Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Belfast's a Blast and Sligo’s Surprisin’…

Fortunately, just after my recent news and my new role as scowling "Phantom of Academia"/writer/artist/bon vivant, I had a surprise 30th birthday* to attend in Sligo, which I went to via Belfast, so I could take a much overdue sojourn at chez Badbrute and Babybuttons. With digital camera in tow, it afforded some much-needed pictorial tomfoolery and I caught up with some reading. Brute these days looks quite the young hotshot role-playing actor for hire after his droog stint and we took in a show, the amazing Sin City, see my visual review…look at the happy, gurning fetishistic face. Brute had to quietly say during the parade of gun-toting S&M prostitutes a phrase that should be my motto in such periods of ‘odd stirs’… “easy Chief”.

But Belfast is changing. They did have a wee parade in my honour though, I had to take a jaunt to Smithfield, the ‘Fast’s answer to Soho once home to the great Talisman comic shop, the source of most of my 20p comics that provide me with the quantity if not the quality of most of my collection. I remember once riffing with the manager about how great the place was, I gushed:

Me: “It’s great this place is still the same, at least this isn’t another fecking Forbidden Planet franchise”
Him: “Em, have you looked at the sign recently?”
Me [craning neck to see] “Oh, so you are a Forbidden Planet now…*great*”

Relocated now they have and even more like a toy shop/wrestling T-Shirt store they are. Their back issues section consists of some Batman and X-Men with a big alphabetical gap in the middle…’wot no She-Hulk!!’ and no Suicide Girls coffee-table books, as you would suspect, at the top of my current graphic wish list. Another crazy night in Belfast ensued, I was promised poppers and porn but ended up with Spider-Man 2 on the PS2 and The Phantom Menace on DVD, (there’s a blues-style song couplet in there somewhere) then, sleep. Damn the Brute, he introduced me to LimeWire, have downloaded the amazing Grey Album already, finding resonance with my recent predicament and the lines of Jay-Z when asked to ‘step away from the car a little bit’ in 99 Problems, his answer is similar to my feelings on being asked to step away from the ole PhD:

“I ain’t stepping away from shit, all my paper’s legit”

After a few pints in and around** Belfast, it was off on the bus journey to Sligo. My reading materials, Bizarre and this…lots of hiding pages as they were turned so as not to offend other passengers. Then on, to impose on the domestic surfing bliss of young Jb another vital element of our geek triad of back in the day. Jb the sensible, amazing dependable one, when the Brute and I get left alone of an evening, chaos ensuses and one of us ends up with absinthe-related scars. It was an amazing reunion with a certain Ap, A and Sg in da’ house as the kids say these days. Then off to Strandhill for the big surprise event to celebrate three decades of one Ulti D, a media whiz kid-turned-florist. More faces from the past, including Jd, cohort of the Cloister days, co-worker down the abstract mines and all-round musical and arcane Americana expert. As is the nocturnal custom of ole Ireland this progressed to quite late/early depending on what day it is. It was a meeting of minds, many wise words were spoken, drinks drunk and 'smokey joes' smoked. Some detox was attempted at nearby Ross's Point. Although this moment was much more experly captured by the proprietor of a certain tent of blue.

Anyway I think young Ulti D's got the right attitude to turning 30!.

In fragile state it was back to a pre-flight night in the Brute’s Belfast where I caught up with arts council Web wiz BB. We then watched Bad Santa. Ahh Zwigoff, how odd it is remember your bizarre wee pics in Crumb’s Weirdo and see your gaunt visage now hold forth on DVD extras, God I can’t wait for this. The time of the geek is surely upon us. Back in Norwich, there was nothing to cure the ennui but see this again with a new-found friend who could give young Jimmny a run for his money with her formidable comic collection. Can’t wait for Batman Begins, so I can go for constant Sin City/Batman Begins double bills
every.chance.I.get. Oh and I just recieved this through the post today, which makes me a very, very happy wee geek.

Arghh, ye gawds, better stop writing, dawn comes too early in these summer months. See its vile bright neb emerging over the houses across the street! Hark! what is that the morning electro-whirr of a milk float. Like in Speed 3 but not as funny. It's back to those days, the old days, day and night don't exist for the Chief.

*These are coming around now with frightening regularity, old man Jmmny's coming up on January 2nd, how many people can I coax down to my rural home for that?

**Although it was not my intention, I appear to be doing an impression of the 'Crazy Frog' in this pic. I did actually hear 'Ding ding ding dwwwaaa ding ding' etc. replicated by some Irish bloke outside The Garavogue, priceless fun, they're all into the "smirting" down there don't ya know.


Anonymous said...

When you coming back to Engerland, Jimney?

Ernesto said...

happy birthday, mate. welcome to the club!

seen batman begins yet?

Ernesto said...

I take the happy birthday part back, until next year.