New Ears

Disaster last night, when my Sony cd cassette recorder WITH REMOTE refused to play my (cd) audio book.  I immediately flicked about with it and finally got it working, but it’s happened a few times lately, and my old cassettes don’t always play – it might be a Sony, but it’s not alright.

To the interweb thing.  Well goodie, Sony doesn’t even make this model anymore.  Ebay doesn’t sell it.  If I want a cd player I have to buy an ugly box thing and manually move the radio dial myself!!  No remote controlled presets here!!!  As for cassette players…

It’s a whole new world my dear.  I will have to – what, MP3 it?  Ipod that?  I haven’t a clue.

Naturally I have turned to youth and called Lilsister a whopping 9 years younger than me.  I began my tale of woe and as soon as I said ‘MP3’ she audibly moved the phone from her ear whilst muttering ‘I don’t get that shit’.  I asked her not to underestimate the significance of the information she was receiving and she laughed.  How can I listen to my plays now?

I am going to have to (Jesus) sit down with Hangsandwich or Boo Boo, both IT experts, to get them to explain to me how to work an ipod and then how to transfer my millions of cds to said ipod, and how to listen to them on what I believe is called an ipod ‘dock’ (headphones are for walking).  I pity them already, and I am afraid.

There is hope, as I type I am listening to rainforest sounds on youtube via the interweb.  We stress heads like our rainforest sounds, you see.

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Ming’s Mong

It is time to talk about Ming, and his Mong.

Think Ming from Flash Gordon – a white man who looks almost Asian because his greasy hair has been pulled so tight.  I have no idea what Ming’s real name is.  All I know is that every time I see him at the Dublin football matches, he is wearing the same clothes as last time, Papabear makes a lot of huffing and puffing noises, moves away from Ming, and has begun calling him Mong, quite loudly.

The stench is getting worse.

Ireland has been basking in a heatwave, and not just a namby-pamby one where it doesn’t rain for two days in a row, no a fully fledged, 30 degree, no rain for weeks now, sunshining, humid, fetid heatwave.  What this means is that if you don’t wash, smell stale on a good day and wear the same heavy clothes for the last six months, do weed and don’t use deodorant, you will have a mong coming from you that is so smelly it is almost sweet, and can cause a grown man to sneeze with tears in his eyes.

This is particularly difficult at Dublin matches where the seats are tightly packed at Croke Park.  Should you find yourself sandwiched between a group of Dubs, already sweaty from the mid afternoon sun, it is best if you take the necessary sanitary precautions, and wash yourself.  Failing that, prepare to be left standing alone as the group, gathered in the smoking area at half time to dissect and discuss the finer points of the game, slowly take the necessary steps away from you in order to take good clean breaths of cigarette smoke, rather than your body odour.

Discussions on the matter continued way into the night at the pub, despite the fact that Dublin had overcome one of our arch rivals, the horrible Meath and it’s equally horrible followers in a match which saw Dublin fall apart in the first half, but come into their own in the second.  It was tense, it wasn’t easy, we won the day but it was ropey for a while, yet the topic of conversation was what does Ming’s mong smell like, where does it come from, how can we extinguish it and who is going to say it to him.

Lilsister says it’s his jacket.

Californiadreamin says it’s weed.

Papabear says it’s never washing, ever.

The Clipper says it’s not using deodorant.

Pointyshoes says it’s an inherited problem – the house stinks.

Scarydancer says he’s just a filthy bastard, and I have to concur with that.

Who will be the one to say it to him?

Lilsiter says she doesn’t know him well enough.

Californiadreamin says the smell of weed doesn’t bother him and we’re all mad.

Papabear says he’s happy to say Ming your Mong is disgusting but he’s not the most gentle of people and we all say no to that.

The Clipper says it should be Californiadreamin or Pointyshoes as they’re his friends.

Pointyshoes says he is clean, it’s the smelly house he’s in, and you can’t say that because it’s his parent’s house.

Scarydancer sighs and I say it should be Californiadreamin because he can say I can’t smell anything but others have commented but Californiadreamin takes a sup of his burbon and declares he will not, under any circumstances, say anything to anybody.  Then he asks if anybody is going to sing because if not he will kick off with some Eagles.

Thankfully the band come in and we can all pretend he never said anything about croaking up.

