Showing posts from October, 2005

bitesize bullets


JESSIE : Ten years ago when my fiancée was still living at home they got a golden retriever puppy. Sadly, Jessie had to be put down last week, as the poor thing was in a lot of pain. It made for a rough weekend for all the family.

PROGRESS : On the good news front, Sunday’s weigh in shows a loss of – drumroll – FIFTEEN POUNDS in two weeks of my new regime. If you knew me, you‘d know I wouldn’t lie about this. What it really goes to show is how much excess I had to lose.

LINKING : I’d like to thank both Tweet Petite and Driver^ for linking me on their blogs recently, having supposedly found me through my regular Liberal digest, BlondeSense.

BUSHBASHING : He’s tripping up so often these days that it almost seems pointless to criticize him. My fellow blogger Alan made the very poignant suggestion that it is all a ploy for the GOP to distance itself from him to get the next guy/gal in. I reckon he has a point.


A lot of fathers go to great lengths to squirm out of their parental responsibilites – according to the Reuters Oddly Enough files, over in Sweden they’ve closed off one of the more sure-fire escape routes…

Dads may be able to keep babies behind bars

Sweden's prison service may allow babies to live in prison with their fathers, putting men on an equal footing with women in prison parenting, a prison service official said Thursday.

"It would be a possibility for men, but only in rare cases where social services find it is in the child's best interests," prison official Elisabeth Lager told Reuters. "It would not become their right, just a possibility."

Only nine or 10 women prisoners a year are given custody of their babies inside Swedish jails, said Lager, and making this possible for men was not a question of gender equality but of minimalizing the effects on babies of their parents' imprisonment.

Once over a year old, children are not permitted to live beh…

stories worth a thousand words #47



Irish soccer fans are known all over the world [for good reasons]

Written: December 15, 2004[Since I wrote this, much has happened, little has changed IMHO]

“And we have an email here from JL Pagano which reads: ‘The only photograph we want to see would be one of Dr Paisley and Mr McGuinness outside Stormont ready to go in and govern the north’; many would say, Mr Donaldson, that this is a picture that Dr Paisley himself would NOT like to see?”Not surprisingly, The Irish national broadcaster RTE’s current affairs panel show “Questions And Answers” devoted its entire hour to the latest developments in the Northern Ireland “peace process” two nights ago. Among the panel members were Jeffrey Donaldson, a high ranking member of Dr Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party, and Mitchell McLoughlin, a senior negotiator for Sinn Féin; up to now you would never see the two men sitting at the same table.


feel so small

When I look at pictures of my family
I cannot help but hold my head up high
But then the fact that self-doubt keeps on nagging me
Holds me back and it makes me wonder why

If it wasn’t for my loved ones I would see no hope at all
Cos I feel so small

When I read back over human history
I cannot help but be amazed
But then the fact that much is still a mystery
Holds me back and has me counting down my days

I’d gladly sell my soul if I had a place to set my stall
And I feel so small

Maybe this is the real meaning of loneliness
And the way I feel isn’t crazy after all
For it doesn’t make much sense that everyone can stand so tall
While I feel so small

When I read the U.S. Constitution
I cannot help but feel a glow inside
But then the fact that it ends at its own frontiers
Holds me back and puts shackles on my pride

The concept of united we stand and divided we fall
Makes me feel so small

Maybe this is the real meaning of loneliness
And the way I feel isn’t crazy after all
For it doesn’t make much sense that every…

bitesize bullets


PROGRESS : In the first six days of my health regime, I lost all of TEN pounds. Granted, I pigged out the weekend before starting so there was a lot to lose, but I’m all about accentuating the positives these days, so the party line is “so far so good”.

CONCLUDING : I’m coming close to the end of my series of 1000 word essays on my life to date. Since I started doing so back in March I’ve kind of built this blog around those posts – I’m planning a new “quality over quantity” approach after I’m done.

BASEBALL : I’m not so much a baseball fan as an Oakland A’s fan, so I won’t be following the World Series too closely. I was disappointed to hear A’s coach Ken Macha had resigned after leading us from 15 games under .500 to 14 over in a topsy-turvy 2005 campaign.

