Thursday, August 10, 2006

Cork and Emo

Well, the weekend is long since over and it’s now Thursday. I updated ‘Stop, Look, Listen’ yesterday as you can tell. Cork was fun – though there’s nothing like starting a holiday weekend with a four hour drive involving the Strokes, Pearl Jam and the Who played at unwisely and unnecessarily loud volumes (and some ill-advised singalongs on my part).

Some quick notes from the weekend that was:
  • I got lost! I’m so ashamed. On a related note, RAC.ie can shove their driving directions up their collective a-words. Anyway, after some serious improvisation on my part (the directions from RAC turned out to be physically impossible) and then passing the Beamish brewery three times in fifteen minutes I decided to ask directions. Turns out I was about 100 metres from my eventual destination. Oh well.
  • You know, an hour and a half would be too much for some people to drive for breakfast, but as it turns out, not us. I know – we’re idiots. Still, you have to love The Wild Onion in Limerick. It’s a Chicago themed diner that runs a roaring trade in breakfast and lunches, and the portions are enormous. Doesn’t taste half bad either.
  • I’m starting to think I overuse the word ‘dude’. Just thought I’d mention it.
  • I think a visit to Other Realms in the Paul Street Centre terrified my friend Moll. If you’ve never been there on a Saturday, you’re missing out on what may be the dorkiest experience of your lifetime. Essentially it’s a load of over- and under-weight guys in dragon t-shirts playing Warhammer on big diorama boards and arguing over ‘Futurama’ quotes. I think it’s all a bit of fun, but I think outside of there, I’m in the minority.
  • We went out Saturday night and ended up getting a taxi into town. I’m normally pretty good with the Cork accent and slang – unless someone is deliberately trying to prevent me from understanding them, I can usually figure it out. Anyway, not so with our taxi driver – I hadn’t a f-wording clue. Not one. He was talking, I was nodding and agreeing, but for all I know there’s now a taxi driver in Cork who believes I agree that ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ should have got an Oscar.
  • Big ‘Howya!’ to Marianne and Brendan, the slightly giddy couple we met in Tom Barry’s Bar on Saturday.


A few links, while we’re here:


If you still haven’t heard Alice Cooper’s radio show, now’s the time. This link seems to be something different, but if you can tune into Today FM on Saturday nights from about 6.


I’m positively giddy about this one: Transformers! The Live Action Movie! Directed by Michael Bay! Produced by Steven Spielberg! Click here so I can stop using exclamation marks! If you go to the Hasbro site (there’s a link from the movie page), you’ll see that they’re also re-releasing the original movie on DVD, and some ‘Classic’ toys. Good times.


I’ve also only just discovered Emogame. I just spent half an hour playing it and I couldn’t stop giggling. If you’re into Dashboard, Bright Eyes, Get Up Kids, The Anniversary or indeed any Emo band, you’ll probably find this hilarious, and/or be vaguely offended by it. I also really like American Fear Clothing, which links from the site. I’ll have to buy a t-shirt or something.


Yes, I know I’ve mentioned Emo music and a clothing line, but I’m going to talk about ‘Failure To Launch’ and then I’m going to get my ovaries looked at. Seriously, have you seen this movie? Did they even try to make it seem different from ‘How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days’? My wife got the DVD out on Monday night – possibly in retaliation for my renting ‘The Weather Man’ a few weeks back – and I agreed. I actually like Matthew McConaughey – he’s replaced Brad Pitt as the ‘actor-I-like-even-though-every-girl-gets-a-dreamy-look-when-he’s-mentioned’, not least of all because he’s slowly morphing into his character from ‘Dazed And Confused’. But I hated this movie. I didn’t particularly like ‘How To Lose A Guy…’ either – but I Kate Hudson bugs me a whole lot less than Sarah Jessica Parker.


Okay, rant over.


I need to talk about beer or sports or something now. Just to get over that. What was I thinking about? Oh yeah…


I’ve been convinced for the past two seasons (plus lockout) that Sebastien Caron was about to make the leap to Outstanding Goaltender. I still think he shows flashes of brilliance – given the lousy state of the Penguins blueline, everyone’s had to – but I honestly believe Caron is something special.


