Saturday 29 December 2007

A bollocks anti-ode to Carolans liquer

Oh you horrible auld thing
Carolans Irish Cream
I will have to bury you under the ocean
to get rid of you
like nuclear waste
under Atlantic Avenue
in the middle of the night
when no-one is looking
but this is new york
and someone is always looking.

Vi mig fra livet med dit horrible auld følelse i min mave.

A word of winter advice for those fond of Baileys coffees in the wintertime

Don't ever buy Carolan's Irish Cream instead of Baileys because you think it's the same thing and you get to save ten dollars that way. Just don't do it. Yak. Bollocks.

Friday 28 December 2007

The News on 6th ave.

There are five leaves left on a tree on 6th ave, between Union and President streets. They're hanging on, for all they're worth, and their friends are all sitting on the ground underneath them, shouting up, c'mon, c'mon! It's great down here! (Lie). Just let go! It'll be better in the long run! (Lie). You'll prefer it down here! (Lie). It's better for everybody if you just join us and stop holding out up there! (Lie). It's embarrassing! (True). It's like Donald Sutherland in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers over there.

Don't you just hate those lyin' leaves?

Thursday 27 December 2007

The sad bits

Yeah, and then I heard a Tommy Tiernan interview on RTE radio a haon, with the professionally bored Eamon Dunphy, who made sure to skirt the chat away from anything that might have been remotely interesting. Keep it light, keep it daytime. Tommy T was talking a bit about loneliness and regret and the pain of his separation from his children, and it was a bit of a breath of fresh air to hear these topics being addressed, though he didn't get very far in Dunphy's hands.

It reminded me of a conversation we were having last night, about this American tradition of sending out letters at Christmas with messages of the triumph of the family this past year, its successes and achievements and the brilliance of its teeth. And I thought, wouldn't it be interesting if one of those letters said, well, I experienced sadness profoundly this year, and it was a difficult journey through the darker parts of the human soul, but I seem to have learned something from it, and I certainly hope it has made me kinder and able to hear more of life, to smell more of life, to feel more of life.

But that would probably constitute something of a revolution. And not make you liked, at all.

It's still belting rain out, and I have only conversed with cats all day. And though Freddy's is just half a block away, and will almost certainly be some kind of friendly, I will still probably not go.

Off the Willie Wonka on St. Stephen's day

So I spent today visiting cats who are spending Christmas alone. Most of them are very large cats, massive purring machines that move slowly. The routine goes like this: as I'm putting the key in the lock, I hear the purring already on the other side of the door. Then I open the door, and immediately, it's THUNK as a large furry cat hits the deck, rolls over to expose its belly and purrs effusively. For those of you who don't know what effusively means, and couldn't be arsed googling it, think PURR PURR PURR kind of intensely, with meaning. Aggressive purring, the kind that says, "Rub me, rub me, make me want to bite you on the wrist the way I love to".

And so I have spent today giving a lot of belly rubs, and getting sat on. And I think this is my first Christmas working, and I sort of realise today that, however much I have loathed the arse out of it in the past, the Christmas rhythm is laid down in my DNA as a family time, a stretched out time, a kind of saturated fat of a time of year. And it's actually a bit unexpectedly sad to be away from Ireland right now. It's fleeting, but significant. Something about the way that everything in the whole of Ireland except the frenzied sale-shoppers, shuts down for the whole week from Christmas day to New Year's day. You send out your last batch of Christmas emails on Christmas eve and you get those automated officey bounced back emails, telling you they're out of the office, on the jar, the willie wonka and the selection box, for a good two weeks, so feck off and don't be expecting a reply before January 5th, AT THE EARLIEST.

Christmas day for me lasts a full week, AT LEAST. I turn into a slow moving, fat storing, hibernating creature who has a few chats with the family, a bath every day, and the odd phone call and that's about it. And I can feel how good it is for me.

Not this year. Rush hour on the train was rush hour on the train today, the day after Christmas or not. Rough. Millions of people all playing musical chairs and all of them a constantly renewing batch of fresh strangers. Feckin raining, too.

Monday 24 December 2007

Get your transcendentally fabulous awfulness here!

It's Irishness exactly the way we live it, back in the Auld Sod.. God I love love love to see how this peculiar twisty thing of Irishness gets flipped and scrunched around on its journey through the world... the nuances, oh the nuances. Pig in muck.

Happy Christmas, lads! God Jule!


Sunday 23 December 2007


I feel sad. It's a heaviness in my chest. I feel like going off to France and living in a small house for the rest of my life. Alone. There's not much more to it than that. No reason that I'm aware of. Just this.