Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thing 78 Write My Own Crossword

1 Bill for travel (6)
5 Enter or assume a state or position, change (6)
10 Balkan Republic (7)
11 Overly fussy or particular, about food say (7)
12 Titled peer (4)
13 Put off, procrastinate (5)
15 Swedish popstars (4)
17 Illuminated (3)
19 No one avails of this drool (6)
21 Erase, remove (6)
22 Process of wearing away (6)
23 Send another way, distract (6)
25 Take small bites (6)
28 Vessel for ashes (3)
30 Contest of speed (4)
31 Sigmund ------, psychologist (5)
32 Tightly curled hair-do (4)
35 Ape, copy (7)
36 Capital of Kenya (7)
37 Refuse to accept (6)
38 This Ranter was aimless (6)

2 Sinful, wicked (7)
3 A tight curl, stumbling block (4)
4 Make a journey (6)
5 Meal, cupboard, strike (6)
6 Tins (4)
7 Morbid concern, of death (7)
8 No ------, a a basic package (6)
9 Yes Captain (3,3)
14 A long crack or opening, a split (7)
16 States as fact (5)
18 Type of fabric (5)
20 This imitates life (3)
21 A mafia boss (3)
23 Charles Robert ------, "Origin of the Species" (6)
24 Immunisation against disease (7)
26 A fool, jester, fop (7)
27 Sexual, sensual (6)
28 Of pressing need (6)
29 A difference of degrees, minor change (6)
33 Deep hole, large opening (4)
34 Podium, stand, platform (4)
Pictured: Concentration. In its purest form.

Last night I was told I had "copped out" with the chest shaving... I can't see why. It was a brand new Thing for me, and if you had to put up with the weirdness this morning, you'd not be calling it easy either! It's thoroughly unpleasant. Anywho... here's hoping today makes up for it...

Four hours or so. Token Northy warned me that it would take a while, but did I listen? Noooo.... I'll knock this out in a half an hour this afternoon... bah. The bones of four hours, trying to fir everything into a grid which I totally stole from the Irish Times. To be fair, they do have the best crosswords...

At first, during the College Years, myself and Dr Frasier spent every Saturday morning downtown in Limerick in Ruben's Cafe with a crossword. We didn't always finish it, at the start we rarely finished it, but we sharpened our skills. Trained, monk-like to become crossword masters. Irish Times simplex all the way.

In later years when Dr Frasier departed for the Big Schmoke - The Frenchman took his place and it became our daily routine. The old Quarter are bored to death of us. In there nearly everyday, crossword in hand, never remembering a pen. Me pretending to be smart, The Frenchman actually being smart.

The long, rambling, ridiculous point I'm getting to, is that I've done a lot of crosswords. I like them a lot too. Token Northy does. Pony Boy does. Big Red does. Curtain Call does. We're a crosswordy bunch...
Pictured: Little Flower knows all the answers...

So it took me this long to getting around to doing my own. And I loved it. It was awesome.

Free pint in a Limerick Bar of your choice this Sunday if you can complete it... No cheating. Jesus and Santa will know, and they'll tell me...

Pictured: Is that Pixie Head cheating?? Surely not...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thing 77 Shave My Chest

Admittedly it's not a lot of chest hair to begin with. But it was mine dammit...

I went on a two week holiday to Australia last year - it was all I could get in the way of time off. I don't know if it's the same everywhere else in the world on a sun holiday (I've not been on many), but there was alot of Ken-Dolls at the beach. I don't mean toys. I mean dudes who had designer stubble and absolutely hairless chests. Apparently lots of guys wax and or shave their chests. It's sexy apparently... I'm asking for some ladies opinions here, but I really don't think that a hairless torso can be attractive for anyone? Correct me if I'm wrong...
Mind you, there's nothing sexy about a slightly chubby guy with shaving foam on his near bare chest. I started with the electric razor (because, you know, there's so much hair there - ahem). Then I took the wet razor to it. It's nothing short of bizarre. If there are lots of people out there, how do they do this on a regular basis? I also nearly lost a couple of nipples. And they're the only two that I have. I can't even afford to lose one.

