Friday, March 20, 2009

je ne regrette pas

Dear Angels

I got an email from Inkpot today. The good news she is feeling a lot better. I’m sending lots of hugs and positive energy to you, Inkpot.

She wants to get back to blogging so this is my last post. I really enjoyed my week here. Thank you for giving me the chance to try out your blog, Angel. And thank you too, readers and commenters. It has been a blast.

Went to Watchmen last night. NOT my kind of movie. If it is going to be about real issues, I prefer a movie to be set in a real setting and not have nutcases in Lycra running about and a glowing blue naked man. Then again, I’m not into superheroes or comic books. Phil LOVED it. He said I ‘didn’t get it’ and am not ‘deep enough’ to understand Alan Moore’s genius. What? Me, not deep? I’m so deep I’m shallow!

To get him back I’m posting this picture of him. He doesn’t like me talking about him on the interweb.

I think I understand why people blog now. I’m away next week on a shoot, but when I get back I’m going to pick your brains Inkpot on how to set up my own blog.

Au revoir

Miss Panda

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let me entertain you

Work is mental at the moment. We’re organising shoots for two big commercials coming up and I’m on the phone all day to location scouts, the wardrobe department, director’s P.A’s, agent’s P.A’s, etc. I’ll probably have a cauliflower ear by this evening.

I’m eating lunch at my desk today so I thought I would write my entry while I munch. I have to be careful I don’t get mayonnaise on the keyboard. It stinks out the office for a week when I do.
I’m going to the cinema tonight. The BF has been gagging to see Watchmen. It is NOT my kind of movie, but he went to see Mamma Mia with me (the first time) so I think I owe him.
My topic today is celebrities. The job I have I occasionally get to meet some ‘celebrities’. I don’t have much to do with them because I am little more than a glorified runner, but I have shaken hands with a couple of stage and screen actors and the odd sports star.

Ireland is a very small country. Unless you have lived here you can’t appreciate how small it is, and everyone in Dublin has a celebrity story.

One night I went for drinks in the Clarence with some of the girls after work. I went up to the bar to get a round in. I find it always pays to get the first round. People remember it because they aren’t too plastered to forget and it gets your obligation out of the way.

There was this bloke sitting at the bar wearing a pair of sunglasses. I thought he might be blind or something. Anyway, he starts chatting to me, asking me what I thought of the place and where I worked, stuff like that. I’m used to being chatted up. Men take one look at my voluptuous panda curves and round black eyes and fall upon me. I suppose because I am exotic – and also very cute. This guy was not my type and I was so not interested in flirting with him. He was too old, for one thing, but he looked really familiar. I thought he might have been a friend of my dad’s. He seemed pleasant and he wasn’t being too overly friendly, more polite, so I didn’t give him the brush off.

We talked for about five minutes, and it kept niggling at the back of my furry brain pan that I knew this guy and he probably recognised me and thought how rude I was for not remembering him. Then the barman came up and took my order and I went back to the girls. They were whispering and giggling so I asked them what the joke was.

“That was Bono you were talking to.”

I thought he looked familiar! Luckily I know his music better than his face. He is a sound guy.

Love and light

Miss Panda

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's black and white and red all over?

Miss Panda after her workout.

It was a hard session tonight. I wanted nothing more than to leave work and go home to the salmon steak waiting for me in the fridge. Whisk up a nice salad, pour a cool glass of chardonnay to accompany it and who can ask for anything more? It had to wait however, and still does, because after writing this I have to shower and then, if I still have the will to live, I’ll make my dinner.

Some answers to your questions. What does BF stand for? Boy friend, as in boy (or male) who is my friend (as in romantic relationship rather than platonic). His name is Phil and he is a gorilla. Yes, you might think it strange that a panda is going out with a gorilla, but if I were to wait for a male panda to come along I’d be a skeleton before he made the first move. Do you know that male pandas don’t know the first thing about flirting? All they do is sit around and eat bamboo all day. Then again, bamboo only gives you enough energy to sit around and eat bamboo. That’s why I stick to salmon, and chardonnay.

