Sunday, August 30, 2009

Late Night Thoughts - reversion

Tonight, as usual, I'm lying in my bed, exhausted, trying to relax and allow my mind to unwind. I can't sleep. My silly brain is doing its usual trick of zapping around like a bee that's high on E-numbers from drinking too much orange squash and so I'm reading and thinking of things that I will write tomorrow. Instead of working today (on the idea I have been developing for a few weeks) and actually putting some effort into the craft that I want to spend the rest of my life doing, I've been fucking around, surfing the net and looking for 'obscure porn' on youtube. While this might be vaguely interesting or funny, I'm feeling what I often feel on these late nights when I can't sleep, that I've squandered a large portion of my life that I'll never get back.

The rain is hitting against the skylight in my room with such force that it's almost offensive, beating a tattoo as I lie here, cursing myself for wasting my life. Usually, I love the sound of the rain on that window, it's incredibly relaxing and reminds me of when I was younger, but tonight, it seems almost mocking. When I was about seven, I would lie awake listening to the rain and try to see if I could keep my eyes open for longer than the downpour lasted, playing chicken with the night outside. Needless to say I always lost.

Somehow the years fell away quickly, and now this bedroom is only a place I stay when I return home during the holidays. It's no longer 'my room', but rather the 'spare room'. In fact, the only thing that connects this room to my childhood is the view outside. The back gardens and roof-tops of all the houses of the neighbours around me, and the view of the river leading towards the sloping beauty of the city walls and the valley. It's weird, I vaguely miss the place when I'm away from home, and I love to be back, but there's always a huge part of me that wants to keep moving, an inability to rest.

I've noticed as well that when I'm back home I revert to who I was as a child. Most of my friends are the same, something for which I feel blessed, with (thank fuck) a few exceptions, and I feel that I am self-confident enough to relax in almost any social situation. Somehow, however, when I meet some of the people I knew in school, people I've known for years, I clam up. Me, who usually never knows when to stop nattering on, stands on the fringe of the 'chatting outside the pub' group trying to think of something to say, and realising that I've got next to nothing to say. Maybe I've become really boring, or maybe I've just grown apart from some of these people. The reversion is that feeling of being on the fringe of a large group that I've always felt, like being right back in my old school uniform. I know that it's reversion because it's a million times different to how I normally feel when I'm out and it proves to me that I must have changed, that I AM changed, irrevocably. I dunno whether that's for the better or the worst.

Anyway, as I'm writing this, trying to find words to describe what's jolting through my mind, I've suddenly noticed that the rain outside has stopped, and that by being awake, I've won the game I was playing with the night sky all those years ago. I'd give anything to have lost it though, it seems like a pyhrric victory.

I hope it rains again.

Obscure Porn #2 - Bacne Porn and Exploding Sebaceous Cysts

If you thought gun porn was a bit odd, this will maybe freak you out a little bit. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you BACNE PORN.

People love squeezing stuff out of themselves, it's like a basic instinct. Even I, who can't watch those awful 'swan'-like makeover shows (which I'll go into later - basically the idea of voluntary self-mutilation freaks the fucking shit outta me) love to squeeze the shit out of all those little black heads and spots that I get. It's unbelievably satisfying.

This is a slight step above that...

Am I the only one finds this oddly compelling?

This one, however, is slightly nauseating. My mother loves this sort of stuff, but THIS one brgins about a physical reaction in me, when I watch it it makes me taste blood.

So, I'm pretty sure that this is an illness of some sort, the obsession that some people have with watching cysts, spots and boils explode. If you follow the links, however, you'll see that there are thousands upon thousands of these small videos to be found.

There is, like most genres of entertainment, a subgenre of 'insect bite pus' porn. Here's a prime example

Fucking awful!

I WOULD open a box of kleenex, but maybe only to dab away the blood in my mouth. Sometimes I just don't get it.

Disgusting times.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Obscure Porn #1 - Gun Porn

Over the past few years I've stumbled across some of the weird and vaguely hilarious shit that people secretly fetishise. It's remarkable but true that whatever you can think off, people will find a way to sexy up.

So here's one that has entertained me for ages. Gun porn.

Now, we've all seen the Jackie Brown scene that tells us what you do when you absolutely, positively have to kill every muthafucker in the goddamn room. The AK47 is seen let rip by a gaggle of bikini-clad tna models.

