Friday, December 28, 2007

One For the Lay-deez

All Chick-flicks are the same. This is a universal truth embraced by all men. Women aren't quite as willing to attest to this fact. At least not to me.

As a form of personal protest, I will accurately predict my way through any generic chick flick I cross paths with in as obnoxious a manner as possible (the first time I grimaced my way through The Notebook this habit led to my then-girlfriend suggesting we watch something I hadn't already seen).

The worst part about all of this is that the purveyors of this cynical heart-string-tuggery are getting proportionately lazier with each additional million dollars they make off their homogeneous product.

I submit, for your inspection, a picture I took of a DVD-double pack whilst doing some last minute Christmas Shopping.

Just look at that picture for a second. Let it sink in. Now think about the blatant similarities between the pictures. Are they even trying to propagate an illusion of individuality between these films? Would you not think that at some stage, during the shoot for whichever of these was taken last, the unwieldy named Mr. McConaughey would stop as he realised that he had leant against a female co-star before, and say something like

"Um... I think I may have posed like this for another easy paycheck film. What do you guys say we mix it up a little and at least have me stand on the other side or something?"

To which the film's producer would reply:

"Nonsense. Too much effort. In the five minutes it takes to move you over there and re-calibrate the lighting rig, we can churn out another four scripts for films like this. Besides. Women are stupid. They don't deserve any better."

Can we get a new cash-cow? Maybe convince women that they love films about hilarious anthropomorphic animals? I'd happily accompany my girlfriend to something like that...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

'Delicate Decibel Balance'

In 2006, the Library in the University of Limerick was dealing with a constant menace that threatened the very existence of students cramming the night before an exam. This menace was mobile telecommunication devices.

Before I left for my year of study in Pittsburgh, there were signs up at the entrance to the library saying things like "NO MOBILE PHONES!", "TURN OFF YOUR MOBILE PHONE!", "SILENCE AT ALL TIMES!" and other such statements that showed the establishment meant business. There were no pleases and thank yous on these signs, oh no. Anyone who dared to upset the delicate decibel balance knew the risks, but they dared anyway.

...Mostly because the only retribution you suffered was some minimum-wage earner looking at you disapprovingly as you gossiped away defiantly. The crack security-personnel were equipped with frowns, and goddamnit, they weren't afraid to use them.

Obviously, frowns alone does not a quiet library make. I'm not sure what happened over the year or so I was abroad, but when I came back, the new regime had made changes.

Drastic changes.

I can only imagine how badly things escalated that prompted such a radical overhaul of the system (maybe a security guard popped a blood vessel during a particularly intense frown-down), as the current arrangement targets the individual chatterbox with laser-guided-missile-like-efficiency.

'Phone-friendly areas' have since been established, where students 'can have quiet conversations', but only within the confines of this magical zone... That's it. That is the solution to the problem. Somebody probably even got a raise for it.

Perversely, these new rules tolerate texting, so long as the phone is set to silent. The constant clacking of keys that sound like termites tap dancing their way into your skull is no longer considered a noise offence, so enjoy those brief moments of respite as that girl with ten thumbs awaits a response from whatever jackass she's sending vowel-deprived messages to.

Other than the stairwell to the side of the building - phone-phriendly areas are located conveniently on every floor. In fact - here's a zoomed out view of the above picture.

Yep. The University is actively promoting the use of phones in the bathroom. I cannot list enough reasons why I think this is a bad idea. Even if you forgo the objections one would have from a hygienic point of view - what plonker is actually going to use the bathroom as a phone booth? Do you really need to take the call? If somebody is ringing to offer you a job, do you really want to risk them overhearing the distinct sound of a flushing toilet? Are you willing to explain to your mother why there's a man with a panic-stricken tone asking you to throw him some toilet-paper?

Consider urinal etiquette for a second - these bathrooms aren't exactly spacious. If you're the pacing kind, you're risking all manner of splashback, as well as some overly-zealous, underly self-assured guy kicking your ass for getting that bit too close to comfort during his shakeoff time.

Realising that such a system is now in place at the library has convinced me never to call one of my friends during his study time if I know he's a multi-tasker...

Sunday, December 09, 2007


I arrived back in Ireland after a rather splendid Thanksgiving in Wisconsin (as you may be aware), and I thought it only fair to detail the kinks of reacclimatizing oneself. (doesn't the word 'acclimatize' just look so wrong?)

That's right - I'm talking about how I fared upon returning to my native lands after a meagre 8 days around the football throwin', burger-guzzlin', signpost shootin', Jesus-lovin', monster-truck watchin', light-beer quaffin', imperial-system measurin', rock-music makin', chicken-flavoured-biscuit chompin', Hummer-drivin', icecap meltin', country invadin' ragamuffins that we know and love as simply; Yanks!

Truthfully, I only noticed one small detail, and it didn't occur to me until long after I left Shannon airport. The following night, when driving in my car I was unusually anxious, if the speedometer was anything to go by. Despite the fact that I was on the same roads that have taken me home for the past four years, my 10 minute journey took 20. The reason?

Fear. Fear of the dark.

That's right folks! After 8 days of being a passenger on a small offering of the State's brilliantly lit (not to mention straight as an arrow) road network, I managed a reprise of a fear most people forget about around the same time they retire their training potty (mine was called Mr Gobbles).

Initially, I was appalled with myself - I was being ridiculous! But upon reflection, I realised that maybe hurtling headfirst into the black abyss at 100 kilometres an hour guided only by small beam of light to cut a swatch into the pitch-black before you might be something that we as a squishable species should shy away from!

What's worse, when your eyes finally manage to adjust to the scant few drops of luminance on a country road that features no public lighting, and your photoreceptor cells are suddenly flooded with the glaring headlights of the oncoming car that has come out of the bend you only saw pop out of the black a second ago. It's at this point that you are no longer driving based on what you can see - you are now blindly flailing the wheel around in whatever mental-snapshot you managed to take of the 10 metres of straight road ahead of you, and you're hoping your vision comes back before any dog/tree/child/wall/Yank/ditch imposes itself into your path.

Sounds exhilarating, yes? So is ingesting 1.5 litre bottles of sherry anally (twice). [Seriously - if you only ever click one link on this site - let it be that one!]

Sunday, December 02, 2007

100th Blog Post Spectacular!

Welcome to my 100th blog post! It took me 16 months to get to this point, and I'm delighted that over those months I've always found something to write about, even if only barely!

It seems only natural to me at this point that a Retrospective is in order, so I've read over my last 99 posts to see if this blog has any coherence or consistency whatsoever!

Originally, I intended my blog to be a means for me to keep my friends and family up to speed on how my Study Abroad experience was going without having to go through the arduous task of sending e-mails to each and every mother-loving one of them. As a result, the the first few posts consist of a crappily written travelogue! The first interesting post wasn't until I managed to rip off an airline using sheer brashness alone!

Despite the presence of one or two funny lines, I really do feel sorry for anyone who read the blog during the initial two months. The writing is sloppy, the tone is inconsistent, overly familiar one minute, and totally cold the next. It's not until late September, early October that I began to hit my stride of cynical-bastardry!

Rather than pore over each and every post I've ever made, I think I should just point out the highlights. A common feature of this blog seems to be running into unnecessary complications, mostly relating to air travel, of which there are too many posts to link to. I'm also quite fond of the subjects that are explored over a series of posts, such as the Sully the Terrorist? saga, everything from Belgium Week, and of course, the recent Teetotaller's Tiff.

My Worst Posts

These are the posts that were generally ill-conceived or don't really strike me as particularly compelling.

Sweet Jesus
Obligatory Sight-Seeing Blogging
Sulliver's Travels

My Favourite Posts

After scouring the blog just now, the posts that struck me as particularly entertaining seem to be the ones that took me by surprise. Here is a list of some rather random, entertaining posts.

You know you're back at RMU when...
Spam - Saviour of Human Race?
Hooked on Phonics
Let's talk about Sex, Baby
Sully in 'Not Every Post is a Corker Shocker!'

