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February 2008

January 2008

like a tiger, baby

The photoshoot for the Major Irish Telecommunc*tions company took place in a windowless warehouse in the Liberties last Thursday. It was quite the eye-opener. For one thing, the reason models look so good? they put the make-up on with an airbrush. That's right, punters. It's spraaaayed on, like a mask.

(Hah! amusing moment: the boss of the consultancy co that is subcontracting me in to do this job, Eve (let's call her) had "reminded" me that I was there as part of the [Consultancy's name] Team. Ha. She must have led them to believe that I am her employee rather than a mere freelancer. So I was all primed to say: I'm here for [Consultancy's name] - to the extent that when they opened the door to us, I kept saying I'm here for [..], I'm here for [..]. I am sure I made a great impression. The client from Major Irish Telecommunc*tions company was also present. A friendly round-faced blonde in culottes, and curious, as it turned out:

So how long have you been in [Consultancy's name]?
me: Errrrr. Not long! (Pause) I err.. just when they..
Client: Oh! you're freeeeeeeeeeelance!
me: Well... yes.
Client: Your office are so handy aren't they?
me: hmmm.
[Thinking: are they? Never been in them, myself.]

Hah! I mean, ooops. And if that wasn't enough, Adwoman (another of the too many chefs - this time from an Ad agency. Tis a complex anthill this subcontracting world) greeting me, says: thanks so much for coming in! I know you had another job on, they had to take you off it.
me: Eh? no. It's fine!

During the long and drawn-out shoot itself, various actors were required to look dopey and knowing according to stereotype. The attention to detail was a little dispiriting. All that creative (and might I say, competitive) energy poured into what was going to be a tiny bitmapped image on the internet - and in the service of making money for Major Irish Telecommunc*tions company. Not the most noble cause after all. It was mildy diverting though, to have a little look at that hard industry and then run off back to my normal low-powered life, where it is completely acceptable to wear one's dressing gown until noon, entertain oneself with funny walks during the afternoon and have tea breaks so frequent they are practically continual.

I am truly grateful for being in a position to work for myself. I am a humane and understanding boss to myself. Mostly.

Speaking of my work, I am at an exciting breakthrough phase, with the alternative energy sources and exploration of memory. Just as well, for our external looms. I have also done a lot of work on The Laundrette animation. So I will have stuff to show and hope to be surfing on the wave of enthusiasm at the right moment.

I am actually flicking through channels on the telly as I type this. That is what they call media stacking, and it is bad for the brain, I have no doubt. I am so millenial.

Today was amazingly warm. There was a heavy bumble bee lurching drunkenly around my folks' conservatory, from hyacinth to hyacinth.

Last night wore me out. There was a ex-Simon Friday night S*up Runners reunion in a pub in town. In an unprecedented move, Twangy behaved like quite the social butterfly and stayed Until Closing Time. Mad, eh?
I was plied with drink, in the eternal battle for moral superiority that is the Irish Round System. I fear to say I lost the battle this time, again. Not quick enough with the wallet, alas, and as my punishment I must now not rest until I hunt down the drink pushers (Pa*l, and Bar, huh!) and pay get them back in measures of alcohol AND, ideally, leave them feeling as indebted as I do now.
I take my mission very seriously. I will find them and ply them with drink on their death beds if necessary.

More on this later. The three wines I nearly drank all of with a chaser of Bur*ger King chips (which have nothing to do with potatoes, btw, and speaking of which, what they don't see in that family *restaurant* at 2am on Saturday.. words fail me) have caught up with me. I feel a bit feeble and husk-like.
Un-like a tiger.

being second in command

Last Saturday there was a gathering at my parents' house to watch a rugby match. And so it was Brother and Spike came down to visit, the two things not being entirely unconnected, I believe. Spike was in good form, at the beginning, looking at his favourite book the Making of the Hunchback of Notredame, and making his own succinct commentary as he paged through. (Man. Funny man. (Jester). Alady. Is jumping! Big church. Fire! Monters! (Monsters. I was hard pressed to explain gargoyles to him). Then he went to play unobtrusively, sort of, at making a house behind the rugby watchers. And I saw my chance to slip upstairs to update my mother's virus checker on her old pc. But lo! what are these steps I hear? What is this urgently whispered phrase: Go and ask Bobby what she's doing! (for reasons best known to himself, Spike calls me Bobby). Frantically casting around for something to entertain, I suggest Thomas (and friends), on the internet. You know. That Thomas, (and friends). Spike, though dexterous and nimble-fingered for his age, can't quite manage a computer mouse, and so has to show you where to click to make the Thomas magic happen. His commands are more or less limited to This one! and NO, too.
And so it was that I found myself taking orders from a temperamental almost 3 y-o dictator, for the course of the afternoon.
We played with the virtual jigsaws, and a building game where you had to drag and drop pieces of Thomas (and friends) on to a template.
This one, Spike? NO. This one? NO. This one? NO.
There are no other ones, Spike. This one? Nyeh.
So I click and drag. 
NOOooooooooooooo!  No! (kicking and crying).

