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May 21

Roughing it

Posted on Saturday, May 21, 2016 in Strange and Unusual

I would normally be a shopper at those places where everything is extremely cheap and nobody is around to help you, things are stacked awkwardly so that you have to reach right to the very back for un-damaged products, and the queues are enormous.

But, occasionally I nip into the posh supermarkets where everybody is nice to you and they pack your bags and tell you to have a lovely day. I pay more for this, but often the entertainment in itself is worth the difference.

You see, these boring cheap supermarkets are full of drones, people who don’t look at each other, they are there to get in, do their business and get out. I’m one of them.

BUT the posh supermarkets have their perks.

There’s Thai Bride Thursday… lots of elderly gentlemen with young Thai ladies making cow eyes at each other over packets of noodles. That’s sweet.

On Wednesday I went to get a few ingredients for a birthday cake in said posh supermarket. Somebody greeted me at the door, which unnerved me for a start. Then, when I was in the dairy section I overheard a lady speaking loudly on her phone about cottage cheese, I lingered for a while as it seemed like an interesting conversation, then I wandered away.

I caught up with the same lady a few aisles later, she was talking about how sea salt is so much better for you than normal salt. Again, I lingered and eavesdropped, I was learning a lot.

Then I glanced at this lady, and realised that she wasn’t having a phone conversation at all, she was talking to herself.

She continued this (I have to admit to stalking her for a while because I had nothing better to do and she was obviously having a very intelligent conversation with herself) for the next two aisles, until we got to the tea section. She became very excited then and began answering herself back:

“I know! I know! Milk Thistle is SO good for your liver apparently!” she told herself out loud.

At this point I wondered if she didn’t have a Bluetooth device of some sort so I had to circle her a bit. That was a bit creepy of me but I wanted to be sure, interrupting a phone conversation is pretty simple etiquette, but interrupting a conversation with one’s own self is a bit more complicated.

talk

“Excuse me?” I ventured.

“Yes hold on!” She smiled at me and paused for a few seconds, looking at me. I wasn’t sure who she was saying ‘hold on’ to so I went ahead anyway.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but you seem to know a lot about these teas, can you tell me which one would be good for a coffee substitute to wake a person up in the morning?”

She then became very enthusiastic and picked out a Lemon and Ginger tea for me that has hence done the job brilliantly. We both went on our separate ways, after she booped my baby’s nose and went on with her conversation.

I didn’t see her at the check-out queue.

I wonder if she was just a figment of my imagination.

 

Apr 4

It’s been four years since your last confession…

Posted on Monday, April 4, 2016 in Jobs, Strange and Unusual, Taboo

… is what the bloke behind the counter said when I scanned my blood donation card. He wore a poker face, I could tell he had cracked this joke many times before. I giggled, and ran with it.

“Well, nobody can resist those cocaine parties, I’m a sucker for those!”

He didn’t flinch.

“No, seriously though, I’ve got a few babies under my belt since I last visited.” I meandered and mumbled the last bit, he eyeballed me and sent me onwards, but I could’ve sworn he winked as he did so.

At the next station, after filling out all the paperwork and ticking all the boxes, I met a very bored nurse who insisted on asking the full lot of 50 questions all over again even though I’d just filled in the form 5 minutes before.

“Have you ever been employed in the handling of monkeys?” she asked. (I’d ticked ‘no’.)

“No” I replied, “but I live with a few.” She gave me the BDI.

“If you are a man, have you ever engaged in sexual intercourse with another man?” she asked.

“Hold on,” I retorted, “what are you trying to imply?” She smiled and explained the force of habit, and we had a brief discussion about gender equality. Apparently not everybody knows who Caitlin Jenner is.

I passed the tests and quizzes and signed things a lot, then finally I was told that I was allowed to give blood. I was very relieved about this, as sometimes I suffer from low blood iron levels so tend to be refused frequently. In the case that I may have been refused, the Accidental Terrorist had supplied me with a long shopping list to organise afterwards, and in my opinion, having a nurse stab you with a large gauge needle and sap a whole pint of blood out of you is FAR preferable to going shopping.

They stabbed me in the right arm, and the vein collapsed pretty much straight away. There was much apologising which seems silly as it’s not their fault, my circulatory system often seems to have a mind of its own. They removed the needle, and asked me to put pressure on the bleed with my opposite hand, which I did.