I understand that there's a certain amount of effort that should be put into personal grooming. Showering. Shaving. Maybe a bit of hair gel if you've the luck to still have your locks. Mansteuriser? Not my cup of tea but the Token Northy and Pony Boy think it's okay. This is a stretch too far though. What could possible make this worth the risk of losing a nipple?
So now I've got my sad-face. Cos I'm hairless on my chest, and when I go to the beach this Saturday I'm going to look like someone who shaves his chest because he thinks it looks good. Stupid Project...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thing 76 Write A Limerick

Pictured: Limerick, not a poem.
Pictured: Limerick. Not a city. And a slightly dirty picture. Saucy minx...

A day of two halves. Except one half was way longer than the other, and therefor, cannot be, by definition, a half. What I should have said was a day divided unevenly in two pieces. Except that's kind of dumb. And makes almost no sense.

Here's why it was two uneven segments:

First Segment was my ninth attempt to go a day without swearing. Before today, there were eight failed attempts to go a whole day without using one swear word. I've a mouth like a pirate. I really hadn't realised prior to this Project exactly how much swearing I do. But it literally takes almost nothing to set me off.

Roundabout by The Parkway - in the correct lane, traffic moves up the outside lane and tries to cut in front... the effort not to explode in a hail of expletives nearly brought me to my knees. Traffic lights at Ivan's Cross. Light goes green. Traffic doesn't move. Person in front is putting on some make up. Must curse... but didn't.

On arriving at work, I was biting my nails. The strain of not swearing casually was crippling.

Conversation: "Hey Dan, how are you?".
Dan: "Man, I'm pretty fucking tired... DAMMIT!!! $%&*£$£%&*&$%%$£$%&***###%#£$%%^&^%$££...

Desperate measures are required if I'm going to pull this one off. But I'm going to have to try another day. So instead, there's this:

" I tried not to swear for a day.
It was not a fun game to play.
I just had to quit,
when I couldn't say shit,
'Cause curses are quite fun to say".

But wait... there's more...

"Limerick's a very fine City,
Often a little bit gritty.
It's thoroughly fine,
this city of mine,
not to visit would be such a pity".

I can't stop...

"A radio man is called Ray,
with more than his fair share to say.
His show is a hoot,
and clever to boot,
I listen almost every day".

And Token Northy wants in on this action too... He loves the blogging now so he does.

"There once was a fella names Dan,
Who came up with a wonderful plan.
A list to obey,
for a year and a day,
to make himself feel like a man".

Charming. What an asshole... :D

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thing 75 Swim In My Clothes

Can you see it? You don't even have to look closely. It's very obvious. It might actually be the first ever fully visible hangover. You can see it there, surrounding me, permeating me, crushing my soul. Guitars and Guinness in a smashing little bar in Newcastle, County Down called Mackens. Be rude to refuse that pint - thanks alot. Will we have another - sure, thanks again. What? For the road? Ya, I won't say no...

My poor head this morning. My poor, poor head.

I've always been a firm believer that a good swim, outdoors, early in the morning after the night before will do the world of good for a sick head. As long as I've been going to Kilkee (and that's a long time) I've always fancied a swim after a night out. And it's amazing. Nothing improves your health quite like it.The shock of sea water, and cool ocean breezes. If that doesn't scare the hangover out of you, nothing will.

Bombs away...
We were tempted the day before to push Top Cat into the water, but it's just not the done thing is it? Mobile phones, wallets, keys, money... they'd all be ruined, and while it's funny for that to happen to someone else, you'd be raging if it happened to you. And Top Cat is bigger than me. In fact, I'm wee and little, so they're all bigger than me.

Aside from my physical short-comings (pun intentional, and I'm not ashamed of it), I'm also something of a prude from time to time. And I've a touch of OCD. Swimming in my clothes is just not something I've ever considered to be okay. One of my pet hates is dressing after a shower if I'm still damp. Putting on clothes when you're wet is wrong. Hence, swimming in them is even worse.
Not this morning though. This morning it was the greatest Thing ever. Too wrecked to undress. Too lazy to make any effort. This Thing is perfect. Walk to the end of the pier, fall in. Job done. Swimming around was weird though. Clothes are sodden and way a ton, which I guess is where the first difficulty arises. The second comes from trying to move around in the water. Mobility is impaired and it just feels wrong and weird. I also heard that people who swim in their clothes could drown - which seems stupid. I'm a strong swimmer too - so I backed myself.

And I was right. It fixed the hangover.
And doesn't The Canuck look delighted with the idea of not being hungover?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thing 74 Face a Firing Squad (by Token Northy)

If you have a problem, if no one else can help,
and if you can find them...

