Friday, April 20, 2012

Leaving Cert. lists

The world of Leaving Cert. multitasking is a very scary one. Right now, I'm writing a blog, watching The Simpsons and attempting to write up my History Research project, which is due this day week. All of this is being done through a haze of coughs and sniffles, as an infection has knocked me for six this week. I've been out for the whole week (typical - just after Easter!) but managed to do my Irish Oral...just. I now have two days to cram some French into my brain as well as catch up on all the work I've missed. Fun, eh?
I'm the kind of person who makes lists in an attempt to make things seem less scary. My phone is full of them, from work I need to do to songs I ought to download. It calms me down somehow, much like having a full pencilcase or a big, chunky ringbinder. Maybe I'm just a big lame. Anywho, earlier today I made a list of "key dates" between now and the magic June 21st. Seems terrifying, huh? But it's made me that little bit more motivated to see just how things flesh out. French and History on the same day, eh? I know where my loyalties lie, and it's not with the French.
Anywho, I'm posting the list here, partly so I know where it is and partly to have something to post. And I'll get to cross stuff off, and who doesn't love that? :)

  • March 28th: Agricultural Science project due
  • March 28th: LCVP portfolio due
  • April 18th: Irish Oral
  • April 23rd: French Oral
  • April 27th: History RSR due
  • May 2nd: LCVP exam
  • Week of May 2nd/3rd: Agricultural Science interview
  • June 6th: English Paper one/Home Economics.
  • June 7th: English paper two.
  • June 8th: Maths paper one.
  • June 11th: Maths paper two/Irish paper one
  • June 12th: Irish paper two/Biology.
  • June 13th: French/history.
  • June 21st: Agricultural Science.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Just dropped in.

Last night I put a bunch of famous movie music on my iPod - my dad's habit of buying CD's in airports has it's advantages. Amongst the usual suspects - that song from Pulp Fiction that's NOT Pump It by Black Eyed Peas, Lovefool by The Cardigans - there was a song that I recognized from one of my favourite films ever, The Big Lebowski. I'm not going to pretend I'm a film buff (except in my French oral, when "je suis un vraiment cinophile") but when I like a film, I really, really like it. I watch TBL roughly every three months and it never fails to make me giggle. Bits of it are undoubtedly strange, though - not least the usage of "fuckin' Nihilists, man!" every five minutes.

For you poor unfortunates who don't know, The Big Lebowski is a Coen Brothers film starring Jeff Bridges as The Dude, an unemployed, laid-back stoner type who gets into difficulty when the aforementioned nihilists steal his rug. Not a whole lot happens, but it's absolutely hilarious and incredibly quotable - it's like Mean Girls for stoners. Stop reading this damn blog and watch it, right now!


Now that you're back, here's the song I've been listening to non-stop since the CD was put on my iPod. No other song has got a look in. It's bizarre beyond belief, as a song. Written as a warning against LSD usage, it's used in, er, a drug scene in The Big Lebowski. It's also sung by Kenny Rodgers, the guy who sings The Gambler. What's not to love, really? Here it is in context (sort of) in the film.
Fuckin' nihilists, man.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spoken words and crowbirds.

Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars - Buddy Wakefield

Since Adrienne Rich died last week, I've been reading quite a lot of her poetry online. This isn't exactly conducive to studying, but I've been sick to I guess that wasn't going to happen anyway. I really, really love her poetry, and there's probably a post all about her coming up soon. My interest has spread to a couple of other poets too, though. Shockingly enough, not all are on the Leaving Certificate English course, either, though Seamus Heaney is. But who doesn't love Seamus Heaney and his cute little love poems?! Like I said, I've been reading and watching a lot of poetry online of late, because hey, the internet is much more fun out loud. The lovely Dave introduced me to spoken word type stuff (namely the above video) and I think I'm in love. Though I can't make head nor tail of the whole spoken word vs. slam vs. Beat poetry thing. Give me time.

I wish I had the time to spend days and days watching and researching spoken word poetry on Youtube. Like I said, I've only seen bits and pieces. Earlier, I saw a brilliant piece called Homicidal Rainbow on Facebook and I decided I'd have a look again at poets out loud. Alas, all I found was a little bit of Allan Ginsberg (27 minutes long? The sixth year inside me is saying "noooooooooooo!") and then I went back to Adrienne Rich, who of course doesn't count as spoken word poetry. She's mad as a brush and the only poet I've ever read with the balls to use the word "clitoris" in a poem. That's off the point, though. The point is the magic of poetry, the way it can wrap around one's cerebral cortex for days and STILL mean something different a week later.

Unfortunately, poetry is one of those ways of writing that I can't really do. Not for want of trying, as some unfortunate friends and teachers have seen over the years. Can't really do it unless I'm extremely upset, and then it's just terrible. I'll admit that I'm good with words, but I'm not artistic or imaginative enough to create images with words like a poet can. I can knock out a decent essay, yeah, but when it comes to art from words I truly suck. I think that's why I like it so much. Spoken stuff is fantastic, and a lot of it beings back all my Bohemian city feels. But that's a story for another many feelings. Anyway, ...Mockingbars is one such poem. I don't know much about/by this guy, but this poem is incredible. Seriously. I'm not trying to be cool or hip or anything, it's just...insane. It's not even just the words, but the energy, the intensity and the emotion behind it all. I could watch it over and over and still hear new things in it every time.

What's funny about this poem - and about all poetry, I guess - is that we all see different things in it. Maybe it's due to a string of crappy realtionships, but his verses about losing someone - I quote a bit there - tear through me like a freakin' machete. He gets it so, so, right. The pain of it, and there's desperation, too, and the rage, the rage you can feel for being left, for trusting someone and having it wrecked, for feeling like this. Ultimately, neither Buddy nor myself could go on. There's one part -

"if you ever wanna know how it felt when ya left –

if ya ever wanna come inside –
just knock on the spot
where I finally pressed STOP
playing musical chairs with your exit signs."

Ohhhh, it kills me. Those last two lines. It's perfect and it reminds me of Trying To Talk With a Man, my favourite Adrienne Rich poem. Hell, my favourite poem. For much the same reasons - anger and sadness and ripping control away from someone you used to love. Emotion. That's what poetry is about at the end of the day, isn't it? Emotions? Maybe that's what I can't get on a page, for fear of feeling stupid or pretentious. Both of which I've achieved in this post, I think. Oh well.

In summation: I really love Adrienne Rich's poems, but then I really love all poems. And I'm going to write about Adrienne, poetry and FEMINISM!!!! a bit more soon. In the meantime, have a listen to this. It's pretty brilliant.