Then they took blood from the other arm which all went swimmingly, as was my head as I walked away and stole several packets of crisps, pencils and bumper stickers on the way out.

Today I woke up to find this image embedded on my inner elbow:crotch

 

The imprint left by my index and middle finger, along with the needle mark itself doesn’t look unlike a person’s crotch and bellybutton.

I have porn on my arm now.

Sigh.

Apr 1

I forgot what I was going to say…

Posted on Friday, April 1, 2016 in Family, Quickie, Strange and Unusual

Easter Holidays are lovely. I get to not have to get up so early in the morning and I don’t have to make school lunches. Children just happen around the place randomly.

This time of year also means gardening.

There are weeds everywhere. I would rather stay inside either sleeping or doing laundry or some other haphazard sort of thing but the seeds are calling me, and there are bored children.

So.

‘Here’s a shovel, lads.’

‘But I want to play Transformer Autobots!’

‘Yes, but there are worms underground that need to transform into motorbikes.’

‘How do they do that?’

‘You won’t know until you dig them up.’

‘OKAY!!!!’

Meanwhile the lady children weeded my garden while the young boys made mud pies and havoc. I wandered by later and sowed seeds.

It’s been that sort of day.

Mar 29

The savoury stage

Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 in Family, Humourarse, munchies, Strange and Unusual

“no milk or sugar in your coffee? ARE YOU SURE?”

I’m not really sure I like coffee any more. It’s a morning ritual, sure, and I love it when Puppychild or the Accidental Terrorist lands me a cup of clean pure diluted granules on my bedside table every morning but usually I wind up enjoying the zephyr from it, then I go back to sleep. Microwaved re-heated coffee is nice though eventually. Is that old age setting in?

Easter though. All the chocolate.

The Terrorist brought me and a few friends out last week for dinner here in our local finer establishment. I did not wear silly shoes for it was an upstairs thing and decided to be sensible in my forethought. I ordered the cheeses for dessert much to the horror of my peers but they were good cheeses and it seemed fitting because everybody seems to concentrate on chocolate at this time of year and forget about the cheeses. I had wine too, because that’s what cheeses liked apparently.

There is a lot of chocolate here now, and wonderment as to why I don’t eat it. Because I’m a girl and that’s what girls are supposed to do, so they say. I just tell them all to shut up and make me a Tayto sandwich.

We didn’t do Mass this year. I fear that we’re entirely missing the point. Sigh.

memmeh

Mar 4

Interrobang

Posted on Friday, March 4, 2016 in Arty Farty, Family, memememememe, Strange and Unusual

This post is brought to you by a friend of mine who doesn’t write, but shares my love of new words. He challenged me and inspired me to learn 19 new words and use them ALL in one blog post.

So…

Thus follows the story of K8’s February.

I am studying to be a teacher of all things medicine which is a huge thing to undertake and a marvellous privilege. I also have many children now at this stage, and am the keeper of wonderful things that come with this such as nappies that smell like popcorn, and pet rats that tend to escape.

To begin at the beginning…

There was the extraction. A lower molar, the sort that needs a lot of Novocaine and a monkey wrench to remove. It hurt, once my tongue was able to feel the gap. Even a nurdle* was too much to bear. They are good dentists, they did their best. They invited me back but I politely declined.

Two days later, I started a new course.

I forgot the octothorpe* after the numbers on the security system when I entered the building to let my students in on the first day… this sent the alarm off at the school where I was teaching. The alarm sounded like the vocable* of a really bad song, the sort of noise that sticks in your head, that sound that blackbirds love to mimic just to drive you crazy on a Sunday morning when you’re suffering from crapulence*.

The students arrived, and tea was sunk and class began, but due to the nature of the lesson I soon found that my keeper* was unreliable and several students commented on my builder’s arse. They were too demure to obviously point it out however and instead very kindly commented; ‘Hey K8, what’s the crack?!’ I was not in the mood for such interrobangs* so early in the morning so I avoided the collywobbles* by going outside to sniff the petrichor*, for it was indeed a grand soft day, and my desire path* told me that one cigarette wouldn’t hurt.