Hello all. I am, apparently, Token Northy, but since we are in the North for a few glorious days and the Project Manager is the token southy (not entirely sure if thats a word) he's asked me to do a guest blog. I think this is due to him wanting to get as many cheap pints into him as possible, coupled with the fact that he wasn't entirely sure if I was joking when I told him the Stormont assembly had dropped the standard QWERTY keyboard in favour of the Belfast BOUT'YE?!
He's very particular about his spelling and grammar don't you know.

The venue was Camp Predator near Drumaness in the beautiful county Down. The PM and I had been here before a little over a year ago, so this couldn't be his Thing for the day. We had to escalate. But we'll come back to that.

Predator bills itself as "Irelands Best Airsoft Site", which, while true, was also the cue for much hilarity when Pony Boy saw this printed on a huge sign and responded with "How can it be Irelands best anything? It's in England". Honestly, I could have cried laughing. There's apolitical, there's indifferent, there's just plain stupid, and then there's Pony Boy.

Anyway, we spent today playing airsoft, which is like paintball only much faster, much more realistic, and much more fun.The basic premise is that the friendly, professional, and forgiving guys who work at Predator give you your gear, teach you the rules and how your gun works, and how to stay safe. All of this you listen to and obey. They then divide you into teams and tell you the objective, and the rules of each individual game, and give you advice on tactics. Most of this you forget almost immediately and run about wildly shooting friend and foe for a while 'til the adrenaline wears off and you can actually start to act the part.

...maybe you should still reconsider using these guys.

Speaking of acting the part, its worth noting that Top Cat (the handsome divil above on the left) may actually have found his Shangri-La in airsofting. For a man who was worried before we arrived that people would fall out with him for being crap, he very quickly got the gist and got more and more excited as the day went on until he was literally (no, I don't mean figuratively, I mean literally) skipping gleefully through the bushes shooting and laughing and telling everyone how much fun he was having. The man actually surrendered to the other team at one point to barter for amnesty because they looked like they were having MORE fun than his team and he couldn't bear the thought that absolutely any fun he might possibly be having at any given moment could go to waste. I definitely saw him get shot in the ass once and smile even more because of it. I don't think he'd ever felt more alive.

The Man shows off his war wounds. Chicks love guys with scars.

So while we spent the day charging round like ten year olds shooting each other with toy guns, there was a Thing to be accomplished. What could be more memorable than facing a firing squad? I'd wager anyone who ever had the opportunity remembered it vividly til their dying day. So with a little coaxing and a lot of promising that we wouldn't shoot him in the nuts, the Project Manager agreed that it would be an experience worthy of Listhood.

In true cliché style, he was marched to the central square of the village, hands tied behind his back, blindfolded, and allowed one last cigarette while he stood alone for a few precious, fleeting minutes before the sharp crack of death would take him...

I'd like to think they were delicious minutes, filled with bittersweet memories of better times, but he was probably prevented from slipping softly into reverie by the sounds of ten bloodthirsty hooligans casually arguing over how many of us were allowed to shoot him, how many times
each, and of course the all important Question: Where to shoot?

The gentleman's code prevented a crotch shot of course, but since we hadn't brought any gentlemen the PM had begged like a little girl that we aim elsewhere and we had begrudgingly agreed. The face though, seemed taboo in the sense that the man was willing to face us down, so probably deserved the dignity of not having to go to hospital for his trouble. The throat was mentioned at least once. Someone apparently favoured the shoulder for a good solid contact. I'm pretty sure Pony Boy thought it was obligatory that someone shoot him in the knee. Several remarks were made about how much it would sting to shoot him in the love handles...

In the end all ten lined up, ten or so paces from the victim, with the understanding that we could shoot where we wished, but only once, so to make it count. I felt a massive surge of guilty pleasure shouting "Ready...Aim... FIRE!", and a wave of pride as a hail of white pellets simultaneously coalesced and slammed into his chest. Honestly, I don't think there could have been two shots more than 3 inches from his heart. The poor fella rocked with the impact. We all stood still and silent for a split second, almost but not quite shocked at the savage beauty of it all. Then he squealed like a pig and we broke ourselves laughing.

More Things like this please. The sadistic streak in me loves it.

ps. There were some very good photos of the actual firing squad, but we don't have them at the minute. Im sure the PM will post them up soon

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thing 73 Hedge Maze

It's some hedges. How hard can it be? I spent my childhood jumping over, through, into and on top of hedges. I'm not so old now that I've forgotten how to do it surely? Awesome fun for all the family.

