Life's a bastard...but sometimes it lets up

The life and times of an ordinary Dublin girl. Follow her journey as she finds out working from home really ISN'T about watching Oprah all day and that perhaps men aren't really all bastards.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fringes and other musings......

IT was about two months ago that I decided to do it.

My birthday. I was sick of my old look and decided to give myself a new one. Nothing drastic now, but something that people would notice.

In I swept to the hair dressers, handing my new Monsoon full length woollen cardigan/coat (a birthday present) to the assistant, announcing - "It is I, peasants. Make me beautiful!"

There was a silence. It was Peter Mark. I was not famous.

Suitably chastised I followed the girl to the basin and after a very vigorous hair wash (do they not realise there's an actual head attached to the hair they're pumelling into submission?) I was seated in front of the mirror.

"So what can I do for you today, cut is it?" the girl asked.

"Erm, yes, just a trim but....would it be possible for me to have........a fringe too?" I said.

This last bit I said in a hushed whisper, almost afraid to utter the words. You see, the last fringe I had was in 1987, fashioned by my father using blunt scissors and a cigarette as a guide. It was not a good look.

This time however, I wanted a modern 'sweepy' fringe, longer at one end than the other, which would make me look nice and fashionable, and nothing whatsoever like my 1980s self.

"No problem," said the girl, getting to work with her scissors "leave it to me."

The end result was a beautiful sweeping, shiny fringe, perfectly shorn, falling just into my eyes, long enough to look sultry but short enough not to blind me.

I was gorgeous for about three days, then I had to wash and blow-dry my hair myself. What started out as a gorgeous straight shiny sweepy fringe, ended up being wispy and frizzy, forming itself into a Farrah Fawcett type peak at the side of my head. Endless 'training' it with a hair grip and using gallons of wax couldn't tame it, though it does calm down a bit about a day after being washed.

It was only when I saw a recent photograph of myself with it that I realised it had to go. It was stuck to my forehead, all gappy and forming itself into the aforementioned horn and that combined with my extraordinary pale face and rictus grin made me realise that perhaps I was better off without it.

So does anyone know the best way to get rid of a fringe? Do I have to wait 800 years til it grows out or is there anything I can do about it now? Failing that, exactly how do I blow-dry a fringe so that it sits right? Answers on a postcard please.

And now to the 'other musings' I mentioned in the subject of this post. Last week I celebrated my six-month anniversary with The Boyfriend which I'm very chuffed about. We went out to a very lovely restaurant (you know the type of place, they call gravy 'jus') and ate lamb, duck and perfectly more-ish gnocchi in basil cream sauce and looked lovingly into each other's eyes. Well, we tried to do that, but it was pretty hard considering the amount of cutlery and plates and glasses on the table in front of us! Why three knives and forks?! Why four glasses? Why 18 different side plates and napkins and candles and accoutrements? There was hardly room for the grub! In saying that, everything was delicious and the staff were excellent so we can't complain. Much.

Truth be told though, I'm actually amazed we've lasted so long. Not because there's anything wrong with him, or indeed me, it's just I've had the most God-awful luck with men and usually by this stage I'd have been dumped and would be performing my voodoo rituals. For some reason though he seems to actually like me and we're getting on famously! It must be love! You may all now stick your fingers down your throat and roll your eyes. Yes, we're THAT cute.

Last night after getting in from the cinema (Babel, very slow and the part of the story situated in Japan didn't add anything at all, was just plain weird) I was reading in bed. It was about 2.30am when all of a sudden a massive spider scuttled out from behind my bed and up the wall. Startled, I jumped up and squished it with my book (yes, yes, I know I should have 'scooped it into a jar and let it free outside' [thanks Boyfriend!] but I just didn't think). After that though, stupidly, I stayed awake until about 5am staring fiercely at all four corners of my room, afraid that the other members of Spidy's family would come get me. Mock me if you will (and I know you will) it was a very valid fear at the time! So now I'm afraid to get back into my bed and sleep. Who needs sleep sure, it's overrated.

Tomorrow I have to go and mind my 16-month-old niece. She likes to play with potatoes. Oh dear.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Hmmmm Blogger Beta

SO I upgraded to Blogger Beta and I don't really see any difference except for the labels!! And no, before you ask, I don't know what they're for or what they do. But they're nice anyway!

It was really easy, just a couple of clicks and entering my Gmail address. I'm guessing there's lots more to be done with it and any minute now it'll implode, but for now I'm proud of myself for upgrading all on my own!

Regular readers may also notice I've slightly changed my header there to Life's a bastard.....but sometimes it lets up and also that I've changed my 'tag-line' from "follow her journey as she finds out all men really are bastards" to "follow her journed as she finds out that not all men are bastards".

I'm feeling in a more positive mood, plus The Boyfriend was getting a bit sniffy about it!

Terribly boring post today, hopefully something more entertaining and thigh-slapping tomorrow.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Irish Blog Awards - oh what a night!

TWENTY Major's wife is my new Very Best Friend, or VBF if you will.

Honestly now, I'm not making this up. Yes, Twenty - quite a fine male specimen I must say - has a wife and she TALKED to me! To meeeeeeee!

