Friday, December 29, 2006


Road trip to see Snow Patrol

Four of us set off to see Snow Patrol in the Point on the 22nd of December. The very capable V-girl drove all the way to Dublin and provided some good tunes for the trip. We made one stop at the horse and jockey for food because we were all starvin’ marvin about an hour and a half into the journey. When we got to the hotel we took a brief siesta. Some of us used the time to wrap up in a duvet and watch crap TV (‘My Super Sweet Sixteen’ – oh the shame) while others used the time to change their clothes, put on make up and generally make themselves look ultra presentable. I’m not going to say which category I fell into but you can probably guess. When we got into the city centre shortly before six we headed straight for a restaurant to build up our strength before making our way to the point. The plan was to walk to the Point and as the weather was extremely Brr! (Co. Offaly) V-girl and I trotted off to Penneys in search of some woolly gloves and hats. Unfortunately after an extensive search of Penneys on O’Connell’s Street no gloves or hats were to be found (bar one seriously insipid pair of pale pink gloves that were attached to an equally insipid pale pink scarf). Not deterred by this turn of events we headed to Clerys and found a lovely selection of gloves and some nifty woolly hats too. I’m happy to say that I am now the proud owner of a pair of woolly purple gloves.

Although our new purchases were extra cosy and warm we ditched the idea of walking to the Point and got taxis instead. Despite this time saving decision we still managed to miss Duke Special and only saw about half of the Directors. I was sorry to have missed Duke Special as he is a good performer. As we stood around waiting for Snow Patrol to arrive on stage the floor filled up more and more. When the band began playing more people started pushing through the crowd and jostling for better positions. Nothing bugs me more than people that stand around the bar for ages and then at the last minute push their way through the crowd to get as good a view of the band as they can. Invariably these people are arrogant and think nothing of standing in front of people that have been waiting for ages in front of a blank stage for the band to come on. In the end Ratgirl and I got separated from the rest of the group and ended up leaving the crowd half way through the concert because it was so hot we thought we would pass out. Feeling slightly disgruntled by the pushy feckers in the crowd we snuck upstairs and wandered into the ladies bathroom. Then we wandered out and watched the rest of the concert from the balcony with an exceptional view. Snow Patrol were on top form and the second half of the concert (watched from the balcony) was very enjoyable!


BellX1 in the Marquee

BellX1 are set to play the Marquee in Cork on the 1st of July 2007. Tickets are on sale now from Ticketmaster!


Quote of the Week

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.

Albert Einstein
US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Weetabix versus Oatabix

I like Weetabix because it’s a pretty good way to start the day especially if you tend to be as hungry as a horse in the morning like me. When Oatabix came on the market I thought ‘great another Weetabixesque breakfast cereal to help me start my day’. Oh how wrong I was, I mean its not as if Weetabix is the most exciting breakfast cereal in world but compared with Oastabix its like a fricken Rio Carnival. Eating a bowl of Oatabix is truly like eating a bowl of cardboard soaked in milk, in fact if you substituted one for the other I probably wouldn’t notice the difference. I tried hard to eat Oatabix, I even mixed it with super fruity muesli to try and give it some taste. But it was no good in the end I just gave up, life is just too short to waste eating Oatabix.



I’m sort of on a wind down from Christmas at the moment. It was a quiet Christmas but one I really enjoyed with my family. I drove home on the 23rd and heard ‘Driving home for Christmas’ (one of my favourite Christmas songs) just before I reached my destination. I spent Saturday evening catching up with my Mum and wrapping the rest of the presents. I really enjoy wrapping gifts and making labels for presents. I was sort of a make and do maniac (Mary Fitzgerald was my hero) when I was a kid and maybe a bit of that still lingers on and escapes every now and then. My sister came home on the 24th and we ended up sharing a room over Christmas because my parents are redecorating parts of the house and our bedrooms are now ‘storage rooms’. We haven’t shared a room since we were kids (I was eight and she was twelve). Back then it wasn’t the most amicable arrangement, she got up one night and moved into the spare room citing my messiness as her reason for leaving. Needless to say we have had separate rooms since then.

