Friday, February 27, 2009

Lazymism Revealed

A few years back, I used to carry a coffee mug around with me everywhere, which perfectly demonstrates my Lazymism. It was a gift from someone who worked in a doctor's office, and had recieved it from a random druggie sales rep. It was a Big Shiny Mug that kept the cheap coffee warm for hours on end. It had the giant word "LIVIAL" emblazoned on the front. I was too lazymistic to do a quick google to see what it meant. Unfortunately, one of my colleagues was not lazy enough, and dug deep to find out about the many unfortunate uses of said proud product. (I will not enlighten you here in hopes that you will be too lazy to google it yourself). He then proceeded to send an email to everyone on site with the subject "Livial Revealed" to ensure everyone could have a good laugh at my mug. You see it was my Lazymism that stopped me from averting this disaster. I was too lazy and optimistic - in thinking no one would ever bother to look up the brand name that I so proudly carried everywhere, meetings, lunch, forever displayed on my desk.
Lazymism can be an endearing quality, an innocent inaction, sitting back and thinking it'll all work out. By doing nothing about the problem it'll probably go away and might never even happen! Lazymism is the reason why, one morning this week, on finding a pale ribbon hanging from the tv bracket in my room, I used it to hold my jeans up - rather than delve deeper; ie actually looking through a wardrobe, to try and find a real belt. My lazymism allowed me to hope against hope as I strode around looking like I'd worn undies on the wrong side of the overclothes that people would think it was quirky, a new fashion. Not that I'm just a big weirdo.
But lazymism is a dangerous one - a little of it goes a long long way - too much will lead to the mess the world is in now. Ie if we all ignore all the problems long enough rather than trying to do something about them, just because it's easier, then they won't actually go away, and will probably just keep getting worser and worser. So there's my preachy Tommy Tiernan bit for today. Have a nice Lazymistic weekend, but not too much of it!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Could Familiarity Breed Success??

I've been wondering;
If I were to send the very self same short story year after year into the Listowel writer's week competition, with only very minor tweaks, perhaps a freshened up line spacing or different font now and then.... How many years would it take to actually win?
How long before the judges get so sick of it that they know the story off by heart?
Or could it work by stealth - whereby they don't even know they know it, but the words trip off the tongue, they somehow find it familiar and comforting?
(for the master of stealth - youtube stealth cat - it's the best cat video on the whole world wide web by the way)
Or could it work by sheer steadfastness? Could I pass it down to my kids and their kids kids, until finally the story itself is a legend, and one day it gets its reward?
Or am I thinking a loada crap?

Monday, February 23, 2009

What is the difference between stammering and stuttering?

"Stammering and stuttering both mean exactly the same thing. The word "stuttering" is mostly used in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The word "stammering" is usually preferred in the United Kingdom, Eire, India and most other Commonwealth countries.
Click here to read more about stuttering and how it can be controlled."

From the online font of information that is - I didn't even know Eire was a Commonwealth country... Hmmm (that's why wealth is so common here? Peraps?)

And that, along with the previous post is why I shouldn't try to blog when tired, or operate heavy machinery.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tired & Emotional

Being wrecked tired is an interesting state of affairs. Especially if you're not sleepy, and for some reason chronically unable to sleep in. Being tired does go hand in hand with "being" emotional, ie feeling things in a more intense way than usual. The people who let you skip ahead of them in the queue in Lidl seem to you like saints, you suddenly want to hug them, and cry for joy that the world is not full of assholes. The little child who has wandered off from his parents in Lidl, but is too small even to set off the automatic doors by himself makes you want to cry at his fragility - his hopeless arms up at the doors, pleading for freedom. The gushy song on the radio makes you glad to be alive, and fills you with excitement and happiness for little apparent reason.

Why is it that Tiredness leads us to this state? This boneless - easily moved - nervous wreck of influencibility? We normally have a shield around us, protecting us from all these feelings, the little events outlined above bounce off us, slip down our shells onto the footpath, and melt into the ground. The shield takes energy to run, because it is only when our energy is low that it fails us - allowing feelings in - letting them settle on us. Therefore we could save alot of energy by getting rid of the shield altogether, could we? If we allowed ourselves to really feel everything for a while, without the protection of the little coccoon, would we get more done?

