Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wizards versus Vampires...

This was just released a day or two ago, and makes me squeal excitedly every time I watch it ...


Yes, that's right, I'm a crazy obsessive Harry Potter devotee. Obviously I faaar prefer the books, but I have to admit, the last couple of films have been pretty good. And this combination super trailer thingy for both of the Deathly Hallows films is freakin awesome. I officially cannot wait! I started blabbering excitedly about it to a friend the other day, and she rolled her eyes and told me put a sock in it. Her eyes then lit up with an eerie, demonic glow when feckin Eclipse was mentioned. I'd forgotten it was out so soon. Cue crazed Twi-hards who secretly dream of being that plain but adorably clumsy girl that the babe-a-licious Edward desperately wants to kill randomly falls in love with. Oh, wouldn't we all love a guy to rip our stomach open with his teeth and inject us with poisonous venom to kill us so we could spend the rest of our existance watching all our friends and family grow old and die and constantly fighting that torturous desire to kill people? True love right there people.

Reasons Harry Potter is amazingly superior to Twilight in every possible way:

1 - If you were going out with Harry, you could actually enjoy a lovely day in the park with him without worrying that he might attract a bunch of ageing seventies hippies who think he's a disco ball. I think Stephanie Meyer was shmokin something when she came up with that idea; "oh, wouldn't it be just lovely if he sparkled?"
2 - You don't have to endure a horrible, agonising, painful, torturous death during which a half dead creature rips its way out of your stomach to be with Harry or any of his magical friends.
3 - They wouldn't sneak into your room at night and watch you sleep.

4 - The leaders of the magical world aren't dictating, bloodthirsty executioners who take great delight in causing you pain (alright, Umbridge is an exception).
5 - Bella is a whiny biatch. The second she falls for Edward and learns all about the Cullens, she ditches her boring old 'mortal' friend for the beautiful, mysterious, super-cool Cullens. The trio would never do such a thing.
6 - You'd never have to worry about Harry (or anyone for that matter) accidentally killing you and drinking your blood. Big plus.
7 - Edward is a one-hundred-and-eight year old virgin. Nuff said, like.
8 - Harry and the gang still hang out and have the craic, unlike Bella and co who are all so madly deeply totally devoted to each other that ohmygod they just think about each other all the time and whine about sappy mushy crap that normal people never say.
9 - The Twilight baddie vampires are so one-sided; they're just the baddies, and you hate them cos of that. There's waaay more to the evil side in Harry Potter. Almost everything has a back story, there's so much history and detail. If someone had just loved poor auld Tom, would he have gone on such a dictating murderous rampage as an adult? If Bellatrix's mother had played dolls with her as a child would she be such a psychotic weirdo?
10 - There's no risk of anyone falling in love with a baby...

11 - Harry breaking up with Ginny, and Edward with Bella, are both for the girls' own good. But Harry does it simply and cleanly, because he has a noble job to so. Ginny takes it well, being a grounded, normal person. Edward whines about putting Bella in danger, then disappears to meander about aimlessly and leave Bella unattended. Bella then totally flips out and spends her time trying to accidentally on purpose kill herself when she should clearly be in counseling
12 - Bella basically begs Edward to have sex with her. Bad message to send (although I suppose its ok because he convinces her to suppress her sexual desires until they get married. Yaaay, a teenage highschool wedding!) Then we're supposed to believe that a guy who's been dead for over a hundred years and has no running blood still has working swimmers and knocks her up?!
13 - Stuff actually happens in the Harry Potter final battle. People fight, people get injured, people die. The last Twilight book spends ages building up to this major showdown - they all even say goodbye to each other and Bella prepares her creepy little kid for her death. Then they all sit down and talk about stuff instead and everyone goes home happy. I want carnage!!!
14 - The detail and history in the Harry Potter world is just staggering; its akin to the histories of Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings. People actually write books about Harry's world, there's that much of it. Considering Edward's lot have been around for hundreds of years, they've done surprisingly little. Sure Emmet and Rosalie spent about a decade doing nothing but screw each other.
15 - Harry Potter has a theme park. Suck on that, Twilight.