Second question, sort of. What am I doing in Ireland; shouldn’t I be back in China? I am so sick of this question. I AM IRISH. Yes, I am a panda but my parents moved to Ireland before I was born and it says I’m an Irish citizen on my passport. So there.

Back to my workout.

One of the benefits of the (now over) economic boom in Ireland is that lots of different types of gyms have opened up. There is the gym for the beautiful people, the mirror less gym for the ugly people and the do it at home computer game gym for the person who doesn’t really want to work out at all. Most gyms come with pools these days – and they are heated, indoor pools, no more jumping in the 50ft for you. There is aqua aerobics, slimming programmes, personal trainers, Pilates, yoga, yogalates (and then there are cafe lattes, my favourite).

Like most people, I enthusiastically sign up to a gym membership in January, work out every day until my fur sticks together, and cancel my membership in March because the last time I went was before Valentine’s Day when I wanted to fit into that slinky red number. This year, because every penny has to count, I have been going religiously three times a week. I’m paying for it so by god I’m going to get my money’s worth.

But why waste your money on a gym at all, Miss Panda? Good question. You might think my cuddly physique comes naturally, but you would be wrong. It takes a lot of hard work to look this darn cute and adorable. Sure, if I sat around doing nothing but eat bamboo all day I would stay naturally rotund, but because I eat high energy foods like salmon and spend most of my day sitting at a desk making phone calls, I would soon balloon into a shape more commonly found on a Blue Whale if I didn’t exercise. That’s why I have to go to the gym.

The variety of gyms isn’t the only thing to have changed in Ireland. It used to be that health food meant you cleaned the dirt off your spud before you cooked it. Now every supermarket has a health food section with nuts and whole grains. Most large supermarkets have at least one shop selling herbal supplements and things with strange sounding names like msn that are supposed to make you feel better.

Of course it also means that now there is a Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist in every shopping centre and that is certainly a very good thing. I hope they manage to survive the downturn and that people appreciate their true value, rather than thinking of them as luxuries.

Miss Panda

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beannachtai na Feile Padraig

Happy St Patrick’s Day. I hope you had fun drowning the Shamrock. I certainly did. The BF, me and some friends watched the parade on telly and played a drinking game every time a marching band came on. Hurrah! It was fun. Of course, there was also the obligatory green Guinness. I’m not a Guinness drinker usually, but I’m a patriotic panda and make sure I have a pint (or at least a sip of the BF’s pint) on St Patrick’s Day.
Dublin city centre closes down for the day so the parade can – er – parade through the streets. I used to be involved with it when I was part of Youth Drama Ireland. It was great craic. You could make good money painting shamrocks and Irish flags onto the faces of the kids watching the floats (actually, I should have done that again this year, I’m a bit strapped for cash).

I gather I went on too much yesterday. I’m a bit like a charging rhino once I get going, so I’ll try to keep it brief this evening. I have to get ready for work tomorrow, so it is no harm if I keep this short.

As promised I’m going to talk about religion. You may have heard that Irish people are very spiritual people. We are. We love whiskey and brandy and vodka and gin. I’m very fond of Baileys myself. Baileys and ice, Baileys coffee, Baileys cheesecake (not sure if Baileys is a spirit or a liqueur).

Today being St Patrick’s Day, the Irish people filled the streets to pay homage to their national saint in the usual places of worship. In the city centre these are mainly Grafton Street (Southside, therefore a good place)
and Henry Street (Northside). In the outer reaches of the city there are places like the Dundrum Town Centre, Liffey Valley and Blanchardstown.

It is actually nice to see the shops so full of people again. Christmas it was like a ghost town. I know the recession has hit people pretty hard. A lot of my friends have been given their marching orders.

Tomorrow I am going to talk about health and fitness. I think a visit to the gym is due after all the chocolate and alcohol I indulged in today.

