Pregnant Women Painting in Dungarees

Ladies! Up the duff? Bun in the oven? About to pop a sprog?? Then here’s what you should be doing to pass the time during those boring last couple of weeks when you’re in the fullness of health and not feeling in any way like there’s a football team jumping on your bladder or kicking you in the small of your back. Get up off that couch and start painting. Pick a room of your choice, the internet isn’t too fussy about that. But just make with the brush and emulsions and get cracking.

Don’t get anyone in to help, because that’s not the done thing. That makes you a failure. Most importantly, you will not gain maximum Internet points unless you do this thing in dungarees. ALL OF THE 90’S DENIM AROUND YOUR BELLY. It’s not essential, but it is preferred. And always wear a smile. Or you will fail. Fact.

Look, I don’t make the rules. I’m just showing you how it is. It’s now why I throw water on my face while smiling like Denver The Guilty Dog; or eat salads alone while laughing maniacally to myself. And I’m a better woman for it.

 

See below? That’s what happens when you send one of those silly menfolk out to get you pots of paint. How are you supposed to get the whole house done with those little things?? Honestly. No sense. Don’t forget to smile at him endearingly though. Nobody likes a moany non-painting pregnant lady on the internet.

“Dude, do you see any yellow in those charts?? I’M TRYING TO PAINT THE GODDAMN HOUSE HERE. What will the internet think??”

Don’t freak out now, you’re entitled to the odd break. But don’t get too comfy, trying to get away with sitting down and resting your weary heavily pregnant self in between some light house painting. NEVER LET GO OF THE TOOLS. What would the neighbours think if they caught you sitting down like the lazy wagon in this pic below?? For shame.

Now you’re just messing around. You’re on the verge of Pregnant Painting Lady Failure, you know…

Don’t go thinking it’s just stock photos that are showing you the right way to live your happy fulfilled pregnant life. Stock cartoons are getting in on it too. So you know shit’s gettin’ real. So start stocking up on the Dulux.

Baby Brain got you confused about how many paint brushes to use at the one time? Go with one first, more advanced Pregnant Painting Ladies are ambidextrous. See below…

For the love of God, don’t even think of getting your Baby-Daddy to help. He’ll just make a tit of himself by drawing stupid pictures on your belly, or do pretend graffiti like these muppets. But if he does, you better SMILE AND SHOW THE WORLD YOUR HAPPY FULFILLED LIFE….

…and when you’re done, ladies – don’t forget to clean up after yourselves. Nobody likes a lazy Painting Pregnant Lady. Now you have the knowledge. Go forth and ignore the fumes and the physical exertion, for you are doing the Internet’s bidding once more. DON’T FORGET TO SMILE WITH YOUR HAPPY FULFILLED LIVES…

New Year? New Sneer…

"What you mean, many HAPPY returns?? "

“What you mean, many HAPPY returns?? “

Here we go again. Another twelve months down the drain, another twelve months waiting to take their place. Like the old retired cop, jaded from realising you can’t beat The System, 2012 has slunk away into the corner with its gold-plated clock and now defunct police badge stained with cheap whiskey and tears of regret for a thankless job now finally over.

The next morning he is already forgotten; for in his place, fresh from the academy, bounds a young fresh-faced young cop, ready to take on the world and save it from The Bad Guys. His haircut is all business, his uniform pristine, his badge gleaming, his voice just that little too high pitched and excited for the rest of the die-hard desk jockeys. He is 2013, and he is here to kick ass and take names. And God, I hate him already.

I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s hype. I’ve tried. Heaven knows, I’ve tried. I rang in the Millennium up in Belfast with a bunch of amazing people and had mad laughs while the fireworks went off – I even allowed myself a little frisson of dread during the countdown to midnight, and said a quick prayer for forgiveness just in case our world ended in a searing ball of white heat and crunching tectonic plates. I’ve made all the resolutions in the world, and kept none. Apart from writing more. As you can see, it’s done much for me so far. Here I sit, typing away, on an armchair made entirely of foldy money, drinking hot chocolate topped with gold-flake shavings while Frank Sinatra’s hologram croons ‘Seventeen’ and Wes Anderson films my every move for a documentary because my life is so awesome. SWEAR T’GOD.

Being the cynical soul that I am, I watched in amusement last night as my Facebook news feed filled up with New Year greetings fused with all sorts of corny generic ‘go-get-’em tiger!’ type ravings. It was as if my entire friends list turned into Tony Robbins, Dr Phil, Oprah or – in some unfortunate cases – Shane MacGowan. If I had cringed any more, I would have become the first living Inside-Out Human. Imagine the fun I’d have had with that on Instagram.

So why am I spewing venom and hatred at something as light-hearted and whimsical as New Year’s Eve, you ask? The answer is simple: I see it for what it is. It doesn’t fool me for a second. It’s like Ben Stiller’s guest character in the episode of Friends when Ross is the only one who notices he’s a completely psychotic asshole while everyone else loves him because he’s so nice to them.  I AM ROSS GELLER. (In many more ways than this, but that’s a whole other blog post.)

