Showing posts from May, 2005

oliver twisted

Oliver Stone in LA drugs arrest

Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone has been arrested for drink driving and possession of drugs.
Police said the 58-year-old film-maker was arrested on Friday night at a police checkpoint on Sunset Boulevard, in Beverly Hills, California.
See the rest of the story here

boyz n da hoodz

Mall bans shoppers' hooded tops

Hooded tops, baseball caps and swearing have been outlawed at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent as part of a crackdown on anti-social behaviour. The retail and leisure complex is bringing in a zero-tolerance approach to intimidating conduct.

Click here for the rest of the story…

stories worth a thousand words #18



Written : October 4, 2004

I opened an eyelid halfway to what may still have been morning. My partner under the covers coughed and turned over beside me.
I had time for one quick scout left and right before my eyeballs’ motion alerted the rest of my head that the punishment for consuming the guts of two bottles of Jack Daniels was long overdue. I then had time for a quick groan of pain before my bladder caught the relay of the same message.

Luckily my memory banks were activated before I felt the necessity to resolve the conflict between my desire to move towards the bathroom and my desire to stay perfectly still. Thanks to them, despite my numerous aches, pains and imminent needs, I managed a broad, beaming smile. My joy got my adrenaline pumping enough to get myself standing, release a gaping yawn, and focus on the immediate task ahead. Though I wasn’t yet quite sure exactly how it transpired, I knew it had somehow…

execute order sixty-six

OK, I’ve been to it, and it was great, filling in all the blanks that needed to be filled, tying up all the loose ends that needed to be tied.

I don’t think it has been out long enough for spoilers, so I won’t give any.

My only bitch was the special effects. As much as I loved Lord Of The Rings, in the last instalment at the wedding ceremony when they first cut to the four hobbits I actually said out loud, “They’re SO not there!” and it led me to wonder why bother including that shot when they couldn’t make it look realistic. The same goes for several parts of RotS, especially the heads of the clones. It was CGI at its worst IMHO. The multiple Agent Smith thing worked in The Matrix because his suit was black. With the clones, they wear white, and even the one that was doing the talking was CGI. Eh, surely you can use the real actor there, guys!!! That’s pretty much my only beef. I know it sounds kinda picky and kinda nerdy, but it just didn't look right.

I'm still gonna go again …



jim's film meme

Try saying THAT heading ten times fast!!!!

Here’s my answers to Jim’s meme as requested…I will do my Episode III review shortly…

1. What was the last movie you went to see? Revenge of the Sith last night.

2. What is your all-time favorite movie and why? Did you see it at the theater, or was it a video/DVD? I am going to ignore Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and The Matrix and such as much as I enjoyed them because they were all expected to be successes. Instead I am going to nominate LA Confidential, which I saw on video, and for which I had no excpectations whatsoever, and was gripped right to the very end.

3. What movie stands out in your mind as the one which made you cry the most? Funnily enough, Cry Freedom. I’m kind of a human rights buff largely due to seeing it. Reading about apartheid was one thing, but seeing it acted out brought it to a whole new level. Most tearful moments were the scenes at Biko’s funeral, with tens of thousands of people of all races singing what went on to be…

"irish spring" box

When you ask a Dubliner his opinion on something, more often than not he will want to first size you up for your own stance before he replies. His first words may very well be something like “Ah, sure ya know yerself!!!”

I thought this would make a fitting title for my recently launched blog for rants on Ireland-specific issues, and I may as well give it a plug here. Every day I hear something in the local news which makes me want to climb on my soapbox, and I feel this ABOPATOS blog is more for my creative side and thus a series of forceful and possibly controversial speils wouldn’t really fit in. Feel free to drop by, if you're lucky there may be a pint or two in it for ya.

four weeks to u2 concert and counting…

from Vertigo 2005 tour

What a picture. Trust me; it makes for a stunning wallpaper. This sums up Bono’s rapport with his fans. Could that be anything but a look of pure sincerity on his face. To me, it does not say “I’m a super-rich rock star and you’re not ya sad bastard” like the way so many prima donnas act these days. His face instead says, “I’m a super-rich rock star thanks to fans just like you. Thank you.”