Choice Quotes
I was afraid of the woman who sat underneath it - she could have eaten me, and I've learned it's best not to upset fat people.

the whole experience was pretty worthwhile - so much so that I'm willing to post a rather "Mommy, what happened that man's face" picture of me having a good time there.

5 bucks (€3.89) says that tomorrow I'm gonna get a latex-gloved-finger shoved into every orifice I know of (and probably a few I don't).

On my next bowel movement, I'm going to crap out a cake!

I'm stealing your pen, and you will never see it again, you arse-faced rapscallion

this isn't that kind of blog - the dull 'dear diary' drivel that attempts to arouse feelings of sympathy from the reader while dwelling on insipid introspective notions, fuelled by an emo-soul and a 'they don't understand me' complex.

Needless to say, I probably won't be making an appearance at the party, for fear the music stops, and the glares start, and somebody ends up with a cocktail stick in the retina.

At this rate, I’m expecting to be declared legally dead by the time I’m thirty and come home from work someday to find the bank auctioning off my house.

Greatest Comment that could be taken out of context:
Now if you'll excuse me im off to watch Stevie Wonder fight Steven Hawking in a ladder match.

I consider this blog a success, if for no other reason other than the fact that I have a written record of what I've been up to. This readthrough has reminded me of some incredible things that happened to me over the past 16 months which I somehow managed to forget about, and I'm sure it will continue to serve this purpose for years to come.

Reading over the past 16 months of my writing output took quite a while, but I'm glad to report that I enjoyed most of it, and I hope you do too. Thank you for reading my blog, especially if you have ever left a comment.

Speaking of which, do you feel that I've overlooked something noteworthy over the past 16 months? Do you agree with my best/worst/quote list? I want to hear from you!

Friday, November 23, 2007

'A Strange and Wondrous Place'

America is a strange and wondrous place. So much so that acclimatizing yourself to its many sights, sounds and smells can be a little jarring the first time round.

After living in Pittsburgh for 9 months, I didn't think that I'd have to readjust to it after a mere five months in Ireland.

I can handle the crappy money that makes it impossible to intuitively determine what note or coin is what. I can deal with the sight of electrical outlets in bathrooms. Driving on the opposite side of the road doesn't faze me like it once did. Having to request a 'bag of chips' instead of a 'packet of crisps' is still second nature to me. I appreciate the extra mouthful in every can or bottle of 'soda'. Heck, I even prefer that the light switches are larger, more flickable levers, instead of the small stubborn ones I've experienced on the Emerald Isle. All of these minor changes are a given - and I slip into them like a comfortable pair of old shoes. What isn't quite as comfortable, however, is the sheer volume of fatties.

I don't understand how these people are so fat. But merely calling them 'fat' is quite misleading. The people that I find visually offensive are the morbidly obese, four-hundred pounders who wheeze as they waddle about the place.

Sitting in the airport at Shannon as I waited for my plane, I looked around to play the 'what nationality' game. A short lived game, however; the first entity I laid eyes on caused a sensory overload as I tried to extrapolate a gender and species from the mountain of flesh, based on observation alone.

I do find it quite disturbing, beholding these people as they attempt to emulate the bipeds around them. What's more, it seems that my social tact is inversely proportionate to my proximity to one of these beasts. Let's apply that theorem to a recent example.

About four hours into the flight to Chicago, I was watching a (bad) movie (called Unknown that you should never watch), and I felt the floor around me vibrate. When one is thirty-thousand feet from the unforgiving ocean, they're obviously going to pay attention to whatever is causing such tremors. I looked up as two whales stuffed into a moo-moo, Little Rascals style, trundled towards me. The smell from these beasts masquerading as woman was woeful. The unmistakable smell of mould launched a full frontal assault on my nose, as it was shook free from the innumerable gelatinous layers of skin this woman was buried under. My reaction? I exclaimed a terrifically loud "Urrrrghhh" and covered my nose and mouth, oblivious to how noisy I actually was because the headphones I was wearing were blaring.

It's possible my incredibly insensitive carry-on could have been mistaken for a reaction to the film, but I doubt it. And I hope not. We should hector the fatties more. Not just for the sake of their health, but for the poor bastards like me who have to look at them.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Good Die Young

Oh Landis, we hardly knew ye...

Behold this picture.

This picture represents the greatest tragedy to befall me in recent times. What you see is not merely a box. It is a cardboard coffin. Inside lies the carcass of my month-old laptop.

While our time was short, I'm able to look back and think of the good times; the way everything loaded faster, the lickity-quick video-editing, the shiny graphics in whatever I was doing... During the last week that Landis struggled through his all too brief-existence, things weren't quite as rosy, and despite repeated successful resuscitations, he passed peacefully last night, blue-screening his last.

As I placed him into his final resting place, I couldn't help but think of Dylan Thomas' most famous poem.


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father computer, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

But not to worry, friends, belief in reincarnation consoles me through these dark days. The mysterious powers at Dell will ensure Landis and I will be together again.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Seán O'Sullivan - Mankind's Muse?

Welcome, all ye who have converged on my humble website, to pluck from my bountiful tree of whimsy!

Friends, this is a proud day for me, as I am officially announcing the latest addition to my repertoire. No longer can I just be considered "Seán O'Sullivan, blogger". I can now consider myself officially, a blogee.

That's right - somebody else decided to write about me. And not quite in as flattering a fashion as last time, mind. It seems that my friend Eoghan has taken offence to my recent post that featured the phrase "filthy Christians". Lay it on me, Eoghan.

I don't consider myself to be a christian,I don't consider myself to be any religion but I Do deem myself to be spiritual.I believe in a higher power,a life after life and even I was offended by this phrase.It's SO disrespectful to people of ANY religion.

Caps for emphasis? That's passion.

Furthermore, Eoghan finds some of my insights "to be somewhat...pushy...or offensive"... Can't really argue with that, now can I?

He considers his post to be a rebuttal to mine, but I wasn't debating anything! Referring specifically to the people that run websites like the one I was talking about as filthy Christians shouldn't upset too many people, particularly someone who doesn't identify with extremist, misogynistic scare-mongerers with homophobic inclinations.

My post served to document an incredible, graffiti-related coincidence. The fact that it was Religious graffiti just made it all the more ripe for ridicule! As a person who often is treated to sermons on what my world views are in person, Eoghan surely relished the chance to refute my warblings, even if he was taking my words out of the context of my blog, and into the context of me as a pushy bastard in general.

Don't let his pointless first post scare you away from his blog though. He's shown himself to be more prolific than I (three entries in the time it took me to get one up here.) He's got a better blog title. He's willing to write in a 'dear diary' fashion, laying bare the entertaining introspective neuroses that you won't catch a whiff of on this site. And let's not forget of course, that he crams in more puns than the entire cast of Monty Python at a week long Lame Joke seminar!

I still maintain my punctuation is better.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Saints and Shitters

Here’s another strange one for you, if you’re interested. Remember those Google-ads I told you about earlier? The ones in which filthy Christians were paying big bucks to Google to publicise their shockingly poor websites pushing their monotheistic agenda?

Well, there’s a more ‘grassroots’ approach that you’ll find in public bathroom cubicles up and down the country, and I’m incredibly curious as to where they come from. Here’s an example I found in a restaurant called ‘Mother Hubbard’s’ in Oranmore, facing the user as he sits upon the throne.

“The Bible is the Word of God - A Priest”

I’m sure you’ve seen these before, such is their diffusion throughout the country (I’ve yet to conduct a survey of bathrooms abroad, but I’ll bear it in mind during my next trip Stateside), but how is this getting around so much? Are the priests of Ireland issued with a permanent marker upon graduation from their seminary? Do they believe that man is at his most philosophical whilst exercising his sphincter? Does the thick olfactory fog of human fecal matter act as a catalyst for profound metaphysical thought?

I may be missing the point somewhat - it’s possible that such messages are the richly ironic fruit of graffiti-happy pranksters, and I have unwittingly exposed my ignorance on such matters.

