Sunday, March 28, 2010

The One-Day Weekend.

Wow, it's really been a long time since I've done written anything dagnabbit. I'd love to use the excuse that I've been busy in the weeks since my birthday, and that would be vaguely true, but I've also been very lazy. Very lazy.

Also, there's been very little to write about. Not much has been going on, apart from the usual wok-eat-sleep-gasp at council tax-sleep routine, plus I've been broker than a clay hammer so I've had to curtail any form of crazy lifestyle and keep to a pretty strict budget.

I have been doing a bit of writing though. Not blogging really, but something that I've been chipping away at for a while. My little moleskine has taken a battering and I've got reams of poorly handwritten Irish notes to wade through, but I think I'm quite near to beginning. I've just got to stop myself from either procrastinating or getting evicted too much, and I should be good to go.


So I was up visiting my friend Bunny on Friday. He's one of my buddys from home and I managed to get him a job at the office I work at, so we've been hanging out more and more. We were up in his flat, drinking very cheap beer, when someone suggested we go on Chat Roulette.
Now, there were about 6 of us there, just chilling out and watching TV, and the last thing I expected to see was a lot of cocks.

We saw a lot of cocks. And naked women. And groups of naked people.

It was a bit weird. Essentially the most action I've got on a recent Friday night is seeing a bunch of perverts jerking off down the blagonet to a group of surprised (and sorta horrified) non-perverts. Good times.

Then, yesterday I went on a date. Yes, a date with a female woman. From Australia.

I had asked her out before my birthday, and we had planned to go out that weekend (to the zoo...) but both ended up ditching the other. It wasn't on purpose, just a load of crossed wires, but I thought I had been stood up, and so did she.

So, on St. Patrick's day (St. Paddy's NOT 'St. Patty's') when I went to have my customary pint of Guinness and she served me, we shouted at each other for a few minutes, then agreed it was quite funny, and arranged to meet up.

We had dinner last week, both got very drunk (hangover at work FTW!) and arranged to make up for our lack of a zoo visit by going to the park. A less-expensive and probably less mental place to take a young lady.

So yesterday, we went to Hyde Park and walked about. I've only been there a few times before, but it's a really cool place, and we spent about 2 hours coming up with the latest new cop show that'll sweep the nation. It's called Davis and Spinner, and has a blaring jazz soundtrack. The first episode is going to be called 'The Jazz-Pasta Conspiracy" but I can say no more.

We ended up in the park by accident, as we were supposed to go to Hampstead Heath instead, and ended up soaked to the skin when the heaviest rain EVER attacked us.

I'm Irish, so walking through mental rain is a bit of a cakewalk, but she's an Ozzie, and doesn't feel comfortable in any temperature less than 'broil'. We made for the Tube, and decided food was necessary, so arrived back in my place, cooked a HUGE dinner of Tacos. Then watched two of my favourite fims; 28 Days Later ('eeeeek, zombies' *hug* nb: even though they're NOT zombies) and The Warriors ('you see what you get when you mess with the Orphaaaaaans!!') so that she wouldn't go home associating spending time with me with rage-infected monsters, but rather would spend the time in the taxi thinking I was cool, and probably in a New York street gang. It was a good day.

Now, I'm watching helplessly as the hours rush forwards mercilessly towards 5, when I'll have to go back to the old man pub and work again. Hopefully no-one will come and wave a rusty saw around tonight, as it's a Sunday, but you never know. Ah well, guess I'll stop being a 'sook' and man up. Yay for the one-day weekend!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Telegram from the Queen.

Aaah, my 100th post. Also, my 50th follower. Also, my 23rd birthday.

I am satisfied. Feeling like I've just eaten a big meal that I can still taste, hours after, with every burp. I'm sitting in my bed in my pyjamas and a Law Society t-shirt, smelling like mint after a very long hot bath and listening to my playlist. I just talked to my lady Lopez and I'm contemplating bed.

I imagined getting a tweet or a Follow Friday from the Queen, but alas...

