April 29, 2005

I Think They Might Sell Liquor There

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Jameson Bottle, Lower Abbey Street

I think, anyway. It's just a thought.

Posted by Diablevert at 06:08 AM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2005

The Sackville

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Window at The Sackville, Sackville Street

That I just posted 'cause I thought it was pretty.

Posted by Diablevert at 06:03 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2005

There, There


We all feel that way sometimes.

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Graffiti, Suffolk Street

Posted by Diablevert at 06:25 AM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2005

Surprisingly, Jeff Bridges Does Not Appear Anywhere in This Post

The problem with conducting so much of our modern commmunication in short bursts of text is that you can often come off cold when you intend to be funny. It is for this reason that the wretched smily face was invented and continues to be resorted to, despite making all right-thinking adults feel like a bit like a 13-year-old-girl who makes hearts of her i-dots.

The other day, for instance, I was texting and aquaintance. They had apologized for some perceived fault on their part, and I was about to text back, "Didn't even notice." But I began to fret that this would come off as brusque. So, I thought for a minute and texted, "Didn't even notice, dude." The dude, she was all-important, a friendly little tagalong that marked the difference between a cold snub and the airy dismissal of a trifle between friends.

Now, if I close my eyes and listen intently, I can hear my father laughing at me across the pond. Whenever, in his presence, I am carried away by the tide of the conversation and use "dude," the way I would among my friends, he invariably teases me, replying in his best mock-surfer accent and tacking "dude" onto the end of every sentence. I worry that he's right, that "dude" is in essence like "groovy," the type of slang conveys its user's age more clearly than their birth certificate.

But that's kind of the thing I was thinking about the other day, after sending my that text; "dude" doesn't really convey anything, the way I, and many people my age, use it. Or rather, it's not that it doesn't convey anything, but that it can convey everything. It carries no meaning of its own. "Dude"'s like a drinking glass, a clear vessel which can contain many fluid meanings, and takes its color from them. It exists in order to convey emotion, while itself describing nothing.

Take this post, wherein I pasted verbatim an IM conversation my friend D. (The Editor of Fresno Famous) and I had while watching game six of the Red-Sox Yankees American League Championship Series. A snippet is excerpted below:

FresnoFamous: dude!
Diablevert: dude, you have no idea
FresnoFamous: wow
Diablevert: they are trying to kill me
FresnoFamous: naaaah
Diablevert: well, true, it's not directed at me specifically. they are trying to kill us all.
FresnoFamous: they're gonna win
Diablevert: dude
FresnoFamous: jesus
Diablevert: dude, you can't even...oh, dude.
FresnoFamous: dude jesus
Diablevert: oh, my god. oh, holy jesus.
FresnoFamous: wow
Diablevert: dude.
FresnoFamous: congrats man

And now, with the dudes translated:

FresnoFamous: [Hail, Friend. The intensity of this televised sporting event is arresting and stirring.]
Diablevert: [my friend, as a fan of the team from birth, for me the intensity of the experience is at a level of which], you have no idea
FresnoFamous: wow
Diablevert: they are trying to kill me
FresnoFamous: naaaah
Diablevert: well, true, it's not directed at me specifically. they are trying to kill us all.
FresnoFamous: they're gonna win
Diablevert: [please, do not speak so, lest you jinx them]
FresnoFamous: jesus
Diablevert: [my friend], you can't even...oh, [it is enough that you should know that I am overcome with relief].
FresnoFamous: [the amosphere is electric with tension, so much so that only blasphemy can give vent to my emotions] jesus
Diablevert: oh, my god. oh, holy jesus.
FresnoFamous: wow
Diablevert: [I am replete with the satisfaction of victory.]
FresnoFamous: congrats man

I wonder if there's a word to describe this phenomenon, that of a word which exists only to convey an emotion. I wonder too if such words exist in other languages. I asked my friend DDK the linguistics grad student if there was a term for such things, but he seemed not to think so; he seemed to think merely that it was a kind of exclamation.

I suppose in many ways it is like an exclamation, but most exclamations are tied to specific emotions (or sensations)---Surprise (Oh!), Pain (Ouch!), Discovery (Ah!), Pondering (Hmmmm...), Delectability (Mmmm-mmmm), Acknowledgment (Uh-huh.), Counfoundedness (Huh.), Irritation (Hey!, or in British, Oi!)

