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...

 

 

Same as it ever was…

It’s diary time again…the time when I trawl through the many volumes of gibberish I used to write in an attempt to keep myself sane, and inflict them on you, the unsuspecting public. I’d apologise, but we’re way past that now.

It was June 1999, and I was living on the island of Rhodes, Greece. I gigged for a living with my best friend Louise, and had the best – and most insane – time of my life there. More about that in another blog post (once the names have been changed). This list was born out of not having a telly, or any of that internet madness that was sweeping the world at the time. So armed with paper and pen, I sat down and had a right old go at feeling sorry for myself. Turns out, looking back, I didn’t really have much to go on. But God loves a trier. Illustrations and everything. If all else fails I can make a living breaking into people’s houses, finding their personal journals and adding delightful drawings to their innermost feelings…

You bet your ass I blacked out the names...

Yes, that is a Robbie Williams quote at the bottom of the page. Mortified. I can only blame it on the constant exposure to the sun and cheesy Club Med tunes that permeated the Faliraki landscape when we worked there. Please don’t hate me…

1996? All a bit of a Blur to me…

In the midst of my diary-keeping days, I went to my first ever open-air big concert. It was June 1996, and at the height of Blurmania. I was always on the side of Damon Albarn. I had no time for stupid Oasis and their big hairy faces and mad sneers. So, being almost eighteen, I was allowed to go to a Blur / Supergrass / Black Grape concert all by myself. To say I was excited was an understatement. It was such a big deal it got a two-page spread in my diary. Yup, THAT big. Here in its entirety is my documentation of the day (as written). Well, as much as I could write before I got distracted by something else just as awesome. The picture below is the first page, and I’ll transcribe the rest so you can actually read it. There’s so many cultural references in it your face will hurt by the time you’ve finished reading. Names of participants have been changed, naturally. Enjoy.

I was in a collage-type mood in the 90's. I regret nothing. Except the 'Doin' him tomorrow' phrase. Ugh.

4th July 1996

Omigod. The Concert was Fantastic! It’s 4th July at 11.45am before I get ready for Summer Camp. Let me take you through the day of Saturday 22nd June 1996 from start to finish.

11am – left house wearing white v-neck t-shirt, ‘short’ shorts, Levi’s hoody and Doc Marten boots. I brought a pair of knickers with me to throw at Alex. (Bass player from Blur – I didn’t get to thrown them. To this day he doesn’t know what a lucky escape he had.)

11.30am -In town chillin’ with Jo, Sharon. Laura + friends went their own way. We followed this Jonny Depp lookalike around Arthur’s Quay, buying drinks n’ stuff along the way.

1.30pm – The ticket said ‘Coach departs 1.30pm Sharp – LIAR!

2.15pm – Finally left Spaights. Bored already. Sharon dying for ‘drink!’ Good craic on the bus all the same. I sang along to every song played on Atlantic 252. I swear if I don’t hear ‘Mysterious Girl’ by Peter Andre ever again, it’ll be too soon! Good all the same, though. Stopped in Portlaoise at Supermac’s, and we just got worse –> maxi-hyper would be an understatement!!

5.30pm – Saw queues outside RDS, plus a multitude of empty beer bottles –> Sharon is muttering about what a waste it is, just because she didn’t get any….

10.00pm – Unbefuckinglievable! This is what I want! Screaming crowds, singing along, mass hysteria – YES! I WILL do this….I will be there soon…! On the way back, Peter Collins played ‘The Universal’ on the radio for all the Blur fans at the concert!

So there you have it folks. That was my first concert. Knickers and all. Thanks, Blur…

 

 

A Teenage Manifesto

It’s 1994, you’re 16, and all you want in life is a brand new tattoo of Sylvester the Cat holding a red rose. It holds the answer to all life’s problems, and will sum up everything you are as a person to anyone who sees it. You will be a badass. A person to be reckoned with, someone who is far too cool to be concerned with the likes of bullies, grades and stupid homogenous girls in a rural secondary school who all look the same. Not you though. Oh, no. You’re an individual. You loudly proclaim that you prefer ‘Bleach’ by Nirvana, as opposed to their more obvious ‘commercial’ release ‘Nevermind’ like the rest of Transition Year.

So you gather up your courage, turn down your Soundgarden CD and casually stroll up to the sitting room to put your case forward for getting this life-altering skin picture to a woman who can’t understand why you would willingly put needles on your skin for fun, and thinks tattoos are for soldiers and prisoners. And so far, you are neither. She says no. You’re devastated. This is an affront to your civil rights. You are being oppressed. You can no longer express who you are as a person. How is Alan in Sixth Year going to know you’re cool and not like all the ‘normal’ girls if you don’t have a Sylvester the Cat tattoo?? Life is as good as over.

So you storm off down to your room in a rage, full of righteous indignation and an ever-expanding martyr complex. Then you decide to do what many afflicted artistic souls have done before in the face of adversity and suffocation on behalf of a corrupt authority. Something which will shake the system to its very core, and lead to your mother throwing herself on your mercy and begging for forgiveness and even paying for your tattoo which will change your life for the better.

You write a poem. In your diary. That’ll show ’em. An unpublished tour de force that that nobody will ever see.

Until now. God bless the internet.

I regret nothing.

Viva La Revolution!

The things I learn so you don’t have to…

If The Universe has decreed that you’re due a fall, it will never be in private and out of sight. It will always be in public, and always in front of people you would rather glue your eyelids shut than lay eyes on ever again.

There’s a lot of things that can make you look sexy. Eating a donut while driving is not one of them.

If you’re in a queue and you’re eye level with the elbow of the person in front, they don’t know you’re there and they WILL step back onto your toes. It’ll hurt like a bitch but the fright they get after it happens will totally be worth it.

If you make jokes about stealing your sister’s awesome dress after borrowing it and you find it in your suitcase after you come home, she will not believe it was an accident. (sorry Amy!)

If you don’t drink, you are forever assumed to be thought of as Taxi Friend. However you can play your cards right by accepting payment in Red Bull form.

Wearing a pink wig will NOT make you look like Natalie Portman in ‘Closer’. Not even slightly.

Just because you’re alone in your car doesn’t mean you’re invisible. Singing your heart out to ‘Dick In A Box‘ while driving past a school at break-time will not help your teaching career.

For every bedroom spider you destroy with immense satisfaction, be warned. It has ten brothers of varying sizes, and they’re going to burrow their way into your ear canal tonight.

When you use a GHD, you’re pretty much calling God out and openly challenging him to a duel between your newly-straightened hair and his weapon of choice. Which will invariably be Humidity.  Or a gale force wind. Or both. He’s mad for mixing shit up.

For every person you look at on your Facebook news feed and think: “You’re full of shit”, there’s at least four other people thinking the exact same thing about you. Make a note of that, then shrug it off and keep going. I know I do.