QEtooooo : One wishes @conordarrall congratulations for his 100th blog post and for still being alive after all this time. Pity he's a bloddy Paddy lol :P #FF #Blogs

Plus, I hate her and her stupid punchable face, so I SO would have unfollowed her.


The last 24 hours have been eventful.

I went out for dinner with an old friend Emma last night. I stayed with her while looking for the Uberflat last summer and we hadn't seen each other since Christmas. She didn't know it was my birthday, so when I told her (after a while) she was mortified and took me drinking.

This bar wouldn't be my favourite in the world, but it does have a barmaid, Chess, who is ridiculously pretty, and who I've never had the courage to ask out. Emma and I chatted and drank, and when she stood up to leave, she looked at the barmaid and said, 'You should totally ask her out' extremely loudly, so that in the wake of her exit, Chess was looking over. We eventually got chatting, and getting quite drunk, I asked her out. It was smooth...

Chess "Oh I don't usually date customers, I'm sorry"

Me "Oh no, it's alright, I never drink here if I can help it"

-awkward silence

Chess "Okay, so where should we go?"

Me "Um.............the zoo?"

So yeah, I asked a beautiful women to go on a date with me to the zoo. Perfect work, maybe next time that happens I'll see if she wants to go visit a recycling depot. The good thing is that I got the date, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was because it was my birthday and I was (technically) drinking on my own so she took pity. We'll see...

She is VERY nice though.


TODAY, I woke up a bit hungover (read: very hungover) and stumbled into work, bleary eyed and useless. I didn't tell anyone that it was my birthday apart from a few of the guys who I've made friends with and my buddy Sean whom I got a job for. At about 3, the Big Guy came over and stood right next me.

Oh shit, he can smell that badness seeping out of my pores and wants me to clear my desk

"I've got a problem sunshine"

"Um, you do?"

"Yeah, I don't like it.........when people who work here don't tell us it's their birthdays and make us check Facebook!"


He pulled out a few bags from behind his back, he had bought muffins for everyone in the office to celebrate. It was lovely. I was a bit embarrassed but hell, it was such a nice gesture. It's little rays of sunshine like that that make the place eminently bearable.

Also, another little ray, the Prohibitively Mean Secretary (PMS) got fired today. She's a compulsive liar, and had been causing a lot problems by lying and not doing any work. I'll miss her 8-hour-long monologues that chart her real-time thought process. The absence of that tinnitus buzz of shite that pours out of her mouth will be sorely noted.

ANOTHER little ray of sunshine. My ubercool uncle/godfather/musician Brian called to wish me a happy birthday and tell me he likes this wee blog, was thrilled to hear it. Then Mamo, my granny, called and we spent 20 minutes chatting about blogging.

It was surreal: in the meeting room, stinking of stale booze, the shakes, exhausted, on my birthday, with PMS leaving for good, holding a muffin, chatting to my gran about blogging. She thoroughly approves of it, but I've warned her off reading. My description of things and post titles (think HGFLMcP and the Work Life Skullfuck for example) do tend to have a bit of swearing in them sometimes. She wants me to collate all my posts together and try and make a book out of it. I'd love to do that, but the writing needs to improve I suppose.


I write a little notebook on the commute to and from work. It's like an old fashion version of a blog that is in a little book made of paper that you type in by using a pen. I keep my notes in Irish so the nosy cunts can't read over my shoulder (and it's also private, and looks vaguely intellectual) and I just found the last thing I wrote, without thinking, as my train pulled up to the station

Is fíorr a rá go dtéim ar strae in ámanna, ach in aineoinn na crúachtáin a thiteann ar an bhóthar anseo agus ansiúd, ag déanamh iarracht mé a bhrú as an slí, tá an t-ádh orm go bfhuil mé in ann léim thart orthú agus leansaint ar aghaidh.

