Jan 28 2012

Bowler Hats And Friday Night Nerdery

Published by under Blog,Vlog

I was stuck indoors this Friday night, so I spent the evening cleaning out my email inbox, while sporting this very fetching bowler hat. I will wear it everywhere from now on.

2 responses so far

Jan 27 2012

Dubba Dubba Dub Dub Dub And The Artist

Published by under Blog,Vlog

I‘ve had Annie Lennox’s No More I Love You’s stuck in my head for days. Please make it go away.

I also wanted to tell you about The Artist, which I saw in the IFI last week. Damn fine movie!

And yeah, I’m wearing a bowler hat – what of it?

7 responses so far

Jan 27 2012

Unemployment, Boredom, Alcohol And Pea Soup

Published by under Blog,Vlog

Boredom has incited me to make a short video blog. Truthfully, I’m mostly doing it to build up my confidence for these. I’m not in the slightest bit comfortable in front of the camera. Give it time.

25 responses so far

Jun 07 2011

James Lipton’s Ten Questions

Published by under Blog

James LiptonDo you ever watch Inside the Actor’s Studio? Presenter James Lipton poses a list of questions to each of his guests at the end of each show. Lipton always gives credit for this list to French talk show host Bernard Pivot and often mentions that the list originally came from French novelist Marcel Proust.

I watched a couple of episodes of the show today and was inspired to answer the questions myself.

1. What is your favorite word?

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. It was a word I learned as a child when I was obsessed with language, words and wordplay. Despite its length, it still trips off my tongue effortlessly.

2. What is your least favorite word?

The ‘C’ word.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

People. People and their emotions. Laughter, tears, embarassment, elation, fear, pride…all of it. I love the range of human emotions and love to watch it play out in real life.

4. What turns you off?

Negativity. (My own included)

5. What is your favorite curse word?

Fuck. It’s an amazing word with so many different uses and connotations. Do you watch The Wire? Before I ever saw the programme, I saw a clip on YouTube of this 4 minute scene from the show where the two leads utter nothing but ‘fuck’ and its derivations for the entire scene. I had assumed it was a parody or piss take of the show until I started to watch the boxset. A few episodes in, that scene started to play out – I couldn’t believe it. It had me in stitches. I’m also a huge fan of the opening scene of Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Curiously, I rarely cursed until I was about 16 and I still think I use ‘bad language’ sparingly.

6. What sound or noise do you love?

A song than reminds me of a happy time. But if it’s a specific sound…laughter in all it’s forms.

7. What sound or noise do you hate?

So many voices at once that no one can be heard.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Writing. I’d love to be a successful, published author.

9. What profession would you not like to do?

Anything that involved dealing with children 8 hours a day.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“Despite your lack of belief during your life…come on in, the champagne is on ice.”


Here’s the questions again if you want to copy and paste your reply:

What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
What turns you off?
What is your favorite curse word?
What sound or noise do you love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What profession would you not like to do?
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?


2 responses so far

May 03 2011

We Never Grow Up

Published by under Blog,DART,Story

Two old ladies, chatting at the DART station. Very old – well into their seventies. My eavesdropping required no covert behaviour. Whether through declining hearing in their decaying years or just a complete disregard for social ettiquette, they were loud enough to hear from about 20 feet away.

These well-to-do aul’ wans were discussing a mutual friend, one they seemed to have both known for a significant number of years. While I picked up no names, their inflexions and tones on each “he said” and “she said” made it easy to decipher the individual “he’s” and “she’s”.

At the moment I picked up on their less-than-clandestine conversation, aul’ wan A (let’s call her Ann) was saying that she had enough of “her” (the mutual friend’s) behaviour. Aul’ wan B (shall we say Barbara?) completely agreed. Ann’s annoyance grew as she spoke of the mutual friend’s recent gallivanting.

Ann: “I saw her up dancing in the Grand last Sunday. And she a married woman.”

Barbara: “Sure, she’s always been the same. Do you not remember back in nineteen sixty-something when she was with yer man? She knew then I had a thing for him and she didn’t care. Why would it be any different now?”

Ann: “She’s a hussy. It’s no way to be behave.”