Bring on their gig in Croke Park on June 24. It's going to be quite a day, I can't wait, though I guess I gotta. There really is no better place to see them than Dublin – sorry, rest of the world!!!

On a different musical note, I heard the new Oasis single “Lyla” [Yes, Clapton fans, that’s “Layla” with only one “a”] for the first time last night – I think it’s gonna grow on me, could be this summer’s anthem. You can have a listen by playing around with this cool player thingy from their website. +++++++++++++++ Also in music news, I just found this story on Irish TV netwo…

stories worth a thousand words #17



Written: December 14, 2004 [The latest version of the song that started the Live Aid phenomenon, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, by the European music stars of today, is at number one in the UK charts today]
The date was July 13th, 1985.

It was a day when the Western Civilization woke up and realized they could actually make a difference and see the human race as something worth living for.

It was a day when a load of larger than life egos got together and shared a couple of stages to give the world a powerful message.

It was a day when so much money was raised it made me wonder if it was the lack of money that was really the problem.

It was a day when I realized the irrelevence of the word “charity”, which suggests the condescending offering of crumbs from our table, when events like this should happen more out of a sense of duty to ensure that everyone can claim their rightful plac…

no matter how

No matter how much I want to be good I have to be bad
No matter how much I want to stay sane I have to go mad
No matter how much I want to tell the truth I know I have to lie
No matter how much I want to stay alive one day I have to die

Sorry if I depress ya
Sorry if I annoy ya
With all this talk of death despair
Pain and paranoia

But when reality
Gets the better of me
Darkness is all that I can see

No matter how loud I’m screamin
I can’t shout down these demons in my soul
They’re out of control
Demons in my soul

No matter how much I want to be normal I have to be odd
No matter how much I’d rather play human I have to play God
No matter how hard I try to save money I always lose interest
No matter how much I want to stay faithful I must have a mistress

Sorry if I offend ya
Sorry I have to warn ya
About all this talk of sex evil
Hate and California

But then reality
Gets the better of me
With darkness as far as I can see

No matter how loud I’m screamin
I can’t shout down these demons in my soul
They’re out of cont…

clear sky at night, merchant’s delight?

Is a night sky like this one far, far away???
courtesy of the Reuters Oddly Enough files…
The U.S. government does not want billboards in space.

The Federal Aviation Administration proposed on Thursday to amend its regulations to ensure that it can enforce a law that prohibits "obtrusive" advertising in zero gravity.

"Objects placed in orbit, if large enough, could be seen by people around the world for long periods of time," the FAA said in a regulatory filing.

Currently, the FAA lacks the authority to enforce the existing law.

For instance, outsized billboards deployed by a space company into low Earth orbit could appear as large as the moon and be seen without a telescope, the FAA said.
Big and bright advertisements might hinder astronomers.
"Large advertisements could destroy the darkness of the night sky," regulators said.
Could they? Really? Ya think? Good to know there’s committee meetings out there going …

the right thing to say

I was reminded of this story by the following piece by Chuck over at “Burst Transmission”, though he actually posted it on KBB’s “What Middle America Thinks”. They are both excellent thought-provoking blogs, as my post goes to show.
Of all personality traits, I value loyalty the most.

I will admit that I make certain caveats to my value of loyalty. My loyalty to someone ends to a great extent as soon as I feel that person has not been loyal to me.

I don't tell secrets people expect me to keep - especially those most damaging to a person's life. I expected to be treated the same.

I expect my friends not to publicly side with others in arguments. Friends will surely disagree from time to time, but true friends stand together in public and handle their differences in private.

I have more thoughts on this, but for now I'll pass the subject to the readers. What constitutes and doesn't constitute loyalty for you?

You can’t spend 12 years going out with/married to someone …

pots and kettles

LONDON (Reuters) -

Britain's Sun tabloid published another picture on Saturday of Saddam Hussein in prison [in his underwear] and robustly defended its decision to print such images despite Pentagon claims it may have violated the Geneva Conventions.

Oh my good Lord! Breached the Geneva Conventions have they? So the Bush administration considers that to be a crime now, does it? Please...

