Living the life

Anyone remember [the.path]? You still out there Kev? [the.path] was a free Dublin zine, mostly handed out at clubs and record shops. There was a piece on the online version that struck a chord with me and I’ve often thought back to it. I know a girl who shed a tear while reading it. I’ve tried to find it over the years and today I finally succeeded. I found it on the good ole way back machine, in the 2001 archive for Have a look around. Here’s the piece I was looking for. Deep breath… and go….


[I love…] lasagna – having sex first thing in the morning – watching the clouds phase in and out on a sunny day, making it cold and then warm again – getting the fightlink home and striking up a conversation with strangers – listening to wanky jazz on a sunday afternoon with a shitload of papers and supplements fired around the kitchen table – the singing of a glass as you run your fingers around the rim – the local green – destroying abandoned cars – walking up the railway lines on a saturday evening – eating coleslaw with my hands – the end of the acid – the way the bass kicks in and turns my spine to jelly at 1.30am – train journeys – the smiles on my friends faces – travelling around – crossing the liffey – sitting in abra for hours and cleaning my rings with the handwipes – walking under the westlink bridge in the middle of the night – sliding on ice streaks in runners with flat soles – reading – having sex first thing in the afternoon – walking down supposed dangerous laneways and streets – the smell off my fingers after chopping garlic – the sweet sound of escaping gas as the sixth dutch gold can is opened – dutch gold, god bless our brewing cousins in the netherlands – sleeping on the floor of a strangers house – not knowing exactly what day it is when i’m unemployed – being unemployed when the weather is beautiful – shaded lightbulbs – having a double bed duvet on a single bed – the way that pizza burns the roof of my mouth when it comes straight out of the oven – the scream of the baby behind me on the bus – getting nettle stings – climbing trees – the observation tower in smithfield – low grade graffiti on lamps, shop shutters and buses – getting crossbars off the phillips head screwdriver down gardiner street, and breaking the lights at summerhill and sean macdermott street – listening to filthy techno in a small flat on camden street at 9am on a saturday morning, drinking wine from the spar – knowing where different numbered dublin buses go to – kebabs – scoring with the girl standing next to me in the queue for the kebab – not knowing exactly where i am – walking for hours – the mosque in clonskeagh – playing football on the road with kids ten years younger than me – writing confusing graffiti – the terminus of any bus – the rustle of the leaves at night – writing letters to people i havent seen in years – swimming my chips in vinegar – bumping into people – paved streets – the way traffic lights switch colour and don’t have any effect when the streets are closed to cars and crowded with people – the way fireworks make me laugh uncontrollably and make my eyes water – the M50 – the airport – early houses – talking with barflies in early houses – trying to find out the literal translation of peoples names in irish – friendly dogs – getting photographs back from the chemist, six months after you first took them – sneaking into stephens green at night – cycling along shouting abuse at people queuing for arsehole pubs – the way wilma makes toasted cheese sandwiches – the way i get involuntary twitches and tingles at the base of my back when a girl whispers anything in my ear – being in a car going over a speed ramp at 40mph – the view from the smithfield tower – the horse market – the roundabout in ballymun – finding out the history of street names – the roundabout at the M50/navan road junction – letting a watermelon drop from a height and seeing it burst – putting a tomato in the microwave – handing out freesheets outside tacky chart nightclubs – doing the rounds of record shops on a saturday afternoon – the shatter of a back windscreen – climbing into boarded up houses – staying in bed all day to have sex – losing count of how many orgasms she’s had – turning down the heat at the end of a shower to freezing cold – the noise of two snooker balls clacking off each other – exchanging glances with people opposite you on the train – that second glance from someone you liked passing by you on grafton street – christchurch bells on new years eve – slopes – curves – ellipses – ovals – sine wave graphs – stone buildings – talking shit with builders – taking sick days off work, and getting paid for them – pirate radio stations – envelope seals that taste nice – dimmer switches – the hiss and crack from the stylus as it connects with the vinyl – old childhood toys – candles lit during electricity blackouts – cracked mirrors – hot presses filled with warm towels – getting locked with my dad – getting locked with my grandad – the noise a computer gives off when a mobile phone signal comes near it – tia maria