Barbara: “Well, I’m having no more to do with her. I’m cutting her out.” (this is honestly what this woman said)

Ann: “What do you mean?”

Barbara: “I’m not speaking to her. I’m not even going to look at her. I’ll walk by her if I see her.”

Ann: “You’re dead right. I’m not talking to someone like that. I’ll cut her off too.”

Two elderly women behaving like bitchy teenagers – I could only smile in disbelief.

I’m beginning to think their no such thing as ‘growing up’. It’s just a phrase that adults use to make themselves feel better.

2 responses so far

May 03 2011


Published by under Blog

Darren in KaraokeIt’s so silly. I’m very confident. I can walk in and take over a room. In Karaoke, it’s impossible to drag me from the machine. In a crowd of strangers, I’m in my element, making friends and talking happily to everyone with ease.

So, why then was I so nervous going for a small part in a five minute song produced by the AmDram society I’m in? I know the people people I was auditioning for. I know the song inside out and have done for many years (Skid Row fom Little Shop of Horrors). I know I can do it and do it well.

And what happened? I walked in, I missed my cue, I screeched instead of sang, I missed notes. Argh!! So, so silly. I’m better than this.

Rant over. I hate auditions.

No responses yet

Apr 15 2011


Published by under Blog

In the last 15 months, I’ve gone through a horrible break-up, lost a job, had a string of medical issues, suffered depression, had a string of personal shocks and most recently, I’ve been robbed. The fact that I’m still standing is a mystery to me. I’m broke, I’m on the jobhunt, I need a plumber (not a euphemism) and I can’t find the paracetemol.

What’s this then?

IMG_9599This is my attempt to mark an end to the crapness of this last year and try to build a fresh start. Things aren’t all that bad. I have a great selection of wonderful friends – I’d be lost without Anthony and Sinead – my family are being incredibly supportive, and I’m seeing someone new, who is kind, funny and mad about me (what more could I ask?).

I’ve also joined a musical society. We recently staged Jesus Christ Superstar in The Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire. The cast is really close and I love all of them. Over the past few months, between rehearsals, nights out and the show itself, they have been a well needed distraction from real life’s woes.

I’m embracing the positives (and no, I’m not reading any self-help novels). I’m going to try focus on the good things and look forward instead of constantly moping and moaning about the things that are in the past and can’t be changed.

Here’s to a fresh start, a fresh outlook and a fresh attitude to life.


7 responses so far

Dec 02 2010

Hell Yeah, I Look Hot!

Published by under Blog,Photography

I‘m always on the look out for a new look, a new way of defining myself. :-/ Today, working from home, I look like this:

What? Not attractive? I think I look hot!!! Ahem…

Okay, here I am being cute instead:

4 responses so far

May 12 2010

What Next?

Published by under Blog

Hey Darren, how are you?

Hi D, you’re well?

All is good with you?

Everything ok?

You in good form, mate?

‘Story, bud?

I’m grand. I’m fine. Coping. I’m good, yeah.

All just words really; they mean very little.

The truth is, I’m having a hectic and messy few weeks, but I’m positive about where things are heading. I’m loving work right now and when I’m out of an evening, I’m having fun, rather than just going through the motions.

There are plenty of people who’ve had it worse than me. It’s just hard sometimes to step out of self-obsession long enough to see this.

My new job in the IIA, though just short term, is perfectly suited to me. All the jobs I’ve had and all the experience I’ve gained over the years seem to be geared towards this position. And it’s nice to feel challenged by work again.

Culch.ie is going phenomenally well. Traffic on the site is taking a jump again in recent times. This is due to some great new writers, consistent quality content (the most important thing, IMO) and support from companies and PR firms who are able to offer competition prizes, review tickets and other information. Yes, it still costs me money to run. I’m reluctant to put ads on the site to pay for it, as I don’t want to take away its community feeling. We’ll see.

The love life is a real life horror movie, so there’s no change there. I just need to get used to my own company for a while. I need to find myself, blah, blah, blah… Truthfully, I don’t know what I need or want, but I’m going to try to enjoy finding out.

What else? What do you want to know?

