Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It'll be tragic alright.

The next person, I mean the very next person, gout-hobbled granny or lollypop wielding betty-boo eyed three year old, to say Things happen for a Reason, well I'm going to stomp that person's face with my mighty boot.

The hilariously tragic irony is, of course, that this shocking violence will indeed have happened for a reason.

Monday, July 16, 2012

quick, before apathy awakes...

I wish I knew this years ago, like when I was 8 or that. I figured it out all on my own eventually, but about twenty years later than would have been ideal.

The sudden inspiration to action, the flash of "yeah man, I'mma gonna build my own bed / brew my own beer / become an artist ", that can feel like half the battle; after wallowing in apathy for endless time, simply knowing what you want to do is a huge part of getting it done.

But it is not. That's how it feels alright, but knowing what you want is just knowing there is a battle, it does fuck all about getting your fat ass into the scrap.

You can talk about the battle for years, it gets so that maybe you begin to think you fought that fight, that you tried your hand and it didn't work out. 

Closely related to this is Yoda's philosophy: "do or do not; there is no try"  - do something, really give it everything, and if it comes to nothing you can look back and see that you tried. But set out to try and you are not really trying at all.

Knowing that there is a battle dies not get you into it. Getting into the battle gets you into the battle.
Less talk, more action.

This post retreads a path so heavily travelled by bar stool philosophers and rancid self-helpers that any simple wisdom is indistinguishable from impacted shite. But I am writing it anyway, because action is victory.

I'll groove this habit if it fucking kills me. Onwards!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

In me jocks

Doing 125 on the motorway because I'm a fucking rebel, blasting my way back to Dublin town for a week of manly freedom, of beer and loud tv and waking up on the couch in the early hours. Building furniture in the yard and painting anything that's not quick fleet on its feet. That wednesday sun blistering, and I'm a big grinning shirtless techno fireball  in aviators, sweating madly into the seat, all the way home.
Hardly in the door with the first one cracked, a textie blips into my buzz: "Twas sad when you left us, Rosie kept saying Dad? Dad? Dad?". Ah me poor beleaguered heart, is there no end to it? I'm too old now to be suffering new emotions. I see wee Ro now standing in her cot, bawling her little eyes out and it's fucking hilarious. It's so positive and dramatic and goddamn funny that I'm in serious danger of hugging the cat. Poor fucking cat gets it from all sides.
A small army of silent beer bottles stand watch in the quiet house, I watch kung-fu zombie movies in me jocks.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

for you;

loud laughter sliding in slabs behind me as I part ways with Mark on Ballybough road. laughing at love, laughing at the empty boarded up houses on the main drag, the bright grey early morning. Careful here now, watch yourself here now, bad auld area this. Me hole. A good friday skinful and  a few twists and turns into a beautiful world made new, warts and all. We're such terrible spas, the lot of us. You too.
Its so clear now but sure it'll be all gone in the real morning, the one that's coming around 2pm or so. Until then, rest peacefully in the certain knowledge that I love you, yes you, and my friend Mark and Maeve that we left asleep in a sheltered armchair, and Mags who thought to get up and see us out and James that didn't bother his arse and wee Aoife that thought a whole new day had begun when in truth the old one was simply slow in closing.
I am  so old, and so young and I am bursting with something but I don't know what the word is for it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stick yer title up yer hole.

Je-yasus kid, I am fuckered. I haven't blogged in a bit for mostly two reasons and for lessly many more smaller reasonettes.
My Reason #1 is that, due to the cathartic power of writing shit down, the saga of Spinky has lost its urgency. Also that damn story has so many hooks and barbs catching other threads I can't streamline the bastard into a proper Thing.
In real life I am  pushing the intensity up a bit, working all day and night and not getting enough sleep. Right now is the prime example; yesterday I got up at 8am and drove home, a home that I have torn to bits in the name of renovation and is not currently habitable, even for the cat. I spent the day smashing tiles off the bathroom floor and wrestling the toilet off the wall in between bouts of breaking other stuff up with my trusty red crow-bar. Construction, they call it. Then I  drove across town to teach people how to beat each other up from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Which left an hour and a half to get some dinner and a pint in, before doing a five hour stint in this nightclub (I write most of this crap while in a nightclub, tis very distracting.).
Finished up at 3am,drove to the house I'm staying in, got to bed by 4.30, up again by 8.15, and did the whole bastard thing again. Right now I'd give my left testie (the less handsome of the pair) for a twenty minute power nap.
And while I'm whinging here I might as well add that even under normal conditions I sometimes have trouble staying awake while driving. Back when I used to do hard physical work it wasn't too unusual for my passenger to wake me up when the lights turned green, though in fairness that was in heavy traffic where we might not move for five minutes at a time. The hour drive to bed tonight might have to be done in stages.

