Thursday, August 26, 2010

Madness on a meter

Not that I'm famed for my affable nature, but there is one twisted breed of human that I truly cannot stand.... The taxi man. (I specify 'man' because I have only ever had two lady drivers and both were blissfully silent - and therefore, lovely). 

In case you think me one-sided, I did used to also hate their female counterparts, the hairdressers. Luckily, I've since discovered a massively overpriced and aggressive stylist who only speaks to me in clipped Polish to humiliate me over the state of my hair. I love her. 

I can grind my teeth and listen to thinly disguised racism, regulatory-induced self pity and even batted away blatant nosiness (I've been asked everything from how much I paid for my house to if I was laid the night before -needless to say I made a swift exit from that cab).

Yesterday, however, was a new low. 

Already not in great form, I hopped in a taxi to take me to a photo shoot in Finglas. I should have spotted the number one sign of the crazies, the twitch. Luckily, I was in the backseat and avoided the wild eyed stare. 

He tried to laser-eye me through the rear view mirror, but I've been in a cab or two before.

However, this guy was a pro. 
No amount of 'mmm hmmm' answers could put him off his diatribe. He muttered about Georgian doors, shouted about "the old village" and thought a woman on a bike was hilarious. I cowered in the back seat, shades on as a pathetic defense against his madness, and prayed for the journey to end. I even tried battling my inner politeness and outright ignoring him (hard thing when you're in a confined space with a mentaller), but to no avail. I was seconds away from writing SOS messages and flinging them out the window when we arrived. The streets of gangster riddled Dublin have never seemed so welcoming; I almost kissed the path that I alighted to. 

Only to remember that I also had to get a taxi back home...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rich, Richard, Dick

I always thought that I'd agree with the kindly, vaguely Grandad-looking Richard Dawkins. I mean, all the cool kids like him. He practices a unique kind of polite fearlessness in the face of some very nutty people. But last night I paid attention - properly - to one of his shows. 
'Faith School Menace?' depicted believers as people who deserve his smirking condescension and opened my eyes to the extremism associated not only with faith, but with atheism. Absolutists of any ilk scare me, and I had to switch off half way through due to blind fury at the arrogance of Dawkins. 
Sweeping statements, mockery and a complete absence of respect for those who do happen to - gasp! - believe in a higher power have put me off the hitherto respected scientist. 
I am certainly not preaching for creationism, and I avoid religion as much as the next Irish person, but woe betide anyone who is not 100% behind our Richard. 
So much for the cool kids.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Should've gone to... another opticians

I'm not exactly a committed glasses wearer. Without them I'm fully blind, but usually that suits me just fine. I see no-one I know on the street, spiders are black smudges and my reflection looks great no matter how bad I actually look. There is a downside, of course. Missed buses, having to pretend you can see things that people point out and that very attractive squinty look that is now my trademark. Eventually I have to concede and bite the bullet to replace the glasses that I'll inevitably lose again within three weeks. 


Off I trot to a well known opticians who promise me the world via their hard-to-miss (even for the visually impaired) adverts. It's been a while, so I am totally unprepared for the hard sell that hits me in the face the moment my appointment is confirmed. They have a crack team of ninjas who come at you from every angle, offering different frames, lenses that would work in space (or something) and blinding me with the science of eyewear. Before I know it, I'm back on the street outside the shop, dazed and confused, having spent a fortune on fecking glasses and not quite sure how.  

I don't need designer glasses. I wanted a 50p pair that I can happily lose and not give a rat's. If I'm going brand name, at least let it be something that people can admire: great shoes, a fancy guna or even a lipstick for God's sake. 


Not being brave enough to confront the ninjas when I awoke from my coma, I did it all over the phone. 50p glasses on the way, sanity restored. Kind of. I'm off to get something fancy with the money I recovered....

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bananas in Pyjamas

The massively entertaining 'Pyjama Girls' is coming back to the Irish Film Institute this week; I had meant to blog about this the last time around, but well, I'm just a bit rubbish. The title speaks for itself, but in case you have been under a rock - or in a more civilised town or city - this is the modern day equivalent of Wee Willie Winkie, but with girls who will "buuurst ya".

Wanna see? Just venture within screeching distance of certain streets around Dublin City centre and you'll doubtless encounter the unnerving trend of girls unable to part with their nightclothes during daylight hours. Or you could take the safe option (gawking at strangers is never advised) and pop along to the IFI instead. 

