The Miscellany


On the way home from parents' house, on the M50, Spike could see the moon appearing and disappearing behind buildings.
Mooo-mooo-moon, he intoned, nuttily.
A new moon, Spike, I pointed out instructively.
Diffe'nt one, he said. And returned to his lunatic chant:
I'd hate to see him with a full one.

Bobby was quite the hit on Saturday. I accompanied him with my mother up the hill, him jogging purposefully all the way, elbows out and toes turned in. He ran up, and we played chase on the way back to the dip where the neighbours' collie greeted us modestly by rolling over and showing us her white fluffy belly. Spike was a little confused by the way she ran about madly, and wasn't on a lead, like they are in Dublin 6, but he liked her and was full of stories about her afterwards with his Daddy.
We hid for an age in the crow's nest, but no-one seemed to notice. Huh. Too interested in the match.

Took a holiday yesterday and went to CHQ - it was like leaving the country. All cool and very forhen-buy-a-lifestyle - but not bad - quietly cloistered and away from unpleasant reality. GoodfriendL and I went to environment furniture - itself a piece of Germany. They have some nice tables made from reclaimed wood - they cost e2000. Everything costs that, these days, I think. The floor, the door. The table. The everything.

And that's all I have to say about that.  I am attaching an image from my crit tomorrow, because.. well for no good reason, really. I will be happy when it's over. I "couldn't help" overhearing the extern talking to Diarmaid and ehem, "couldn't help" noticing how like an intense grilling he was getting.


Oh, a footnote, I would like to state for the record that there were no rainbow jumpers or teacosy hats at the Green Party fundraiser on Saturday. No siree, Bob. (Or no teacosy, Bob.) There was wine though, and good-looking people, and I would like the record to further reflect that it's true, wines are actually all different, and some are in fact, really good.


the better way to think about blogging is not as an attempt to record every single event that might happen but just the more interesting moments, strung into some sort of a intelligible narrative, preferably.

And so:
GoodFriendR came to town for a visit before she flies off once more to Rhode Island to continue her Masters. We had a powefully garlic-infused Moroccan dinner in a place in Wicklow St. All was cloistered, with painted tiles and had the ornately detailed screens I associate with confessionals. (Although this is from films more than real life, me being brought up in the Other Irish Religion). 
GoodFriendL (usually the pragmatic kind) was confiding in us:
"Do you ever wonder - you know - why we're here? I mean, what for? It all seems so.."
"Pointless!" R and I interject.
And jovially "Why, yes! All the time" and "welcome, welcome to the fray!"
It seems that L is having a bit of a moment. I might have handed the baton over to her - recently I have been feeling quite meaningful. Or at least in the face of the futility I find what joy I can - clean sheets, a joke with friends, finishing a job, having a good stretch, or a slice of apple pie - are good enough reasons to live, it seems to me, these days.

We had a pre-crit crit with tutors. It went quite well - they liked my memory contraptions, and were if anything a bit too excited by the possibilities of the project. They got carried away with their ideas on the space - a little confusing, but good, you know. Not bad. They'll push me into another gear with their (slightly annoying and bossy) comments on how much work I still have to do.

Telescope into past:

I had a fevered night last night, dreaming about Russel Br*nd. I am going to have to swear off P*nderland, at this rate. (He so alluringly defies categories. Puts me in a spin!) I dreamt I was in his house with a lot of other guests. In fact the house was more of a BnB than a house, it would seem. Anyway, the fact is, he was charging everyone 2 pounds sterling to use the shower.

My subconscious has some unusual priorities. I mean, really, could we get some more interesting action in, somewhere? No - the economies of hygiene, is what concerned it.

I would kill for a slice of apple pie. Well, not kill, I am the gentle vegetarian type. But injure slightly perhaps. Injure someone's dignity, maybe, with a bit of a pinch. Actually, I'm glad there's no question of that. My middle-class sensibilities are being made uncomfortable by these very suggestions.
I will go to the shop, like a normal person.

Oh! one more thing. The builders are back. Hurray hurray hurray. The prospect of actually moving in to that house is now becoming real once more.. alarmingly so. I had forgotten that we bought that house to live in, so much time has passed. I had begun to think of it as an albatross we bought out of self-hatred more than anything.

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.

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).