Members of the bus…

Why, why, why, why, why are there such stinky people in this world? And why do they find me? Every. Single. Time.

As I was minding my own business on the No.11, minding my own business as I struggled my *weary way home with an overnight bag, handbag (size: sacklike, of course), and bag of groceries. The seat beside me was mercifully empty . . . until Stinky MacPoopstain bumbled onto the bus and plopped himself down beside me.

I have an uncanny knack for attracting the more unusual members of society. The young men who read the King James bible out loud to themselves. The old men who like to strike up conversation so they can stare at my boobs. Drunk dudes are drawn to me like metal things to a giant, powerful magnet (cartoon style, practically) . . . I once got serenaded by two drunk dudes in a pub—they were standing on the table, I was scarlet from mortification and laughter/randomly twirled around the place/accosted (nicely) in the ATM queue/made to admire a Father’s Day card (about 7 months before Father’s Day), the list could go on and on and on. And on. But I generally get such a giggle from these random events that they are kind of worth the hassle, I think

So yes, the thrust of this email is that I dislike smelly people. But that most of the time, what’s strange is wonderful. Also, here is a fairly accurate representation of my bus situation…note Non-Smelly Stick Figure’s sad face.

*Very, very weary as I spent my weekend “celebrating” the fact that my friend of 25 years (i.e. our whole lives) is leaving to go traveling. Inverted commas are in use because although we had an amazing weekend (on this note (ish), late night bars rock! We found this random place that was basically the bottom floor of a house with no lights, just candles, who served chips and bruschetta, of all things, for the drunken masses!) . . . um, where was I, oh yes— embarking on such an amazing experience must obviously be celebrated. Anyway, such a good time was had by all, but at the end of the day she’s leaving for quite a significant period of time so really, it was a little like mourning for me. But it’s fine, I was obviously stalwart and hardy and only sobbed for 25 minutes straight. And you all thought I was cold and dead inside . . .

But anyway, I doubt she’ll be reading this because of the general busyness that comes with uprooting your whole life for a massive adventure, but just in case—GOOD LUCK! I’ll miss you but I’ll live with the pain because you are going to have *such* a fabulous, wonderful experience. xxx


Review: “Going the Distance”.

Am just back from “Going the Distance”, with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long…well, with my flatmate really, but you know what I mean. We had been meaning to go earlier but didn’t have the time. Even with that, however, the screening was over half full, which is a good sign I reckon. On another side note, Sunday cinema is possibly my favourite day for cinema-going, we generally go in the morning to make the most of the quiet, chilled screening—yes, I am a loser—but it is a deeply relaxing way to spend Sunday. Follow a morning movie with late brunch (what is brunch when it’s after lunch btw? Binner? (brunch and dinner), Trunch? (tea and brunch). *That might be a discussion for another day).

Anyway, in keeping with the history of insubstantial movie reviews on this blog, I’ll keep it short. “Going the Distance” was surprisingly funny. I expected it to be a rather mediocre chick flick but we laughed throughout the movie. A lot. Justin Long’s friends were right on the money, just the right side of ridiculous, and while I really feel that Christina Applegate is too young to play the neurotic older sister, she really was excellent. Particularly in the final scenes.

Apart from the humour, the emotions played out in the movie were very real, easy to identify with, and not horrifically overwrought (remember “She’s Out of Your League”?).

Anyway, if you are in the mood for a laugh and don’t want to play witness to your usual (and, recently, truly horrific) chick flicks—go see it.

*Feel free to vote for your favourite, binner or trunch, in the comments.

Raindrops on roses…

I was pondering blog post topics and was all set to spew forth a list of things that irritate me. This list would be epic, tightly woven, beautifully biting…I do bitter so very well, you see. Then I thought, “no, there is enough negativity wandering around due to war criminals, religious figures, slutty footballers, divorcing singers (word used loosely) and, worst of all, Robbie and Gary reuniting in sickening style”—boys, believe me, in relationships you can rarely go back, in time you will see this was a mistake.

So I have decided to dedicate this blog post to thing I love…it will get dull, no doubt, but there you go. It goes without saying that some family and all friends are among the things I love but detailing this would definitely be overwhelmingly dull. They’re great, good for them. (Oh dear, it appears that even when contemplating lovely things, my sarcasm is inherent.)

  1. My deepest love will always be for the em dash, it is indeed a thing of beauty.
  2. I love going into Pret, walking to the counter and having my soya mocha handed to me without having to ask for it…it’s such a tiny thing but nice.
  3. Red wine is delicious, therefore, it must make the list.
  4. For some reason, Maverick was my favourite movie when I was a kid…now I know what we all know about Mel Gibson I doubt I will ever watch it again, let alone enjoy it. But I did love it.
  5. The casually evil (evil as in sarcastic, mainly) statement is wonderful, my flatmate has a particular knack of dropping the most vicious statement in the loveliest, most unexpected way—cracks me up every single time.
  6. I love Twitter, even though I am on there way too much and don’t enjoy some things about it, but there are so many brilliant, funny, erudite people on there daily is it a joy which keeps me highly amused.
  7. My mammy’s chicken casserole.
  8. Settling down in a cinema/theatre/other auditorium-type building for some form of performance that brings me out of my head and lets me escape.
  9. I love that there are people in the world that are so different to me; they may have opinions that infuriate and/or thrill me, but at least they are thinking, expressing and doing. Until they go too far, then obviously I shall turn my ire upon them.
  10. The Jolly Postman—I always loved reading the postcards and catalogues, especially the post the witches receive.
  11. My job—actually living the dream (the nerdy, pedantic, lovely dream).