At the end of the day, they are two completely different books, so I guess it's not really fair to pit them against one another - they just both happen to have sky rocketed in popularity and had a serious impact on popular culture. I was just a bit miffed at people who kept comparing the two, so that's my little conclusion on the matter. I have nothing against Twilight - I have read them all ... I just find Harry Potter superior in every single way possible. :-)

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'll walk next time ... probably get there quicker and all

Buses are evil, evil pieces of pure evil that are driven by evil drivers who have come from evil-town (eh ... hell, that is). I was legging it for a bus earlier, and I KNOW the driver saw me because he was stopped at a green man and I dashed across the road just as his light went green, arms flailing about and generally looking like a complete arse, and because there was no one at the stop and I was a whole ten seconds away, he just drove on right by. So because my bus is a pile of poo, unlike the glorious one-every-five-minutes 46a, I was waiting a good half hour for the next one.

It finally rolls down the road ... closely followed seconds later by another one. Bloody typical. On I hop anyway, disgruntled and grumbling, to discover my rambler card was actually expired.

“Two twenty please, love”.

Yeah yeah. Even more bleedin typically, I have only a two euro coin and a one euro. If you are unfamiliar with how evil Irish buses are, they do not give change. So I am out eighty cent. Hardly going to break the bank I know, but it’s the principal of the matter. That could have bought me a Snickers!

Upstairs I scramble, where there are about five free seats. My first choice would always be another female, but all the free seats happen to be beside men. Hmm. I’m not going down the back because its full of pikeys, so that leaves the really old guy, who I am worried will have that old guy smell, the really (REALLY) fat guy, or the questionable teenager in black listening to music so loud I can hear it from the top of the stairs. I opt for the last one, deciding to turn my own music up blaringly loud to drown him out (bear in mind this whole, intricate decision making process takes place in about ten seconds and you slooooowly make your way down the aisle).

Then the second bus behind me whizzes by, totally empty.
Of course it does.

As the bus approaches Donnybrook Bus Garage, I close my eyes and begin my usual silent prayer that this one isn’t going to pull over and sit there for ten to twenty minutes while we wait for a usually late driver to come and take over, and then for the two of them to have a good auld natter. Obviously, because this is and evil, evil bus, my prayer goes unanswered. The bus pulls in, the engine cuts out, and there is a resounding groan from everyone on board who are all to used this crappy demonstration of evil bus driving.

So after a half hour wait, a ten minute stop over, and a forty minute journey during which I probably destroyed my ear drums, my hour and a quarter trip that could be driven by car in about twenty five minutes comes to an end, and I join everyone else getting off at Stephen’s Green. The bus pulls into the stop behind one of those ridiculous Viking Splash buses, a little bit behind its usual spot because those plucky adventurers are in the way ... when it suddenly LURCHES forward (and I really mean lurch) as the bus/truck/boat hybrid in front moves off, and I went flying.

Like really, flying. I was halfway down the stairs and thumped into the dude in front of me when the bus moved forward (he managed to maintain his own dignity and only stumble a bit), and then fell backwards on my ass onto the steps when it stopped. Now, I have been told on frequent occasions that I have unfortunately not been blessed with good grace, but this was bad even by my standards. I now have a bruised bum, and a bruised ego.

I got the DART home.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

To Read or Not To Read ...

Now that college is OVER, I finally have time to once again read books for pleasure. And considering work are only giving me a measly twelve hours or so a week (grrrr), I’m devouring them. I recently had the fantastic opportunity to do a bit of work experience in the Sunday Independent, and I was recommended a book to read while there, and to perhaps write a review. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive enough to think that they might actually publish said review (HAHAHA), but hopefully some feedback might swing itself my way. It was actually quite a good book – I thought it would do me for a few days on the beach while I was in Croatia, but I flew through it in about two days and was then left to stare enviously at the beautifully tanned Croatians and mourn my paper white Irish skin. Goddamn genetics.