I know it has been said several times already, but I'll say it anyway cos it's at LAST we know where Saddam was keeping his WMD...

le concours des chansons merdes

A while ago I made fun of a particular TV show, “Everybody Loves Raymond”. Living in Europe as I do, I can imagine many Americans reading that piece would assume I was having a swipe at all things red white and blue and would no doubt jump to its defence. In reality, there are several TV offerings from across the pond I enjoy, with “The West Wing”, “The Sopranos” and “Six Feet Under” being among my perennial favourites.

Even so, I feel compelled to berate some European television fare to even the score, and tonight’s “Eurovision Song Contest” (ESC), a glorified talent show comprising around 40 or so nations across the continent, gives me the perfect opportunity to do so.

This annual event is under the stewardship of an organization known as “The European Broadcasting Union” (EBU). Casual observers from the USA would be forgiven for thinking this was our equivalent of ABC or NBC, but in reality, it is far from it. It is actually a blanket body representing each country’s state-funded tel…

stories worth a thousand words #16


Written: December 5, 2004

1. Why do we call it “common sense” if so many people don’t seem to have it?
2. We were once absolutely convinced that the world was flat – what else that we take for granted is complete crap?
3. If the author didn’t really care whether or not Jimmy cracked corn, then why did he write a song about it?
4. Does the fridge light really stay switched off when the door gets closed?
5. What is it that makes us want to touch a plate in a restaurant immediately after we’ve been told it’s very hot?
6. If someone did find a cure for the common cold, would companies that make remedies prevent them from sharing it with the world?
7. Which is more believable – that the universe carries on for ever or that there exists an end to it?
8. If the very word “nation” implies the presence of borders and thus the existence of divisions between different groups of people, how can …

the circle is now complete

It’s been about 28 years, so I think I can wait one more week to see “Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” after all the people who had the wherewithal (not to mention the profound lack of shame) to book their seats for the opening screenings months in advance.

I just wish I hadn’t read in the paper that Anakin becomes Darth Vader, I hate it when the ending gets spoiled, apologies if I have done so for you.

No doubt I will be posting a review in due course.

stick that in your smoking gun

I doubt Tony Blair would have been too pleased with the prospect of George Galloway facing him across the House of Commons floor. What does surprise me, however, is that he has pulled the remarkably transparent stunt of calling on his buddy in The White House to have the prominent anti-war campaigner publicly accused of profiting financially from the Saddam Hussein regime, a claim that has already been successfully challenged in the British courts following a full libel case against The Daily Telegraph.

Galloway rose to the challenge yesterday and faced the US Senate Committee hearing, in an exercise he compared to Daniel entering the lion’s den. As with that story, the lions were silenced, but in this case it was the British MP’s defiance and profound eloquence that kept the predators at bay.

Here are some of the quotes from George Galloway as he confronted his accusers on a US Senate sub-committee.

· "I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one, and neither …

hit album. three more. another? yes!

In this day and age where record companies’ PR machines have no shame in hailing their teenage fledgelings as “international superstars” after just one song let alone one album, I remain determined to stick to the line in the sand I drew over a decade ago when it came to declaring what I thought to be a good act.

I contend a band cannot be considered to be great unless their fifth album is at LEAST as good as their first.

Thankfully Stereophonics’ offering number five “Language. Sex. Violence. Other?” fits the bill nicely. Now I can write about them.

The Rolling Stone gave this album just 2 out of 5. What the hell do they know. That’s only because since they’re “British” (albeit Welsh rather than English) they chose to compare them to Oasis and Blur. Brit Rock my ass. I hate to break it to you, Rolling Stone people, but the USA does not hold the international rights to play rock n roll.

