Sunday, May 31, 2009

Watching Glen Hansard write songs

I never saw Once before. It's very pleasant, except for the fact that Glen Hansard is a Grafton St. busker in it. I hate Grafton St. buskers. I never liked them much, even when I was younger and just used to traipse around Grafton St. for fun. But as I got older and often had serious business to transact on the street, they became a positive nuisance.

In particular, I remember going for some counselling sessions in a second-or-third floor office on Grafton St. and having to listen to buskers outside while trying to collect my thoughts and come up with something useful to say about my life and my relationship with other people and the world. I remember wanting to go outside after the session and shout at the buskers in frustration, because they just make so much bloody noise.

I'm not often in a hurry when I'm in town these days, and I don't mind buskers so much. I'd mind them even less if they were all like the young lad who plays drums with a couple of plastic bottles.

Still not crazy about unsolicited music in some public places though. Particularly in the Long Hall. Fuck off with that shit.

The Office romances. (May contain spoilers for those watching on Comedy Central in the UK)

One of the things I love about The Office is that the characters in it who go out with each other actually like one another and have things in common. Just like real life! In most other sitcoms I have seen, not only are the friends constantly trying to fuck each other over in a way that makes you wonder how they ever became friends at all, but the couples have NOTHING in common. In fact in most cases it is from this lack of common ground that most of the "situations" that give rise to the "comedy" emerge.

The differences between Ross and Rachel, to take a popular example, are staggering. They're always trying to hide things from each other, get out of going to one another's work events, or avoid having to take part in each other's hobbies or pastimes.

Jim and Pam, on the other hand, support each other, laugh at the same jokes, and want the same things out of life. So do Michael and Holly, and Phyllis and Bob Vance. Even Dwight and Angela, when they were together (and they will be again) shared a love of Birkenstocks and being horrible to other people. Furthermore, the few times they have put incompatible couples together on The Office, it has worked out horribly, rather than with hilarious results. Mrmonkey still can't watch Melora Hardin in anything, because Jan Levinson gives him the fear so much.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Local election special!

So, having busted his ass and spent a fortune on getting elected as our local TD, why is Thomas Byrne now trying to get out of national government and into Europe?

To date, I've had approximately 14 pieces of election literature put through my door (including one from the terrifying-looking Joanne Finnegan, who is running as an independent now, instead of as a Sinn Fein candidate, as if we might forget she ever was one), and only ONE actual candidate/canvasser calling to the door. He is local Duleek publican Seamus O'Neill, and he is, so far, my number one preference. Why? Because he is not a member of a political party, he told me he has a woman lined up to work for him who has 25 years of experience in getting stuff done in politics, and when I told him the things I would like to see done, he wrote them in a notebook along with my email address and phone number.

He also had the good grace to laugh at my joke about the annual ritual of the Placing of the Bin on Laytown beach, which happens on the first Monday in May every year. A JCB comes along and places The Bin on the path leading down to the beach. The Bin remains there until the first of October, when it flies south for the winter.

Yes, okay, I'm easily pleased. But I have to vote for someone, and it might as well be him.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dammit Jim!

So, after looking forward to Star Trek for months and months and months, myself and Mister Monkey snuck out the other week to go and see it. Well, it kind of felt like sneaking out because we probably should have gone into the city centre to see friends, and because we drove for an hour each way to get to Liffey Valley, which contains Ireland's biggest cinema screen.

It was completely worth the hassle. The film was AWESOME. The only reason I haven't blogged about it before now is that I don't really have interesting to say about it. I just sat there with a stupid grin on my face throughout the entire thing (except for that Willy Wonka bit with Scotty, that was just kind of annoying), which was exciting and fun and kind of sexy and... well, I have one reservation. And yes, it is a bit "Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film...", but I think it's valid. It was all a little bit gung ho, wasn't it? Just a tiny bit militaristic, maybe? The beginning, when all the cadets were getting on their different ships and they were all excited to be going out into space just seemed to be a little bit too much Starship Troopers and a little bit too little Wrath of Khan for my liking. I'm not saying I want 90 minutes of discussion about the Prime Directive in every single Trek movie, but it is that soul that has always set it apart from other sci fi, and I don't want it to get lost in among the frankly amazing action sequences and the whole, beautiful look of the thing.

Other than that, I loved it. Everything about it was bright and shiny and positive and forward-looking, and the cast was just wonderful, particularly Karl Urban as Bones. He really sets the tone for the others to follow, pitching the performance somewhere between impersonation and original interpretation. For once I even see the point of Zachary Quinto.

So yes. A resounding success. I welcome our new Trek overlords.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Sweden, here she comes

On Tuesday we got our first bull terrier foster, a staffie cross called Kaya. Despite the protestations of the nice lady from the rescue about her lovely personality, I was initially apprehensive about her coming here. I am, I'll admit, a teeny bit nervous about bull breeds and their reputation and their physical strength. I was slightly concerned that she would accidentally hurt one of the other dogs, or that she would get loose and attack the cats, or something.

In fact, the nice lady from the rescue was completely correct. Kaya was a total sweetheart in every way. She loved her cuddles, she LOVED playing with Lulu, she stayed where she was put, slept through the night, made no messes, and was friendly towards everyone she met while she was here. She also has a slightly wonky face because her jaw got broken when she was a puppy (or an even younger puppy than she is now), which makes her even more adorable and highly drooly.

We will miss her tremendously, even though she was only here a few days.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Chuck me, NBC

Chuck has, over the course of its second series, transformed from being a mildly enjoyable show that contained a few pleasant geeky elements to being one of our very favourite shows here at the Monkey House. Everything about it is fun, light-hearted, just smart enough to be unpredictable, and incredibly geeky.

It's also built up quite a following on the blogs and so on.

Nevertheless, NBC have chosen to leave us Chuck fans guessing about the fate of our beloved Buy More employees and kick-ass NSA/CIA operatives. Oh sure, they've renewed Heroes, despite it being unwatchably bad, and Parks and Recreation, despite it being nothing but a pale imitation of The Office, but no word on Chuck.

A cancellation for Chuck would round out an already sucky week for us and our love of decent U.S. television, what with those losers at FX deciding to drop Colbert (one FX employee on Twitter said that it was because the show was expensive and didn't get many viewers. I say if you want viewers, don't bump your show from 11:30pm to 00:05am, IDIOTS).

I hope Chuck doesn't get cancelled. I do love it so.