Tony Parsons, Men from the Boys, Harper Collins, May 2010

Men from the Boys is the final chapter in Tony Parsons’ Harry Silver trilogy, beginning with the multi-million selling Man and Boy (1991), and the slightly less so – albeit still bestselling – Man and Wife (2002). Having spanned a decade of Harry Silver’s life by the last book, Men from the Boys chronicles the end of our view into the lives of Harry, his fifteen year old son Pat, wife Cyd, her daughter Peggy, and their daughter together, Joni.

Pat has reached the problematic stage of a teenager; his main concerns are making the school football team, garnering the attention of the typically beautiful and popular Elizabeth Montgomery, and dodging some bullies. Also fifteen – and wearing skirts that are too short for her – is Peggy, Cyd’s daughter from her first marriage to the improbably handsome actor Jim, while seven year old Joni is worried about monsters after dark. Problems also ensue in Harry’s work life; initially boasting a glitzy career in television, Harry finds this fading – along with his youth – and has downsized to a radio show in which he and his co-host Marty mostly complain about various things. Life bumbles along nicely for Harry regardless – until his ex-wife Gina returns from a long spell of absence, at the same time that a grumpy old army veteran with irreversible lung cancer comes knocking on Harry’s door looking for Harry’s deceased father.

Possibly the most likable aspect of Men from the Boys is Harry himself, Parsons’ typical – and likable – everyday man with everyday problems; modernity at its best and worst. The Silvers are certainly not a typical nuclear family, what with two divorces and an assortment of kids, and Gina’s several year disappearance from her son’s life to the point where her name causes Pat to flinch is a storyline not often penned; an absentee mother and single father.

Problems faced regularly by many families – albeit problems that are a little to accumulated to be entirely believable – are thoroughly explored and detailed, and you find yourself unquestionably rooting for poor old Harry as his world begins to crumble. Pat decides he wants to establish a relationship with his estranged mother and promptly moves in with her, causing no end of emotional turmoil for Harry, which in turn has a negative effect on Harry’s marriage; coupled with his job problems, Harry begins to wonder if Cyd isn’t pining for her ex- husband, Jim.

As the novel progresses, Harry’s discontent with modern life is evident from the strong admiration he has for Ken’s generation; those who fought to give everything they could for their country, and are being left by the wayside in present day. One poignant moment is when technology rather unfortunately collides with a memorial for the veterans in the form of a mobile phone, and Harry laments that things were a much simpler time before divorce became rife.

With multiple problems all landing themselves on Harry at once over the course of several months, it would be easy to get carried away with drama, but Parsons strays from making these issues too extreme; Pat is troubled, certainly, but a fondness for cigarettes and ditching a few days of school is hardly the makings of a tearaway teen, while Harry’s domestic concerns with Cyd are unlikely to send them down the path of the dreaded D-word. Despite work problems, the unusual little family is never threatened with being dislodged from their home.

Men from the Boys progresses evenly and at a leisurely pace; it is in little hurry to reach the end, and there are enough threads to weave a subtly colourful tapestry that keeps you interested until that point. Its strongest selling point is the remarkably well drawn out characters; Harry is likable, as is his brood, and he is not unwilling to display fear and uncertainty when his lovely little life is knocked off course. A rather compelling read overall; a nod can be given to the fact that Parsons’ style means it isn’t necessary to have read the first two books to understand what is going on. Although those familiar with this style might also find the frequent slew of three and four worded sentences and over-use of the full stop is a little tiresome at times; a sentence with more than one line and a few commas instead would not go amiss here and there.

