Monday, January 31, 2011

Thing 279 Cartoon Downloads Day

I've been cartoon-obsessed since I was a tiny lad. I was watching Simpsons, Animaniacs, Earthworm Jim even Eek the Cat (anyone else remember him? I think I'm like the last person alive who remembers Eek the Cat - it never hurts to help!!). My obsession continues to this day. I still watch more cartoons than I do normal telly. Family Guy, American Dad, Simpsons, Futurama, South Park... seriously. I love a cartoon!

I promised myself when I was small that I'd never abandon Earthworm Jim, my favouritest of all my favourites. So I made a Project Thing out of it. Now there's some serious blog policing going on these days so here's where we'll clarify bits and pieces. The new Thing for the day can be any one of the following, take your pic: I watched an entire season of Skeleton Warriors in one sitting. That includes episodes I've never seen. I also downloaded Earthworm Jim and Skeleton Warriors, which is something I've never done before either.

All I know is that while I was small I could dedicate several hours to watching cartoons before Mam and Dad got up on a Saturday morning. I've never spent a whole day sitting on my backside from morning till evening just watching cartoons. As an adult this sort of thing is frowned upon on a Monday, but as a shift worker who's been drowning many sorrows in the wake of Munster's defeat at Toulon, well it makes perfect sense. It was a funny day, with a weird sense of nostalgia attached to it. The theme music from the shows brought back memories of being a ten year old and made me think of things that I've not recalled in years.

Whatever about Earthworm Jim, which retains it's class, style and entertainment value, Skeleton Warriors was a complete blast from the past. The theme tune transported me back to Parteen in 1994. It's not like you can recall every detail from episodes of a TV show you saw when you were a pre-pubescent little snot, but somehow it all seemed very familiar. Except the final episode. I'd never seen it. I'd watched that show a million times, I'm sure of it, but there were only thirteen episodes made. I'm sure I'd seen at least fifty, but I'd never seen the last one, and that was only one out of thirteen...
Mind you, there were two seasons of Earthworm Jim. In all its awesome gloriousness. Now while Skeleton Warriors was wearing a little thin by the time I got to episode thirteen, I'm fairly certain that I'll never grow bored of this show. It was voiced by Dan Castellanetta, he who legendarily plays the voice of Homer Simpson. Could you ask for a bigger hero to play the voice of the world's greatest hero?

I do love me a good cartoon. And sometimes The Project is just real good to me. I wish more of the stuff was as cool as this...

Roll on Star Wars marathon says you...

Thing 278

The Top Cat is the toppest of all felines. He's subtle on the dance-floor and he's suave around the bar, he's a quick-draw with his lighter, and a super movie star. Alright, he's not a movie star, I just like saying nice things about him. He's a cool chap.

He presents on the radio. Yep... he's that fancy. He's also on the telly... sort of. He's got his own website called, it's a Meteor sponsored website for Munster Rugby fans. I'm sure you already knew this, but I'm something of a Munster fan. In fact, I'm such a Munster fan that I bleed red. Don't look into that terrible joke too much. It's not the first dreadful joke I've made on this blog, and it won't be the last.

Have a look at the website by clicking where it says HERE! He's got a blog, he's goes out and meets the fans, and films it, writes about it. He interviews Doug Howlett. Yes, THE Doug Howlett. Basically he tries to sum up all of the fun and banter of being a Munster Fan on match day. It's the world's most amazing job. Mind you, it looks like a lot of hard work on match day, when you'd want to be skulling pints.

So the premise of the video is pretty straightforward. It's the "Do's and Don'ts of Pub Rugby". It stars Token Northy, Producer, Lady Northy, Top Cat and everyone's hero: Thorny Wire. Oh and me. I'm the one in the suit. It's a fun video, and the first time Top Cat has let us make Munster Fun with him.

We've been asking for a while, but he takes this shit seriously, and didn't want to be letting a bunch of clowns like us screw it up for him. So finally he lets us play fun with him. With no small margin of success. The video can be seen here: Click.

My only line, my starring role amounts to this: "What's the score?" And Token Northy gets to pretend he's watching Gaelic Football...

Like I say, I think it was successful, and a good way to round out what was otherwise a terrible day for Munster fans. Here's hoping he'll let me do more videos in the future. I promise I'll be good Top Cat...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thing 277 Develop a Photograph

Token Northy arrives in the door of the house one Saturday evening. Crammed into the tiny downstairs toilet room is Little Flower, me, and Pony Boy. This room is not big enough for three people, but it's the best we can come up with for a "dark room" at short notice. Thankfully, and in spite of the four men living in the house, it doesn't smell terrible in there. It doesn't smell fantastic, but it's not terrible either.

The Thing for the day; to take an old style photograph with a long exposure camera. I know what you're thinking now; What the funk is a long exposure camera. You plebs don't even know what a long exposure camera is? Honestly? You morons... ahem. The Frenchman took about an hour and a half to explain it to me. I used to be a moron too...

