Daniel in Blue Jeans

Daniel in Blue Jeans

An album cover and title that’s just never left me. Daniel O’Donnell is an Irish folk/country singer from Donegal. He’s sold 10m albums worldwide. His audience is supposed to be exclusively old biddies. They fondly, maternally, refer to him as ‘wee Daniel’, but they’re not above sticking him in a pair of blue jeans either. He hosts an annual tea-party for the fans at his mother’s house in Donegal. What is it these woman want? It’s seems confused. It confuses me anyway. Yet Daniel, who’s softly spoken and sincere in interviews, manages to consistently deliver the goods. He was obviously born to do it, whatever the hell it is.

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Living well is the best revenge

I had a job interview in Dublin on Friday. Afterwards, at midday, I went for a pint before the bus, which swiftly turned in to the most vicious,  debit card fuelled bender I’ve been on in a while.

There have been a good few of these since I finished my course. More than I care to remember. I don’t mistreat anyone, I’m generally well received by people, but ultimately I’m a drunken moron. On this occasion I found myself in a packed venue at some point in the night unable to remember where I was at all for a minute.

These nights are hard to resist, they’re always an exciting prospect. I don’t like being around myself! The same’s true for tons of people, many of whom are putting up a better fight than me no doubt. But there you have it. The temptation to get drunk and be who I want to be for a while, away from the scrutiny of anyone, is proving too much for me a fair bit lately.

The shame after is a nightmare though. Only the harsh stuff that happened sticks in my head:

“YOU JUST WANNA PUNCH HIM, DON’T YOU?”- some hateful girl.

“CAN YOU EVEN SPELL IT?”- angry man squaring up to me over my use of pretentious language.

“I JUST FEEL SORRY FOR HIM”- disembodied voices in my ear when I was finally slumped on the table in a pizza takeaway.

(Which may sum up the typical reader response to this blog.)

Some guy gave me half an ecstasy, and that and the fact that I didn’t eat a crumb the whole day screwed with my head much more than a typical hangover. I got back to Belfast, to my parents house, and have writhed really miserably in my bedroom for days, with the internet permanently at my side. Tom Hanks interviews were a great comfort. He’s a very likable man. I also watched Apollo 13 on a nasty low quality stream. I got up on Monday morning to smoke a cigarette out the window and my head was shaking like a hardened alcoholic. In my darkest hours there was a lot of lamenting this brain-mangling cycle of build up and release. I had an horrific nightmare on Saturday or possibly Sunday night, when I was asleep in a heavy coat and tracksuit bottoms under my duvet, my room an absolute kip. I was trying very hard to impress Russell Brand but he wasn’t impressed and was ridiculing me.

My head started to clear on Monday and my old faithful motivators came back to me- ‘Living well is the best revenge’ being one of them. It’s by some 17th century English guy whose thing seemed to have been coining great quips like that. I can’t remember his name right now. It’s also the title of an REM song. And my own plainer, angrier version of it- ‘Nothing will get in the way of my happiness’. Both of them work so well on me I would seriously consider having one of them tattooed somewhere. There’d be some worry though- maybe my responding to them reveals what a terrible man I am and I’m not even wise to it?

I then felt strong enough to watch a decent movie, rather than mindless warm uplifting stuff like Apollo 13. I watched ‘Maniac’ which is a stylish horror starring Elijah Wood as the eponymous maniac. It’s shot nearly entirely from the killer’s point of view (you see his face in mirrors etc). That’s good because you can’t stomach too much of hipster Elijah Wood as a deranged killer. It was spectacularly well made- excellent slicing and dicing effects and beautifully shot- but as is typical in killer movies they didn’t flesh out the character in any interesting or believable way- which lets the whole thing down in my opinion.  There were  a couple of amazing scenes though, including a murder in a loft apartment scored to Schubert’s Ave Maria, which I listened to on repeat about 10 times as soon as the movie was over. Here it is, an incredible recording of it, with old-school hiss and everything!