I know this is a technically lazy post, considering I’d already written that ... but I’m having a lazy day ;)  Reviews were never my strong point; when I’m recommending stuff, my recommendations usually consist of sentences like, “Oh they’re sooo good, like they’re just really awesome!” or “it’s such a good film, like it’s really awesome!” or “it was a brilliant book, like it was seriously awesome!” Eh ... you get the point. So I’m going to write a review of every book I read this summer, and possibly all films I see too, although to be totally honest here there’s a fair chance this will all go to crap and you’ll never read another review on this blog again. Yep.

Friday, June 18, 2010

'So... who wants to help the big scary clown?'

In my never ending quest to find cheap (or preferably FREE) things to do to fill the time in between working and not working (the latter of which is becoming increasingly frequent as my hours get cut), my friends and I went to the first day of the street performance world championships in Merrion Square this afternoon. Its free in all weekend, and I used to go every year in my younger days. Unfortunately, there wasn't much going on today - most of the acts seem to be on Saturday on Sunday, ironically the two days I do work. Grr. But I remember previous years that have been quite entertaining, you can get some really good acrobatics and fire shows and jugglers and the likes - and hey, its free. Its nice weather and if you've nothing else to do, its not a bad way to while away the afternoon. If you can stand the heaps of screaming, face painted children with monstrously sized balloon animals that is.

However, the one thing I never liked was crowd participation - it terrifies me. There was one particular guy who seemed to make it his mission to involve every single audience member there was in any way possible, even if it was just getting them to stand up and wave. No. No, no, no, not for me. Even as a child I would hide behind my mother's leg to avoid such activities, and I put this all down to one particularly scarring incident that involved a clown.

I don't even remember where I was - I think it was my cousin's birthday but I'm not actually too sure. I was about five anyway, and a hired children's entertainer was there to keep us occupied, and he gathered us into a group for fun and games. Childhood memories are often hazy, but I clearly recall that he was dressed as a clown.

Whyyy do these people insist on dressing as clowns?! Honestly, I find nothing scarier!


So we get into groups for some sort of game, and the clown asks for vounteers from each group. Shy little kiddies that we seemingly were, no one volunteered, so he picked three people, myself being one, and started doing some sort of magic trick. My job - my only job - was to hold a large jug of water. The rest of the story is a little mishmashed (I think I did my best to block it all out), but he pulled something out of his sleeve - you would expect it to be a big long hanky! But noooo, it was an extremely realistic looking (to a five year old anyway) SNAKE, and suddenly this big clown turns to me and lunged at me with it! Being a teeny wee thing I screamed, dropped the jug of water all over  myself, and then started crying.

So obviously everyone starts laughing cos I've made a fool out of myself, ruined the trick, and it looks like I've wet my pants. Cue a life time of therapy to fix this traumatising childhood nightmare (well I might be being a tad dramatic there but you get me).

So ever since, my motto when it comes to volunteers is don't make eye contact ... if you can't see him he can't see you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Waste of perfectly good tellybox space.

Having been out of the country for the past week in ignorant bliss, I returned to find one of my most detested and hated subjects of utter loathing back in action ...

What is it that makes my face contort into wrinkly rage spasms and makes me so irritable that I begin spewing random, incoherent nonsense that sounds like a high speed tape of a rabid chipmunk on E?


Effing Big Brother.

Hours of coverage of a bunch of absolute muppets doing stupid and humiliating things for a chance to be crowned King of the muppets, all convinced this is their chance to show the world the talent and earn the fame they deserve do anything at all to claw their way desperately to the bottom rung of the Z-list ladder where they will then no doubt launch some sort of smelly perfume, have a crappy magazine column where they don’t actually comment about the world around them as much as tell everyone what’s going on in their own lives, and probably attempt (and fail) to launch a pop career.

