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May 21

Roughing it

Posted on Saturday, May 21, 2016 in Strange and Unusual

I would normally be a shopper at those places where everything is extremely cheap and nobody is around to help you, things are stacked awkwardly so that you have to reach right to the very back for un-damaged products, and the queues are enormous.

But, occasionally I nip into the posh supermarkets where everybody is nice to you and they pack your bags and tell you to have a lovely day. I pay more for this, but often the entertainment in itself is worth the difference.

You see, these boring cheap supermarkets are full of drones, people who don’t look at each other, they are there to get in, do their business and get out. I’m one of them.

BUT the posh supermarkets have their perks.

There’s Thai Bride Thursday… lots of elderly gentlemen with young Thai ladies making cow eyes at each other over packets of noodles. That’s sweet.

On Wednesday I went to get a few ingredients for a birthday cake in said posh supermarket. Somebody greeted me at the door, which unnerved me for a start. Then, when I was in the dairy section I overheard a lady speaking loudly on her phone about cottage cheese, I lingered for a while as it seemed like an interesting conversation, then I wandered away.

I caught up with the same lady a few aisles later, she was talking about how sea salt is so much better for you than normal salt. Again, I lingered and eavesdropped, I was learning a lot.

Then I glanced at this lady, and realised that she wasn’t having a phone conversation at all, she was talking to herself.

She continued this (I have to admit to stalking her for a while because I had nothing better to do and she was obviously having a very intelligent conversation with herself) for the next two aisles, until we got to the tea section. She became very excited then and began answering herself back:

“I know! I know! Milk Thistle is SO good for your liver apparently!” she told herself out loud.

At this point I wondered if she didn’t have a Bluetooth device of some sort so I had to circle her a bit. That was a bit creepy of me but I wanted to be sure, interrupting a phone conversation is pretty simple etiquette, but interrupting a conversation with one’s own self is a bit more complicated.

talk

“Excuse me?” I ventured.

“Yes hold on!” She smiled at me and paused for a few seconds, looking at me. I wasn’t sure who she was saying ‘hold on’ to so I went ahead anyway.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but you seem to know a lot about these teas, can you tell me which one would be good for a coffee substitute to wake a person up in the morning?”

She then became very enthusiastic and picked out a Lemon and Ginger tea for me that has hence done the job brilliantly. We both went on our separate ways, after she booped my baby’s nose and went on with her conversation.

I didn’t see her at the check-out queue.

I wonder if she was just a figment of my imagination.

 

Apr 4

It’s been four years since your last confession…

Posted on Monday, April 4, 2016 in Jobs, Strange and Unusual, Taboo

… is what the bloke behind the counter said when I scanned my blood donation card. He wore a poker face, I could tell he had cracked this joke many times before. I giggled, and ran with it.

“Well, nobody can resist those cocaine parties, I’m a sucker for those!”

He didn’t flinch.

“No, seriously though, I’ve got a few babies under my belt since I last visited.” I meandered and mumbled the last bit, he eyeballed me and sent me onwards, but I could’ve sworn he winked as he did so.

At the next station, after filling out all the paperwork and ticking all the boxes, I met a very bored nurse who insisted on asking the full lot of 50 questions all over again even though I’d just filled in the form 5 minutes before.

“Have you ever been employed in the handling of monkeys?” she asked. (I’d ticked ‘no’.)

“No” I replied, “but I live with a few.” She gave me the BDI.

“If you are a man, have you ever engaged in sexual intercourse with another man?” she asked.

“Hold on,” I retorted, “what are you trying to imply?” She smiled and explained the force of habit, and we had a brief discussion about gender equality. Apparently not everybody knows who Caitlin Jenner is.

I passed the tests and quizzes and signed things a lot, then finally I was told that I was allowed to give blood. I was very relieved about this, as sometimes I suffer from low blood iron levels so tend to be refused frequently. In the case that I may have been refused, the Accidental Terrorist had supplied me with a long shopping list to organise afterwards, and in my opinion, having a nurse stab you with a large gauge needle and sap a whole pint of blood out of you is FAR preferable to going shopping.

They stabbed me in the right arm, and the vein collapsed pretty much straight away. There was much apologising which seems silly as it’s not their fault, my circulatory system often seems to have a mind of its own. They removed the needle, and asked me to put pressure on the bleed with my opposite hand, which I did.