Basically it's a wooden box which takes about two to three minutes to take a photo. It's a pin-hole camera. It's supposed to take really funky, if slightly blurry photos. So we set it up in O'Connell's on the corner of a table where we could watch the world go by... not in a voyeuristic pervert kind of way, in a romantic, see the world through rose tinted glasses kind of way. We're not perverts.
Look there's a Frenchman with a camera. Many of his people have been notable artists. And by his people I mean men with long hair, not French people.

The Thing was not to take a photo with a silly camera, it was to develop a photo. The point is to be one of them fancy snoops from a nineteen fifty's private eye movie. You know the ones: when they've got a fancy hanging line, and a red light, and there's cigarette smoke everywhere. There's nothing fancy about our "lab"- it's literally a toilet. With a kitchen seat. We'd the solution spread out in small containers, and four of us crammed ourselves in.

Four adults wedged into a tiny toilet. Stupid idea. We've loads of them.
Pure disaster as it turns out. Not because there was too many of us crammed in a tiny toilet. We made some stupid decisions regarding how long we left the negative exposed, we also tried to cook as we attempted to develop the negative. We may, or may not have exposed the negative to light before its time. What I'm telling you is that mistakes were made. Probably.

Like so many other Things on the Project... something of a failure. But wait... there's light at the end of the tunnel. In taking a relatively harmless photo of our blank negative, we somehow managed to see "Ghost Pony Boy". Check it out... like a creepy shadow of a tall strange man, he fits perfectly in the window over my right shoulder in the photo below...
Creepy right? It's amazing. For a little while I was tempted to pass this off a paranormal hoax, but I thought better of it. Just enjoy the creepiness of it. And while you're at it, check out that awesome lower lip shake...

I was upset. We wasted a whole day on that blank piece of paper. Still. We got a creepy photo. Not a total loss then.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thing 276 Freezer Head Thing

Go to Google...

type in '241543903'

Click on 'Images' on the top of your screen

Be confused
I do love to hop on a good bandwagon when the situation allows. There's few things I enjoy more than letting a good idea run away with me. In fact, I'm more than half stupid when it comes to things like this. Dr Zombie puts it up on facebook and two days later it's pretty much all I can think about. The Frenchman has seen it too... he knows how I operate, he knows I'm mad for this.

I assume you've followed the instructions above? If not, Google 241543903, and then look at the images. It's just a bunch of people who got together to have their photos taken with their heads in freezers. You can't get me to follow fashion. I despise trends and the idea of being trendy. I'm just not that guy. But tell me a whole bunch of people are being weird together, and I can't wait to be involved. I'm just bursting to be part of the insanity.

I love it.

It's called a MEME. Don't ask me why. I don't bother finding this kind of thing out, I just want in. It's like a people's pointless movement. And for some reason this is the kind of thing I think it worth being a part of.

If you want in, it's pretty straight forward to take part. Take a photo of yourself with your head in a freezer. If you've got a Frenchman, he'll be able to use his camera which increases your personal awesomeness by up to fifty percent, and he'll snap one or two good 'uns. Get a load of the black and white one at the top there - tell me that's not classy looking?

Next step is to load to which is a thoroughly lovely photo sharing site, frequented by the French and Non-French alike. Simply tag your new freezer head photos with the number given above, and Google will recognise it as stock for its image search. You're now part of an international movement of people who decided that someone sticking their head in a freezer might be funny, but several thousand people doing it is hilarious beyond words.

Welcome to our gang. We're cool.

Dr Zombie will have to take the credit for this. I owe you one pint sir. Collect at your leisure.

Sorry... Just one more... for fun... Does my ass look big in this freezer?

Thing 275 Alphabetise

I'm not very organised. Never have been. I've got mail from 2007 that I still haven't opened yet. I once went nearly two years without NCT, not because I couldn't afford it, or because I was taking a moral stand against it, but because I'm so badly organised... and lazy. I'm also very,very lazy.

Like you wouldn't believe lazy.

Just one of my many talents in this life includes the ability to purchase and own Digital Versatile Discs. Yep, I'm pretty gifted when it comes to having a DVD collection. There are two hundred and fifty six of them. That doesn't include the ones I lost, lent to people who never gave them back, or just deliberately left at other people's houses after watching them. Thank you very much War Games Two. Useless, dreadful, pile of nonsense.

We regularly watch the DVDs and wind down with a fire. But it seemed to me the whole way through November and December, every time I went to grab a movie from the collection, there was one missing, sometimes in Pony Boy's room, sometimes in mine, sometimes I was to blind and/or stupid to find the thing right under my own nose.

Who says you can't combine Project Things with some practical organisation. For the first time in 2011, and probably the last, I took some pro-active steps towards organising my life. Not paying bills. Not sorting out my credit card debt. No none of that for me. Instead there was two and a half hours of alphabetisation in the living room while the other kids mocked me...
To be fair, some of the DVDs are worth mocking... Moulin Rouge is in there. I'm not ashamed of it, I think it's an awesome show. I'm less than impressed with the Friday Movies collection. Ice Cube just loves selling out apparently.

So there was a format: Four stacks, roughly sixty movies in each stack. Starting with A at the top of the furthest stack to the left. Then B, and so on... you've probably got a rough grasp of the alphabet. This method is okay, except that if you want to watch a movie starting with F, you're digging into the bottom of a stack, which then topples over. Nice. Happened twice to me.

