Monday, November 28, 2011

Accusations of Sexism Leveled at O'Leary Air

Reporters converged on the offices of Anne O'Leary, the outrageous and often spiteful CEO of O'Leary Air following accusations of sexism aboard her blog.  "You've been accused of using pictures of Boobies to attract men to your blog." one reporter asked.  O'Leary responded by saying "Shit, feck, arse."  Seeing O'Leary's obvious confusion the reporter pushed the advantage "How do you respond to the accusations that your Airline is exploiting women?"  "Bloody feckin hell" was O'Leary's response.  O'Leary was clearly sober and therefor not prepared to handle the press.  Her advisers rushed her into the nearest pub where they remained for the better part of the afternoon. 

Later that day, at a formal press conference, a clearly inebriated O'Leary issued this statement. 

"Okay you feckless bastards, this is what I'm gonna do. Since I've been wrongfully accused of exploiting women, I've decided that the best course of action for my imaginary Airline to take is to begin exploiting men as well.  In this manner I can not only shut you gobshites up, but I can attract gay men and women to my page as well.  It's an economically sound decision and one I'm not afraid to make."

"We've got a lot of good-looking men working for us and I just ordered/ asked some of them if they would like to post semi-nude in order to keep thier jobs make you happy. And all of them agreed. So here you have it, the Sexy Men of O'Leary Air. Christ if this goes over well enough, I just might make a calender featuring these guys. "

Following this statement O'Leary weaved drunkenly off the stage, held up by her Chief Adviser Guido who had this to say "Feck off."


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Troll of Fame Is Now Open

Some of you might remember my post "I've Bagged Me First Troll"  and how I hoped to one day open my Troll of Fame where I could put my Trolls on display. Well today is that day. 

Now you know I don't count coup on a troll until I clear it with my pet troll Guido here.  So I turned Guido loose and sent him to sniffin'.  After reading the comment directed towards me Guido had this to say "That's a feckin' troll Miss. Bag him and tag him."  So I did.

And this is where I'm keeping him. Welcome to my Troll of Fame.  Nice isn't it?  And it's roomy too. Now you might be asking yourself "Jesus Christ, how long will she keep that troll?"  and "What is she going to feed him?"

And I would answer "Guido will feed him a daily ration of flies. And I'll feed him a little something of my own.

It's not very filling, but it's tasty.  Now I know what yer thinking "Who is this arsemonkey and what did he do to piss Anne off?"  And I would answer "None of you know this particular arsemonkey as he doesn't follow this blog"  As to what the bastard said, well let's just say he found me annoying and was possessed by an uncontrollable urge to let me know it.  Now the first thing that I'm going to do with my trolls is to assign them a new avi and a new name (it's for their own protection).

This is the trolls new avi and his new name is The Troll From Downunder.  This is an important aspect of the Troll of Fame and will bestow immortality on my wonderful trolls. Hopefully I'll collect more trolls and can occaisionally bring them out for a public viewing. It'll be great. 

All original photographs have my signature embedded and are source located to my camera.  Copy, crop, paste and I'll put you out to pasture with this new sheep I've acquired. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Spawns Scheme To Save The Irish Economy

Now ya might asking yourself "Is she referring to the Irish Minister of Finance, Michael Noonan whose current scheme involves raising taxes on an already over taxed people?"  And I would say "No. If I was referring to Noonan I'd use the term gobshite." 

This would be The Spawn I'm referring to, my own lovely daughter. Now don't let those blue eyes fool you.  The Spawn can turn a man to stone with a look at 50 paces and she shoots flames out her nostrils when pissed off.  She's expert at throwing things across the room at a velocity that can create a sonic boom.  Now these traits are normal for most Irish women. They evolved over a millenium to enable us can handl the Irish male.

For the five or six braindead zombies out there who don't know it, the Irish economy is in the shitter.  My first warning of The Spawns increasing distress over the fate of her country came about when we elected our new President,  Michael Higgins.

To hear Higgins speak is a wonderful thing indeed. He's a poet and a former broadcaster and listening to him speak of his hopes for our country can set your heart to singing.  While the rest of us were filled with hope and happiness, The Spawn responded like this "Now mum, I know the words are lovely and they're exactly what we need to hear right now, but they're just words.  Hope won't fix our problems."  The Spawn is what I call a "political junky".  If a politician takes a piss in an alley, my daughter knows about it. 

As I said earlier my first warnings of The Spawns distress came about a little late in the game. Unbeknownst to me and my husband, The Spawn had begun her serious worrying months ago.  And she had already begun to develop a scheme. Her plan was to increase tourism and bring new graduates with their own cash into the country to partner with young Irish and begin their own businesses.