I think that's true, but only a handful of you will ever know how much you've done towards this, or what it means to me. Most of that handful aren't allowed to read this blog, and the others are too polite to stop reading :)

So, not the best of 'Century's and hardly deserving of my lovely 50 followers, but frankly the best you could expect after 23 years of baths and pizza. Maybe age brings wisdom; I know for a fact it brings grey hairs, a beerbelly and obscene levels of rage.

Perhaps the next hundred will see me finally get to punch my beloved racist, let's hope so.


ps - this is what I'm listening to as I try to go to sleep, it's such a beautifully mysterious piece

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Drunken tomfoolery as an older man

So I'm drunk now. Way to go me, except I've got function of my typing and my imagination.

This may be the shortest post I've ever done. But there's one thing I'd like to put forward. Tomorrow is my 100th post and I am soooo happy. Perhaps it's truth that the best of attempts eventually get left by the wayside, but for one I'd rather waste my time than never have spent the time

Anyway - - - now at a mundane age I ponder. What a loser I am. But I'm actually okay, ao it's fine. I'm now 23.

I can't write anymore, I'm too drunk


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Clockwork Spraytan and my Family Folk

So I've had this piece of music playing in my head all day.

It's called the Funeral of Queen Mary by Purcell, and is used in the classic Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange, based upon the blood-chilling epnumous novel by Anthony Burgess. The book and film tell the tale of Alex, a psychopathic teenager, and his gang of Droogs as they nightly wander around on drug-laced milkshakes in an orgy of 'ultraviolence', rape and burglary. The book caused a sensation when released because of its violent and sexual language, its graphic depiction of rape and murder, the invented argot (a mixture of slavic, pigdin russian, gypsy and street slang) of the main character, and the perceived strong anti-societal message. It is obviously one of my favourite books. Alex, the charming psychopath, reminds me of a younger (albeit less murder-n-rapey) version of myself.

As I sat in work today, back hunched and sweating towards my targets before the quitting hour, a message popped up on my screen and I was informed that all my work for the day (finding, interviewing, referencing and taking documentation) with a candidate - about 7 hours worth - was now ENTIRELY useless because his safety tickets were expired. I felt a bit like Alex. I wanted to go on a bit of an ultraviolent rampage myself (again, without the old rape part) and kill lots of people. I can see how people go on killing sprees. The problem is though, that my psychopathic side (and it does exist) doesn't have the stamina for relentlessness. It's only good in short bursts or periods of mania. Not always and forever. Therefore it's a fake clockwork orange I am. A clockwork spraytan.

When I got home however, I had received a card from my granny and granddad. They're the best old people in the world, and it cheered me up completely to get it. My granny (Mamo you can read about here) is a wickedly funny and cruelly intelligent person. She once gave a police officer a dressing down when a bomb was suspected to be near her house, just because she hates the Po-lice. My grandfather is a writer, and he's written a lot, over 100 books at this stage (the links only shows some of his publications apparently) in his own name and with psuedonyms. I'm not sure how many, but's it's LOADS! He calls himself a hack, and told me all about the story of Ned Purdon when I was younger, the character of the Oliver Goldsmith poem:

Here lies Ned Purdon, from misery freed, Who long was a bookseller's hack;
He led such a damnable life in this world, I don't think he'll ever come back

He's an amazing man, and a phenomenal writer. Every time we chat we talk about writing and he always tells me that to keep as busy as possible is the key. When he asked me how much I write, I told him that it could alternate from 200 to 2000 words in a day, depending on the day. He told me that the best trick was to polish off 500 words that were almost perfect if you could. It cuts down on the edit, and makes for a speedy process. Of course when I seriously get down to writing, I'll try to do double that, but it probably wont be near as good. He also tells me that no writer worth his salt is published before he has a collection of shoeboxes filled with rejections slips. He's not wrong, I fear.

