Gym Pimping

Well, it’s official, I am unemployed again.  I took the plunge and signed on at the local dole office which has been spruced up after my last unfortunate visit.  It even had a fancy new name, giving me the heebie jeebies about unemployment being outsourced – but as my ‘case’ person advised, community services, employment services and the dole people are all ”one happy family” now (she was smiling, so I am unsure if this was sarcasm or not) meaning a fancy new name and actual help to find jobs.  She even told me there was a cv service in the employment bit and I should enquire about making an appointment, which I did straight after, only to be told that they ‘do not make appointments, someone will call’ which just goes to show that fancy name or no, there is still abounding disinterest seeping through our public services.

And so!  I am feeling a little less stressed that I will now receive some food money (I have given up even trying to pay the mortgage – it’s eaten all my savings, and the cretins to whom the bank have outsourced (that dirty practice again) the arrears area to will not speak to me until Exhimself, currently missing in Australia, signs all the paperwork with me.  Em…he is missing in Australia.  Yes, can he sign the paperwork, then we will have a chat to you about attempting to work out a reasonable payment schedule based on your circumstances.  Em but I’m only in these circumstances because…em…Exhimself is currently missing in Australia.  Yes, when he signs the 5,000 forms we will talk to you at a time that suits us).

There has been a lot written about the banking system currently barely not operating in Ireland, and none of it scathing enough about how us normals are treated.  To hell with you cretinous outsourcedwithnobenefits twaddle peddlers!

Sitting at home has given way to some black thoughts, and to celebrate, I have obtained some free guest passes at Mammy and Papabear’s gym, as exercise is good for you inside and out and all that crap.  First session today, and the main excitement for Papabear and I was that nobody asked to see my guest pass!  This means a freebie for me, and there is nothing that gets people more excited than not just doing something for free, but doing it for free when you should have paid, or at least produced a guess pass.  This buoyed up my spirits and I took these spirits with me to the cross trainer, feeling that I could handle the cardio workout.  Eighty six seconds later I was gasping for air, nearly out of water, and dabbing my womanmoustache with my hairy towel.

I had intended to do some belly crunches but alas this fell by the wayside too.   Papabear discussed life with his weights buddies (you know all gyms where men gather in front of the mirror to flex, look at themselves and cackle like groups of women do in bars where they serve cheap white wine).  Then Dad sent one of his buddies over to me whilst I was engrossed about how awful I was feeling on the exercise bike to see if I needed a boyfriend.

Afterwards we came home, me with a scone, Papabear with the paper and we called Lilsister to see how her day was going and was she proud of us for attempting to exercise.  I had to dial the number because Papabear can’t see the screen on the new phone, nor the numbers, because his pink glasses (no joke) were missing.  I put in the numbers and hit ‘call’ and handed the phone to him, he attempted to speak to Lilsister but gave up as he couldn’t hear her and passed the phone to me.  It was upside down.  I righted the error, admonished my father and apologised to my sister for our heritage.  Will this stupidity trickle down to us eventually?

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Dirty Pints and Catching Billy’s Eye (Part 2)

The swan song of Saturday night came when myself and Trevor fell out of the Italian restaurant, with Trevor loudly belching her appreciation of her meal, probably ensuring nobody else enjoyed theirs.  Outside, a woman actually jumped as Trevor continued to let rip. 

Back on the streets again and with a hunger for more dirty pints, we happened upon a pub which Trevor declared herself and Boo Boo never went to, and went there.  