There are many other things, but sure this post is dull enough and long enough.

Review: “Tamara Drewe”

I tottered off to the cinema on Saturday afternoon (which was, incidentally, the day after the night before so my head was hurting slightly) with a group of girlies. I don’t know what we were expecting with “Tamara Drewe”, but whatever it was we certainly got much, much more than we bargained for!

I can’t even really describe the movie, there were so many things going on, melding storylines into each other with almost flawless performances coming from the entire cast. Especially the cows. And Tamsin Greig.

Gemma Arterton is glorious, Luke Evans is beefcake-tastic but Dominic Cooper stole my heart for the course of the movie. He took the pee out of himself well and I like a guy who can rock guyliner.

Tamara Drewe—go see it. Basically. It is, I think, much more than the sum of its parts.

The wheels on the bus go round and round…

The number 11, in numerology, is a “master number”—I like the sound of it already. Apparently, the number 11 “represents rare and exceptional 
energy originating from outside mundane reality”­. Other interesting things about 11 (I’m beginning to feel like the Count from Sesame Street, btw) is that it is the smallest positive integer (not a iota) requiring three syllables, is the atomic number of sodium and Apollo 11 was the first manned spacecraft to land on the moon.

Ok, all of that was a ridiculously long-winded way of introducing you to the deeply influential number 11 in my life, the bus I take to/from work each day.

My bus, ah my bus, the things that have occurred there, they almost defy description.

Last week, we had overwhelming-smell-of-grapefruit man and the schoolboy with the spiky ginger mullet…did I mention he was fiercely ginger? Are his parents blind? A few months ago we had the hair stroking druggies and the mother that slapped her toddle (horrible woman). In August, in possibly my most treasured No.11 memory, the whole bus got involved (except me, I was too busy screaming inside my head) in advising two tourists where they should get off the bus in order to get to their hotel…they were all wrong. All. Of. Them. Except the falling-over drunk homeless dude who smelled of wee. He was speaking such sense (through the slurring) and knew exactly where they needed to go…did they listen to him? Ahahaaa, no.

Yesterday there was Psycho Baby who couldn’t make up its mind whether to scream in tears or laugh joyously. The combination was rather ominous. Today, there was me. My lovely new cord dress. Up around my ladybits. The bus driver smiled oh so welcomingly, which should have tipped me off immediately, tbh, and then I sauntered to my seat…twas only as I sat down and felt an unusual draft that I realised. Noooooooooooooooo! Instant mortification…

So it’s trousers for me tomorrow, I think I’ll leave bus-related hijinks to others from now on…

In which I deplore double-spacing…

First, when I say double-space I am not referring to the space between lines a la leading (Wikipedia definition ahoy). I am talking about the double-space after a full point. Otherwise known as the bloody bane of my life.

My life has other banes: people who walk very slowly in front of me; when my expensive new foundation fails (yet again) to keep the shiny from my big stupid forehead; and when I am trying to set text in *Word Styles and it Just. Won’t. Work.

Double-spacing after full points really does get my goat though.

Now I know this is going to annoy some people. And others are going to call me a loser for caring (feel free, btw, that’s what the comments box is for). Or ask me what difference it makes; that they were taught to double-space by X, Y or Z and it’s easy to do a “search and replace” to remove all the double-spacing. For the most part, this is true.

A “search and replace” can remove all double-spaces. And that is perfectly acceptable if you have a straight up and down manuscript with no/some formatting (either proficiently or inexpertly applied). I can only speak from my experience, but sometimes authors use the spacebar instead of tabs to indent important elements of the story, designate a quote or the like. This are things that editors mightn’t see until further down the manuscript and if you do a “search and replace” at the start of the edit (which I like to do in order to avoid the double-space rage), you can lose these important stylistic pointers.

Another point against using the old “search and replace” (which I love, btw, v.handy) is that in non-fiction, professional titles (hello day job! Um, well, only job really) one may be working on a loose leaf title (like a ring binder that allows pages to be removed and inserted easily so that the information in the title is up to date, which is updated regularly). This title may have specific formatting because it has to be published online. This specific formatting may include double-spacing as a necessity. Thus, a search and replace will not help me, it will in fact irritate the crap out of me and mean I have to work with invisibles on and remove each bloody double-space individually. Sweet mother of the divine jeebus…

The thing with all of this is it’s such a little thing. It is a tiny thing, and it really doesn’t matter. But it does irritate. **Me, specifically. And everyone else I work with. I wonder if this is just a non-fiction/professional publishing bug-bear?

*Word Styles is the devil, and I sincerely wish that none of you ever have to use it. Or if you do use it that you have a zillion times more success with it than I ever have.

** Also, a huge amount of self-editing and restraint went into this…I really just wanted to scream “Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it! Why? Because I said so!!” in the fashion of my mother. Be proud of me…