My grandad - Séanie, we call him (sha-nee) - can also sing a song for almost any word you can ever come up with. When he was a teacher he used to write librettas and musicals for the boys he taught. His office, in my grandparents place, is like a museum. The entire house is full of books, and his study has a huge bureau, with wall to wall bookcases and two huge cabinets stuffed with the pieces he's written. We've all had dedications I think; mine was in a book of childrens verse that he compiled and dedicated to my broheim and I, and it's such a source of pride in the family. Him and I are very similar in ways, and we have this running joke about the books I borrow (he has 1000's of them!) from him and never give back. All books in his house are 'our' books, so I can take them at will.

So now I'm going to go to bed thinking of the many stories and words he's written, and dreaming of those that I'll write myself someday.

Goodnight folks, keep writing.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Coming up on a Century and Why Women Feel the Need to Fix Me

So this is my 97th blog post. I'm going to write a post each day this week until Thursday when, if all goes to plan, I'll have written 100. Huzzah!

I have a favour to ask of you all then. Let me know what you want me to write about please, it would be really cool to hear your ideas. (Also, seeing as there are about three people who actually read this blog anyway, it'll be like a little party).

Until then however, I'll let you in on a little phenomenon that has dogged (or helped) me for the past few years. You see, I come from a city that has a 2:1 ratio of girls to guys, I went to a co-educational school (again full of girls) and my course at uni was about 80% girls, which is a big huzzah for all the sisters out there who claim that the legal profession is sexist. Put simply, I've always had quite a high proportion of female friends, and they've always tried to fix me.

Now, 'fix' implies 'broken', or as some of the ladies would imply, merely sprained. No matter what way you act, dress, romanticise or cook, one of them will come up with suggestions.

The best by far was a girl called Nadia. N is a friend from uni who I haven't seen since graduation. She is a tiny wee thing and used to be able to verbally browbeat me into submission, berating me with kindness until my viewpoint changed or I had adequately acknowledged her displeasure. We would go and drink mint tea, and she would frown, then cringe, then give a helpless laugh as I told her about my misadventures around college.

It still happens today of course, but I have fewer friends in London, so it's not as often. There's TV Girl, of course, who wants me to get into TV writing, and who tries to 'fix' that about me, there's VideoGirl, whom I speak with online, who I think might find me a bit of a downer sometimes, and there's Posh Friend, who recently met me in a bar with big news.

"I have two friends I want you to meet"

I enquired about the two, was told I should only ask out one. That's the way girls fix you. PF has taken up matchmaking recently, and is trying to get me to no longer be single, and doesn't like the type of girls I usually date. I think the combined mixture of years of me being single (or in and out of weird relationships) and her desire to see me mature a bit, coupled with, let's face it, boredom, does the trick.

I'm not complaining of course, because I love my friends dearly, nor am I making fun of anyone. It's just remarkable how girls can make a project of someone. Almost every girl I know tries it to some respect. It's a wonderful trope in the female being.

So, to you ladies out there. Do you ever try to 'fix' guys? I mean, is every guy a project, or are you happy for the men you know to be sad, single, stupid and scruffy?

Guys? I won't ask you the question, because you'll probably only get the answer wrong.

As ever, you can email all questions to

Saturday, March 6, 2010

From Anger at the Febrile State of a Saturday Evening to Nostalgia.

I'm sitting in the living room in my PJs at 01:07 with Spark listening to the radio. I had a bath about two hours ago and my hair's still fluffy. I just had a lovely cup of tea, and my stomach is warm.

All over London now, women in high heels and low cut black dresses are drinking too many vodka-based drinks and dancing to poorly produced music in wannabe nightclubs, more similar to germ-infested Thai sweatshops than bars. They drink as if they're afraid of something and then go home to vomit or fuck strangers, or claw the eyes out of other girls or pass out in doorways.

Men, or boys, in clothes-with-other-people's-names-on-them dance badly to poorly produced music and talk to each other based on arbitary and ill-defined social rules about how much they can drink or what person's name is on their boxers, the waistband of which everyone in the bar can see, or which celebrity they wouldn't have sex with or which gaudy piece-of-shit platinum and diamond-soaked timepiece they would like to buy. They drink as if they have something to prove, and then go home to vomit, to fuck strangers or to get into an argument to the point where there's almost, but not quite, a fist fight.