Then they took blood from the other arm which all went swimmingly, as was my head as I walked away and stole several packets of crisps, pencils and bumper stickers on the way out.

Today I woke up to find this image embedded on my inner elbow:crotch

 

The imprint left by my index and middle finger, along with the needle mark itself doesn’t look unlike a person’s crotch and bellybutton.

I have porn on my arm now.

Sigh.

Jan 5

There’s Light at the end of the Tunnel

Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 in Family, Philosophy, Rantings, Something to think about

No there fucking isn’t.

I would like (if you don’t mind) to have a rant about cheesy expressions.

There IS always a light at the end of the tunnel, and you might find it every now and then, but then a small and very strange force from the darkness behind you sometimes coaxes you back and tells you that things aren’t so bad in the darkness. This is probably because if you look carefully enough, there is a lot to be said for the darkness that comes in between the start, and the finish. In that darkness, you learn things, and that’s good. When you hit the light, it’s finished and that’s just boring. There are always new things to learn, so darkness should be embraced no matter how difficult it seems.

‘BE YOURSELF’

You can never entirely be yourself. At best, you’re 10% of yourself. Most of the rest is just bacteria. So, next time you’re in a meeting with 20 people, know that you’re actually in a room with 2000 trillion microbes, and only 3% of them are paying attention to what you’re saying. Most of them are smelling you and want to invade you.

‘BE TRUE TO YOURSELF’

I love this one. I don’t know anyone who knows what themself is. If everyone knew who themself was, then there would be no need for conflict of any sort, if you think about it, and conflict is necessary. Everyone should lie to themselves on a daily basis. This way, you either force yourself to stop feeling guilty about the nice things you do for yourself, or you coax your brain into making your body do something different. I would encourage an imaginary friend who can be true to yourself instead, that takes a lot of pressure off, and gives you someone to blame if you screw things up. Avoid mental institutions though.

‘THE GREATEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE SOMEONE IS YOUR TIME’

This just makes me feel guilty. I can’t give my children most of my time because I can’t multiply myself by four. And that’s okay, because I’m still feeding them and clothing them and doing stupid dances in the kitchen to entertain them while the spaghetti is burning. Even with one child, time is precious. Even with no children. Sometimes you can give someone a whole lot of time when you think it’s right, but it really isn’t. Maybe you’re sick, or sad, or pre-occupied, and the best time you can spend right then is time mulling, or sleeping, or sipping tea. Time is relative. That four minutes you spend calling your friend out of the blue can feel like 500 years worth of friendship to them, because it was at the right time. Or not, if you’re interrupting their nap. It’s a bit of a gamble, and very complicated. Do you know what I mean?

‘KEEP FIGHTING’

Telling someone who is very very sick to ‘keep fighting’ is like telling the rain to stop falling. Either it does, or it doesn’t. Umbrellas are nice. And a quiet ear.

‘LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE’

Until the next morning when you remember what you were laughing about and then you feel like an absolute and utter complete gobshite. And then you remember that nobody else feels this way except you. And then you laugh at the memory, and the cycle completes, and you’re in a loop of embarrassment that only exists in your own head. But you still laugh when you remember it, usually in a queue for something. Again, avoid mental institutions.

‘AWARENESS DAY’

I declare this next week ‘bits of old scraps of paper awareness week’. Because I can. DON’T THROW YOUR OLD BITS OF PAPER AWAY! DOODLE ON THEM INSTEAD! SAVE THE PLANET! SAVE A TREE!!! etc.. etc.. (tomorrow shall be National BellybuttonFluff awareness day)

‘TODAY IS A BRAND NEW DAY!’

No it isn’t. It’s nothing new. It’s been happening for billions of years. The sun rises, the sun sets, days are a man-made invention so there’s really no such thing and it doesn’t really start at any set time. Maybe each 24 hours isn’t a day at all. Maybe we should embrace every 4 hours, every  5935 minutes instead of re-setting the clock at 6am arbitrarily because someone told us to. Happy New 36o,987,243,092 minutes everyone! Randomly celebrating time and existence for no reason should be compulsory, out of the blue when it’s least expected. Like a non-birthday, if you will. You don’t even have to say it out loud.