The Spawn plans on packin' 'em in by the trainload.  You girls back home remember D* and his mum B* who visited last year?  Well, they're coming back and bringing the rest of their family with them.  The Spawns scheme goes something like this.  Rent a home in Galway for a month, then visit Limerick and then spend time in Dublin. That way the money gets spread around and the people get to see enough of Ireland to want to come back every year. And who's going to be driving these people across the country? Not me. It will be up to you girls to pull this thing off together.

Now the way The Spawn has it figured, if she stops now she'll be bringin in €48,000.00 in new tourist dollars next year.  Does The Spawn intend to stop there? No.  Her goal is €100,000.00 by the end of 2012.  Are my husband and I going to put the breaks on this thing? We won't stop her unless she frets herself into a mess. 

And the other thing you girls back home have been hearing about is true.  She wants to open a business of her own with her brother and some of you.  The question that remains is this "Will we, her parents, bankroll this endeavor?"  The answer to that question is this "We're thinking about it. But not until 2013."  So keep your noses clean and stay in school girls or the answer is NO.

Will The Spawn succeed in her goals? Will my husband and I survive her scheme? The answer to the first is "Perhaps" the answer to the second question is "Not bloody likely." 

All original photographs have my signature embedded and are source traced directly to my camera. Copy, crop, paste and I'll have The Spawn turn you to stone.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A World Without Colour

Today I'm putting up some black and white photography.  This is a new area for me and I have no idea what I'm doing. I only began taking photo's as a hobby in May, when my daughter bought me a camera. It was her way of saying "Mum, we're growing up and you really need to get your nose out of our business, so here's a camera, I really need you to like it" 

But before we get to the pictures I want to tell my friends in Twitterland a bit about some of my new friends in Bloggerland. Over the course of the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing a bit about each one of the wacky inhabitants of Bloggerland that I've come to know with the wacky people in Twitterland.  Today I'm going to introduce people from what I'm going to call The Irish Contingent.

First off there's a gent that goes by the name of The Angry Lurker at  Angry's page is devoted to the art of wargaming.  The artwork Angry does on his pieces is spectacular and the amount of knowledge of history that is required to play these games is impressive.  I know there are a lot of you in Twitterland that love history and I feel certain that if you visit Angry's page, you'll become as addicted to his blog as I've become.

Next up is a young man from Northern Ireland whose name is Matthew and his blog can be found at  I'm so glad I met Matthew. It is of great benefit to me to know a young person from up North and to see Ireland through his eyes.  Matthew is so completely honest about himself that he gives me courage to be more open myself. And for all of us who have forgotten about how hard it is to be young, Matthew's page serves as a great reminder.

Now how to describe Mich over at SickB*tch ? She's so many things wrapped up into one, she defies a single label. First off she's a professional writer and has a published a novel Underwood (available for purchase at Amazon).  Mich is also obsessive compulsive about exercising and is always worrying about her weight. Can I hear an Amen ladies?  You can find brilliantly funny stories about her life on her blog accompanied by her own animations.

I'm going to include my dear friend from Twitterland, Michelle in The Irish Contingent. Now Michelle is an American, but I've come to think of her as a sister, so I'm counting her as Irish. You can find Michelle at The Best Me That I Can Be  Like most of us women, Michelle is hard on herself about her weight.  But unlike a lot of us Michelle has found a healthy and consistent way of losing weight and maintaining it.  She is a member of Weight Watchers and it works because she uses it.  Michelle also shares stories about herself on her blog and she is worth getting to know. You know her on Twitter as @grrlysquirrel and I suggest that you get to know her better by reading her blog. 

And if you're reading this in Twitterland Deb, you'll love Mich and Michelle. I've read your tweets Deb and I think you should consider writing your own blog. Me, you Mich and Michelle could combine our forces and rule the Blogosphere. Between the four of us we could figure out how to lose the weight in our arses and keep our boobs while doing it.

And finally here are some of my attempts at black and white photography.

Now I know that was a lot for one blog. For those of you who stuck with it this far, I say Thank You. And so does my daughter, you've spared her the inconvenience of being troubled by her mum for one more day.

All photographs have my signature embedded and are source located to my camera. Copy, crop paste and I'll drain the colour from your life and I won't be using Photshop when I do it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

"You'd better ring home Miss"

My Auntie Brideys' husband Jack passed this last July.  And after 65 years of marriage, it's only natural for the rest of us to be concerned about how she's getting on without him. So I wasn't exactly surprised when my sister rung me up on Friday to talk about the families concerns.  "Anne" she said, "Bridey isn't one to talk about her feelings and you know it.  I haven't been able to get a thing out of about how she's feeling and neither can Cousin Margie.  You were always her favorite, so why don't you give her a ring and see what you can find out."  This is how that conversation went.

