Showing posts from February, 2005

(rubber) bands across america

Ok, before I start on this one, I would like to make one point : I think Michael Moore is an asshole.

I say this because I have a feeling that the views I am about to express may court comparisons between myself and his immenseness. To those people I say, the man does not hold any kind of copyright on Liberal opinion towards either Columbine or 9/11, nor does anyone.

The term "Synchronicity" refers to a "coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related". I know this not only because I'm a word-nerd, but also because the first music album I ever paid for myself had the same title and was produced by British pop/reggae trio The Police in 1983.
Here are two stories that I feel are causally connectable under the heading of "excessive paranoia".

In July of last year, I flew to America with my fiancee and my two children. Our itinerary included 3 days in San Francisco with my mother, a week in Eagle Point, Oregon with my father and his family, and fo…

...and then there were three

I must add this right-wing blog to the two I mentioned the other day. Allow me to introduce you to the incredibly named "Michael The Archangel". He took the time to read one of my posts on Bleeding Heart Liberals, and graciously put forward a constructive and respectful argument in reply. Having read several of his posts and seen how his views are often copy/pasted on other sites, I could possibly describe him as Blogland's answer to Rush Limbaugh. If you want to understand the 51% of Americans I was alluding to, I suggest you bookmark this blog.

a joke to lighten the mood

Q. How many bouncers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A. Sorry, can't tell ya - this joke is for regulars only!!!

six brave women

Last Wednesday, six women came down to Dublin from Belfast. It was not a shopping expedition. Instead of clothes and presents, they were after hearts and minds.

On Sunday, January 30, 2005, Robert McCartney was drinking in his local pub in the “Short Strand” area of east Belfast. Though a predominantly Protestant (or “Loyalist”) area, McCartney and his family lived and drank in a tiny Catholic (or “Nationalist”) enclave.

They were drinking to commemmorate the anniversary of the Bloody Sunday massacre on the same date in 1972. It was an occasion that was meant to unite all Nationalists.

By the end of the night, McCartney was lying on a hospital bed with stab wounds which were never to heal.

Part of the trouble in Northern Ireland is a profound lack of trust in the Nationalist community towards the police force. This force was formerly known as the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) but as part of the Good Friday Agreement (1998) which was heartily endorsed by the people on the island of Irela…

a closed mouth doesn't get fed

Here's a story which I feel encapulates what it is like for me caring for my 95-year-old grandmother. Thursday nights I have my two kids over - on the Friday morning, I bring them to school. Gran is usually asleep so I leave a flask of coffee on her bedside table and leave the day's newspapers at the end of her bed so she won't have far to go should she wake up while I am gone. The week before last, the morning went as it always had. When I got home from dropping off the kids it was about 9:30am, and sure enough Gran was sitting up in bed reading. I looked in on her, and set upon the day's tasks. Friday night is the one night I go out or at least do something with my finacee. I meet her from work at 5 and we go off from there. Friday afternoons, therefore, are spent preparing the place for Gran to be able to to relax without feeling the need to do any unecessary chores herself. I have also agreed to take the kids for Friday afternoons after school in exchange for a reduct…

you're indecisive, dear henry, dear henry, dear henry

I sent a cheeky email to NewsTalk 106's Moncrieff program yesterday, featuring a spoof skit of their reporter Henry McKean's daily voxpops on the issue of the day. To my amazement, Sean Moncreiff read it out verbatim doing a passable impression of Henry in the process. I suppose the poor guy was subjected to awful abuse from his co-workers, because he took the time to personally send me an email saying "Thanks for that". Classic Henry McKean vox-pop today!

Issue : Is it black or is it white?

Voxpopper # 1 : Well, I've thought a lot about it, and I believe it to be black.

Henry : Really? But surely it can't be black because all the evidence points to it being white!

Voxpopper # 1 : Em, er, well, erm....

Voxpopper # 2 (who had been standing behind #1 all the time) : I know it's white, it's gotta be white, no doubt about it, I've always believed it to be white!

