Sunday, July 25, 2010

"I swear officer, none of the dozens of crates of booze in the back of my car is for me ..."

I often give up my Friday and Saturday nights to earn a little extra cash (no, I’m not a part time prostitute ...), by trawling around pubs and clubs promoting various alcohols. A few weekends back I had four jobs; two on Friday and two on Saturday, each of which involved eight bottles of vodka, which totaled in there being thirty two bottles of alcohol in back of my car. I had dozens of litres of coke and sprite, not to mention posters and beer mats and whatnot in the boot, so I opted to keep the crates of booze safely in the back seat where I could see them.

Grand job.

Now, I have a naggin of my own in my bag, cos I’m headed to a friend’s house after I’m finished, and I foolishly mix it in the car before I set off ... and spill half of it on both myself and the floor. Not the end of the world, but now my car (and me) smells like rum..


So off I go anyway, whizzing around at about half ten at night, when I  happen upon a Garda checkpoint. These are fairly frequent on weekends, and normally they just check your registration details on the windscreen and wave you on, so I slow down, and switch to second, ready to continue on my merry way, when suddenly the Guard pauses, and sticks his hand out for me to stop.

I roll down my window, and he casually asks if I’ve been drinking tonight.

“Why, no sir, I would never do such a thing”.

He nods slowly ... his eyes wander to the back seat of my car where there are thirty two bottles of vodka ... then he sniffs and takes in the whiff of rum.

“Mm hmm ... well, if you wouldn’t mind just taking a quick breathliser test ... standard procedure, you know yourself ...”


“Oh, sure, sure ...”

Now, in case you don’t know, they’ve recently made the alcohol tolerance level practically zero, so much so that a bloody chocolate champagne truffle would probably cause a breathaliser to explode and send you to jail for a night, so I’m left panicking that the actual rum fumes have somehow seeped into my pores and into my bloodstream and poisoned me ... oh I’m definitely going to be over the limit, despite not having touched a bleedin drop. Oh god, what if my mouthwash did it?!

“Now, just take a deep breath, and blow into this until it beeps ...”

Ah feck, I’ve brushed my teeth three times today ... that’s a triple dose of that demon mouthwash!

*Beeeeeep ...*

And hasn’t it been recently proven that poppyseeds on bagels count as opiates on drug tests?! What if that bagel with peanut butter I had for lunch shows up?!

 “Ok ...”

And Pepsi has like a 0.5% of alcohol in it, DAMMIT I had a ...

“... you’re good to go.”

Oh, of course I am.
Sure I haven’t had a drop of the stuff.
Wasn’t worried in the sliiightest.

“As a matter of interest, where are you going with all that?” *Points to booooze*.

“I do promotions, we’re giving out free samples.”

Shakes his head and sends me on my merry way.


Soooo later at about half eleven/twelve, having made a hundred people very happy tonight (again ... I am not a prostitute, honest), I'm on my way to my friend's to reward myself for a night of ridiculously easy hard work when I stumble upon ...

The SAME damn checkpoint, having moved to the opposite side of the road to catch potentially drunk eejits coming home from town.


I roll up, and – no seriously, I actually kid you not here – the SAME DAMN GUARD stops me.

For real? You have got to be joking me here.

He ambles over, grinning like a feckin eejit, and I grit my teeth and smile.

“So, where’s half of that lot gone? You haven’t drunk it have you?”


“No no, just doing my job, I’ve given half of it away as samples”.

“Right, right ... well, this is a mandatory breathalysing checkpoint, not just a standard checkpoint, so if you wouldn’t mind, I’m just going to ask you to take this test here, its standard procedure, and ... blah blah blah ... blah blah ...”

And the FUCKER actually breathalysed me AGAIN.

Honest to God. You couldn’t make this shit up. And he laughed and all.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Lets hear it for New Yooooork...

I’m going to New York on Tuesday, and it has just occurred to me that I stupidly haven’t bought any dollars. The only reason I remembered this is because it’s now too late – the banks are closed, and you have to order dollars a day in advance.