MOCKERY : Was anyone surprised at Saddam Hussein’s ability to stall his trial moments after it began? Didn’t think so.

WILMA : Here’s hoping that Mot…

stories worth a thousand words #46



The sticker Irish learner drivers must display on their cars till they pass their test. The funny thing about our test here is, if you fail it, you can still drive home.

Written: December 5, 2004

If I had wanted to, I could have requested a cancellation when I sent in my application for my driving test in December 2002, and sat the test within about six weeks. Instead, like many other big decisions in my life up to now, I decided to let it happen as late as I possibly could, and thus had to wait over a year before finally receiving my date of March 5, 2004.

There was only one other time when I was ever behind the wheel driving my black 95 Golf that I was badly lacking confidence. That was when I had to ask MyX to come with me as I got some petrol shortly after I bought it back in spring 2001. Something about having her sitting beside me rattled my self assurance; I guess since I was still blaming myself com…

a story with a twist or two

It was Monday, March 28th, 2005.

It was “Easter Monday”, and thus a national holiday here in Ireland. My fiancée Sandra and I went for a walk down Dun Laoghaire pier, then got the DART train back to Blackrock where we stopped in a pub called O’Rourkes for lunch and a few drinks. A friend of hers joined us with her boyfriend for a while before they had to go home. As afternoon turned to evening, we decided to go into downtown Dublin and see what was happening there, maybe take in a club.

The toilets in O’Rourke’s are upstairs. As we were halfway through our last drink before setting off, I had to visit them. As I came back down the stairs, my coordination failed me to the tune of reaching my right leg out towards the bottom floor about two steps too soon. As a result, my standing foot landed awkwardly, forcing my ankle to twist under the quite considerable force of my total body weight coming from above. The bend lasted a split second before recoiling, but boy, was it sore.

There was a ma…

i think i'm in heaven

Where can I be? I recognise it
Though I’ve never been here before
There’s beauty all round
And I can’t feel inhibitions anymore

I can talk to everybody
Cos they know me
There’s happy faces
As far as I can see

And all I know is the world and I feel fine

And I think I’m in heaven
It’s either that or I’m dreaming

Fear, pain, sorrow, anger
Anguish, despair, prejudice, hatred
Ignorance, murder
Ignorance, war

I can’t find those in the dictionaries here

And I think I’m in heaven
It’s either that or I’m dreaming

This time, there’s no stimulants
Flowing through my veins
And this time, there’s no alcohol
Trying to take away my pain
No foreign bodies, this time,
Messing with my brain
So can this all be for real
Or am I insane?

Cos I think I’m in heaven
It’s either that or I’m…

OK, maybe I am dreaming!
But if I am, don’t pinch me

© JL Pagano 1989

click here for a full index of my poetry and song lyrics

bitesize bullets


DEPRESSING : Boy, yesterday’s post sure was hard to publish. I came that close to deleting it several times. What stopped me was my own tag-line for the essays of “warts n all”. Reading it now helps me understand the situation a lot better. Sorry to get all dark and depressing, folks.

DIET : On an upbeat note, I’ve come to a deal with my fiancée – she becomes my personal trainer and helps me shed the necessary tonnage, I teach her to drive. It’s a good plan as we are each considering doing the respective coaching for a living.

CHICKEN : First there was Y2K. Then there was anthrax. Then “mad-cow” disease. Then SARS. Now it’s the chickens. It seems these threats of “pandemics” or “bio-terror” or the like come and go with alarming frequency. Seems to me like a lot of money being spent on stuff that “might” happen.

U2 : I like their music, and I support Bono’s contribution to the MakePovertyHistory campaign, b…

stories worth a thousand words #45



Written : October 18, 2005

messy, irritable, depressed, fragile, worrying, emotionally sensitive, does not like to lead, phobic, weird, suspicious, low self control, paranoid, frequently second guesses self, dependent, unproductive, introverted, weak, strange, unassertive, submissive, familiar with the dark side of life, feels invisible, rash, vain, anti-authority, heart over mind, low self concept, disorganized, not good at saving money, avoidant, daydreamer, unadventurous
I just did one of those online personality tests and what you see above are the results. Apparently that collection of “under-latives” is me in a cyber-nutshell, and I answered the questions as honestly as I possibly could.