Henry : Really? You think it's white? But as the person before you rightly pointed out,…

when bein green don't sound too clean

Now I am well aware of the good intentions behind the concept and I whole-heartedly endorse them, but SURELY they could have come up with a better name for the product than "Re-Cycled Toilet Paper"???

sinn féin under attack

Questions And Answers last night was fascinating. A negotiator for Sinn Féin was subjected to a barrage of abuse from representatives of the government, The Labour Party, The SDLP (Fine Gael and The Unionist parties conspicuously absent). I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

Sinn Féin organized themselves and capitalized on voter apathy in last year's council elections and showed themselves as a significant growing threat to the sitting government coalition between Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats (aka "The FF National Front"- my words). Taoiseach Bertie Ahern then assembled his party at Inchydoney, West Cork, to discuss a new direction that they would be taking to rise to the challenge set by the electorate. They came out of their think tank supposedly embracing a new philosophy, with the leader even going so far as to claim he was and had always been a "socialist". What I contend is that this was not their main point of discussion. I suggest they came …

who's fooling who

In an attempt to re-intellectualize this blog after yesterday's Spongebob review, I was reading over my recent batch of letters and emails to and from my mother and was reminded of this famous quote : “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”
Popular opinion attributes this quote to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, though this fact has often been called into question. Personally, I don't care who said it first; it is a brilliant quote, and still rings true today. Happy President's Day to all my fellow Americans out there!

a must sea

It's a whale of a movie!

It will earn its plaice in film history!

It's the current box office smash!

It's a masterpiece in all departments, especially the whiting!!!


Seriously though, "The Spongebob Squarepants Movie" is a Perfect Two Hours Wasted for the kid in all of us. Which is a good thing. I just got back from the cinema with my two and I strongly recommend it.

What? You mean you ACTUALLY want to know the PLOT?

*sigh* ok....……

The Evil Plankton steals King Neptune's crown and Our Heroes Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick Starfish set off on a daredevil mission to get it back from Shell City.

Oh, and David Hasselhoff makes a right (and a left) tit of himself.

the toss of a coin

I take back much of what I said the other day about English football fans being somehow morally superior to Spanish ones - what was I thinking? In yesterday's Everton v Man Utd clash in the FA Cup, a game which was already contentious as the home team sold their wunderkind Wayne Rooney to the Red Devils back in August, the Everton fans became frustrated when they were losing 2-0 and started throwing various objects onto the field. Please keep in mind that these hurlers are mostly grown men who are well aware that the game is being broadcast live on national television. The Man United goalkeeper Roy Carroll was struck in the back of a head with a coin, but apparently even mobile phones were not exempt from chucking.

kiss me kate

Watched "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" last night on DVD. It is not exactly a classic, but one thing you have to say, it engages you throughout. It stars Jim Carrey and the beautiful Kate Winslet, who has just regained No 1 slot in my current sexiest movie stars list; she also made me wonder why she ever stopped being there in the first place!
The plot centers around the relationship between Carrey (a troubled writer/artist which makes me think the writer of the film is talking about himself) and Winslet (a fun-loving thrill-seeking neo-hippy). Basically she gets bored with their association and employs the services of a psychiatrist who apparently (and here's the reality suspension part) can erase a person's memories of a relationship permanently. He finds out the hard way that she has done this, and thus insists on having the procedure performed on himself, only to discover half way through it that he doesn't want to forget her after all.
The action take…

spanish inquisition

What is it with Spanish football fans? Before I go on, I KNOW natives of Barcelona do not consider themselves to be from Spain, but my point here goes well beyond that. The Nou Camp Stadium, home of Barcelona FC and easily one of the most impressive sporting venues in the world, recently hosted a charity match in aid of tsunami relief : First, only 40,000 went to the 90,000 seater venue for the event, and there are serious doubts that they all paid for their tickets; many were reputed to have been given "freebies" to boost the numbers. As if that wasn't bad enough, not only were there reports of booing during the game (I can't for the life of me imagine why an exhibition game for such a worthy cause should illicit booing), but the entire crowd seemingly did a MEXICAN WAVE during the contest! A tad heartless, methinks! And all of this in the wake of the unfathomable racist taunts of the black England players back i…

plenty of strings attached

Just saw "Team America - World Police". Brilliant. It may have been seriously tongue-in-cheek, but the speech about dicks, pussies and assholes has a hell of a lot of truth to it. Fuck, yeah!!!!

Forget about "White Noise" and "Meet The Fockers" though, they both suck.

"Racing Stripes" is good for the kids, kind of National Velvet meets Dr Doolitte.

dodgy deals

I HATE I HATE I HATE buying a used car. But fuck it, I did it. At least I paid less than the sticker price, and got a decent warranty. I won't dream of posting what I bought or how much it was for fear of all the comments about me being ripped off. Yes, I know, I'm a straight bloke who hates haggling. Shoot me. The whole process shows capitalism at its worst. God forbid I actually pay what a fuckin car is worth. Oh yeah, that's what makes life interesting, isn't it? Isn't it? I really really really HATE buying a used car. Today's one could very well be my last.