Repeat ad infinitum. Till me nerves were gone.

That whole night, I was still on alert, too alert to sleep. I kept having flashbacks. Noooooo! This one!

Much of the rest of the weekend was spent trying to gently persuade some sheep who had became separated from the rest of the flock to return to the fold. This is biblical, is it not? I was not a very Good Shepherd though, I fear. They kept going into a state of panic and eventually had to be out-smarted, which is harder than you might think, speed and numbers being on their side.

Ma and I played a nice game of Anagram. It is a gently diverting Victorian game you play with letter cards. I enjoyed it, and indulged in a short fantasy of JB and I whiling away our evenings playing improving card games, tired but happy after our run in the park, with our lovely child and/or dog, all replete after our delicious dinner, made with vegetables we grew ourselves in our own garden.

I must find a new image to upload here. Hmmmmmm. This has very little bearing on anything, except for the sheep. But anyway:


all is revealed

JB and I have talked more about the Baby Question.

He said it hurt him terribly to think that we might never be parents, and that now, he's ready to really try to have a biological child. He was sorry he hadn't understood the importance and urgency of this. I was so blind-sided and confused by this. I felt I hadn't changed in all this time - I had been as open as possible up to now, about how I feel and what our chances of it might be. I was more confused yet by how dramatically upset he suddenly was about it all. My poor boy  was so sad. Why? and why now? I was flummoxed. And he didn't seem to have an answer. Up to now, he's had a  happy-go-lucky and swashbuckling approach to the whole matter and now here he was, so emotional, at such a low ebb.

After a silence, he told me that recently he had seen something on the telly that reminded me of when his mother was dying and brought back a flood of memories - so many things he hadn't thought of for years. And out of that feeling came another, that we could be to someone what she had been for him and all that love would be there for a child of ours.

Oh, I was so relieved to understand what was behind this whole thing - to be able to separate the grief for his mother from his longing for a child. I am so glad he could see it and tell me.


but not the type that enlightens and entertains - the type that you agonise over on your computer in an elaborate game of Guess What the Number in my Head Is. But oh! the power and liberation of saying NO. After a lot of to-and-froing and petty quibble-quibbling over my price, I lowered it, to be accommodating, by 90 euro, and after they still rejected it (for the sake of 40 euro, come on!), was (secretly) delighted to be able to say NO. HAH! that'll teach them.
Or me, maybe, who knows.

Feeling a bit tragic today. We talked a bit last night about children, the having thereof, me and the JB, as Gr*nd Designs played out with requisite dramas at the right points in time (ie just before the ad break) in front of us.  It appears that there is a slight "disconnect" (so to say) between our attitudes. I said I am inclined to give up (you know, trying) in a few months, when I hit that large birthday that is also known as forty, and go about adopting. JB was sad that I would give up so soon.
In reality though, what I said was already a compromise, because deep down I am afraid of having a biological child and feel adoption is the right thing for me. JB has his characteristic fearless sunnier approach to it, and thinks that we should keep trying and even didn't discount IVF.

I shouldn't have got into it when I was in this mood. It made us both upset. We nearly got into the I told you this when we got married and Well, you should have married someone younger! territory. I narrowly avoided drinking from that poisoned chalice though, by concentrating hard on Kevin's cheerfully dire predictions.
It's not helping much writing about it, when I am in this mood, either. Sigh.

My father has to go and have exploratory surgery on his prostate on Monday. He has responded to this crisis by becoming the humbler version of himself, a little shaky but solicitous and more patient than usual. We have every reason to be hopeful - it's true he had some abnormalities in his sample, but he has comprehensive check-ups regularly, and everything is thoroughly checked, so if there is anything going on, they'll catch it in the very early stages.

Yes, every reason to be hopeful, but see above. I am :( glum.

Maybe I should have myself a little outing. All work and no play makes Twangy a dull woman, after all.
Yesterday I sat on a stool in and pretended to draw while I actually gazed out the window at the varied crowds catching the bus, and talking on their phones, and scurrying home or who knows where under the darkening sky.