This chapter was originally entitled “1000 Words On … My Being a Textaholic”, and it was composed exactly one year ago today. It was meant to be about a phase when I had been both fired from a job for a second time AND s…

sex, drugs and flatlining

These days, when the Rolling Stones say they're playing "Live", they need a disclaimer.

Check out this story from Ananova's Quirky files...

Stones tour with heart machine

The Rolling Stones have a heart machine reportedly backstage in case one collapses on their US tour.

Organisers have brought in a defibrillator, used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm.

According to The Sun quoting US magazine Globe a source said: "With all four band members now veterans, their managers are not taking any chances."

A spokesman for the band said: "I've never seen a defibrillator backstage."

Looks like Jack Flash can't do that much jumpin anymore!

Rumour has it that if Jagger decides to body surf, a roadie will have to do it with him to carry his IV drip.

i can't believe it's not spreading

Rogue Valley Country Club – quite the swanky establishment

Now that I have finally shared with you all the story of how I came to meet my biological father a couple of years ago, I can now go on to relate some of the incidents that happened on the two occassions I went over to meet him and his family.

The first “Lifeslice” story that springs to mind happened in the summer of ’04 when I brought my fiancee Sandra and my two kids over to meet the members of the newly-extended clan.

This appeared to be quite a daunting trip for many different reasons – for example, it was the first time my kids had travelled with their daddy's girlfriend, so that was always going to be a challenge. Also, as my father lives in Oregon and we intended to spend equal time with my mother in San Francisco, it made for a complicated itinerary. Finally, although I had gone over myself to press the flesh the summer before, there was still some doubt as to how the two families would interact for an entire week.

On …

stories worth a thousand words #44


1000 WORDS ON…SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

Written: December 20, 2004 [This chapter begins with the lyrics to the song/prayer "In Memoriam 091101" which I have already posted a couple of times]

I had my son CJ with me for the day at the house in Clondalkin; the arrangement was that I mind him there for the day, dropping over to St Pauls School in Greenhills to collect my daughter RA for 2:40pm, and wait in the house until MyX got home from work around 6.

I was a Sky News addict at this stage, in an effort to be somewhat au fait with current affairs. Shortly after 2pm that day, I switched on to catch the headlines, and dominating the screen was a picture of the twin towers in New York with smoke billowing out of one of the buildings. It was clear that there had been a terrible accident of some kind, so naturally I stayed watching to find out what had happened.

Around ten past the hour, I witnessed another plane hit the second tower live, and w…

bitesize bullets

FEATURE: I decided to try out a new type of post called “bitesize bullets” whereby I pick a few assorted topics and give you up to (yet no more than) fifty words of what I think of it.

PAKISTAN : One journalist called 2005 “The Year Of The Natural Disaster”. What a terrible tragedy, all the more so that it happened in such a politically unstable region. It really puts things in perspective.

GERMANY : Looks like Angela Merkel had to sell the soul of her plans for reform to the devil for the sake of power. I don’t see this so-called “grand coalition” government lasting for long.

MYSTERY : I thought fellow blogster Alan from “Random Burblings” had solved my bbq post mystery last week, yet even up to now that same page receives over a dozen hits per day. I am truly stumped.

STEWART : Not Marcia, but John. “The Daily Show” finally debuted on digital TV here last night (the new channel “more4”) and it’s all it was cracked up to be and then some. Don’t call me between 8:30 and 9 weekni…

stories worth a thousand words #43



Taken moments after First Contact at Medford International Airport

Of course this text has been partially edited to stay within the 1000-word barrier, but I reckon it's a unique way of expressing how this particular episode transpired.

From Newstalk106’s “City Edition” presented by Orla Barry(OB) and Declan Carty(DC) 11am November 27, 2003.

OB: Last Monday you may remember we did an interview with a young woman called Fiona Farrell who was desperately searching for her mother who had given her up for adoption and the search for parents is often a long and heartbreaking procedure but for one NewsTalk 106 listener, he found his dad in record time, using the internet! Jeff, good morning to you!

JLP: Hi Orla, love the show!

OB: Tell us a little bit about what happened, Jeff – first of all, you were adopted… when did you know you were adopted?