"You must be missing Jack something fierce Auntie....."  I started to say.  "Now don't you sound just like your mother Anne. "  she interrupted me.  "You always were the one to take after her.  Oh and how I still miss her. Her and me, we played together as children. And the no-good we got up to, well you wouldn't believe it if I told you."  After spending half an hour crying over memories of my mum who'd been gone these past three years, I hung up the phone and just stared at it.  Bridey had done it again, she'd avoided talking about Jack. My Auntie is a master at avoiding uncomfortable questions and she never argues, she just "talks her way around it" until you've forgotten the reason you called in the first place.  So today, I thought I'd share a few stories about my mum, since I spent the weekend thinking of her.

This is a picture of my mum in Edinburgh in the 1950's.  My mum was a Catholic, but my father was a Protestant (no arguing in my home).  After my youngest sister was born, my father decided he was done having children and got a vasectomy. As I was ten years old at the time, I didn't know what that was, let alone that he'd had one.  This is how my mother dealt with it.

"Now children, you're poor da is sick and he needs his quiet, so leave him be."  As a kid in rural Ireland, having a parent who'd been in hospital was a big deal. It was a story you could tell your friends so you could feel big.  "Ah ma, I can tell he's in a bad way. Did he have an operation?"  I asked, hoping he'd had a really good one.  "Oh he was mighty sick he was.  It was his kidney, it was so infected it was near to exploding.  When the doctor took it out, that kidney burst right in his hands.  If the doctor hadn't gotten it out when he did, your da would be dead right now."  Well this was grand news indeed for me.  It was a major organ (the heart would have been better) and he'd almost died, I was cock of the walk for a good few days after that. My mother had brilliantly turned a sin into a benefit for all of us children. 

Another time when I was in my early twenties, I scared the life out of my mother by not calling her for two whole days. I was living in Dublin with two of my best chums and we girls were living the life. I had a boyfriend and a job. I was the perfect daughter.  One night I went to the theatre with my boyfriends best mate whose girlfriend had just dumped him.  The next day I called off work and decided to stay home and catch some sun on my tiny terrace garden.  I was sitting there sipping a gin and tonic, reading a book, listening to music and feeling very modern and grown up when I heard a knock on the front door.  I put down my drink, slipped my feet into my sandals and went to answer the door.  On the other side of the door stood a police officer wearing a huge grin on his face.  "You'd better ring home Miss, your ma is worried about you.  She seems to think you've been kidnapped and may be tied up in a basement somewhere."  So I rung my mum up, ready to give her the what for.  "Oh Jesus, you're safe child. I was so worried, I thought ya might be dead."  were the first words out of her mouth.  "Put my father on the phone ma" I said, knowing we'd just end up in a screaming match if I spoke to her at all.  So my father gets on the phone and explains to me that when I didn't ring mum up for two whole days, she called my boyfriend whose flatmate said he was out of town and said that I had gone to the theatre with another man.  The next day mum calls work and they tell her, I'd done called off sick. The only logical conclusion was that I'd been kidnapped by some strange man and was being held in a basement.  And my father ended the conversation like this "None of this would have happened if you'd just rung up your mother like your supposed to. You brought it on yourself." 

Now you would never think it to look at her, but this is the face of a devious criminal.  My Auntie told me this story.  Every year mum would fly over to the States to visit her sister and they'd have a grand time together.  What I didn't know was that my mum was a smuggler.  It seems that every time she went over, she filled her purse, her coat pockets and her on-board luggage with sausages, cheese and whiskey from Ireland, all of which is illegal.  Bridey said she'd barely wait till she'd cleared customs before she'd open her coat like a flasher and start showing off her latest "haul."  I've tried to imagine what would have happened had she ever been caught. Most likely the custom official would have been made to feel guilty about something he'd done as a child and let her go while promising to ring up his own mother straight-away. 

Now I can promise you all that I will be late getting to read your posts today and late to dealing with comments.  As my friends in Twitterland know, I'm down with a cold.  I finally got time to tweet and you lot were setting off fire crackers and burning staw men in bonfires, so I left most of you messages.  Hope you all had a great Guy Fawkes Day and that nobody got their fingers blown off.  

I'm off to the land of nod.  Nighty night. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

In Real Life

Some of you in Twitterland may remember a day this past May when I sent out a tweet that went something like this.  "If there's anyone out there listening, I need someone to talk to."  And you responded, you were there for me when I needed you.  For those of you who were there that day, this is an answer to your questions about how we are doing. For those of you who don't know, here's a bit about what happened on that day in May.

That morning I was awakened by the sound of my husbands frantic cries for help.  I ran from my office, into the bedroom. and found him laying on the bed.  He had lost all bowel and bladder control and was losing sensation in his legs.  I rang for an ambulance and he was taken to hospital.  It was immediately apparent to the doctors that there were no surgeons on staff qualified to perform the surgery he was going to need.  I made one phone call to family and less than an hour later, my husband was life flighted to a hospital in the States.  I could not go with him as I had the children to care for.  By the time he arrived at hospital stateside, his mother and his sister were there waiting for him. 