Some deep down weird part of me actually likes pushing this hard, I  wear the sleep-deprivation delirium like a badge of honour, which is probably a symptom of delirium induced by lack of sleep.
My eyeballs hurt. This makes me swell with pride.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Verse Chorus Chorus Chorus; the recursive man.

 Ponys Gaff was great, a home from home. This was true to the most exaggerated sense for Spinky, a man who was to prove, over the course of several years, to be one of the worlds great moochers.
Spinky doesn't visit, he auto-installs when you open the door.

Memory is my heroin. Frozen moments of time, self contained chunks that exist untethered from the infinity, I have a whole half-assed philosophy based around memory and the illusion of now. Mostly half-inched from Watchmen.
Even as I write this, I can feel myself sinking into the couch in Ponys living room, I can smell the old sweat and the hash smoke that permeated everything. I love how this all becomes timeless and how I can be there again anytime I think about it. I don't remember the actual conversations but there were recurring themes and plans hatched that float up sometimes.
There was a plan once, in anticipation of the coming millennium and the possible end of human history, for cigars. There was a connection, someone knew a man that might be able to get cannabis oil, and if we could get enough, and also source several ounces of high grade grass, then we could create monstrous cigars of a reality warping nature. The price per cigar would have been about £150 had we ever got that elusive oil. Everything else was ready to go and cigar making documents were procured, but it was not to be. Oh but the dream lives on. Someday, when I'm auld and have resumed the drinking habits of my youth, I'm going to start making enquires and rounding up certain senile people with a view to inducing group incontinence.
Which neatly brings me back to the Ballad of Spinky, or Verse Chorus Chorus Chorus.

Pony is a man of passions, when something hooks him he gets drawn in further than a reasonable man could, his imagination runs wild and boundaries get battered, bent, ruptured and sapped. Arty like.
Ponys future at the time was to be the Bong business, and his research was conducted in his living room with industrial bits of pipe and endless enthusiasm.
Little handy bongs and big bongs, with interchangeable parts and cutting edge bong-tech. There was the six-shooter, six pipe bowls on a rotating thingy so you could fill the six bowls at once and then smoke them sequentially, a real time saver for people who almost by definition are not actually in a hurry.
Pony also adapted the top of  a HazMat suit for his bongs, it was a big yellow one with a rectangular plastic front window and gas mask that you had to strap on. Instead of a filter the mask attached to a big tubular bong and you sat there on the sofa looking at your friends through that scratchy plastic window while you smoked the bong without moving because the valves rendered movement unnecessary. It was weird and claustrophobic but sure it passed the time.

Spinky was always there, always. I mean I called over regularly but I went home too. And also spent some time upkeeping connections with other separate groups. But not the Spinkmeister, it must have driven Ponys girlfriend nuts, but the man was an institution, in the architectural sense of the word.
Anyhoo,myself and Spinky became great ol buddies, we both loved drinking to excess, james bond movies, pretty girls and being suave. We went on to have many adventures and Spinky introduced me to many people that went on to become good friends of mine. He introduced me to Crazy J in Crazys J's Snakepit, a small-time dealers gaff where Spinky had insinuated himself, as usual, and as usual had invoked the ire of the woman of the house, in this case it was the younger version of my friend Superfast.
Inevitably he ended up on my couch, it was only a matter of time. This caused some low level strife with Biffo, who technically owned half the couch and took an almost instant dislike to Spinky. I say almost-instant because it was more likely due to a fast and accurate evaluation of Spinkys character than anything instinctive. That sounds harsh, but the truth is I don't demand very high moral character from my friends, just that they understand why James Bond is the ultimate role model  and appreciate the importance of getting mangled.
Nonetheless, the tenacious mooch managed to move house with us, which is a three-pronged tribute to Biffo's tolerance, Spinky's thick skin and my own responsibility-shirking prowess.
I never thought of Biffo as the woman of the house before, but it fits the pattern nicely as it was Biffo that finaly gave Spinky his marching orders.

