Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

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Friday Five #54

*1. What do you most want to be remembered for?*
I want to be remembered for having contributed something of note to the cultural sphere, having earned and gained the respect of my peers. I would also like to be remembered as a good person, a good partner, and when the time comes, a good father.
*2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life?*
I believe it was St. Augustine who once said that _”the measure of love is to love without measure”_.
*3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year?*
In the last year? Not that much, really. I’ve been kind of drifting since the end of my last university exam. But my confidence in my ability as a writer has certainly grown in this time. What I have to do now is work on my motivation.
*4. What about the past ten years?*
I can’t say much for my tenure at school, but over the last four years — beginning from my first days at university — I have grown and developed, both mentally and personally, into a better person.
*5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say?*
I would say, _educate yourself_. Read whatever you can, consume as much information as you can handle, always strive to learn something new and to broaden your horizons. Don’t let the dogmatism of the formal education system fool you: education is much more than classes, exams and homework. It’s about fulfilling your potential to understand the world, not just around you but also beyond the various borders of culture, colour, religion, politics… the list goes on. Remember that the world does not revolve around your nor anyone else. Know your enemy, for you cannot fight what you do not know. And never stop the quest for knowledge.
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Friday Five #53

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*1. What drinking water do you prefer — tap, bottle, purifier, etc.?*
I like my water chilled and filtered, but I don’t drink straight water very often; I usually drink it in cola form. When I was working though, and especially when it was a warm day, I’d have something between four and eight cups of mineral water from the canteen cooler every shift.
*2. What are your favourite flavor of chips?*
By ‘chips’ I presume one means crisps. Do I have a favourite flavour? I’m not sure. I guess pickled onion Meanies would be a favourite of mine. (Although technically, Meanies are corn snacks, not crisps.) Or just plain pickle. (I’ve had pickle flavour Lays and they were similar enough, like the old spring onion Taytos.)
I’m quite partial to smoky bacon (or paprika, which for all intents and purposes is the same thing). Anything spicy also floats my boat, chili favour crisps and such, especially pan-fried. But cheese and onion (which seems to be just a British Isles thing) gets boring after a while. And the synthetic crap that some crisp makers call ‘chicken flavour’ is disgusting.
*3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most?*
I’m not exactly a whiz in the kitchen, but I can cook myself a mean pasta meal. And I make fantastic mini-pizzas, though they’re not for the weak of stomach.
*4. How do you have your eggs?*
I don’t. I used to eat scrambled eggs when I was a young ‘un but I can’t stand them now.
*5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out?*
I normally just cook for myself, when I’m hungry. (Speaking of which, I’m kind of hungry now so I’m gonna rustle up some noodles when I’m done with this.) I don’t get too adventurous with my meals so they usually turn out just fine. But my mum made fajitas recently for the house, which were excellent. I love Mexican food. The only problem was that they were so good I wanted more, but there was nothing left to eat.

Warning: High Idiot Quotient

I happened to catch a news report the other day about some idiot who almost killed himself performing the most insane stunt imaginable, all for some stupid Jackass ripoff video he was making with his friends. (Here’s a link to the story c/o Obscure Store.)
The Sheriff’s Office spokesman echoes, I think, the sentiments of the average well-adjusted person with the following statement:
>”He’s an 18-year-old and can make his own decisions … I hope that everybody he sees on television or movie he wouldn’t duplicate. To willfully do something like that and be injured, it makes you shake your head.”
On the contrary, the idiot’s mother, who on the basis of the following statement must be where he got his idiot genes from, blurted to a TV reporter:
>”This is what I feel is so important for the public to understand … All his pranks come from the ‘Jackass’ movie … Granted what my kid did was stupid, but they are impressionable.”
So what are we to do then, _mom_? Do you want everyone else to make concessions for your poor baby because he’s _impressionable_? Pardon my French, but that’s so much bullshit, lady.
You know it as well as I do: Jackass did not make your son jump off a roof. (In fact, I’ve never seen them attempt anything so risky; your idiot son did that all by himself, and he paid the price for his idiocy.)
It’s the cop-out attitudes of fools like her — combined with the readiness of many to placate such people, to suffer such fools gladly, because _it’s the PC thing to do_ — that’s sending us all down the slippery slope to oblivion.

