Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stories For Boys

There's a tapas bar in Cork I like to go to the odd time called The Boqueria. It's run by a Spanish couple but the staff seem to be mostly French, funnily enough.

Anyway the words of Yeats' A Drinking Song are painted onto one of the walls, except they've got the first line slightly wrong, with it actually reading:

'Wine comes in the mouth And love comes in the eye...'

Which makes me snigger. Every time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Complete Control

Ian O'Doherty is my preferred Irish Independent columnist ("Is there a more horrible, disgusting and violent place than Saudi Arabia?..."), but he has been slightly caught out today, although he seems to realise it:
'John Cleese has had enough of America, it would appear. The comedy
legend is sick of the way the country is going and, as is his wont, has decided
to deliver a message to our colonial brethren.

According to Cleese, due to America's inability to find a suitable
candidate for president, it's time their independence was revoked and he wants
to put Betty back on the American throne.

But that's not all; in fact he has some rather interesting new rules. These include: "Look up aluminium and then look up a pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at how wrong you have been pronouncing it."

He also suggests that: "You will learn to resolve personal issues without recourse to guns, lawyers or therapists. You will no longer be allowed to carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. And you'll need a permit for one of those.

You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not chips and those things you insist on calling chips are not chips, but crisps."

But perhaps the most important demand was his insistence that: "You will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to call an event the 'World Series' when the game is not played outside America. You will play cricket instead. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of football; you call it soccer."

And how do we know the great man has issued this diktat? Well, a bloke I met on the d'interweb sent it to me, so it has to be kosher, right?'

Well not quite. It was an email that did the rounds after the last US election and Snopes shows how it's an urban legend to attribute it to John Cleese. You can read the whole thing there. Funny if you're a Brit, I suppose.

A Sort Of Homecoming

Sunderland's finest rent-a-gob, March 21st 2007, after Liam Miller is left out of an Ireland squad:

'It definitely doesn't help Liam Miller. If he was (from) further up the
country, I'm pretty sure he would be in the Irish squad. I don't just say these
things. There's no doubt in my mind that Liam Miller being from Cork certainly
doesn't help him.' Asked if Cork-born players had to play better than everybody
else to get selected for the national squad, he replied: 'You've hit the nail on
the head. Without a doubt.'
February 27th 2008:
'Sunderland midfielder Liam Miller has been told he can leave the club
after being put on the transfer list. Miller becomes the seventh player to be
placed on the transfer list in recent weeks.'

That anti-Cork bias is spreading. Does this make Royston a self-hating Corkman?

Monday, February 25, 2008

All I Want Is U2

I saw U2-3D last night. It's only class. That Ticket review nails it - 'there is a remarkable sense of intimacy...'

There are times you don't really notice the 3-D effect but 'there are moments when Bono reaches his hand out so close that you imagine you could shake it, or when he looks likely to prod you in the eye with a mic stand, and when the neck of Adam Clayton's guitar seems to jut out of the screen. When on-screen audience members climb onto each other's shoulders, you instinctively move your head for a better view.' (yeah, even at the cinema my concert stalker turns up, this time in the classic guise of a dumb bint on a bloke's shoulders).

In fact the experience was so exhilarating it was far, far better than the disaster that was the Croke Park gigs in 2005, for a lot less cash. It was very like when I was right up the front at the Montreal gig, and then you get invited up on stage during the set for a nose around! And, just like that gig, Miss Sarajevo brought tears to the eyes.

The whole thing made me fall in love with U2 all over again, as unfashionable as that is. This is a good thing because a) the last two albums have sucked and b) on Friday night I heard the tribute song to Ronnie Drew for the first time. Sweet, sweet Jesus what a crock of shite that is. They should be ashamed of themselves. I saw a bit of the associated cringe-fest on The Late Late Show on Friday night (not updated yet). I went to the pub before I chewed my fist off.