Good one, Kar.

Now I probably wouldn’t get all my dollars for the week in one go anyway because I definitely do not want that amount of cash on me (of all the people to get mugged, it would sooo be me), but I’d like about fifty or so on me when I land. I would say foreign exchange in the airport is a RIP OFF so I’ll probably wait until I get to JFK airport and use an atm. I have done this before – arrived in a foreign country with absolutely no local currency on me whatsoever – and it’s always been grand, but it’s still a bit unnerving to know that you don’t have a cent to your name for a while.

I also have to be there three hours early ... bleughhhh. I’m travelling alone by the way, hence the bleugh, cos now not only have I a six and a half plane journey to entertain myself on, but also three hours alone in Dublin airport. There’s only so much duty free shopping a girl can do!

On the plus side though ... I am majorly excited! My friends are on a J1 and I’m crashing their couch, so hopefully they will take me on a personal guided tour of all New York has to offer. Now it’s just a question of exactly how much can I squeeze in in a week! If anyone has any recommendations, fire away! I’ve saved some serious dosh for shopping; its weird, I highly doubt stuff is significantly cheaper in the States, but don’t you just feel more entitled to spend lots of money when you’re out of your own country?! That top that you definitely would not spend thirty euro on at home is suddenly a total bargain abroad – “sure I’m on holidays, I’m allowed!”

My only other problem is packing ... being a true Irish lass, it is ingrained into my very being to always bring clothing for every possible type of weather; lately, my umbrella and my sunglasses have become very good pals in the bottom of my bag ... an unlikely duo. And it is not unlikely to find both a hoodie and a pair of flip flops stashed in the back of my car. So no matter how much I’m told that it’s roasting hot in New York at the mo, I’m desperately fighting an instinctual urge to not waste valuable shopping space with hoodies, layers, and jeans. And a coat. And my uggs. And fluffy socks.

No! No uggs and fluffy socks!! Only shorts and dresses! Must ... fight ... desire to pack ... heavy winter coat ... and woolly hat ...

Sigh, I can tell already my mother will have to pack for me. Now, who do I get to pack for me on the way home ...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Hello there, total stranger. You seem quite nice ... how about I get your name forever branded on my skin?"

I was perusing Google quite recently in search of a decent tattoo studio in Dublin (Snakebite seems to be popular?) and, being bored, started flicking through  various crappy tattoo ‘inspiration’ websites. Most of these were all the same; butterflies, fairies, Celtic crosses and Chinese symbols and whatnot. But then I stumbled across a blog of tattoo failures ... which led me to celebrity obsessed tattoos. Not pictures of the tattoos that various celebrities have – no no no; normal, everyday people getting tattoos of celebrities. Now considering I have been toying with the idea of a very small Red Hot Chili Peppers asterix on the inside of my ankle, I can’t really pass judgement on certain levels of obsession ... but some of these were just unreal.

Firstly, there was the Judge Judy tattoo.

Really ... Judge Judy? Like ... really???
Ok, so she might be a very good judge ... but ... I mean really?! I just don’t know what else to say about this! Of all the people to idolise, I fail to understand why this woman would be your choice. Her show basically consists of people bickering about petty nonsense and her doing her best not to strangle them and tell them to get a grip. Those in the viewing court aren’t even real people genuinely interested in courtroom proceedings – they’re extras on the show. In fact, the defendants and plaintiffs get paid to be there aswell! Bottom line is, I just don’t get why you would want this woman’s face forever emblazoned on your skin. And if you were ever to show her, she’d probably tell you you’re being a dumbass.

Then there’s the Sweeny Todd tattoo.

Alright now, this one was slightly more understandable, given the level of some people’s dangerous obsession with Johnny Depp ... but the main point is just that – the obsession should be with Johnny Depp. Not a murderous eighteenth century barber with a tendency to slice people’s throats and serve them up as tasty pies. Sure I know every girl eventually falls for a bad boy, but this one might just be a little bit too psychotically deranged ‘bad’. It’s almost akin to having a portrait of Jack the Ripper on your arm, or ‘me nd Jack 4eva’.