We went up north, Token Northy, The Canuck, Top Cat, Pony Boy and myself. To see celebrated County Down, with all the lovely mountains. The people aren't half bad too, and you should see the parks... holy crap. Much and all as I love Limerick, and I really do, I just can't see anything that countryside beautiful being part of my lovely city. Part of one of the parks in Castlewellan has the Peace Park. I guess it's a celebration of two communities coming together. I imagine it did more frustrating than bringing-together.

It's huge, and the hedges are nearly as tall as me - which, admittedly isn't hard. So I can't see where I'm going. Damn Pony Boy and Top Cat. Head and shoulders above everything else.

So we thought we'd go old school on it. In the spirit of acting like a bunch of children (see Bed Jumping Thing earlier this week). We played manhunt in the maze. Token Northy chasing the rest of us. There's nothing more fun when you're a kid than getting a good chase.

Mind you. Getting lost has never been, and never will be, fun.

Also... we may have had to jump a fence to get in. Rebels on the edge. What's funnier than watching five tools in their mid-twenties jumping a fence to get lost in a maze. And when we heard someone walking outside we all scattered like we were about to be arrested. Like I said, it's fun being chased places.

Hedge Mazes are the type of things you only see in American movies, like "punch" or French waiters. Well, they're the type of things that I've only seen on American movies and television. Weird and exotic. But I like puzzles.

And at the end I got to ring a fancy bell.
Pictured: Fat abusive man

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thing 72 Chat Roulette

You can't see that up there, but that's the coolest dude on Chat Roulette that we came across. Mind you, that wasn't difficult to do, most people on chat roulette were actually just penises. And I don't mean that in the metaphorical sense, like they were acting like dicks, I actually mean that literally, most of what we saw was male genitalia.

In one hour we had to stumble passed 60 penises.

For anyone who's not familiar with Chat Roulette, here's the basic principles:
It's a website you use with a web-cam. It allows you to randomly link with other people who also want to randomly chat to other people. It seems silly, but you've to appreciate that technology has shrunk the entire planet to the point that some German dude with nothing better to do, can, at a moment's notice, link into my living room and have a chat about nothing. I love it. Twenty years ago this planet was massive, and travel was difficult. The internet was a series of smoke signals. To chat to a German you paid lots of money for a flight. Now you hop on a Ryanair for twenty cent. Or just log in to chat roulette.

The problem is that the internet is full of perverts. Porn and perverts. Except you obviously. You're alright. One hour. Sixty minutes. Sixty penises. Way to take a good idea and ruin it perverts. Dudes that basically get themselves off by having a go at themselves knowing that someone is watching. It's all kinds of wrong.

We got to chat to a handful of people. Including Crazy Portugal Guy, Quiet German, Smiley French Dude, Barely English Speaking Turkish Guy and his compatriot Pervy Turkis Guy and of course Baton Rouge Boy. That's him up there - at the top. I educated him on Thierry Henry. His exact response. "Fuck that guy". Genius.

There are entire parties for this shit in the US. People throw Chat Roulette parties. It's a good idea. Reach out and touch someone. Not yourself. That's just wrong.

Poor Little Flower. She nearly lost here life. The Frenchman spent the night watching through his fingers. Not quite a horror movie, but not far off.

We also met this guy...
Out of nowhere. Barely dressed. With a sweatband and what amounts to a g-string and nothing else on, a very fat Asian, possible Japanese man (looked a little sumo wrestler-ish) bursts on to our screen and busts the best move he knows how.

This guy gave it complete socks, barely dressed, no music in the background. And for whose benefit? Surely not his own? His awesomeness knows no bounds. Fat Asian Dancer is the greatest thing the internet ever had. I hope he turns into a complete internet legend. I hope he becomes bigger than the fat kid on the rollercoaster.