But I set out to alphabetise, and alphabetise is what I did. All two hundred and fifty six of them... Which as of last week, became two hundred and sixty: Thank you Speed, O Brother Where Art Thou, Crash and The Mask...

To be fair, it might be the only Project Thing that I've done and stuck with. It still stands tall today... in correct order and everything.

Chuffed. Begs not putting Crash into the stack...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thing 274 Chess in the Park

Americans do this stuff all the time. I've seen it on TV. Malcolm in the Middle, in the episode with George from Seinfeld. Independence Day with Jeff Goldblum and his da. Not something that would go down to well here though. Mostly because chess isn't really the sort of game that you play in the pissing rain. And that's kind of our default. God Boy was in India during Monsoon Season, he told them that what they called torrential rain over there was called a "soft day" back at home. Makes me laugh. So outdoor chess... not really our thing. Outdoor anything isn't really our style.

It's something I've wanted to do for ages though. Make me look smart and stuff. That's the thing about chess. You don't have to be any good, all you've to do is know the rules and whole entire armies of people are going to think you're smart. Like having a big thick book with a very serious cover. You don't have to be able to read, just be seen with it, people will make up their own minds about it.

So off we went. In the near dark, because we'd work that day, just me and Token Northy. We bumped into Blond Boss while we were there, and she generously offered to take photos. Sadly she was the only one to witness my apparent smartness, thankfully she was the only one to witness the absolute mugging I got from Token Northy.

I like chess. I'm not good at it, but I like it. I was demolished. Destroyed. Humiliated and embarrassed. I think I managed to snag one of his bishops. He destroyed everything else. I got into a huff. I don't like losing. I detest it. Even worse is losing to Token Northy.

Worst of all is losing to Thorny Wire.
I think my main problem is that chess is a game for tactical thinkers and patient people. Neither of these attributes can be ascribed to me. Impetuous is a good word, it's better than impatient. Impulsive is better than naive. Mind you, naive is better than "stupid as a plank" which is probably more accurate.

Next time I play chess in a park it'll be against a ten year old, and a not smart one. I don't want to lose out. Again.

Here's hoping for a fine summer, I'll get some training done and maybe I won't lose the rematch so badly.

Thing 273 Bus to an Unknown Destination

Way back in December 2009, when I first started prattling about The Project to anyone who'd listen (turns out Spoon was the only one listening at that time), one of the first and earliest suggestions was to get on a bus to an unknown destination. We hadn't really worked on the logistics of it, but one way or another, I wanted to be on a bus and have no idea where I was going.

Two hundred and seventy three things later... Ferbane, County Offaly. Boom.

The Frenchman came with me to the bus station. I gave him my money, he bought me a ticket somewhere, then he popped a blindfold on me, stuck the headphones in my ears (because apparently I can't do that for myself) and shoved me on to a bus (he didn't shove me, but it sounds cooler). The bus driver gave me some funny looks I'd say. I don't know, I couldn't see.

So I set an alarm for an hour and a half after I got on. No idea where I was going. Started to worry. What if he's put me on a bus that doesn't go for an hour and a half. What if I end up in... Cork... shudder... (Watch Cork people go mad now...) What if this isn't even a bus, but an elaborate hoax organised by Token Northy and Pony Boy designed to humiliate me... urge to rip off blindfold... rising...

This is where I ended up. Right on the River Brosna, outside this little shop. Maidin Gheal. It's a cafe, and it's only lovely. I walked in, the nice lady inside the store asked me was I lost: "Yes. No. Where am I?". "You're in Maidin Gheal, in Ferbane", she told me. "Lovely", says me, "Where's Ferbane then?".... "County Offaly, are you sure you're not lost? Where are you looking for?".... Nope, I'm fine. This is exactly what I was looking for. Can I've a coffee?

So I sat down there and had a chat. Told her all about The Project. She introduced me to a few of the locals. Among them Mr Maurice Higgins. Lovely chap. More on him later...
I took a stroll around to see the sights. It was lovely. Nice little town. Friendly people. Lots of teenagers floating about, looking at me crossways, but for some reason teenagers do that to me in every town, so I'm not knocking Ferbane. Saw the local ruined church, and the local not-ruined church. Took a nice long amble about. First time I've got off my lazy ass to walk anywhere in months. Had to go to Offaly to stop being a lazy so-and-so.
That there is one of the finer sights. It's a bog oak sculpture in the church that's not a ruin. They've got a little ante-room like a sanctuary, with a little water-fall and this sculpture. Lovely little room. Lovely little church. Lit a candle and said a little prayer when I was there - I know what you're thinking; "Choirboy...".
So with that all done I still had an hour and a half to kill... what to do... what to do... Pint it is. I popped down to Hennessy's Bar on the main street, conveniently located next to a bookie's. I strolled in and the locals looked at me funny. It's a Tuesday. In the middle of the afternoon, and someone nobody seems to know is in for a pint...

They watched and waited... I got more and more awkward. Just then, my new hero strolled in the door. Maurice Higgins to the rescue.

"Hello Dan. You didn't get very far...", he chuckled.
"Hello Maurice. Took a bit of a stroll, but I've time to kill. Join me for a pint?".