Doubtful- but whatever the case, I think it is to be advised to get tired and emotional once in a while - if only because you experience more of what makes you human.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

4 Things that made me smile today

"Be inventive, you will be dully rewarded." - a quote from Mr Tat Meng Yap's article about creativity and innovation - not very strong on the aul spellcheck our Mr Yap.

"I wish my wife was this dirty" - written on the back of a very dirty transit van in the muck.

"In the social psychology of groups, social loafing is the phenomenon of people making less effort to achieve a goal when they work in a group than when they work alone. This is seen as one of the main reasons groups are sometimes less productive than the combined performance of their members working as individuals." - a definition of social loafing from wikipedia - I love it.

"I'll be mostly babysitting over the weekend" - says a guy at work - referring to the fact that he will be minding his OWN children for the weekend, ie he will be part of his own family - he made it sound like such a chore.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stolen Joke

This is an action joke - you need to follow the instructions in the brackets.

You say: How does an Elephant ask for a banana?

They say: I don't know

(Hold your arm up so that it appears to be growing from the area of your nose, like an elephant's trunk. Put on an Elephant accent - then..)

You say: Can I have a banana?

They groan, and throw the nearest solid item at you - it's not even a had to be there kinda thing - it's worse when you are there.

All credit to my work colleague who will never see this and never know his joke is famous.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Saturday Night - Part 2

We also went to the fantastic Nighthawks - judged gig of the week last month - think it easily might've got the same title this month, on it's difficult second night. Hard to follow the first one, but follow it they did.

Ken Wardrop was there, introducing his painfully beautiful short film "Undressing my mother" - the only one of his on youtube is "Useless Dog" another great one - starring his brother this time - check it out. He's great.

Kevin Power read from his novel "Bad Day in Blackrock". Mr Cushions-elect said the way he read was so authoritative and good it'd nearly make him read the book - I've read the book, so I already knew it was great.

We had the two comic geniuses James Marsh and Kieran Lawless, both of whom had great sets, no lows at all so far.

Then it's poet Colm Keegan's turn. He tells us the comics were funny, and he wouldn't be. He was right. He wasn't one bit funny. But he did kick ass, wipe the floor, and had everyone ready to follow him out into the street if he'd have said the word, with a brilliant rant against racism. Seriously - the police should watch out in case he tries to start a cult - he uses words to such effect.

Then we had the lovable loved up Carousel - she had a sore throat - but bravely made it on - beautiful sounds and great guitar.

Angry Norman too had medical problems, he's such a great character that he struggled through it to entertain the masses, backed by the ever reliable Monk and handlebar moustache man.

Finally out came Ciaran Smith/ part of Crayonsmith. He had me transfixed from the second he started. He held his guitar at a strange angle, and hardly moved his plucking arm at all, so that you could just see the ripples up his arms as he played, seeing the music forming in his flesh. I had a good seat. He had us all singing along to the most beautiful version of a song, and I'm really annoyed I can't remember what song that was - and I can't even guess and pretend I know cos I'll be picked up on it, but it was definitely a shiver up your spine kinda moment.

The Cobalt is a beautiful venue for a beautiful night out. Especially if you have a seat, there's a great sociability to the place. Don't you dare try to go ahead of me next month. It's a tough place to get a ticket to. Worth it though.