Although Sweeny Todd sings. This makes it slightly more acceptable.

Now, I really don’t get this one. It’s just so odd and confusing ... why?

Yes friends, that is a tattoo of Maddox Jolie-Pitt, eldest of the Brangelina Rainbow Coalition Crew. And no ... no, that’s neither of his parents’ arms that it’s inked on. I don’t think I even need to state the obvious here, but I’m going to anyway ...

Ehh ... paedophilia?!

If that’s not a sign that a serious celeb sprog kidnapping is about to go down, I dunno what is. What makes it worse is that it’s a 42 year old man who has done this to himself. I wonder did he stop to think what Brange might make of this?

“Hello, middle aged man we have never in our lives met. It’s nice to see that you have a picture of our eight year old son on your arm. That’s not at all creepy, lots of normal people get tattoos of young children that they don't know. Perfectly acceptable; in fact, we take it as a compliment.”

This one made me cringe. Yep ... its Britney, bitch.

Bald Britney that is. I’m not going to even try and go up against the level of Britney fandom that exists in the world today; I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if hundreds of people had her face tattooed on their arms/legs/foot/whatever. But at least choose a better picture! Apart from finding it slightly creepy that someone, somewhere, that I’ve probably never met, has a tattoo of my face, I would certainly not want it to be of one of my mental breakdown! At least choose a picture when she was happy and healthy – not deranged, cross-eyed and bald!

Finally, this one is the worst. And to be honest, possibly the least shocking ... which scares me just a little.

Prepare yourself for ...

Robert Pattinson’s signature.

Oh. Sweet. Jesus.

This teenage girl – who has never met Robert Pattinson, she looked up his signature on Google – is going to regret this big time eventually, for the following reasons.

One – when she grows up, she will realise that Twilight is shit.
Two – Robert Pattinson never has, and never will, love you.
Three – he is probably freaked out beyond belief by this.
Four – Twilight is shit.
Five – Robert Pattinson is not Edward. You do not know enough about Robert to possibly warrant a permanent signature on your wrist.
Six – ehh good luck with your future husband ... “Sweetheart, why do you have another man’s name tattooed on your arm?”
Seven – good luck with your children also ... “Well darling, when Mummy was younger, she made an irreversible symbol of commitment to a man she had never met before ... this is what ‘love’ is ...”

I could go on, really. I mean, just think about it ... imagine if my mother had let me get a Leonardo diCaprio tattoo all those years ago when Titanic was the most romantic film ever and Leo was just SUCH a babe?!

Or if it really is Robert Pattinson she’s obsessed with an not Edward, it’s still not a good idea ... I mean, the majority of actually married couples don’t even make that kind of a gesture to one another, let alone people who have never even met.

I know tattoos should mean something to you, and obviously Judge Judy, the murdering barber, Brange’s kid, Britney at her worst, and R-Patz obviously all mean something very significant to these people ... but I still would have recommended some therapy before opting to get this done.

Particularly for the kiddie one ...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

To tea or not to tea... hmm

I was watching wife swap this morning. For those of you unfamiliar with this programme, it involves (as you might be able to figure out for yourselves) two families swapping wives for two weeks. This usually involves two drastically different families, because two normal families might actually get along, and therefore not create any drama. It also means there would be no all-important lesson to be learned at the end of the programme. So basically, the wives live as the other wife would for a week, then they bring a little of their own personality into their new surroundings for the second week. It usually is quite entertaining, but the one I was watching this morning was just plain weird.

One of the wives dressed up as a fairy – I’m talking full blown puffy white sparkly ball gown, with wings and a wand – and throws tea parties for little girls where she taught them such things as not putting elbows on the table.

She does this for a living. As in, people actually give her money to dress up as a fairy and play make believe tea party with their daughters.

This baffles me, for multiple reasons.

Number One: this is not a profession.
‘What does your mum do?’
‘She’s a doctor. What about yours?’
‘She plays tea parties and fairies with little girls.’