Oh, and for fun, here's the funniest thing YouTube has to offer on Chat Roulette. This guy is thoroughly cool - Check It.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thing 71 Bed Jumping

I do love the internet phenomena. I was crazy about Extreme Facedown. I also love Bed Jumping. Here's some more info if you need it... Bed Jumping Awesomeness. Click on that if you've got the time. Effectively, it's just an excuse to behave like a ten year old. So we did... And my, my, my how that was fun. Ten o'clock on a random Wednesday evening, if you're bored, may I suggest moving about some mattresses and going nuts...
Backwards. Looks like I'm an extra in a martial arts movie, and someone just kicked me out of the way. Remember the Foot Soldiers from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
World Cup Fever grips the Token Northy. He does seem stunned to be using his head. I guess it's not that common a thing for Gaelic Footballers.
But the Goalie gets a hand to it... and claws it away. Acrobatics from the 'Keeper there. You'd wonder why he's got a leather bracelet on though. Seems stupid for a goalie.
Is it The Worm? It looks kind of like The Worm? But it's not. It's just the Token Northy about to face-plant himself. For our amusement.
I think the word you're looking for now, is majestic. The Canuck's head is made entirely of concrete stuffed with old comic books, so he can't hurt himself really, but you'd like to think that one was going to end badly... Look at Pony Boy in the background... choreographer extraordinaire.
You can just see him ending up with his head stuck in the mattress, and his feet sticking up in the air. Think Wile E Coyote... Except Canadian...
The Bomb Dive. I sail majestically through the air. Like a brick. Except fatter. And with socks.
You've to love The Canuck's commitment to the cause. That's what being a gymnast will give you. Perfect form. The judges love it.
The judges are not so keen on that one. The ladies are though... look at that "come-to-bed-with-me" facial expression. It'll keep you awake tonight, when you might have preferred some sleep.
Now, if we're going to talk about facial expressions, Pony Boy is your only man. Look at that. Even though you know it's a staged photo, there's still a part of you that thinks, anyone that determined is probably actually flying...
I want to say that Token Northy looks like a Zen-Master, but actually, he looks slightly constipated. And I'm not sure how well this bed jump will suit his oft-dodgy ankle. But again, look at that face... I'm still weak from laughing.
Time out for some Irish Dancing?? Apparently...
The Canuck earns all manner of approval for this one. Look at how Pony Boy admires this Bruce Lee impression. I dare you not to think this is awesome...
This one has face-plant written all over it. And I wasn't pretty to start with. This cannot help...
And this one shows where it all went wrong... Pushing the boundaries. It's how we roll. Can we fit another body, sailing through the air, onto that single mattress? In the words of the Obama Administration: Yes.

Turns out we were wrong. Token Northy does not like getting a Canuck's heel in his face...

Honestly, I can't recommend this enough. It's pure, unabashed childishness. It's being ten years old, except we're all heavier and if not for work tomorrow, we could have some beers...

In retrospect, the beers might have been a disaster...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thing 70 Play A Song On A Guitar

I got blisters on me fingers... I don't mean it in the iconic Beatles-rocking-it-out way either. I mean I've got big nasty blisters on the top of my fingers. And I love it...

I've owned two guitars in my life. This wouldn't be odd or unusual in itself if I could play the guitar. However, I cannot. The Frenchman gave me some lessons, but I always came up with some good excuses not to practice: I'm training for a marathon. I'm working all week. It's raining outside, and this has harshed my buzz. You're French, and I'll be damned if I do what some French chap tells me. Other than that... Nothing.

I do have some excellent guitar playing friends though. Top Cat is a whizz at the guitar, ukelele (it's a real instrument) and djemba (also real). Token Northy loves both his guitars and he plays them well. The Frenchman is a pro, and can rock out acoustic style or electric. Spoon slaps his bass. The Canuck might actually be some kind of guitar genius. So talented friends. Assholes. I've got the manual dexterity and motor skills of a Comodo Dragon.

Pictured: Comodo Dragon butchers Lynyrd Skynyrd.

God bless the Three Chord Trick. I hope at some point to play some rocking guitar, properly, but if you want to play a guitar just the once, having no skill or practice at all, and you've got about five hours to do it... Three Chord Trick is the way forward. D, C, G,G. Just like that. Except it's not just like that. Token Northy is a fine teacher. Patient. Encouraging. Just the right amount and tone of abuse to motivate me. The Canuck told me he wanted blood. Actual blood. I can't leave till he's seen blood...


To make matters worse, Pony Boy walks in just as i'm getting the hang of chord-changes. He sits and watches for a few minutes. Picks up Token Northy's guitar, and about thirty seconds later he's jamming out what took me two hours to learn... Curse his dexterous, oily hide.

But it was done. It just goes to show what good teachers, a good guitar and a fistful of threats and some perseverance can do. I'm not winning any awards for it, but today I played and sang Sweet Home Alabama on a guitar.