Not sure if you’ll believe this part, so bear with me; I was in a Subway restaurant on O’Connell St., Limerick just yesterday, and I found the following in their bathroom.

I was just about to make a joke about ‘having the lab analyse the hand-writing samples against each other’, when I actually had a second look.

Come on now! You can’t tell me that these two look incredibly similar - ridiculously so, even! Look at the penmanship! Look at the way the sentence is formatted! I will be so bold as to say that these were definitely done by the same person.

I will admit that is is a staggering coincidence that I happened across two of these in the space of as many days, but I guarantee you that I am not responsible for either of them, in case you’re worried I’m planning some elaborate April Fool’s joke or something.

I want to hear you opinion on this in the comments section. (First person to say ‘God put them there’ gets a clout on the ear)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sodomize your way to Salvation

Every now and again, whilst surfing the internet, something will jump out at me as being worthy of sharing with my peers. This is the latest example.

Before I go on any further, I have to ask you to bear in mind that Google advertisements are based on the context of the page you’re looking at, or what you’re surfing for (try searching for ‘Playstation’ and see what comes up if you don’t trust me).

Recently, I’ve been listening to a band called Broken Social Scene, and when I heard a certain lyric, I had to look it up online to verify what I thought I was actually hearing.

Sure enough, my ears had not deceived me.

So far, nothing worth blogging, right? That’s until I scrolled down and noticed the following advertisement:

I don’t get it – what does sodomizing children and the Catholic Church have in co-... Oh right... Yeah. That.

The page it leads to is an absolute disaster, featuring an incomprehensible mish-mash of text and images. The page belongs to the
Most Holy Family Monastery
, who are responsible for this somewhat disturbing book;

My mind boggles at pages like this. Before I had time to ponder why paid advertisements are pointing to such an amateurishly assembled web-page pushing a dogmatic religious agenda, I noticed that the page ends with this inspiring message:

Life is short and Hell is forever. So, make saving your soul and embracing and practicing the true Catholic Faith your number one priority.


Click here to see what I saw.

Wow – completely missed the other few ads that were to the right of the page! Plenty of God Ads to go around!

Those Hard-to-Reach Places

It seems that October has shaped up to be a month of not-very blogworthy busywork for ol’ Sully here. In times like this, just for the sake of having something to blog about, I pilfer the Sully & Mega Productions back catalogue; a collection of videos we made between the ages of 15 and 17 or so.

I’m not quite sure how much back story I can offer about this one... At least, not without getting myself in trouble with an old friend. I do urge you to bear in mind that this tale, believe it or not, is based on a true story. Remarkably enough, the opening 20 seconds shows the actual moment of ‘inspiration’ that prompted the following 2 minutes of poorly-acted depravity!

Please to enjoy:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Teetotaller's Tiff - The Last Word?

The results are in!

A landslide victory for the pro-Fanta-Fuelled-Fury camp, it seems. Given that I exist only to do the bidding of my readers, I submitted the letter late last week to the editor, and it was published yesterday.

Now that the hype is over and the letter is in print, I feel as though I may have hyped this up a tad too much! That notwithstanding, I submit the following for your reading pleasure:


Yet again I find myself writing to issue an apology to your publication. This time, however, I am throwing my hands up and saying sorry for my own actions. It was wrong of me to treat your newspaper like a college paper, rather than a kindergarten newsletter. It was wrong of me to consider your letters page a forum for critical thinkers expressing an alternate viewpoint. While I’m at it, hell – it was even wrong for me to assume that anyone who makes it to college can understand a Junior-Cert honours level of English.

This came to my attention through Cillian Burke’s warblings (which almost resemble a letter if you squint a little). Somebody needs to explain a few things to this guy. For one; when he was told ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’, nobody wanted him to reduce the standard of writing in An Focal, reuse the same ‘need one’ phrase ad nauseam until he tripped over it, and recycle not only one of my jokes, but also my opinions, for those who missed them the first time around.

As much as I’d love to point out the various instances where it seems he wrote his letter in French and translated it through Google, I’ll instead hammer home the fact that Mr Burke and I are pushing the same agenda. Not drinking is absolutely not a ‘quirk’, as insinuated by Catríona McGrattan in September 4th’s An Focal.

My letter was an attempt to entirely discredit Ms McGrattan’s writings, and illustrate through an ironic sense of humour that not all teetotallers share her viewpoint. I appreciated her effort to show the ‘alternate choice’, but no amount of pseudo-Tommy Tiernan endorsements will make a person think that non-drinkers are cool, especially when buried under so many holier-than-thou statements.

Mr Burke, thank you for making the teetotaller tiff a threesome, you’ve shown me the error of my ways. I do request, however, that before you storm off to wherever it is you go to belt out a vitriolic response in which you buttress my statements, you endeavour to ask your mommy a few more times ‘what does this word mean?’ Furthermore, there’s no need to get on a high horse about matters of erectile dysfunction – a fussy penis is not a cause for shame.

While I have your time, dear editor, I humbly request that you begin an investigation into how the Stables can justify charging €1 for 30ml of Mi Wadi and tapwater; your rather vocal teetotalling readers would be very much obliged.


Seán O’Sullivan

There's a whole lot of restraint going on here, and I might have been a little too diplomatic towards the end. I am quite proud of that ‘translated in google’ line – I’m patenting it. You want to use it? $1.25 a pop.

Was this entry worth the two mouse-clicks it took you to vote it into existence? You tell me.

Seán O’Sullivan - “Ideal Renaissance Man for Today”?

Sick of reading about people who don’t take kindly to the man that is Sully? I’m not - but in case you’re some OCD type who can’t sleep at night until equilibrium is restored to the world, I’m pleased to link to a(nother) blog about me.

This artefact of creative writing is the academic obligation of Megan Dovell; a girl I took a class with during my study abroad tenure in Pittsburgh. It seems to have been constructed around a random comment I made one fateful day, fleshed out with details about me she only half-remembers:

Seán O'Sullivan is an Irish native who was a fellow classmate of mine from our Television and Video Production class. My opinion is he is a great representation of an ideal renaissance man for today. He has the tall, dark hair, handsome, and athletic features. But more importantly he is highly educated, cunning, charming, has manners, and respects women!

Yeah! Take that haters! I don’t want to undermine a fellow writer’s efforts, so I won’t allow modesty to interfere with this objective portrayal of something worth sharing! I will point out that she opens by talking about how much respect I have for women and then comparing it to my (alleged) detestation for men (we call that ‘misandry' folks - it’s your word of the day)!

Megan's Blog is called It's Not Me It's You, and the full text of what she said about me can be read here. Much like how (for a while) my blog viewed the States through bleary, unfamiliar eyes, hers is an attempt to portray the dirty foreigners who invariably show up in her life.

This made my afternoon when I was alerted to its existence... So don’t ruin it for me! Yet. Comments are much appreciated - you should know the drill by now. No registration necessary.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Teetotaller's Tiff – This Time, it’s Personal

I never know how to start off these ‘sequel posts’, but anyhow... Remember last week, when I told you about how I was contributing naughty words (among other things) to the school paper? It seems some young ragamuffin has seen fit to engage me in a battle of wits!

Without much more of this ado business, I’d like to welcome Mr Cillian Burke into the fray! Let’s see what insights he can lend us, while I talk over him through my mastery of the square bracket!


I wish to refer to Mr Sean O Sullivan’s letter in the last edition of An Focal. I will not as per Mr O ‘Sullivan start off on a mindless attack on his letter published ‘apologising’ for the Ms Catríona McGrattan’s ‘Fanta Fuelled’ article on the 18th of September.

I will merely express my belief that Fanta Fuelled was Ms McGrattan’s effort to let any member of UL’s student body know that a choice exists on a night out. But to describe an article outlining a free choice available to all as being ‘ill-conceived evangelicism’ is completely over the top.