It was sticky, sweaty, and full of ugly people so terrible in the face department that me with my makeup now running down my face and a new hole in the back of my top, looked positively classy and attractive.  SO attractive in fact that I immediately caught the eye of a man I can only say looked like a ”Billy” – a rotund and teethy individual practically wearing the brown suit that is in the wardrobe of all eligible bachelor farmers in their mid fifties.  He flashed me a smile and I sat in the only available seat in the pub, which was directly in front of the ”band”.  Billy moved on, catching the oddly shaped eyes of two extremely large and undressed females, who were only too delighted with the  free vodkas and cokes bought for them.  I focused on who was the ugliest of the ”band” and in my drunken haze, could not figure it out.    I DO recall the piercing in the singer’s lip, which kept catching the one light working in the bar, and finding it quite distracting, and wondering why he drank dirty pints instead of dancing or ad-libbing for the many guitar solos.

We ended up moving to the back of the pub, near the pool tables, inhabited by younger scumbags, and discussed the hazards of immigration with somebody who was on the way to Tanzania to work in a quarry.  We all declared that leaving Ireland was shit, and that our government should be shot to death for allowing thousands to depart our shores each week for the unbelievable privilege of seeking actual work.  For shame, Ireland’s politicians!!!

Trevor has since been told by neighbours that she was seen slumped forward at this pub, but as I was sitting right beside her and didn’t see that, I can only refute these ungrounded claims.

Afterwards, Lilsister advises me that I called her to sing the Irish footballing anthem, Ole Ole Ole, but had to stop because I had fallen in a bush.  She tells me the voicemail was initially full of singing, then banging, then foul language, then pleas for Trevor to pull me out of the bush, then more singing, then complaining because now that Trevor had fallen into the bush nobody would be able to pull anybody out.  I have no idea how long we were in the bush, but I do remember that afterwards Trevor seemed to have a sudden lease of life and brought me into a field, and told me to run around it three times.  I could see it was a big field, so while Trevor skipped off, I patted the wet grass as if a pillow, and lay my weary head down.  Trevor eventually figured out that she was alone in her mini marathon, and joined me to look at the night sky and argue which lights were satellites and which were celestial beings.  It was extremely comfortable and I have no idea why we got up in the end.

Back at Trevor’s we were thrilled to discover that Boo Boo had left us soggy chips in the microwave, with plates, cutlery and cups already filled with teabags – as if knowing we would be incapable of  obtaining these items ourselves.  We inhaled, went to bed, passed out, and only rose to find headache tablets.  Trevor wisely told my niece, Little NN, not to go and disturb her visiting auntie as she was very sick in bed, which I was.  Boo Boo took Little NN out to swim, and when they came back, I lay on her bedroom floor and told her the reason I couldn’t play with her princess castle was because I was closing my eyes and visualising the story she was to tell me, and please tell it quietly.  Trevor stepped over me to tell Little NN that her auntie had to be driven home now, and I suffered a two day hangover, only helped by the coffee cupcakes Trevor had baked for me to take home.

Dirty Pints and Oscar Wilde (part 1)

My hair gets really fuzzy.  In rain, or sun – it fuzzes.  THIS is what I was thinking about last Saturday night, well Sunday morning, as I lay in the field near Trevor’s house and looked up at the stars.  It was only afterwards that Oscar Wilde came to me and said ”we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”  Well I was in the gutter, looking at the stars, and could think of nothing deeper than oh damn, the grass is very wet and I BET my hair gets fuzzy. 

Which it did – horrificially so.  I really must learn to control my ugliness.  It is having a shockingly adverse affect on the hunt for a boy plaything.

Dirty pints on Saturday with Trevor, as aforementioned.  We started out classily drinking prosecco in the garden, in the sun, and discussing our ageing process and who currently has the most wrinkles (I have shocking crow’s feet but Trevor is CONVINCED her frown lines more than make up for any lines I may have – they don’t).  She also was good enough to tell me that I am ”pretty, but need to wear makeup.”  Nice.  ”I’ll always tell you the truth,” she mused, while I wailed in the corner after witnessing my rosywithwine cheeks, sans makeup, and felt distraught.

Dear fuck, I’ve just realised that as I type this I’ve had some form of the antiques roadshow playing in the background.  I’ve just kicked the telly through the window and stuck ”Your Song” on instead.  Cheers Elton!