They will then ironically end up on Celebrity Big Brother some years later, or some other ‘Celebrity’ version of a tv show, which, as everyone knows, is nothing more than a way for crappy Z-listers to desperately cling to their extended fifteen minutes of fame. Case in point – ‘Celebrity Salon’ on TV3, which stars such wonderful, popular, beloved celebs such as some woman who runs a modelling agency, and a nice lady who is a beauty and make-up consultant. Then there’s yer wan who didn’t win the Apprentice, and that ‘model’, Pippa something or other, who can usually be seen in the well respected and widely read Irish Times Irish Independent MetroHerald, often in front of Stephen’s Green promoting something that requires her to be in a bikini. Gosh however did they get such top notch celebs? Like, who doesn’t know that lady who runs that modelling agency? I love her I do, particularly when she ... and she did ... well, there was that ... I’ll, eh, get back to you.

I digress; Big Brother. Shockingly bad. What once started out as a simple social experiment that allowed normal people like me and you to create their own drama is now a circus of fame hungry weirdos that are so ridiculous and dull that numerous degrading and stupid tasks are bestowed upon them in order to create entertainment. It is anything but ‘reality’; none of it is real. Thankfully, it is FINALLY coming to a screeching end, as this already dismal series is the last.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a lover of car crash TV, it’s great to point at laugh at people, but there’s just something about Big Brother that I despise. I think it’s just the fame hungry aspect of it all, and the fact that I hate hate HATE people who are famous for doing nothing!!! And Big Brother has spawned dozens of these.

It also shoves it’s fat ass in the way of everything else – Friends, Scrubs, and co get pushed aside so we can watch these fools do stupid things. Then we can watch them sleep at two o’clock in the morning ... wow!

Its currently on Channel 4 ... I’ll stick with Glee on 3e.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sugar coated peanuts and alcoholic Calipos

Me being out of the country for a week = extreme lack of posting.

I'm too tired to write a proper, long, well thought out post (I would like to blame this on jetlag, but as Croatia is only an hour ahead, I think this is simply down to my general laziness), so I will sum up my week briefly.

Lack of tan (damn Irish skin).
Sea Organ (look it up ... awesome).
Breakfast on the balcony.
Two euro cocktails (gotta love Eastern Europe).
Sugar coated peanuts.
Sirip Orange', which, when mixed with vodka, tastes like an alcoholic Calipo ... you know when you have a Calipo and the end of it melts? Yeah. Awesome.
Konzum ... just when you thought Lidl was the cheapest supermarket you'd been in.
Dining out for less than a tenner.

All in all, a good holiday, of which I need more ... Lahinch and New York are both on the cards at later stages. Worlds apart, but equally fun!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It could be much worse, he could be allergic to ... em ... no, actually, it can't really get worse ...

Ok, I’m a few months behind with this, but I only just discovered an interview with Robert Pattinson (I cannot call him R-Patz ... I just can’t) where he stated, very clearly ...

“I am allergic to vagina”.

Well .... well. I don’t quite know what to say to that. He was doing a photo shoot with some naked women, and when the interviewer asked him if it was 'enjoyable' (ahem), his response was, “I really hate vaginas. I’m allergic to vagina”.


He was later asked about fans and all the female attention given to his lovely, sculpted TOTALLY DRAWN ON abs in the last Twilight film, and said something along the lines of, “The only emotional connection I have with anyone is with my dog. My relationship with my dog, like it’s just ridiculous”.

So, we have established two things from this conversation. Robert Pattinson does not like vaginas, and has an ... ‘unusual’, let’s say, relationship with an animal.

This means that Kristen Stewart must either have a secret penis, or is in fact some sort of  large, shaved dog.

He would also need to be careful of all the screaming teenage fan girls who are going to try and cure him of this unfortunate affliction.

Could YOURS be the one that doesn’t make him sneeze???

Unfortunately, if they catch him and thrust themselves upon him he could have a terrible allergic reaction and die. Tragedy.

“Robert Pattinson.
Beloved son and brother, whose life was tragically cut short by a rogue vagina.