Ronnie Drew looked a bit like Darth Vader unmasked, God help him.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Sort Of Homecoming

I took a quiz on my Facebook page (yeah, I have one and it's a cool way to stay in touch with mates and save photos - don't be one of those backlash bandwagon starters) called How Dundalk Are You. Well I'm proud as punch to announce that:

In A Lifetime

Best lesson I've gotten all week:

How To Fold A T-Shirt In 2 Seconds

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Overpowered By Funk

These are The Dykeenies. I saw them last Friday night in Cork:

I took herself to Capella for lunch on Friday afternoon, before we hit town for the gig:

This is Tom Doorley's review of the place from last October:

'When the food hit the table it was clear that there was serious talent in
the kitchen. A salad of wafer-thin and suitably dry Parma ham with discs of
white peach and a mixture of watercress and rocket, dressed with the kind of
balsamic vinegar that does not put your teeth on edge, was confidently simple
and bloody good. It was much more than the sum of its parts. A risotto of
pumpkin with trompette mushrooms, thinly sliced confit duck gizzard and argan
oil was less obviously successful but not bad. Argan, by the way, is a
north-African nut, a bit like Col Gaddafi.

'The bald menu description "pan-fried halibut, lobster colcannon, lemon
parsley foam" translated into a brilliant main course. The fish was browned
outside and cooked impeccably à point within. And the colcannon was a buttery
amalgam of potato and lobster with no cabbage to overwhelm the seafood. This was one of the best things I've eaten in ages.'

Monday, February 18, 2008


If you have listened to Irish radio much recently, you may have heard ads for A Night In November, which is doing a run in the Olympia in Dublin. It's a one-man show starring Patrick Kielty, a stand-up comic (in name only) who ceased being funny sometime before 1997 (quite entertainingly he attempted a career resurrection last summer by deliberately making Madeleine McCann jokes in the hope of attracting negative publicity, any publicity, that might make him appear bleeding edge and restore some, long-since departed, credibility).

Anyway, when the ad reached the part where the voiceover quotes from theatre reviews in order to big the play up, I was caught by "...'He has undeniable energy and stage presence' - The Daily Telegraph...".

Straight away I thought 'that doesn't sound right... that DEFINITELY sounds odd...' figuring that the quote sounded like it may well have been taken out of 'con-text' (as the occasional Private Eye column puts it).

And indeed it was! That particular paragraph from the review actually reads: 'He has undeniable energy and stage presence, but lacks the virtuosity in impersonating the other characters... that Marty Maguire brought to the role... There is also an unfortunate smack of the smart alec about him. No one seems to be enjoying Kielty's performance quite as much as Kielty himself, and this, coupled with the self-congratulatory tone of the play itself, makes for an evening of near-intolerable smugness.'


In fact the title of the Telegraph review is 'A Night In November: Smug and Pointless'. The power of the interweb, huh? I should complain to the advertising standards crowd.

Just to hammer the point home, seeing as MCD don't actually use that Telegraph quote on their website, other blurbs lifted from reviews include: "'Glorious. Kielty holds the stage with persuasive comic energy' The Times", which is, when not taken out of context, 'Kielty exudes a glorious sense of release as a free man in New York. He holds the stage with persuasive comic energy. But he oversells the knotty moments. Talking about his fellow “Prods”, he is shrill and ungenerous. Playing Kenneth... calls for the virtuosity of a more experienced actor' in a 2-star review.

'Rave reviews' indeed MCD - you cheeky fuckers.

I'll make a confession - I'm just pissed off that I missed the chance to rub shoulders with all the 'Celebs in attendance [including] The Corrs Jim and Sharon Corr, Irish model Glenda Gilson [but of course], TV presenter turned actor Caroline Morahan, ‘You’re a Star’ Judge Brendan O’Connor, ‘You’re a Star’ Presenter Brian Ormond, RTE’s Blathnaid ni Chosaigh and Aidan Power and TV3 Xpose presenter Karen Koster.'

I'm dead jealous, so I am.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Somebody Got Murdered

PETA seem to be getting a tad serious. But then when I read that: 'At least 80 people have been killed in a suicide bombing outside the Afghan city of Kandahar - in what appears to be the deadliest attack since 2001. The massive blast hit a crowd of people watching a dog-fighting contest' I thought 'dog-fighting? Fucking barbarians' myself.