mixed with milk and ice – eating a lemon – bonfires – the ordinance survey of ireland map book of dublin – cushions strewn around the floor – having pillow fights, and then having sex afterwards – playing chess for extended periods of time – plush heavy sofas – oranges – mandarins – strawberries – peaches – pears – emmental cheese – heavy stolen cutlery – sandwich toasters encrusted with crap after post-usage non-cleaning – beef burgundy – going to bed naked – going to bed naked, after a shower, with clean sheets on the bed – sleeping for 16 hours – eating dry pasta very slowly – the almost inaudible pop from the speakers as the amp is turned on – the way wheels appear like they are going backwards when a car is travelling fast – the doppler effect – the drone of a lawnmower – the smack of wood on willow – streetlights in stoneybatter – buzzing off kids on shoplifting sprees on a sunday afternoon – sitting on the back seat on the upstairs deck of the bus – the smell of skin after lying in the sunshine – freshly cut grass – snowfights – sitting on an old piece of carpet on the local green at 5am watching the sun come up, fucked off my head – fireflies – red hot poker plants in bloom – sitting around the botanical gardens in glasnevin with cold cans of dutch gold bought from the nearby off-license – having mess fights with your friends – playing chasing – making up new games to play with a football – making huts next to the canal – sitting in the IFSC circle of seats at 3am after the funnel – gossiping with mothers on the road about the state of the world – the smell of petrol – ringing wilma at night – leaving obscure garbled messages for shanahap from the toilet – the repetitive beat of the street crossing beeper – crossing the road when you shouldn’t – sitting outside porno shops and laughing at the people coming out – going into porno shops – doing ‘genies’ with matchboxes – the way my ankles click when i walk – weekend country excursions – climbing hills – walking through woods next to a river at midnight – fondling – caressing – tasting – touching – arousing – tickling – sucking – kissing – waking up and doing it all again – eating in bed – eating out in bed – eating out – flaking out – freaking out – making out – making up – cracking up – cracking eggshells – cracks in a glass pane – stepping to avoid the cracks in the pavement – shaving peoples heads – the digitised tweak of a voice on a bad 087 line – falling asleep on benches – arm wrestling – knacker drinking in o’connell street – buzzing off gardai while walking around on a sunday morning while looking for an open pub – making up fake histories to tourists – the whirr of an old line printer – digging out splinters – the woman who dances in the middle of o’connell street (where have you gone?) – religious nutcakes with megaphones – klaxon horns at raves – dreadlocks – happy cycling – puking after bad food – running around the black church backwards three times – rummaging in skips – jumping off walls onto mattresses – trampolines – tom tay – edenmore aok – the sticky floor of the savoy cinema – trams and the noises they make – hearing through the wall the adolescents next door having onset-puberty-driven rows with their parents – playing hide and seek – waking up in the sun with drool on your arm – doyles shop in blanchardstown (rest in peace) – free reading in easons – using the records and decks in hmv to hone my ‘scratching’ skills – calling for people at 4am – the blessington street basin – the lingering imprint of a kiss on my cheek – giving people presents for no reason – having curry for breakfast – silver birches – maple syrup straight from the trees – cycling on kids bikes – sheets of lightning flaring up the night sky – sitting on balconies of flat blocks and watching the people go by – the sheer size of dunsink dump – handbrake turns – the ring of car alarms everywhere after a flash hail storm – the way you can almost feel the sky go heavy before it rains – playing football ankle deep in mud – doing amateur diy work around the house – jumping into an outdoor swimming pool on a hot day – taking polaroids of each other – swapping tapes – getting tax back – watching an old factory get demolished with explosives – giving it loads – standing next to the speaker stack all night and then waking up the next day with a high pitched ringing tone in your ears – bullshitting to taxi drivers about what you do for a living – making up incidents you saw on buses before to the bus driver – pretending to talk in your sleep on the bus, making obscene sexual remarks – painting the kerbs weird colours – vapour trails of perfume – the flow of a warm breeze in my hair – seeing old neighbours around and talking shit with them – sending birthday cards – making websites – going to trad nights – drinking in shithole pubs – imagining the world in different colours – learning a new language – talking in slang – basements – attics – conservatories – hearing sandra’s voice again on the phone – drunken tekken marathons with my friends – hanging about in arcades all day.

