Category Archives: Blogging

Not Your Typical Christmas Carols



I’m tickled pink that Tom loves my hubby’s music enough to do a whole post, with links! Thank you, Tom! The Xmas special is pretty damn good, too :)

Update: if the idea of more holiday music (ugh, at this point, right?) doesn’t get you excited, maybe having a gawk at the playlist will?

EP 250 Christmas Special Playlist:
1. Graham Parker – Soul Christmas
2. Jack Scott – There’s Trouble Brewin’
3. Lester Lanin And His Orchestra – Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies
4. The Kirby Stone Four – Baubles, Bangles, And Beads
5. The Moonglows – Hey Santa Claus
6. Juliette – That Holiday Feeling
7. Mae West – Put The Loot In The Boot, Santa
8. Brenda Lee – I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus
9. Rita Faye Wilson – Sleigh Bells, Reindeer & Snow
10. The New Pornographers – Joseph, Who Understood
11. Rufus Wainwright – Spotlight On Christmas
12. Sufjan Stevens – Get Behind Me, Santa!
13. Chris Stamey Group – Christmas Time
14. The Smithereens – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)
15. Dwight Twilley – Christmas Stars
16. The Buzz of Delight – Christmas
17. The Bratchmen – Christmas Love
18. Orange Juice – Holiday Hymn
19. Three Wise Men – Thanks For Christmas
20. Throwing Muses – Santa Claus
21. Cocteau Twins – Frosty The Snowman
22. Tracey Thorn – Tinsel And Lights
23. Belle & Sebastian – Are You Coming Over For Christmas
24. Sufjan Stevens – Christmas In The Room
25. The Smashing Pumpkins – Christmas Time
26. Smith & Burrows – Funny Looking Angels
27. Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler – Home For The Holidays
28. Gruff Rhys – Post Apocalypse Christmas
29. The Magnetic Fields – Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree
30. Robert Earl Keen – Merry Christmas From The Family
31. Yo La Tengo – It’s Christmas Time
32. NRBQ – Christmas Wish
33. Nick Lowe – Children Go Where I Send Thee
34. Half Man Half Biscuit – All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
35. The Fall – Hark The Herald Angels Sing
36. Pearl Jam – Someday at Christmas
37. The Kinks – Father Christmas
38. Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today
39. Cheap Trick – Come On Christmas
40. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Christmas All Over Again
41. A House – Here Come the Good Times
42. The Pogues Ft Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York
43. Lynne Richards – Christmas In Ireland
44. NRBQ – Message From The North Pole

Originally posted on Off Topic:

Dedicated, DJ DCass even creates a unique cover image for his show every week

Dedicated, DJ DCass even creates a unique cover image for his show every week

Looking for good music for Xmas, but you’re tired of hearing boring carols you’ve been forced to listen to year after year since time immemorial? Well, DJ Dcass just gave us the Christmas Special I was hoping for.

View original 502 more words

Bloggers and Friends and Privacy and Worry


Right, I have enough small things to post every day for weeks at this point! Just little bits of WTF or things I found interesting.

However, I’m not exactly cheerful and not exactly in the mood for playing around. I’m still worried about my friend. You other bloggers know that of the hundreds, maybe thousands! of followers you have, some are just super special and you know you would have a fabulous time with them in real life. Rockin’ the Purple is one of those people I wish I lived next door to. You others know who you are – but do I know what city you live in? Do I have your partner’s email, or even their name? Who can I contact if you go away for months and I miss you, and start to worry?

Yeah I know, I can make up stuff to worry about quite easily. However, this is a real problem, and it will get bigger as our relationships are changed by the Internet.

Perhaps we need to set up some sort of database for this. I sure dislike putting my close details out there for the world, and out of habit I don’t share a lot of personal information of the type that could be used to contact my family, if I went missing. Hubby knows I have a list of my passwords, so he could notify people on my behalf, if needed. He would think of it, too – as he’s a big ol’ geek.

But what about those who don’t have someone like him? Older people, single people? Are we just meant to forget how they touched our lives, because we don’t get an email update about a new blog post for several months? I cannot do that.

So, if any of you wish to send me an email with contact info, for a just in case scenario – I promise that I will never, ever, abuse that trust. And in return if any of you want my hubby’s email, just ask.

I dislike this feeling of helplessness. I wish I would have thought of this before a friend went missing.

Oh, jazuz, it’s been two years!


I knew it was coming – even though it only feels like yesterday to me due to my wonky time-sense – but yes, my wee blog is two years old. Wow, a bit, and ow, a bit.

I’ve changed a lot in two years. I had no job when I started. I used to get songs stuck in my head every day, earworms, and I’d post about that. Yep, I useta post daily – or even more than once a day! I stopped having a song every morning for a good while, but it is back now. I just don’t bother you all with it.