Whole bar relaxed, sure if he knows Maurice Higgins he has to be okay right? Delighted with myself. So I sat with my new friend, and we cured all the world's problems from our bar stools in front of a roaring fire. We even tipped down the road and backed a horse.

Turns out my mystery tour took me to a place in Offaly where I may as well have been at home. Sweet. Next time, plane journey to an unknown destination... although, that might be a bit trickier to organise, and everyone knows The Frenchman is xenophobic.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thing 272 Polish Food for the Day

Now that there is a whole table full of stuff that looks like food. It looks like food because it is, but it's not the kind of food that you'd be used to if you're from Ireland. With the greatest of respect to my Polish friends and their lovely traditions, Polish food is utterly horrendous.

At the best of times I don't like changing my food habits. I wouldn't be the world's biggest fan of change. I like my routine and my home comforts. For snacking I like Nutella, or beans on toast or cereal, you know, the classics. I do not like whatever was in that little tin on the right there. Paste of some description...

It's as much to do with the abnormality of it, as it is about the taste...
At this point I'd like to offer a serious two-fingers to The Frenchman. The idea for the Thing came from chatting with some Polish mates, and constantly walking past the Polish store and wondering what's going on inside...

So, pop in and find out, and while I'm at it, pick up some grub. In fact, spend the day eating only the Polish grub. The Frenchman decides that to make it interesting, he's going to select one thing from the shelf in the store, and no matter what it is, I have to eat it. He selected a tub of grey. Yep. A tub of grey stuff. I put it on toast. I've never eaten dog food (and no, don't suggest it as a Thing, I'm not doing it), but I imagine this is what dog food would taste like.

Nom nom, dog food on toast. Who doesn't love that? No? Me either (The Thief questions the grammatical accuracy of that statement. I care not at all).

So lunch was grey on toast. Delicious. Time for dinner.
Pierogi it is. Anyone unfamiliar with this, and I assume that's most people, it's a dumpling of unleavened dough stuffed with what I assume was mince meat. In fairness and with the greatest respect to Polish food, I probably cooked it wrong. I'm sure it was supposed to be tasty, and maybe if done correctly it would be. Sadly, it was pure muck. Pony Boy and The Frenchman laughed their asses off as we all attempted to fill up on the crap that I'd boiled the absolute nonsense out of.

Never again, unless someone Polish offers to cook it properly for me. And here I thought I was a reasonable chef. I guess you're always more comfortable with the stuff you know.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thing 271 Variety Pack Feast

Decisions, decisions. Variety packs pretty much sum up my general indecisiveness. There's a whole range of emotional issues that come with your mom buying variety pack. Initially, there's happiness, because, after all, who doesn't love a variety pack eh? Then there's confusion: Which one of the eight options (seven if you discount the Cornflakes, which everyone does) will you choose. This quickly turns to frustration as your little brother hassles you to make a decision so he can snap up his favourite. Curse his decisive nature. Then there's relief when you finally choose the Coco Pops, tinged with regret that Thorny Wire is getting his grubby little mits on the Frosties. Then there's happiness again.

The variety pack is indeed an emotional journey.

Sometimes you just want it all...
That's it all there. It all being every single little cereal flake from the entire variety pack thrown into one large bowl. As an adult I reserve the right to have the things I always promised myself as a child. A thousand penny sweets. A day of cartoons from days of yore. Every single one of the variety packs in one go. No agonising over which one. No struggling with decisions. No Thorny Wire on my shoulder robbing the Frosties.
And I get to make a mess and no one will make me clean it up. I'll clean it if I want to. Which I do. Because I hate a messy house and all that. But still, if I wanted it to be messy I could have it that way.

The problem is, you really shouldn't always get what you want, and sometimes fulfilling that childhood dream is difficult and turns out to be a let down. Like when you get nauseous because you've just eaten eight boxes of cereal. It does tend to leave one feeling a little let down. I knew there was a reason mom wouldn't let me do this when I was a whippersnapper.
See. There's nausea for you. Pony Boy giggled like a child watching me. I think Little Flower was nauseous just watching me. There's few things that'll put you off your lunch like watching a fat slob stuffing his face. Childhoods ruined all round then.
Ate most of it though. Just the bits at the end were too soggy, and I was too stuffed and uncomfortable to drink the chocolate (kind of) milk. Turns out I'm not the complete fat slobby mess that everyone keeps telling me I am... joke's on you God Boy!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thing 270 Cut a Cigar

I get given out to by people who wish that some of the Project stuff was bigger and bolder. They want madness, all the time. Twenty four hour, dizzying, non-stop pantlessness. They want explosions, public humiliation and self flagellation (that word doesn't mean what you think it means). Mostly, I just want cool Things. Stuff that makes me chuffed. Cutting a cigar makes me chuffed. I know this, because I did it once.

Have I told you a like a good cigar every now and then? I don't mean on a night out, or if I'm in bad form to cheer me up, I mean for very special occassions. Band Man getting engaged and coming all the way home from Oz to propose to his lady - that's a cigar moment. Spoon turning twenty-six on the same day that I run a marathon - that's a cigar moment.