New Year’s Eve has never been nice to me. It’s only ever been a disappointing non-event full of massive expectations, holding a magnifying glass up to all the previous unrealised hopes and dreams you had for the year before. Mind you, back when I was a teenager, I only had myself to blame for that. It’s hard to get the facilities together to resurrect Brandon Lee, keep him in his Crow character AND convince him to live with you in Limerick while living happily ever after, dancing to The Cure in Termights night club of a Saturday. So to be fair, most of the time my disappointment with my New Year’s failures have been my own fault.

However, nowadays my resolutions have become so mundane and depressing that frankly, I’m ashamed. When did it come to this? Once, I dreamed of worldwide fame & fortune; visualising best-selling modern classic literature and marrying the love of my life while at the same time being linked in the press to affairs with assorted Hollywood hunks, all while touring a Grammy-winning indie album and adopting a child from each country I visit.

This year, my wish is simple: To get glasses that stay on my head.

You may well laugh. The consequences for breaking this resolution will be tragic. For as sure as I will never see five foot in height, the following will happen:

Scene: A crowded pub. Me standing next to the potential love of my life. I turn to say the perfect thing to make him fall in love with me. Camera pans out to witness the crowd’s reaction when my glasses fall right into his pint as I trip up when running away, trying to suppress a snart. 

And wouldn’t you know, there’s Wes Anderson filming it.

Happy New Year, folks.

 

 

 

 

 

J-Ro Vs Brain, pt 4

Me: “Right, what’ll I wear today?”

Brain: “Let’s see. How about that black thing, matched with that other black thing, with some black leggings and a scarf? You know, for a change.”

Me: “Not a morning person, are we?”

Brain: “Why do you even ask my opinion anyway? I suggest lots of lovely things, and yet you always go for the same theme.”

Me: “What theme?”

Brain: “Slightly-Out-Of-Shape-Burglar.”

Me: “Asshole.”

Brain: “What are you gonna do about it? Feed me more pretzels until I get thirsty again?”

Me: “Nope….”

Brain: “Hang on a second. Put those headphones back. What are you doing? I’m sorry. I SAID I’M SORRY!! GAAAAAAH!!”

Why ‘The Secret’ is a load of old bollocks…

The Secret is...people will believe anything if they have to pay for it.

MY LIFE SUCKS. If only there was a quick, easy-fix solution that involved me not taking any responsibility for any of my actions. If only there was a book I could get my hands on that would tell me everything I wanted to hear and offer to fix it without actually getting up off my ice-cream-loaded ass and being proactive enough to change things…but wait. What’s this? There IS such a book? It’s called ‘The Secret’? I’m intrigued already. It sounds so mysterious. Why would they call it that if they didn’t know some serious shit that could change the world?? I have to have this book. Let’s have a look. Oh, wait. It’s all sealed up. Wow. It must be unbelievably awesome. I MUST HAVE IT. It’s a bit expensive, but if it changes my life the way I think it will, then those few euros will be but a drop in the ocean of my massive wealth. I’m off to put all these universe embracing nuggets of wisdom into practice. Wish me luck.

Love

Dramatisation: DID NOT HAPPEN IN NANCY'S.

Friday night, Nancy Blake’s pub, 12.30am.

The Secret tells me that I need to act like I want to attract relationships, I can’t be negative, I need to be open to the prospect. So I wore an ‘I Heart Men’ T-shirt, wandering around packs of men singing Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Single’ at the top of my voice and grinned like a Cheshire cat at anyone I found remotely attractive – just to let the Universe know I was ready for love. I saw one particular ‘target’ so I decided to focus all my energy on him. I fixed my gaze and visualised him walking over to me, asking for my hand in marriage, and we had a beautiful wedding surrounded by 1500 of our closest family and friends. When I came to some hours later, the pub was closed and the bouncer was rifling through my wallet trying to contact a next-of-kin because he thought I’d had a catatonic episode. I tried to explain that I was just visualising my future husband, but he just put me in a cab and shook his head sadly as it drove off. I must have done it wrong.

Health

And she STILL had a better run than me.

Having been unsuccessful in my attempts at finding lasting love, I now relied on the wisdom of The Secret to help improve my health. The opportunity presented itself not long after the Nancy’s disaster, when I caught a horrible head cold from after wandering around in that skimpy t-shirt in the shitty weather for so long. Instead of my usual four pints of Benylin 4-Flu and seven hot water bottles put into a duvet cover to make the ultimate warm bed, I decided this time, I’d harness the germ-killing power of The Secret. Armed with nothing more than a strong sense of optimism and a vision of my body being an absolute powerhouse of strength and disease immunity, I decided to go for a little 10km jaunt to show off my new-found bacteria-fighting power. I took off like a bullet, ignoring the coughing and sneezing fit that kicked off 30 seconds in. “Not this time,” I thought. “The Secret will power me through….”

