? Does this happen in other parts of the country? Other countries? I never saw this kind of thing in Barcelona. It's so...unkempt!
I mean how difficult is it to get dressed? To throw on a pair of jeans and actual boots or shoes? That's not asking too much surely? Or maybe this is an age thing. Maybe that's it.
Call me old fashioned, but I'm still of the opinion that when you leave the house you should at least try to look as pulled together as possible. I don't know, maybe brush your hair, wear a coat, clean clothes. Change out of your PJs.
And yes I HAVE a meeting in town to day and YES the cold sore is painful and I'm cranky, and yes, I'll still wear actual clothes.
Grumble grumble,


Monday, January 05, 2009

Man Flu

Man Flu, what is this? It keeps popping up all over the place. It was mentioned in the Times today in some wishy washy article that I read while dribbling snot into yet another limp hanky. ( i have a filthy cold)
The article in question is a weird one, mildly condescending and twee in equal measure. Are men really so wimpy and selfish? Are women really pramagatic warriors who battle on no matter what the ache and pain?
Not this woman.
It is one of life's great irks to hear people say 'I've got a touch of flu' or 'I had flu last week and couldn't come to work for a day or two.' Or whatever. Having a touch of flu is like having a touch of pregnancy. You can't, you either have flu or you have not.
If you HAVE flu then you'll know all about it. I have had flu exactly once in my life and believe you me, there is no mistaking its 'symptoms' for they will include not being physically able to lift your wracked/shivering/vomiting/shitting/too hot/too cold/semi-blind/semi-deaf/hallucinating and more vomiting body out of bed for the best part of 7-10 days. It is NOTHING like a cold- and you can get some really nasty colds, I know. But flu? Flu is serious business, flu can kill you, and no amount of Lemsip Max Strength ( it sorts the men from the boys?? really?) is going to save you.
If flu is kind enough to not kill you it will most definitely incapacitate you for a while. My abiding memory of flu is being eight or nine year old and managing to crawl from the toilet to the kitchen where I lay in a chair, alternatively rattling hard enough to hurt my teeth, sweating through my second set of jammies. I was unfortunately found by Gamma's husband who declared he could 'fix me' with some concoction of stew.
I told him, through gritted teeth, that I could not keep any such mixture down, but he poo-pooed that notion and went about creating his 'cure all'
Upon being presented with a cup of some filmy orange gloop I again made my feeble protests, but he was not to be told.
'Get it down you.' he said, 'it will do you good.'
So I drank it.
It slithered down my fevered throat, sloshed into my empty churning hissing stomach where heated by gases and bacteria it became molten lava and then it did what I predicted it would. It came back up on me, him, the chair, the fire place, the blanket, the kitchen table and quite frankly anything within a six metre radius.
It took almost four days for that fever to break and another four before I was approaching anything remotely like well. Poor Gamma had it worse, she was truly walloped with it, almost two weeks worth, after which she had lost almost one third of her body weight.
So what I'm saying is should anyone tell you they've had a touch of flu or flu over the weekend you are to wap them one upside the head. I still don't know what man flu is, but I'm guessing it's not dissimilar to road rage or PMS, you know, a learned behaviour accepted by the masses, tolerated and mocked in sneering contempt. But real flu it most definitely ain't.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

New year, same old bollocks, but with rhymes.

Resolutions are coming, another bright year
of running and fighting and playing by ear,
of eating no wheat and avoiding all jellies
lest purple attracts me, ugh, that is velly-
Another few months of curling my lip
at psychic woo merchants who give me the pip.
'Don't be so negative!' They'll wail with great blather.
'Fuck off woo merchants, your head on a platter-
is what I want.'
And to that end, mumbos, I promise you this
I will not shirk from taking the piss
of gobshites and loonies and people most horrid
reiki healers and psychics and stigmata clad horrors
I'll load up my blunderbuss, gleeful and gay,
and aim where I want to, fuck you namaste.
Lipotrim and fad diets are also on there,
starving and fainting and losing your hair
paying a fortune to not eat some food
you bloody great eegits, oops, sorry, so rude,
Of reading the Wail, disgusted, but daily,
then cursing and snarling exhaling, inhaling.
'Gadzooks' I will cry, 'Confound it!' I'll holler!
'This rag is the shits, so why do I bother-
to read it.
But read it I will, and unclean I will wallow
in anti woman bias and rhetoric most hollow,
I'll furrow my brow and tighten my belt,
and threaten to go on an almighty vent-
about stuff.
But clearly my rage is mostly quite tame
I putter and fume but behind a fake name,
fear not gentle reader, my fangs are my own,
My ire is relentless much like my phone,
the annoying blasted thing.
And while I'm at it I'll peer at myself
with those honest goggles I keep on my shelf
I'll demand I do better and try to stay focused
about working and running and, well
all the usual bollocks.
I'll worship the ginger and squee over puppies
and play 'see the cat jump'- but never with Puddy,
She's too old.
I'll visit museums and stack up on culture,
hoovering up info like a bloody great vulture,
the flappy fuckers.
I'll learn French and Italian and practice them daily
'Bonjour! Ca va? Ciao Bello Von Tutti Frutti!'
I'll mix it with Spanish and end up quite loopy.
('Donde es la tienda de los Zapatos?' )
I'll stay off the hooch for these first eight weeks
my liver ( Melvin) will thank me, the bloody great geek,
No rum nor beer or yummy red wine,
no Baileys nor cocktails, sweet Jebus...
I'm fine.
You can join me if you like.
So I guess what I'm saying Is really quite clear,
It's all systems go and happy sodding new year.

(I am throughly ashamed. Next I'll be playing a sax solo or some frightful shit. In my defense I am quite hungover)