Wednesday, May 26, 2010

General Knowledge

Our society is failing to keep us up to date with important information

Our media is fickle and the masses are perfectionist and careful, apparently

Everywhere around us, celebrities are lying to us. They lie when they host talk shows. They lie when they say they are monogamous. They lie when they say they are sober and they lie when they say they are trustworthy. They are radio presenters, pundits, sportsmen and women, actors, news readers, gossip columnists and they are evangelical preachers.

But they are not the only liars among us... there are more.

They are truck drivers, office staff, retail assistants, warehouse workers, firemen and politicians.

We offer each other so much crap that we forgot how real things are.

We are treating war like it's new and surprising, religion like it's beneficial, politics like it's trustworthy, television like it's entertaining and tabloid gossip like it's original.

When did we get so blind? When did we stop seeing the truth?

We would like to believe that there are no perverts, there are no murderers, there are no rapists, psychopaths and torturers. But there are, and always have been. Have a look through history and then look at the recent press... it's no different, just how it's sold to you. It's Sensationalism and you want to believe you are in different world to all these people. Here's some real news: you aren't.

We would all like to believe that there was a man out there who doesn't cheat. Doesn't look at other women. Doesn't like to do his own thing in spite of what he tells you. If he says he doesn't want to, he is lying. Men are men. We belong to the same sex, have the same genes and interests. Gay or straight, we are still men.

(At this point I would have liked to talk about women, but seeing as I am not one, I could only take it so far, so I didn't.)

We would like to believe that there are celebrities out there with concrete relationships. People of a high social order that will prove to be that rock of hope that will justify all your fantastical dreams of a perfect relationship. People have been pounding the shit out off each other since the dawn of time. Just sit back and let the realisation sink in. It's real. That shitty gossip column you read is moot. Some guy got his rocks off. Big swing. Some chick left her husband: she found out.

We would like to believe there are rich people who genuinely look out for the interests of others and hand all their own money out to the poor and needy. We would like to believe that money doesn't make you selfish and greedy. We would like to believe that the pariah of the rich and famous will donate all his money to the third world. That's just Idealism. What better way to earn popularity but though talking the talk, not walking the walk. There are many who have done it. All the good and effective ones were killed because they were too good at it.

What we read about and watch on T.V is just basically a pile of garbage. History will teach you everything you need to know about right now. Nothing has changed, just the people who are participating. This does not mean we have to lose hope, in fact it's the opposite. You can relax and sigh relief in the knowledge that everything going on around you is quite consistent. It's been happening since Homo Erectus became Homo Sapien. All that happened since then was that the competitive ones stopped killing each other as much and instead talked about how much better they were than you. But they are just the same really. Like when you read about the cheating footballer, you know that could easily be you. When you read about the handsome male actor who left one woman to be with another, you'd do it too. When that fake celebrity knocked up another girl soon after his wife died, that's pretty normal. You'd like to think you were different, but you are the exact same. It just gives you comfort that it's out in the open and that it wasn't you who was the example being set.

Thankfully though, not everyone is a psychopath or has cruel intentions in their heart. There are a few good people out there who actually genuinely want to help each other. Granted, they still have a sex drive, which makes them the same as you and me in the grand scheme of things and if they are lucky, they won't have a controlling centre like the media, religion or a system in place that tells them they cannot express their sexual nature in case they might be exposed. Though that is news, it certainly isn't a surprise I'm sorry to say. That pretty much makes your gossip magazines, news-rags, T.V. sensationalism and movie plot a moot idea once you tune in and stop being ignorant of what has been going on forever.

Nothing and nobody is perfect. The sooner you realise that, the sooner you can have a happy existence. You are no different than any other human. That is a good thing. You can relax and enjoy life.

General knowledge is a lot more general than you give it the credit or recognition for.

No-one Owes You Anything

Eventualities, promises, the future, chances, choices, living in the moment, insecurity, expectations and disappointment.

That's quite a load to try and tackle at once, isn't it?

Yet we are all guilty, at some point or another of dealing with all of the above for someone else, or expecting others to handle all of our own.

Generally, it's not a good idea to trust anyone, even your best friend/significant other with any of the above. They all sound so intricate as to warrant a lengthy explanation for each, yet they are all tied to the same thing. In general though, I class myself as quite cautious and careful not to mishandle any of these when faced with receiving them as a reluctant gift. I have been known to stumble and smash them all over the ground. You cannot turn any direction without someone placing their expectations of an unwritten future onto your lap.

It can be argued that fate and destiny tie you to the results of fumbling with expectations, but only in a relative sense as I have said before. A clever person may decide whether to try live up to the expectations of another when given the choice, but even the clever person is fallible when faced with the demands of the quiet hopeful expectant. We are all subject to great fantasies when promised that someone will meet the demands of your dreams, even facing an unsure means of achieving a result. I could promise to meet you for dinner, hail, rain or shine, but that truck driver may be trying to meet a deadline of his own and therefore flatten me dead while overtired. Dinner ain't happening, my fair lady.