Christmas Stories: When Santa Looked at Papabear Unacceptably

Well it’s the favourite and tackiest time of year in our little family’s calendar and to celebrate the entire clan booked a fancy meal in a nice-ish hotel that HAPPENED to have an 80’s tribute band playing on the night.   SWEET!!!  The tables in the room were all themed and whilst I fumed that we did NOT get the Madonna table I was somewhat appeased to find that we had been given ”Family Ties”.  I immediately pronounced Lilsister to be the Little Sister of the programme, owing to the actor Little Sister being a bit chubby, and Lilsister’s gut, whom she calls Fred, getting bigger by the day, due to Lilsister’s extreme aversion to healthy eating and exercise.

To get the festive spirit kicked off, I purchased a pint of the black stuff for Papabear, and he regaled me with a story of being in ONE of his locals for a Christmas beverage a couple of years ago, where upon the bar he espied a dancing Santa machine ornament thing.  I’m not sure why this particular bar would have a singing, swaying Santa, it being frequented by a particularly rough and militant crowd in the inner city of Dublin, but there you go.  Papabear was NOT impressed to find Santa bopping to some awful poptastic Christmas song, and resolved to block it out of his mind’s eye with several dirty pints, which he began to inhale.

Some hours later Papabear was seen yelling at the barman to tell that ”dancing prick” to stop staring at him (Papabear) or he would send ”it” back to the North Pole.  Unfortunately, the electronic representative of Christmas was left ”on” and Papabear became increasingly concerned that it was ”looking” at him in a way that was not becoming for the season that was in it.  Enough, thought my drunken father, who wandered over to the bar, and promptly headbutted Santa off his perch, where he smashed to pieces, and stopped singing.

This COULD have been a ”bah humbug” moment except that the barman said nothing, the patrons never noticed, and Papabear continued his Christmas, unhindered.

March to the Beat of the Chipper Drum

Fat times at the parental abode last night as promised – but not at our half price chipper unfortunately.  After receiving further instructions from Lilsister on her exact order and after witnessing Mammy and Papabear debate the merits of ray or cod fish (for about half an hour) I was ordered to phone our order in, so I could then go and pick it up.  But!  The chipper in question was NOT connected onto the telephone network and no order could be made.  I immediately rang Lilsister, still on her horrible commute from the city to the suburbs to be with us.

Lilsister hates her daily Luas commute.  She can just about handle the mornings, as she gets the same seat every day, apart from four days in a row when a newbie showed up at the tram stop and tried to prevent her pushing her way to the front and boarding.  After the fourth day of death stares, he now boards the tram at a door further away from the glaring hate that is Lilsister’s face before she has had her tea.  On the way home however, she battles all forms of junkies, as they are usually awake by 5pm.  It is not good.  One particularly gruesome conversation involved two junkies comparing how many dead friends they had, each.  She nearly threw herself UNDER the tram, but decided against it, as every time someone does this it delays all the other commuters and sympathy is not forthcoming.

Lilsister informed me that I would have to pick her up at the tram stop and drive without haste to the chipper.  I drove up the hill to the stop and spotted Lilsister and went to spin the car around, cutting across two lanes of traffic, where my car promptly refused to move.  I sat in the middle of the road, cutting off both oncoming and outgoing traffic, and revved the engine repeatedly whilst Lilsister, across the road I was trying to reach, audibly sighed.  We both knew I was five seconds away from abandoning the car and walking to the chipper, and she wasn’t in the mood to drive.  However the car moved, and Lilsister deposited herself in the passenger seat, and we both agreed that it was a cold night for walking, so it was good that the car began to co-operate.

We saw the queues for the chipper before we saw the street the chipper is actually ON.  It was horrific.  Hungry Dubliners, clad in tracksuits and looking flabby, snaked around the entire block, obviously hungry for bad food at good prices.  It was like a gathering at our local dole office – comprising all walks of life, all ages, all demographics.  The photographer from the local paper was out, because not only was half of Dublin waiting for chips, the local marching band was playing in the carpark – drummers, trumpeters, accordion players, tin whistles, all in FULL marching uniform and a conductor, managing the scene.  There was FACE PAINTING for goodness sake.  It was a celebration!

And THIS, my friend, is why it is truly great to live in Dublin.  Our country may be on its economic knees begging for a break, winter might be just around the corner and it promises to be an unmerry little Christmas but you give a chipper a chance and it will trade 40 years, celebrate with a half price sale and bring out not only the community, but the papers, the face painters and the big bands.  What’s not to celebrate?

We ended up at the chipper across the road (this being Dublin, chippers are as plentiful as pubs, or as churches if you are unfortunate enough to live outside Dublin).  There was no ray fish, so Papabear had cod, and Mammy, stubborn to the end, just had chips.