JLP: I wasn’t adopted, Orla, I was raised by my mother’s parents and…

patient did not wish to divulge any information

The night that she told me
She looked so upset
Maybe it was pain from thirteen years before
Or maybe it was just regret

Or maybe it was just that she thought
I would not understand
But I already knew
My unknown father was a single man

Although I should have tried
I could not bring myself to hold her
All I could do was say these words
To try and console her

“Mom, it doesn’t really bother me
so wipe the tears from your eyes
there’s no need for you to cry
because it doesn’t really bother me”

The night that I told you
I hardly even knew ya
I bet you didn’t know what the hell
Was happenin to ya

But I was sick of answering questions
With stories that were untrue
And baby that night I felt
That I could tell anything to you

And looking at your face I could see
The questions that were on your mind
Like “Does he feel angry? Does he feel sad?”
Well if you look real hard I think you’ll always find

It doesn’t really bother me
So take that fear from your eyes
I'm just sick of all these lies
And it doesn’t really bother me


what's right with this picture?

Click the pic to see it properlyFrequent hits are good, in fact they are GREAT. It's what keeps us bloggers blogging(hey! could that be a new occupation for one of the twelve days of Christmas?).I sincerely hope this post is not mistaken for a complaint that I am getting too many hits, far from it.It's just that according to my stats, the above picture and the post associated with it has received almost 20% of my hits from all over the globe in the last 24 hours and for the life of me, I can't work out why.Since I would like to be a "for-real" published writer at some point, I'd like to know, and I'd be open to suggestions. It's hardly the funniest post I've ever done, is it? Is that someone famous in the pic and I don't know it? Has it piqued the interest of the World Gravediggers Union? Or the International Barbecue Foundation?Answers on a postcard to...well, me.

variation on a theme

Shaggy VI > Michèle

Recurring themes are good for blogs if you ask me. Now let’s be clear – I’m talking about THEMES and definitely NOT the phenomenon we bloggers call “memes”. Don’t start me on them.

By themes of course I mean something you continue to resort to when your “ramble” function is failing you, symptoms I experience all too often. I reckon between all my blogs I may have up to a dozen themes to choose from – in fact, you’re reading one right now!

This particular one is an attempt to honour some of my favourite co-bloggers by awarding a prize I affectionately refer to as a “Shaggy”.

And so, without any further ado, I would like to announce that the Sixth Shagadelic Contribution To Blogland Award goes to Michèle at her “Just Hanging Around” blog for the post “Toyota Pickup vs. The Monte Carlo”, which is an extremely well-put together account of a harrowing event.

It is part of her set of excellent stories from her life simply called “Ten Strange Things I’ve Done”, and I’m not …

stories worth a thousand words #42



Written: November 16, 2004

“Ah, Jaysus no, sure yer doin it all wrong man!!! You gotta booorn it for a bit THEN break it into it loike I just fookin shown ya!!!!”

I was to meet Sandra after work and since it was a nice summer’s afternoon in 2004 and I was a good bit early, I decided to buy a newspaper and sit in St Stephen’s Green until it was time for our rendez vous. I was surprised to see an empty bench over by one of the fountains, for on a day like that you would normally expect to be sharing seating space. When I finally sat down I understood the reason for the vacancy.

At the next bench, about ten feet from mine, there were four lads brazenly rolling joints. One of them was obviously a rookie and receiving tuition. They sat there, happily toking away without as much as a care in the world. As I was ready to leave, a garda officer on a push bike had gone over to them and was telling them off, but as mo…

the divided colors of bennett

Willam Bennett in the days before he caught foot-in-mouth disease

Oh, my good Lord. Who would have thought that one short sentence could piss off so many different sections of society all at once.

For something that has caused so much of a bru-ha-ha in the USA, it was pretty difficult to find the exact quote on the net. Eventually I found this on…

If it were your sole purpose to reduce crime, Bennett said, "You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.

"That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down," he added.

Knowing a bit about radio studios as I do, I reckon the second sentence was uttered as a reaction to the collective faces of all within his line of sight after saying the first.

No doubt the Democrats will be all over this. I personally never heard of this guy. Not much chance of my learning anything interesting about this guy by way of their sites either.