That's not gun porn. That's essentially tit models with guns. gun porn

That's right! Gun Porn

It's remarkable, but also unsurprising. Guns are, I admit, fascinating. I've always been interested in military history and I'm genuinely interested in guns and their historical progression...but this is fucking bonkers.

There are several reasons why this is mental. Firstly, it's clearly an ad for guns, which is odd. Secondly, it has a vaguely new age 'whale song'-ish type of soundtrack. Thirdly, there is a very unsubtle collection of shots of the phallus-shaped muzzle spewing smoke and bullets. Like a multi-orgasm money shot.

Anyway, I'll leave you to enjoy the gun porn and I'll go pour myself a glass of wine and open a box of Kleenex.

Dirty times.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Late-Night Anecdote About My Mother

Okay, this one is a bit weird. I was watching the Jimmy Carr 'Live in Concert' show on Channel 4 with my mum and dad. Jimmy was up to his usual nonsense of a pile of extremely squeamish-inducing gags.

He was posing a lot of very awkward moral conundrum questions. These, he says, can show how an audience rate in terms of decency. There are no correct answers, but the answers usually raise a laugh.

One of them was, "Would you kill a whale to save two pandas?" and the audience yelled "Yes"

He continued this for a while as my parents and I laughed along. Suddenly something awful happened. Jimmy asked the ultimate question,

"Would you fuck your father to save your mother?"

There was silence...horrible silence in the living room. I chugged my wine with gusto, hoping that I wasn't blushing, and avoided my parents' eyes.

Suddenly my mother turned to me, and in deathly seriousness said, "You'd fucking better"


Friday, August 21, 2009

Acronym Invention

I've been really annoyed by the fact over the last few months that everyone is broke. Everyone. Myself included. That's the the 'current economic climate' my friends are losing jobs (or job security) being denied bank loans, facing a dole queue, or even just having to curtail their lives a great deal. What sucks most is that it's none of the 20something generation's fault...we have the Boomers and early X cats to thank for this, with their Gordon Gecko love-ins and overuse of Dynasty shoulder pads.

So, in the true spirit of the internet I've started using a new acronym. Fuck the Recession - FTR


"Hey man, are you coming out clubbing tonight?"

"I can't, I'm totally broke...FTR"

Please feel free to pass it on.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Down Below A Wee Bit

Hey guys - I've finally written about my time in France, it's actually a few posts down, or you can find it here.

Hope you enjoy!!

(Actually) Back Home

My last post was a bit inaccurate. About three hours after I wrote it I was in a car speeding towards the northwest coast. The islands and coast area up there are like a second home to me, I was more-or-less half-raised there and it's my favourite place in the world. It's a gaeltacht region for the most part, with Irish being the main language spoken. It was a good place to go back to neutral after France, to fish, drink and walk. Actually, apart from the weather difference, it was almost exactly like France. As far as I'm concerned, I've finally returned back to Derry now, and my detox/rehab begins now.

Betcha it doesn't last.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back Home

So I'm back home, and had a fantastic time in France. It took us 40 hrs to get home (thanks to a 17hr layover in Biarritz) and now I'm a little bit under the weather. I think it's a cold or something, or maybe just lack of sleep, but I'm feeling pretty drained and keep nodding off. As a long-term insomniac this is rather bizarre for me, but I might as well roll with it. Anyway, as soon as I can I'll give you an update on the old France trip, but for now it's back to bed.

N'night :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Man Adventures with the Boys

So...France, aye?

I had intended to write a very detailed account of my time in the France, but to be honest, it would take faaaaaar too long. Instead, what I might do is just write down some of the notes that I took during my time of travel. Ah, the travel. Before I left, my friend Ste (whose house we were staying in) and I met at Beckett's in Derry for a pre-departure-to-the-unknown pint. Obviously that turned into four pints. Just an indicator as to how the week began...and continued. There were five of us on the trip: Stephen, Mark (Sparkle), Christy (Crystal), Eoghain (aka -OJ, Crystal's big bro) and I. These are all guys I went to school with, so I've known them since about 1998, and they're like my brothers. The main purpose of the trip was to give Ste and Eoghain a chance to get a lot of rock climbing done.

From my notebook: France Trip 2009 AUG.