Cheap as Chips?

Plenty to celebrate at Mammy and Papabear’s tonight, once Lilsister told me that our most FAVOURITE chipper is having a sort of anniversary sale type thing.  I have no idea what anniversary it is, but our local chipper is celebrating making Dubliners fat and slow for a good few years now, and have decided to spread the joy, carbs and waistlines with a HALF PRICE SALE!!!  This caused Lilsister such excitement when she found out the news that she called me immediately, once I had landed in Dublin after a very successful trip to London to see Broinlaw act and sing his sequined socks off in a west end production.  Lilsister informed me of the sale, and of what she would be eating, and what time I was to collect her from the Luas stop so I could drive her to the aforementioned chipper.  It all happens tonight (we like to plan our binge eating at least 24 hours in advance, particularly when one party has been abroad and may have not been aware there was a half price lard sale on).

I informed Lilsister that I would agree to all of the following, assuming she let Mammy know we and our guts would be dining (if it can be called that, as you are essentially eating grease out of a bag, with no cutlery – what is the socially acceptable name for that?  Grazing is too kind, guzzling is too embarrassing) at the parental abode.  I then texted Mammy, in preparation for Lilsister’s call, to say that she had some ”good news involving food” and that she would be calling shortly.

Lilsister then called Mammy.

”Hello my child.”

”Good evening mother.”

”What is this news I have to be told?”

”Oh something that might cheer you up!”

”You’re not pregnant are you.” (Said WITHOUT question mark, possibly with a weary sigh?)

”No.  The chipper is having a half price sale tomorrow.  What do you want to order?”

”I don’t have time for this.”  Cue dead line sound.

It appears Mammy is NOT as enthralled as myself and Lilsister, despite the fact that in a couple of hours, she will be horsing into her grub just as greedily as we will be.  We should all be on the sofa, with shooting pains in our stomachs, by eight.  I can’t wait!

 

I Do My Exams and Gerry Does Gaelic

I hate the Institute of Bankers.  I believe I’ve mentioned this fact before.  No they are not a necessary evil in the banking world.  They are just EVIL.

So I’ve finally sat my stupid exams that cost a FORTUNE so I can say that I sat STUPID EXAMS.  Did I mention they cost a fortune?

After my first exam which was on a SATURDAY at the ungodly hour of 9.30 AM YES I SAID AM (thankfully I had a lift from Panties, if I’d had to drive up and not find parking like everybody else I would have stabbed random bankers everywhere) I headed into the city to eat a late breakfast at my favourite breakfast place in Dublin, which is the Kingfisher on Parnell Street (where every meal comes with chips yes even breakfast and no I did NOT eat chips for my breakfast I am in the middle of attempting to be healthy as I am not getting any younger and need to watch the flabby bits or I will never snare anyone in my husband catching net).  After a hearty spanish omlette sans chips, I took a stroll to Parnell Square where another favourite of mine, the Sinn Fein shop, also lives.

Now don’t start on me.  I am no Sinn Feinner nor will I ever be.  But dammit, they do bloody good Gaelic football jerseys.  So in I went, and found the most amazing Dublin football team jerseys that I will ever lay my watered up eyes on, and whilst discussing how fabulous these were with the woman behind the till (who, really oddly, looked UNCANNILY like a woman who came forward in the media years ago in Ireland, to admit that she had a love child with a Bishop in Galway, which was OUTRAGEOUS at the time (but not now because considering what we have uncovered about our unholy Catholic Church in Ireland a mere love child is NOTHING), she happened to mention that I was welcome to continue browzing but to be aware that ”Gerry” was coming in shortly.

”Gerry?” I asked innocently.

”Gerry,” she repeated.

”Who that?” I mused.

”Gerry Adams,” she said, a little wearily?

”Oh.” I said back.

Immediately I rang Lilsister, who IS a Sinn Feiner, and believes that Gerry Adams should take over Ireland, and employ groups of vigalanties to kick the crap out of scumbags, teenagers, and bankers who are not her sister.  Whilst on the phone however, wee Gerry walked in, speaking in Gaelic (Gerry, I’m no fan of yours but bonus points for speaking our native language as your first language) and holding something of a press conference.  This caused Lilsister to go into fits of hysterics, and she begged me to get a photo of him, and with him and obtain his mobile number so she could call him and discuss the campaign for him to take over the country.  I refused all, and tried to be quiet while he began his interview (again, in Gaelic).