I made an absolute ass of myself at last night's Blog Awards and for once I don't have the excuse of alcohol to explain it all away, as I'm off the drink for Lent.

Not only did I simper at Twenty, patting his arm and saying "well done, well done" over and over, I actually TOLD him I was nervous about meeting him. Fucking eejit. Me, not him. (Well, I WAS nervous, he's a bit of a celeb so he is.)

He turned out to be a very pleasant smiley man who, despite my fears, didn't growl at me or call me a cunt or a peasant. And to his eternal credit he managed a very convincing "oh heyyyyyyyyy" with a nod to my name tag, like he knew who I was when I introduced myself. (The jig is up Twenty, you hadn't a clue, had you? Sniff!)

I was out at the bar when I was beckoned over by a very glamorous be-suited woman who introduced herself as "Twenty's wife" [I wonder does she call him that at home instead of his real name?] who said she enjoyed my blog and she even mentioned a post I had written, so I knew she wasn't just being polite. Ah flattery, thy name is Twenty's wife! It was only afterwards that I realised I had been incredibly rude and never even asked the woman what her name is, so if you're reading (probably not after I fawned all over your husband) sorry about that!

In keeping with my making-an-ass-of-myself theme for the night, I also accosted both Swearing Lady and Annie Rhiannon telling them I wanted to be their groupie and could we please go backstage and have sex? Quite.

Funnily enough neither were that interested in that suggestion but in fairness to them, they didn't run off in horror either. Both were lovely and charming and forgave me my nervous chatter. I was seriously surprised Sweary didn't claim the Best Newcomer gong but thems the breaks.

It was a night for renewing old aquaintances and meeting new friends as I got to talk to/wave at Conor O'Neill, Colm In Fact Ah, Daragh, Dec and Marieke from Dublin Blog, Maman Poulet, Damian from Ask Direct, Omani, Ciaran from Two Irish Geeks and a TV, a gorgeous and still-bloody-slim-even-though-she's-pregnant Sinead Gleeson, those mentioned above and many others I can't remember right now.

All the award winners were very deserving and kudos to Bernie for handing his Best Contribution award over to organiser Damien Mulley who really put on a great show. How he hasn't gone insane by now due to all the running around and organising, I don't know.

My heartiest congratulations however must go to my favourite blogger and great friend Red Mum who picked up the Best Personal Blog award. I cannot think of a more deserving winner as she has really poured her heart and soul into her blog since its inception. She was accompanied by the Young Wan who looked simply stunning and is a credit to her mother. It will be an absolute travesty if Red Mum is not up for the overall Best Blog Award next year as she certainly has the talent. (And she didn't even mind when I tried to scratch my name with a key into her award, that's friendship for ya!)

I had two non-bloggers with me, a friend and my boyfriend, who were both suitably impressed both with the size of the event and the talent and range of blogs up for awards. There was a good mix of, as they put it, "geeks and non-geeks" and they both thorougly enjoyed the sense of community which was hugely present on the night. It was much less awkward than last year with people actually chatting to each other instead of eyeing fellow bloggers up but being too shy to go over and say hi. I don't know if either of them are going to start blogs, but I might be able to twist their arms (be afraid Boyfriend!) so watch this space.

If it has done nothing else, the awards have encouraged me - and I'm sure many others - to get back on the blogging bus so for that I am grateful. In fact I'm looking forward to it. Thanks again to Damien for putting together the whole shebang, and here's to next year!

(I'm really shite at links and HTML but Maman Poulet has a full list of winners over at her site and well done to her too for live blogging the event and posting up the winners.)

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Tic-toc, tic-toc

Hello people,

The clock is a-ticking and time is running out to vote in the Irish Blog Awards. Head over to to cast your vote for your favourite blogs and bloggers before the end of the day, 4pm or 5pm I think.

If you're feeling charitable you might throw an oul vote my way for Most Humourous Post and also vote for The Dublin Blog for Best Group Blog (those guys really deserve it).

As those really awful tacky Lotto ads say, if you're not in, you can't win. Hope to see you all on March 3.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bloggers - friends or.......?

FORGIVE me bloggers, for I have sinned. It has been almost three months since my last blog post.

To be perfectly honest, work has exploded for me and a lot of it involves sitting at my computer, so blogging has been the last thing on my mind at the end of the day.

The teaching is going really well, so much so that the group I was working for has asked me back for a further four week session, which is great, and the original group I was working with are due to have certs presented to them by the Lord Mayor of Dublin at some stage this month, so I'm chuffed with that.

Plus, I've started seeing someone (see how casually I slipped that in there?) and it's taking up a lot of my time (in a bloody brilliant way) as we're together a lot. It's been two months and is really working out well, we've even talked about a future together. We've just come back from a week's holiday to Wexford (gorgeous mobile home, tiny village, beach on the doorstep) and it was wonderful, HE is wonderful, so again being perfectly honest, I haven't felt like I needed the release of blogging to rant.

As Pure Cork Boy put it "I'm in love, so feck ye". (He's a culchie, hence the 'ye' instead of the more acceptable 'you' - joke joke PCB!)