Best Thing yet...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thing 69 Meet A Pornstar

And so ends one of the most unusual days of my life. I didn't meet one pornstar - I met six. And I didn't just meet them. I spent the day on set, filming a pool party for Television X. For the ladies who may not be aware, that's a porn channel on Sky TV, the fellas, probably already know... don't lie lads.

It's on the list since the first day of The Project, and why wouldn't it be? Porn's everywhere - the internet's jam packed with it. Sex sells people. So I emailed Television X, who were only delighted to invite me over. Sure thing said Claire in Marketing. Pop on over... join us at a pool party...

Who says no to that? So there's me and Claire... Hello Claire!!
Tanya Tate's a name you might recognise from the national newspapers. She did a little sex tour of Ireland (was actually in Limerick oddly enough. And I thought I knew everyone in the Treaty City...). While she was touring, she invited fellas onto her "casting couch". This is a nice way of saying that she trialled guys to be the next Irish porn star. Or maybe the first Irish porn star. I don't think we have any. A Wexford senior hurler tried out -and got lambasted in the press. I don't see why really. He's a hurler. Not a bishop or a politician. What this guy does with his spare time is his business... But I digress...

Tanya Tate, Syren Sexton and Kerry Louise were the three lady performers for the day. So I got to chat with them all. Actually, I got to annoy them all. Poor things. There to do their job with some gabby Irish fella in their ear whenever they had a spare minute. So here's the first thing I noticed: Porn stars are sound out. Bang on - if you'll forgive the pun (don't forgive it, it was awful, I don't care). I asked them about whether they were embarrassed by their jobs? Not a shred of it, confidence personified, but wrapped up in an appreciable charm. Did they enjoy the work? Hell yes. It pays well and it's fun and safe.

I wanted to poke in some hard questions (good lord this blog is chock full of dreadful puns and thinly veiled innuendo), but I just found them too nice...

So here's me and the ladies...
Pixie Head will be glad to know I didn't spend all day with the girls. I talked to Paschal White. He's been in the porn industry for 20 years. Again, it's tough to talk about porn to people in porn, because I'm Irish, and porn is taboo in Ireland. We're embarrassed about sex. Behind closed doors - no problems. Out in the open? In public? On DVD? No thanks... We're prudish. Again, I wanted to lead in with some hard hitting questions, but they guy was just so cool. Pleasant, chatty, popular with cast and crew. I found myself just having a natter with him to be honest. He told me the industry's changed. Dramatically. Amateur pornographers are swamping the market, undercutting established stars. It's becoming harder and harder to find professional crews and teams to work with. He did shoot in Ireland once... but they cancelled early. Apparently it wasn't a popular crew in whatever town they were shooting in... I asked him about what it's like working in the industry for 20 years. Apparently, it's impossible to be involved romantically with anyone who's not also in porn. I can see why... It's a tough old relationship when the line "honey I'm off to work" is the fastest way to get into a row that you can think of.

Here's me and Paschal. He's bigger than I am, as the photo shows... (sorry, I couldn't resist. What is wrong with me??).

What's that I here you say? That's only four pornstars Dan...

Well here's me along with Dean and Angel Long (she's the director today, and a performer on other days - she's also super-cool).
So that's me and pornstars. Now to the people you don't see... There was a house full of people putting this project together. Make up artists, drivers, network management, production company management, and of course, the filming crew. Can you honestly imagine yourself holding a camera and filming while five people have sex with each other? Me either. These guys (and when I say guys I mean these girls and a guy) were like a well oiled professional machine. Nothing phases them. Full on hardcore sex scenes being shot in front of us, and this team barely batted an eyelid. Move for a different angle. Cut. Next scene. And... they were bloody lovely as well.

There's a terrible judgemental part of me that wanted some part of this porn business to be seedy and weird... but everyone was so nice. Televison X, the pornstars, the crew...

By the way - here's the crew... J, Emily, Laura and Angel.

Porn's a dirty little secret in Ireland. Taboo. And I went into the house with every intention of finding out how pornstars deal with that. I also really wanted to believe that it's seedy and disgusting, and that somehow, the making of the movies would reflect that, but it just plain didn't. I know there's a thousand and one reasons for people to be against it, and there's a million billion and one people who are... but I just can't judge after today. They was nothing seedy, dodgy or scary about it.