Now he’s gone to Chicago. And I’m happy for him.


Don’t get me wrong –I believe that at some point in the next year or so the Pens will look at him and regret having given him up, and as a Pens fan I’ll be right there with them. But with Marc-Andre Fleury there he wasn’t going to get much of a shot. And don’t get me wrong about Fleury – he’s going to be the best goalie in black and gold since Tom Barrasso. But Caron was underrated. And for that, he was my favourite, over and above Fleury. Have fun in the Windy City, Sebastien.


Incidentally, this is the second time I’ve started talking about Cork and wound up talking about Penguin goalies. Weird, huh?


Until next time…

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Back to the Future

Before we get set for the weekend, I just want to give a quick mention to two of my new obsessions, both of which are somewhat related. Yes, kids – it’s snail-mail time!

The first is an online project called Postcrossing, and you can find it here. Basically you send and received postcards from random people across the world, which actually sounds like fun. You can send (and be sent) up to five cards at a time, and according to the site’s owner, it’s completely secure so that people can’t just look up your address, just for laughs.

The second is Pen Pal International. See, I told you these were related. In an attempt to write more letters and to receive something other than bills through the post, I’ve registered with this Pen Pal site. I registered on Tuesday, and I’ve already got a couple of e-mail responses (and none of them seem like nutters, which is nice). There’s quite a few of them out there, this just happened to be the first one that came up when I Googled ‘Pen Pal’. I didn’t want to get a bunch of twelve year olds, so I was initially going to enter ‘Adult Pen Pals’ but as we’ve all learned by now you take your life and decency in your hands when you enter the word ‘adult’ into a search engine.
Anyway, let’s move on to the important stuff.
Any thoughts on Heath Ledger as Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’? I’m actually in favour of it. I read an interview with Adam Brody a few months back in which he suggested Matthew Broderick, which led to several long conversations on the topic among my friends. Heath Ledger’s name wasn’t mentioned, but I think he can pull it off. If you forget the moody ‘Brokeback’ character and go back to… okay, he doesn’t smile much in any films, but there’s plenty of shots of him with a s-word eating grin, and if you imagine the white makeup on that, it does kind of work. Not my first choice (Christopher Eccleston or – and you’re either going to love this idea or hate it – Ryan Seacrest would top my list), but I still think he’ll work. Of course, I can’t shake the feeling that Jon Stewart would have made a good Lex Luthor, so what do I know?
I’m heading south for the long weekend. I’m going down to Cork to see my buddy Moll – who’s in danger of becoming an internet legend following this mention, as well as a mention in JB’s Blog here. Anyway, as I’ve mentioned many times before in this space, I love going to Cork, simply because it’s home to both the country’s best Mexican food and the country’s best comic-book store.
Random tangent – is it just me or has Dashboard Confessional become the official band of MySpace? Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘em – but when the site asked me to upgrade to Flash 9 this morning, it decided to entertain me by playing a Dashboard video while I waited. And they certainly get mentioned a lot, even allowing for the fact that they’re on my ‘Friends’ list (and as such I get all their bulletins). And why are they in the ‘Metal’ section in Virgin?
Yup, it’s official – I have too much time on my hands.
Anyway, if you want to find me over the weekend – tough. I have no idea where I’ll be. I don’t have any regular haunts in Cork – bar Café Mexicana and Other Realms, of course – so if you’re looking to see your favourite blogger drunk… I don’t know where he hangs out either.

I watched ‘A Town Called Eureka’ last night, in case you were wondering. It’s not bad. It’s not great, either – I can’t see it lasting more than one season, if even that long. It was a two-hour pilot, which I think was a problem, as it didn’t hold up for the full two hours. Kind of sad when a TV show peaks before the first episode is over, but there you go.
I’m still reading, watching and listening to the same stuff, by the way. That’s why the sidebar hasn’t changed.
I’m building up to a big post, incidentally. I just have to get these small ones out of my system first. I’m not going to promise how long, when it will happen or what the topic will be, but it’s coming.
Anyway, until next time…