I think Amy the Cat is feeling very neglected these days. I should pay her more attention. She doesn’t bring me dead birds as gifts anymore. I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. Does she hate me now? 🙂

I’m trying to keep this week free of plans – we’re coming up to our Annual Conference next week and the preparations for that are forcing me to keep long hours. That said, I’m hoping to catch Manny Quinn tomorrow evening, head to the Queen’s 25th on Friday and then after a hopefully quiet weekend, head to see Sandi Thom in Whelans on Monday. Yes, that is my idea of a quiet few days.

All in all, it’s not too bad. I’m smiling.

4 responses so far

Apr 19 2010

One Line

Published by under Blog

I’m fascinated by the schizophrenic nature of my last two posts.

3 responses so far

Apr 19 2010

Nine Years Is A Long Time

Published by under Blog

Tyler Durden, the man with the planNine years is a long time. In nine years, I grew up, I became a man, I built a home and a career and a life I could never have imagined or hoped for back in my school days when I couldn’t see my future for all the misery that school brought.

Over nine years, I built a life with my best friend, my lover, my everything, and at Christmas, it all came crashing down around my ears.

I drank, I cried, I made a fool of myself. I didn’t know where I was. In recent weeks, I really thought it was all starting to come back together. I thought I was doing a great job of piecing my life back into some semblance of normality and sense.

But that’s rubbish. I’m a lost child. I’m feeling and groping my way through the dark. I’m a teen fiddling with a bra for the first time – sure, parts of it are exciting, but overall it just feels like I could be doing it a lot better.

I couldn’t get off the couch yesterday – I sat there, staring at the monotonous glow of the TV for hours. I attempted to engage with the world, but it was forced and fake and unsatisfying. And that’s just it, that’s what my life is at the moment – a series of attempts. A series of endeavours to get it right, to fix it, to be happy again. But it’s all forced and fake and unsatisfying. I’m unsatisfied with life and the world. I have put in my dues, I have worked hard, I have tried to make up for all my many mistakes, but it just seems like I haven’t done enough to deserve a break.

I am, in my mind, aware of how lucky I am to be surrounded by some amazing friends and those who have become more than friends in recent times. I should be happy, or at least content with my lot, but I’m not. My heart and head aren’t in it. The very simple and silly concept of happiness eludes me. I smile and laugh and joke and engage and kiss and touch and hug and play and sing and dance and bounce and carry on as normal. But as soon as I’m on my own, when there’s no one to perform for anymore, I see the world for what it really is – a miserable mess of stupid people doing stupid things, hurting others and making vague attempts at apologies, though no one truly believes or accepts them.

Apologies, forgiveness, acceptance – these are all imaginary notions that grease the cogs of the world, allowing it to function. Without these concepts that no one truly believes; without them, we would all come to a grinding halt. Because we would see people for what they really are – cruel, bitter, lonely, sad and unwaveringly selfish.

Happy Monday everyone! Just be thankful you’re not me.

9 responses so far

Mar 18 2010

One Sunny Afternoon In March

Published by under Blog

Wow, it’s a long time since I stuck my head in here to dust off the cobwebs. I’ve got a lovely new header image to replace a picture with far too many memories attached. Both good and bad memories. So, now I look forward to a long and open road of fresh possibilities.

I woke up this morning at a very reasonable hour. I got up, followed my morning routine and even went so far as to put some decent clothing on. I’m currently wearing  jeans, a shirt, a wasitcoat and a tie. My shoes are on too.

Why do I draw attention to this, I hear you ask. Well, I work a three day week now, thanks to the death of the Celtic Tiger, and today is not one of my working days. So, I have pottered around the apartment, worked on Culch.ie a bit, taken a few phonecalls regarding a potential new job, written some possibly good or possibly awful pieces of fiction and now I sit here contemplative, staring out at the now beautiful late afternoon sky.

It has been raining, but right now…things are looking grand.

Yes, I’m having a contemplative day. It feels as though I’m teetering on the edge of something. No – I’m balancing on a fence. To one side is the past and all the wallowing that goes with that. To the other side is the wide, gaping chasm of the unknown, the future. The future could be wonderful or it could be a painful disaster. So…here I stand. On my fence. Trying to decide what to do next. Trying to work out how to take that step towards the gaping chasm.

