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December 2007

back in the eyrie

It gives me an reassuring if illusory sense of permanence to be once more at my parents' house, in the eyrie, clacking away on the keyboard that is all I have left of the computer US friends AM and L gave me when I was living in NJ. It had belonged to L's mother who died a day or two after Thanksgiving in 2002. It was AM who found Monica with her lips blue in the basement, and called the emergency services and was instructed to try to revive her though it was obviously far too late. It took her a long time to process that shock. She felt guilty for a long time too, because she hesitated before trying to resuscitate M, L's mother. Poor AM, how she tortured herself over that. For such an easily understood, minute thing, that made no difference anyway.

The room smells of woodsmoke. I have that song on the brain: you and me we can light up the world - I know, they are not cool, Take Th*t. (Or are they? in a kind of so uncool the pendulum has swung all the way back in their favour way?) I wonder if they might have chosen a more serious name if they'd known they'd still be around in 2007 - or rather if they'd known they'd recover from utter has-been obscurity. Lazarus might be more appropriate for them, at this stage, as a band name. They are better off than Boyzone though. By rights they should go by Middleagedmanzone by now, surely. MortgagepayingDadzone, perhaps.

OldFriend rang today to say she is still there, 2 weeks to go according to the doctor, 5 according to her. I would be inclined to go with her prediction if I was betting on it. She has it down to a fine art. This is her eighth, after all.

I set up the video camera to time-lapse the movement of the clouds over the field. And did some animation this morning.. which is good. I love working on this stuff. It's therapy..
I better step up the pace though, tootling along in second gear will get me only so far. Soon our external will be with us, after all.

The dialup, it is sloooooooooooow. I am updating my mother's anti-virus. It is a exercise in forbearance, as well as a virus update. They could use that in their marketing. Protect your computer AND stretch your patience levels to inhuman lengths!
Hurrrrrrrr. Zen breathing, zen breathing.
Ooooh, a grinding! a hopeful grinding?
No. Still downloading dat

Sigh. More loooooooooong moments pass.

this post is brought to you by "net.gear"-

an unsecured network! Hurray.
I am back from Kerry. Allow me to list the wild thoughts that are batting around my head like demented moths.
Like Caesar, "Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf." Well, not so much deaf as quietly buzzing static. I have found though, that like extreme heat and irritating relatives, it is better not to fight it but to accept it in a calm dignified manner. Otherwise, a madness/heat exhaustion/bloody murder could easily ensue, I suspect. (More on this simplified pseudo-Buddhist-ic philosophy later.)
The first class ticket was lovely. Well-mannered ladies spoke in hushed voices at a pleasant distance, a sweet little girl called Daddy! once in a while in a low voice, and all was spacious and carpeted.

Until, that is, we got to Mallow, where I passed an hour or so walking up the main street of the town, trying my best to lengthen my right arm by lugging my bag around. The town was a last minute bustle of farmer types and busy women, punctuated with the occasional Big Issues salesperson or concertina player saying "Hello, lady".
Then it transpired that there was "no driver" (seriously. I Quoth) for the train to Killarney so we had to risk life and limb in a bus to Killarney with a Lunatic Yun Fella from Cork who drove as if to beat the land speed record. There was an older man with a white comb-over on the bus who was casting around rather desperately for a conversation. You know, the type who has to involve everyone in his personal arrangements?

BIG loud voice:
Sorry to disturb you, but what town was that now?
(Yunfella, tolerantly, for a sub-contracted racerboy): Ah, not at all, sure I'm used to it. That was [insert Cork/Kerry town]
Lonely Older Man, in loud voice, leaning over Yunfella:

It turned out he was staying in the Gre*t Southern for a Christmas Special, on his own.
Poor crater.

All this made bearable by the wonderful This Americ*n Life. Speaking of which, I obeyed the irresistible call of the lovely Ira, and donated some $$ to it to keep the broadband free. I got this email back from him, the old charmer:

Dear TwangyPearl,

Thanks for helping Chicago Public Radio pay for the

This American Life

podcast and web streaming! They cost the station more than $100,000 a year, and you’re a big sweetheart to help them cover that huge expense.