Number Two: this just screams lonely old mother unable to let go of having her children to play with.

Number Three: no one should be paid for having a tea party!

Number Four: similar to number three, as a mother, you shouldn’t be paying someone else to play with your kids, play with them yourself!

Number Five: ok I’ve run out of logical reasons, but it was just weird to see how totally into these tea parties and dollies this woman was. All these manners she was teaching the little girls were also very OTT – I mean how can you expect children to know which knife and fork to use out of an option of five? Or why they shouldn’t put elbows on the table? Or why they should or shouldn’t cross their legs? They’re five year old kids! They should be hanging out of trees!

I suppose it is nice that this lady is enjoying a sort of ‘second childhood’, and I guess little girls do like tea parties so it must be nice to actually get paid for such an easy job, but I really hope I never get to that stage in life, where I feel the need to dress up and play make believe with someone else’s children. The fact that she had white hair and looked like a witch really didn’t help.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Turn the page and you will find... me!

Why am I bouncing excitedly off walls? Well, because I have my first ever piece of published work ... that's why.

Ok... so its a teeny little travel article as opposed to an award winning, hard hitting, journalistic piece ... and it was a voluntary, non-paid review, rather than instantly making my bank manager jump for joy and pee his pants ... but still, my name is in print, and this makes me happy.

Its in U Magazine, which is a fortnightly mag that offers you the chance to write your own travel review, and if its decent, they'll print it. They don't pay, but you will get a really awesome Lonely Planet travel guide to every single country in the world, and sure tis something decent to add to the auld CV, if writing is your thang.

Now on to my next mission ... to get someone to actually part with their hard earned cash in exchange for my musings. Hmmm ...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Someone ready my private jet!

I have been in Cork for the past few days, so apologies to my wee blog for abandoning it. Unfortunately it rained pretty consistently so we didn’t do too much exploring ... we did get to visit the Fota wildlife park though, which is awesome. It’s kind of like a much more open zoo; for example, there were lemurs in the trees above us, kangaroos hopping past, and several llamas that seemed a little too friendly – I would have preferred them behind a fence actually. It was sort of like a walking safari park, in that the giraffes and such had a much larger enclosure than anything in a zoo. Actually, most of the animals did. I really think this is the way to go now. Don’t get me wrong, I love zoos, and Dublin Zoo is pretty spacious actually in comparison to some abominations I have been in (cough-BarcelonaZoo-cough), but wildlife parks like that are a much better idea. I’m a child at heart  :-)

We opted for the train down, due to stumbling across ten euro one way fares, and the bus home, because said cheap fares did not apply on the way back. The train was only three hours, while the bus was four and a half.

Four and a half hours. On a bus. With no bathroom.

You could fly to an entirely different country thousands of miles away in four and a half hours. You could fly to London and back twice. You could get a boat to Wales and back. Seriously though, Ireland is such a small country that it just shouldn’t be four and a half hours to anywhere!

I am not a fan of travelling in general, but if i have to do it, my preference goes as such:

I know, not a lot of people like boats above all else (now, when I say boats, I mean high speed ferries, like the HSS. Not rubber dinghies), but I don’t get sea sick, so I take full advantage of the fact that you can get up and walk around, you can go to the cinema, you go to a resteraunt, you can go to the shop, and for those smokers among you, you could nip out back for a sneaky fag. Yes, you can watch movies on a plane, but unless you’re minted and flying first class, you’re cramped and squished. And I know you can buy food on both planes and trains, but it’s a rip off on trains, and its bleughhh on planes. You can also walk around on planes and trains, but the extent of your walk for both is usually in a straight line aiming for the toilet.

To be honest, trains and planes would be joint second, as I find them both quite similar (well apart from the obvious fact that one flies). There’s not much room on either, but trains have that slight advantage in the fact that you don’t have to be there ridiculously early. Case in point – I am flying to New York at the end of the month and have to be there three hours before departure. Fabulous. Did I mention I’m travelling alone?? Also, you can usually just turn up and hop on a train. Not quite so much with a plane, they tend to get annoyed when you attempt to casually saunter on. “What? I need to have booked a ticket? Oh for god’s sake!”