Fri 7th: Leaving Derry-Pints in Beckett's with Ste before lift to Belfast-Drunk man on street while smoking - called us 'Lovely Boys' - shudder - Met OJ - drove to Claudy - picked Crystal en route - C has broken elbow "One Wing" - Drive to Belfast - party - mischief - Corona - sofa 4ft long - backache

Sat 8th: Woke up w/ hangover - Tongue like Ghandi's slipper - Hiking gear at Cotswolds - Bought book about Mongolia - fast-food breakfast.

--- --- --- ---

embarrassing story - Whilst hungover in KFC an
d feeling like I was still a little drunk, the lovely Asian lady behind the counter was short of change. She asked me did I have a 5. I fished in my pocket. Produced a 5 with a flourish and the phrase "I think I can make your dreams come true". She blinked politely. Felt awful, very 'colonial'. Friends looked at me like I was insane. NB: don't try to be swashbuckling with a hangover

--- --- --- ---

cont: car to airport - lots of security - difference between UK cops and NI cops = machine guns/pistols in NI - Burger King meal - hangover flight - awful turbulence - Ste hates flying - turbulence makes me giggle - won't sit together on way home I think. Toulouse - late for train - hotel for the night - area populated by drug dealers and hookers - expensive meal - wine - weird mafia bar - early night - shared a room with one wing - free porn in hotel - dancing girls on channel 8 - bizarre

Sun 9th: Early wake-up call - Breakfast (4 shot coffee) - Train to Perpignan - wait around in the sun - Ste's uncle pick us up - 5 boys, all 6'1'' and taller - Renault Clio - 4 free seats exc. driver - Clown car - 40 minute journey - one-wing in the front seat - lucky cripple - squash - arrive - cops next door to house - next door neighbour dead - balloon body - decomposed - 6 people emerge from the clown car - gun-toting gendarme looks confused - quick climbing session - return to house - 16 litres of wine - drunk - Ste shows climbing skills out window - third floor - pile-on Ste - booze - 1.30 am bed

(NB: Holy Fuck!! 16 litres of wine between 5 people. Not good.)

Mon 10th: Hangover - woke up with a fuzzy head - Ste and OJ went off climbing - Crystal/Sparkle and I stayed by the pool - Lilo wars - Sun Sun Sun - Factor 30 - no colour - C and M burn - me still pale - wasted day - built a BBQ - wood fire - felt manly - big big meal of meat (sausage and beef) - late night glow of BBQ with 10 litres of wine and a crate of beer - found Ste's brother's pellet gun - Sparkle passed out - shot Sparkle several times - sang lots of rebel songs - smell of dead neighbour still about - 3.00 am sleep on sofa

Tues 11th: Hangover - big salad for breakfast - BIG WALK - left St. Paul for Gorges De Galamus - swimming hole 3 miles from town -diving from road into a waterfall pool, 20 ft jump- lost hangover - more walking - took Hemingway-esque mountain track- formerly used by resistance Maquisards during WWII- approx. 6 miles, all uphill - 37 degrees C - scrabbling on rocks - glad of anklesafe boots - got to the Gorge - "vent violent" 100mph - road carved into mountain, gorge far below - walked another 4 miles, found route down to the river - scrambled through the rockpools and streams down the gorge - One-wing did okay for most of it - did a 25ft jump into a cold-pool - made for home - down the dirt path - detour to 'Love Making Spot' - most beautiful place ever - trees/waterfall/small bridge/ swimming - walked home - dead tired - ate grapes from the vine - collapsed into the sofa - went out for a meal "Le Soleil D'Or" - worst fucking meal of my life - boudain antillaise = dogshit in a condom - too expensive - ruined the evening - got drunk in the house - Ste and I did our usual wrestling thing - apparently got out of hand - more singing - late night

Wed 12th - BAD Hangover, Tautavel (for climbing), Crystal and I sat by the water side while OJ and Ste climbed, Sparkle and Ste's family in 2nd car - Me and C drank Heineken, drinking all day - watched OJ/Ste climb - larked about - deep convo - lots of sunbathing/jokes/chat - went hill walking - drunk - met some archeologists - excavation - tautavel = earliest human remains in Europe - caveman nonsense - still drunk. Beautiful views - very very happy with the day - spent the night drinking - last night in St. Paul - had a great time