Speaking of which... Here's the most awesome cigar moment photo I have...
Suits, beards, champagne and two fat Cuban cigars. What's not to love about this picture?

Anywho... Like I say, when the time is right, I like a cigar. Thankfully the tail end of this year had some stuff worth celebrating. We were telling 2010 it could kiss our collective arses on New Year's Eve, there was Band Man and his happy news. Top Cat got himself a fancy job in the media... lots of Things (may there be many more says you). So I've been popping in and out of the tobacconist like an I-dunno-what. We're on first name terms. But every time I go in there, I have to ask them to cut my cigars for me...

Not anymore. This time I splashed out. I bought a proper cigar chopper. Yep. I spent money frivolously and for no reason. My friends will not be shocked at this. I consider it an investment though. An investment in looking like a guy who is either a) A complete douche bag or b) A complete hero. This will be decided arbitrarily by anyone who's standing nearby when I produce a cigar cutter and proceed to chop my fancy giant Cuban and blow tasty delicious cigar smoke in everyone's face...

It's a surprisingly fine art is cutting a cigar. Too much and you risk unravelling the paper, too little and you're going to make a balls of the cut. That's why the first time you do it, should be under supervision of an adult with experience (I don't know why I said adult there, it's not like there's a small army of children who are learned in the ways of cutting cigars, walking around wearing tiny suits with tiny shades... boom... we've got an idea for a sitcom...). Even if asking for help from the man in the shop does make you feel like a child.

To be fair, I am quite tiny and wee... childlike is a pretty solid description for me to boot.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thing 269 Put the Lime in the Coconut

Now that there is a photo of me hammering a screwdriver into a coconut. It's not the kind of thing you normally do of an evening about the house. Thankfully, in this house, life is never dull. Freaky and unusual and full of curse words and morally questionable pranks, but never dull.

That, by the by, is just how hard a coconut is. You know that old made up statistic about falling coconuts killing more people every year than shark attacks do? Once you've got your hands on one of those bad boys, it starts to become more than a little bit believable. I could kill a Northy with one of these... ahem...

For those misfortunes who are looking at the title of this Thing and thinking: Well, it was bound to happen, Mooney's finally gone and lost it altogether, there is a method to the madness. It's the lyrics of what I always thought was quite a popular song. Sadly, when I boast about putting the lime in the coconut, too many people haven't a bull's notion what I'm talking about. I really thought everyone knew that song...

Here's a link for those who want to hear some musical fantasticness in proof that I didn't make the song up, it did exist, and putting the lime in the coconut is actually cool... click me!!

While on my travels to find my favourite version of this song, I inadvertently discovered the worst thing ever put on the internet. Worse than copies of Mein Kampf. Worse than lol catz. Prepare for ear-bleeding awfulness that can only be delivered by Danni Minogue...

If you want to put the lime in the coconut yourself, here's a photo of stuff you'll need...
As I said, I love the song. It was once used very successfully in an ad for Coke Lime. Remember that? When they murdered Coca Cola? Rough patch for the people of Coke... Swing and a miss folks.

It took me the guts of fifteen minutes to get into the shagging thing. Coconuts go to great lengths to prevent idiots getting at their milky goodness. Hard shell. No fooling.
The Canuck remains furious that I put the lime in the coconut and failed to put in any rum. Apparently he considers this a missed opportunity, but to be fair, we did more than enough drinking and partying over Christmas. I just wanted the chance to get this done. Mind you, it was his suggestion for a Thing.
By the way, it was delicious. You couldn't drink it all night by any means, but it certainly was tasty. For the boys out there, it also gives you an opportunity to hit something with a hammer. Who doesn't love that. Anyone who says they don't love that is a liar...
Yum yum...

Thing 268 A Nap in a Furniture Store

Ever go in to a furniture store and think; wow, that bed looks comfy? Harvey Norman takes that step further and decorates entire bedrooms. They look cool, they never look like the kind of room that I'd live in, because they're too pretty, but they look like the kind of room your cousin has, or maybe your older sister. Something like that.

I went in with Dr Frasier, all about having myself a little lie down. The problem with that is that Harvey Normans' is a busy shop, which means loads of people and plenty of staff. Quite simply, no one is going to let me do this willingly. I'm going to literally have to steal forty winks. At the best of times I'm nervous and embarrassed about these kind of Things, but when Dr Frasier is there tormenting me and bullying me into the job, it makes it even harder.

Had a sneaky look to see who was where... dodged into the room... my Mam's constant pestering kicked in and I took off my shoes, threw myself onto the bed and closed my eyes. I was hoping Dr Frasier would take a quick snap, but when I opened my eyes a couple of minutes later... he was gone. I'm not sure if he was trying to set me up to get caught or just tempted by one of the many offers on office furniture. But taking a photo he was not. I held my position till he came back and got the snap.

We chuckled and left....

I got to the car and decided it wasn't enough. I had to get under the covers in the shop. So I marched Dr Frasier back into Harvey's and went for another go. It was at this point that he told me we'd been in there the first time round for forty minutes while I dallied and dithered.

Suffice to say there was a small army of sales staff following us around the store. I'm still unsure if they wanted us to leave, thought we were up to no good or just smelled a sale. One way or another they were never farther away than a few feet. It was the weirdest stand off in history.