They are tired. They act like they've got more money than they actually do. They hate all but maybe 20 of the people in the club. They take thousands upon thousands of photos and they will wake up tomorrow and convince themselves that they had a really good night, despite the hangover, the cut lip, the STD, the Facebook photos and the broken relationships.

It's one of those evenings where I realise that the fact that I'm a boring shite is okay. I've been really down recently, and part of that probably has something to do with the fact that I, more often than not, am one of the faceless 'They' to whom I refer. We have all been conned into believing that the only way to live is to spend our money and hard earned free time gravitating towards alcohol, with an accompaniment of shite wannabe-music.

I've just realised the irony of the word 'wannabe'. It's officially a word, as it's in the Oxford English Dictionary, but it shall nonetheless always be a wannabe word in most people's estimation. 'Nonetheless' is good, as are most threesomes of any sort.


Spark is surprising me tonight. After having known him for almost five years, we've never sat and listened to hip-hop together. I don't mind rap, but I wouldn't be a fan of the newer stuff, and Spark's always hit me as an Acoustic man, but here we are, listening to Jay-Z while S bobs his head and I type. We are breaking ground on new territories in our friendship it seems.

Now he has put on the main song from Civilisation 4, Baba Yetu. This reminds me of that time we both lived in Virginia for a year. Mark sings along and does that thing he does where he sings a song in a different key or adds an impromptu harmony

I tell Mark that I've started writing about him when I had initially intended to have a wee rant about how culture dictates us to go and act like guffawing wankers in shitty nightclubs, "getting the cans into us" as S says. He tells me that my blog has gone downhill in terms of content if I'm using him as subject matter.

We listen to YoYo Ma playing Ecstacy of Gold from his Ennio Morricone album. It's simply beautiful and as the vibrations (from the bitchin' Bose bass amp that S bought last summer) creep across the floor and make the phlegm in my chest vibrate, the hair on my arm rises up and I've suddenly got goose-pimples. This really reminds me of the time we lived in Virginia. It was absolutely the best time of my life.

One of the guys in our apartment in the US had a huge computer screen and ran linux. He was a very good fellow, a scientist turned law-student, who was interested in Goethe, talked to a stuffed mascot of Nietzsche (whom we all called Saddam) had a copy of Milton's Paradise Lost (with the original Gustav Doré wood engravings) and played the cello. His name is John.

My happiest memory of the flat is sitting on a Saturday night, with a Dominos pizza the size of a cartwheel (a thin-crust pepperoni with green peppers) and a bottle of Coke, playing Civ 4 for hours on end and listening to Yo Yo Ma. The pizzas were always cut into a grid of squares instead of the traditional wedges, and we would eat it as if it were fine finger food at a champagne reception. It was great. People always talk about their perfect year, that was mine, a beautiful year.

I'm sitting in the kitchen now, it's 03:09, and I've been typing, listening to music and spotifying. I've collected the music we were listening to before Spark went to bed, and added a few more that'll help lull me off to (if not sleep) rest. Here it is, folks.

I just realised that I've been smiling for the past twenty minutes, even though I've been sitting on my own in the living room, typing my vague and innane thoughts and trying not to yawn. I might not go to bars or clubs for a while, they're starting to annoy me. Sitting with Spark tonight was really cool, perhaps that's something to do more.


ps - we decided tonight that instead of 'poker night' or other man-things to maintain guy friendships, we're going to have a Pizza and Civ5 night when we're both lawyers.

PPS - this is the first post in almost a year, and almost 100 posts, with the tag 'PIZZA'. How the hell did that happen?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ask Aunty - 1 - Law Woes.

So, a young man with whom I am quite friendly, and who is currently a law student, contacted me recently asking me for help about law school.

I had to spend several minutes wiping pesto off my tie after that I'm afraid, as upon reading the letter, the thought that someone thought me as academically advice-worthy caused me such mirth that snorted into my bucket of luncheon pasta.