So after applying enough makeup to sink my crow’s feet and Trevor’s frown lines we declared ourselves sufficiently tanked enough to take to the streets of Trevor’s suburb and hit the local Italian, who had messed up our reservation and stuck us at a tiny bar waiting area with a child barman whom we insulted into serving us before everybody else, with dirty pints.

Dirty pints don’t go well with Italian but we ploughed on nonetheless, feeling quite drunk after our one course (we missed the early bird and refused to pay full price on anything else – there is a recession going on you silly restaurant owners, didn’t you know?).

Afterwards we bumped into some of Trevor’s neighbours in the toilets and I did a ladywhizz while she tried not to slur her pleasantries.  Once they’d left I signed my name on the toilet checking roster as Terence Trent D’Arby (80’s musos rise!!!) and then we sang many songs.  I’ve now just remembered there was a disgraceful drag queen singer in the restaurant, singing along with a karaoke machine – the food prices may not have been recession proof but the ”entertainment” had surely been haggled in on a knockdown price.  For any songs we didn’t know the words to, or refused to admit we knew the words of, we sang the Irish footballing anthem ”Ole Ole Ole” or, to give it it’s official title  ”Put Em Under Pressure” as released by the Irish football team once they qualified, for the first time ever, to play in the World Cup in 1990.  Now that Ireland has qualified to play in the Euro football finals for the first time in 10 years, the song is enjoying a resurgence and is being sung by our Green Army once again, in great hope and trepidation that we may actually succeed, for once.

 

Goodbye Grey Hair and Grey Skies – Ireland Shimmers

Well what a fabulous day I am having.  Here is Ireland, in the GRIPS of an actual HEATWAVE – no joke, it’s been 25 all week and sunny, with maybe six clouds over the last few days in total.  And allegedly, according to our unreliable weather service, it is set to continue hurray!!!  Excellent news if this lasts through to next weekend as the Dublin Gaelic Football Team have their first championship match, which will be attended by moi, Lilsister, Scarydancer, Papabear and Papabear’s mad friend, who hates anyone born outside Dublin.  Whether we win or lose we will live it up afterwards in Baggot Street at a proper boozer, and Papabear will sing songs, and Dublinlover will shed tears and tell stories about different times he beat up non Dubliners after football matches.  Gaelic culture lives!!!

As I type this, Ireland has just scored a goal!!!!  Yes, our Irish playered soccer team, playing in the full rays of the sun in Dublin, has just scored against Bosnia – GO IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Mr Long, we salute, and adore you. xxx

So I had my fruit and museli for breakfast, and had every intention of going out for a morning constitutional, even though I was dreading it (the face being quite easily burnt, even though I have had to purchase Factor 50 sunblock – could I BE any more Irish?).  Luckily, Lilsister came into my boudoir for hugs, and this delayed me somewhat, and then she talked me out of walking in this heat, so I popped to the shops instead for breakfast goodies, arriving back to cook my amazing scrambled eggs and inhale tea.

Afterwards, we headed up to Mammy, to take advantage of her sunny back garden, and catch some rays whilst the soccer blares from the tv in the front room.  We swopped health tips with the visiting window cleaner, who has given up dairy due to being lactose intolerant, and stopped mammy from giving him chocolate icecream because eh, he’s lactose intolerant, and chocolate and icecream contain much lactose, sorry.  Don’t worry though – Lilsister and I suffer from no such ailment, and happily munched on the lactose-levied sweets.  Yum!