I'd head for one of the rooms, they'd move in close. I'd walk away, they'd edge back. I walked to the other end of the store and a new squad of sales staff would appear out of nowhere like a bunch of those melty terminators out of the second Terminator movie (which, incidentally, is the best Terminator). They were everywhere.

Dr Frasier was furious. You know how long we were in there? One hour and a half. A full football match length of time. At this point I'm sure the sales staff thought I was completely doddering insane, and that Dr Frasier was the orderly sent out of the hospital to keep an eye on me.
Anyway... I bottled it. I got my two decent photos from the first time out, and had a nice relaxing lie down for myself. Couldn't get under the covers though. Come on, give me half marks will you? Please...

Thing 267 Submit to Failblog

Once upon a time I worked in a job, and no I'm not saying where, which allowed me more free time than I really required. I didn't do a lot of actual work. Instead I had a list of websites that I love to check on, and I spent most of my day just laughing my ass off. You've seen some of them on this Project before. where Cyanide and Happiness cartoons are king. Lamebook, where stupidity and hilarity are king, and are mocked and applauded in equal measures. There's also, which I hope to get something written for eventually, and finally, there's

For those not in the know, failblog is the place where stupidity is highlighted, italicised and underlined for the likes of me, Spoon and Pony Boy. If you've seen a video of a news presenter announcing that Mount Everest was conquered by a man, who she means to say is blind, but ends up saying is gay, it came from failblog. If you haven't seen it - allow yourself a giggle. Click here. Any time a photo of someone or something goes online, that's too stupid for words, it's on failbog.

Photos and videos are rated as fail, epic fail, win or epic win. Look, I could type about how awesome failblog is all day, or I could just post a link...

By the way, this may be a record for the blog it's taken me the longest to write... prepare to be addicted to failblog, once you get on there, it's impossible not to keep looking back over old fails. High-lay-ree-us.

So I've been strolling about since Project Day 1 trying to find a photo opportunity for a failblog submission. I've seen some stuff and thought it was worthy, but my head told me to keep waiting for a better fail... (Better fail? Sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it?).

It was early January when my moment came. In Subway. Having a sandwich, because, let's face it, Subway is awesome in many ways. I saw an add for soup. Seemed like a good idea, it was freezing out. Thing is though, I've always found a bowl or even, at a push, a cup is a fine method of soup-delivery. A bowel though... well, it just seems wrong. Internal organs and systems shouldn't be used to serve soup.

I know I'm pedantic. And a grammar Nazi - it's kind of my Thing. But it serves my purpose for a new Thing for the day. Share my hilarious "bowel" moment with the world.

I think it's hilarious. No?

Humour fail.

Thing 266 Spit off the Overpass

I know I know... the picture is tiny, but I had to get some kind of image in there, and this is the one that inspired this Thing. Funny that Bart Simpson should be an inspiration, frankly, he's a little bit creepy when you think about it. Firstly; his hair is skin coloured and seems to actually just be an extension of his skin, secondly, his voice is that of a middle aged scientologist, thirdly; The Bartman is still weirdly catchy after nearly twenty years... Nonetheless, if you're in your twenties then you grew up with him.

I remember in the late nineties you couldn't turn on the tv at about six o'clock without seeing The Simpsons. It's like there was a Simpson's episode on every channel... Which was no bad thing. My favourite is still the one with Mr Byrne's trying to make a suit out of puppies. There was nothing un-funny about that episode. But I digress...

Once upon a Simpson's episode (all good stories should start like that), a motivational speaker came to town and told Springfield to "be like the boy". That is, be like Bart. Everyone promptly ran to the overpass to spit off it. Causing multiple pile ups.

And a Thing for the Project was born.

Thankfully, I'm not a sociopath, as far as I know any way, so I'm not so much in favour of multiple pile ups. In fact, I'm against the idea. Have been for some time. So there's a time and a place for this... execution is everything.

Token Northy had dropped me into town, since we were going in for a coffee, but since he likes going to gyms and doing healthy stuff, and I'm a lazy, lazy man, he took off, leaving me to make my own way home. I dawdled, more because going home was going to involve effort than anything else, and I ended up heading for home at about ten at night. Vibrating slightly from all the coffee.

Also, to add insult to increasingly obese injury, I took a cab since I didn't want to walk from the bus stop to our house... (Stop judging me, again). Hilarity ensued. I asked the cab driver to stop in the side lane of the new overpass by The Crescent. I dodged out and boosted myself up, but there was traffic coming, so I got back down. Like I say, I'm not in favour of pile ups, and I'm also not in favour of spitting on someone's window. That's just rude. I'm pretty much against spitting in general, but a Thing's a Thing.

I waited. The cab driver looked at me. I signalled for him to wait a second, and tried to look causal. Boost up again. Another car coming. Back down. The cab driver, a friendly chap in his late fifties I'd guess, was now staring at me. I signalled for him to wait again. Tapped my feet a little. Rubbed my hands together. Boosted back up... Another car coming... Wow, well at least people are using the toll right? At this rate we'll have the entire Limerick by-pass paid for by next week. The cab driver is still staring at me. I'm looking at him, wondering what exactly he thinks I'm up to. Boost back up again... clear.