One new years eve night we somehow managed to pull a pair of stone-cold foxes. Spinky realised he was onto a good thing and kept his girl for an epic four years or so, moving in together so he could mooch more efficiently. Things didn't work out with my girl, partially because she was not actually single during the period we were dating, and also because I was a mess. Interesting side-note here: the girls referred to us as "pretty boys", to this day I am very confused as to whether this constitutes a back-handed compliment or the regular kind.
The beginning of the end was the night that Spinky introduced me to his girlfriend's cousin. It was Mrs Spinkys birthday in Handels on Fishamble Street, loud as fuck with the worst bar service imaginable. Whats a man to do when he gets introduced to a beautiful girl in a loud bar? he sticks the head on her, of course. That worked out surprisingly well, and I married the beautiful girl a few years later. But the night ended badly for Spinky, walking home down Harcourt street he was ambushed by scumbags and took a kicking before they took his wallet. As an afterthought one of them stabbed him with a needle.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I went shopping with Biffo the Sunday before the Sunday before Christmas. The squirtels were tucked snug away in hollow trees in fairview park, the whooping swans were cheering themselves on across our pale skies and all across the land heterosexual men were teaming up to go shopping.
I am from the ninja school of  buying-shit, I operate alone and I'm in and out like a shadows ghost. Things vanish from shelves, money appears in tills, salespeople are disturbed by peripheral flickers and the lingering waft of Boots Original 24hr anti-perspirant. Standard kit for ninjas. Fact.
But thats when I'm buying shit for me. I don't need emotional support or deadlines or a play-date to force my hand when I'm shopping for me. Christmas shopping requires backup.

Shopping in a team, or more accurately; a squad (a squad of two) is Combat Mission style shopping; shopping like big gruff manly men with objectives, strategies, operation critical time-windows, danger and alcohol. Lots of alcohol.
The Foggy Dew, 1630 hours, mission debriefing, I arrived an hour late and for the first time ever Biffo was there first, waiting for me. This was a very emotional moment for me, he was half way through his first pint which meant he had been there at least ten minutes, ten minutes sitting there wondering what had happened, why was he the silly twat drinking on his own waiting for some tardy fucker to show up ? Had the whole world gone topsy turvy? Yes you sonofabitch, you are that twat. It only took me fifteen years or so, but I've fucking got your number, you fucking chronographically challenged weirdo. I then ordered a brace of pints before realising I had no cash money on me and demanded that Biffo cough up, thereby losing the moral victory I had fought so hard to achieve.

Any mission worth executing starts with pints, which are immediately followed by a ham and cheese sandwich, naturally. A tactical fork was called for; me to the ATM, Biffo to the Mercantile for sammiges. I found him nursing another pint, the Mercantile doesn't do sammiges. What's this town comming to?  Another one down and  we broke cover for Grogans and the guarantee of lovely home-made cheese and ham delectables.
Grogans never flags, never waivers, the best pub in the world, marvellous pintage and vittles. I discovered that a ham cheese tomato and onion sammige is called a 'toasted special', I was dumbfounded. For about ten years I have been calling for "a toasted ham cheese tomato and onion thanks very much", the time wasted, the chagrin, the unnoticed funny looks, now imagined, that will haunt me in the quiet hours.
Finally we were prepped for the task at hand. Out the door with us says Biffo, time is short.