I actually talked about the dog first, as I knew that the cats would take over quite quickly. Yes yes the dog is cool, but the cats are awesome. My good old man, Spot, and his “brother” Lokii who got two separate posts!

I used to draw all the time. I did it a lot until the job sucked the heart art out of me. My first published drawing was a pun cartoon! I’d forgotten that. I thought my first was when in introduced my best friend, Socks. I miss my art, but haven’t yet found a way to bring it back into my life on a daily basis.

I first talked about plants when discussing my indoor garden. What surprised me the most is that iDJ had no idea that my cactus had such heritage. I’m sorry to report that the lantana didn’t come back this year.

I told a lot of good stories and shared some important personal information when I first started blogging. I don’t repeat myself now, as it is all already here. I understand, now, that no one ever goes back to the start and reads the whole blog. I think that’s a shame – but even I don’t have time to do that now. I used to, before I started blogging! I devoured so many, from tales of retail pain to beautifully ugly comics, that I thought everyone did that! Whoops.

I first showed my face on October 29. Sort of.

I first showed iDJ’s face on the 31st – and this is still one of my most popular Google Image searches. I rocked the making of that costume.

I’ve bitched about my bad back and the medical system here, and my bad skin. Lucky you; you haven’t heard about my bad guts. See? I do have some sense of decorum. My back is better now, by the way. The skin only is slightly better, and that only because I’ve had lots of sunshine this year.

I think I’m about done tooting my own horn. I’d like to end with what I still think is the best sentence I’ve ever written on this blog.

“This blog is me upending my cerebellum and splashing around in the puddle.”

I’m so pleased that over 200 of you have come swimming with me.

Random writing


(Written yesterday, I didn’t get around to the photos until this morning)

Hi! I’m in the mood for some stream-of-consciousness writing. I’ve not done this in a while!

It’s currently 4:30 in the afternoon, and I’m outside in the back yard, snuggled in my adored Coleman folding camp chair. I will be heartbroken when this chair wears out! None of the other three folding chairs we have are half as comfortable, and none have two cup holders. Best chair ever, and I won’t find another over here to replace it.

It’s about 22degrees c, or 72f. This is my perfect, perfect temperature. I’m in shorts and my bikini top, likely getting the last rays of sunshine that I will get until next April. It’s breezy, but it feels good rather than being chilling. I almost feel as though my upper body and shins are sucking the sunshine in, gasping for this last chance. It’s wonderful.

I did a little putzing about with plants today, and took a rake of pictures with my iPhone. First thing I did was pot up some sweet William seedlings. The S.W. has gone to seed and oh myyyy, have they have germinated. Oops! I put a call out on Facebook for anyone who wanted seeds/seedlings to come and get them, but had not one taker. I think all my local friends and family are only going football crazy and have no time for anything on FB that isn’t Mayo related. I experimented by putting up a pic of my Houttuynia cordata ‘pied piper’, as it is red and green. Tons of ‘likes’ for that! Yep, football-brains only around here it seems.

I don’t think I mentioned that I was doing another experiment, this time with what I hoped were seeds from my skinny purple iris. I put them into sifted fine soil, in a plastic take-out container that has a lid. Set it on a sunny windowsill and left it.* For about four months! Finally, when I remembered to check on it, there was life. Not just the moss and mould, but something that looked like grass. I sighed and supposed that it was grass, and was prepared to give up… until I took a closer look and realised that these were indeed baby iris plants! Go, me! *Same method I used to ahahaget the lilac seeds to germinate last year.

Today I potted them up; I really hope they survive. I don’t want to put them outside, so I hope they don’t get too big, or get confused about what season it is.


We also Had A Man In to sweep our chimney. First time in 8 years, we were really chancing our arm waiting so long! He brought in a big shop-vacuum and his brushes and rods (in a nifty copper tube, it probably is an antique), laid down some quite grey but clean sheets, and got to work. Only took about 15 minutes for the actual cleaning, another 15 for setting up and tearing down again. €45 – a bit much for 30 minutes of work, really, but when done he asked hubby, “You do a bit of computer work, don’t ye? I’ve a 2 month old Garmin sat nav that isn’t right, and the shop won’t help me. Can I drop it intae ye and you’ll have a look?” So, I’m guessing we’ll get €20 back in trade. Got to appreciate men with skills!



The clouds are sweeping in, and the angle of the sun is so low this time of year that my neighbour’s roof leaves my back garden in shadow. I have the smallest sliver of sun left to me, along the back wall, an imperfect triangle that is getting smaller minute by minute. I’ve only been writing about a half an hour, with a break to help hubby bring in the shopping. It seemed when I started that I would have sunshine forever. Gone, gone! So fleeting, the things that we treasure the most. I’ll have to put my real clothes back on and go sit out front, instead… Ah, that’s better. Back in the heat, with a little less skin showing because NOONE needs to see me in a bikini top. The bikini rather makes my neck sore anyway – there’s a bit of weight pulling on my neck, can’t imagine what that’s about… Hehehe.