It is interesting to note that any given curse word can be substituted in any of the examples above, either to add a suggestion of vexation or simply to add force.

Dude.

Posted by Diablevert at 11:54 AM | Comments (1)

The Leprechauns have diversified

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Jewelery Store, Marlborough Street

Posted by Diablevert at 06:01 AM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2005

Formalware

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Blacktie, Westmoreland Street

In Ireland, formalware includes kilts.

Posted by Diablevert at 05:58 AM | Comments (1)

April 21, 2005

Paging Dr. Rorschach

Last night I was working on a story, and I bit stuck with what happens next. I decided to ask my friends for help and see if their replies would help jolt anything loose. So I texted them thusly: "What comes next go* my story, says one stuck and seeking random inspiration. Choose my own adventure."

Rogan and Eclaire said nothing, because they are lame.

Strunk said: Drinks then freelancing then drinks again after that poetry really complicated poetry. And you should do it mostly in your pjs."
Diablevert replied: The answer is YES. This is an automatice answer pre-programmed into my phone, but I concur.

(The conversation then veered off onto other topics, ending, after several hairpin turns, with the exchange:

Strunk: What do they say about the Welsh?
Diablevert That they fuck sheep.

He sort of let it drop there, and I can't really blame him.)

DDK said: What story?

Diablevert replied: Man stuck watching a kid for the weekend at a cheap beach resort. [T]here is a storm.

DDK: Kid goes crazy ape bonkers with hsi drill and sex, leads revolution against 'the man', wears aviator sunglasses and militaristic berets, rids nuns** off into sunset (that was going to be rides motorbike...' but i missed typed and thought it sounded better this way).

I told him I'd have to think on it.

And, lest you think all my friends are weird and unhelpful:

Natasha said: She buys a bag in a charity shoppe and it's filled with [blank] and her whole world changes

Which I think I might actually use some day.

After reading all this, I decided that they build a sandcastle.

*[sic] Damn you, T9 simple text feature! So often the words I choose are your second choice!
** DDK suffers from the same problem, apparently

Posted by Diablevert at 10:46 AM | Comments (3)

The Confession Box

I'll give you three guess as to what this is:


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The Confession Box, Marlborough St.

Damn, you guys are good! Did you peek? Is is a pub.

Posted by Diablevert at 05:53 AM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2005

Look, kids!

It's the Irish Yeast Store!


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Irish Yeast Store

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Detail, Irish Yeast Store

For all your Irish Yeast Needs.

Posted by Diablevert at 05:49 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2005

Boring Plus Sports

So, I'm trying to post more regularly. The problem I find with this is, I'm boring. For instance, this weekend I cleaned the house, did some writing, made macaroni and cheese, and invited DDK and the Ill n' P. over to eat said macaroni and cheese. The mac came out good, but the rugulach I made for desert fell apart during the baking process. Instead of a bite-sized pastry with a swirl of raspberry or chocolate --- imagine the love child of a Swiss Roll and piece of Cinnamon Toast Crunch --- they went all "Salvadore Dali Presents: Rugulach" on me and melted together and wouldn't separate. Tasted ok, at least. Whenever I make pastry dough here it never comes out; maybe it's just time to admit I suck and start adding an egg yolk, recipe be damned. Or maybe it's that my crap-ass fridge just doesn't chill the dough enough so that it holds its shape.

See? See what I'm talking about? Not a single drunken monkey knife fight occurs in the above paragraph, a lack I find regrettable. And I not only typed the paragraph, I lived the sedate life it describes. Bo-ring.

So, what else is there to talk about? The big news here was the GAA repealing Rule 42 and maybe opening Croker. Translating one bit at a time:

The stadium in which big soccer and rugby matches are played, Lansdowne Road, is closing down soon for a couple year's worth of renovations. This left the soccer and rugby people kind of screwed; either they would have to play every big international match on the road for the next couple years, or they would have to find suitable accommodation here---and the only other stadium of international caliber in Ireland is Croke Park, which is run by the Gaelic Athletic Association and used for hurling and Gaelic football. (In point of fact, Croker is actually much nicer than Lansdowne, with 80,000 seats to Lansdowne's 55,000, and corporate boxes and fancy dining out the bling-bling).