‘THE OLDER I GET, THE WISER I BECOME’

This is true, but it’s also false. Puppychild once told me (when she was 4 years old) that I’m bad and that’s not good, but I’ll never be good and that’s not bad.  I think that’s the best advice I’ve ever had from anyone, ever.

‘A FRIENDLY EAR’

Ears are just cartilage and flesh. They also are home to the smallest bone in your body, and are responsible for keeping your balance, even when you’re drunk. They’re amazing things, but they’re not friendly… they’re fairly impartial unless you stick a Q-tip in too far in which case they get fairly pissed off.

o0o

I know, I know. I seem to find the price of everything with this post, and the value of nothing, but I like being cynical. The most valuable things that motivate me are those expressions that excite the silly in me, the things that poke fun at life because that’s the only way to get through it all, I think.

Feb 24

I hate to interrupt you but…

Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 in Jobs, Philosophy, Something to think about, Strange and Unusual

… there has been an accident outside.

Imagine you are at a volunteer first aid meeting (if you’re into that sort of thing) where you are expected to sit and be relatively comfortable in your mindset, you are wearing your best jumper and jeans or maybe your pretty heels because you never know who may be looking at you and judging you. You might even be wearing a suit. You are expecting education on a formal basis.

It is a commonplace meeting and you may well want to be somewhere else but you are there because you are there, you are bored or needing an outlet, but you are a volunteer nonetheless.

Suddenly:

a person known to you, a contemporary if you will: runs in and announces that a horrible car crash has happened outside. You are dubious but somewhat alarmed.

I’d like that. I’d like to disturb people out of their zone of security and lead them out into a mayhem of contrived chaos. I’d like fake blood and ripped up pieces of paper to represent broken glass. I’d like to spill water on dry ground and let people wonder what this fluid is, and then flick a cigarette butt into it and cause an imagined explosion. I’d have a driver with a pretend brain haemorrhage who is the father of a child who has suffered minor injuries in the back of a crashed car (because he was wearing his seatbelt) who could give a full history of not just his father’s medical background, but that of his friend’s who is in the passenger seat and suffering an asthma attack brought on by stress.

Interesting, maybidge?

I and a fellow meeting volunteer have contrived sick plans in our sick minds because we want our stagnant meetings to have a bit of flavour, and to introduce an opportunity for otherwise bored people to go out and heal sick people on a whim. I and he would rather this be kept a secret, to which you are privy.

What say you? What sick and accidental contrived situation would you imagine if you could? Nobody is watching. Everyone that reads this blog is unjudgemental so please unleash your best! But shhhhhhhh. Don’t tell anyone.

Think your worst. Think reality. Give us a scenario to practice our healing because we NEED it. We need to practice, they need to get their suits and high heels dirty. I would like to orchestrate the play from Hell, because that is life, that is what should be expected from us.

REALITY. Choking babies. Exploding supermarkets. Your favourite neighbour’s heart attack.

Reality is harsh, but plays are fun, and practice makes perfect.

No musicals though. Lyrics shall not be accepted.

gunnd

Is it cruel that I make light of such a thing if we’re to be rescuers? Should a love of horror be disturbing?

I fear for the day I find a teddybear at the scene of a car crash where a child has been decapitated.

Help us to prepare. Life is cruel.

Curtain opens…

Jan 9

Officer Apollo

Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014 in Awards!, Jobs, Rantings

Mashing spuds earlier, I got a nice phone call. It was from a dude I work with at a volunteer organisation, he was calling to leak gossip about the boss’ mumblings at a meeting the evening before, and told me that I’d been elected ‘Officer of Morale’, and that they are going to talk to me next week about it officially.

I doubt there are stripes for this, but a tattoo might not be out of the question.

Talk about tachycardia. My heart began to thump at the enormity of the job on top of my already extremely dubious title of ‘Chief Fundraiser’. An imaginary Imp popped out of the toaster and immediately convinced me that I now have the potential to let a lot of people down. But, then again that could be the DTs.

Depression (yawn) and anxiety are a pain in the ass. Why do these people have so much faith in me? it wonders. I am Eleanor Rigby, wearing my face that I keep in a jar by the door. Could be I’m a sucker for offering to do things or not saying no? Doing things is fun! That’s the irony. When a job is well done it’s a great buzz and the weight goes away.

Those potatoes got mashed very well this evening.

How does one raise morale in a volunteer workplace though?