I’ve also had Lilsister touch up my grey hairs with the hair dye whilst lounging in the backgarden, and then do my toenail painting for me after she saw how awful I am at doing it myself.  I used to get pedicures but this was before I got a job that paid just enough to eat breadrolls and nothing else all day.  Afterwards, Mammy did our tarot cards and stand up comedy came up AGAIN, so really it has been a busy day at the back garden salon.  Ah, summer in Ireland – you can keep your Italian Riverias and your Spanish coastlines – when the sun comes out in Ireland, and one half of the country retreat to their own backyards for barbeques, beers and beauty treatments, you are truly in the best country in the world.  Avoid us at your peril travellers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Life Thoughts Before My Burger

Friday evening, I’m sitting alone in the apartment feeling quite unloved and unattractive when the phone rings.  Hurray!  Unfortunately it is a charity I used to subscribe to, asking why do I not subscribe to them any more????  So I now feel unloved, unattractive and reminded of my destitution.  Party in mine!!!

Lilsister’s wrist and hand is healing nicely, if you count the giant red scars and bubbling blisters she likes to show me most evenings.  She celebrated getting some feeling back in the area by washing her hair last night, something she could no longer avoid doing, it had been many days now and the birds were looking to nest in it.

She finds herself in Belfast tonight, with Scarydancer partying it up in his friend’s house, leaving me alone tonight, and sober.  I have considered drinking my bottle of wine but not sure I’m in the mood yet.  Besides, I am 98% certain that I will be driving to Mcdonalds in a while to treat myself to burger, chips and ice cream sundae happiness.  That should REALLY help with my unattractiveness.

Finished my weird Serbian novel last night, the stoned hero stopped doing weed and found himself in a transendental well, inbibing the Kabbalist spirit of a Jewish man that had died many hundreds of years before, and then finding a friend of his dead, and fleeing the city.  I must admit, I am quite lost.  I presume this is a tragic ending, but I don’t really know why.  My head hurts.

Have also been making Life Decisions over the last few days.  Will bite the bullet and do my financial exams, so I can start looking for a job that pays a wage sufficient to cover the cost of a glass of wine on the weekends, as my current role does not.  I may have previously mentioned my hatred of the Institute of Bankers, and that continues unabated, but without sitting their silly exams I cannot even apply to do the work I used to do, and must then starve by the wayside, and as a single 37 and three quarter year old woman with no prospects, this simply will not do.  So I am, with a heavy heart, shelling out SIX HUNDRED euro to sit two MODULES – not the whole thing, as I am not a millionaire, then grasping around my purse for more pennies as I first have to ”register” with the ever friendly institute, and pay fifty euro I think for THAT privilege, then pay again to sit the bloody exams in the first place!!!  I seethe, and burn, and rage quietly.

If I pass these exams I will celebrate by obtaining a normal paying job, and purchasing a man to pretend to be my boyfriend at all the social events I will then be invited to.  See, I have it all worked out.

To Kill a Mockingman

Troubles rumble on with my buddy in the shipping company, whom I called today to vent with/at, which was great, as she sighed a LOT and complained about customs too and said her contact there was ”useless”.  Like all good public servants in Ireland, the ”lady” in customs dealing with my cheap workclothes is completely unaccountable for her lack of actions, meaning I cannot talk to her directly lest she has to work, or deal with humans or some other horror.  Instead she can retreat quietly into her cavern of sloth, never to be disturbed again.  My shipping contact also unhelpfully added that she had never had so much trouble with customs before, so I am feeling extra peachy about that. 

I also remembered that my two cookbooks are in the boxes, and I am most miffed about that, as one is my Nigella ”Kitchen” which is quite expensive, and my new wages just about cover the cost of transport to get to the office and not much else.  The other one I’m afraid, I don’t know the name and author of so if I do not get it back I will sink ever lower into my pool of self pity, as it is a bloody brilliant book.  I only learnt to cook in Melbourne last year, because I was alone 95% of the time, what with Ex-Himself still pretending that he loved me, but always ”disappearing” into the Australian sunset (which is crap by the way, because the sun goes down and then it is dark night, instantly, have these people never heard of the beauty of dusk???  The answer is NO.  Poor little Australians).  Anyway, this book covers EVERYTHING, even how to make scrambled eggs but best of all it is the only cookbook I’ve ever read that tells you upfront how many bowls, pans, spoons, spatulas etc you will need for each recipe and I LOVE that.  Plus I made the chocolate mousse recipe from scratch using it, and for a girl who could only burn toast mere months before, this was a HUGE (and tasty) leap.  I love this book, and I will kill the bitch in customs if she gets her greasy paws on it.