Pork and Beans

No doubt this will be the most memed video ever, Weezer’s latest video features, nothing but memes, marketing genius.


Cubescape has been doing the rounds for the last week or so. Give it a try if you like building things with blocks. “A tool for isometric jiggery pokery” is how Themaninblue puts it. Here are some of his favourites. I’m surprised no one’s tried any animation yet. I’ve just done a simple snake animation. No doubt there’ll be much better ones.


I saw Fitzcarraldo a few weeks ago. It’s about a crazy German dude, played by Klaus Kinski (you know, the blonde Ken Dodd?) and his attempts to setup an opera in the Peruvian rain forest while somehow coalescing (genuine) local tribesman to help him along the way. One aspect of it really struck me that sets it apart though. There comes a point where he has this idea to drag a great steamboat over a strip of land rather then around a bend in the river and through some dangerous rapids.

To achieve this they have to get the huge steamboat up a hill and down the other side. And what sets this film apart is that this hurdle presented the exact same conundrum for both the film-makers and the characters. The figuring out, the execution, the anticipation, it’s all real. Forget method acting. This is method film-making, on a grand scale. This factor alone makes it well worth a watch. That just wouldn’t happen these days. Would have to be done with special effects.

I’d say this would be one movie where the voice over thingies on the DVD would be really interesting. And of course Fitzcarraldo is better known for the action in-between the takes with Kinski and Herzog close to fisticuffs, and the tribesman offering to make Kinski disappear. Kerzog later made a documentary about their relationship called My Best Friend.


Wowsers! This is one of the most amazing photos I’ve ever seen. I know no more about it but it appears to be a wasp-like creature glistening with dew. Look at those eyes, nature multiplied by nature.

Spotted at

New Graffiti animation from Blu

Blu has released a new stop-motion graffiti animation. Each frame of this would stand up as decent graffiti. Yet its also an animation. Which is fairly amazing. I originally posted about Blu on my Graffiti 2.0 post and there’s some footage from the first one mixed in to this much bigger piece:

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Speaking of graffiti, apparantly this wounded Celtic Tiger is somewhere around Dublin. Anyone see it?

Tricks of the mind

TV. I spend a lot of time giving out about it. That soul-eating suckbox sitting in the corner, dominating all your senses. Slowly eating your life. Hours where you could be making, creating, living, loving. Or even depleting the long list of depressing chores, to live a more clutter-free life. Not just ridding the pile of unironed clothes but the cobwebs in your head. A night on the sofa, wasted life-hours, ending with a fat gut, laden with guilt, like the soiled sock hidden under the bed of a teenage boy.

Woah. I’d just intended to post that I read Derren Brown’s book recently and I’m looking foward to his Trick or Treat show again tonight and all that bile just spilled out. What I’d intended to say is that while I do loath the tellybox at times and would love to see it in the bin, I do love good TV, rarity that it is. I’ve a few heroes I love to watch on the box; David Attenborough, Roy Mears, Richard Dawkins, Armandi Ianucci, Charlie Brooker, Stephen Fry. And I love a good film, or a good quiz (not to be confused with a gameshow).

I just hate when we end up sitting in front of the stupid thing watching crap as if its some kind of domestically social event. And I hate that late night plastic soap plaguing the screens; neither serious nor funny. Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, Plastic Polly, Fucking Funty. They’re all the same shallow numbeties. And I despise the kind of TV programming designed to reel you in and suck on your very soul, either for the rest of the night (Top 100s) or the rest of your robotic life week after week (soaps). And Fridays are the worst, just when you’re too tired to do anything else, they lay on the thickest excrement from the bottom of the barrel.

