Archive for December, 2009

Jesus (don’t touch my baby)

Come and behold the first Nylie family purchase.

The Pepparami baby Jesus

Trains to Brazil

I really should watch more movies. But i’m always reluctant too. It seems like a whole two hours that i could spend reading books or making brownies instead.

But when I do manage to quell the restless hyperactivity I do tend to enjoy it.

Dosed with the cold I watched Cidade dos Hommens. A further feature film from a series of TV shows that began original in the film City of God.

I find Rio the most intriguing city in the world. I loved my time there (all 5 days of it) and the geography of the place blows me away. And where in the world are the worst poverty stricken residential areas the ones with the best views?

Movies are so full of purely western cultural ideas and contexts. Movies like this are a useful reminder that the rest of the world actually exists. Even if it only reminds us that it exists in poverty and violence.

On marriage

I got baptised and engaged to be married to the wonderful transfarmer all in the same day.

Surely there’s some kind of special prize for that.

In lieu of an engagement ring I decided just to scribble reserved on her left ring finger with a biro.

Unfortunately this means we have to plan a wedding. Part of that really excites me the other part wants to elope to Vegas and get married by a guy doubling as an Elvis impersonator. We’d even get $20 of free chips for the casino too.

Punch drunk love sick singalong

For the doctors out there – I am a little bit dubious about the use of thrombolytic agents in the treatment of acute ischaemic stroke. I am not alone in this, though I am in the minority. My particular beef lies with the evidence base behind that and the drug company involvement in its promotion.

This poster isn’t helpful in so many ways.

Firstly – I would suggest against calling an ambulance unquestioningly for anyone you see with trouble walking. It only takes an ounce of common sense to realise that most people by midnight on a saturday night are experiencing most of these symptoms.

The suggestion to call “911 immediately”is neither practical nor helpful

Secondly – the assertion that treatment within 60 minutes can prevent disability. The whole medical debate is about treatment within 180 minutes – the vast majority being closer to the 180 mark.

We have no real idea if treatment within 60 minutes is good or not – it is virtually impossible to start having your stroke, get to hospital, get seen, get a CT scan and then decide on treatment within 60 minutes.

My advice is – only have your stroke in hospital. And even then 60 minutes is pushing it.

Promises, promises

I have been surrounded and involved in Christianity since i was born. It was in many ways the air i breathed.

As much as being a middle class protestant in north armagh, with a good dose of  rationalism and the growing critique of modernism…

I am everything I am because of everything I am – to try and simplify faith into a simple indoctrinating process shoots away the ground you stand on.

I remain surrounded by and involved in Christianity. And lots of interesting and exciting and lovely and horrible things have happened along the way. I plan to live a life surrounded by and involved in the Christian faith.

I cannot put a definite time on the beginning of my faith. I remember feeling strongly about it and praying with my family shortly after one of my child hood friends was killed in an accident. That meant something. I’m not sure what.

I’m not sure a distinct point of salvation means anything. I imagine time looks different from the perspective of infinity.

I grew up in a Church of Ireland church but was never baptised. My parents were unclear about baptising babies and so they figured they’d let us grow up and decide on baptism ourselves.

And I suppose I did decide about baptism – about 14 years ago about. Yet I only just got round to it sunday past.

It was cool. Not that covers the theological aesthetics of it all. But it was.

Our place mainly baptised babies but has been known to baptise adults when the need arises.

I figured me and Simy would go for the baby option and he could scream through the service and I’d wet myself and vomit over the minister.

Standing at the front of the church with Simy was weird. Just the two of us and a minister. I felt we should be holding hands or I should be wearing a dress. Maybe next time…

We each got a minute or so to introduce ourselves and a bit of our story and why we were getting baptised.

Then we knelt and got slightly damp and I cried.

These are powerful things. The church – this disparate bunch of legalists, sinners, lovers, haters, bored and zealous – this church is the most powerful thing in the world. Broken and ugly GOD loves his bride. This makes me cry.

Da was not there. Understandably. And most people there knew it. And most people there felt it. They’re a good bunch to cry in front of. I’m grateful for them.

I love my car

For Simy

[via XKCD]

Hold tight London

So I went to London.

To see friends of Transfarmers. American people. But nice Americans

I’ve had to come to terms with my latent racism against Americans and the English, and I suppose even with those lovely people I’m trying my best to distance myself – the white anglo-saxon Protestants.

It turns out – yes I know you’ll be shocked – that there are lots of nice and wonderful Americans and English out there. Perhaps my scathing dislike and crass sarcasm if unfairly directed in their direction.

That’s what happens when you make sweeping generalisations. Life is going to become bloody difficult if I’m going to have to stop making sweeping generalisations about people. I’ll have to actually be gracious and kind and get to know them.


These were nice Americans. They all seem to have lived in Ireland till the country in its wisdom decided to kick them all out. So now they all live in London. Which is at least accessible on a short flight.

The main issue was not the short flight but the incredibly long journey from the car park to the airport. I’d have been better leaving the car at home and walking. So it goes.

I still love airports – the over priced, below average coffee, the mediocre book shops (i only bought two…), the uncomfortable seats. But they still appeal.

On the way through security my bag got x-rayed and then emptied looking for stupid things people put in their hand luggage like bombs and knives. The lady opened the bad and pulled out a nice shiny pen knife.

I told her I lost it about 6 months ago and hadn’t been able to find it – which was true. I bet everyone says that though. I didn’t feel bad about her confiscating it, as far as I was concerned I lost it 6 months ago.

And when I say we went to London, i really meant we went to Ealing. Which is about as far from central London as the car park was from the airport.

So there was no sight seeing, no shopping, no “minding of the gap”.

Instead there was food and drink and good chat and a comfy bed and a good kip. Quite the rock and roll lifestyle I know.

My only suggestion to the Americans is – screw London, come and live in Ulster, the last, best bastion of British imperialism in Eire. That way you could just sneak over the border and no one would ever know.

Though I suppose you thought of that already. I’ll lend you a passport if you want.


December 2009