Monday, February 23, 2009

Last night, I dreamed...

... oh yes. Just as every newspaper columnist eventually gets round to writing a column about how difficult they found it to write their column this week, so every blogger eventually gets around to telling you about their dream they had last night.

Well, last night I dreamed I was having an affair with David Attenborough. Proper David Attenborough, as he is now, like, not some dream version of him where he is labeled "David Attenborough" but actually looks like Jon Hamm. I can think of several reasons why this is appealing.

First, who doesn't love David Attenborough? Would his voice not bring you out of a coma, if you were in one? And he's taken on a new, battling persona since the news emerged of the hate mail he receives from creationists. He's also the guardian of all animals in the world, as we know, and is on personal chatting terms with many endangered species, many of whom I'm very worried about at the moment.

David Attenborough is also the king (inasmuch as we believe in kings) of the non-speciesist humanists. He is always at pains to point out that although we appear, to ourselves, to be the pinnacle of evolution, we're nothing like it. It's this kind of talk that makes me more convinced than ever that people like Giles Coren are wronger than someone who answers "fourteen" to "what's ten plus two?" when they express the belief that pets are unnecessary and should be discarded.

I can get behind the point of activists like Peter Singer that it's wrong for their sakes to keep animals, but I am sentimental about animals (which I realise is a stupid trait, but hey, some people believe in God or football teams. We all have our coping mechanisms). I also believe that it's good for people, and indeed, other animals, to live with different types of animals. I believe it teaches you something. Even if all it teaches you is that you don't like people very much sometimes. Particularly when they send threatening mail to David Attenborough.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Word to your larium

Some of you may remember that I spent the summer of 1991 in Berkeley, California, living in a shared house with a bunch of Berkeley students, getting stoned, and watching a lot of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It is a summer that retains a very special place in my heart, even though, obviously, I can't really remember a lot of the actual details. Indeed, three or four years later, when myself and Older Brother Monkey went to Berkeley for the weekend, I couldn't find my way around at all.

In the last couple of weeks, I re-engaged with a couple of people from those days through the magic of Facebook. Even more excitingly, it turned out that one of these lovely people was going to be in Dublin for the first time ever for a brief visit this week, so he asked me if we could go out for a pint. Of course I agreed, but then, also of course, spent the time leading up to seeing him worrying that I had remembered everything all wrong and he was going to ask me for money, or even that I wouldn't be able to recognise him when I saw him.

Neither of these things turned out to be the case. He remembered that summer much as I did, and we told Mister Monkey some stories. Then we spent the rest of the night talking about Middle Eastern politics, American foreign policy, and behavioral science. Plus we had some good food.

All in all, it was a top night. Now I know how people who actually liked the people they went to school with must feel when they go to their reunions.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Glinner's right, you know.

Why is this story not enormous? A 12-year-old is accused of prostitution and assault, having been beaten to shit by some police officers? WTF?

Lulu update

I know that many of my younger readers only tune into this blog to find out how my dogs are doing. So, for those younger readers, here's the update:

Lulu is still completely adorable. She does still occasionally pee on the floor in the living room, and she will still shred cushions or whatever else you've got lying around if she's bored. But since we came back from Glasgow and took them out of the kennels, she insists on sleeping in the same bed as Milo, so we've had to take his small bed out of the kitchen and replace it with a larger bed so she doesn't crush him. She wrestles with Marvin, she's the sweetest girl to Mrmonkey, and she still comes back whenever you call her. We do NOT want someone to adopt her. EVER.

She particularly likes kids. Just in case any of you younger readers would like to make friends with a dog.

Economy's crap, isn't it?

Some friends of mine, who are married to each other, were recently laid off by a company they have worked for pretty much since they left college. This company is not in any financial difficulty whatsoever, it's just a slave to its shareholders, and it's gotten greedy. Bunch of tossers. That's the last one of their phones I'll be buying, that's for fucking sure.

Here in Monkey Mansions, however, things look a little bit more solid. Mrmonkey was informed that it is highly unlikely that his company will close its engineering office in Dublin, and I've actually got overtime on! I know!

We are celebrating this fact by getting some work done on the house before we do get made redundant, because I know if I do get laid off, I'd rather spend my period of unemployment sitting in a nicely landscaped back yard than in some scrubby back garden. Mrmonkey was slightly concerned that our neighbours would think we were flaunting our employed status (our next-door neighbour got laid off from his construction job some months ago and is now working a shitty night-time delivery job, which he hates). But if nobody hires anybody to do any work, then the economy will never get going again.

(I am right, right? How would you feel if you lost your job and the people next door to you were having their garden landscaped? I think I would only care if I was a garden landscaper and they hadn't asked me.)

No snow over Edward's house

It has been a cold winter here on the flat shores of Laytown. We had a lovely spell there where it was crispy cold, like I imagine it to be in more impressive countries that are something more than the plaything of the North Atlantic and its zephyrs. Now it is snowing everywhere, it seems, except over our house. While Dublin airport closed down and the radio predicted "heavy snowfalls and severe weather warnings over the north and east of the country" I would stare out my window and see only trees bent double in the ever strengthening wind. Because you can be sure, if you're having snow, we're having a knifing wind here in the 'town.

Secretly, of course, I'm glad. The only thing to recommend snow is that it makes for good photos, particularly if you're the kind of person who has turned to making her own cards because she doesn't knit and is therefore always looking for a good photo to put on a Christmas card. Actually, there's one more thing to recommend a heavy fall of snow, but it's slightly lame. And it is that it would keep mrmonkey at home from work and we could spend the day together, because I like that.

Also, the dogs bloody love snow.

Okay, so there are a lot of things to recommend it. But we haven't got any, so there's no point in delighting in the fact that there are no snowballs for the local kids to throw at us, and there's no chance of me wiping out on the path while walking down to the beach.

Sadly, however, our lovely crispy cold has been replaced by a horrible, typical damp cold that chilled me so much today that I had to stand under a hot shower for longer than is probably good for the environment.

I would take snow over this.