I may also decide now that one day I'd like to move into the same accommodation as you, somewhere down the road, just so long as I accept that all the things you do between now and then are OK with me. Seeing as I am not the master fortune teller, I may not agree... I prefer to say I'll watch the ongoing results of our friendship before I commit to buy or make a decision.

And so it is also fair to say that I don't often handle the fragile package that is holding all of your dreams that are not apparent to me right now. I would not like to open that package to be hit by a punch-glove in jest, or to trip up and fumble the package only to find out that it was in fact holding a crystal sculpture of a scene of the future that you carved with your bare hands. You may say I'm afraid of the responsibility of handling the delivery of that package... I would say I just don't want it. I would rather be the hands that pass it on, thank you very much.

I don't gel well with the expectant kind. I don't like sitting on the fence due to immature forc asts I have made about my own character. The only forecasts that I can predict well are the tears that follow from failing the expectations of others. I seem to know them well, even if I do not know what they are. I just know that they are there and that failure to meet them always ends up rupturing the waterworks. I am no better a plumber than I am a courier in this case. In the world of creating and manufacturing expectations, delivery and receipt of them, I am unemployed. I have to say, that is only because I willingly quit the business long ago.

I wouldn't even say this was a pessimistic outlook of the business rather a realistic one. I am not the father of an ex's kids, I am not married to or separated from any past girlfriends, I did not wait four hours for an unreliable friend that never turned up and I have not been decieved by the same person twice... at least outside my own family anyway. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

Choices are easy to make, based on the ongoing results you see in any given situation. Some people really do believe that they don't have a choice. As the Rush song "Free Will" states: "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice". Many will leave their "fate" (for want of a better word) in the hands of another, even when they see things are not going their way. They will say that destiny dictated that they were not meant to be happy, or that Karma dealt them a blow because of a past life. Imagine the Allies believed in Karma? We'd all be speaking German now. At least, what was left of us anyway. That is not to say German people are bad. In fact they are wonderful. Based on the decisions of a few English, American and Russian people. Of course it's ALL relative now. The important thing now is that They are. We are. And You are.

When expectations are not going your way, it is your fault, not the fault of the person whose hands you placed them in. When things are not going your way it is your choice and actions that decide what way they will go, to a large degree. You cannot stop the reels to land on lucky 7's, but you can stop your hand from putting money in. in the first place. If your house mate is pissing you off, say so. Or else move. If it's raining on your wedding day, tough it out and enjoy yourself in spite of the weather. But please shut up moaning about something you CAN'T change. If you are overweight and don't like it, LOSE weight. Don't blame the food, blame your lack of motivation and self-control. If you are happy the way you are in this life, don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. They probably just want to drag you down.

If things are not going your way make it so, or try a different approach. If he is not marrying you then find someone who will. If you are not getting laid go out and TRY. Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing, it was here first*

And don't blame anyone for failing your expectations. The only one in charge of them is you.

*Mark Twain

Monday, May 17, 2010

Captain Midnight

Howdy all

Well it's been a week since I wrote anything on here. It's gotten to that stage where I think I was overdoing it. The good news, at least for me, is that I have been keeping my own notebook fairly up to date. But it has been a really busy week and a half so I haven't really had the time, despite having nothing but time off. Figure that one out.

So tomorrow I am finally getting my motorbike fixed for good, as in I am replacing the back tyre and, well, that's about it. But you wouldn't believe the shit you have to go through, as well as money in order to get a 160/60- 18" tyre. Anyway, I'll be glad to be done with it.

And I have finally started selling paint ball in my spare time as a nixer. I made one sale today and plan on getting a few more in by the end of the week. Just have to swot over my notes for roughly 3 or 4 minutes to make sure it works out :P

For now I'll keep this short and hope to get a kinda bi-weekly thing going on when things settle in and calm down a bit. I have plenty more stuff to talk at length about and a few more things to give out about. Watch this space :D

Friday, May 14, 2010

Matt's Bi-Weekly Rant - Feels Good, Man

So if I've learned anything over the last few days it's this: It ain't worth a damn planning ahead or worrying about anything once you have done all you could do to make a situation work within your best interests. Any anxiety or stress you feel about any given moment may not be changeable, but so long as you've drained your resources and tried your hardest you may as well just sit back and then do the waiting with that feeling justified.

Lately, I have been asking myself a lot "what can I do to change how I feel about this?" You know, when things are not going according to "plan" for want of a better word. If I'm stressed, I lessen the stress by pushing as far forward as I can with things before allowing myself to succumb to suspicion and doubt and even at that, I don't want to give them any great priority in my day. And I cannot be bothered with people who try to hold me back with "what ifs" or "maybes". Some folks are just afraid of mistakes. And as mistakes provide the best source of learning and experience, they pretty much say they are afraid of learning which to me is just flat-out ignorance. I don't have time for ignorance. Why wouldn't you want to learn?