And I got to answer two age old questions: Dialogue scenes take longer to shoot than sex scenes. There's no such thing as a fluffer.

P.S. I'll post a proper review of the interview with Tanya Tate on when I get the chance... probably tomorrow. Or the next day. Whenever I'm not lazy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thing 68 Tourist In London

Come gather you 'round children, and I'l tell you all a tale. There's no dragons in it. Or zombies. So all in all it's a pretty shit story. But it was my day...

Alarm at nine am. Woke at ten past nine. Check in closes at twenty past ten. Made it. Barely. Left my money behind. No sterling at all. No problems, I can always use the old bank card to get the job done. Not a chance sunshine - ATM card doesn't work in London. So, with just enough cash to get into central London, and literally not another penny, I hopped on a train.

The real tourist experience in London can only be achieved with alot of walking. When you've got no money, and nowhere to go, alot of walking is pretty much your only option. So in the space of three hours - Buckingham Palace and a far away shot of one of those weird looking guys with the Marge Simpson-hair-do-hats. Westminster Abbey where a bunch of Indian tourists took a photo of me sitting on my luggage. Big Ben, which I actually didn't see till I'd walked passed it. Westminster House, where Charles Stuart Parnell bored everyone to tears with obstructionism and The London Eye which had a queue about one hundred millions miles long (queue has been exaggerated for dramatic effect).

So the day was saved. Iphone finds WiFi connection. Interweb text to The Ginger Gem and Scrawmy Looby and then it's just a waiting game...

By the way; if you're in London, do not, under any circumstances, visit, or drink in the Westminster Arms Bar. I got the bums rush. "Only customers can sit outside the bar" she told me, in her unfriendliest voice. "Sorry", says me, "I'm actually stranded. I don't know London at all, and I'm completely broke. I'm just waiting on some friends to pick me up". She looks at me. "You're not a customer. Only customers can sit outside the bar". There were about three people inside at the time. No one else outside. "I'm sorry if it's an inconvenience, but as I said, I'm completely stranded. I'd just like to wait for half an hour for a friend to collect me..." She looks at me again, and this time, she looks like she might punch me. And that's no small thing - she's a big girl. "Customers only outside the bar. You're not a customer..." Welcome to London...

Ginger Gem and Scrawmy Looby took care of me though. We had pizza underneath a giant purple E4 cow, and pints outside in a beautiful beer garden... London's really looking up.

As for being a tourist. It happened by accident really. I'd wanted to go on The London Eye - that was supposed to be the Thing for today. But I found myself having too much fun. I'd been to London twice before today, but I'd never seen any of the attractions. I knew Westminster Abbey from an episode of Friends. Buckingham Palace from the picture on the Rubber Bandits music video and Big Ben from V for Vendetta.

So I'm glad I got a decent Thing out of London... even if I do hate the Westminster Arms...

P.S. Gotta love good friends... Ginger Gem and Scrawmy Looby really saving the day today. Thanks folks.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thing 67 Visit A Famous Grave

I'm not keen on graveyards. I guess nobody is, except people who like drinking illegally in the most disrespectful place they can manage. And even they can't be that keen on them. For some, however, graveyards are important. A connection to the dead that have left us behind. An important part of mourning. Never been my cup of tea though. I like to remember the dead through (often wildly exaggerated) stories and anecdotes.

I also think that the appeal of some graves as tourist attractions says alot about how morbid we are... If you don't know anyone in the family, and aren't related to the deceased, then would you not feel a bit voyeur-ish?

Having said that, today was really cool, if only slightly creepy. There's a real sense of history in Glasnevin Cemetery. And the whole place is kept immaculately. It's a really gorgeous place. And not far from the entrance. A large well maintained gravestone marks the final resting place of Michael Collins.

It does kind of give you goosebumps to see it.

History was always a favourite subject of mine. Irish history in particular. Of all the prominent characters in Ireland's long and disastrously violent history, Michael Collins always fired the imagination most of all. Portrayed by Liam Neeson (who's awesomeness must never be questioned) in the movie about the man, Collins epitomised the ruthlessness and tenacity required to be a freedom fighter at a time when it was highly unpopular.

He was also too cool for words. So what the hell am I typing for? What a waste of typing...

I advise anyone in the Dublin area with some time to kill (pardon the pun), pop in and have a look. There's other graves, and every soldier to die in service for Ireland is there too. The sense of history is nearly palpable.

Just don't do any knacker drinking there...