Sunday, September 30, 2007

Lord Flashheart to the rescue

Last night I was finishing up some work for the week and I had a bit of a freak out. Not to do with volume of work or nature of work, but to do with the actual content of the journals and magazines I was reading. This week, two gems stood out for their utterly depressing content against the usual background noise of economics and politics and recommendations for acceptable levels of violence to use against offenders and rehabilitation of the massive U.S. prison population. One was a serious academic journal called Child Abuse and Neglect, the title of which I'm sure says it all. The second culprit was Onearth, which had its usual litany of ochón ochón the sky is falling articles, including a big article about bitumen extraction in Alberta--cheery stuff, I'm sure you agree.

Then, last night, I read this article in the New Statesman and I just got really upset by it. It was the last straw. So I left the work unfinished and came downstairs to immerse myself in the harmless world of movie trailers. And that's where I got my first look at Clive Owen being Sir Walter Ralegh. Look at him! And... AND! as if that wasn't enough, he's on a ship in one clip. You can see it too!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Winter is coming in

It's dark and cold. The sun isn't coming up till 7.30am and it's fecking off again around 7pm. Obviously, then, the time has come to fill our boxes with straw, write our names on our shells, and go asleep till next spring.

To that end, Mister M and I have made some Important Purchases, namely:

1) a 40" flat-screen high-definition television that looks something like the monolith from 2001 turned on its side
2) a high-definition satellite subscription, including movies
3) a new, luxurious sofa bed that will provide our sitting room with a more comfy main couch and provide our house with an extra bed should you wish to come and watch things that are highly defined

This is especially good news for me because Mister M is going away to the Mother Ship for two weeks soon and I will be on my own, so it's only proper that I should be able to have people out and offer them a place to sleep or, at the very least, watch television on my own in comfort and have somewhere in the sitting room to fall asleep should I decide (which I will, at least once) that going to bed is too much trouble.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

ComedyB runs a marathon

So, my brother is running the Dublin City Marathon this year. He is hoping to raise €5,000 for Console, who provide counselling services for people bereaved by suicide.

If you care about people who are bereaved by suicide, or you would like to feel like you're betting on a really slow race that you simply can't win, perhaps you'd like to sponsor him.

Once a month

I've realised that I can't save all the dogs or cats, but once a month I send money to a rescue to take one out of the pound and kennel it for a couple of nights (or get it vaccinated, or whatever).

Usually I pick dogs that look like my dogs or I think have a good chance of getting homed or dogs I wished I owned. This month, though, I picked Queenie, who was surrendered to the pound in Dunboyne. I hope now that there is a rescue space for her.

Of course, it's bad news when there's so many dogs in the pound that they start using names starting with Q.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One-bus-an-hour land

The problem with living in such a land is that if your bus doesn't show up (which I'd forgotten was even a possibility, it's so long since I depended on OBAH; not since I lived with my parents, I think) then you can't go and do whatever it was you were going to do all those miles away. So I missed Gavin's show, despite having bought a ticket and secured a pal to come with me.

The moral of the story is: don't arrange to go into Dublin on All-Ireland Final day, because public transport is all screwed up, and you can't even decide to take the car in, because there won't be anywhere to park it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Culture Night in Dublin

Last night was Culture Night in Dublin, which meant that instead of Temple Bar crawling with hen and stag parties, it was heaving with oldies (like me) creeping about peeking in the windows of various establishments to see if there was anything free happening.

There was for sure free stuff happening in my old place of employment, which had live music from the bands of various volunteers, and a reading by up-and-coming author Kevin Barry, who gave a splendid reading of a story from his collection There are Little Kingdoms and donated some copies to the shop to sell.

One really nice thing was that I met a volunteer there who I first knew when he worked as a security guard at a Dublin radio station I used to frequent. He has since retired, and last year his wife died so he decided to start doing some volunteer work. He chose the shop I used to work in because, well, I used to work there. Now he's there all the time. I don't know how the guys who run the shop feel about that, but it was really nice to run into him. He actually thanked me for the fact that he found the shop, because he loves working there. It was very touching.

Tomorrow night I am going to Gavin Kostick's somewhat insane project for which he learned off all of Heart of Darkness. I am greatly looking forward to it, kind of.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Reason Why

So, there were these two guys who were both dicks who really hated each other. However, they were incredibly brave and liked to ride their horses. And one day they were in a war in Crimea, where one of them lived in a tent and one of them lived on a yacht, and when they were given the order to charge one place at the side of a valley, they instead ran all the way down the valley, right into the enemy guns*. They both survived, but many of the people they took with them did not.

And then Lord Lucan said to Lord Cardigan "did you think I would leave you dying, when there's room..."

NO, that is not what happened!

The Reason Why is another amazing, tense, funny, descriptive, beautifully written narrative history from our heroine of history, Cecil Woodham Smith. It's a great book, which you might have been put off in the past because you don't care about military history and so your eye just glided over the pictures of beautifully turned out British cavalrymen on the front of it. In fact it's a wonderful social history that explains much about what the hell went wrong with the British army. It's great.

*except the slightly less mad of the two of them stopped halfway and said "bugger this, this is madness" and stopped.

Must get her book about Florence Nightingale now.