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August 2007

building and goodbye to R for the interim

My friend R is off for 2 years to Rh*de Island School of Art and Design. We went to H*vana in Cuba to see her off. Well, alright, it was off Camden St. (They had a lovely home video on a loop of Cuba. Lingering shots of the sea, the seaweed, a dog swimming and some rocks and the beach. It was very interesting (to me at least) how you presume, from the context cues, that it is a narrative sequence and how once you are convinced there is none, you look at it differently, with another part of your brain. There was a prolonged moment where I was watching to see if there was a meaningful link to the last scene and then the slow understanding that there was no narrative link meant that I had reclassified it and had no expectations of it anymore in that way.)

It was good to see R's friends Jane and her husband who are truly nice and to be there and have a glass of wine. I wished I never got onto the subject of R's job though, it was a bit of a can of worms. They are a bit wound up about it this situation, which is quite serious. (R is considering bringing her employers to the Lab*ur Court. Well. I won't get into it.) It felt a little as if I was becoming the focus of the argument - kind of an involuntary devil's advocate - at one point and I felt a bit uncomfortable. I am a bit overtuned to arguments in general. But the moment passed and I think as R herself said, she is grumpy at the moment - not surprising with this situation and going away and the fact her Gran is gravely ill and in heart failure with a DNR order. She has had a rough year and it's sad that the excitement of the MFA is being obscured by the trouble at work and with family.

I do need to separate myself - to stay in my own sphere in these situations. In general maybe. I was thinking about that last night as I tossed and turned and felt too hot and too cold and had strange thoughts that A*t (R's friend) isn't friendly to me anymore and has been strange since he fell out with B while living in my apartment. (B apparently had a pathological lack of boundaries to the degree that he'd borrow anything including razor blades and deodorant. He was lucky not to "fall" off the balcony so bad things got). The point is whether or not A has stuff, it's his stuff, not mine, and I need to stay in my own sphere and work on that little round space. I never see him anyway.

Eventually I went to sleep and this morning my subconscious gave me the gift of a dream about George Cl**ney.
Which cheered me up completely.

I tell you Bots, this is therapeutic. I am nicely vented.

A Prarie Home Companion

Here's the plot outline from IMDB, (types the lazy e): A look at what goes on backstage during the last broadcast of America's most celebrated radio show, where singing cowboys Dusty and Lefty, a country music siren, and a host of others hold court
Funnily enough no-one has attempted to summarise the plot. [ Plot Synopsis: This plot synopsis is empty. Add a synopsis] Probably because this would be like gathering up a load of live worms and trying to put them into a jar - if a lot less slimey and unpleasant. Some very appealing country singing worms.
I used to listen to PHC on NPR on Sundays when I lived in NJ USA for a few years. I had stumbled upon it and it had the charm of being an accidental discovery of mine. I used to love the Lake Wobigon section. It didn't even matter that it was a world quite alien to me; in a way that was part of the attraction. But even for one as well-disposed as I this film was not much more than a pleasant meander through a world which might have been better left imagined. It did have some charming moments though, especially with the Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Lindsay Lohan characters, the twee country singer sisters. (It was strange to see Garrison Keillor somehow. His stage presence, his physicality was oddly dissonant with his radio one, in a way that was almost embarassing to me. Although I still think he's great).
A wander through another gentle but sometimes dark world.


>In what would cause a fantastic media frenzy, Clifford Irving (Gere) sells his bogus biography of Howard Hughes to a premiere publishing house in the early 1970s - says the plot outline. Hurrrrrrrrr.<br>Moderately entertaining - I just was convinced that there was enough of a story in the story - an interesting documentary I could understand, but I wasn't engaged by the emotional journey of the characters - maybe because (in at least as it was represented here) there was no learning, no spiritual development and therefore no redemption of the Irving character. I didn't really care about him, he seemed so thick and slow to cotton on. Gere played him as a rogue and a chancer, but not lovable. Give me Homer any day.<br>(They did have a lovely house in the country though, a wooden one, old with a studio/workspace across the drive. Which did excite my imagination).<br></p>


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recordings in no particular order

Being married is good because you always have a partner (who is obliged) to suffer social duties with you.  I always thought, similarly, it'd be easier for twins to get over those difficult days, like first day of school, pre-school and whatnot. Someone to fall back on.
Same kind of thing with JB, my stalwart, constant companion and cosmic twin.

Spike and his Mummy came to visit yesterday morning. He is somewhat potty-trained. I say somewhat because his timing is a little off. He is inclined to comment on the happening after the fact, instead of a more desireable anticipatory comment. And so it was that he remarked in that way he has: Poo.
We were out in the garden. There was a hurried fixing up and showering off and he was like new. He has got bigger while he was away, has a tan, a few new words (although his style is now to repeat the word until he gets the reaction he wants, as in: Teeth. Teeth. Teeth. Teeth. Teeth. Teeth!. Teeth. Teeth. Teeth! Teeth.
Yeah Guy! she has big teeth, doesn't she?
It is to be hoped he doesn't take to doing this in supermarkets, to real people.)