Make of that what you will.

Complete Control

It's not worth taking any credit for predicting it - considering how bloody obvious it was that it would happen - but the Sindo has not only managed to make an issue out of Trap's appointment, but they've splashed it all over the front page for good measure. Kudos to them for claiming an 'exclusive' on last Wednesday's news too. That probably took some quality angle grinding. Yet again what should be a good-news sports story is turning into a national drama.

Meanwhile my eye was taken by the following intro, also from said front page: 'I, too, am a flawed human being by Brendan O'Connor. Many of you will wonder why I have held my silence until now...'. It seems such an unlikely utterance from the biggest James Blunt in Irish print journalism (he of 'Robocop' fame) that it is probably the beginnings of yet another of his humorous interjections. But I don't intend finding out for sure.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Viva Italia!

Apparently we're getting Tardelli as a coach. I've no idea if he's any good as a coach but...




  • I've been meaning to get this off my chest for a while now, but kept forgetting - I can't stand bloody radio ads that advertise websites. Especially '' websites. Say '' really fast and let it dawn on you what a crappy annoying sound that is. Shudder.

  • The reaction to the Trap has been way too positive. There's no way the Irish media will let that continue. So who'll be first to start the backlash? My money would have been on the Sindo, but it's not out til Sunday, funnily enough. So it's more than likely going to be its stablemate. Dumb and Dumber indeed. Oh wait...

  • I watched the once-great Horizon the other night. Sweet Jesus what have they done to that show? They included one guy who pretended he had developed a formula for decision making on buying shoes. His formula was basically to take the increase in how attractive a woman feels in new shoes and divide it by how stable a relationship she's in. In other words he made up a fancy-assed formula to show that happily married women are less likely to feel the need to blow a fortune for an artificial sense of looking more attractive. Genius.

  • Other TV I'm watching is the second series of Heroes and the sequel to the class Life On Mars, Ashes to Ashes. The former has been ruined by probably the worst Irish accents since Tom Cruise in Far and Away while the latter's first episode ran very, very close to turning the excellent Gene Hunt character into a self-parody. Here's hoping neither show totally loses the plot.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Beautiful Day

What I wouldn't give for a few days in a row of weather like yesterday's and today's... And to top it all off we're set for the Trap, and I'm like a giddy schoolgirl at the thought of it!

I have to say that, barring any last minute glitches, I'm ecstatic at the idea of having Trapattoni, who'll be 69 on St Patrick's Day (and should be guest of honour at that bloody parade in Dublin!), managing the Irish team. Just look at this record...

AC Milan - Coppa Italia: Runner-up: 1974–75

Juventus - Serie A: 1977, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986; Runners-up: 1980, 1983, 1992, 1994
Coppa Italia: 1979, 1983; Runners-up: 1992
European Cup: 1985; Runners-up: 1983
Cup Winners' Cup: 1984
UEFA Cup : 1977, 1993
European Super Cup: 1984
Intercontinental Cup: 1985

Internazionale - Serie A : 1988–89
UEFA Cup: 1990–91

FC Bayern Munich - Bundesliga: 1996–97; Runners-up: 1997–98
German Cup: 1997–98

AC Fiorentina - Coppa Italia Runners-up: 1998–99

SL Benfica - SuperLiga: 2004–05
Taça de Portugal Runners-up: 2004–05.

FC Red Bull Salzburg - T-Mobile Bundesliga: 2006–07

It's true that Italy underwhelmed while under his stewardship, but they were in transition at the time and their 'failures' in 2002 and 2004 would be a dream achievement for us right now. Plus his experience is in such stark contrast to Stan's lack thereof it's almost unreal.

The night of the Cyprus debacle I met a number of football hacks in Busker's in Temple Bar, one of whom I know, and got talking to them. They really had it in for Stan (rightly, in fairness), but more so the FAI.

Since Stan's exit most of them have been unable to to write an article that included the words 'search for new Irish manager' without adding the word 'farcical' at some point. They also invented red herrings, such as insisting we should have had a new man in place for the World Cup fixtures meeting or the Brazil match last week - anything they could beat the FAI over the head with.