We had pizza for lunch. Or, at least the students did. By the time I had come back from collecting training equipment all that was left was the box tent* and a few lousy bits of cornicione*. I gave out to them for not eating their crusts, as every good mother does. What followed was a lemniscate* of argument which I could not win, and just ate into (as it were) a perfectly good lunch-time.

Later, at home I yearned for the punt* of a bottle of Chilean wine but found that Puppychild’s pet rat had escaped and was scratching around underneath my oven leading to immense curiosity of the dog and much perplexity of my daughter. Having spent most of the evening prone on the floor with a piece of ham trying to lure the fecker out while also explaining to Sir Fartsalot about magical letters in words where some are invisible.. knights, knees and knickers and other such examples of apthong* technology such as homework is at that age… I felt something nibble on my aglet*. When I turned and looked, it was gone, whatever it was was be found on the overmorrow*, leaving me fitful in my insomia and due dysania* with nightmares and fear that the dog would leave a bloody carcass where my neglect ran dry. I pictured Puppychild staring at the muntin* for weeks while the rain ran down the pane in despair of the horrible mother she had, she that had not the reflexes to catch the rat.

Catch it I did, however, last night. I heard it behind the piano while I was sniffing my barm* and I grabbed it tight and it squeaked and bit but the struggle was worth it, once it was reunited with its sister in the cage. And there it remains, barricaded in the frustration of its own existence. Just like me, just like the rest of us.

Sometimes freedom is more than what it seems to be I suppose.

This is a somewhat abridged version of my eventful recent past, there was also some tree-pruning, quite a lot of runny noses and nappies and also a flat tyre… but I have no more room for cromulent words at the moment, this will have to do for now…

…meanwhile I cannot use the oven, for the insulation is all chewed up. I’m not sure what to do about that.

apthongs aglet barm boxtent dysania desirepath crapulence cornicione collywobbles interrobang keeper lemniscate muntin nurdle vocable punt petrichor overmorrow octothorpe

Jan 5

There’s Light at the end of the Tunnel

Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 in Family, Philosophy, Rantings, Something to think about

No there fucking isn’t.

I would like (if you don’t mind) to have a rant about cheesy expressions.

There IS always a light at the end of the tunnel, and you might find it every now and then, but then a small and very strange force from the darkness behind you sometimes coaxes you back and tells you that things aren’t so bad in the darkness. This is probably because if you look carefully enough, there is a lot to be said for the darkness that comes in between the start, and the finish. In that darkness, you learn things, and that’s good. When you hit the light, it’s finished and that’s just boring. There are always new things to learn, so darkness should be embraced no matter how difficult it seems.

‘BE YOURSELF’

You can never entirely be yourself. At best, you’re 10% of yourself. Most of the rest is just bacteria. So, next time you’re in a meeting with 20 people, know that you’re actually in a room with 2000 trillion microbes, and only 3% of them are paying attention to what you’re saying. Most of them are smelling you and want to invade you.

‘BE TRUE TO YOURSELF’

I love this one. I don’t know anyone who knows what themself is. If everyone knew who themself was, then there would be no need for conflict of any sort, if you think about it, and conflict is necessary. Everyone should lie to themselves on a daily basis. This way, you either force yourself to stop feeling guilty about the nice things you do for yourself, or you coax your brain into making your body do something different. I would encourage an imaginary friend who can be true to yourself instead, that takes a lot of pressure off, and gives you someone to blame if you screw things up. Avoid mental institutions though.

‘THE GREATEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE SOMEONE IS YOUR TIME’

This just makes me feel guilty. I can’t give my children most of my time because I can’t multiply myself by four. And that’s okay, because I’m still feeding them and clothing them and doing stupid dances in the kitchen to entertain them while the spaghetti is burning. Even with one child, time is precious. Even with no children. Sometimes you can give someone a whole lot of time when you think it’s right, but it really isn’t. Maybe you’re sick, or sad, or pre-occupied, and the best time you can spend right then is time mulling, or sleeping, or sipping tea. Time is relative. That four minutes you spend calling your friend out of the blue can feel like 500 years worth of friendship to them, because it was at the right time. Or not, if you’re interrupting their nap. It’s a bit of a gamble, and very complicated. Do you know what I mean?