Coincidentally that, apparently, is what I was repeatedly muttering in the ambulance as I was driven away with an IV drip in my arm and an oxygen mask strapped to my face.

Money

I'm just one positive thought away from all this...

With two failures under my belt, my faith in The Secret was starting to wane. Only one essential area remained that needed taking care of; the immeasurable wealth that I was assured would be mine, if only I just visualised it. Fair enough, I thought. I had been labouring for years under the misapprehension that if you worked, you could get paid, and if you saved as much as you could, you’d have money to spend. What a gullible tulip I was.

Being in possession of the knowledge that money could be exchanged for goods and services, which made life easier to bear and indeed far more enjoyable, I was very much in the market for more. So I sat in my house for up to four weeks, ignoring upwards of eleven phone calls offering work and gigs, and visualised stacks of cheques winging their way to my door. I imagined checking my bank balance at the ATM machine and seeing an amount the size of an international phone number staring back at me. It was awesome.

So armed with all this spiritual knowledge and the strength of my visualisation, I marched into the bank one Monday, proud as punch, and politely asked the lady behind the counter for ten thousand of their finest euro which, I assured her, was most definitely mine – according to The Universe. The fact that my account balance said €0.74 on the computer screen was merely a glitch, I reassured her. (Obviously imaginary cheques written on behalf of The Universe take as long to clear as personal ones down on Earth.) Nevertheless, I pressed on, arguing my case, content in the knowledge that I would be leaving the bank a reaffirmed devotee of The Secret.

With the help of the nice security man and a ride in the back of a cop car, at least one part of that sentence came true.

Conclusion

Go on, try it.

Four weeks and one competency hearing later, I am clear-minded and realistic. I now understand that The Secret is most definitely a way to make an absolute fortune – if you’re the author. Apart from that, you’re up shit creek…and down a couple of euro for your trouble. Not that I’m bitter or anything after my experiences, but I can’t pass a copy of that stupid fucking book without laughing hysterically and giving it the finger…and when I’m allowed back into the Crescent Bookshop again, I’ll probably do the same thing a couple more times.

You can bet your ass I won’t get fooled again. What a load of shite. Who pays for that shi…hang on, what’s this? ‘The Power’? Oooh, it’s by the same author. I wonder is there anything different in this one? She wouldn’t have written a second book otherwise. I just have to pop over to Amazon there for a second. Be right back…

Booby Traps…

Ugh. here we go again. Another round of “Ssh don’t tell the boys, tee-hee” emails going around Facebook with ridiculous ideas about what to put on your status update under the premise of raising awareness of breast cancer. There’s so much wrong with this I actually get paralysed with rage when I think about it too much. So this blog post is getting the brunt of it. Read it at your peril.

In the first instance, how can something that’s done in secret raise awareness of anything? If all I see on my news feed is a bunch of women simply posting single words like ‘blue’ or ‘red’ or ‘orange’, I will automatically assume they have been attacked by a rainbow-fetish spambot who is wreaking havoc on innocent Facebook profiles with their evil colour-loving perversions. More often than not, it’s a stupid, humourless, hen-night mentality comment thread, with lots of girls proclaiming “I like it on the bedroom floor” or “I like it on the kitchen table next to the salt & pepper shakers lol” – which apparently refers to where they leave their handbags. Oh, the genius of it all. So much innuendo, so much schoolyard note-passing and clique-forming…. And yet, we have no cure for cancer. Colour me surprised.

It’s cancer. Be public about it. If you’re that concerned, use your Facebook to tell people to get themselves checked. Make a donation. Don’t just submit to a useless chain mail that seeks to alienate half the population just because they have different genitals..which, by the way, are also prone to cancer. Just putting it out there. Those messages and status updates are nothing more than a private in-joke, much like the secret coded conversations you witnessed or took part in as a youngster back in the days of Fancy Paper, plastic neon bracelets and New Kids on the Block T-Shirts. Or maybe I’m just showing my age. But I’m sure you get the point.

I’m not a fun-sucking Little Miss Preachy Pants (not full-time, anyway), all I’m saying is if you’re going to participate in these little charades, don’t kid yourself it’s for a noble cause. None of these escapades are sanctioned by The Irish Cancer Society, as mentioned by Antonia Hart in her previous blog post about the subject here. A woman after my own heart, Antonia is also of the opinion that these mails don’t do anything for cancer. Along with, I’m sure, many healthcare professionals and cancer specialists who have failed in their attempts to turn all these chain mails into a miraculous anti-cancer serum which can be injected straight into the affected area. If and when they do, I’ll be first in line to clog up all my friends’ home pages with handbag positioning cleverly disguised as sexual innuendo, so that everybody knows just how supportive I am. Until then, I’ll just carry on checking my own boobs for weird goings-on by following the instructions on the Breast Cancer Ireland website, buying pink ribbons and donating when I can. And, unlike the rest of my life, Facebook will be kept out of it.

How to use a handbag for breast cancer awareness...