Friday Five #52

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*1. Would you consider yourself an organized person? Why or why not?*
Yes, and no. I go through spurts of super-organisation, then I kind of let the fields grow fallow for a while, and then get all super-organised again. It’s a cycle.
*2. Do you keep some type of planner, organizer, calendar, etc. with you, and do you use it regularly?*
Oh no. That’s one thing I never got into the habit of doing, using an organiser — whether it be a filofax or one of those gimmicky PDAs or whatever. Besides, I normally never have to plan more than a week or two ahead, so why would I need one? Maybe if I lead a busy, hectic professional and social life, it might be necessary. But I’m a lazy bum, unfortunately.
*3. Would you say that your desk is organized right now?*
Somewhat. There’s a degree of superfluous clutter, but believe me, it’s been a lot worse.
*4. Do you alphabetize CDs, books, and DVDs, or does it not matter?*
I alphabetise my CD collection, which is difficult because of the limited space. In fact right now it’s only semi-organised. But I do have an alphabetised list, being the pedant I am, so it wouldn’t take more than an hour or two to get ship shape again.
Books I don’t have enough of, so I just arrange them into clumps or stacks of books unread, books enjoyed, and books I don’t need but can’t bare to get rid of.
DVDs, well, I hardly have any of, so they go in a neatish stack close to my telly in no particular order.
*5. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to organize?*
Oh dear. Probably something work-related. It may not be a particularly difficult job conceptually (although it does help somewhat to have an eye for composition; if you were in the _large music store_ last year when the latest Foo Fighters album came out and saw the chessboard arrangement at the front of the store — that was my handiwork) but in practice merchandising could be a bit of a nightmare. Especially when the store was busy, or someone from head office was visiting. Or the CDs hadn’t arrived in the store yet, which happens much more often than many seem to realise. But at least it was satisfying, and I wouldn’t mind doing it again. Beats shovelling popcorn any day.

Browser Bug Blues

Camino crashed on me about an hour ago. Took me ages to figure out how to reinstall it. When I finally did, I moved my bookmarks file from the desktop where I saved it into the correct folder for Camino to recognise. But the fucking program overwrote it when I restarted.
I lost everything — my perfectly organised toolbar links, my meticulously arranged folders, my folder of stuff for the link log, my blogroll (which I will now have to sift out of my enormous IE favourites collection) — the whole lot.
Now I have to fucking start all over again. Thanks a fucking bunch, Mozilla, for giving a whole day’s work. This is the kind of bullshit that makes me over-fucking-cautious about everything I do for weeks. Fuck you and your bog-standard technology!

Take This Bomb and Shove It

I _was_ going to go into town after the media screenings (see the previous entry) to run some errands, clear the cobwebs from being stuck in a darkened movie theatre for four hours.
It’s a good thing I didn’t, though, what with the pipe bombs and all.
Some people just refuse to grow up. It almost makes me ashamed to be Irish.
If any of you terrorist mofos happen to be reading this, then read this closely: you can take that pipe bomb, and you can _fucking shove it!_

A Day in the Life of a Wannabe Critic

Most of my day today was spent at the Buena Vista screening room for not one, but _two_ media previews, courtesy of Touchstone Pictures. More review fodder for me. Could only be a good thing, I expected.
After lunch, we had Spike Lee’s new joint, 25th Hour. It was okay, but nothing to write home about unfortunately.
In the morning, however, we were subjected to — and I feel so, so dirty admitting this — Rob Schneider’s latest ‘star’ vehicle, The Hot Chick. Awful, _awful_ garbage. Just wrong on every conceivable level. When it was over I wanted to get drunk enough to kill the brain cells responsible for my memory of this hateful atrocity.

Smarty Pants

The (British) National IQ Test took place last night. It was actually quite difficult, for a multiple choice exam.
The time alloted for each question was quite short and very strict, and doesn’t accurately reflect the true test environment (or at least what I know of it). Not only that, but linking the answers to the letters and the letters to the spaces on the scorecard adds to the mental processing factor and takes a significant chunk out of this time.
(Also, I missed the answer to the fifth question because they gave them out so fast.)
Despite the setbacks, however, my result was a respectable 118 (I thought 120, but after double-checking I actually got the fifth _and_ the sixth questions wrong). This is compared to my score of 136 when I did the IQ test at Emode; due to the conditions of the test, I think this score is a closer approximation of my actual intelligence quotient.
Whatever the case, it means I’m smart, and I thought I’d brag about it. So there. It’s my weblog and I’ll brag if I want to.
I should really write off to Mensa for one of their self-test booklets. It’s not like I have that much else to do these days.

A Missed Opportunity for Fleeting Infamy

Friday night at Whelan’s: Eric Copeland from Black Dice is standing at the edge of the dancefloor after their show with his back to me, talking to some music geek. It takes a moment or two before the idea crosses my mind…
With one swift movement of my right foot, I could become an instant legend. I could tell all my friends — hell, I could tell the whole world:
_”I kicked Black Dice right up the arse!”_
But I refrained. (Or chickened out, however you want to see it.) The consequences may well have been dire, too dire to take such a risk. That band has quite a reputation, you know.