Speaking of PCB, I had an interesting conversation with him the other night on IM about whether people you meet through blogging, or even those you just read regularly, are friends or just acquaintances. What do you think?

I'm of the firm opinion that fellow bloggers (excluding ones I know in person from pre-blogging days such as Red Mum or Paul from Life and Times of an Irish Emigrant) are not friends. Friends are people you know and love, you've been to their homes, you worry about them, comiserate with them, celebrate with them, are involved with them. Bloggers are....well, no offence, but just folk!

Let me give you an example. Recently I was reading Fatmammycat's blog and saw that she had to have a mole removed because she and the docs were worried about it. Naturally she was worried and as I read I thought 'ah poor thing, that's an awful thing to have hanging over you'. I left a comment comiserating about the Irish health system, turned off my computer and that was it. No offence FMC, you seem like a lovely woman, but I didn't give you a second thought after that. Of course if I read that you were seriously ill or something bad had befallen you, I would think it an awful thing and leave a comment of support...but that would be as far as it would go. I don't know FMC, she is not my friend, nor am I hers. (I don't mean to pick on you FMC, I'm just using you as an example, I'm sure you can take it! Please don't hurt me!)

If however, a friend was having a mole removed, I would be in constant contact, calling and texting, I would visit him or her, arrange to meet them, try to aid their recovery, or just be there for them if they needed me. I'd most certainly think about them while they were going through their rough patch. And that to me is the mark of a friend.

PCB thinks that perhaps there can be friends and then casual friends and he would include bloggers in his casual friend category. He said for example if he was in Dublin he'd certainly give me a shout and some others and see if anyone was about for lunch. And the same if he was in London or wherever and there were bloggers there, he would arrange a friendly lunch, thus, these people are friends.

But to me however, friendship is too important and sacred a thing to have there be anything casual about it. I have a small circle of friends who I can rely on at any time, for anything. After that I have acquaintances, work colleagues, people I just know - but no casual friends. For me there is no such thing, I am quite black and white, either you're my friend with all the trappings that involves, or you're not.

Of course, perhaps you might get chatting to regular readers, perhaps meet them at a blog event and they may turn into friends, people you are close to and start to rely on over the months and years, but in general I don't feel that bloggers, even regular readers, are my friends.

It's just something that interested me, so I thought I'd throw it out there. I remember Twenty posted a while back about there being too much of a love in in the Irish blogging community (or something, I can't find the original Twenty, sorry, don't hunt me down) so I wanted to see what you all think.

Bloggers - friends or......?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Drumroll please.......another one!

JUST a very short one to let you all know Jenny is back in the land of the living and has updated her blog with all her news. And let me tell ya, it's a goodun!

My laptop has gone to the dogs. Literally, I threw it out the window and next door's rotweiler is feasting on it as we speak. Hence the lack of posts. A new computer is to be purchased shortly though, with a screen that actually works and doesn't spark and spit flames at me, so watch this space. Pic:

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Miss! Miss!!

APOLOGIES to all for the lack of posts of late, but as you will read, I'm now FAR too busy and important to be knocking about with you lot.

As of the middle of September, I will be a Professor of Journalism...

Right, ok, a TEACHER of Journalism...

Alright already, I'll be working with a local youth project, TALKING about journalism, are you happy now?

Yes, it looks as though the dry work spell may be coming to an end and the type of work that I'm really interested in is in the pipeline and all ready to go.

From the middle of September I'll be involved in a journalism/writing course within the media group of a youth project in Dublin, working with teenage boys.

The group has been together for a year and have already done some page layout, design, poster design, photography and even stand-up comedy so the writing part is the next step, and that's where I come in.

Without wanting to sound overly dramatic or fake B-Movie weepy, this is a dream come true for me. I've always wanted to teach, but not in a traditional classroom environment, so this is absolutely perfect.

The young lads, as you can imagine, probably won't be interested in sitting in a room listening to me drone on and on about boring writing techniques so the challenge for me is to draw up the course content and syllabus, to make it fun and interesting for them.

I'll be arranging for people to come in for them to interview (perhaps a local band or sports personality), bringing them out for vox pops (street surveys), showing them how to research using the Internet, libraries and books and finally getting them to write some articles which may be published in the youth group's newsletter.

It's a kind of pilot project for six weeks, but hopefully if it goes well and is successful then there's scope for it to be rolled out to other groups within the project and maybe even extended for longer to the original group.

I am so grateful for the chance to do this and the opportunity I've been given, after all I've never taught before so they're taking a real chance on me, and I keep getting little flashes of excitement and clenching my fist in victory on the bus. I'm starting to scare commuters.

Now that the initial excitement is over with I'm starting to get a little nervous and I have The Fear that I'll start to weep on the first day and they'll all give me funny looks, but I'm trying not to think about that!

Over the next few weeks I'll be drawing up the course content and researching into working with young people, so if anyone has any advice or has worked with youth groups or projects before, please mail me and give me the benefit of your experience.

Please! Or there'll be a Kaz-shaped hole in my door!

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