Mum and I made some desserts to take to my Aunt’s house on Christmas Day. We spend Christmas Day with my Mum’s sister and her family and Christmas Day isn’t really Christmas Day without four desserts. I made space in my parent’s fridge, for storing the desserts overnight, by removing the old out of date products such as a jar of beetroot best eaten before 2004 and a bottle of salad cream that has been out of date since March 2002. It scares me that my parents never seem to look at the best before dates on food products. My sister and I exchanged presents with Mum and Dad on Christmas Eve. We usually do it on Christmas morning after mass but it is always a bit rushed before we head to West Cork. This year it was lovely and relaxing, pulling things out from under the Christmas tree and passing them out. We headed to my Aunt’s house the following morning after mass and the drive seemed very short because my sister and I spent the whole time singing along to her new Nina Simone CD. When we got to my Aunt’s house we all exchanged gifts before dinner. I got some lovely presents the cutest of which was a Microwaveable Beddy Buddy. It looks like a teddy bear but it is filled with lavender and you put it in a microwave for two minutes before putting it on the back of your neck to aid relaxation. I tried it out last night while watching TV and it works a treat.

The Christmas dinner was delicious and everyone had fun pulling the Christmas crackers. My favourite Christmas cracker joke was ‘Q: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? – A: a stick’, trust me at the time it was very funny. We got a phone call from my brother who is living in Australia at the moment. I think the phone was passed around to everyone in the extended family bar the dogs! It was great to hear from him and to know that he was having a good Christmas too. After dinner most of us drove to a nearby beach for a walk with the two dogs. One of the dogs (Polly) is just a puppy and had never been on a beach before so it was funny to see her reaction to the sand. She was a bit sceptical at first but in no time at all she was following the other dog around the place. It was quite dark on the beach and because Polly’s coat is a beige colour it was hard to see her running around – talk about blending in with the background! When we got back to the house we were greeted by the smell of mulled wine. In our absence one of the cousins that had stayed behind had made a big vat of the most aromatic mulled wine. Once a couple of glasses of this had been consumed a box of scrabble was unearthed and a lively game ensued. It’s funny how quickly competitiveness can creep into a friendly game of scrabble, some teams were thriving for the best words, some teams were aiming for the highest points while the rest of us were just enjoying the game.

All too soon it was time to go home so we gathered up our various bit and pieces and piled into the car. We got home in time to catch the end of Love Actually which I never seem to tire of watching. In the past I’ve been a bit of a bah humbug person when it comes to Christmas but gradually as each year passes I seem to get more Christmas spirit. This year has definitely been a really nice relaxing Christmas and one that I have enjoyed a lot.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


What Christmas Tree Are You?

You Are a Traditional Christmas Tree

For a good Christmas, you don't have to re-invent the wheel.

You already have traditions, foods, and special things you bring out every year.

What Christmas Tree Are You?


Quote of the Week

Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.

Matt Groening, The Simpsons
US cartoonist & satirist (1954 - )



Someone brought a box of Celebrations to work which was great because I really like them. As the box was handed around I went in search of a Topic sweet but to my shock and horror there were none in the box. I checked the pictures at the back of the box that showed which sweets were in it but again there was no sign of them there either. I can’t believe that Topics are no longer a part of the Celebrations selection. Am I the only one that liked them?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Non-Living Objects: Male or Female

I was sent this in an email recently and it appealed to my sense of humour so I decided to put it up as a blog post (also in the run up to Christmas I feel very lazy!)

FREEZER BAGS: They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

PHOTOCOPIERS: These are female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again. They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong buttons.

TYRES: Tyres are male, because they go bald easily and are often over inflated.

HOT AIR BALLOONS: Also a male object, because to get them to go
anywhere, you have to light a fire under their arse.

SPONGES: These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.