You'd think this would be no big--- after all, it's not like the GAA was supposed to let them do this for free---but you'd be wrong. Because the GAA was founded, very deliberately, to preserve what its founders considered authentic, native Irish sports and culture and help combat the influence and popularity of so-called "foreign sports" in Ireland. (And where were Association Football and Rugger invented? That's right, kids, all together now: "England.") In fact, there was this whole rule---Rule 42---that GAA facilities could not be used for "foreign sports." Back in the day, in the more republican/patriotic parts of Ireland---Cork, for instance---GAA players were not only not allowed to play other sports, they weren't even supposed to watch them, and teams would send enforcers round to rugby and soccer matches to make sure nobody stepped out of line. Even today, there's a divide between GAA people and fans of other sports; a resentment to a degree exacerbated by the fact that soccer and rugby are more popular, especially with the young, than the G.A.A. Plus throw in the whole Bloody Sunday thing, and you've got a topic which is still a wee bit touchy.

So the upcoming stadium kerfluffle put the spotlight on a sensitive subject. There's been murmurings for years about revising Rule 42, but they hadn't really gone anywhere, and it seemed like they probably never would, as the membership of the G.A.A. council is so hidebound they make Queen Victoria look like Little Miss Roundheels. But the unique position the GAA found themselves in now, e.g., the move could be considered as a temporary measure, and if they said no all Ireland's big international matches would have to be played abroad rather than at home, put a lot of pressure on them. All this week the local boards were meeting and voting on the subject, in order to determine how their delegates would vote at the national conference---except for Cork, which were a big bunch of pussies and didn't vote---and most voted, by substantial majorities, to revise the rule. Excepting, of course, most of the counties in The North---being a fan of the GAA up there, in what is still a part of the U.K., goes hand in hand with thinking maybe up there shouldn't be a part of the U.K. no more. They take, therefore, a harder line.

So all week they were reporting on the votes, and all week there was the typical Irish giving out, speculating on how the Council were going to figure out a way to suppress the expressed will of the delegates and maintain the status quo---wise grey heads shook sadly when it was learned that the balloting was to be secret, and nodded again when it became known that a simple majority would not suffice, but rather a full 2/3rds in favor. And then the votes came out and it was 227 for repeal and 97 against, and the Irish sports media have spent the entire weekend patting themselves on the back, with many a commentator openly suggesting the decision marks a new era, proves a watershed, will have a ripple effect, etc.

Of course, there is one little matter yet to clear up...the Rugby and Soccer peeps have apparently been paying about 200,000 euro a match for the rights to Lansdowne; the GAA have been saying they're gonna ask for a cool mil, possibly more, to use Croker. So after all that I have a sneaking suspicion the Rugby and Soccer folk might walk away because they can't afford the fees. I can't tell if that's good or bad; after all, self-congratulation is a free resource, which all involved have been able to partake of amply....

Posted by Diablevert at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2005

Morning Cornucopia

Another day, another photo:

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Fruit stand on the corner of Lower Abby and Marlborough St.

Foreseen captions on photos my cheap ass camera phone was not capable of and/or quick enough to snap:

If those are real, what is she doing riding the bus?

and

What is up with the white boy dreds in this town?

Posted by Diablevert at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2005

Banzai!

I'm coming to you now from during a break from Green Curry V. Red Curry: Amory Products Showcase Showdown! (In which two currys, each with onion, mushroom, carrot, chicken, fish sauce, soy sauce and coconut milk face off in a deadly battle for the favour of my taste buds, thus proving the inherent superiority of their green or red natures) to say hi.

I was bouncing around the internet the other day, like you do, reading Amira (and Emma-who-was-in-my-writing-workshop-and-is-friends-with-my-friend-Tristanís (hi Emma!)) articles in The Morning News when I stumbled onto this guyís piece, which led me to his website and thence to Google Maps where I did indeed plug some address into their satellite-photo finder, as Iím sure youíre all about to open a new window and do. (Just click on ďSatelliteĒ in the top right-hand corner if the link donít work for ya.)