Anyway, this was to have no particular direction, it was just meant to be a vent that I always intended this blog to be. I learned two new things yesterday alone: I am just as fallible as anyone else when it comes to raising expectations and that sometimes my own decisions aren't right. But like I was saying there, for better or worse, I am no longer afraid of the consequences. What is the point of living in fear like that anyway? The answer: there is no point. If there is no point in doing some good and enjoyable things like meeting up with friends and having a good time as I have seen some succumb to, then there is most certainly no reason why anyone should want to do rubbish things that make you feel terrible eventually.

And so it goes that I was deterring myself from doing something enjoyable like this new job with the expectation that I wasn't going to get that phone call. When I did get it, I realised that I had wasted a whole lot of time prejudging the situation. Anyway, the good news is that I have to go to a team meeting on Monday so it's looking good. What the hell was all that worrying?

So now the things left on my list are as follows. I'm currently waiting on a back tyre for my motorbike. Apparently that is being delivered today. If it's soon, I can go to the mechanic. If not, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Then I have to have a mad long fun day tomorrow. Gig and a birthday party. Fun times all around. Sunday I'm going to spend doing nothing really. Then Monday.

You might think "Matt is breaking one of his own golden rules by planning away his life". Well the truth is, yes, I have a few plans made all right... but they are dependent on nobody else. I will be doing this stuff anyway so if you feel like you want to join in, or your plans fall through, give me a shout. But in the mean time, I have dropped any expectations I have had of anyone gradually over the last few months. I know most aren't like I am and the few with a flair for activity are few and far between. That is a simple choice I realise. And every choice goes through a process of elimination before it's cemented. If you think your mates aren't worthwhile catching up with, then I can probably guess what your priorities are. Cool enough. Just send me a postcard when you get to Miseryville. I might help you pay for the return ticket though. Yeah yeah that is tacky, but I don't really give a shit, after all, here you are reading it as I am typing it. :P

Blah blah blah. It feels like that sometimes. Sometimes I feel like I am offering advice, but then I read over it and it's kinda all right... I'm just emptying all the bullshit out of the attic that I don't want any more. If you glean any help from this it's purely accidental and incidental. Generally I have a lot of time for people. More than I care to admit. Even when I'm busy writing, playing a game or just net browsing, I'm holding conversations on my laptop. At the moment I am having two while typing this piece. You know, though these may seem like rants, they are more like vents when it comes down to it. When the air inside gets stagnant, you open a window. That's what I do. I open up windows.

Anyway, I have fulfilled my bi-weekly obligation to myself. Feels good, man :D

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Matt's Bi-Weekly Rant - Yoda I am

OK, as the title suggests, I am due another rant this week.

Actually, I could have a blog every day for the rest of the week, but for now I will split this into two, non-specific parts. First of all, I don't write when at least one of two things is present... Either when I'm busy, or when I have no inspiration to write. It's fair to say I was lazy a fair bit this week, but it's not for the lack of will to write, in fact I wrote a bit in my book... ten pages in five days. When you consider that on a good week I'd usually write ten pages per day, then yes, yes I was a bit lazy.

But busy I was. Yoda I am.

I had an interview last week, so I went for it. As it was something I like, I went hammer and tongs. I went full throttle. I was going to be working again because that's the feeling I was given at the interview. I was also to meet with colleagues on Sunday so this further fuelled the anticipation. Anticipate things generally I don't. Expect things I don't either.

Yoda I am

I decided to spend a night in Swords as I'd be working soon and the clock was ticking. I hadn't had a good night out there in ages, so I decided to make one. The family were having a barbecue so I went out, first of all to hang out and when the thirst got the better of me, stay I did. That kept me overnight and I returned home on Sunday morning ESPECIALLY to hang out with these colleague guys. I got a call around four o'clock to ask me where I wanted to meet them so I chose the Ilac centre off Henry street.

I hung out with those guys for an hour-and-a-half. I was going to be working the next day because the girl rang and said quote-unquote "I will touch base with you tomorrow". This all sounds pretty definite to me, I don't know what you make of it yourself.

It's now Thursday and I never got that call. I don't feel let down by the fact that I was not called back as such, I feel as though I have let myself down by having expectation like that. You know, generally I don't do expectation as Yoda told you earlier. In fact, as I was going about my usual things I didn't feel anxiety at all really while I was "waiting" for the call. But somewhere inside I guess I was getting excited that this "sure thing" was going to work out just right. And as the days slipped by, my enthusiasm drained slowly. It's all but gone now I reckon. I'm looking to move onto the next thing.

I'm not sure why I was excited about this, I think all that I was "sold" about the idea, like it being fun, the potential earnings, the summer coming up and working outdoors and the whole chatting to people really appealed to me. I'm not sure if "touching base" meant getting a call Monday or somewhere else in the week. But It did help me realise that I was letting expectation get the better of me. Expectation is a fucker... it creeps up out of nowhere and gets you without you realising it.