Why need one get on any high horse in relation to the drinking topic? [‘The drinking topic’ – sounds very taboo]There is nothing wrong with a drink on a night out. [Right you are] One may even over celebrate on occasion. Are we now living on a campus environment where it is wrong to express that one does or does not wish to drink? [Only if it’s condescending towards those on the other side] Need one feel self congratulated that a pint of Rock-Shandy costs €4.80 or that a pint of Guinness costs €3.90 I think not. ["Durr. Writing letters is hard... I know! I’ll throw in a random fact!"]

Why congratulate somebody for making a free choice?.. [My point exactly, jackass] Need it be an issue? [Did he even read my letter?] If it there not a more pressing question to be asked… [Oh good, here comes a pressing question!] Mr O Sullivan obviously does not like being a non drinker so perhaps he should try a social beverage with his friends and loosen up. Maybe the fear of ‘waking up with a hangover after an embarrassing night of alcohol-induced-erectile-dysfunction’ as Mr O’Sullivan describes it is more his issue. [Where was that pressing question he promised?]

In the meantime need I feel special, quirky, ashamed, insulted or any other emotion offered by Mr O’Sullivan as a non drinker I think not!! [Two exclamation marks = classy. Someone explain to this fucktard that I lamented the labelling of not drinking as a ‘quirk’ before I insult his mother in a public forum.]

On my behalf no apology was or is required for Ms McGrattans article. [Read that last one again. It makes 0% sense!] Need one stand out from the crowd as a non drinker? Not in my experience.

Yours [retardedly],
Cillian Burke

Did you see that? He left out the accent [fada] on the ‘a’ in my name and didn’t put the apostrophe between ‘O’ and ‘Sullivan’ a couple of times. Bastard. Meanwhile Catríona’s fada is left intact… Strange indeed.

Nitpicky details aside – this jackass has essentially rewritten my letter, but tried to make it sound as though he is contradicting me the whole time! He even recycles my hilarious (if I say so myself) joke about erectile-dysfunction!

I was quite excited when I heard that there had been a reply, but imagine my crushing disappointment when I read this drivel. The scope of his thinly veiled imitation was so flattering that I felt no need to respond to him, and gave it no further thought. But then a curious thing happened...

This is quite hard to explain, but bear with me. I was taking a shower one morning in a groggy stupor, and all of a sudden the response that I should send to the paper popped into my head in its entirety. Before you could say “Sully, please finish cleaning your nether-regions” I found myself sitting in my underpants in front of my computer, channelling this message.

I have to say, the response that came forth is quite apt, but for now it sits on my harddrive. Is it right to impose the same issue upon the letters page for the fourth consecutive edition? My last correspondence was more of a public-service announcement. This is just me making some asshole my bitch (I like to think of the letters page as prison showers, and Burke just dropped the soap).

Y’know what? You tell me.

The poll to the right of the page is now live, and will be until the end of the week.

No registration is necessary, so no excuses! Get to it!

Update: Poll Closed - landslide victory for the "go git 'im, Champ" camp!

Friday, September 28, 2007

A Plea

This is Sully.

Sully is just twenty-one years old, and already he must endure the kind of suffering our lives know nothing of.

Sully, unlike children in most developed countries, is living a life without regular internet access.

His daily struggle to survive involves getting up each morning as early as 8am to trek one half of a quarter mile to the only source of pure, safe internet access. This daily journey takes him through treacherous terrain, as he traverses over leaf covered footpaths, superficially-cracked pavements, and even along the brink of a fountain!

Children like Sully live a life with no hope of escape.

But you can stop this great injustice by donating just €54.99 a month to provide Sully with the nourishment he needs on a daily basis!

Other charities just send over software, music and pornographic material as needed, but at NetGrant, we help people help themselves.

Sign up today, and you will receive monthly updates on how the lives of Sully and his people are improving!

But please.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Teetotaller's Tiff

The guy I talked about in last week’s post succeeded in explaining his abstinence from alcohol whilst not not condescending to those who choose to avail of the solution to (and cause of) all of life’s problems. Here is an article from one such little lady who doesn’t have such lofty aims, as published in my University's newspaper.

Fanta Fuelled
Catríona McGrattan
Unlike most students, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been drunk in my three years in college…NONE!

I haven’t had a drink at all in those three years and no before you ask it’s not because I’m playing a match tomorrow, or on anti-biotics or driving; I just don’t want to!
I made the decision on coming into college back in September 2004 (when we had three pubs, I mean clubs, on campus) not to drink during my college years. I’ve managed to stick to it, but to be honest I have never really found it difficult, although that could be because I’ve been accused on several occasions of being the inspiration for Tommy Tiernan’s ‘Fanta fuelled F*ckers sketch.

The usual reaction from people when they find out I don’t drink is “Fair play to you!” I don’t think of it like that, it’s my decision not to drink as much as it is anyone’s decision to drink. College life is so diverse, in your next four, five, six years in college you will get to meet some truly unique people, each with their own quirky habits, best get used to it!

With a doubt I have had some amazing nights out in the Stables, at balls and in the Lodge (contrary to popular belief you don not have to be drunk to get in!) all of which without a drop of drink in me.

Alcohol isn’t for me. Some people like it a little, some people a lot, some more than they probably should but each to their own. I will never take issue with some else’s drinking habits so long as they don’t do so with mine.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that yes you can have a brilliant time with drink, but you can have an equally good time without it! So don’t be afraid to order a blackcurrant and vodka, hold the vodka anytime soon.

Apologies to those unfamiliar with the shitty nightclub or the comedian this girl mentions, but rest assured, knowledge of these matters make her inanity all the more infurating. Anyway, being the 'Sully' type of guy that I am, I felt I had to react in some way that would strike this woman's faux-pas from the record, for fear the integrity of a component of my personal philosphy be tarnished forever! I decided a letter to the editor would make my concerns heard;

Dear Sir,

I wish to issue a formal apology on behalf of the teetotalling community for the article 'Fanta Fuelled' that appeared in An Focal on September 4th.

I am ashamed to be a teetotaller in modern Ireland. This is largely to do with people of Ms. McGrattan's ilk colouring us as a self-righteous group of smug gits who offer up diplomatic phrases like 'drink isn't for me', whist in the same breath pushing their own philosophy upon peers.

Adding insult to injury is the uncertainty McGrattan casts over the veracity of her own statements, stating “with a doubt I have had some amazing nights out in the Stables”. Ironically, one might wonder if she was under the influence whilst at the keyboard were it not for the subject matter, given the number of disjointed sentences she stumbles through whilst eschewing any traditional grammatical structures (let alone paying heed to whether her words are typed in their entirety).

Her ill-conceived evangelicism would have been much more effective had she mentioned any points of merit, such as the money one saves on a night out only buying a drink when thirsty. She also missed out on the valid aspect of not impairing one's ability to drive home after a piss up. And how did she fail to report the boon of not waking up with a hangover after an embarrassing night of alcohol-induced-erectile-dysfunction?

Shame on Ms. McGrattan for attempting to pass off her decision not to indulge in the odd pint as a 'quirk'. Such inane statements are not only a poor reflection on the author's desperation to stand out from the crowd, but also misrepresent the far from vocal few of us who decide to spend our lifetimes without mood altering drugs.

I wish to stress that not all those who abstain from alcohol are bursting with the same sense of self-congratulation and condescension that Catríona McGrattan imposes upon her readers. I offer my deepest sympathies to those who suffered through the stale-sense of unjustified enthusiasm she ejaculated onto page fourteen. In doing so, I am hoping to wipe the slate clean. Upon finding out that the tall, dark and handsome man (or woman) you have been chatting up for the past forty-five minutes is of the dry disposition, don't respond with “Fair play” or “You plonker”. A simple “Meh” will suffice.

Your designated driver for life,
Seán O'Sullivan

To be fair to this woman, she probably wasn't thinking much about what she was writing at the time, and the stupid errors could well be poor editing, but that's not the point. My argument is firstly that anyone willing to submit a piece of writing for public consumption should be willing to defend their intellectual integrity (which I have been willing to do over the past year of blogging), and the student paper needs to publish articles of actual merit.