Hmm. Now that I’m out front, I’m noticing that the Tigridia has nice fat seed heads. I wonder could I start some of those next year? I wonder would any of you be interested in giving it a try, too? We could have a seed exchange! Of stuff that is really, really complicated and slow to grow. Anyone up for it?



Hubby’s been to our local (award-winning) craft butcher, and intends on grilling the delicious meat he purchased. He originally said he was going to grill in the morning, to fortify ourselves before the big game. He’s also still deciding if we watch it at home, or go to the pub. If we watch at home, we’ll go to the pub after, of course. I know I’ll be hurting on Monday morning if we go to the pub to watch (it’s on at 3 in the afternoon! That’s a bit early even for me to start horsing drinks into me), but the craic will never, ever be forgotten if we’re with a crowd and we win. Besides, everyone I know will be hurting Monday morning anyway! I think we should go out to watch it. I want those hugs from drunken strangers, I want to see a sea of red and green jerseys, I even want the little girls and boys in their Mayo gear, eating crisps and drinking orange, trying to be good and grown up in the pub while dad, or mum, or mum and dad, are shouting at the telly and downing pints. I want face paint and red and green fingernails on the women and silliness and extreme emotion! I want the Irish sport experience. I love it, I do!

A very, very, late request.


Today is the longest day of the year. I’d love to see your photos of sunset and sunrise, with the time the pic was taken! I’ll post them, if anyone cares to try it. It’s 11pm here and cloudy, but there is still a glimmer of light. Any takers? I don’t mind if it is tomorrow instead, as I’ve only just had this idea.

To be honest, I don’t know myself if I can be up at 4 or whenever the sky gets light these days!

Here’s a terrible iPad photo of my night sky, at 11:15 pm. I hope you appreciate its crappiness as I have two freezing cold wet feet from going outside to take this!


Aborted rant


Well. I’ve gone quiet for a bit. I have things to post, oh yes. I can’t seem to make myself want to interact much. I’m a bit sad about missing the responses, you see. I post late at night, Irish time, and all the comments come in when I’m asleep – I love responding in ‘real time.’ Even if I set this doowhazizz to post at a later time, I’d be at work when my friends visit. All blogs are blocked at work, too. I can use the WP app to respond but I really like seeing a comment in situ when I reply – okay, that’s a bit odd perhaps. It’s a visual thing. I also enjoy sitting here, writing my heart out, and hitting ‘publish.’ I’d miss that just a bit too much.

Today, Margaret Thatcher finally died. I didn’t know much about her when I was living in the USA – I do recall the Falklands War, but I wasn’t interested in the politics of it. I never heard about the coal miners, or her support of apartheid, or how she let Irish men starve to death in prison rather than concede that the UK and Ireland were at war. Now that I’m married to an Irishman I’ve heard about these things, and I’ve heard again every time her face was on telly: will she just hurry up and die already?!? So, iDJ is happy, if you can say that. You know what? I can say that, and I just did. He’s glad she’s dead, and I’m happy he’s glad. I expect there will be a Thatcher-themed radio show this Thursday. So there. They should put her in a locked, gated mausoleum to keep away all the people who want to dance (or worse) on her grave. That said, a total stranger just called it ‘utterly pathetic’ that I said we’d opened some sparkling wine tonight for the occasion. Now I’m just a little bit pissed off.

Actually, a bit more than pissed off. If I say something stupid, I expect to be informed of it in a reasonable manner. Not called utterly pathetic. That is the type of interaction I never get here, and thank you all so very much for being reasonable people, or at least ignoring me when I’m irritating.

I couldn’t spell mausoleum to save my life, by the way. I don’t trust that it’s right even now, despite Google saying it is. That’s for you, Tom!

What else… Ah. My life feels like it is on hold, as work told me they would be interviewing and hiring someone to take on my role, and they would be moving me to something I’d much much rather be doing. That was two Mondays ago. No updates. Bollocks. I have no idea what is going on. The relief I felt two weeks ago is dissipating and now I’m coming up with new things to worry about.

Ugh, now I’ve gone and made myself even crankier than usual. I’ve lost interest in my own bitching, so here’s a beautiful photo of Lokii.

Zoom in. Yes, do. He’s drooling just because he has sunshine. Now, doesn’t that make it all better?

Deep Thoughts By Spiders


Do you want an interesting life? Or would you rather your life be settled, routine, ‘normal?’

The supposed ‘Chinese curse’ is may you live in interesting times. That is by no means the same thing as may you have an interesting life. Interesting Times happen TO you. An interesting Life, hopefully, is your choice.