WEB PAGES: Female, because they're constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.

TRAINS: Definitely male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people.

EGG TIMERS: Egg timers are female because, over time, all the weight shifts to the bottom.

HAMMERS: Male, because in the last 5,000 years, they've hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.

THE REMOTE CONTROL: Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying.


ER Returns Pt. II

Phew, I heaved a sigh of relief when Abbey and Lukas’ baby survived the second episode of the new series of ER on Sunday night. I really was planning on giving up watching it if the baby had died. It was touch and go there for a while but at least the poor mite made it to the end of the episode. I still think the writers should invest in some happy pills and brighten up a few of the episodes as we make our way through the dark winter nights. :-)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Contact Lenses

I’m pretty much blind as a bat and have been for more than three quarters of my life so far. I wear glasses most of the time but I tend to wear contact lenses when I’m heading out for the night as was the case on Friday night. We had a work Christmas party and even though I wasn’t in the form for it I did pop in the contacts and throw on some make up. I always have a slight feeling of trepidation when I’m putting on my contact lenses. I’m a little bit squeamish about eye balls plus I’ve had a couple of incidents with the contact lenses. There was the time I was getting ready to go out and I decided to put my contacts on after I had sprayed perfume on myself. There must have still been some perfume in the air because when I put the contact lense into my eye it felt like my eyeball was on fire. I nearly went mental trying to get the contact lenses off my eyeball. Luckily on Friday night the contact lenses went in trouble free and I went off to the Christmas party without red eyes. I didn’t drink that much at the Christmas party because I felt like I was coming down with something. Anyway despite my sobriety I chatted away with different people as you do but by half one I was dying to go home. I eventually got home about an hour later and proceeded to remove my contact lenses which had served their purpose admirably.

The left contact lense was out in a jiffy but I hit a spot of bother with the right eye, the contact lense was stubbornly refusing to budge. At this stage I was getting a tad bit frustrated and feeling lopsided with crap vision in my left eye and reasonably good vision in my now bloodshot right eye. In the end I was so tired that I fell asleep with one lense still in place. I woke at 7am in a half sleep and remembered my wonky vision so I tried to remove the contact lense, again no luck. I woke up properly at about 10am and unsuccessfully tired to remove the lenses a couple of more times. Understandably my right eye was now red and sore after all the contact lense retrieval attempts. I was starting to feel slightly panicked and decided to ring specsavers. They suggested that I put in some eye drops and then try to remove the lense, if that didn’t work then I could always drop into one of their branches and get someone else to remove it. Thankfully I had eye drops close at hand. My sister administered a couple of rounds of eye drops and I gave the eye a chance to calm down before finally removing the contact lense. Oh the sweet relief of getting the damn thing out of my eye was almost overwhelming. I’m seriously rethinking this whole laser surgery thing, I mean it might not be that bad and having 20/20 vision for a while would be bloody marvellous. No more groping around for my glasses first thing in the morning and being able to buy cool sunglasses instead of the slightly odd prescription ones that I currently possess!

Friday, December 15, 2006


Vegetarians Are More Intelligent

According to research carried out by the University of Southampton, on more than 8,000 volunteers, intelligent children are more likely to become vegetarians in later life. The study involved boys and girls, at the age of ten, sitting a series of tests designed to determine their IQ. Then at the age of 30 they were asked if they were vegetarians and their answers were compared to their childhood IQ score. The results show that the typical adult vegetarian had a childhood IQ of around 105 which is about five points higher than those who continued to eat meat as they grew up. The vegetarians were also more likely to have gained degrees and hold down high-powered jobs. However there was no difference in IQ between strict vegetarians and those who classed themselves as vegetarians but still ate fish or chicken.