Woah. Let’s try again. Derren Brown’s Trick or Treat is on tonight. I like Derren Brown and I find his work intriguing. He could so easily be dismissed as an annoying magician, and he often is. But he doesn’t do magic. Psychological tricks, amazing memory feats, and general head fucking but no magic. And he’ll be the first to admit, nay shout from the rooftops, that anyone who claims to read your mind or predict the future is nothing but a shyster.

I read his book, Tricks of the Mind recently and it’s highly entertaining. Actually it starts off a little bit puerile, with the kind of bad jokes and puns, that people new to writing haven’t learned to resist yet. Like people dabbling with electronic music using too much reverb, or budding design enthusiasts using too much drop-shadow. Resist! But the silly puns are gone by the end, as are the silly tricks, from the start of the book. There are fascinating insights into lie detection, cold reading, hypnosis, NLP and memory. Not that showing you the tricks of his trade makes it easy, or possible, to do likewise. Could you fly a plane after reading the manual? The second half of the book is a scathing attack on all forms of mumbo jumbo, from fortune tellers and psychics to healers and religion, which puts him into hero ranks for me.

I’m suddenly reminded of an otherwise clever young guy who constantly regurgitates a line that I reckon some lecturer told him and he thought it was clever. He reckons that Irish Atheist are just rebelling against the Irish Church and it doesn’t reach any further than that, which is the biggest load of cock I’ve ever heard repeated. Like most Atheists, I despise all forms of superstition: fortune tellers, mind readers, lucky black cats, unlucky magpies, psychics, mediums, the number 13, prayer, heaven, hell, god, afterlife, auras, amber beads, luck, souls, ghosts. It’s all the same mumbo jumbo to me. Catholic or Muslim, Jew or Gentile.

Woah. Let’s try again. Derren Brown’s Trick or Treat is on tonight. It’s an entertaining little show. Last week was a ‘Treat’, a guy was shown how to add facts from hundreds of books to his short-term memory and kicked ass in one of the biggest pub quizzes in the UK. In tonight’s episode, a girl picks the ‘Trick’ card and has to wrestle with her conscience over the torture of a cat. I’m guessing that it’s Brown’s version of that famous obedience to authority experiment carried out by psychologist Stanley Milgram.

Trick or Treat

10.00pm. Channel 4.

Then turn it off and play some scrabble, or bake a cake, or see what fun you can have with some facepaint and a sleeping child. Or… maybe… just watch Peep show on straight after Derren Brown. Then if you’ve had a few cans, Balls of Steel might seem like a good idea. And then before you know it, it’s 2AM and you’re woken by the stale beer spilling onto your lap in a cloud of self-loathing on another wasted night.

Some great photos by a Great uncle

My Great Uncle, Harry Braine, set up the Dublin Camera club in 1945. Apparently he spent some time in the Tower of London having been arrested as a spy for being found with photos that were used to plan attacks with the bouncing bomb, or something like that. I say apparently as I suspect my father, Harry Braine, added a pinch of salt to some of his stories.

Apparently, he also had one of the first cars in Dublin and he also invented the car battery, or at least a part of it. Although I have seen photos that give the latter some credence, and there’s no doubting that he was a prominent member of the Photographic Society of Ireland. According to the History of the Dublin Camera Club (pdf), club meetings were sometimes held in his Drumcondra garage and he won many awards. The Bathers, above, is available to buy for a few hundred quid the last time I checked. Maybe I’ll buy it some day. But for now it’d have to go to the bottom of a list of currently unaffordable luxuries.

Here are some other great shots he took. Some backstage photos from Dublin theater back in the day. Found at

And our youngest is the latest in a long line of Harry Braines.

P.S. Speaking of photography, here’s a fascinating project:

  This exhibition features people whose lives are coming to an end. It explores the experiences, hopes and fears of the terminally ill. All of them agreed to be photographed shortly before and immediately after death.