I feel disgusting and a little guilty. I spit off the overpass. At nothing. No one's anywhere near it, and I still feel like I've just committed a crime for which The Gardai are going to be banging on my door in the next ten minutes... I still get nervous when I hear a knock...

I got back into the cab. Driver looks at me; "You okay", he asks politely...

"Ya, sorry about that lad, I had to spit..."

Silence the rest of the way home. As the Dubs say; Scarlet for myself.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thing 265 Join A Political Party

Alright, first and foremost. This blog is not, nor shall it ever be, a soapbox for political spin. It's not a platform for religious change. It's not a recruiting campaign for the next big event in politics in Ireland.

The problem is, that it is a personal Project, so there's just little bits of me that will get through. Not everyone's going to agree with my politics. There'll be plenty of people not on my side in matters religious, and when it comes to sport... well, Liverpool fans exist in their thousands, so how much more different from me do you want things to get? The politics is the important bit here...

I promise to try not to lecture...

But here's a list of the following things you're doing wrong with your life...

Hahaha. I jest. I jest. I do that a lot.

I spent some time as a journalist. It was fun. At times it was a touch soul-destroying, but that's why journos have thick skin and thicker necks. They're well able for it. During that time I got to interview and talk to plenty of politicians and visit many, many pointless press conferences where tea and coffee were served along side giant slabs of tedium and bullshit that would weigh you down. I once door-stepped Bertie Ahern. It made me want to shower.

And there's the first time my politics come in to this. I don't like the crowd that are running the country now. I'm sure there are many decent people associated with this crowd, and all that (in fact, I know one of them, hello Councillor Crowe!!), but I don't like them, and I like the other guys. Not the other guys that are basically the same guys, I mean the other, other guys.

So... eh... yeah. I joined the Labour Party.

Anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to give out a lot. A lot, a lot. There's very little I won't give out about. The thing is though, that if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem (John McClane taught me that, is there nothing Die Hard can't teach us?). So for all my giving out, until you start to do something meaningful to change things, then you're just part of the problem.


Since I'm lazy and want to feel like I'm part of the solution, but don't want to actually do anything about it, I decided joining a political party would be about the closest thing. Tell me I'm wrong?

Seriously though, it does mean I get an input. Cynics would say not much of an input, but everyone's got to start somewhere. And hey, I can always be a political slut... If Labour aren't suiting me... Hello there Fine Gael...

It's a surprisingly easy task. Get on to your chosen political life partner's website, and sign up there. They're always looking for new people. People are politics. It took me all of half an hour. And most of that was reading demotivational posters like the one on top there... Man they crack me up.

If you're not keen on that, at least register to vote. And don't spoil your ballot by voting for My Tayto... his fiscal policies are an absolute shambles.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thing 264 Movie Drinking Game

In my defence, it was Christmas. In Ireland. It's socially acceptable to drink this much at Christmas right? Right? Don't answer that unless you're going to tell me what I want to hear. Seriously...

I'm something of a movie buff. God I hate that expression; movie "buff". It carries unpleasant oily naked connotations for some reason. Let's rephrase - I really like movies, lots. I'm also partial to a snifter of port of a Sunday evening by the fire. Why is it that I've to start a year long Project before I put these two things together?

In my long, four year career as a student, I played only one drinking game. I played it and stopped for the following reasons: Cha Cha appears to be a small woman, but can in fact, destroy most people for booze. Little Squirrel is a misnomer. The man is huge and drank whiskey from a pot. Even Dr Frasier, famous for his inability to hold his booze, was once a seasoned pro. They were destroying me. Also, I got sick.

Drinking games are not my cup of tea. This, I should have remembered before I decided to take on this Thing for the day.

Did you know that there are literally hundreds of these games. And not just ones for movies. There are TV show ones, which are actually a little funnier.

Funny story:
Kiefer Sutherland played Jack Bauer in the show 24. Jack Bauer said "dammit" alot. American students noticed this and made a drinking game that involved shots every time he said his signature phrase. Someone told Kiefer Sutherland, who then began a one man campaign to get as many students smashed out of their minds as he could. He was a "dammit" machine. The script called for him to say it once, he'd say it seven times. He'd say it when the script didn't call for it. He'd said it so much, they stopped playing... How cool is that guy?

So anyway... here's four photos depicting the progression of the evening:
Ooooh look, I'm super excited about Indiana Jones drinking game fun. Here's a shot of red crap I'm going to drink. This is going to be super awesome...
Wow. Lots of stuff happened there. And everyone was shouting. I ran out of red crap to drink. So here's some orange crap. This game isn't as much fun as previously anticipated...
Is it nearly over? I want to stop watching, but I can't. I can't stop watching...
Note: At this point, I'm actually just screaming at the telly. Honestly. I just started roaring before every shot. I thought Pony Boy was going to fold over in half laughing at me.

The rules were ridiculous for starters: Any time Indiana Jones does anything, take a shot. Anytime anyone else does anything, take a shot. Every time you see a person on the screen; take a shot. If you blink... take a shot.