If you chose a premium, we’ll send it out in a few weeks. And if you have any questions about it, email Chicago Public Radio

Listener Services

at, or call them at 312.948.4855.Also, if you didn’t check the box requesting “periodic updates and communications from Chicago Public Radio,” you won’t be put on mailing lists of any sort.

Thanks, again! Your friend, Ira Glass

I am a sweetheart. Isn't that great? He's my friend, Ira. I love him. He is creeping, modestly, with his Ira charm, up my list of boyz (move over Jerry Seinfeld, Clive Owen, and Paul Weller, you old newses, you. (Although I still love you all.) (I must also confess to being won over somewhat more recently by the wild but funny and charming Russell Brand)). The word National Treasure when attached to Ira is not entirely inappropriate. He did keep me going during those long lonely Sundays in New Jersey.

And for that I am eternally grateful.

Moths seem to have deserted me momentarily.
Normal service will be restored ASAP.

may all your Christmas wishes come true

I am about to cycle off to D6 with part of a dead pig for my family to consume on Christmas day, as tradition dictates. I won't be there to eat it, and I wouldn't eat it anyway, not being of the mind to eat such, but this is the role of the doting sister/aunt, and I shall manfully fullful it.. Spike has been sick and is recovering in time for what we refer to as The Christmas (as in our favourite Stephen's Day question: Did you get over The Christmas?). A child in his play-school had meningitis, poor mite, so although he had had no contact with the child, one kept a motherly eye on him these past few days.
Lovely bright day. Just got off the DART from Dalkey (where I picked up the above-mentioned swine), which seemed shrunken and quaint in the manner of things that one associates with one's youth. (what up with all the "ones", btw who do I think I am? the freaking Queen? (The answer would be no)). Some of the pubs and grocers have been replaced  by fancy restaurants and galleries but it is still itself.
Tomorrow I shall get on the train to Mallow, first class. Have gone stark staring foaming at the mouth mad and got myself a first class ticket (with student discount!) Next step a Lamboughini and champagne for breakfast no doubt. (I haven't managed to buy a ticket from Mallow to Killarney. Am trusting in the fates/station masters to provide a ticket. Makes it so much more exciting!)

I wish robots, passing visitors, foot-traffic and WILFers a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

On the way back from the d*signd9 Christmas dinner I went by the darkened Geography dept building in Trinity College. As luck would have it, I had my camera on me and I am pleased to be able to bring you the proof that - yes - as was always rumoured in dark corners in TCD's libraries - it IS run by dinosaurs:


I can see the outline of the prof's dusty skull as he leans over the end of term papers he's marking. And his assistant, the long-suffering PhD student, who has been working on his thesis so long that he is in fact ossified:


bus eireann quake in boots as Twangy gets a bit annoyed

7 Cannon Mews East
Beggar’s Bush
Dublin 4
14th December 2007

Joe K*nny
Regional Manager
Bus Eireann
Dublin 7

Dear Mr Kenny

I want to register a complaint with you. Last Sunday, the 9th December, I arrived at the Glenview busstop at 14.15 and waited for the 15.45 Wicklow/Dublin bus, which was to arrive at 14.23PM. I waited there for 40 mins but no bus came at all. I have to presume that either it went more than 8 mins early, or it didn’t come at all.

This is not the first time I have had problems with the service. I emailed in a complaint on the 29th January of this year, to say that I missed a bus at the same stop because it left 6 minutes early.

Surely it is a simple matter to put procedures in place that prevent this happening? In these times of energy awareness, we need to make public transport a real alternative to people, instead of which, the service is sparse and at that, unreliable.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

twangypearl the elastic girl

I really socked it to them, eh?
I had to wait in the  Glenview hotel for an hour, amongst families and Eastern  European waiters. They had some roaring fires there, which I practically got into to dry off my wet trousers.
Roaring fires, yes, this was my idea of hospitality.

I await a formal apology offered on a red velvet cushion.. or at least a bus ticket voucher. (ps.I wonder  is this Joe K*nny  even real though? He might be a composite character dreamt up by the marketing dept. On the other hand, bus eireann is semi-state and too unionised to be that devious).

old slides


I discovered this among the dusty old slides.
It's 1969 and I appear to be planning my departure from the family home in Killin*y.

humm. where was I?

