Showing posts from November, 2005

bitesize bullets


PROGRESS : Every four weeks we leave out a “green bin” to be collected which is full of cardboard and newspapers for recycling. I noticed the latest one was half as full as it normally is. Why is that? No pizza boxes! Two more pounds gone, making it 23 in six weeks.

PICTURE : I had to change my “bitesize” pic because apparently the website from which I got the last one is no longer on the web. I hope the new one isn’t too girly!

BEST : Football/soccer lost one of its greatest ever players last Friday with the death of George Best, who played for Manchester United, Northern Ireland and even Los Angeles in his day. Rather than the traditional minute’s silence at games last weekend, they opted for the fitting tribute of a minute’s applause.

TRAGEDY : Much like football’s most worn out cliché, Best’s life was itself a “game of two halves”. I can only hope the tragic alcoholism that was his eventual undoing can…

those who can't?

Once upon a yesteryear I wanted to be an English teacher.

The trouble with aspiring to certain professions at a young age is that your perceptions are usually too far removed from reality for your choice to be an informed one.

Having said that, when I was in 6th Year [American equivalent = high school senior] my dean was so impressed with the way I organized a pool tournament for my peers in the rec room that he actually took me aside and told me that if I ever wanted somewhere to train as a teacher, I was more than welcome at my alma mater.

This meant nothing to me at the time, but seven years later when I returned from a couple of years’ travelling in the USA with MyX and she was pregnant with our first child, I was relying on this promise for my career prospects, and I set up a meeting with the principal of the day to discuss them.

By the time I walked out of the meeting, I was fully convinced that teaching was the last thing I wanted to do. One reason for this could be that the priest…

bitesize bullets


PROGRESS : Though there was only a drop of two pounds this week, I’d be happy with that for the next while, and then I’d expect it to level off. 21lbs in 5 weeks ain’t too shabby overall. Thanks again to Sandra for keeping me on track.

CONGRATS : …to my friend and regular reader Conor whose wife is expecting their first baby next summer. He chose to inform me by way of a mime that was meant to illustrate a pregnant bump but which I first took to mean big boobies. Shows where my mind is.

POEM : My latest lyrical offering was a lot of fun to do. I re-worked the words of Billy Joel’s classic “We Didn’t Start The Fire” concentrating on Irish history. It’s here if you want to check it out, but you do need to know the subject matter to get it.

SPORTS : In keeping with my “less is more” blogging policy, I have decided to terminate my “Just As Well It’s Only A Game” blog and in future I will vent my sporting splee…

more like “shame & blame”

White phosphorus being used over Fallujah. Though its illuminatory function cannot be questioned, I don’t get how the lighted area can be guaranteed not to also affect civilians [source -]

When you take into account the fact I am a self-confessed pacifist, you will understand I barely have to open my mouth on the recent “white phosphorus” debate and you would pretty much have an idea where my views would lie.

In fact, before I utter a word I can hear the resonance of terms like “pinko” being flung in my direction. To those who are forming this opinion, I refer you all to my recently posted essay on such terms.

Now, to the issue at hand. I always find Wikipedia to be a great source for the lowdown on things in the news you need catching up on. Here’s how they explain the substances effects on humans.

Effects of exposure to WP weapons

Incandescent particles of WP cast off by a WP weapon's initial explosion can produce extensive, deep (second and third degree), painful burns. Thes…

aw, how cuuute!!!

Let’s face it – not many people enjoy being patronized, I certainly don’t.

In case you don’t know what being patronized means, it’s when somebody automatically assumes…


Seriously, though – just what is it that gets our dander up when somebody talks down to us? Ok, of course it is an affront to our dignity first and foremost, particularly when the perpetrator is someone we consider to be a peer, but in my opinion it goes much deeper than this.

I reckon our resentment stems from our adolescent years when we are beginning to think less about our immediate desires and more about the world around us; in other words, when we start to form those wretched things we call opinions.

Of course the first culprits we come across are our parents or guardians. Nothing used to bug me more than when I’d embark on a rant only to see my more senior relations’ faces be washed over by that “Aw, look at him, he has a point of view!” expression which means they aren’t taking in a word I am actually saying, …

bitesize bullets


PROGRESS : It just goes to show how you can use your blog to motivate yourself. I said I’d shed more pounds by this week and lo and behold, another five pounds gone. Not sure what my target weight is just yet, but here’s hoping the trend will continue for now.

COMPLETION : Thank you all again for following my “1000 Words On…” series which I wrapped up last week, and best of luck to Kieran over at Wit and Prophecy who is gearing up to try something similar. I for one certainly found publishing the essays to be a rewarding experience.

FUTURE :Now my well of pre-written material is virtually dry, I plan to expand on my “Lifeslices” series for the next while, and I also suspect the impending visit of my dear mother will inspire a post or twenty! I’m hoping cutting down posts on my Irish blog will also help.

TUNES : It was time to beef up my CD collection last week and my latest additions include Franz Ferdinan…

stories worth a thousand words #50



Written: January 1, 2005

It’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass
(Counting Crows)

I was fumbling through my bag for deodorant this morning when I came across half a joint leftover from my recent trip to Amsterdam with my friend John.
It was practically a gift from the gods as far as I was concerned. I had one chapter left to write in this book, and could think of no better way to get it done than to set up my laptop in my room upstairs, drawing inspiration for a fitting climax to my autobiographical work with every drag of what I intend to be my last taste of illegal substances for a long time while I attempt to take charge of my own life once and for all.