Surely you can’t be classed as any type of a vegetarian if you eat meat whether it is chicken or fish. On the other hand you could be called a ‘non red meat eater’ (not a very snappy title) but definitely not a vegetarian. In addition vegans, those vegetarians who also avoid dairy products, scored significantly lower, averaging an IQ score of 95 at the age of 10. The researchers stated that the findings were partly related to better education and higher occupational social class, but the findings remained statistically significant after adjusting for these factors. Other findings were that vegetarians were more likely to be female, to be of higher occupational social class and to have higher academic or vocational qualifications than non-vegetarians. However, these differences were not reflected in their annual income, which was similar to that of non-vegetarians.

Ok, I take all of the research into consideration but I’m not convinced that vegetarians are smarter than non-vegetarians. After all I think that including people that call themselves vegetarians but eat chicken and fish taints the results ever so slightly IMHO. I also think the fact that vegans had lower IQs scores than vegetarians and non-vegetarians might indicate that overall a balanced diet is the best option.


Quote of the Week

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.

Eleanor Roosevelt
US diplomat & reformer (1884 - 1962)

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Some Things That Puzzle Me

1. Why do guys repair loose buttons on white shirts with red thread – is this a special form of colour blindness?
2. Why do girls reference ‘Friends’ and guys reference ‘The Simpsons’ in conversation? I find myself referencing Friends and starting sentences with ‘Remember when Chandler…’, I have also noticed that guys do the same thing but they use The Simpsons as an example more often than not.
3. Why don’t guys wear engagement rings when they get engaged? Surely it would be good practice for them and get them used to jewellery before they get their wedding ring on the big day.
4. Why do shops always shove sweetcorn into the tuna sandwiches? Some of us like tuna but don’t like fricken sweetcorn!
5. Why do guys spit in public – do they have extra saliva glands or something?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Could You Make Your Computer Greener?

I won’t consider myself to be a big tree hugger or anything but I hate when things are wasted. One of my pet hates is when people print off oodles of things and don’t use them or when the colour printer is used completely willy-nilly. I spotted an article recently on Environment* one of the New Scientist blogs that outlined two products that people could use to make their computers more energy efficient. The first product is GreenPrint Software which highlights and eliminates unwanted pages when printing thus saving paper, ink, money and millions of trees. The way GreenPrint works is that it analyses each page of every document that is sent to the printer and looks for typically wasteful characteristics such as, if the last page of the document just had a URL, logo or legal jargon on it. GreenPrint can be purchased for twenty five dollars from

The second product is Local Cooling, this application can be downloaded from the website for free and works by automatically optimising your PC's power consumption by using a more effective power save mode. It also shows you your savings in real-time and translates it to more environmental terms such as how many trees and gallons of oil you have saved. The Local Cooling website wants to introduce 100,000,000 PC users into the Local Cooling community. If a 100 million people optimised the efficiency of their computers’ energy consumption then they could prevent over 300 billion kg of CO2 gas emissions which is equivalent to over 1.8 billion gallons of oil and this is just in the first year alone. I think these are two pretty nifty ideas which could reduce the energy wasted by computers everyday.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Have A Belly Christmas!

Well smack my ass and call me Judy, I was feeling a bit restless this morning so I had a peek at the BellX1 website and low and behold they are playing two concerts this Christmas. The first concert is on the 30th of December in Killarney and the second concert is on the 31st of December in Castlebar. So if you are a BellX1 fan then get thee to for tickets. While I would love to ring in the New Year with BellX1 on the 31st of December I think Killarney is a more realistic option!


Do You Drive Like a Guy or a Girl?

Your Driving Is is: 47% Male, 53% Female

According to studies, you drive both like a guy and a girl.

This means you're a pretty average driver, with typical quirks.

Occasionally you're frustrated and or a little reckless, but that's the exception - not the norm.

Do You Drive Like a Guy or a Girl?

Monday, December 11, 2006


ER Returns

As promised ER was back on our screens last night and it took up where it had left off months ago with the kidnapping of Sam and her son, Abbey bleeding and collapsed, Luka tied to a trolley with a tube down his throat and Jerry shot by the kidnappers. I’m beginning to think that ER is too stressful for a Sunday night. I’d say I had heart palpitations for most of the programme. I could even feel my sister getting stressed beside me on the couch as we watched it. I know it was the first programme of the new series but they really went for the jugular. If it doesn’t calm down and if something good doesn’t happen soon then I might have to start a campaign to bring Gray’s Anatomy back instead of ER!