A team of five surgeons were assembled in the operating theatre to perform spinal surgery. The spinal cord itself was in danger of being severed or damaged permanantly.  Ten hours later I recieved a phone call telling me that my husband had come through surgery and would be able to walk.  The spinal cord was intact, but due to the nature of the initial injury that caused the compression, he has lost the ability to do most of the things we all take for granted.  He is, and always will be in constant pain.  This is why we are all stateside right now.  Because his condition is still in a state of flux, we cannot be far from his surgical team and are living in a small rural town less than an hours drive from hospital.

Since then I have taken hundreds of photos of him, trying to capture the essence of what he has endured.  The loss, the pain, the fear and the anger that he is experiencing show themselves on the face I know so well. 

Some of you in Twitterland know what he looked like before the surgery.  This photo was taken in August.  My husband is 6' 5", he used to weigh 250 pounds.  All of that was solid muscle.  His muscles were not due to working out, they were due to working.  His work days began at sunup and did not end until around 8:00 - 9:00 p.m.  This man was not made for sitting around being idle, and the life he has now is not acceptable.

This photo was taken last night.  All that beautiful hair is now gone and his weight is down to 190 pounds.  His hair began falling out in irregular patches in September.  The doctor of internal medicine that is assigned to his case said that this was due to extreme stress.  So my husband went ahead and shaved what remained of his hair.  The weight loss is due to the drastic decrease in muscle mass. 

The toll that this has taken on our family is enormous. 

This is our daughter.  When we have lived in the States before, it has been due to my work with univiersities.  And in a university town, she blended in. Her personality, her temperment and her way of thinking are Irish not American.  There are no Irish here and no foreigners of any kind.  She and I do not belong here.  And the people here will never accept us.  Living in the States has become almost intolerable for her and me.  (We have an adopted American son and I will do a seperate post about him at a later date).

Things are going to improve.  In June we are going to Galway where I hope to finalize the purchase of a new home.  My family is not from Galway, but are from County Cork.  But Galway has always been my hearts desire, and I intend to live out the remainder of my days there so my sisters can just bugger off about it.  I won't be changing my mind. 

A sad face is not what my family shows to the world.  Despite all of these difficulties we strive to rise above it and refuse to be defined by this hardship.  We will not be defeated by it.  We will endure, we will go on and we will be better because of it. 

At the moment I have very little time to tweet.  My family needs me to be present in the here and now. I miss all of you in Twitterland and thank you all for your support over the last couple of months There is one person in Twitterland who knows all of this, who has been consistantly there for me and who has brightened so many a dreary day.  If you're down there Steve, wake up sleepy head I miss you.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hipsters: An Irrelevant Elite or A Breed of Zombies That Just Won't Die?

When coming Stateside this past summer I stopped to visit my Auntie Bridey in Staten Island like I usually do. While going out to dinner one night, I saw something that looked like this standing outside of a coffee shop.

"Ah Jesus Bridey, things must be really bad here..." I said as I reached into my purse to pull out a fiver. "Christ Anne," she said while pulling me down the street with her "don't make eye contact with it. If you do, it will try to psychoanalyze you." I stopped cold on the street and said this to her "Bridey, how can you be so heartless as not to help out a homeless person in need?" What she said next, chilled my blood. "It's not a homeless person, it's a hipster" she said in a whisper. "And it's not poor, it comes from an upper middle class family and dresses itself up to appear poor."

"Jesus Christ God Almighty" I said. "So they're real. We all thought they were an urban myth. Like Bigfoot and such." Putting her arm around my shoulders, Bridey hurried us off the street and into the car. She locked the door, hauled her seatbelt around her, put the car in gear and tore into traffic without checking the rearview. "No pet, they're real" she said. "They've been here for years. The younger set is trying to eradicate them through the use of new music and new fashion, but these things are tenacious. They've reached their thirties and have become irrelevant, but they just can't seem to accept it, so they persist."

My mind then reached the next even more horrifying conclusion. "You don't mean that these things are now breeding do you Bridey?" She turned to look at me with eyes so wide I could see the veins against the white and said "Yes Anne, some of them are breeding and producing children of their own. But don't panic. The children will react against them and that should relegate them to obscurity where they belong." And then she added this warning "Don't bring the great nieces and nephews to visit for a few years. The government is still working on a vaccine to prevent a pandemic and we don't want this shite infecting Ireland."

And to answer the question posed to me by my daughters friends back home about hipsters.

Yes hipsters are real, they roam the streets unhindered in broad daylight and are free to assault normal people with banal rhetoric. But our President elect, Michael Higgins has been debriefed by the CIA and is aware of the potential damage to our country if hipsterism should attempt to take hold. So you can all sleep safely in your beds tonight children. Auntie Anne is off to sleep. Nighty night.

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