Miss Panda

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hello Blogosphere

Hello Angels, I’m your substitute blogger for the week and you can call me Miss Panda. My first day on the job and I barely got my post in on time. Inkpot didn’t tell you anything about me, so I better introduce myself. I’m a Dublin girl, born and bred. I work in the entertainment industry. I met Inkpot a while ago at an audition. I don’t have a blog (although I have lurked) and I’m interested to try one on for size. As far as you are concerned, I’m about 5ft 6, am covered in black and white fur and have the round cuddly body of a panda. However, don’t be taken in by my looks. I have very powerful jaws and long claws on my paws (but mostly I look cute).
I thought I would spend the week telling you a bit about life in Ireland – or more specifically Dublin. My plan is to take a different aspect of Irish life and write about it every day. Today my topic is politics.
You may or may not know that Ireland is a Republic. That means it doesn’t have a king or queen and is run by a group of ugly bullying school teachers who like to give us lots of homework (aka raise our taxes) and slap us for being naughty (aka voting against their wishes in a referendum).
The country is split into 32 counties, 6 of which don’t belong to the Republic (and therefore don’t exist). The most important county is Dublin, because that’s where all the interesting people live, especially in the Southside. The city is divided by the River Liffey into the Northside (ugh) and the Southside. The people of the Northside and the Southside have been locked in battle since the Vikings first invented Dublin about a thousand years ago, but recently efforts have been made to bring peace and reconciliation. Landsdown Road (in the Southside) used to be where all the Rugby matches and interesting concerts were staged until the Bullies (I mean Government) shut it down for “refurbishment” and forced the rugger crowd to move to the Northside and play in Croke Park (home of the GAA – you know, Gaelic football and hurling and stuff like that). It was supposed to bring the two sides of the city together in their equal love of sport. The jury is still out on whether it succeeded or not.
The headmaster of the bullies is called the Taoiseach (pronounced Tea-Shock) and is always a member of the Fianna Fail party. There used to be other political parties but Fianna Fail lackeys planted body snatcher pods in their green houses and took them over.
As well as the Tee-Shock, Ireland also has a President. This was installed by the first Tea-Shock, the devil – oops, I mean DeVelara. He loved being given a salary by the state so much that he invented the need for a president and set himself up for the rest of his life. Since then several more ugly beggars have managed to get looked after by us poor students (I mean taxpayers).
Unlike places like the U.S, our president is nothing more than a well paid puppet that has to attend show jumping festivals and occasionally gets to shake hands with real presidents and important people. Unfortunately puppets do very well in Ireland and tend to take over our TV shows as well as our cushy political positions (Google Podge and Rodge if you don’t believe me).
The president lives in a big house in Phoenix Park called Aras an Uachtarain (which roughly translates as something about ice cream).
Phoenix Park is one of the biggest enclosed parks in the world and is bigger than Hyde Park in London and Central Park in New York.
Dail Eireann is where the Tea-Shock and his minions hang out. It is located somewhere near the President’s house. Here is a picture of our current Tea-Shock, Brain Cowan.

Once a president has filled her seven score years in office she can look forward to a large pension to keep her in the comfort she has grown accustomed to for the rest of her life. Once a Tea-Shock is finished wringing the country dry and selling his soul to Europe for a handful of beans, he can look forward to a retirement full of tribunals and being asked questions like “How much exactly was in those brown envelopes people kept on handing you while you were in office?”
I hoped you enjoyed your lesson about Ireland and its political system. There will be a written exam at the end of the week to see how much you took in.
As tomorrow is St Patrick’s day I thought I would tackle the subject of religion.
Miss Panda

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Guest Blogging

Dear readers, thank you for your patience over the last couple of weeks. I'm really touched by your perseverance and comments. Unfortunately I am not yet up to returning to running the Inkpot Files. Therefore, I have enlisted the help of a friend to give you something to read during the next few days. I met her recently after moving to Dublin. She doesn't have her own blog (I think she is a little afraid of the Internet) but when she heard I wasn't so well she was keen to see what it is like to be a blogger. I will let her introduce herself to you tomorrow. She has told me some of her ideas for the week and I think they sound good. I hope you like them too. This is the first time I have had someone guest blog for me so I am interested to see how it pans out.

Hopefully I will be back up to speed by next week.