Thurs 13th - Worst hangover ever - woke at 8 after 4 hours - got bus at 9 to Perpignan - train at 11.20 to Toulouse - Train from Toulouse to Pau - Arrived in Pau at about 3 - went on Funiculaire (olde worlde tram for going uphill) - Pau to Biarritz - arrive Biarritz @ 9.30 pm. Exhausted. Spent day playing 20 questions and trying to sleep off hangover - Annual saint's festival in Biarritz - biggest event of year - no hotel/hostel/beds/gites etc - obvi not booked ahead - sat at cafe until 2 - camped on beach - no camping gear - lit small fire - fantastic summer evening - Biarritz = most beautiful women in world - people having sex all round - bit porny- made a wagon circle with rucksacks on beach, lay in relaxed contemplation as the night fell away - gently nodded to sleep at 3am with balmy seabreeze in the company of my beloved friends

Fri 14th: woke at 5 - freezing cold - no cold weather gear- lunatic with tractor combing beach - tried to kill us - OJ and I decide to camp on a cliff = no seabreeze - sit for two hours - felt frozen - sun rise/morning/SUN - dying for bathroom - 36 degrees - walk about Biarritz for present for Ste's girlf - OJ and I give up and go to airport. Eat/Wash/Change/Bliss - give up smoking because of sketchy post-hobo sickness - look and feel like shit - feeling compounded by arrival of 2 full professional rugby teams - feel a wee bit scrawny. Others catch up - flight - all sitting together - ridiculous turbulence - giggles etc - arrive Ireland - run for bus - miss bus - get other bus to Belfast - get back to Crystal/Ste's/Sparkle's Belfast house - load up OJ's car - say bye to Sparkle - drive home - awful weather - late night driving with friends = amazing - home for midnight - been travelling for 40 hrs - bath - bed - snooze. Fucking great trip.

That's it, that's the holiday, and I think I've given you more than enough of an idea of the type of fun I had. Here's some photos to give you a wee visual:

St. Paul de Fenouillet from the mountain trail

Me sitting at a sheer 300ft drop with 100mph winds lashing me, really beautiful (if terrifying) spot at Gorges de Galamus

Tautavel, where Crystal and I srank beer in the water while the other boys climbed (the fools)

Sparkle having a rest on the floor after some wine.

l-r: me, OJ, Ste, Sparkle, Ste's Uncle, Crystal Mc One-Wing

All in all it was a fucking amazing week away, but for the next wee while, I think I'm happy to stay in Ireland for a while. At least until my liver heals.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Quiet Season

I've been back in Derry for less than a week, but there's not been much to write about. One or two evenings aside, life has been a torpid, heavy-lidded affair, and I've been itching to do some more travelling. So, I'm going to France at the weekend!

My friend Ste's parents own a lovely little house in the town of St. Paul de Fenouillet, in a vignoble region just outside Perpignan in the south. It's a really sleepy, Stella-Artois-Advert type of burg, with a largely comatose population and a really great little wineshop, aproximately eight metres from the front door of the house. It also has some beautiful scenery and landscape around it, with a great gorge, a huge valley and mountains and a million little swimming holes and mountain paths for exploration.

I have a huge amount of little stories from the last time I was there, and the 'Yearly France Trip' has become somewhat of a tradition.

The last time I was there, I had white blonde hair, and we would spend the day walking tens of miles, with litres of wine, exploring the countryside and swimming and eating when we felt like a break. It was bliss. There were a few crazy moments; like almost being kidnapped by two massive gay guys for a funboy party, or smoking weed with a crazy mountain man in his cave, or chatting over a muscat to the ancient (but vibrant and fascinating) ex-pat Irishman whom we nicknamed Treebeard, for his booming voice and knowledge, and who made us all so very welcome...but those are for another time. Maybe if I write them up I can post them. One reader recently commented that my blog was 'a bit long' (the schmuck) so I dunno if I can post the full story without injuring his fragile sensibilities. But fuck it, why not.

I'm going (with my five travel companions) to Belfast tomorrow, then from Belfast to Toulouse on Saturday. We're going to spend seven days drinking wine, getting some sun and doing a lot of rock-climbing and hill-walking. There's no internet, no computers, barely any phones and I'll be well and truly off the rader. What bliss. I'll have my notebook with me, and will hopefully return with some happy stories, a bit of scandal, a nice tan and a newly inked pocketbook.

Chat to you all soon, fingers crossed for the weather!