Phew, I tell you though, I am haaPPPEEE I don't have to churn out that ad tomorrow.
Oh the power of NO.

before I forget to get these things down, before they fall out of the back of my mind, like knocked-off goods off a truck.
Ivan is back from Norway. He fell into the studio yesterday telling us a thing had happened to him. He was on d*ft looking for somewhere to live. The first number he dialed on his phone jumped up on his screen as the name of a young fella from home. It transpired that he (the young fella) had a room for Ivan. And he has already moved in.
Deepak Chopra-esque don't you think?
Got some Knex and made a helicopter today. It was wonderfully absorbing.
The helicopter didn't work, but we are full of excitement as far as our Re*d Only Memories project goes. And, it was nice to play.
Dscn4185  Dscn4184
Just recovering now after ear being chewed off the other night by Old Acquaintance. Ah! Old Acquaintance! So much fodder for blogs! So very many posts I could write on the mysteries of my relationship with her - on the strange mixture of guilt and habit, irritation and fondness that suffice (but barely, so barely) to keep me seeing her once or twice a year. Oddly enough, I was coming to the end of the line with another old friend, (Old Italian Friend I shall call her, for the purposes of this blog) and in my demented mind I made the trade (with myself) that while Old Italian Friend would have to go, Old Acquaintance could be borne. Huh? I know, I know. There was a funny moment during long detailed, blow by blow catchup with OA, all about her Life and Times in European Capital: her complaining about her old school friend who, obviously struggling with the same dilemma as me, was trying to cast her off.  (Obviously to me, I should say). OA had rung her at home when she was over for the holidays with her mother. OA offered to come and visit her and was told it wasn't a good time - which as far as I am concerned, and in the absence of any other communication for months, reads clearly as I DO NOT WANT TO SEE YOU. Which itself could only be interpreted as: AND BTW, WE ARE NO LONGER FRIENDS. OA's reaction to this: She is a BAD friend.
I had so much sympathy for the old schoolfriend, that it was hard to come up with a convincing response. Twangy was a bit stumped. However OA is nothing if not impervious to hints (see above) and hates to waste valuable time on breathing/listening or any other activity that might create a moment of silence.
So the dilemma that is OA and Twangy continues. How to act - kind but hypocritical? Honest but cruel? For her part, she has an uncanning ability to know exactly when to use her charm to claw back some favour. She is not without it, or humour, and God knows, she's had her problems, not lest of which being Bi-polar. Some of this behaviour must be to do with that, I presume.
BBC keeps fading in and out. Horrors! How shall I live?
How do people live without BBC4, does anyone know?
Am imagining the fit that would befall the OA, if she was to chance on this.
Oh Lor.

Spike speaketh

Never mind all the other minute advances and retreats made in other areas of life, for beside Spike's leap into the world of speech they are pale and insignificant. It's odd, this thing, called expressing yourself - the days when we had to guess what he might be thinking or feeling are over. Now, he tells you, and you may be prompted to think to yourself, is that what you've been thinking all this time?
Some Spike soundbites:
After he blew an enthusiastic raspberry, (to himself, I can only presume): "Don't do that anymore".
And about to cast himself on his pillow "house": "My jump on the roof!"
Seeing the camera lens: "No more pictures."
And as we left my parents' house: "What's going to happen now?"

It's the most surprising and funny thing, though I don't know why exactly. It's like a unicorn making a blancmange. Dear Spikey. Can't believe you learned to talk.

08 - the beginning

Wheeeee, rattle, bang, blur, whir, and what do you know, it's upon us. And as usual I am not quite ready for it, about now, I feel ready for Christmas, in about another month, I could, perhaps, gird myself for the New Year.

But life, as we have previously observed, is soon.

My resolutions are a slightly revised copy of last year's:

Pursue the spiritual
Continue to make art
Try to be good wife/daughter/friend/sister, (yet accept human failings in self and others).
Go back to astanga yoga classes.
Live each day anew, go into the future bravely with self-awareness and gratitude.
Chew better. Live in the moment. Draw more. Watch less Telly.
Have faith in self, others and universe.

We'll see how it goes. Of course, some of them are a bit on the ambitious side. My thinking is, stretch for the stars and you might reach the topshelf, at least.

(In other news, I confess I am now totally infatuated with Russel Br*nd. (I refer you to the shy beginnings of this crush). Yes, it's true that previously I felt myself to be immune to his charms,  and suspected he was a famous for nothing no-talent British celeb. But OH! how wrong I was. The only reason I was  "immune to his charms" was because I had never actually been exposed to them. After listening to his podcast, and seeing his (red hot sexy and beguiling) self on the Big Fat Christmas Quiz AND (be still my beating heart) on Graham Nort*n's show, all in one night, I must now join the ranks of fans, and declare myself one of them. JB took the news well. (I think he loves him too.))

I think a nice calming image of the coast of Kerry might be appropriate here.