What would you define as interesting? What is interesting for some is tiresome, tedious, or downright horrifying for others. I think crocheting is interesting, but I’m terrible at it and it makes me angry that I suck at something creative that I also want to do. I think mountain climbing, or rock climbing, is fucking dangerously stupid and why would you want to do that!?!?! But, I have a friend who loves it.

I’m reading Koontz again, his Odd Thomas series. Main character, Odd, is constantly approached by dead people needing help. He’d rather be a short-order cook, or a tire salesman. Well, he is a short-order cook, because the rest of his life is just a bit too interesting. But, he makes the case that he would never want to be famous. I don’t think I’d want to be famous either – not with the lack of privacy and the downright creepy attention people pay to everything you wear and every wrinkle or bulge on your physical body. Perhaps that’s only something famous women have to worry about? I can’t really care about my body’s appearance when I live entirely in my mind. And, if I had a choice, and lots of money, I would dress like a three year old goth: Spongebob and skulls. I don’t want to ever be put in a situation where millions think way too hard about the crap I’m wearing. And I will only wear makeup these days when it is socially expected (which I resent heartily) or I feel like hiding behind it.

There are innumerable women who stay with abusive men because (combined with other reasons) the excitement, the passion! involved is interesting. If and when these women break free, they absolutely miss that excitement. I totally understand that. Adrenaline is addictive.

So. All this comes about from a comment on my Gory Story Time post. Tom basically said that my life was too interesting and he had nothing close in his history to what I’d gone though. And my first reaction was to laugh – because that’s not a big story in my life at all. That’s an amusing side note, a small anecdote, a bit of nothing in the larger history! My life has been truly interesting – but I’m only now realising that it’s pretty much all been by my own choices. These, for the most part, have been pretty stupid choices. But goddamned exciting, nonetheless.

After I grew up a bit, I thought my biggest problem was that I have a tendency to run away. And I do, going back to childhood. But as a ‘growedup’ I would find a great relationship and stick for years – until I got bored, and/or cheated, and used that as an excuse to run away. I’ve also never worked a single job longer than four years straight – pretty impressive as I had my first ‘real’ job at about age 10. I’ve a history of moving around America, town to town, job to job, that finally ended up with me moving entire countries. On a whim, in retrospect. I didn’t have to. Not that I don’t love my husband. But I could have moved him to the US instead. Truly, it made sense for me to move here. BUT – and that’s a big but, that’s why it’s in all caps – I went looking for a man in Ireland intentionally. Because I was bored. I didn’t know that then, this is a new insight into my own motivations. I thought I just didn’t really like the US, and had finally realised that moving from redneck Lower Alabama to Big City Ohio didn’t make a difference – I still didn’t “fit in” with American culture.

Well fuck me, but I sure as shit don’t fit in here, either. After nearly eight years (an all-time record for me staying with one person and a growedup record for living continually at one address, since I was about…14), I’m bored again. I don’t know what is my trigger this time! Do I think I’ve learned all I can about where I live and this culture and all the people that I know? Is it just that the job I’ve had for the last year+ is one I dislike intensely? Am I, deep down, just a lazy feicer and I really, really miss the almost two years I was unemployed as it finally gave me a chance to feel that I had a right to be creative – to write, to draw, to start this blog?

Is it all of the above? How am I supposed to know? Is there something else I’m still missing? I’ve had a few shrinks and therapists, and not one ever pointed this rather important bit of insight out to me.

I know this much: Tom’s comment was a revelation for me, once I gave it some thought. I was pretty damn surprised, because it gives me hope – if only I can figure out what I can do to save myself that doesn’t involve running away. That’s a hard one, as the feeling of being trapped is, for me, something that inspires fight or flight. I fight for a while, but in most situations in my past, I have picked flight. The fight right now has nearly deserted me, leaving only a serious dearth of flight choices that gives me depression in spades. You can guess, if you’ve had depression, what the ultimate choice for flight is when all other options appear to be closed.

But, for now, I’m at penultimate. Because I am still fighting this! I had nearly given up, until Tom’s comment. I’ve fought before when things got this bad: I once decided that getting in my truck in Florida and driving to Maine, with nothing – nothing at all than would fit in the cab (including a very angry and upset Siamese) was better than suicide. Why? I’d never been to Maine, and Stephen King lives there. Those were my only reasons. My point being that I can still see that insane changes will make a difference, for me, rather than the one, irrevocable, change that I will come to, eventually, by choice or not.

I understand that this truly is a revelation, and I don’t expect deep thoughts or even good advice. I needed to write, and this is my outlet. I have written my thoughts and discarded them so many, many times over the last few months – because I don’t want this to be a negative space. This blog is my happy place and I just couldn’t ruin it. I hope I haven’t ruined it now? I still have a lot of stories to tell and – maybe – some art still left in me.