Friday, December 08, 2006


Quote of the Week

[Abstract art is] a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.

Al Capp
US cartoonist (1909 - 1979)

Thursday, December 07, 2006


How Machiavellian Are You?

You Are Somewhat Machiavellian

You're not going to mow over everyone to get ahead...

But you're also powerful enough to make things happen for yourself.

You understand how the world works, even when it's an ugly place.

You just don't get ugly yourself - unless you have to!

How Machiavellian Are You?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006



Wow, what can I say about the BellX1 gig last Wednesday night except it was great. I’ve seen BellX1 play live about eight or nine times now and I think this gig was one of the best. The photograph to the left was taken by Donal and he will have more pictures of BellX1 and the supporting acts on his blog very soon (I hope!) so check it out.

We arrived into the Savoy in time to see the Delerentos play a few songs and they were really good. It was my first time seeing them play live. The next act up was Simple Kid, I had seen him play with a band in the Savoy before and I was impressed. This time he was on his own except for his computer which provided some fine backing to his songs (until it was hit with some sort of technical glitch). He played about six songs and one of them was about celebrities with a great sing-a-long line ‘Celebrities go home, go home to your Momma’. Whilst watching Simple Kid play the banjo and harmonica I was struck by the thought that if Glen Hansard and Beck Hanson ever had a love child it would look like Simple Kid!

BellX1 came on stage at about 10.30pm and started the show with ‘My First Born for a Song’, one of my favourites from the Flock album. This song gave Paul the perfect opportunity to display some tourettes dancing and he didn’t disappoint. However in a cunning twist in the tale it was Brian (sadly not wearing his Human Beatbox t-shirt but still looking fine) that used the corn on the cob shaker. A little while later Dave sang ‘Trampolines’ also from the Flock album and it made me wonder why he doesn’t do more lead singing. They also played ‘Some Surprise’ from the Cake Sale CD which was written by Paul. All the band members gave great performances and finished the set with ‘Flame’, the chorus of which was sung back to them by the majority of the audience as the band walked off the stage. The audience continued to sing the chorus in unison until the band came back on for an encore. I think this was a pretty cool part of the night and the band rewarded the crowd with an excellent encore. My only minor disappointment was that they didn’t play ‘Still Selling Shoes’. I can’t understand why this was never released as a single. Overall it was a stompingly good gig. Listening to BellX1 songs always puts a smile on my face and I get a kick out of the lyrics which is something I might have to blog about at a later date. My only concern now is how long I’m going to have to wait until the next BellX1 gig!

Friday, December 01, 2006


Travel Scrabble

About two years ago my sister bought a travel scrabble set in an airport when she was on her way back from somewhere (I don’t have all the exact details surrounding the purchase). She opened it recently and we played it the other night with D when there was nothing worth watching on the eight TV channels that she has (I’m beginning to think that no matter how many channels you have there is nothing worth watching most of the time). It was a lot of fun and there was a general mood of well being and merriment possibly enhanced by the hot ports and Baileys coffees that were consumed. I’m starting to get addicted to Baileys coffees; it’s getting hard to open a jar of coffee without looking for a bottle of Baileys at the same time. Its even getting to the stage where if I could get away with it I’d be sneaking mini bottles of Baileys into work to make that 3 o’clock coffee break just a little bit more amusing! I had forgotten how much fun board games can be especially with a bit of alcohol thrown in for good measure. In fact board games and alcohol might be a good way to liven up Christmas day proceedings this year, the tried and tested ritual of falling asleep in front of the TV after dinner is losing its appeal.


Quote of the Week

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

Sir Winston Churchill
British politician (1874 - 1965)