Do we have a Silly Hats Day?

I know bowling should enter into it, a big old barbeque in the Summer maybe, but what else is there? I’ve no imagination with this sort of thing, not really being a people person per se. I like weirdness (see above) so have a large capacity for inappropriateness. Plus! There’s very little you can do around here that doesn’t revolve around booze which is getting boring.

Please let me know if you know anything about this sort of thing, any advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

Oct 5

Dead men don't pay rent

Posted on Friday, October 5, 2007 in Family, Strange and Unusual

One of the best parts of having a head cold is that constant stoned feeling, I find.  Every now and then I find myself displaced, like I’m frozen in a weird reality where the atmosphere is denser and objects don’t make sense, like the world has been superimposed on itself.  This is when the strange stuff happens, stuff that you write off as temporary insanity.  Like last night, for instance.  The following is nothing but the truth.

It was dark.  I had a clingy child who needed distraction.  I carried her downstairs through the unlit sittingroom, and into the unlit kitchen.  There’s a very large wendy-house in my kitchen which takes up most of the floor space, it’s there because our garden is a mudbath and a pretty unsanitary place for a child to play in, unless you’ve done the rounds with a pooper-scooper. 

I bent down, puppychild in arms to the door of this wendy house and opened it.

“What’s in there?” I whispered excitedly to her.

“A man” She said.  She stared at the far corner of the miniature house.  My blood suddenly changed it’s direction of flow.

“What man?  Who’s there?”  I asked.  Puppychild began to babble non-sensically, then suddenly clung to me for dear life and shouted ‘Mummy no!‘ repeatedly until I stood up. 

Somewhat bewildered, I flooded the kitchen with light, and put puppychild down.  She ran out of the kitchen immediately.

Tommyknocker

This mildly creepy event would ordinarily have been written off in my mind, if it wasn’t for my friend once telling me that my house stood on an exhumed burial ground.  She told me I could look it up in the Wicklow Courthouse if I didn’t believe her. 

I would love to see a ghost.  I’m convinced I would be able to stand tall and look it in it’s misty eyes and talk to it quite sensibly.  At least I was convinced.  When you get spooked suddenly like this though, it’s quite easy to slip into mild panic.  I kept glancing at the reflective window expecting to see a horrible disfigured head behind me.  I kept glancing at the wendy house, looking for shifts in reality or cloudy apparitions.  Of course I saw nothing.

It doesn’t end there, my pretties, oh no.

Laughing boy’s room is a makeshift adaptation… we divided the kitchen in half with a partition, and made the extra space into his bedroom.  There is a small window cut into the partition that looks into the kitchen, and a small shelf which I use to make up kiddo’s meds.  I was standing here at this shelf, with puppychild to my left, playing on the floor.  Laughing boy was giggling in his bed behind me.  This was only a few moments after my wendy-house shock, so I was nervously humming ‘La Bamba’ to regain focus.

I turned to my right to fetch a syringe, and I saw this:

Thank God I don’t have kitchen chairs

I want to stress that this room is increadibly small.  If puppychild had done this, she would have to have done it extremely quickly, and would have to have pushed past me to do so.  The thing was that she was still playing on the floor on the other side of the room.

I got a dose of the shakes that Shane McGowan would’ve been proud of, let me tell you.  I left the bottles as they were for a moment, putting logical explanations together like a jigsaw.  When nothing fitted, I decided to ignore the whole issue, and went to put the bottles away.

NOOO  mammy!” Puppychild yelled – “Um man diddit.  He’s help!”  I looked at laughing boy for support, but he was gazing at a spot over my shoulder with a blank face.

I’m a pretty sanguine girl you see.  I didn’t run away.  One word ran through my brain like an unstoppable train: Logic.

There are certain times in life when logic can’t be found, and you just have to accept the fact that there may be other forces at work,  which leads me to the acceptance that there may be a freeloading dead man sharing my house, and apparently he has something to say.

I suppose now it’s my job to investigate this.  I will start taking pictures of my empty kitchen.  I will place a full alphabet of magnetic letters on my fridge, and blank paper on the countertops, assuming this dude is literate enough to write something for me.  I will employ my dog to guard me, and note unusual behaviour. 

And, last of all, when I’m tucking my child into bed at night and if she whispers ‘I see dead people!’, I won’t doubt her for a second.

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