After getting some dodgy photos on my mobile phone from 1998, I was spared the embarrassment of trying to avoid shaking wee Gerry’s hand as he scooted out of there rather quickly.  An old bloke also working in the shop told me not to be too disappointed as he was in occasionally and would normally stop for a chat and photo.  I was advised that he often did press interviews in the shop, usually indoors, as the last time he did one outside the shop a cyclist, after tying his bike to the railings so he could pump up a flat tyre, pumped too much and caused the tyre to blow, creating a shotgun like sound, causing the press, politicians and all around to duck and take cover from a potential sniper.  So everything was safely indoors now.

I finished purchasing my football tops (for me, Lilsister and Papabear) for next year, winced at the giant Sinn Fein sign on my paper bag (you used to be able to buy stuff from there in a plain bag, since when have they got so cocky?) and hoped that the people of Dublin outside would not lynch me for my non-allegiance to the party.  I escaped unscathed, even turning down a lift home from Panties, who would frown lots if I had told her I had been in the Sinn Fein shop in the first place, let alone spent money in it, and then bumped into wee Gerry.  The bus did fine on the way home, the bag rolled up into a ball at the window seat.

Papabear Meets the Poltergeist

It’s been so long!!!  I have felt the need to tiddle the keyboards but unfortunately in my 21st century hectic lifestyle, I do not have access to a computer!  Several reasons:

My phone (embarrassingly, it must be said) is from about 1998 and the most amazing thing it does is take (blurred) pictures.  It does not have the fancy internet thing (also known as the ”scrolly uppy downy” features, as described by Papabear).

I have just moved back into my humble house, where I cannot afford the mortgage.  This means that although I have a computer, I cannot afford broadband, so the computer remains in the attic, whilst I take blurred pictures of my new sofa cushions with my embarrasingly old fashioned phone.

I would NEVER log into anything wonderful on my work computer.  For several reasons: the bastards are watching, the computers at work are older than my phone (my hard drive has an actual HOLE in the back of it – I called the IT guy – he came four days later (he works two floors up!!!!!) and he told me to stop tapping my foot on it (I told him I was tapping it but in reality I was kicking it with my boot, to get it started most mornings) and then he ACTUALLY PUT THE COMPUTER IN A SLING AND HUNG IT UNDER MY DESK.  No, really, he did.), and did I mention the internet takes about an hour to upload even the basic google screen?  And when it does IT CRASHES ALL THE OTHER PROGRAMMES YOU HAVE OPEN.  Joke!

Another major issue is that I used to visit Mammy’s house and use her computer but this had to stop.  Several weeks ago now, Mammy was safely tucked up in bed asleep, whilst Papabear was hitting the streets of Dublin in an effort to drink himself sober.  Eventually he trudged home and walked into the kitchen, where he felt a strange, cold feeling, and noted that the press at the back of the kitchen, the giant one which the stereo sits on, which has about forty little drawers (for prettiness sakes) and about five big ones, and two huge ones, was standing, which was fine, but with EVERY DRAWER OPEN a la Sixth Sense.

This is the part where I must also remind you that where we live in Dublin is known for its hauntedness, due to the fact that most of the housing estates were built on aincent and not so ainent graveyards, bodies unmoved.  I also happen to have a mammy and lilsister who are finely tuned to the spirit world, and have felt a presence several times in mammy’s house, for some strange reason particularly in the bathroom, which is cold and unwelcoming in my opinion, and could do with re-grouting.  The spirit, who happens to be female, has a thick Dublin accent (naturally?) and always talks in the bathroom and keeps opening the door to the boxroom, which used to be Lilsister’s bedroom until she finally grew up and got the hell out.

Faced with the ghost’s workings on the kitchen press, Papabear, fourteen pints at least in his system, was immediately peturbed by the latest ghostly turn of events, and attempted to run up the stairs to Mammy, but probably took half an hour to get there because he was twatted out of his brain.  He woke Mammy with the words ”I don’t want you to worry, or scream, but come downstairs immediately.”  For once, Mammy did as she was bid and followed Papabear back down the stairs (she walking, he stumbling and hitting every second or so step) to the kitchen where Papabear, sweeping his hand across the room theatrically, queried with Mammy ”what had happened here, had the ghost she had been on about all these years finally turned poltergeist?”

Mammy took one look at the press and screamed ”Eh, we’ve been ROBBED!!!” sweeping her own hand towards the gaping hole in the living room where the tv used to sit. 

They also took the laptop, and robbed me of my right to blog.  Damn junkies!!!!!!