Is that, or is that not, creepy as a motherfucker? It reminds me a bit---donít laugh. . .okay, laugh---of the scene at the beginning of Real Genius* where the highly advanced satellite tracking system is able to send a laser down and completely incinerate a man in a panama hat while leaving the frame of his wicker chair standing. Itís more than somewhat fucked up that, 20 years ago, the idea that one could have the ability to pick out a single individual anywhere on earth with a satellite made people go, ďMan, if you could do that you could create a terrifying government superweapon,Ē whereas now we just go, ďNeat!Ē

It is pretty neat, though, clicking down the zoom from the map of the world to your own address. For while itís quite unnerving to watch the finger of god single you out---your house, out there on the internet, where anyone could find it---the sensation you get from clicking down the levels is a visual manifestation of a nine-year oldís pleasure in writing down his address---my room, my house, my street, Dublin, Ireland**, Earth, the Milky Way, the Universe.

Okay, so maybe Google hasnít yet archived the extreme verges of my list, above. But I think it might be just a matter of timeÖ

*Val Kilmer in bunny slippers, in 1985, was hot, okay? I know heís all bloated and stuff now, but pre-Iceman (and way pre-Doors) he had a delightful insouciance, instead of a real-cocky-prickhood.

**Actually, they donít have street-level for Ireland yet. Which I find something of a relief.

P.S. Red Curry won. Damn, that shit be spicy, though. The rice simply does not cut it as a heat deterrent; you need a piece of buttered bread to accompany. Both curry pastes suffered from the flaw of all canned spice mixes---way, way to much salt. I think maybe Iíll devote some future Sunday to learning how to make them better. Onward and upward with the cookery! Diablevert out.

P.P.S. Man, Iím in an awfully silly mood this morning.

Posted by Diablevert at 06:34 AM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2005

My new phone has a camera

I lost my old phone, so I decided to splurge slightly on a shiny new clamshell. I didn't even notice it came with a camera until I got it home. I anticipate much self-amusement with this feature. Thus:

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Sign in the basement of Chapters' used bookstore on Middle Abby Street.

There's a moral in there somewhere. (The cash point is the register.)

Posted by Diablevert at 03:52 PM | Comments (3)

April 03, 2005

Karol, Karol, Karol: KPOPE, 99.9


Good goddamn, the radio is all Pope all the time up in this piece. I mean, I suppose the music stations are playing music, but I usually listen to the comforting Sunday morning blather on RTE1, and they've been poping it up since 8 o'clock last night. What does the Taiosech think of the Pope, what does the President think of the Pope, what does Mary Harney whose title I can't remember think of the pope, and now a word from the Pope's official biographer, and then a word or two from cardinals so-and-so, (one from each continent), followed by the remarks of some of the more prominent archbishops, then we begin with the roll call of world leaders and leaders of other faiths, and....there's more and, I'm sure of it.

I must say, I was impressed with the articulateness of the Irish politicians, on the whole, particularly Mary MacAleese. To remark upon someone's articulateness is generally a backhanded compliment, but I think anyone who bothered to compare and contrast with the rather stilted and obviously scripted (albeit perhaps heartfelt) remarks of Mr. Bush would be impressed by it. I couldn't say how off the cuff their comments were; foolish indeed would be the politician who gave a radio interview who hadn't bothered to think about what they were going to say first. But however much they may or may not have prepared, it was obvious that they weren't scripted, and it they gave pretty clear defenses of their own opinions wherein they differed with the Pope while still being respectful of his memory and compassionate for those who grieved. It was rather impressive.

Of course, I'm sure an Irish person reading the above paragrah would be snorting about now, and I suppose in that case it's a comment on the level of political discourse in the States...

Speaking of which, I wonder if the coverage there is as wall to wall; I suppose it must be on the cable news channels, but being here I can't help but wonder if the deference which the state-run RTE is showing to this issue is a sort of, "Oh, right! We're Catholic," kind of a moment, wherein the purported secularism of modern Ireland is revealed to be in some ways skin-deep. Or maybe better say it's like the Christmas and Easter Catholics --- they only come for the big ones, obliged out of nostalgia to show deference.

Posted by Diablevert at 04:23 AM | Comments (0)