So what do you think? Bad form? Did I get too personal? Will people read as far as the word 'teetotalling' and just give up? Is my Fanta Fuelled Fury itself worthy of print? Am I allowed to blatantly rip off entire articles from the school paper? You tell me!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Precipitation? Preposterous!

I'm sitting at a computer in the library of my University, and I can feel little flecks of water hitting my head, hands and computer every few seconds. People wearing hoodies are putting their hoods to good use.

Yep, it's raining indoors.

Welcome to the University of Limerick.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Bad University! Bad!


I am a student at the University of Limerick. A school that sends its students to scrub shit from toilets. A school that forgets that it sent students on exchange programmes to other universities, then informs them that they have failed for not showing up to exams they were never signed up to take .

Of course, after this happened to me, then assured me that the 'clerical error' was a temporary glitch and it won't be a burden anymore.

Whoever told me that was full of shit.

If you couldn't be bothered clicking, I'll spell it out; my student account was deleted from the system. Grrrrrr.

After sending a far-more-polite-than-it-should-have-been e-mail, I decided to finally print out my timetable, given that I start tomorrow morning at 9am. This is what greeted me on the website;

For the love of fuck! Can these people do anything right? It seems that the server responsible for hosting the timetables is as reliable as UL's administrative staff.

This makes for a double dilemma;

When are where the hell are my classes tomorrow?
Am I even entitled to be there?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sobriety = Sully more Badass than you

It happens all the time. In the midst of some good ol' fashioned drunken revelry, a dear friend or even borderline acquaintance will catch my perma-sober-grimace contrasting with the present company, and ask me, nay - pester me with the question; "Sully, why don't you drink?".

Generally, I deflate their interest by saying 'it's a long story' or 'I have many reasons', before deflecting their attention onto a carelessly unattended receptacle of alcohol, but I do, on occasion address the question head-on, depending on the level of coherence the querier exhibits.

Just now, I stumbled across this interesting video featuring James Randi; debunker of paranormal claims, in which he reflects on his teetotalling antics with the kind of eloquence I wouldn't get away with in a roomful of sauced-up peers.

"I want to be as sure of the world - the real world around me as is possible. Now - you can only attain that to a certain degree, but I want the greatest degree of control. I've never involved myself in narcotics of any kind, I don't smoke, I don't drink, because that can easily just fuzz the edges of my rationality,- fuzz the edges of my reasoning powers, and I want to be aware as I possibly can..."

Given that I have yet to meet a person in my existence who shares even the slightest bit of my personal philosophy, it means a lot to me to stumble across such utterances from respected men.

So there you have it; another insight into the life of Sully. And much like those dear, drunken yobs that I happily call my friends, I expect this to have slipped from your mind in less time than it took me to type this entry.

Regardless of whether you're completely superstitious or a total sceptic, this video will interest and entertain you.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Sully in 'Not Every Post is a Corker' shocker!

The world is a scary place, filled with many diverse lifestyles that are all clamouring for mainstream recognition and respect. These nutters wouldn't be so empowered had we just held out a little longer on giving women the vote, but I digress.

I am a nerd. Or a dork, I'm not quite sure which camp I belong in. Today, I'm going to highlight one facet of my multi-facetedness to aid you in deciding what it is I should be labelled as. In the lexicon of Sully, a nerd is regarded as one who delves deeper into cultural artefacts than their peers- Generally computers or audio/visual type stuff. A dork, meanwhile, is one I consider to be a person who pokes fun at themselves and has a general lack of regard for how one views their deviations from cultural norms... Dorks are more entertaining, nerds are more useful.

I've always had an inkling that I may in fact be a dork, but it wasn't until I got a package in the mail from my girlfriend's mother (which caused me to laugh hysterically), that I realised I may suffer from a potent strand of the dork-virus. But what gift prompted such guffaws on my part?

She sent me Superman Cookies!

She spent $20 postage on $1.98 worth of cookies, which I thought was the funniest thing ever... (Seems those dorks aren't hard to amuse)

But how did she know?

Tuesday, August 23, 2006 – Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
After JetBlue Airlines lost my luggage leaving me with just the clothes on my back, I go to Wal-Mart to tide me over. One of the items purchased consists of a blue T-shirt, the other, a blue pair of boxer shorts, both emblazoned with the Superman logo.

I decided not to include any pictures of the underpants. Trust me. It's better this way.

Wednesday, August 24th 2006 – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

As I had recently moved into a new dorm, I needed bed clothes. I walked to the nearest K-Mart and purchased a Superman bedspread, happy to pay extra for ostensibly cheaper material. Despite the constant scratching sound whenever I moved a muscle, and the rug-burn that ensues, the bedspread survives nine months until it has to be jettisoned for country-fleeing-reasons, leading to a tearful farewell.

Sunday, October 8th 2006 – Eau Claire, Wisconsin
An attempt at seducing a woman whilst wearing Superman underwear proves unsuccessful – Superman underwear not considered to blame.

Monday, January 29th 2007 – Chicago, Illinois
Whilst browsing the closing down sale at a department store in Chicago, I come across a Superman Returns Action figure reduced to under $5. Having spent my busfare, I walked two and a half hours back to my accommodation in the freezing cold, losing a nipple in the process. Nipple deemed 'a worthy sacrifice'.

Friday, May 18th 2007 – Limerick, Ireland
For my 21st birthday, my 6 year old brother presented me with 21 cents and a cheap toy he had just acquired from a lucky bag at a birthday party. To date it holds the honour of being the most thoughtful gift I've ever received.

Monday, June 4th, 2007 – Gurnee, Illinois
Insisted on being taken to the Six Flags Great America theme park to ride the Superman rollercoaster. Proceeded to grope a statue of Supes. Left park with Superman-branded coffee-cup from the giftshop – the second Superman themed birthday present I received for my 21st birthday.

Friday, 31st August 2007 – Limerick, Ireland
Referred to Superman as 'Supes' whilst typing a blog entry.

As you can see – I have quite the affinity for benevolent aliens sporting nifty tights. This healthy obsession of mine has been with me for longer than I can remember. It's possibly coloured my sense of humour, as I consider 'Seinfeld' to be the zenith of TV entertainment; maybe something to do with Jerry Seinfeld being a kindred spirit who scatters Man Of Steel references throughout his sitcom?

Bah, it's late. I have to wrap this up somehow, but if I can't find a point to get to, I'll have to wrap this up using some cunning distraction...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sulliver's Travels

To anyone out there who has cousins much younger than yourself, lend me your sympathetic ear!

In May, my grandfather turned 90 years old. The following pictures are from the resulting celebration that gathered most of the family.

When I walked into the room, two of my cousins and my 6 year old brother grabbed my feet and demanded I walk whilst they clung on for dear life.

When I refused to walk in case one of them got hurt, I got punched in the balls.

As the throbbing sensation worked its way up into my abdomen, I decided I should comply with the munchkins' request. I walked back over to my chair, and sat down, much to their dismay.

Sitting down didn't quite quell their interest in 'playing', however. It just gave them new targets.

Following a harrowing few moments of clawing, kicking and screaming (on my part), I made a dash for the bathroom, thinking that they surely wouldn't follow me there.

Amazingly enough, my plan worked, and I hid in the bathroom until I could hear the drone of everyone singing 'Happy Birthday'. Other than the scratches and marks on my arms, I escaped with a shattered testicle, a small chunk taken out of my right ear, and a deep toothmark on my left buttock.

I'm not looking forward to the 100th birthday celebration.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Let's talk about sex, baby

So I'm back from Bulgaria (meaning the last post wasn't entirely farcical), and what an interesting week it was indeed.

Bulgaria is cheap. Well, at least Sofia (the capital city) is. We ate some very elaborate meals for a pittance, but for a basis of comparison, I thought I’d check out the price of a 500ml bottle of coke, so I nipped into a supermarket, and took this photo on my phone.