Now it is 12.45 on Thursday afternoon. Guess what just happened? My base was touched. Yep, four days later, but still... better late than never, ey? I'm a little confused. And I know that this was purely from planning ahead. I just got thrown a bit I think :P Here I was preparing for newer things and all the while building up expectation again. It's so ironic I want to get sick. Anyway, I gotta sit here for about 30 minutes and clear my head of all the usual bullshit that comes with all this crap and get in a mood for selling paint ball. It's funny, through the interview and the build-up last week, I knew I could do it just by not thinking of it at all. Now I'm kinda reluctant because I have been considering that I wasn't going to be doing it. What is the solution to that? Stop fucking thinking about it! So that's what I am going to do... I'm going to "not think about it" for the next half hour or so. I'm going to think so little about it that this blog is going to fall into insignificance and I'm going to look at it and think "what the fuck was that all about".

And I'm going to starrrrrrt...... NOW!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Music Part 2: Pop Music: Part 1 (Jayzus)


Yeah, that's right, today I am going to talk about this girl band.

I bet that is something of a surprise, right? Yeah, I'm sitting here and they are on the TV behind me. It's pleasant to look at, but the music is outta place in this house. It'd be more suited to a dance club I think and admittedly, after one too many drinks, I'd probably be likely to attempt to dance to it.

For shame! But come on, anyone would!

But yes, that is not why I want to talk about them to be honest.

Are they a "band"? What constitutes a band? Are they a group?

In the dictionary definition, a collective of people can be known as a band, a group, a family etc etc. It's technically not wrong to refer a "group" of people as any of these so long as they meet certain criteria. In fact it's not wrong to refer to a group of non-blood associates as "family" either. Hell, if Charles Manson can do it, anyone can.

So, first of all, are Sugababes a pop "group" or a "band"? Does a band have to play instruments or do they just have to write songs? Do they have to do either as a requirement? Do they have to look a certain way? Do they have to be consistent as a group? Does any group or band have to fit these criteria? I doubt it. I mean who makes up these rules anyway?

So apparently when last this band made the headlines, they were locked in a legal dispute with three former members of the band. And as the band number three in total, that means that the current line-up has none of the original members. So, do the present three members have the right to use the name Sugababes?

Frankly, I would think it much more unusual if David Bowie quit music and someone else sttarted calling himself David Bowie and started touring with his songs. If David Bowie instead publicly made people aware that this new star had full permission to tour and record his songs that he wrote, that would be another thing. But the new star probably couldn't call himself David Bowie. It would be something stupid like "The Continued David Bowie Experience" or something equally naff like that. The Sugababes on the other hand do not write their own songs, they are just performers. If the original song writers (who arguably, male or female should be the real Sugababes) agree that three new performers can masquerade the songs as their own, then they should rightfully be allowed the name "Sugababes".

So, are a performance group better referred by their writing prowess or by their stage presence? Can a group of singers be called a group or a band even if they only sing other artist or writers songs to a backing track? I hear some of my holier than thou rock advocates saying that no, a group like this does not qualify as a "band". But I must also remind you of the uses of the word band in dictionary terms. Actually no, how about practical terms? Band of Brothers? Band of Mexican Banditos? Band of Villains? I'm pretty sure that the term "band" was useful before rock 'n' roll was invented. So I guess the Sugababes and every other vocal and acapella group is entitled to the term "band" as any rock outfit. That's just the way it is, if you wanna be literal about it.

But as far as Sugababes go, it's not so controversial that they want to continue being known by that name. I mean it's only partly their choice anyway. I would say these girls are as much about what they get to wear and how they get to look as well as the performances themselves, rather than any hardcore writing they could be known for. I'm pretty sure that if I looked, I'd find they don't write any of their own songs. So if there are other's writing their songs, I'm pretty sure they want whoever is performing them to be well known as they can reap the royalties. This is the business. If a song writer decides to sell his music to the pop industry for use by the popular music mill in order to make his or her money, then that is their prerogative. It is up to the fan/consumer to decide whether the music is good enough to buy or ignore on principle.

It doesn't matter if the performance artist is sincere or not,it matters whether or not the writer of the piece is. It is also up to the listener to decide. Music can be deep, it can be shallow and it can be happy or sad or a number of other emotions, but it should never stop being fun and interesting.

Band, group, collective, family, troupe -whatever- are an unnecessary descriptive words to pay attention to anyway in the grand scheme of things.

At least that Sugababes lot are still decent to look at anyway :P

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Extra Extrovert!

It's been a hell of a two day period.

Actually, it's been a hell of a week... much more busy than I am used to, but the last two days definitely have been the most occupied.

The last two blogs I wrote, I was tempted to just copy/paste them. The last day even had me slightly stressed out (I never get stressed) and I even missed my philosophy lecture tonight too.

But it's not like I had so much to do that I was running about like a madman. It was nothing even like it.

