Jan 25, 2012


I don't normally like scary movies, but I can't wait to scare myself silly with Irish "monster movie," Grabbers, about an Irish town that realizes that the only thing that repels a swarm of uninvited tentacled creatures is to keep drinking alcohol. Yeah, I know, there we go perpetuating the drunken Irish stereotype again, but c'mon it sounds funny! 
In an interview with Fangoria, Irish screenwriter Kevin Lehane said it plays against a lot of Irish stereotypes: "There’s no sort of paddywhackery in it. It’s very modern and authentically Irish, and quite accurate I suppose. I just wanted to make the characters clever as well, so the solution that they come to is the smartest option." 
See, it's all very PC really.
Let's drink to a cool and funny Irish film!

Grabbers premiered this week at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Here's the synopsis:
Something sinister has come to the shores of Erin Island, unbeknownst to the quaint population of this sleepy fishing village resting somewhere off Ireland’s coast. First, some fishermen go missing. Then there is the rash of whale carcasses suddenly washing up on the beach. When the murders start, it’s up to two mismatched cops–an irresponsible alcoholic and his new partner, a by-the-book woman from the mainland–to protect the townsfolk from the giant, bloodsucking, tentacled aliens that prey upon them. Their only weapon, they discover, is booze. If they want to survive the creatures’ onslaught, everyone will have to get very, very drunk! 
Director Jon Wright’s whimsical throwback to classic monster flicks relishes in delivering perfectly timed thrills and madcap antics. In true cult fashion, Grabbers imparts the great fun of a spooky old carnival ride with an Irish twist. Don’t forget to grab a drink!
 Grabbers stars Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey, and Lalor Roddy and is directed by Jon Wright, and is expected to grab theaters this year.
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Jan 18, 2012

All The Jewelry I Got


Okay, so I can't lament all the jewelry I never got without celebrating all the jewelry I just got this weekend. By "all" I mean one bracelet, but it's pretty special.

We had a very elegant black-tie wedding at the Pierre hotel in Manhattan: I was wearing a fairly unspectacular black evening dress (well, unspectacular after I pinned it in multiple places to preserve my dignity), and hair that could easily be categorized as both "toupee" and "momsy" (after sitting mute in a Brooklyn-Italian stylist's chair that morning), so the bling was necessary to elevate the outfit and mood and to weigh down my arm so I wouldn't drink too much->dance too much->bust out of my safety pins. 

Okay, after that lead-in, I will share this poser phone pic I sent my sister before we left our hotel room, along with a message "Packed the wrong knickers; will fill you in tmrw" which I won't fill you in on today. 

I stood awkwardly like this all night so that instead of focusing on my slit up to there or neckline down to there, people were forced to appreciate the shiny new bracelet that was making me very happy.
I thought it might be a while before I'd have a chance to wear it again but it turns out to be the perfect accessory to my jeans-and-jumper work outfit and the perfect antidote to carpal tunnel syndrome.

All The Jewelry I Never Got

I love a collection with a story and I love, love, love the story—and humor—of hot Irish designer Natalie B. Coleman's S/S2012 collection, "All The Jewellery I Never Got."

Love the idea (I could create a line of bedding, housewares, and wallpapers filled with images of all the jewelry/shoes/bags I never got), the great graphic quality of the designs, the wit, the coolness, and the lush fabrics. Seriously, I might have to write a letter to the birthday fairies to get that silk satin black and white shirt; it's perfect for work or play ... and the message is an open "talk to me!" invite to other bling-lovin' magpies.

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Jan 16, 2012

Maybe I Can Drive My Car

I've been sputtering and farting toward getting a driver's license for years (and years) now and running out of gas before I get any bit comfortable behind the wheel. My permit has been burning a hole in my pocket and I've decided, today, that this might have to be the year. I don't know that I even want to drive; I just know that I don't want to not drive (wait, is that a double negative? what I am not trying to not say here?)

I have lots of clever quips and reasons to not drive but the plain truth is that I'm scared. Scared of aggressive drivers and even more aggressive pedestrians. Scared that I won't be able to monitor the seat warmer, radio, mirror, and road at the same time. Scared that "road" ranks last in the list of things I think I need to monitor. Scared that I close my eyes when passing buses and trucks. Scared that I've become so used to falling asleep in the passenger seat that I'll nod off at a light. Scared that an aggressive pedestrian will beat me for blocking the crosswalk. Scared, just plain scared.
Rather than focus on my fears, I know I should try to focus on the potential joys of driving, like road rage, a warm butt, new driving shoes, a new car—Granny-Smith-green vintage VW Beetle or Mini, and music—loud music that makes people dance and wave when I drive by.

The soundtrack to the vision of me driving is Van Morrison. Actually, it's Van Morrison's Into The Mystic, on repeat. The song just makes me happy. I see myself cruising down an empty (coastal) highway, my hair blowing wildly in the seabreeze (hair in my eyes is not a problem on empty highway), smiling and singing "We were born before the wind, Also younger than the sun .... I -IIIII-I want to rock your gypsy soul, Just like way back in the days of old ..." honking the horn for the saxaphone parts.
Y'know, according to a BBC survey, Into The Mystic is among the most popular songs doctors listen to while operating. Maybe I'll hear it there, too, after I "let my soul and spirit fly" ... into the Hudson.

Jan 11, 2012

Hello and Goodbye

Go say hello to Tess my grandmother would say
two minutes after I'd walked in the door.
I came to say hello to you I'd think
knowing I'd get no good out of her until I went and said hello to Tess.

I'd puddle down the hill, borrowed wellies slapping against my calves. There's the turf shed, the spot where Granddad used to park his car, the milk machine. There's me straining the milk into the tank. The field where I burned rubbish and picked lettuce and rhubarb; now it has a trampoline. Stray hens, Tess's haybarn, cowsheds, the trough of rainwater where Theresa rinsed her blonde Timotei-ad hair. I rinsed my hair in that trough once ... the water fairies laughed at me (and withheld silky blondeness).

The net curtains never moved, but Tess and Paddy watched approaching visitors from the table.
Later just Tess.
The stiff door handle announced my arrival; I made a show of cleaning my wellies on the worn mat. We described the day. Chance of showers. Cold fronts approaching. Acted like it was the first time that day we'd noticed the weather. I'd sit on the couch, hands in my lap or fiddling with cushions. When I was younger, I brought the papers. Sometimes I fetched the papers. Sometimes I asked if Tess was going to mass. Manufactured errands to get me out from under Nana's feet. Biscuits, Ribena, leftover Christmas cake. Rides on Tadie, the white pony. I trailed her as she milked the cows or cleaned the sheds. She crooned while she milked, a crab apple voice. Sometimes she sent me down to the field to Theresa or Paddy to deliver a message, news, or a bottle of tea. Manufactured errands to get me out from under Tess's feet. She asked about school, my mother, and news from America. Later, she asked about my kids' school, my mother, and news from my America. At some point she stopped telling me I was getting big. 
At some point I stopped getting big.

Looking for her now, over the ocean and down the hill, I see her pale skin pulled taut over high cheekbones, raven hair pulled back in a net. A little red in the cheeks. Always a wink or private joke in her eyes. Snow White the farmer. Hardy, reedy, able. 
I never saw pictures of her as a kid. I knew nothing about her childhood, her favorite anything, or how she met Paddy. I never asked. Just like I never asked the hens or the trees or the sky.
I just came down to say hello.

I wish I could have said goodbye before she left Greygrove last week.