0.99Leva. That’s a mere €0.50 (or US$0.67) according to A half litre of the stuff for almost a third of what I pay here in Ireland! It left me physically excited… Which brings me to…

The ‘impulse-buy’ shelves by the checkouts. They were filled with the usual ‘Mommy, Mommy, I want one’ sweets and whatnot, but a few items for the Daddies to nag Mommies about too.

That’s right - somewhere north of the Bounty Bars and just south of Twix county, there are hilariously suggestive packets of prophylactics for sale.

I think someone should conduct a study on regions and their values as reflected by condoms;

We can start with Bulgaria, their popular brand is ‘Sportex’. Makes you think that the act of intercourse is almost an exercise, and they’re interested in the fun factor that comes with the endeavour. In Western Europe, our arguably most popular brand is ‘Durex’ - inferring the durability and reliability that we Europeans expect with regards to having control over our well-being. And then, in North America, they have Trojan… Because, um… Because Americans want to… Sneak a penis somewhere without people knowing?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Save Yourself

I implore you, dear reader, do not hesitate to act on what you are about to read, for your very life may hang in the balance.

Whilst looking at the weather on Met Eireann's website, a small notice caught my eye.

Blight? Where have I heard of that before? Oh yeah...

For those few of you who are still on the Island, reading this, I urge you to flee as far away from the emerald isle as your potato-powered legs can take you.

Me? I'll be in Bulgaria, riding out the famine. I might return with supplies sufficient enough for us to rebuild, repopulate, and move onwards; I might return with some piss-poor blog entries and some shoddily taken photographs... Maybe a little from column A, a little fro-.......

Okay, it'll be entirely from Column B.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sully's Soapbox: Political Correctness

[Mario Party 8 Recalled due to disability slur]


The GAME retail chain has recalled the seemingly innocent Mario Party 8 mere hours after its release, citing the fact that the game contains "a swear word" as the reason.

For years now, I’ve been growing increasingly fed-up with notions of political correctness, and I have to say, this one takes the biscuit. Recalling a chart-topping kid’s game because the word ‘spastic’ is featured in single line of dialogue? Madness! Why are people so easily offended all of a sudden? The fact that Nintendo UK felt they had to resort to such a drastic, expensive measure to safeguard against ‘concerned’ members of the public, looking to retard the growth of the Video-game industry troubles me a great deal.

As a person with a deep and genuine appreciation for the English language, who takes personal offence to seeing ‘texting language’ used in inappropriate forums, I feel compelled to point out the factors at play here that genuinely upset me.

The word was used in context. I don’t care how much of a niggard you are when it comes to freedom of expression, regardless of how much a word sounds like something offensive, or can be construed into something offensive; (a queer affliction brought about by (ab)users of a language), if it’s used in its original context, it’s fair game.

The English version of this game was translated in America. Are we suddenly unaware of language variations between cultures, despite years of hearing the word ‘fanny’ (a crass colloquialism for the female genitalia here on the British Isles) from imported media? Children and adults alike have been listening to it for years from the likes of trusted family entertainment sources such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Simpsons, and probably since before the Flintstones. Why the double standard?

The intent to offend simply wasn’t there! If the game featured a person with cerebral palsy, and that character was the recipient of the ‘spastic’ label, then maybe I can understand the reaction, but as an instruction to make a train wobble? Good grief!

The underlying issue I’ve had with matters of political correctness all along is the fact that it’s complete and utter bullshit. All of it. Switching to euphemisms doesn’t do anybody any favours. I find it more insulting that a person who is crippled has to be labelled ‘disabled’, or ‘differently-abled’. One implies outright uselessness, the other is just condescending. Cognitively disabled? Please. Look up the meanings for 'retard' and 'disabled; - which has a more positive connotation? Having to stay within the confines of political correctness is also an exercise in futility, as the shifting paradigms make navigating the linguistic minefield more hassle than it’s worth. The end result; people are less likely to talk about 'real' matters amongst their peers, for fear of causing offense.

Language is a technology, people – we need it to communicate, and though it we identify concepts, and no matter how many times we keep re-labelling the concepts, it doesn’t matter, because these new labels become offensive in time. This isn’t just my radical thinking, either – look at this Wikipedia article on the Euphemism-treadmill to get a more comprehensive insight as to what I’m whining about.

Can we just stop with the controversies? Can we stop being so ridiculously sensitive? Not just with regards to euphemisms, but also a healthy respect for the flexibility of language?

Ireland’s Taoiseach (‘Prime Minister’ to our overseas friends) was the subject of a great deal of negative attention, with people calling out for his resignation (bear in mind he was only just re-elected) because he made a ‘suicide joke’. When I conversed with some of my friends about it, they were quick to denounce the act without even a loose idea of what the word was used in relation to. This is what Bertie said during an address to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions conference;

Sitting on the sidelines, cribbing and moaning is a lost opportunity. I don't know how people who engage in that don't commit suicide because frankly the only thing that motivates me is being able to actively change something

If that offended you just now, stop; slow down, read it again. It’s completely innocuous. This as an affirmation by a public figure that he has the positive energy and the drive to push forward and make things happen, and says that those who idly moan need to take a more aggressive approach.

He did not say ‘I think suicide is funny.’ Nor did he did not say ‘I think people who commit suicide are stupid’. He did not say ‘I have no sympathy for those who have lost loved ones to suicide.’ Those meanings were harvested by those looking for a reason to be upset, and shame on the media for entertaining these people and their warblings.

I’m aware that this has dragged on about 500 words longer than it ought to have, and it wouldn’t have killed me to organise my thoughts before putting my hands on the keyboard, but my final plea to anyone who reads this is; please stop sucking the joy out of the English language. Please stop making certain phrases taboo for the sake of it. To be offended by the label attached to a concept is so abstract it’s absurd.

Let’s turn our backs on these black days, pay no heed to the chinks in the chain, and.... Okay – you see what I’m doing here, yes?

Life’s too short, let's just enjoy our language.

Agree? Disagree? I want to hear about it!

Smooth Ride?

Following up from Friday's post about the impending driving test, and in response to those who have asked about how it went, I submit the following image.

This sign greeted me from the closed shutters at the test centre.

Quite the minor inconvenience. I'm still waiting to get my test rescheduled, but the super-nice people on the RSA helpline told me that I was 'top of the list', and apologised profusely for the minor annoyance caused.

I saw the bright side; the cancelled test meant I got to go see an earlier showing of Transformers!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Win Sully's boughten love!

My humblest of apologies if you've noticed the dearth of posts on the blog over the last two weeks. The past fortnight has been brimming with activity, but not quite blog-worthy stuff - I have a few rants to upload, but with every passing day they are becoming less relevant, which quells the desire to get it off my chest!

My biggest news is my 'new' car; the feat of German engineering ingenuity known as the Volkswagen Polo. A '98 Volkswagen Polo, to be precise... With rust patches. And, as of tonight; a broken driver's seat (it just leans to the left - no biggie). Despite my initial misgivings with the vehicle, such as the lack of power-steering, its 'snack-size' stature, and the fact that it's sporting a miniscule 1 litre Petrol engine, I'm starting to warm to it.

I've found myself growing fond of the little Polo that could (seriously, you try hauling my ass up a hill), partly because of the fact that for once in my life, I am small and maneuverable. I've spent most of my life as a person 'heftier than most', and consider myself more of a hulk of clumsiness than a deft, maneuverable mass of matter. That changes when I'm on the road now, and it's nice to get a taste of being the little guy, particularly after the past week, in which I spent more time on dodgy country roads than I ever have, and the extra breathing room makes those ditch-mounting moments of driving on Irish roads less frequent.

This car and I are quickly developing a rich and storied history together. Like the time when we were the victims of some crazy asshole's road rage (basically - he was completely in the wrong, and I alternated between belittling and swearing at him until he backed off), or that time....... Okay... So far, we only have one story, but there'll be others!

The bottom line is, I'm starting to enjoy this vehicle, and I've decided to give it a name. Only problem with this initiative is that I'm utterly devoid of imagination. The last automobile I drove was brilliantly titled "The Sully-Van" [geddit?] by this classy lady, and I'm not expecting anything to live up to this level of aptness, but I want you to name my car!