To the batcave record shop. Theres a tradition in Biffos' family, going back about two years, whereby every Christmas I am conscripted to buy techno for Biffo's brother, which is then kris-kringled to him by the appropiate family member. This makes Daddybear the easiest person in the world to buy presents for at Christmas as all a person has to do is phone me and grunt "Daddybear, techno, thanks". Really they're taking advantage of my addiction to buying techno, but I don't mind as I am addicted to buying techno.This year it is Biffos turn to ask me to buy techno, so a trip to the record  shop is pretty high on our agenda.
But I'm in a forced recovery with this itch, financial ruination has kept me out of the record shop (singular - I don't cheat on my record shop or comic shop, unlike some slutywhores out there), and my few relapses this year have been online purchases that weren't distributed to the retailers. So I was pretty shocked when I found the entire techno section completely missing. Apparently the guy that took care of that stuff went to work somewhere else and his knowledge went with him. It was a bit of a relief in a way, now I no longer owe loyalty to a record shop I can buy everything I want online with minimal fuss, which was what I decided to do, so we were able to mark that mission objective as an unqualified success.

The walk from Grogans to the record shop, all thirty meters of it,  had left Biffo hungry again. Yamamori ? Yeah sure I said, because I'm always hungry, even when I'm full. It makes no sense as I'm only small, but I am also a man of mystery so there you go.
We had lovely Yamamori food and a bottle of wine and were very  loud because of drunkness and high spirits.
At this stage a plan had to be drawn up as it was getting seriously late and televisions aren't sold in every tobacconist or brothel like in the good old days. Thats what we were after, by the way, a TV for Daddy and Mammy Biffo. The Emergency plan was this: we both could remember there being a Philips place at the junction of Georges st. and Dame St. We were well aware that it might not exist or possibly might be closed so the back up plan was to hit Dixons in the Jervis centre.
Sure enough the Philips place was closed, but at least it exists so we both felt vindicated on some level. Biffo hailed a taxi, despite the Jervis being a five minute walk away. I expected this, Biffo never walks, when he comes out of the pub around the corner from his house he'll jump into a taxi, avoids giving a destination by saying something like "we'll start by taking this next left" and then calls a halt to proceedings outside his gaff, pays the minimum fare and hops out.
Anyways, Dixons.
Jervis st. was still open , praise be to Cheebus and his mighty flowing robes of woven justice, and once inside the telly shop Biffo decided that now was a good time to find out the size of the cabinet back home that the telly would have to fit into. Je-aysus.
One shouty-in-an-electronics-shop phone call later and we had the width of the cabinet. TV dimensions are given diagonally from top corner to opposite bottom corner, a fact Biffo was blissfully unaware of, so unless we bought a really small tv we had a really good chance of fucking this up. That is unless one of us suavely carries a tape measure in his handsome pocket on a regular basis. Damn straight. In a Bond moment that would bring a tear to Roger Moore's eye and make Pierce Brosnan literally shit himself, I kung fu measured every hench-tv in a five mile radius, wielding that baby like some sort of infant.

I have a habit of not insulting people from a racial minority on first meeting them, for fear of the insult being wrongly taken as some form of racism. It is a subtle form of racism in itself, in that I am treating them differently based on their ethnicity, but in a country where d'ignorance is a virtue I can be fairly confident that I am helping push the balance back towards neutral. Biffo has no such pretensions, so when a small beardy easterner sales assistant bravely stepped up to assist, Biffo asked him if he was a sheep shagger.
This is exactly the sort of comment I avoid, in this case doubly so because he looked exactly like one of those  shepherd types from the mountainy bits of Pakistan that you see in movies. Or that I saw in one movie once, to be precise.
The beardy fella took it in good humor, fair play to him, we must have had the advantage of novelty as you don't get many half-cut goofballs in electronics shops. Turns out he didn't have our chosen telly in stock anyway, so we nipped over to Argos and got one there instead. There were no further adventures in Argos as they are well accustomed to half-cut goofballs, twits and sociopaths and have taken steps at a design level to effectively neutralise and contain buffoonery is all its myriad forms.
We took the telly across to T.P. Smiths to wet the babys head, as the saying goes. Tis tradition so it is.

I made it home eventually, a successful shopping mission in the bag, though I had no actual purchases to prove it. Back when I lived with Biffo this was pretty normal everyday stuff, and I do miss it at times. What I don't miss is the next mornings, and lack of practice is making them worse. Also not being able to drink away the monday morning blues is just unfair.