OK, maybe it was a bit like it. I was just busy and very happily so. I spent all day yesterday running about like someone who likes having their nipples jacked up to an electric battery. I went from Rathmines-Ranelagh-College Green-Abbey Street-Red Cow-Tallaght-City West-Saggart- Bluebell-Abbey Street-College Green-Ranelagh-Rathmines and then fell to bits, all with an interview in between. Then today I bought a bike, bought a helmet, chain, insurance, drove to Swords, pushed a great big bike about the place numerous times only to find out I was the one that wasn't working, not the bike. I then got home, chatted, ate, talked at great length about stuff to people and now lay here in liquid form. I'm so tired, yet I want to do more!

So I don't have the same, sitting around, days on end doing nothing appeal any more. I just want to do stuff. As I sit here gazing through one eye at this screen, I wish I had some booze in me , or at least someone to motivate me to do it :D

Funny thing: I was driving to Swords today and lost my wing mirror just on the road to the motorway. As I stopped, a traffic cop started giving me shit and just drove away. Like that, just zoomed off. I'm telling ya, I just attract weirdos. That is, with exception to anyone who would take this as some sort of offence :P And to add insult to injury, a car drove over the mirror itself and cracked it. I now have a bike with a cracked and selotaped wing mirror. Tubular

Yeah, a lot of funny stuff happened today. But it makes me glad I'm so tolerant, level headed and patient, because any normal man would crack under that kinda pressure. I'm not sure that those are good traits in this instance. Maybe I should just become a volcano face. But seriously, if I didn't enjoy actually just buzzing off people, I would be lying in a canal dead... or at least floating there off down the ways enjoying the soak.

So yeah, I got home and had several chats all in the space of two hours. Fallout 3 is buzzing in the background and I haven't touched it in half an hour.

My sister just called too. People call me all the time I just realised. And chat windows. It was actually 20 minutes between that last paragraph and this. Ah I don't mind. When you're not talking you're thinking. And when you're not typing you're thinking. Generally I find that when I talk or type, there isn't a lot of room for negativity which is something that pisses me off more and more the older I get. But it only pisses me off when I think about it :P

Thinking is over-rated.

I remember one time, years ago, two of my best friends and I were discussing personality types and I suggested that I was introverted. They thought I was crazy for thinking that but I genuinely thought I was. It turns out, all these years later while typing this, I realise I'm blatantly extroverted. I can't stand silence in the room too much, I only think when I have to and it's rarely too deep (though some dispute on the contrary) and I am always talking to someone. In fact, I got a nixer now where all I'm going to be doing is talking to people. Talking and selling. Did I mention I like talking? I wonder how long I spent on the phone today or engaged in conversation of some sort. I think I was genuinely introverted once. I think I was because I thought there was no other way to be. Others, any time they said something loud to me in class or whatever, were always heartless, dumb or mean. So I thought that it was only worth saying something if it was bad. Then I tried just saying good things and found there were in fact more people who liked that method more.

I guess I just knew the wrong kind extroverts. In fact it's fair to say they were probably the types who sit about thinking too much about what's wrong with them! They bind together in insecure groups of introverted insecure people and fire their ammo of insult to make their little fortress that much more secure. Little do they realise it's volatile and temporary. They try to make normal (weirdos!) feel like freaks. Haha, so ironic I want to explode! Since that realisationthough, all those years ago, I haven't stopped talking. Here I am in a room by myself talking on a blog. Isn't it great that we can communicate even without ever seeing other people though?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Day In The Life

I'm not going to edit this... It's too fucking long!

So I had a mighty feckin' day today.

I decided to catalogue the day step by step from the word "go". It was just one of those days that doesn't happen very often. Now I didn't know what way the day would go when I woke up this morning... because I had that demon doubt hanging over my shoulder as everyone does. But I am sick of his shit lately as you can probably tell from my posts over the last while. He was nagging in my ear and I was just going on as I had intended I would.

I had a job interview today. It's the first job I went for since I finished my last one. I was waiting for the right spark to start the fire, so to speak. As far as I'm concerned, you just know when something is right for you and when it is wrong. This felt right though doubt was trying to hold me back. Anyway, I'm gonna bullet point my progress of thoughts until I got in the door home today.

- Woke up at 8.30, ate, printed up a CV and then ran out of the house

- How do you sell mediocre music? The same way you sell mediocre products... with a nice package!

- Standing in the rain waiting for an interview. Standing in the sun waiting for an interview. Waiting. Waiting for an interview. At least I'm doing something, ey?

- Got to the LUAS stop in Rathfarnham... Discovered I have to get to Stephen's Green to go to Tallaght!

- Jumped off at the Red Cow. Dammit, I need to get wheels. I need to change my attitude too.

- Rang Leeanne (the Interviewer). Have to get the LUAS to Tallaght after all! Then I gotta jump on a 69 bus to Citywest hotel. Leeanne said that the LUAS driver should direct me to that bus.

- OK, I've decided that if the job interview is successful, I'm pulling my savings to buy a motorbike. This time it's gonna be a Honda Bros. I'm going to renew my learner's permit too. Only have 10 days left to do it!