Me, Myself and I

11 responses so far

Nov 24 2009

Some Thoughts This Week

Published by under Blog,Poetry

This weekend, I’m along to the stag of an old friend.
This week, I hear of the engagement of another.
Congratulations to both. I hope
Their lives are long and fun and run
Into nothing but easy hurdles.

Mine curdles, my life,
My plans of wealth and success, scuppered
By cans of beer, of excess
I’ve faltered.

Where once ideas and ideals stood solemn,
The column has fallen, or is maybe just leaning
Allowing for compromises and alterations,
A heart bent on large rooms relents to
An apartment. Age looms.

I once vowed to stay young, to be Peter Pan –
A petered plan. Now old before my time,
Twenty eight, the new forty eight,
Fine lines and a tired mind. I resolve
I will go to the gym, I will walk, I will cycle,
I will eat better, I will drink less, I will rehab.
I devolve
The thought of the aches from my muscles
Gym? Walk? Cycle? Sorrow!
I pour a glass. I’ll start tomorrow.

6 responses so far

Nov 12 2009

He Listens For The Footsteps That Would Follow Him Around

Published by under Blog,DART

We slip in and out of peoples lives everyday. Sometimes our effect can be profound, sometimes slight, sometimes we go unnoticed at all. But we’re there. We cross paths with the world and don’t even realise that for the briefest of moments, we are a part of these peoples lives.

I think about that quite a bit. But never more so than when I’m sitting on the DART on the way to work in the mornings. It’s fascinating to watch them all.

Just think about this – how vast is your life? Think about all the years you’re on this planet; think of all the things you’ve done, you’ve thought about, you’ve been involved in; think about all the things you did in school, in college, in work; think about all those nights out, the gigs, the movies, the shows you’ve been to; think about all the people you’ve met this week, last week, last month, last year. It’s truly epic in scale. And that’s just your life. I look around the DART and see about 50 other people on this carriage alone. Each and every one of those people have had similarly vast lives. Mindblowing stuff.

No responses yet

Oct 03 2009

Belief Is The Death Of Intelligence – Robert Anton Wilson

Published by under Blog,Religion

I should probably get around to reading Dawkins’ God Delusion. The man may be irritating, but from the few snippets I’ve read, he seems to talk sense.

I got into an argument with a priest a few years ago, who tried to spin the whole ‘bad things happen for a reason’  thing and we may never know that reason as it’s all part of God’s plan. I asked him if he then believed in presdestination, predeterminism, fate. He replied to the contrary, saying that we were all given free will by God and can chart our own courses.

This bothered me greatly. I didn’t (and don’t) believe in God and I was having a great problem with the fact that he did. His belief bothered me. I’ll acknowledge that’s a failing on my part. Who am I to question his beliefs? Can’t we all just get on with our lives, each of us keeping our own beliefs to themselves, I thought.

But – he wasn’t. He was not in a church – it was the afters of a wedding – and he was foisting his beliefs on me and telling me why I was wrong and why I should believe in God. So, I persisted too.

If he believed in choice and free will, I queried, then how could he also peddle the ‘God has a plan’ nonsense. He backfooted and said that choice and free will are an inherent part of God’s plan. I argued that this made God (should he, she or it exist) an inherently bad/evil/flawed deity that purposely made sure that bad things could happen, that he encouraged his subjects to cause pain to each other. The priest was iritated by my suggestion that God was evil, but couldn’t sufficiently explain his belief to me without falling back on the vicious ‘God has a plan’ circle.

In truth, I was the one who came out of the conversation frustrated and angry, while he was blissfully calm in his ignorance. Perhaps it would be nice to have this psychological cushion to fall back on at all times. When things are bad, he can just rest assured that his creator has a plan for him, that he serves a useful function in the world and will be rewarded in the next. Fine, I may not be comforted by the fact that this world is all we have and we have to make the best of it, but at least I’m not hiding my fear of the unknown behind a mask of religious beliefs.

I did not have further conversations with that priest that evening.

4 responses so far

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