Having said that, I very much doubt Kelly Jones and the boys care what America thinks of them. All they…

stories worth a thousand words #15

A WARTS ‘N ALL AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN ORDINARY GUY 1000 WORDS ON…TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR FC The latest instalment of my autobiography "Stories Worth A Thousand Words" is all about how a boy who was born in Walnut Creek, California and raised in Dublin, Ireland grew to develop a lifelong fanaticism for a soccer team that is based in London, England. Since it's all about sports, I thought I would post it over on my sister sports-writing blog "Just As Well It's Only A Game!". Normal service will resume with the next chapter in a few days. NEXT, #16 : 1000 WORDS ON…INSOMNIA QUESTIONS


from Ananova's Quirky files...
Dial-a-toilet launched in China
The world's first telephone toilet location system is to be launched in Shanghai next month.
The move was announced at the First World Toilet Forum held in the Chinese city, reports City Express.
Users dial a special number and the system tells them the location of the nearest public toilet.
In the future, it will also give them information such as whether or not the conveniences are free of charge.
Sun Guizhi, director of the Shanghai city cleaning office, said: "The system is mainly for tourists who come to the city for the first time." ++++++++++++++++++++++ I can hear it now... [Chinese translation] "Thank you for calling Dial-A-Toilet. Your call is very important to us. If you have to do a Number 1, press 1. If you have to do a Number 2, press 2. If you wish to speak to an operator, cross your legs and hold and your call will be answered in rotation. We will play soothing waterfall sounds while you are w…

time for a shaggy

Winner of Shaggy II > Dol
I hope my regular blog buddies won’t be offended if I present The Second Shagadelic Contribution To Blogland Award (aka “The Shaggy”) to someone who is not on my BlogRoll, well not yet anyway.

I was surfing the other day and my focus was to see if there were many fellow Irish folk out there doing the blogging thing. After browsing, Dol’s “Tales Of A Receptionist” caught my eye. Since the award must go to a singular post, I will grant it for her first one “Corporate Whore!”, and I hope you will stop by her blog some time to follow the rest of it.

I would have thought the comic strip as a medium was long since gone, that everything had been done before, that CGI technology had killed it once and for all. Dol, with her original offering, which I guess can be described as the female equivalent of Dilbert, proves me wrong.

It just goes to show that even in the most run of the mill, mundane and seemingly pointless occupations, there can be talented…

caught on the hop

Ah, the Merchandising Team. What fond memories those two words bring back to me. The Sexy Sirens Of Sportswear. What stunning beauties they were, each and every one of them.

What was my story again? Oh, yeah…

Working in the sports store as a staff member was quite entertaining. However, once I became manager, it became increasingly frustrating by the day. When I wasn’t trying to motivate the predominately under-18 workforce to focus on customer service, I was dealing with an irate mother who couldn’t understand that the material of her son’s replica soccer shirt could not withstand being clearly snagged by something sharp. When I wasn’t wading through a mountain of paperwork dreamed up by the mindless beaurocrats at Head Office, I was trying to explain to yet another sales rep that the very same headquarters was where they should go to peddle their assorted wares.

Somehow I would get to closing time, armed with a list of things to do the next day, a list of things I hadn’t gotten done th…

stories worth a thousand words #14


Written : December 11, 2004

“What’s you’re favourite movie?” “What music do you like?”
“What football team do you support?”
While I have no doubt there have been far more loaded questions asked in the history of the human race, these have always made me feel immense pressure over the years. With that I always seem to have several different answers for each one, and give one or two examples based on the person asking the question.
Now, at the age of 35, I feel I am finally beginning to come to terms with the fact that taste is definitely in the opinion of the beholder. Since there seems to be even a cool way to spell the word “cool”, ie k-e-w-l, I see now that it’s pointless to feel ashamed about your likes and dislikes, and I’m now finding myself able to cock a deaf ear to all those who sneer at my assorted responses.
Here’s a sample of my favourite things down the years, and I will divide them as evenly as I can i…

anglo-irish coffee

[A warm welcome to all who have clicked over from the "scary" section of the Irish tourism website! Feel free to look over this story, but if you want to see my more recent scary stuff just click the word "Pampering" at the top of the page. Thanks again for dropping by! Oh by the way - when the tourist site says "we have to say this because some Irish may not always have on hand their customary sense of humour" they mean me because I got the wrong end of the stick when I first saw my blog mentioned there!]

You would not have to be an avid historian to know there isn’t a lot the English can say about the Irish that we would find amusing.