- Fuck, gotta get new rain gear too. So it's gonna be 1000 max for the bike. Looks like I'm going second-hand again. Only way it'll work out.

- After I got off the LUAS, I waited 30 minutes for the 65B to take me to Citywest hotel. Driver told me the hotel is only a few minutes away from the last stop. It's not Hong Kong, but it's a long journey, nonetheless.

- Just got a call... apparently I'm heading for a place called "Coolwater Complex". Nice name. It's not actually at the hotel though, few minutes on foot away from it. I'm 30 minutes late at this stage but Leeanne says it's grand =)

- Think Phil and Claire live out here... All I see is trees and mountains and not much else. That's how I remember Tallaght for some reason, though I wasn't sober when I was here last :P

- "Discount Fuel Deals" - I can see why they went out of business.

- Just had a thought... If we were ever meant to invent time travel, surely we would have had visitors from our or other futures already? That is assuming that the present isn't the only thing that exists.

- Hey, I'm only 15km from Blessington now!

- Took another 20 minutes from Tallaght Citywest Industrial Estate to get to the house. I am now 1hr 20 mins late. Called Leeanne, she was grand with it. There is hope in the world.

- Got there, greeted with smiles. Interview was just a casual chat that lasted about 1hr. Watched half an orientation video and had two mugs of coffee. Oh, and Leeanne was HAWT and really sound. Every little helps.

- "Sunday - Mel & Fionn, Liffey Valley, up until 7, maybe 3-5? Monday - Leeanne will call."

- So, got there for 12.20 and left at 13.40. 1hr and 20 minutes interview. Best one yet. Sorry Paddy, your interview, though concise and honest only comes second.

- Feeling pretty good about this job now. Definitely more perks than pitfalls. It's basically all about being outgoing and talkative. Just seen The Edge driving a JCB.

- Listening to "Closer to the Heart" by Rush. Feels like I'm getting there. Quite an adventure, this!

- Oh, by the way, The Edge was not driving a JCB.

It was a forklift.

- OK, I'm on the bus now. Straight forward to the city centre. Fantasising about having a shower now. Still thinking about that Honda Bros too.

- Change is ALWAYS there if you want it. You just have to be brave enough.

- Build up a stable base of experience. Don't seek too much advice. Advice is doubt in your heart and getting further from the real motivation. Age is just a state of mind or rather, the state OF your mind :D

- Feel fucking good about today's meeting. Playing over a sales pitch in my head to see what feels right. "I haven't felt like this in so long" - Got Me Wrong - Alice In Chains

- Running commentary? What's wrong with a walking commentary?

- "Still I wonder why it ain't right" - Inside - Alice In Chains

- Job has great travelling opportunities attached to it. First, I'm gonna settle a few short term goals.

- There is nothing to feel but what you feel right now at any given moment. And the great news is you can change it because you are the only one that can. It depends upon no-one.

- Now at the Red Cow coming back.. Thank feck it's not rush hour. Rush - Yay! =)

- Was great to be in an interview where I could actually be myself instead of pretending to be someone else.

- Just got a fresh wash of nostalgia there. Felt fucking great! I think this is the "something" I have been waiting for. The job, not the nostalgia :P

- Still waiting for a LUAS. They are faster than Dublin feckin' bus anyway

- Conductor looks like the guy from the shining. I doubt he ever seen it and I doubt anyone ever tells him that.

- Between the rialto and fatima LUAS stops there is a mural of a granny who looks like a cross between a cookie and Freddy Krueger. Odd :-/

- At the james' stop there was a fella who looked like the drug-guy from Withnail & I. Watch that movie... awesome!

- Compulsion = Propulsion

- Just reached Stephen's Green LUAS stop. It's now 15.22. Gotta hot-foot it to Rathmines post-office and then to Megabikes on Camden Street. Tomorrow I'm fixing my provisional license. Gonna get an insurance quote too.

- Attitude change - I don't do doubt any more. Life's too short.

- Arrive at McDonald's in Rathmines after the post-office. Time for a well-deserved feast! I feel the creeping hands of doubt on my shoulders. I have no time for them!

- Rush - The Enemy Within. Listen to eeeet!

- Just saw The Edge walking through the Swan Centre. Hahahah!

- Keep playing over scenes of a sales pitch in my head. I reckonh I could be good at this =)

- I have re-affirmed my ideas about goals. MY goals, no-one else's

- You only get what you give. I think you definitely do only get what you give. If you want more from life, more from yourself, you gotta give a little more. It doesn't even need to be financial so long as it's personal and willing.

- Anything goes. Everything goes. The less you believe this the less happy you're likely to be.

- Why does this job appeal to me? I get to talk to people... sure I do that anyway. And I sell stuff. Stuff that makes people happy (not drugs :P) That's all I was looking for. No one gets conned and there is no need for fakeness.

- Just got home. Yeah! Time is now 16.27. Long but fucking good day!

