Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Sometimes, things go so wrong - or, so many things go somewhat wrong - that music is the only respite from it all.

Jolie Holland, singing "Committed to Parkview" is helping me to get through.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A conversation

"I do wish you'd stop doing that."
"I can tell you're annoyed. You do that thing."
"What thing?"
"Stretch out your sentences. Do wish."
"Why must you point out every little thing when your in this mood?"
"I don't"
"You do"
"I do do!"


Monday, January 07, 2008

Overheard conversations, I Am Legend and a Reminiscence

Things said by, to, at or around me in the past few weeks...

"What kind of finance minister doesn't have a bank account?"
"Well, I suppose it explains his difficulty with understanding how cheques work..."


"Quite a riddle... is there any way to cross Dublin without passing a pub?"
"Take the M50. You wouldn't pass anything that way."
"Aye, but you wouldn't be long at it before you wanted a pub."


"They assembled that IKEA building, you know. Just like flat pack furniture!"


Watching I Am Legend
"Jesus, Will Smith! He is a legend!"
We fell into watching the movie, knowing no more than it was a Will Smith film. With CGI.
"Is there a Will Smith movie without CGI?" I ask. My wife knows loads of them. That shot me down.
An interesting movie, its environmental bent being proved not just in the story (question of human tinkering with the things of nature), but also in its form (lots of dark screen stuff with only the sound of heavy breathing and anxious zombie grunts) - if the movie is successful, the frequent and long periods of darkness could save megawatts around the world in the need for less light. A la Blackle, if you will.
Not long into the show, I figured out it was probably some kind of zombie film. My wife hates these kinds of films. So, after agonising over what I should do (enjoy the film, or warn my wife), A zombie comes after Will Smith. This happens in darkness, with much grunting and fast breathing and finally, our hero falling out of a window with some yoke writhing all over him. Actually, the yoke was possibly something Will Smith has to deal with quite regularly - someone who dislikes sunlight, but wants to consume anything to do with the hip, rapping, cheeky chappy.
As my wife screamed, I assured her... "Lookit, they're not dangerous..."
"Did you see what just happened?!"
"No, they kept the screen dark nearly the whole way through. Besides, look at them. They're like Emily." I said (Emily, our five month old daughter)
"What?!" Disbelief sliding into indignancy.
"Well, look at them... They're kind of pale and you can see their veins... they're also bald... and, look at the way they chew everything around them. Also, that fellow that was looking for Will Smith's autograph - did you see the way he was trying to lift himself to crawl when he hit the ground? It's just like Emily!" I was triumphant.
"Shut up" she said, once again.
"You would say very little if you couldn't say that" I said, hastening to some slippery moral high ground.
"I wouldn't say it if you would only say very little" She said, snatching the flag.


A Reminiscence

I lived in Cabra some time ago with two kindly gentlemen. We were all different, but all the same. We were all over the place. It was real fun.
Our landing light burnt out one day, so two of us (interestingly, the other one also called Brendan) decided to get up there and fix it. First, Brendan tried to change the bulb, but couldn't reach. He then tried to position a chair on the landing, but the landing was too narrow, and the chair was unstable. He asked me to help, and I agreed: "Yes, let's shed some light on this situation"
I held the chair, and passed him up the replacement bulb, as he passed me the dead one and fitted the new one. It was complicated. We hit the switch, and there was light.
"Let there be light" I said, the genesis of a smart comment for me.
"Many hands make light work" he said.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Packing Up

One thing after the other, is how I've been going on for some time now. Work, home, Emily, Jennifer. Eat in between. Drink also. Watch some DVDs, read books. Too much TV.
This weekend, we started packing up the apartment for the Big Move to Kilcullen. This was something we had discussed and weighed up and considered for quite a while. Then, we took the plunge. Now we're in the middle of legal documents and surveyors reports and mortgage loans. Scratching our heads, we go on.
Until we started packing. Then, the paperwork, phonecalls, questions and answers took on an all-to-actual reality. It's no longer rarefied, in the abstract - it's realized, in the action. A strange thing happens when plans go into effect. For one thing, they change constantly - oh, this won't work, let's try it another way... And then there's the whole 'best laid plans' thing. Poor Emily contracted some kind of virus. To the doctor with her! The doctor smiled and said "Well, I don't want to prescribe antibiotics when she's so healthy. Perhaps see if she can weather it out herself. If she gets worse, bring her back in." I agreed, with my vast knowledge of virology (BBC News reports on the dangers of overdoing antibiotics). My first experience as the hassled father, looking out for the best in his child.
Back at the apartment, we prepared boxes for packing. Books here, clothes in bags, cutlery, crockery. My sister in law drove up with a cargo of boxes, bubble wrap and tape to help us out. Then we pulled out drawers and emptied out cupboards. Starting the process of moving out. Out, out, out. Out, DVDs! Out, spare linen! Out, ornaments and artwork!
It would be easy to get sentimental. Let's just go with: Out, Bren, Jen and Em! We all felt uneasy. All that dreaming, all those happy moments and all the symptoms of a viral infection saw to that. Preparing to oust ourselves to Kilcullen, where our lives shall continue - but in a new vein.
I thought when we first bought this apartment that it was the start of a new life. I thought when we were engaged it was the start of a new life. I thought when we married, and returned here that it was the start of a new life. I thought pregnancy was the start of a new life. I thought bringing Emily home was the start of a new life. After all of these I finally learned - there is no new life. There are changes. Life continues apace, but in another vein. You do new things. You find new ways. Whatever happens, you must go on, to use Beckett's phrase.
So, with five years times two plus four months packed away into boxes, here we are. Watching Noel Edmunds on TV, humiliating the desperate by showing how much less they know than children. Watching a little girl, recovering from illness show a stuffed tiger what's what.