It's small, it's green, and it's driven by someone who doesn't fit comfortably into it! Post your suggestions in the comments, [no registration necessary] and the winner will forever bask in the glory of knowing that he/she Christened my means of locomotion! Alright - there'll also be a prize... Not sure what, but I'll think of something worthwhile! So there you have it! A gin-u-wine competition! I'll put the best suggestions on a poll, and then we can begin the democratic process of giving my car the stupidest name on the list!

In other news, I'm taking my driving test tomorrow - by the time you read this, I'll probably have already commenced the process of drowning my sorrows in a big box of popcorn as I watch Transformers!

Monday, July 09, 2007


Last Thursday, while navigating my way through a low door-frame, I heard the familiar rustling of hair on wood, prompting me to go for my quarterly shearing.

Being in a somewhat lazy mood, I went to the local barber, despite being advised to take my custom elsewhere.

After a long wait reading women's magazines (it was either that or the brain-numbing simplicity of perusing The Sun), and just after I had put down a fascinating article by Enrique Iglesias in which he proclaims he has a large penis, it was my turn on the chopping block.

Without going into tedious details, let me just tell you that his heart wasn't in it. As I watched him in the mirror, he didn't seem to be looking at what he was doing while he buzzed around with the razor. The scissors cut was devoid of the traditional smirk-inducing 'one snip of hair for every three snips of air', and he somehow managed to make the sideburns on the left side of my head a good inch and a half higher than the right.

I'd still go back to him again though.


He was quite happy to cut away in silence, and made no effort to talk to me.

Best conversation with a barber I've ever had.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My Skit

To celebrate UL's admission that they screwed up, and to continue my quest to find those elusive splashes of colour to add to the blog, I present to you this rather lame skit!

This was a project for my TV-Production class in Robert Morris University, and serves more as proof of my technical ability to prepare a single-camera skit than a reflection of what my creative output is like. We were assigned a rigid frame, in that we had to produce "an ironic video description of a word from Abrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary".

I personally find this clip quite enjoyable, as Chris (playing the money-hungry/pervy doctor) ad-libbed pretty much everything that was funny. And if you're interested, I can tell you that my initial 'vision' for a more cerebral, ironic approach to humour was ditched in favour of a much more visceral, albeit 'dumber' style, as the teacher acted as Producer and had to clear everything... That's right - I sold out for an A.

One last thing - sorry about the pointless Grey's Anatomy bit at the start - that was also part of the package - to 'prove' that we could edit... It didn't have to make sense!

Right then - on with the show!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Oh dear, oh dear.

Seems UL’s status as an equal-opportunities employer welcomes would-be employees with open arms, regardless of their gender, creed, ethnicity, or zoology.

I got a letter from one of UL’s many administrative chimps today, informing me politely that I had failed out of college, because my ‘cumulative performance to date does not meet the minimum academic standards.’

“Hang on a tick”, I thought to myself, what’s going on here? I read on:

The Academic Council Grading Committee has decided that you cannot proceed to the next year of your programme until you have brought your academic performance to the required standard… They recommend that you Repeat Year 3 New Media and English.

“Bollocks,” I was thinking - “guess my grades from the US didn’t get a good exchange rate.”

The letter advised that under ‘extenuating circumstances’ I ‘may appeal to the Student Status Committee for a review of [my] case […] on Wednesday July 11th.'

I decided a look at the accompanying ‘Student Residual Transcript’ was in order, and that’s when I saw it. And remembered. This is UL. The University of Limerick. The reason other colleges and universities refer to their administrative blunders as ’pulling a UL’. Those damn dirty apes made no reference to the second semester I spent studying abroad and instead had me enrolled in four classes I was at least 4000 miles away from at all times.

For the time being, I am a college-flunkie, by default. Much like I was once an enemy of the United States, by default. At this rate, I’m expecting to be declared legally dead by the time I’m thirty and come home from work someday to find the bank auctioning off my house.

Assuming of course, that I ever own a house, seeing as I’m now a college-dropout.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Lately, it's come to my attention that there is an unsettling split in my personality. This alter-ego rears its head quite infrequently, and as of late, the occurrences follow a common trend:

I am a different person during air-travel.

Startling as such a proclamation may be, its veracity becomes apparent after even casual scrutiny. Travelling-Sully's temperament is wildly different than that of regular Sully. Travelling-Sully is paranoid; he spends the hours before the flight sweating a nervous sweat, fearing that the US Department of Homeland Security is going to bust him for no good reason.

Travelling-Sully is thoughtful, he wanders around the airport gift-shop, searching for novelty items for anyone who springs to mind; whereas Vanilla-Sully deems the pursuit of shoddily assembled, overpriced knick-knacks as a heinous waste of time. Not only that, but Travelling-Sully is courteous to a disconcerting degree, delighting in the opportunity to show off the extent of his manners. Every request is buttressed with “Excuse me, I hope you don't mind but could you...?”. Even the frequent occurrence of walking past a person on the plane prompts a tirade of 'I do beg your pardons' and 'I'm terribly sorry sirs'. Classic-Sully likes to save his breath.

Not convinced yet? Travelling-Sully gets so excited about the crappy meal on the plane that he can't sleep. Yes, the soggy mess that comes in the foil container, accompanied by stale, communion-wafer-tasting 'I Can't Believe It's Not Rock' bread, covered with jam of a lower viscosity than water, and cheese that can only be described as 'something that was squeezed out of one of the stewardesses and then curdled'. I know that airline food is rank, you do too, but would somebody explain that to Travelling-Sully? It seems that this splinter-personality avails of different taste buds than I do.

He beams at the choice: “Beef or Chicken?”, furrowing his brow in deep contemplation before spitting out an answer at random; so excited that he can't think straight. Delighted by the elaborate three-course spread that sits on the 20x30cm tray before him, he restrains himself just enough to eat the courses in their intended order, as if to do otherwise would upset the airline chef. After an epic struggle with the bread that claimed the serrated edge of his pathetic plastic knife, he finally cuts his dinner-roll in half, and sets about spreading the butter, feeling oh-so-incredibly intelligent for melting it a little by placing it under the piping hot container the 'main course' arrived in. Once he's done breaking his teeth on that, he picks up the generic brand of cracker that has soaked up more rivers than global warming, and fumbles around for the cheese that the elderly women on the plane are paring down and remodelling as a replacement for their dentures.

Once the remaining slop has been shovelled down, Travelling-Sully gleefully eats the token dessert offering of a muffin made from recycled styrofoam, plops the stamp sized mint into his gob, and sits back, satisfied, the only remaining excitement he has to look forward to the 'test-your-might' game at the luggage-claim carousel...

Take That Jocelyn Nova!

This one won't make much sense unless you were here for Thursday's post, but that's okay, because I've squashed the person who was stealing my content like the insect that they were!

The site that was leeching posts from this blog, and dozens of others has been taken down, and a notice advertising this is all that remains. I was alerted to this by a seven-word e-mail from a Mark @ Wordpress, mere hours after I sent my complaint! What service, eh?

This makes me happy because it means that less people are likely to be diverted to that site than to my own from search engines (not that I get a whole pile from search engines anyway). But what it does mean is that I have secured the top spot for 'Sluttily Attired' searches on Google!

Anyway... Here's a 'real' post!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What the @&$#??

I've been robbed!

Kinda. Being curious as to how the Cartridge World poster would have found the blog, I decided to see if a Google Search for 'Cartridge World' turned up any results, followed by 'Cartridge World is Stealing From Me'. Oddly enough, it worked, but linked directly to an earlier blog.

I googled the title, 'Sluttily-Attired', and lo and behold, what was the number one result? My post. Only not my website!

Look familiar?

The misappropriated text is available here for now, if you're curious, but I intend on getting it removed, it's just a matter of how...

But kudos to me for 'coining' a real-sounding word/phrase that appears at the top of the google search, eh?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Egregious Emotional Ejaculation, Anyone?