In reality, though, it just wasn't that important to find a manager in November, December or January. The reality is that few managers worth talking to are available mid-season (and the mid-season before a major Championship to boot). It was far better to take their time, have a good think about who was available and end up with the right man in time for the post-season friendlies, to prepare for the qualifiers then.

Anyway there's still no way the hacks will give the FAI any credit for getting Trapped. Instead you can expect a raft of stories about how they've got him almost despite themselves. but at the end of the day the FAI took their time and landed possibly thr most experienced and successful manager available in the whole of Europe today. And I'm going to give the gits credit for it.

P.S. Here's some intersting stats for any ManYoo sheep out there:

-----------------------------With Rooney--------------Without Rooney
Goals For-------------------------41---------------------------9
Goals Against---------------------7----------------------------7

That's some record for Chequebook SAF and his stg£171 million 16-man squad.

P.P.S. Do you know that Royston's Sunderland were the 7th highest spenders in the WORLD last summer? Before he brought his season's total to £45 million? Well you do now.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Drug-Stabbing Time

This is former Dundalk 'keeper Eddie van Boxtel, a League winner with us in 1995, saving an Eric Cantona penalty in a friendly against ManYoo later that summer:

And this is that same Eddie van Boxtel yesterday (we mustn't have paid him enough)...

"Four men have appeared in Naas court charged in connection with the seizure of
more than €10m worth of cannabis in Co Kildare yesterday. All four are aged between 33 and 45 and were charged with two offences, possession of drugs and possession with intent to supply. The three men are 25-year-old Fran Delaney from Melrose Park in Kinsealy, 45-year-old Martin O' Connor from North Great Charles Street and 33-year-old Eddie van Boxtel from Sillogue Avenue in Ballymun."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car

Donie Cassidy's suggestion that d'immigrants are made to drive within a lower speed limit than us Paddy's is a fabulous one. He's dead right - d'immigrants are clearly to blame for our road carnage. There were far fewer crashes and road fatalities before 1st May 2004, weren't there?...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Beautiful Day

It's a gorgeous day, for once, and I'm about to head for the train to Dublin for Ireland v Brazil.

Who knows, I might even meet some tasty Brazilian chick and end up in... Gort... Jaysus...


Monday, February 04, 2008

If Music Could Talk

I is going to Lowlands!

I've had enough of getting drenched by unseasonable weather and having to dodge chavs at Oxegen.

I've had enough of the way Electric Picnic is a sell out before a single act is announced, just because people want to say they were there.

And most especially I've had enough of the ridiculous prices for, and at, both festivals.

So three days at Lowlands (a festival I've heard great things about) in mid August, for the low price of €131 after Ticketbastard get their cut, and return flights to Amsterdam for €155, seems like something to look forward to!

Actually I was more than a bit pissed off with Aer Lingus on this. The flights were only €68 return - before they added taxes of €63, a handling charge of €6 (what fucking handling?!?!) AND a baggage charge of €9 each way for one bag. Gits.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Luminous Times

So after spunking £36 million sterling on 12 signings in the summer, Royston's Sunderland have made another four permanent signings for a total of about £8.3 million (the Mvoto fee is undisclosed, but rumoured to be 300K). Again there is no money from sales to offset expenditure.

As I said before 'Royston has the exceedingly good fortune of being able to spend his way out of trouble, unlike Derby et al' and I think he might just have managed exactly that.

Derby and Fulham are definitely goosed and on the way down, whereas Bolton and 'Boro have probably signed enough quality players to escape the drop. So I'm guessing it's between Brum, Sunderland and possibly Reading for the last relegation spot.

Birmingham have spent a net £4.9 million during the transfer window but only James McFadden seems a player of any quality. Reading have signed a pair of unkowns for undisclosed fees.

So surely after spending some £45 million this season Royston can't blow it? In the event of Sunderland's survival the spin will probably be that he's some sort of managerial genius, even though the reality is that he has simply thrown pots of cash around and just about found enough quality to be better than the likes of Derby County. Europe indeed...
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