Saturday Night - Part 1

All the men in different stages of lives murdered by the drop. Kids running with Taytos, dad watching match, stands paralysed at door when they get up to go, just another few seconds. Women in late 40's celebrating freedom - no more snoring, the whole bed to myself - The pub is a tavern, it's the cornerstone where two streets meet. You have to ask to be buzzed into the corridor for the ladies. Tiled steps, so old fashioned, like an ancient school or hospital. The jacks itself, just past a dark door. Two cubicles, one says red on it's latch. Hear shouts from out in the streets.
A middle ager fiddles with his mobile, he's burly and stands to go piss when the auld drunk comes over to join him, with his two glasses, a whiskey glass with ice, and a glass of water - the gentle barman tells him to drink up quick now, like a child. Man on my left is quiet, I don't see his face, even on his way back from his smoke. There's a gang of french kids in for a quiet few, a game of cards. They drink slowly. Screen rolled up and curtains up, lights lit when the rugby ends. Barman standing on the couch beside us to get the blind lifted. The auld drunk gives out to the extra light, clawed hands shield his eyes. Man on right looks sober, but can barely talk, slurs his order, gestures at his glass. Auld drunk sings to himself. Middle ager rings his kids, confers on a good time to visit. Hangs up, but keeps flicking at the phone anyway, grimacing as the drunk tries to talk to him.
Auld drunk eventually drinks up and goes, a soft zig zag to the door. Another younger man, ok looking, smiles a sophisticated, sardonic, sarcastic smile after him. He's just a local, on his way out to meet his friends, on his way to better things, the smile says. But his hand is held aloft - spilling the beans - another pint here, on my own with my mates - middle ager and silent man leave. I drain my beer. Everywhere in town is jammed. Go out to join the flow. They're everywhere, you just don't normally see them so clear.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Confidence or Stupidity?

Memory of my Lover

Every old man I see
Reminds me I could have him
When I could have most anyone
My little heart desired.
That man I saw in Patrick Street
Stumbling on the kerb was one,
He stared at me wild-eyed,
I might have been his Hon.
And I remember the musician
Faltering over his fiddle
In Ballincollig, Cork,
He too set me the riddle.
Every old man I see
In any-coloured weather
Seems to say to me:
"I was once your lover."

I think my biggest problem, If I were ever to be out there "on the market" again would be an oversupply of confidence. I just have too much. That makes me sound like a pain in the ass, and maybe I am, but I'm admitting it here for the sake of the whole world (y'see I'm that important - the whole world is depending on me) - you'll see why in a minute. I think I'm brilliant, to the extent that when I meet a new guy I'm always searching in the first five minutes to find the gentlest possible way to let them know I'm taken. It's only fair, I think to myself.

The reason I feel I have to talk about this is that the whole economic mess the world is in, is due, in large part, to lack of confidence. Greedy confident guys playing games with money, turning into Greedy scared guys. There's still the same amount of stuff in the world, same amount of energy, same amount of Greedy guys but suddenly we're all poor because no one believes anymore. It's like with Tinkerbell - you just have to believe.
My three pronged approach to building confidence is as follows:
1. Be lucky enough to have people (or even one person) around you who believe in you, my family, friends, main squeeze - all think I'm brilliant, and have even said it to me "You're brilliant" they say. It's a big part of it.
2. Do things that scare you as regularly as possible. When you attempt things you're not sure you can do - EVEN if you fail miserably - and especially if you don't - you'll feel great for trying. This doesn't include really scary things, like with real danger - I'm not recommending those at all. I'm saying it's a bit like taking exercise - If you risk bruising your ego - even if you do, it'll end up stronger.
3. Be Stoopid. You have to be gullible enough to believe it, when you're told you're great, even if it's you doing the telling. You have to buy it.

If confidence is a type of stupidity though - is it ok? It's liable to shattering from time to time as well - like an alzheimer's patient, suddenly realising it's not the 30's, I sometimes wake up and wonder - am I all I crack myself up to be? but then I just rebuild the little wall of Stupidence and happily go on my way. Is there a way we can apply these learnings to save the world? Anyone? Anyone? Or is the loosing of confidence actually a good thing - a sign the world is finally getting smarter? And maybe we should be happy about that?

Anyway - tis a bit o food for thought. Hope you have a happy and Stupident "Expensive piece of cardboard and chocolate" day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Blog Heads

You bloggers might be interested in the following

"Books and BloggingWednesday 18 February @ 7.00pmThe Irish Blog Awards presents a panel discussion with Sarah Rees Brennan, Twenty Major, Ivan O'Brien and Mags Walsh alongside other special guests. The discussion will cover all things book and blogging, mixed with wine, water, the odd chocolate bar and finishing with an open-floor Q&A. Poetry Ireland sponsors the Best Arts and Culture category in the Awards. Irish Writers' Centre, 19 Parnell Square, D1
T: 01 4789974 E: W:"

I like it because it came in my emailbox today and means I don't have to make anything up - have enough to be doin - I've just been asked if I'm a blogaholic, and if I should go to blogaholics anonymous, even the fish think I'm neglecting em....