Yes, I should really try to keep my drivel linked up in a semblance of order. In a chain of drivel, if you will.


Well. What goes on?
Yes, on Saturday I went on a march with L, with the organisation St*p Climate Cha*s. It helped having L there, because we could slip off for coffee and for a break from the rain, and I must say I enjoyed it and didn't at all find it the uncomfortable experience I feared. The best bit was being able to walk right down the middle of Dame St, through Westmoreland St onto the quay side to Custom House and the Dept of the Environment, accompanied by guards all the way, to the thrilling beat of the drums.


After, the talks were quite interesting, but the whole thing degenerated into a bit of a mess, as political groups tried to co-opt the proceedings (like those (possibly witchy?) T*ra Hill types who grabbed the mic from Eam*nn Ryan and shouted into it:
Words are cheap you green parasite!
What did she mean, do you suppose? that he was a greenfly? an aphid?)The guy from St*p Climate Cha*s was adept though in calming them, saying they all had a story to tell, but that we were all in the climate chaos together (in the most literal way).
I got on the LUAS then, dripping gently, and went to see Spike. Who wasn't too thrilled by the idea of being minded by Bobby. (FYI, in case you need it, the word "no" is broken, now, Spike overused so much.)
He sobbed and hiccupped sadly when he realised that Daddy was leaving. And was only consoled finally by the promise of watching a certain claymation sheep, called Sean. The JB came over and lo! at the presence of a man, Spike became all animated and happy, again. And they threw balls at each other for a while until Mummy came home and reassured me that he does that with her too.

I am writing this with an eye trained keenly on my email, waiting for news from M, head consultant at That Company. That afore-mentioned company and I have been doing battle today, in the politest possible way. I had done 2 concepts last week in a day and a half, as illustrated below, and yes, these were good, but had I not come up with any interactivity? and so, okay, I did some interactive ones, and yes, they were fine, but the USP of the brand hadn't been shown, so could I..? So I did. But wait.. they needed all these in PHOTO FORM, and will they work in photo?
NO. They won't. That was not in the brief. I am an animator, remember? not a photostory editor.
I'd have to rework all the concepts. And they'd have to pay for the work already done. Oh, how much would it be? a day and a half at our standard rate, 480 euro. YES.
But that would exceed their entire budget which is 450 for the entire job! Could I "relook" at it?
So I relooked. And pushed it around a bit until it was 540. So finally after much damage to me nerves, it was decided, I should go ahead and rework, (sigh, this is disheartening even to write). Oh! and make it before 4PM.
And verily I relooked and reworked and reworked and hardly had a break all day and thought, it is impossible to make a living like this. 4 days work done, and I haven't even got the concept signed off.

And now it is 5PM, no email from Head Consultant. And I am off. It's a apple pie emergency type of day. JB, I really hope you have a pie on your person when you come home.

ad malaise

(Ug. this porridge is nasty. Kind of like lumpy wallpaper paste).
I spent yesterday making these rough storyboards for ad for Major Telecommunications Co. Might have to include subliminal messages so satisfy anti-corporate urges. Like, Major Telecommunications Co. is NOT GOOD. DOWN WITH THEM. Or something like that. Might have to work on it a bit, make it a bit more zingy.


(The idea of using a sleeping child to tug on the heart strings is awful, I know, I know. Bleah. Bleah).
But then in the perfect antidote to selling of the soul, I went to see a show with E, from college. It was really charming. Videos of people in NYC putting fairycakes in boxes. Beautiful fairy cakes in wonderful glittery NYC. (I heart them.) Enchanting. Then there were 4 monitors showing video loops shot out her window over there, of unashamed NY-ers lying on the sofa/bed/floor, eating and talking and living the life. Ah. NYC. How I miss you.
I don't know the artist's names, but it was on in M*nster Truck, which had its own charm. Just 2 small white rooms off the street, warm and cottagey, down Franc*s St.

Then I walked home in the fairly warm rain. (Porridge really foul. Had to go. Bleah).