Anyway, I tried to help the guy out, as he seems to have hit a rocky patch in his newfound educatia, and therefore, I launch my new column, ASK AUNTY:

Hey Conor, I've run into a few problems this week and was wondering if you could offer me a bit of advice (no contract pun intended). I know you don't need reminding but I'm doing law up here at uni. To be honest, I've run into a few problems this week and was wondering if you could offer me a bit of advice (no contract pun intended).

In first term I did the typical student thing of messing it up a bit- the social/laziness aspect beat the academic side hands down. The January exams were a kick up the backside so my work ethic's been a lot better this term. The only thing is I don't feel I'm getting as much out of the work as I'm putting in. I'm in the library 3-4 hours daily on top of lectures but I'm just not getting the improvement I expected.

So before I get too indulgent in self pity here, it would be great if you had any tips for improving learning/information retention/concentration levels.


Hey man,

First of all, don't beat yourself up. It's the silly bollocks who spend all their time in the library who end up doing badly, if that doesn't sound like an oxymoron. I was never a great shakes at study, but I managed to scrape through.

The key thing is to absolutely ignore a good 75% of what people around you say. Most of what they claim about study is bullshit, and they say things like 'OMG, I spent like 9 hours in the that enough?" They're the sorts who have no lives, who play mind games (like hiding books at exam times wtf?) and who sincerely believe that class rankings matter for more than self aggrandisement.

The big thing about fact retention in Common law is the head notes of a case. Don't spend 3 hours reading some criminal judgment when all you need to know is that there's been a slight change in Judicial practice, or that the Court dynamic has changed a wee bit regarding x, y ,or z. The bare bones of a case is all you need, with maybe a memorable detail to keep it locked in there:

R v. Conor (2010) Ct Crim App.

-killed guy with novelty oversized dildo
-plead insanity
-fact had mentioned owning a dildo "just in case I need to cock that big guy up"

Something like that. Then when you've got a list of a few cases per issue, or per aspect of law. Write them over and over so that you develop a free hand. Honestly, my final notes looked like a list of Star Wars robots in a lineup, and I was able, because I had intensely learned them, what they meant.

The old adage of ILAC is best once you have your bare facts down.

Issue (what's the controversy here?)
Law (current law)
Apply (application of law to facts)
Conclusion (what the court did or should do)


I - a) is a rubber cock a weapon?
- b) if so, does owning it = premeditation
L - giant rubber phallus a weapon if the intention was malicious.
A - in this case "for cocking that guy" = malicious
C - was a weapon = premeditation = murder.


The second big thing is choosing your topics. Try and get a feel for what may come up in the exams. A large percentage of what you study during the year is useless for two reasons.
1) It'll be obsolete or changed by the time you graduate or
2) It won't be examined, and you'll never use it
a) if you practice or,
b) you don't practice, which accounts for about 85% of law grads anyway,

You can prune a lot of stuff out by playing a guessing game based on trends/ the prof/ the size or detail that went into teaching it.

If you cover, sticking with the crime example, Infanticide in one lecture (which btw, from experience, is prob the one Crim Law lecture you should definitely NOT show up to drunk) and spend three weeks doing defences...

Well, it sounds obvious, but it really isn't when the chips are down. Another good way to compress or prune is to base the core of your learning on the Seminars. The lecturers have designated them as either
a) alternative time to teach you new stuff and
b) extra time to make sure you understand important stuff.

Figure out which stuff is 'B' and learn it.

The final thing is this, if you feel that you're fucked, utterly, in the arsepipe, with a rusty genital appendage from a metaphorical Truck driver of exam pain, take a look at the dribbling fuckwits in your class...the one's who can barely tie their shoes or who almost forget not to soil themselves regularly, and breathe deeply. Lavender helps for this.

Hope it helps


ps - you can ask aunt conor yourself by contacting me thru the old blog or by emailing me - :)