Good sweet holy mother of jumpin JAYSIS there's a whole lotta different blogs out there! I just clicked "Next Blog" a couple of dozen times and saw all sorts from all kinds of fascinating people. And mine is so GODDAM BORING!!!

blown away

Had a classic "Meldrew Moment" this morning : (see Before I start this story I want to make it clear that I really don't have a problem with Sandra's new room-mate, a tall relatively good looking bloke. There is a little discomfort however, and this did not help this morning's episode. I stayed over in Sandra's place last night, as is usual for Fridays. This morning, I left about noon. We were all sitting around the kitchen before I left, we being me, Sandra, Bernie (other roomate), Bernie's sister, and that bloke Stephen. He leaves the apartment to go down to the shops, but he has already said that he will be there in the flat all afternoon, while Bernie and her sis were going out somewhere. Since I had to come back here for a few hours, I knew that Sandra and yer man would be alone for a couple of hours, which didn't really bother me at the time, but I did take note of it. ANYWA…

a cyber what?

I have been working on a script for a mini-tv series based around a sports store for the past six months or so. I have the overall plot in my head for the first 10 episodes, and have written the first 2 and a half in full. I decided to publish the scripts on their own blog in small chunks, so when they catch up with what I have done I may be inspired to bring the 10-part series to its conclusion. I thus decided to call the project my "CyberSoap". It's called "The Gear" and you will find it at

case # 225/05

I finally took the first big step in filing for my divorce today. I brought all my papers to the Court of Family Law office in Smithfield downtown, and obtained my reference number for the impending hearing. Once some formalities have been carried out, which should take a few weeks, I hope to receive a date for my day in court. I can then focus all of my attention on wedding number 2!!!! It would be easy for someone to assume my putting it off to date was down to my not wanting to get divorced, whether in general or specifically to Ruth. In actual fact, the long finger was used simply because I suffer with a condition which I call "ignoraphobia", ie, a fear of anticipated situations in which I know I will have no idea what to do or how to proceed. I had a similar episode last week when I was bringing my daughter to her friend's house in Knocklyon; I freaked out a couple of times. At least now the ball is finally rolling anyway!!!

tá mé ag loving this go mór

You will only appreciate this if you know Hector off TG4.

memory for the thanks

No matter how hard I try, I can't stop myself from saying "Thanks a lot" to people when completing a transaction in a shop. This may sound trivial, but you have never heard me say it with my American/Dublin4 quasi-twang accent! It really sounds like I'm taking the piss! I'm aware of it to the point that I know I've done it right after I say it, but I can hardly go back and say "Excuse me, but you know the way I said 'Thanks a lot' just there? Well I really meant that you know, I wasn't being smart, you really did provide an excellent service!" I have tried to modify it to a simple "Cheers!" but this evolved into a "Perfect!" which was just downright silly. I'm not one to say the old boring run of the mill "THANK YOU" but perhaps for simple peace of mind I should start trying it. It annoys me as much as it does when I hear people answer the phone with the word "Yellow" instead of "Hello"…

politics : definitions

According to .............

pol·i·tics (pl-tks)n.

(used with a sing. verb)
The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.
Political science.
(used with a sing. or pl. verb)
The activities or affairs engaged in by a government, politician, or political party: “All politics is local” (Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr.). “Politics have appealed to me since I was at Oxford because they are exciting morning, noon, and night” (Jeffrey Archer).
The methods or tactics involved in managing a state or government: The politics of the former regime were rejected by the new government leadership. If the politics of the conservative government now borders on the repressive, what can be expected when the economy falters?
(used with a sing. or pl. verb) Political life: studied law with a view to going into politics; felt that politics was a worthwhile care…

seasonal adjustment

If you read even a sample of my blog writing, you will notice that although I share my identity with both Europe and the USA, my loyalties if pushed would lean toward the former. There is one debate, however, where I have to say the Yanks have it right. According to the Irish, yesterday, February 1st, was the first day of spring. To para-phrase Montgomery Burns, that is utter "pish-posh". The math is quite simple; there are 12 months, there are four seasons, thus there are roughly 3 months per season. Of course the weather does not instantly change on the 1st of the month, but if you had to name 3 months which could be categorized as "summer", they would have to be June, July and August. Any good weather after that, and the summer becomes Indian! Given that, the other months fall into line. September, October, November are autumn, December, January and February winter, and March, April and May are spring. Believe me I KNOW it's annoying to concede superi…