There are no bad owners, only bad dogs


Radio 1 does something reasonable.

British radio did something this morning that redeemed itself (a little bit) from the endless stream of crappy pop music.

When I emerged from the cool steamlessness of my shower, all goose bumply, I heard a cat yowling loudly. No, that couldn't be it because there was a crappy pop track playing in the background. Wait -- that cat sounds familiar. Has one of my cats cut a demo since I've been gone? No, it's not Rocket and Comet's too shy to do a video, so it couldn't be her... I know! It's J Lo! It sucks ass! I want to shove tweezers in my ear canals, pierce my eardrums, and yank out those little hammer and stirrup bones so I'll never, ever have to hear this again!

Then, just as I was diving toward the radio to pull the plug, Chris Moyles stopped the "song" in the middle and said something along the lines of "No one should have to listen to that. What's that called? Get Right? It should be called Get Right [off the Air]"

Chris Moyles may be my new best friend.

Speaking of the tepid discomfort that is my shower (this explains the increasing similarity between my hair and yak fur), I went by the leasing agent one week ago today to request that my shower be restored to an apparatus that supplies hot water. I told them that I'd be in London until the weekend, so they could enter and repair to their heart's content. Got back from London and the exquisite extasy of hot water and found that no action had been taken. I called Monday morning to "remind" them. Yesterday I got a notice in the mail telling me that my report had been registered and that a plumber would be dispatched. Needless to say, that letter had abuse screamed at it for some time last night. Save time. Don't send a fucking letter -- send a plumber. Simple.

So, back to Christmas in Oxford. Due to the scourge of national health care, we drank a lot. There wasn't anything else to do.

Ireland: This was quite a journey. We had cheap-o-riffic airfares on Ryanair (not as much like a cattle car with wings as EasyJet). The only issue was that we had to go to Bristol to fly out, which meant taking a train to Bristol, then a bus to the airport. Which meant that we had to get to the train station in Oxford on New Year's Day. No problem. The buses run on holidays. At least, they're supposed to. We stood at the bus stop for about 20 minutes, not seeing a bus in either direction, when we saw a cab and jumped in front of it. The driver told us that sometimes on holidays, the bus drivers just don't show up. This may have been part of the age-old Hatfields and McCoys-type feud that goes on between bus drivers and cabbies, but then the cab driver took it a step further and told us that he didn't think the trains were running either (I knew they were) and that he would be glad to drive us all the way to Bristol. It should cost us 160, but he'd be happy to take 15 off because we seemed like nice people ("seemed" being the operative word there). He pulled up in front of the train station and said "See? Doors still closed. I'll be here if you want ride to Bristol."

The doors were closed because, well, they're always closed. They open automatically when you walk toward them, then close behind you. It's not a revolutionary concept...

So the trip to Bristol was uneventful -- we did crossword puzzles. The bus trip to the airport was enlivened by the presence of a 2-year old in the seat in front of me. This child had spent a good deal of bus-waiting time stalking pigeons. His dad was pretty tired of watching him, apparently, because he didn't seem to mind at all that his kid launched himself over the seat back into my lap. The child, who was extremely cute, said the following things approximately 7,902 times between the train station and airport: Da Beeg Koch, Da Beeg Koch; Da Green Light, Da Green Light; Da Airplane, Da Airplane.

Da Beeg Koch = The Big Coach (which we were riding on).

The airport was about 86°, but there were a few cool spots in the duty-free shop where liquor is about half the price of the same product at Odd Bins.

So we got to the airport kind of early due to the train schedule and had to kill some time in the bar drinking 3.50 drinks.

Airplane, nap, Dublin airport, very little security, cab to hotel. Very long and scenic cab ride to hotel. Cabbie who knew we weren't going to break his arm in a dispute over the fare (we're not Aussies, after all).

First night in Dublin: uneventful. Exploring on foot, bought a tourist map, looked for food, ended up eating super-shitty Italian food served by super-snotty Italian waitress in hotel restaurant.

More Dublin to come. We discover that "tour" doesn't mean you get to see anything.

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