Anyway, so that was how my day and pretty much any relevant chain of thought went. Just after I wrote this, I bought a Honda Bros for 900 Euro... bye bye public transport :D

I got a job and I'm working alongside some nice people. I feel good that being a con-man has nothing to do with it and I won't be sucking blood to sustain solicitors.

It's all good :D

Feck, that went on longer than I expected. Pic of "new" bike tomorrow :-)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I just wated to call this blog Nautilus for some reason

Here we go, another week has begun for all those who would return to work today after the bank holiday weekend. For me, it could be just another week, but it has some small differences as I will go into in a minute or so.

So it was a bank holiday weekend. Yeah, apparently those who would work like to do stuff on a bank holiday, but it seems that I don't know many of those people, or else I just know those that would travel home on bank holiday weekends. Ah well, I tried. But it wasn't all bad... in fact, it was mostly good.

On Thursday I went to class, got home and then went for a few impromptu drinks in a terrible bar, but it turned out to be fun after all. Friday was a kinda relaxing day... did some writing in McDonalds and then took it nice and easy with Fallout 3 and Trailer Park Boys that night. Saturday I spent out in Swords, crawling around an attic. I think this Friday will be spent doing much of the same. Saturday night I had another impromptu piss-up with an old friend of mine in some loud dance club. It had been a while but it was nice to talk to someone I have so much in common with whom I haven't talked to in a long time. Sunday I spent fairly hungover, but that didn't last long. After much gaming, we went out for a few more drinks in a terrible 80's bar that was called "Madonna's". Quite an unskillfully named establishment if I do say so myself. I fell into a very particular man-trap that comes in the form of wandering in no particular direction and then being handed a flier and accosted by a very attractive promotional chick. To cut a long story short it was a bar attended by loser blokes and about 5 girls. Suffice to say, I bet the majority of them fell into a hopeful trap. I just wanted a drink that was relatively inexpensive and was side-carted by some OK-ish music. This bar had neither. I just looked like another single loser in that crowd. But thankfully I was neither there to pick up strays out of desperation nor was I trying to forget I was afraid of being lonely in the grand scheme of things. To be quite frank and honest, it all seems a bit too much like hard work. Even getting chatted up by an older woman towards the end of the night was hard work and quite unintentional, suffice to say I departed that scene in great haste.

So that brings us to bank holiday Monday, where I neither had the money nor motivation to do anything. I did think some more about a project I've taken up which is restoring my old bass. It's a Sunn Mustang that had been greatly neglected over the years since I stopped using it. Basically I bought the thing when I was 16 at a price of IR£120 and slapped away on it for about 3 years until the electrics were shredded in an accident. A friend of my brother's offered to fix it up for me after the accident and tore the shit out of them and a new scratch plate I had bought to replace the old one. What it ended up as was a custom job (albeit a half-arse one) which saw a tiny section of the new (and expensive) scratch plate I had bought being used to cover the pickups and a kinda sawed-off version of the volume/tone section used in covering some improvised new electrics from an old Fender Jazz bass. This setup didn't last long until I lost interest in playing some time ago. When I did regain the interest in playing again, It was on a Vintage Precision Bass that I bought for the modest price of 30 Euro about 4 years ago. At the time I was in a band with a couple of friends of mine called A Third Season, which later went on to be named "Escariot". I can't believe I actually got to recording two tracks which made it onto an EP. I didn't use that piece of shit for the recording though... I used a Rickenbacker. My one and only experience with using a Rickenbacker :D Anyway, the electrics in the Vintage bass weren't worth fuck either way and burned out eventually after about 3 years of use. You get what you pay for I suppose. So yesterday, I took the scratch plate, bridge and the pickups off the Vintage and took everything from the old Sunn Mustang and started to scrub it up and re-assemble it to see what it will potentially look like when it's finished. I think it will work out well. I'm going to chisel out a large section of the body to put in some precision EMG pickups, but I haven't decided whether or not they should be passive or active yet... the difference being that I will have to find a place to fit a 9V battery,if I do choose active ones hence the chiseling out of a large section under the scratch plate. Anyway, it's all ahead of me, but I'm excited at the idea of 1. restoring an old and sentimental instrument that I found out is quite a rarity and 2. doing something worthwhile for a change :P

So, after much rambling about nothing in particular, I get to the point of what I was going to say at the beginning there. This week is quite unlike any other I have had recently as in I have to be in Swords this week to attend, quite ironically, a conformation of a nephew. I somehow doubt I will be in the church though. They don't like Heathens like me there anyways. I reckon one conformation is enough to sit through in this life besides.

Another thing I have to do this week is a job interview tomorrow. I barely even know where it is I have to go to, so I'm gonna make a phone call now to find out. It could either break the repetitive cycle I've had lately or just be another experience I have to chalk down to... experience. But who knows until I go, ey?

Not I, not I that's for darn tootin'

I love how ridiculous that sounds :-)


Oh and by the way folks, it doesn't matter how much you complain about volcanoes, that doesn't stop them erupting - there, I said it.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Music Part 1

I was kinda dreading ever tackling or trying to tackle this subject, but I cannot put off talking about music forever.