I may have a slight sunburn. The yellow orb, it has returned and it burns.

Saw the Freud exhibition at IMMA. Found the pieces surprisingly small in scale and though beautiful and energetic, not quite the substantial body of work of genius I had imagined.

Then Anne and I had a sandwich in the formal gardens and talked about our building projects and all was sunny and relaxed.

Worked quite hard this week on the site for Chris (heretofore to be known as Demented Millionaire Cartoon Boss) on his site for his DVD D*wn Patrol in Kid K*lp. Which yes, is a perfect mirror image of his mad mad mind. (Oooh, you know, bots, I haven't even started blogging, I haven't even stratched the surface, when I think of the material I have in that Loon. Oh, happy happy day that will be).

Planning to do PrintMaking as an evening course in NCAD. I have that lovely lovely back to school feeling. Oh, the excitement of being brought in the car to DunLaoire or Stillorgan to get new shoes, a new school bag, new pencils! A new transparent plastic set square in a tin (which I never used in my whole career, except as an impromptu weapon to poke the boys I liked. Because in my school this is how you treated them, with fevered energy and many kicks and swings of the school bag. It was inverse psychology, I presume).
I loved school. It was so intriguing.

During the week I cycled to a rendezvous (the wonderfully awful M*ntrose Hotel) to meet our builder, and hand over a considerable sum of money (which I am interested to see he banked asap) in the school dinner smell of the carvery lunch being served around us to a motley crew of unlucky tourists and unluckier salesmen. He seemed more human this time though. He asked as apropos of, well, nothing, how we had met. We confessed our prosaic meeting in a AGM of a walking club in Landsdowne Hotel. His story was more interesting: he nearly ran over his wife on a street in London, jumped out of the car to peel her off the tarmac and help her collect her belongings, got talking, asked her for a drink and the rest isn't history, although it is to them.

Darkness falling. Moths jumping on my screen. I am sitting in the blue glare of the monitor as the sound of the tellybox below filters up. Who wants to be a millionaire (apart from Chris, har), and some review show about British horror films or a danceoff or something.

I must go and see if there's a sunset. 9.28pm GMT

Simpsons Movie

I have a bit of a pile of reviews to do so I'll make this snappy: It was like a feature-length version of the TV series, with better animation the better to show off the full screen. So if you like the familiarity of the 5-person setup and the that particular Simpson brand of ironic celebration of stupidity, you are away in a hack. (Which I do.)
I like that there is a heart at the centre of the stories, that there's hope. It means that the scepticism in the face of the world is never mean, and that in the end love and forgiveness triumph unashamedly.

the mysterious dichotomy of the JB

The JB was prevailed upon a few months ago to complete the Keirsey personality test. We (and when I say "we" I mean "I") were entertained to discover that the JB is the Protector Guardian. Ah! my JB. He lives to serve! And (seriously) it did help me understand his (somewhat insistent) need to be helpful. It was sweet. And it matched. Or so we thought. Because then I found this site (where I confirmed to my insufferable smugness, that I have the same personality type as Nelson Mandela. I am secretly very impressed with myself over this. We are rare, me and Nelson. 1% of the population. I wonder if he has the same infuriating level of self-satisfaction as I do. Well. Perhaps not.) and sat the (reluctant, after the last time) JB down for further insights into his nature. Only this time, he came out as this.
The Overseer. Now as I understand it, the overseer is a bossy McD*nalds manager person with a clipboard in his hand, who lives to order people around.
"ESTJs live in a world of facts and concrete needs. They live in the present, with their eye constantly scanning their personal environment to make sure that everything is running smoothly and systematically."
See what I am saying? Clipboard? Lists? System? I have also to say that some of these traits are not entirely alien to the JB. And that the type is shared by some of the least successful and in some cases actually disastrous US Presidents. The B*sh man being the first that springs to mind.