It seems that May was my worst month of blogging, certainly in terms of quantity, and more than likely in terms of quality. The reason I'm writing less is because I have less to write about! So prepare yourself for some self-indulgent, self-reflective rambling!


I'm in a long distance relationship. This isn't something I'm proud to admit. Long distance relationships made no sense to me whatsoever, until of course, I found someone worth the hassle. Despite having found this noteworthy person, I still feel a twinge of shame admitting that I was unable to find someone tolerable, let alone loveable on my own island.

I can recall vividly a class I had when I was fifteen years old. For forty minutes a day, two times a week, over the course of a school year, the teachers would try to scare us off recreational drug use, exploiting every trick in the book. Attempts ranged from the anecdotal (“I remember a nice young student whose life was ruined by...”), to the pseudo-scientific (“you're not actually having a good time on drugs, you just think you are”), all the way to the utterly inane (“Jesus doesn't want you to use drugs. And God only allows drugs on earth to challenge you not to take them”). One of the techniques I'm reminded of by my relationship is a diagrammatical representation of a junkie's ups and downs:

The premise was that when the junkie got his drugs, he would hit a high – that would be the peak on the chart, but then he'd come down from his high, and the line would drop to halfway. The line would spike up again when he got his next fix, but not as high as before, and the resulting fall in his demeanour would send him lower than before, until eventually our junkie friend is trying to score just to not feel miserable. This buzzword-heavy message was delivered with such a grave sense of urgency from this authority figure that we feared that we might get caught up in any 'vicious cycle', and the over-simplification of the issue was eclipsed by its seeming sincerity.

So what should one expect then of a long-distance relationship? Imagine this; for the first time in weeks, or even months, you get an audience with your main squeeze. After weeks, (or even months) of her consisting of little more than a voice on a phone or text on a screen, you see her coming towards you in an airport arrivals lounge. You need a shave, your throat is scratchy from the strange air on the plane, you're in dire need of some hair gel and your entire body smells like your socks. Of course, you'd prefer to play it cool, because you're a stoic git, but instead, you're smiling like a child on Christmas morning because you see her, and that grin only begins to fade once your cheeks begin to ache under its strain. The weeks and months you have just invested into text on a screen, or that voice on a phone make total sense now. It is in these moments that you have never been more thankful for your senses of smell, touch, and sight because what was once less than tangible is now real flesh and bones before you! You are intoxicated by the sheer novelty of being in her presence. It occurs to you that you too are trapped in a vicious cycle, but unlike your hypothetical junkie friend, with the transience of time you find that the highs get higher and the lows tolerable.

Okay, so that's obviously my personal take on it, but I'm sure it's true of most people who don't get to spend as much time with their sweetheart as they'd like. I just got back from two weeks in Wisconsin where I maintained a constant, borderline ridiculous proximity to my lady-friend at all times. The only break we got from one another was during our respective trips to the bathroom. Looking back on it, I'd even be inclined to say I walked fewer steps on my own than I did while hand in hand with her (obviously, walking in tandem is one of the clumsier methods of locomotion, but when trying to engorge oneself on as much physical contact possible, I think volunteering such minor details makes sense).

You won't ever hear me using the cliché “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Not only because of my aversion to trite sayings, and not because it's an insult to the absentee, but because it simply isn't true. I had more than one friend ask me if I'd recommend a long-distance relationship, as if I had complied a list of pros and cons to make the matter easily digestible. I could never recommend that somebody seek out a long-distance relationship, especially given the hassles involved, but I cannot stress enough that if you find somebody worth holding onto, that you do whatever it takes to hold onto them.


Yech – that seemed an awful lot like sentimentality, didn't it? I'm new to this whole 'emotions' thing, and I find it quite sickening, so please, berate me as appropriate on the comments section.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

One From the Road - Procuring a Telecommunications Device

The frequency of which mundane things rapidly and unnecessarily escalate into something more ‘interesting’ has convinced me that my life should be on television.

But not reality television, obviously, that’d just be dumb. When I speak of televising my little misadventures, I envision it as a kind of spectator sport, where awkward social interactions are analysed, commented on and become a thing that can be won or lost.

I suppose you’ll be wanting an example then? How about this one - after a disastrous day of travel, I found myself stranded in Philadelphia, as my connecting flight to Minneapolis had been cancelled. My phone was dead, and my charger was in the luggage that I had no access to. I needed to call the people on the other side to let them know of my predicament. I also had to join the 60+ people (60 as in quantity, not age) in the queue for customer services, so alternate arrangements could be made.

- A bit of a slow start from the offence here, John, he seems to be stalling at the back of the line.
- He’s biding his time, Tim, it looks as though he’s looking to infiltrate the conversation in front of him.
- Well caught, John - wonderful tactics from this newcomer from Ireland - but need to be on top of his game to get into this three-way conversation.
- So long as he can neutralise Suited Businessman, Fat Blonde Woman and Young Blonde Woman shouldn’t pose much of a threat - remains to be seen how though, they’ve noticed him and if he stays much longer he’ll be blocked out for good.

“Hi - excuse me, you wouldn’t have the time would you?”
- He’s gone for the oldest-conversation starter in the book!
- He’ll have to be careful here Tim, that cliché might start a conversation, but he’ll have to have a good follow-up to keep it afloat. Suited Businessman is going for his watch:
“Yeah - it’s seven thirty-five”
“Cheers - I don’t know because my phone has died and that’s normally how I know these things…”
- Did you see that? Masterful play from the Irish offence. Did you hear that “cheers” John? He’s playing to his strengths and capitalising on his Irishness - no American woman can resist that.
- I sure did, Tim - but he’s also succeeded in announcing his problem - they’re now aware that he needs a phone.
- He has to act fast - if he asks for a phone now, they’ll consider him rude, and this young ambassador for his country isn‘t willing to risk reflecting poorly on his people. He’ll have to make some polite conversation first.
- The trouble with polite conversation is, it gives the defence a chance to bolster their excuses, and shut him out entirely. Wait - he’s making his move.
“So where are you guys trying to go?”
- Very nice! He’s got them all talking - what do you think here, John?
- Well, I think Suited Businessman presents the only threat here - notice how Fat Blonde Woman is nattering away - her guard is down. Young Blonde Woman is also laughing at his quips, but she seems more suspicious of him. Suited Businessman seems to resent the very fact that he is being talked to.
-Good analysis there, John - Fat Blonde Woman has finally shut up about her nephew’s birthday party, and the ball in back in O’Sullivan’s court - let’s see what he’s got up his sleeve?

“Well, I was wondering if I’d be able to borrow a phone from one of you? I need to ask my friends in Minneapolis where I should go, since I don’t know anyone in Philadelphia.”
- And they’re off! All just turned to Suited Businessman - what does he have to say for himself?
“I’d like to, but this is a business phone, sorry”
- Steely defense John! You’d know he’s done this before!
- A great parry alright, he’s deflected the question onto Young Blonde Woman with that subtle turn of his head - the man’s a professional.
- Hang on - she’s taken out her phone, but she’s clicking buttons? What’s going on here John?
- It looks as though she’s buying herself time Tim - her furrowed brow gives away her thought process.

“I’m sorry - I’m not getting any service”
- It took a while to get that out of her, but O’Sullivan finds himself rejected again - All his hopes rest on Fat Blonde Lady, and here comes her offering:

“I’m sorry - I’m… I’m way over my minutes. I mean, I’d like to, but… My minutes….”
- Cracks are showing in the defense here - let’s see what O’Sullivan does to counter this blow.

-He’s not saying anything! Good play from O’Sullivan! He’s picked up on her nervous stammering, knowing full well that she’ll concede defeat in the face of an awkward silence!

“Well, if you really need it, I guess you can make a quick call…”

-He’s done it! O’Sullivan has taken the phone, and he is proceeding to dial the number. The Irish clinching a crucial victory, mere moments before deadline.
-Well, Until next time, I’m John Thompson, he’s Tim Johnson, and this is Mountains out of Molehills - goodnight!