In other news - have declared d'aul novel done... for now. I've done as much as I'm doing. Going to get a few kind souls to trawl through it and try and think of kind things to say about it, before it gets shoved in a drawer. If you think you could be one of those kind souls do let me know...

Monday, February 9, 2009

28 People you are not allowed Marry

Not a lot of people know this - but you have to give at least 3 months notice to "The State" when you intend to marry someone.
I gave my 3 months and 2 a half hours notice today, although I was a bit early, so it was more like 3 months and 3 hours notice, the guy thought I was cutting it tight either way.
He flirted with me, while we waited for Mr VCTB, obviously a deliberate tactic, If you can resist a man with such power as a Registrar, then you're really ready. Then he tested me on my general knowledge of t'other half. I didn't know his birthday, place of birth, middle name, job description, who his main witness would be, or his PPS number. I did know his mother's maiden name. Strange.
Anyway the list of people a woman may not marry was the most exciting part of the transaction, had to review and see that the Fiancee didn't fit in any of the following categories.

A woman may not marry her:
1 Grandfather
2 Grandmother's husband
3 Husband's grandfather
4 Father's brother
5 Mother's brother
6 Father's sister's husband
7 Mother's sister's husband
8 Husband's father's brother
9 Husband's mother's brother
10 Father
11 Stepfather
12 Husband's father
13 Son
14 Husband's son
15 Daughter's husband
16 Brother
17 Son's son
18 Daughter's son
19 Son's daughter's husband
20 Daughter's daughter's husband
21 Husband's son's son
22 Husband's daughter's son
23 Brother's sons
24 Sister's son
25 Brother's daughter's husband
26 Sister's daughter's husband
27 Husband's brother's son
28 Husband's sister's son

And vice versa for the man ie - start the list with Grandmother instead, and change the sexes as you go down the way.
Number 23 is not my typo - you're not allowed marry your brother's sons - your brother's son singular is not mentioned.
Suddenly I have 28 new novel ideas..... or at least 28 plotlines for Rikki Lake
By the way sincerest apologies if this ruins anyone's Valentines plans

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Some Day all this could be yours

YES FOLKS - Even if you have forgotten about the Rubbish Poetry challenge, (and who could blame you if you have - what with the place looking so clean and tidy with all the rubbish covered with a layer of white - the rubbish and the weeds, and the dirty car - ain't snow brilliant?), I haven't, and I still have the rubbish prize to prove it... And I will dole it out some day - but above is a reminder of what you could win: - bonus leaves picked up with the rubbish as well - (for the poem inspired by these items - see January's calling all rubbish poets post.)
Anyway - in other news - Lucan Teen Writers celebrated being one year old yesterday with a great display of their literary prowess and artistry, they didn't celebrate by singing happy birthday to themselves, left me stupidly trailing off on it, after line one, with the chocolate swissroll I bought them, too cool for the singin and the candle - but they ate the cake alright, course. The display is up in the local library right now, and will be for about a month - but for those of you who can't make it there, here's a snapshot:

So in other news - various is promised, and various is what you get - I read my short story last night. The new Rua place is great. I was last up as it turned out, and it was a bit of a squeeze fitting everyone in, timewise, I wasn't sure whether to be worried about whether I'd get to read, or whether I'd be utterly crap if I got to read. I got to read, and hopefully wasn't utterly crap, but it was another first over and done with, and people from the second row back say they didn't even notice the warm snot dripping from my nose from the middle of the second paragraph onwards, so that was nice of them.

Now I can't sleep, altho it's really early on a sunday morning, snow is tinkling down outside, and I should do some work on D'aul novel - so I think I will now.