We were lucky enough to see it when the stars of the film did a Q&A afterwards, and despite the obvious questions ("But WHY don't you wear normal clothes??") it was a brilliant insight into the murky world of pyjamas. Even without this though, it's a fascinating peek into the split personality of Dublin's fair city, and the dichotomy of its residents. Go see. 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Oh look! A shiny thing....!

Immediacy has never been a major concern of mine. I have exceptionally long fingers with which to put things upon, and I'm not afraid to use them. I just have to do something else first....

So, in this grand spirit of procrastination, I have been doing the following instead of updating this blog: 
  1. Googling random and pointless trivia. With interesting results, mind*
  2. Running outside to catch each guerrilla attack of sunshine. I need all the vitamin D I can get. Slim pickings in Dublin in April.
  3. Undertaking a fruitless (chocolateless?) diet in the hopes of shifting my cigarette stone. Even Easter eggs were banned. It's been a sad month.
  4. Working. The scourge of the drinking classes.
  5. Finally reading the Twilight series and nurturing my inner 14 year old. She fancies Edward.
*who knew the Fortycoats is Ian Dempsey's dad, for example? Shocker!

I promise, I'll do better in future. Ray of sunshine or not. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chan Wong Ó Maoláin - the everyman

Something about my email name attracts hundreds of daily have-a-go spammers. I would take this as a compliment, but for the fact that they are certain of my need for penis enlargements, electronic goods and nose warmers. 

I'm torn between admiration for their determination - they never give up - and wonderment at their stupidity. I mean, never once have I opened a message about something that I was interested in, something I would actually want to buy. Surely it is only the clinically single that would buy viagra from these people anyway?? Or minions of the underworld that would want whatever tape deck they can re-flog on Moore Street. There's no shoes, no wonder-slim solutions, no tips to get through a bad hair day. 

Of course, it's not limited to sales. There's also those enterprising young chancers that try and fenagle your bank account details. I have won more Nigerian lotteries than I could shake a whole pile of sticks at. I have been randomly selected thanks to my unbelievable good luck. Elderly women want to leave me money in their wills. The list goes on and on. 

But all of these pale in comparison to the new breed of spammer. Oho, he's clever. He knows many tricks. He knows IRISH. I feel like giving the Manager of this Chinese bank all of my pin numbers just as a reward for learning a language that only Peig herself still knows. I certainly wouldn't learn Mandarin just to swindle a few susceptible Asian idiots. But a man of this commitment should be teaching in our schools (business and Irish for the Junior Cert maybe?). What's more, if he can spam in Irish he can probably converse in Latin, Ancient Greek and Clanger. The man is a genius. He can spam me anytime.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We're all winners :)

There's the Baftas, the IFTAs, even the Oscars, but really, do we care?? You and I both know it's all about the Irish Blog Awards this year. 
And yours truly has even blagged a nomination! 
......Hence my lack of interest in anything else. 

This year's list is one to be proud of - a diverse reflection of the Irish online. There's the seasoned experts who blog about ice cream or the state of the nation, but I've always loved the photo blogs the best - the pictures that you wish you had taken, in places you wish you had been. 

My favourites are too myriad to list here, but the beautifully titled Half a Dream Away or the amazing shots in North Atlantic Skyline are well worth a look. 

One of my all time favourites has been nominated in the 'group blog' section - the heart grabbing The Lives of Others. There's few things that draw me back time and again, but this is one of them; sometimes uplifting, sometimes downright maudlin, it's like peeking inside strangers heads. And bloody addictive. 

My offering falls under the 'personal blog' category, which showcases some of the best blogs out there, so I don't have a chance with my irregular musings, but I am touched to the bottom of my ickle pink heart that I have been nominated. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Not the Six O'Clock News

It's been a while since I posted, but fretting about snow, failed new year's resolutions and whether Stephen Baldwin would ever shut up has taken up all my spare time since Christmas. 

There hasn't been much to laugh about so far this year, apart from the kind folks at RTE News who have provided non stop entertainment, from headwear to the best fall ever shown on TV. The national broadcaster is tuned in perfectly to the Irish psyche - there may be terror, threat and tragedy but we don't need any snappy CNN type graphics here. 

All we need are people to laugh at.  

Expect to see Ann Doyle shouting the headlines over interviewees falling in water à la Total Wipeout and Charlie Bird slipping banana skins under the heels of politicians on a 6.01 near you.

It's learning and it's fun.