Far more worrying is my trainer at work.  His ”thing” is to read from an oversized manual for the eight or so hours that we are there, and presume that we absorb this fascinating information (for example how to send a customer a change of address form, how to stop a cheque, how to unstop that very same cheque, how to see the expiry date of a bank card etc etc) quickly and quietly.  He does not respond well to questions, or ”what if” scenarios.  In fact, he takes questions as a personal attack on his droning reading, something I find most odd.  He refuses to let us use the systems to do practical examples of his ramblings.  Why is this?  This afternoon, after the drool on my chin alerted me to the fact that I had been sleeping deeply during his speech on unlocking ATM pin numbers, I awoke suddenly and told him I was feeling rather overloaded with the information being delivered in this manner, to which he replied that he did ”not see how”.  Several of the group began stating the same fact, but I got the filthy look.  I asked him if he thought I was stupid, to which he moved gently away. 

Apart from this, he does occasionally venture into storytelling mode where we get to sit, non-enthralled, at his amazing impressions of stupid Dublin people (he is NOT from Dublin and therefore, in my opinion, as a proud Dub, NOT allowed to do an impression of a Dub anytime he tells a story of someone who he believes to be stupid).  So far, this terrible impression of a dumb Dubliner (of which none exist) has been used to prop up stories about unhelpful IT staff, drunk people at ATMs, people borrowing more than they should, banks lending more than they should, impressions of talk show radio hosts who talk about people and banks borrowing and lending more than they should, people who call talk show radio hosts about all that is wrong with society, people who forget that they have spent money in music stores and then call the bank saying that someone has stolen their money, people who engage in fraud and generally anybody that is not himself, and therefore of lesser intelligence, according to him.

HE IS NOT FUNNY.

And, like the Customs Cretin, he must go away, and stop embarrassing his profession with his existance, and fuck off and die.

Buy Meat, Study Hard and Obtain Life

Sitting here in Mammy’s house with Mammy obviously, Scarydancer and Lilsister after gorging on large Sunday roast.  Myself and Scarydancer are trembling with non-joy as Lilsister is threatening to hold one of her family meetings after we get back to the apartment later.  This involves Lilsister holding a notepad and pen and barking orders at us, while we sit quietly and wish she would shut up.  Personally, I also imagine her as a Stalin-esque type tyrannical dictator, which helps the time go more quickly.  Afterwards, when a list of something I am doing wrong is thrust into my face, it helps me sleep through the night.

As I type, I can hear Lilsister explaining to Scarydancer what tonight’s meeting will be about.  He looks suitably enthralled.  We are both being sent to separate shops, he to buy general groceries, me to purchase the meat from the butcher we like (level one of our local shopping centre, beside the ”everything is 2 euro” shop).  Not that I can go in to browze – a list MUST be produced later, and I must stick rigidly to it, lest I use free thought and go crazy with my bad self.

Contacted the ever-worthy of my attentions Institute of Bankers to enquire about doing some study in order to move up the banking ladder again, as my current pay (60% less than my last job in Ireland) is not really sufficient to get my own place with, nor eat food on.  They told me that I am a defaulted member (the horrors!) and I must PAY them just to register to begin my studies, and when I complete my studies, and gain a qualification (recognised nowhere outside of Ireland) I will need to pay them again to keep the tiny letters from disappearing from behind my name, every bloody year until the regulator in Ireland sees sense and realises this is nothing short of a money making SCAM, or until sweet death delivers it’s sweet embrace.

Dancing on Ice has started, and Mammy is dispensing chocolate.  I really need to get involved with this so adieu.