How can this be? He lives to serve and yet to order people around. This must make for some confusing and exhausting darting around and changing of costume, at the very least. Which is it, JB? pencil behind the ear or lemsip drink in hand?

summer of 2005

These photos are from 2005, when JB and I were only "seeing" each other, (if you look closely you can discern my delight and relief: S*X! again, after 2 YEARS, be the living HOKey, no wonder I was happy) I was convinced Smokey was going to die, he looked so bad, and there was a yellow orb in the sky which must have fallen down since then.
I wish I could reach into the photos to take the 37 year old e by the shoulders and say, lookit, Nelly, Smokey just needs more food. Grass. Don't feel bad. Soon, while in Denver on your honeymoon, you'll find a very helpful book, The Portable Therapist, and realise that is a waste of time. Your parents will help you, it's okay. You are not a deadbeat Mom. He's going to look fine again and not die in the next 2 years. There's rain ahead, sure, but there's also excitement, and learning, (in the shape of a MA at NC*D) and romance. So let's bite the bullet and dance.

summary of summery

1. My sinuses have been giving me a small but mean headache. JB got me some bromelain holding out hope, despite label saying it is helpful for arthritis and omitting to mention sinus pain.
2. Also, not much. Pushing ahead inchingly with builders and plan for house.
3. JB going for job interviews.
4. Am still not mammy, which is good. Also still not mammy (in the expectant sense) and this though not good, is not really bad either, for the moment. I am calm.
5. My mother is in great form. So is the Pater. Have arrived at a calmer state of non-irritation recently with latter. It occured to me that he wasn't so bad, he was flawed, true, but not without good points. Am being objective!
6. Bought an external harddrive and it took 24 hours to backup the contents of my harddrive. Now (too late) I realise that when my previous PC died suddenly a couple of years ago, I transferred all the contents of its harddrive, including the system files - so that is - yes, The Entire Shooting Match, to this one and never had the nerve to delete them, in case I should need them again. And herein lies the mistake. Must stop this madness before I do it again with the next machine I get, and end up with a harddrive contents inside harddrive contents inside harddrive contents in a never-ending telescope of data which takes a month to backup. (This puts me in mind of aphids which I was fascinated to read are capable of reproducing asexually - the mother already contains a daugher inside her, and that daughter contains a daughter. Impressive eh. Although the thought of having a genetically identical clone of myself is a tad alarming. I have noticed for instance that I am not very tolerant with my own faults found in other people. Janey. Imagine if I was actually seeing them all, as well as projecting them. My head would explode in a fit of self-righteousness).
7. Tried to go to Evensong today. Turned out to be non-functional in the summer. Pity. But the intention itself seemed to do me good. We walked back through Herbert Park.

Testing for human kindness

Dear occupier,

Recently I sent my friend who used to live at your address a present for her baby, only to realise too late she has moved. I wonder if you would be so good as to look for the parcel, and if it’s still in the hallway there,  send it back to me at the above address? I am enclosing some money for the postage in case you do find it. (I enclosed £5 in Scottish sterling. I presume that'll work in London?)

I’d be so grateful and pleased to get it back so the baby could have his present! You’d really be doing me a great kindness.

Thank you in any case, and sorry for any inconvenience.



(We'll see if it does the trick. If it doesn't I am giving up on the human race altogether! (Throws hands dramatically heavenward).)

being mammy

The Horse Show has for a long time been a regular August haunt for me and my family, going back to the ponylove days where I and my cousins would fantasize passionately about how a "bee" would sting Eddie Macken and one of us would be asked to ride Boomerang in the Aga Khan Nations Cup. Oh, the elaborate and endless games we'd play in the garden, jumping over poles and slapping our sides as we galloped around the grass. Later on, we'd get our own ponies and although that was tremendous fun, that longing and dreaming was gone, and with it a entire chapter of our youth was closed.
Today I and the JB had our stroll around the RDS, on a crowded family Sunday. To me the old magic was there, if in a dilute, moderate, adult form. As for J, who can know how it might have been to step into that foreign world? At first I was slightly disappointed that he didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I did, but I think I am learning something about how his separateness from me - how I am not responsible for him, for his entertainment, or his diet or his behaviour. I feel better for it too. It was a bit of an epiphany in a way. One minute, I was investing huge energy in trying to bend him my way, be ready on time, not wear his sandals (in my defence, they are orthopedic) or put on the fan or behave in a certain e-approved way, when it dawned slowly on me there was no reason for it, and I was just wearing myself out and distracting myself when it was me I should be working on.
And so I put down the (self-inflicted) burden of being The Mammy.


Speaking of Mammies, last night we had dinner with OldFriend (she of the many children). Honestly. How. Exhausting. That. Was. You sit at the table marvelling at the many, many variations of type, pitch and frequency of Noise that can be generated by small children, and the squabbles, and the playing, and the games, as the Mammy (OF) and Daddy (husband of OF) talk (rather bossily) to you as if you are a late addition to the family, just another (rather overgrown) son/daughter. It is like a very benign dictatorship, their parenting style. It's become an unbreakable habit, they've been at it so long, it's like their natural form of discourse.
We ran away from home in the end, to Dublin.

I am praticising yoga a little these days, trying to get a bit of strength up before I go back to class. It does take a long time. My arms were water-strength. Now, they are more like a weak tonic. Working towards a stinging G+T...