‘KEEP FIGHTING’

Telling someone who is very very sick to ‘keep fighting’ is like telling the rain to stop falling. Either it does, or it doesn’t. Umbrellas are nice. And a quiet ear.

‘LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE’

Until the next morning when you remember what you were laughing about and then you feel like an absolute and utter complete gobshite. And then you remember that nobody else feels this way except you. And then you laugh at the memory, and the cycle completes, and you’re in a loop of embarrassment that only exists in your own head. But you still laugh when you remember it, usually in a queue for something. Again, avoid mental institutions.

‘AWARENESS DAY’

I declare this next week ‘bits of old scraps of paper awareness week’. Because I can. DON’T THROW YOUR OLD BITS OF PAPER AWAY! DOODLE ON THEM INSTEAD! SAVE THE PLANET! SAVE A TREE!!! etc.. etc.. (tomorrow shall be National BellybuttonFluff awareness day)

‘TODAY IS A BRAND NEW DAY!’

No it isn’t. It’s nothing new. It’s been happening for billions of years. The sun rises, the sun sets, days are a man-made invention so there’s really no such thing and it doesn’t really start at any set time. Maybe each 24 hours isn’t a day at all. Maybe we should embrace every 4 hours, every  5935 minutes instead of re-setting the clock at 6am arbitrarily because someone told us to. Happy New 36o,987,243,092 minutes everyone! Randomly celebrating time and existence for no reason should be compulsory, out of the blue when it’s least expected. Like a non-birthday, if you will. You don’t even have to say it out loud.

‘THE OLDER I GET, THE WISER I BECOME’

This is true, but it’s also false. Puppychild once told me (when she was 4 years old) that I’m bad and that’s not good, but I’ll never be good and that’s not bad.  I think that’s the best advice I’ve ever had from anyone, ever.

‘A FRIENDLY EAR’

Ears are just cartilage and flesh. They also are home to the smallest bone in your body, and are responsible for keeping your balance, even when you’re drunk. They’re amazing things, but they’re not friendly… they’re fairly impartial unless you stick a Q-tip in too far in which case they get fairly pissed off.

o0o

I know, I know. I seem to find the price of everything with this post, and the value of nothing, but I like being cynical. The most valuable things that motivate me are those expressions that excite the silly in me, the things that poke fun at life because that’s the only way to get through it all, I think.

Nov 26

Confessions of an Ambulance Driver

Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2015 in Hackney Cabbing, Jobs, Rantings, Taxi driving

I like driving. I always have. I remember watching my Dad driving as a nipper and looking at the gear-stick and wondering WHY? HOW does he know when to change the thing and what aren’t there more pedals? He tried to give me driving lessons when I came of age, and had a minor anxiety attack. I feel I’ll be in that seat, so to speak, soon with my own sproutlings.

 

The biggest thing I’ve driven is an aeroplane, but it was just little one, a Katana. The instructor let me take the wheel for a while and we did belly flips and anti-gravity tricks and things and I gave the instructor a minor anxiety attack and so he took control again. That was something I’ll never forget. But it’s expensive.

The next biggest thing I’ve driven is an LDV Convoy. That’s just a fancy way of saying ‘van’. It had a large water tank in the back of it though. When it was full it played havoc with turning on roundabouts what with your centrifugal forces and such nonsense. And, as every Irish person knows, you can’t sneeze without stumbling upon a roundabout in these parts. I have smelled several nervous farts dealt by passengers and co-workers on hectic days, but I didn’t say anything for I am a lady.

Now I’m an Emergency Medical Technician and I get to drive an ambulance. Ambulances are a lot like aeroplanes in that there is a lot of delicate cargo rattling around in the back. Explosive tanks.. metal things that can become dislodged… and obviously the odd delicate patient.

I hate ramps, by the way.

Getting to the point:

Being a female driver of a large vehicle, I find that the biggest novelty isn’t my own excitement, its the excitement of on-lookers. Recently I arrived at a job, and was required to reverse against the flow of two-lane traffic into a narrow junction. Instead of kindly assisting the traffic however, onlookers pointed and laughed and nudged each other. They were DYING for me to crash into something. Several of them had their phones out, recording my efforts.

No pressure.

When I successfully and safely reversed my baby into her place, and disembarked, I could literally smell the disappointment from the crowd. One bloke walked up to me and said:

‘I hope you don’t crash that thing on the way home, love!!’