Alright, it wasn't that bad, but here's a sample:

Every time Indiana gets punched: Shot
Every time Indiana has to reach back for his hat/whip/any other accesory: Shot
Every time you see a snake: Shot
Every time some actual archaeology gets done: Shot

If you know the Indiana Jones series, then you know my pain...

Stupid cheap liquor has ruined Indy for me like Jar Jar Binks ruined Star Wars. How many times have I said never again since I started this Project? Once more won't hurt...

Thing 263 Vuvuzela

Right, so I may have been a little "tired and emotional" or as Brian Cowen once called it "hoarse". In case my meaning is missed - I was drunk, when I beat up on a pinata as only a truly hard man could. In fact, the extent of alcohol taken was such that I gave God Boy (who doesn't drink) my car keys, so he could drive himself to Shannon Airport that night for his flight to Mexico the next day, without a thought in the world for how I'd get the car back...

With such decisions and actions there are consequences. Nauseating and head-throbblingly painful consequences. Squeeze-your-eyes-shut, grab-onto-your-bed and pray-for-it-to-be-over kinds of consequences. So what's the remedy for it? You guessed it...

The vuvuzela. You thought I was going to say hair-of-the-dog didn't you?

Sorry, that airport bit wasn't pointless. It's where I set my eyes on the prize. And by prize I mean vuvuzela.

Yep. I went and bought myself the loudest, most annoying, irritating, bothersome and all 'round infuriating piece of sports merchandise that there is. And yes, I do mean sports merchandise. I'm sure that someone somewhere plays this as an instrument, or at least uses it to warn ships lost in the fog of coastlines they can't see, but in this country, the vuvuzela is a piece of sports merchandise. Cheerfully banned from most places.

The Frenchman urged me to get my hands on one of these bad boys during the world cup, but I hated them too much. I did promise myself that just once, during The Project, I'd give myself the opportunity to give one of them a blast.

Into the living room I went, with a big grin on my face. I watched Pony Boy, Token Northy, Little Flower and Lady Northy struggle with their hangovers. They had tiny black clouds of hangover just drifting above them. Perfect....

Deep breath.... nothing.


Now they know that I was trying to blast their hangovers into next year (2012, not 2011). Instead of being upset, and I should've seen this coming, what with them being big kids and all, they were excited. And, even better, they knew how to use it. There's a technique you see.

Purse the lips. Big breath in. Blast. Wait for ears to stop ringing. Grimace painfully. Pass the vuvuzela on the left hand side.

Everyone got a turn.

That's at least six additional vuvuzela blasts. Which means... my plan came back to haunt me, and I withdrew to bed sheepishly, never to touch a vuvuzela again.

The end.

Thing 262 Whack a Pinata

Catharsis: The purging of emotions or relieving of emotional tensions.

Pinata: A gaily decorated figure of papier mache filled with toys, candy etc and suspended from above.

Firstly, it's's definitions I'm working with here, and the gaily bit I'm sure refers to "joyously" or "happily" as opposed to "homosexually". I'm not trying to suggest that our Brian Cowen Pinata, or indeed the man himself is a homosexual. I'm just not privvy to that kind of information. More's the pity...

Secondly; how much do I love whacking a doll version of Brian Cowen that's been stuffed with sweets? More than you know. More than you'll ever know.

The thing is, it takes too long to make a pinata. I certainly haven't the patience for it anyway. It takes only minutes to smash the hell out of one. So, who do I know that help me get my hands on one...? You can click on that there if you'd like. In fact, I'd appreciate it if you did. These pinatas are not so much party pieces as works of art. Just look at Brian down there...
That's me there, getting right up in his face. I'm double rock hard me. I'd stick my face into Pinata Brian Cowen's mug any day of the week. I'm not intimidated by Pinata Brian Cowen one little bit. Aside from anything else I'm like five times the size of him. At least.

By the by, I'm becoming increasingly aware that I'm in my gressy grouw way too often in these photos... It's just that I love it. If you want to scroll ahead there's a photo of me showing a little leg while I'm at it. Sexy...
And that's me whacking Pinata Brian Cowen with a broom handle. The blur is the speed lines... You don't want to fight with me if you're a pinata. I'm a damn weapon when it comes to fighting pinatas. I'm the Mohammad Ali of fights with pinatas...

As party additions go, the pinata is pretty much a complete winner. You can get them for all seasons, and thankfully Ruth, who designs them is fantastically talented, so if you're a lazy ass like me, then someone better than you can make them for you.

So it was New Year's Eve. And if we're all being honest, 2010 was a pretty shit year for most of us. For my family it was an outstanding mess of a year, cancer being the vindictive little shitty illness that it is. What better way to see out the year then taking the handle of a sweeping brush and battering the unmerciful shit out of something just for funsies? I'd also taken the time to stuff Pinata Brian Cowen with sweets. If we're being honest; I'd batter you with a sweeping brush to get my hands on sweets...

Diabetes here I come...

Honestly though - get yourself a pinata. You'll not know the satsifaction until you've tried it yourself...

That's the link up there... go on... have a peek...

Finally, here's some hilarious photos of me and Token Northy being vicious and all too enthusiastic about battering a doll... (Spoon and God Boy also present).