Here's saturday's snippet, it's a bit less horrific than the last one: inspired by a clothes peg, and a piece of real fur that some despicable animal killer brought to the group:

The pegs were a present, what kind of a housewarming present was that, pinks and greens, she left em on the line, basket lost long ago, what was the point of carryin em in and out, in and out, all day, hardly ever left clothes out anyway, this weather, hardly ever washed clothes, turn the jumper inside out, back to front, you'd hardly see the stains at all. These pegs were getting her goat though, why had they gotten so flimsy, freeze thaw action? Shoulda taken better care of them. A money spider or 2 living in each and every one, under the spring, between the clasps, stupid things snapped at the top if she grabbed em too quick. She cursed the plastic shards that littered the lawn, didn't pick em up; let feckin next doors dog eat em, next time he's in, let him choke on em, she'd make a nice scarf from his tail.

(If my aunty is reading... yes your present of pegs partly inspired this, but they were a great present, they are brilliant pegs, and they live firmly indoors, and they don't break easily)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Shameless Plug

Tomorrow night will be the historic exclusive world premier of me reading a short story of mine in public (weather permitting). It's all happening in Red/ Rua - an outpost of Cork in the middle of Dubland - see Uisce's blog for more details.

I'm excited, but being sandwiched between two Hennessey nominees might not help with the nerves, (might drink a few Hennessey's first myself - that'd help wouldn't it?) the feckers are bound to be brilliant. Another highlight would be that the guy who wrote the song "Carolina Rua" will be there singing it... so do come along - if you can.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Excuses Excuses

Dear Teacher,

Various will be absent from Aquafit class tonight, as she has a verucca, and her swimming hat is not dry, and her fish are feeling lonely and need the extra company. Please pass on her homework to one of her many friends in the class, and we can guarantee she will attend with Gusto next week. Apologies for any inconvenience caused....

Ok - real reason being my legs are still knackered from my adventures but also because I wanted to be doing other things today, and they didn't happen. In fact 3 out of 4 major plans I made today were cancelled due to the weather. The only one that wasn't cancelled was going to work, and in fact I ended up at work 1.5 hours longer than usual. One of the things that was cancelled "because of the weather" was a poetry reading. It was going to be taking place indoors, tonight, I know poets can be delicate things, but maybe a plastic tunnel could have been constructed, or a hood for them to wear on moving from their cars to the hall door, to protect them from the "elements" Gah!
As for me, I am on plan D for the evening, but don't even want to make a plan now, because say if I plan to go upstairs, have a bath, dry my hair and read a book, going on today's stats, 3 out of 4 of those plans wouldn't happen. That'd be ok; but what if I only manage to dry my hair, without having gone upstairs or had a bath - wouldn't that be super creepy? I think I need to rest, take the evening as it comes, be spontaneous, but not as much as yesterday. That's the plan now so. (darnit!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Two hours with Bob

It took two hours to drive home today, a 4.5 mile journey through the snow. At least 20 minutes spent at each roundabout - got a great look at the plants. Played endless games of space invaders with the snowflakes, as they landed on the windscreen I was imagining that by focussing my attention on them I was melting them with my eyes. I had two cds in the car to help pass the time. One was the infamous lost CD out of 8, the unfortunately crap book cd which shall remain nameless. The other was Bob Marley, whom I thought it might be rather fun and ironic to listen to in the snow. Bopping along to my Carribean tunes watching snow fights, by the second time "Sun is Shining" came around, I was ready to Bop Bob if I saw him, although he's good too in that situation, generous with giving lots of lines to his backing singers, in this case me, so it kept me going.
But I couldn't help thinking darker thoughts, as is my wont to do. It's a tough time for me you see.... first snow of the year. Reminds me of a loved one past. It was two years ago, in lovely Denmarkland, and myself and Mr VC2B had given birth to a beautiful snow man, our first. He was tall, made of fluffy virginal snow, a cheeky carrot nose, and we loved him very much. He even featured on my christmas card this year.

A few hours into his young life, we made a crucial mistake. We should have stayed with him, but we were selfish, decided we wanted to go out, our needs were more important than his. Stupidly we left him, on his own.... near a ledge... in the cold.
Yes readers, I know... and please turn away now if you are of a sensitive disposition.
On our return.... from the pub.... (oh god the shame....) We found him gone from the spot where he'd so proudly stood...
A thorough search of the area yeilded this macabre sight in the nearby car park...

We'll never know what really happened, but all I can say is please keep this in mind when you're out cavorting with your snow men this spring, cherish them, don't take them for granted, just give them your love.