Unless you have a fear of flying, if you are a child like me you will still get a thrill from planes. I love flying, and I love being above clouds. There’s also something deeply satisfying when you take off as you know you are off to a different country, usually for a holiday. Yay!

Last but not least, the dreaded peasant wagon. You can’t walk around, you can’t buy food, you can’t watch tv, you don’t get to marvel at the clouds, you can’t sneak out for a smoke, you usually don't even have a table so you can't entertain yourself with simple card games (is that too much to ask?) and on some buses there are even no bathrooms, despite your journey being across the damn country.

So yeah...
I. Hate. Buses.

Obviously at the end of the day I would rather take a luxuriously kitted out private jet everywhere, but this will not be happening for the foreseeable future. I’ll keep you updated on that.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm a hypocrite, buuut...

Alright ... alright ... I have thought long and hard about this ... at the risk of sounding like a total and utter hypocrite when one takes my previous Harry Potter/Twilight post in to question, I went to see Eclipse the other day and I actually ... dare I say it ... enjoyed it.

Well ... when I say enjoyed, I mean didn’t loathe it as much as the first two films. ‘Twilight’ was simply appalling, and while ‘New Moon’ was slightly better, it still wasn’t what I would call good. But Eclipse ... I would actually consider watching it again. Not in the cinema or anything – jesus I wouldn’t go paying for it again – but maybe on DVD. A borrowed DVD that is, not one that I have purchased with my own money.

Unfortunately, Robert Pattinson is still as excruciating moody as ever, but he does crack an extra smile or two. Although there’s one part where Bella is basically throwing sex at him and he looks as though he’s about to cry. Grow a pair already!

Kristen Stewart, however, has gotten better. There’s not as much lip twitching, and she doesn’t pull at her hair as much either. Her facial expressions have gotten better too – she can now do more than one. Good job on finally learning how to do what you’ve already earned millions for! He interaction with Robert is more believable; they've gone from embarrassingly awkward to looking like they might have a little crush on each other.

Taylor Lautner is still a shirtless baaabe. He’s not quite as buff as the last one, but I think this actually works a little bit better. His acting skills are not exactly Oscar worthy, but he’s given a pretty good script to work with, and does it well.

There are some surprisingly laugh out loud moments in this one, but there are also a couple of criiiingy ones too. Basically, you’ll probably end up seeing it if you’ve seen the last two, and if you didn’t like the last two, you probably won’t love this. But it is better ... or at least more tolerable.

And if all else fails ... just sit back and enjoy this ...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Why go out on a Friday night when you can pig out on chocolate instead...

Normally I don't mind being at home with nothing to do. Well, I do, but not as much as I hate being home on a Friday night. I don't know why I feel this way, because I have work early tomorrow morning so obviously during the week when I have all morning to lie in would seem like an appropriate time to go out, but there you go - I simply hate being home on a Friday. And Saturday, although I usually work Saturday nights as well as days, so its not so bad. So I was moping about feeling particularly sorry for myself when a sudden craving for chocolate sprung up.

Chocolate solves ALL problems.

However, as my mother does not each such nonsense, neither do the rest of us. She only buys biscuits because my Dad insists, and even at that they're crappy Lidle brand McVities. Definitely not enough to satisfy my chocolate needs.

That is when I discovered five minute chocolate mug cake.

Oh. Wow. This could ruin me. I was skeptical about trying it, because let's face it - it seems to yummy to be true. But it actually does work. And it is goooood.

But definitely not good for me, because now I am only five minutes away from delicious chocolate cake at any given time. Uh oh. My only saving grace is that I'm going to try and use that fake sugar Splenda nonsense next time, all the rest of it is grand; egg, milk, flour, ah sure that's all good for you. A little coco powder never hurt anyone either. I'll ignore the oil ...

Give it a shot. I'll let you know how that Splenda stuff works out. To be honest I'm kinda hoping it won't work, cos if it does I'm literally going to make this all the time.