I want to give you something

Today is Sunday Toon day but I don't feel well enough to post a picture. I was originally going to post about sad things, but after I read this on Mercedes' blog last night I thought I would post about it instead. After all, I'm sure you would much rather read how to get your hands on a free gift than read about how sad life is for me at the moment.
Ok, so the deal is this. The first five people to comment on this blog will get something made by me! Yay! How can you resist. :) There are rules however.
Rule #1: I decide what to make you. You have no input in the decision whatsoever and there is no guarantee that you will like what I make.
Rule #2: I have until December to send it to you (December 2009 I assume).
Rule #3: You have to offer the same deal on your blog (or myspace or facebook or wherever you hang out on the web). You have to be prepared to offer to make gifts for five people who respond to you message.
Rule #4: If you have already done this, you don't have to do it again in order to comment. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity apparently.
So, what do you say?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Can I call it a Hat Trick???

I love the people over at Sam's Dot Publishing, I really do, especially The Boortean Ambassador, Terrie Leigh Relf. My micro fiction 'In a Galaxy Far Far Away' has been awarded First Place in the upcoming Drabbler #14, due out in April.
Now, that means I've been published in the Drabbler #12, had two stories in the Drabbler #13 and now will have the first place story in Drabbler #14!
I really do love those guys.

Spot the Inkpot

This is a Meteor Commercial I was in a couple of years ago. I don't know if you've seen it before, but I thought you might find it amusing. I'm the girl coming out of the door and taking the main character's hands. The story for the ad was that we had been in school together and he was travelling around Ireland meeting up with all his old school buddies. We were a diverse lot in that class, don't you think? It was a two week shoot, perhaps it was three, but I was only needed for two days. It was lots of fun and the people involved with the production were really nice. Out of the two days I was there about thirty minutes involved actually filming my tiny scene (and they spent all day filming, from 6am until well into the evening). We did a couple of takes, mostly concerning me being more or less excited as I recognised my old friend. My favourite take, after being told to be more excited, was when I yelled 'You've come back - I still have the wedding dress!' and jumped on the man. Everyone laughed. Hee hee. Another thing of note about the shoot was that we came across a car accident on our way to the location. I was in a mini van with one of the other actors (the man on the fishing boat) and several of the production crew and it was pretty early in the morning. The roads were very twisty and narrow and a light rain was misting down. We turned a bend in the road and came upon the accident. A young woman, driving towards us, had turned the corner too fast, clipped her tyre on a stone at the side of the road and flipped her car onto the roof, blocking the road. It had happened only moments before we arrived on the scene. Thankfully, she wasn't hurt. However, the two things that stayed with me from the incident - 1. Be very careful driving on the narrow country roads and 2. The charity of the people I was with who phoned the authorities, offered to use the production tow truck to move the car and stayed with the woman until her family arrived to look after her. That really impressed me.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Drabbler #13

The Drabbler #13, containing TWO of my micros is now available from Sam Dot's Publishing. The theme for this edition was Alien Magic. One of my stories does have an illustration, but I'm not really sure if it has anything to do with what I wrote. You'll have to buy it and let me know what you think.

Yes, Aliens got me

Hello all. I'm back - sort of. I apologise for the two weeks - er - vacation. I would like to be able to tell you that I've spent the last two weeks:-
1. In London discussing a six figure book deal with my agent and publishers
2. On a closed set of the next Firefly movie
3. Holidaying with Nathan Fillion
4. Imprisoned by aliens from Alpha Centuri
But alas, no. The real reason is not so pleasant to talk about, but includes illness and loss. I won't bore you with the details.
Thank you for the lovely comments while I was away. It will take me awhile to get back to you all and to check up on your blogs (which I have missed) so please bear with me. I'm looking forward on catching up and finding out what you have all been up to.
SSQuo - I'm sorry I wasn't around to receive your orders. I'm ready and waiting for the new batch.
Oh, and today is Friday 13th, the second one we've had so far this year. Spooky! So, do you think 13 is a lucky or unlucky number? I've never felt superstitious about it. Black cats and walking under ladders don't bother me (although if you do the latter you might get splattered with paint or soap suds, depending who is up the ladder). I have a friend who was born on Friday 13th and she sees it as her lucky day. What do you think? Is it a tuck your head under the duvet kind of day (sounds good to me) or is it business as usual?