New Year’s Day is one for both reflecting on past mistakes and planning future successes, and as I h…

why we blog

Shaggy VII > Shan

Sometimes, we blog because we have a humourous incident to share.
Sometimes, it’s because we feel strongly about something going on in the world and we appreciate the chance to rant without interruption.
Sometimes, it’s just because we haven’t written for a long time.

Once in a while, I come across a post which leaves me amazed at having discovered a whole new meaningful way of utilizing this wonderful creation.

I have to award the Seventh Shagadelic Contribution To Blogland Award (aka the “Shaggy”) to Shan over at “A Change Is As Good As A Rest” for her excellent account entitled Panic Stations.

When our children are ill, even if it appears trivial, it’s important for us not to look overly concerned for their sake so they don’t have worry on top of what ails them. We also want to look strong in front of the adults around us – should doctors become involved, we want to remain focused so we can give the proper information they require.

If our prayers are then answered a…

bitesize bullets


PROGRESS : Honeymoon period is over for my diet it seems – last week saw no weight lost, but on the plus side no weight gained. I think I probably had a beer too many over the weekend which would account for this. There will definitely be a loss next week..

MOTHER : I have made it no secret here that my mother and I have had a difference or six lately. Hopefully, the fact that she has booked flights to spend three weeks here over Christmas will give us a chance to thrash things out. I’ll keep you posted.

RIOTS : As disturbing as the pictures of the riots in poor areas of France may seem to most, they play differently in Ireland, where even during a so-called “peace process” we are desensitized to news of chaos on the streets. It does however remind us of our growing immigrant population here.

FORCE : Ah, my DVD collection finally has its missing piece – Episode III of Star Wars now fills the gap in the rom…

stories worth a thousand words #49



Not the most appealing image is it?

Written: October 26, 2004

One week from today, voters in the United States of America will decide who is to lead their country for the next four years.To my knowledge no presidential race has been as tightly contested and as clearly polarized as this one, between the incumbent George W Bush and Senator John Kerry. At time of writing it is highly likely the tally will be so close that the string of legal challenges brought up by the 2000 race will be repeated if not surpassed.

Were you to discuss current affairs with me it would not take you long to work out that my views would fall to the left of the political spectrum. Having said this, I am fascinated by the driving force behind the right’s way of thinking. Their biggest strength is their ability to unite for a common cause. If your conviction is that things should stay as they are, there is less scope for inter…

while we

While we fly to the sky
Do we stop to think and wonder why?
And while we fight day and night
Do we really know what’s wrong and right?
For while we argue and while we lie
A newborn baby starts to cry

Is the Band Aid dream still happening
Or was it all just an eighties thing?
For while we sing tills they ring
We have to pricetag everything!
And while we haggle and while we buy
One more decade passes by!

Food not bombs, love not money
Homes not parking lots; Do you think it’s funny
That while we argue and while we lie
A newborn baby starts to cry?

While we analyze, while we moralize,
While we theorize, do we empathize?
While we polarize, compartmentalize,
We fail to realize the need to harmonize
Cos while we eat our fries and plump for supersize
One more hunger victim dies.

Food not bombs, love not money
Homes not parking lots; Do you think it’s funny
That while we argue and while we lie
A newborn baby starts to cry?

© JL Pagano 1994

I am republishing these lyrics today for two reasons - first, it sets me up nice…

tell us something we don't know

Here's a handy blogging tip for you all.

Should you ever enter with an arrangement with a group of friends that you meet up on the first Thursday of every month for a few sociable beverages, you are advised not to inform them that you have a blog of your own.

The reason for this, as I discovered last night, is that you find your have precious little to say for yourself.

"Yeah, so I've been on this diet, and so far I've lost..."

"Fifteen pounds! Yeah, I read that on Monday, well done!"

"Er, yeah, thanks. Well - did I tell you about Sandra's..."

" Yes, that was a shame, tell her we were asking for her."

"Of course I will! Er - so, what's new with you guys?"

Maybe next month I'll start making stuff up...
It was a good night nonetheless, by the way. It's so easy to lose touch with people I'm glad we've managed to keep this regular event going for so long.

I have also been requested to make it clear that we …

stories worth a thousand words #48



The Unitarian Church at St Stephens Green, Dublin, where we plan to be married in August, 2006.

Written: December 5, 2004

It had only been a couple of weeks since I had made the painful move from the marital home in Clondalkin back to Booterstown.Earlier that summer, my grandfather had been accepted for full-time care at the Royal Hospital Donnybrook, and his wife was in the midst of a two-week stint at St Vincents Hospital herself. All this meant I had a free house for the fortnight.

On the Saturday afternoon I received a call from a guy I used to work with in Champion Sports, Dillon Collins. He was a tall, good looking bloke with whom I had often gone on the pull before that summer, and the prospect of a night’s “pulling” with him seemed to be just what I needed.

Our final destination was a nightclub called “Boomerang’s”, a well known pick up place in Temple Bar. We got there late, and so knocked back a few dou…