I love music, I love all it's incarnations and influences and I love how there is so much available and so much more to be written.

I even like superficial music, in a relative kinda way... ya know, looking back on it 10 years later or something. New music is generally shit unless it's got a certain pop sensibility to it. You know, a direct appeal to a decent predictable scale like the mixolydian or pentatonic, or everyone's favourites, the major and minor scale. Basically, if music is played at least fairly honestly, I'm down for listening to it, so long as it's melodic and tries to appeal to my direct sense of music in general, or does something new and unpredictable, but in a good way.

And everyone has a good ear for music, whether they can play or sing, tap along rhythmically to it or not at all.

But there are certain things that really let down a tune for me. I mean the song could be sincere yet rubbishy and I might still like it, so long as it's appealing some kinda way.

At this point I want to point out the differences between pop sensibility and pop-culture.

Pop-sensibility is on going. In music it is to play chord progressions and scale progressions within a certain predictive order. To mix two scales together that have no real common note progressions is unusual to say the least... not always impossible, but if you don't have an ear naturally for composing music, this can be detrimental. A positive example is Kate Bush's song - The Sensual World where two completely different scales are merged in the chorus. A negative example (but still a good song somehow) is in We Have Band's song Buffet. Something about it doesn't work that well at all. It's like a weird bum note that keeps happening over and over. I don't really get it. But this is the only song of their's I can recommend. The rest of that album is too contrived.

Pop-Culture references in music can be terminal if not done properly. When you have bands or artists singing about temporary things like a well known scandal that lasts a week or about someone in a judgemental way before their life even finishes it's likely to be a bad thing for your song or band, well at least in my opinion anyway. People are fickle, but not ignorant generally. Pop sensibility never leaves a good song, but pop-culture can leave very quickly indeed.

The next problem when talking about music with pop-sensibility is in fact music that tries NOT to have pop sensibility. Music, to have any kind of appeal at all, must have pop sensibility in order to reach ANY populace, whether the majority of people or even a few that might like, say, heavy distorted guitar. Heavy distorted guitar isn't to everyone's liking, but it's not what sells the music, it's the appeal of a well written melodic song that uses a HOOK like heavy guitar as an appeal, not a selling point. There is music in the heavy metal world that tries specifically to avoid pop sensibility and that just does not make any sense to me whatsoever. I can only say so as having been a heavy metal fan for years. There are few really good bands out there who write really good, melodic metal songs and so many who spill out the same aural-rape for years and years. It does eventually dull into competitive noise after a while. Remember, this is my OPINION and you are on MY page ;-)

There is of course more elements of music that can make it very difficult to take seriously. I think being able to take music seriously even at a foundation level is important to liking it. I mean, you could write parody (music I have BIG issues with if not done properly) so long as it's genuine and sincere. You know, where creativity and honesty and a genuine interest in what you are doing played a key role in it rather than recognition and respect as a priority. Fickle music can even be forgiven so long as it was making a legitimate statement of the writer through music or lyrics. But when it becomes music for the sake of music, well that's a let-down at the very least. There are 3 songs I can think of straight-up that are truly insincere in essence. The two polar opposites that are the "work" of Beyoncé - "If ya like then you shoulda put a ring on it" and "all the ladies are independent throw your hands at Batman (sic)". Sorry, ad-libbed but so contradicting opposites. Then there is the much loved and truly HAWT Cheryl Cole's "Fight for this Love" when after 2 weeks or something she ends up divorced. Insincere I think maybe?

Last night I was talking to a good friend of mine about music. Somehow we got onto the subject of Muse to which I said I have no opinion as I've never heard their stuff. The funny thing was today, I got to my mother's home and my brother put on one of their songs and waited to see if I reacted to it. What I heard in one sang was this: Blondie, Ultravox!, Marilyn Manson, Dr. Who, Battles all coming through. I'm sorry, but I have to say this only based on one song I've heard. Either Muse are contrived, or dishonest to be going around with the name Muse but using blatant carbon copies of previous musicians as their own "ideas". I heard nothing original in it.

But I am assured, nothing else in their catalogue sounds like this song... Uprising I think it is.

I would like to believe it's true

It would be a shame and misuse of the name Muse, otherwise.

I'm not putting particular restrictions on what someone should or shouldn't listen to by any means. This opinion comes purely from observing the same inconsistencies that seem to repeat over and over and ring out loudest as far as I'm concerned. Music is a real natural wonder that is endless in supply, so long as the people behind the instruments are honest about it and so much more useful when done to that effect and the musician's ability. Once it's layered with dishonest contrived crap it becomes largely useless as far as I'm concerned because real expression cannot come through when one worries about the unstable base of pop culture and fame as a goal. Besides, I don't make the rules... The majority of great musicians do.

Anyway, this has been music part 1... because I'm sure I'm not finished with this topic :-)