So of course I replied:

‘I hope you don’t have a heart-attack, darling.’

Nov 20

Boobs

Posted on Friday, November 20, 2015 in Family, Quickie

caoimhe

This is the Pixie, the fourth and last.

All that chubbiness is attributed to breastfeeding and I’m not giving that up any time soon. I’m so proud of her, and of myself. I love her and would do anything for her including enduring VERY SHARP TEETH.

At the same time, however, she is at the stage of crawling and the need for constant entertainment. She likes eating fluff off the carpet and dividing molecules with her extremely sharp fingernails. We are in the process of chewing on quarks right now to see if they can be divided further.

If a black hole develops in my house any time soon I shall let you know.

Nov 18

Arachnophoboprophylactic

Posted on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 in Family, Humourarse, Philosophy, Strange and Unusual

I have a new theory that I have been testing out for 18 days now. It is a prophylactic spider:

spider

It is not a real spider.

But people sometimes think it is, and tend to stamp on it violently forgetting that this is not a country where large spiders tend to exist, hence its lack of legs. Poor inanimate thing.

Since Hallowe’en, I’ve noticed that laying large fake tarantulae around the place has led to a lack of spiders who would generally otherwise invite themselves into my home AND NOT PAY ANY RENT so I left them there presuming that spiders are innately carnivorous and would probably be terrified of large counterparts who might eat them. I’ve googled this theory intensely but have not come up with any answers other than anecdotal evidence so I am conducting this experiment alone, and will keep you updated.

There is one by the front door, one by the back door, one on our bedroom windowsill and one at the back of the house for extra measure. Since Hallowe’en I have not had one single spider enter my home. This is quite impressive considering the grand soft Irish weather we’ve been having lately. Not one single spider.

I’m not mucking about here, by the way. I’m very serious about this. I have regular dreams where cute little animals suddenly develop eight scuttly little legs…

squirrel

… and given that I’m the only coal-fetcher in our house I can assure you that monster spiders are lurking for I have seen them. They are there.

In the dark.

Waiting to come in to my nice warm house.

And this is why my fake spider sentinels will remain in place, ready to not pounce, ready to not eat them.

Nov 12

EARWORM

Posted on Thursday, November 12, 2015 in Philosophy, Rantings, Something to think about

One of my favourite parts of anxiety and an over-active mind is the earworm phenomenon.

For two weeks, I had to put up with ‘I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden’ by Lynn Anderson, a hit in 1970. I wasn’t even born then which makes it even more frustrating. I don’t know any of the words, apart from those two lines. Over and over and over and over.

‘Are you with me’ by Lost Frequencies is a great song, but one line haunts me over and over and over and over and over and over: ‘Listen to the Mariachi play at Midnight, are you with me?’

Then there’s that awful song, the Yellow Submarine by the Beatles. I can’t help but put weird lyrics in place of the original score. ‘We all live in a tub of margarine’… etc… it never becomes resolved.

~~~

I think that’s the whole point. I think our brains want to annoy us as much as possible because they’re frustrated at being underused. Or overused. Or overwhelmed. Our brains don’t really know what to do because civilization has overtaken our brain’s ability to evolve. That’s why we’re so anxious all the time, it doesn’t know where the grey area is with fight-or-flight is any more, that washing machine tendency to keep us as permanent insomniacs, I think it’s frustration because life has become too easy for us, handed to us on a plate which is good and bad… but I digress.

~~~

I love it when good earworms visit me. Like Pearl Jam: ‘Don’t call me daughter, not fit to, the picture kept will remind me.’ Those lyrics I held onto and made them drown out the rest of the washing machine noise in my mind. I love that song, so I will leave it for you at the end of this point if you like.

I think that when you get a really horrible earworm that won’t leave you alone, I think that all it wants to do is hear the last few bars of the song. It just wants to simplify things. Even if you make it up for your brain to be at peace, that seems to work sometimes. I remember doing this as a kid, with classical music. the ending never

seemed to

end.

because there was that little bit

more

because drums.

and maybe a little bit of sad violin

and then A GRAND FINALE!

followed by a Viola

and then a low note Cello.

to finish.

But you’re never sure when exactly when it’s appropriate to clap. That’s what my brain feels like.