Normally it will be a joke involving Paddy Englishman, Paddy Scotsman and Paddy Irishman. You know, like the one where they are all in front of a firing squad, and just before Paddy Englishman is shot he distracts the riflemen by looking behind them and shouting “Tornado! Tornado!” at which point they turn around allowing h…

prosecution to seek stiff sentence

from the Reuters Oddly Enough files... Three New York doctors were charged on Thursday with giving large amounts of Viagra and other anti-impotence drugs to mob members in return for construction and auto repair work done by mafia-controlled businesses.
Arlen Fleisher, Stephen Klass and George Shapiro, all doctors in Westchester County, a suburban area north of New York City, were accused of trading prescription drugs and drug samples with members and associates of the Gambino crime family. The one-count complaint was filed in Manhattan federal court.
Lawyers for all three defendants said their clients denied wrongdoing.
If convicted, the men could face a maximum 10-year prison term. They were arrested at their homes on Thursday morning and released after each posted a $50,000 bond. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Now there's a deal for fix my ride, I'll fix yours."Just when I thought I was down, they druuuugged me back up" I have many more, but I fear I may lower …

by george i think he's got it

The only thing that was going to hurt Tony Blair in Thursday’s British General Election was the decision to go into Iraq. Overall his Labour Party, despite all but abandoning the left wing principles on which it was founded, has left British internal affairs in pretty good shape after the past two terms since they stormed to power in 1997.

His main opposition, Conservative leader Michael Howard, had his hands tied on the Iraq issue, since the troops were deployed at the time and he could not speak out against them, much like the dilemma John Kerry faced last November.

The fly in the ointment was George Galloway. His rigorous opposition to Blair’s plans to stand beside the White House and oust the regime in Baghdad resulted in a bitter smear campaign against him, which led to his being thrown out of the Labour Party, and even to suggestions that he himself was in financial league with Saddam Hussein, a claim that was subsequently thrown out by the courts.

Instead of taking his punishment,…

introducing the "shaggy"

Winner of Shaggy I > Shandi
I was inspired this morning to come up with an award to grant to posts from other blogs which make my day somehow. I could go back in time and hand out dozens of them, but I have no doubt there's a lot more where they came from on my BlogRoll, so I will let this one be the first. And so The First Shagadelic Contribution To Blogland Award (aka "The Shaggy") goes to Shandi over at "I Have 2 Belly-Buttons" for her highly entertaining and innovative picturefest, "Who says you can't have the fairytale?". Congrats, and may your award take pride of place on your mantlepiece. Your acceptance speech will be limited to two minutes so we can go to a word from our sponsors.

shoulda coulda woulda

Thanks to sex for tagging me with this meme (I’ve thanked sex for a lot of things in my day but this is definitely a first), and in turn I nominate Shan, Shandi and Kieran to keep it going. Seemingly you pick about three from the list and bang on about them in your own words, and you even get to add to it if you so desire.

If I could be a painter….
I’d have the power to make my dreams come alive.
To help people understand exactly what I see.
To help me understand exactly what I see.
To help me understand how close they are to what other people see.
The canvas of my closed eyelids does not do them justice.
The canvas of the English language does not do them justice.
Be they erotic, be they inspiring or be they terrifying, my dreams are wonderfully mysterious, each and every one.
I want to see my dreams with open eyelids.

If I could be a lawyer…
maybe I’d finally be able to discover how to distance the words coming out of my mouth from the feelings coming from my heart. Damn, I wish I could d…

method acting in his madness???

“What??? Gandalf doing Corrie??? That’s like, that’s like…..”

“Uh-oh, here we go…..”

Help me, Blogland, and don’t let me down.

I need analogies, and I need ‘em fast.

Monday night is “watch the British soap operas with the girlfriend” night. I know. But in my defence, guys, it was either that or “Desperate Housewives Tuesday”, and, well, there’s Champions League soccer on Tuesdays.

Anyway, her favourite soap and probably the best known of the genre this side of the pond is called “Coronation Street” (affectionately known as “Corrie”), and is set in a working class area of Manchester in northern England. A very, very humble working class area of Manchester in northern England. So humble it makes Walton’s Mountain look like DisneyWorld.

Goddam, why couldn’t I think of something like that an hour ago???

ANYWAY….imagine my surprise when I see someone very familiar acting in Corrie.

“Is that…”

Ian McKellen? Yeah, he’s been in it for the past few days.”

“Nooo…..that can’t be him…he’s a classical acto…