Wednesday, January 23, 2013

See you next Tuesday?

I haven’t been out much since I moved to Dublin, at least not in the conventional sense. Last night I decided to break that streak by heading to Dublin’s Lost Society, a tiny, tiny venue that hosts different nights a week. I was there a few months back when I finished my Leaving Cert; I was unimpressed. The club was crammed to the rafters and I spent most of the night trying not to think about the Stardust tragedy. Seriously. In all the photos from that night I just look concerned. However, I’d heard seriously good things about C.U.N.T., the Tuesday night extravaganza. So I went along, trying in vain to drag my History class with me but ending up mixed up with an entirely different course in my college. Nonetheless, you can’t always get what you want.

A bottle of wine and a long walk later, I arrived at the venue with my lovely friend Conor. On first glance, Lost Society seemed just as tiny as ever. Not so! Tonight, there was an upstairs – but the place was still mobbed. My God. I’m used to the giant nightclubs of Kildare, where there’s always room not only to sit, but to nap if you feel like it. C.U.N.T was absolutely jammed, but then again, there’s always room to dance!

Sometimes I forget how much I like to dance, to just go for it and pretend no-one’s looking at you. This is what I did last night, actually. So much fun, particularly when I knew the songs being played. Unfortunately, this was pretty rare: it’s not like me to be totally clueless regarding music, but I knew about one song in ten last night. Perhaps the music in the place is just not what I’m used to. It’s funny, though: music that doesn’t suit you really messes with a night. It’s not a night-ruiner…it just makes it weird. Dancing to songs you don’t know with people you don’t know. Weird.

My friend Kate has always thought that on a night out, you have a fifty per cent chance of having a good time. While this is probably true, I feel I ought to experiment with going out more. I don’t do enough of it, and if you do it right it’s not too dear (last night cost me four euro in total!)


So, dear friends: where do you all club at? What nights can you recommend to someone who is admittedly clueless? God, I’m a class rep and a half.

The D is silent

So here it is, the fabled Django review. Not that many opf you care, to be honest – you either haven’t seen it or have seen it. And by god, if you’ve seen it you’ll have your own opinions and won’t care about mine. I’ve been dreading writing this review because Tarentino films are…well, they’re a class of their own. Say what you will about the man, but he’s pioneered what could be considered a whole genre for himself. So it’s somewhat difficult to write about. However, if someone put a gun to my head and asked me to describe the film in three adjectives, here’s what I’d say

Django is the following:

-          Trashy

-          Unspeakably violent

-          Riotously entertaining

In the spirit of Quentin refusing to do anything anyway but his own, I’ll structure this review a little different to normal ones, discussing each word and whether it’s got good or bad connotations. Most have both.

1.       Trashy

Anyone who’s seen anything by Tarentino won’t be surprised by this. Pulp Fiction is, well, just that…pulp. It’s silly and brightly coloured and…well, trashy. “Django” doesn’t stray from the director’s crazy Technicolor path too much at all, I’ll say that. Blood spurts, muscles bulge and the trademark yellow text is still there.  It’s a lot more than a Spaghetti Western, but it lovingly nods to these sorts of films with a lot of close ups and sprawling landscape shots. But this is Quentin Tarentino, the man who writes his own bible passages and rewrites the history of the Second World War. Of course we’re not getting a straight-up Western, and the second half of Django spins into something of a revenge epic. The silliness is still there, of course – Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a wonderfully trashy performance as the egotistical Calvin Candie – but the second half doesn’t have the same wonderfully trashy feel of the first half. Yes, I knew there was going to be revenge and blood and gunshots, but I was enjoying Christoph Waltz’ mad dentist cantering around with the moody, sassy Django. (Jamie Foxx, who I loved, just to tone down the madness) The film clocks in at almost three hours, but I felt like I was watching two different films, and the second just didn’t “click” as much with me. Not trashy enough, yo.

2.       Unspeakably violent

I can hear the QT fanboys (or girls) groaning at me now. “OF COURSE it’s violent, Áine! Did you expect a fluffy kids film from the man who brought you Kill Bill? Be reasonable, and shut up pretending you know about films!” Well, to you I say: I don’t know much about films, but I’ve dated an almost-obsessive for close to two years – so I know more than most with a passing interest. I know enough to know that of COURSE Django is insanely violent, but I still think it’s worthy of mention. For some reason the violence of Django is different to the violence of Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds or Pulp Fiction. It’s more…maniacal is the best word I can think of. While watching Jamie Foxx leap through the air shooting from two hguns, you can almost hear QT’s laughter. In a way, it makes the violence of other QT films seem restrained (though I haven’t seen Resevoir Dogs, so maybe I can’t comment fully there). Maybe it’s because the shooting in Django has more of a purpose? Waltz’ character, Dr. Schulz, kills for money. Django kills for revenge. It’s less random violence and more…well, enjoyable. The two central characters seem to love it, which makes it all the madder.

3.       Riotously entertaining

Odd as this may be juxtaposed with the previous paragraph, I haven’t laughed at a movie as much as I’ve laughed at “Django” in a long time. It’s all there: again, Christoph Waltz’ bizarrely polite European mannerisms (He asks a man he just shot to “keep your caterwauling down while I talk to young Django”), Django’s sass (there’s no other word for it. He just doesn’t give a shit for the entire film.) and Calvin Candie’s bizarre beard-twirling madness. It’s all hilarious, as is the violence on some level. Honestly, if you want to kept entertained for three hours and don’t mind very frequent use of the N-word (I counted 92 times), you should see this movie.  Above all the condemnations of rewriting history, blacksplotation (still not sure what this is. Blame David) and being downright racist, it’s fun. Tarintino has always been fun. Apart from the Gimp scene in Pulp Fiction…still gives me nightmares. But that’s neither here nor there.

Basically: Django is not perfect by any means. It is not Pulp Fiction: but it’s close. It’s funny, it’s silly, it’s got really excellent performances from its three main leads, particularly DiCaprio, who should play mental plantation owners more. And no, it’s really not a realistic portrayal of the Deep South in the 1800s – a central plot device involving slave-fighting never existed – but when did we go to Tarentino for realism? If I wanted realism I’d go to Zero Dark Thirty, the Oscar movie I am stubbornly ignoring. Also, Django has some really excellent performances, not only from Foxx, Waltz and DiCaprio, but Samuel L. Jackson, who almost steals the show. Tarintino also breaks records by being one of the first people to blow himself up on film. I think that says it all, really.

Monday, January 21, 2013

There and back again: some thoughts

So I have returned to the flat. It's amazing how much time one person can spend on buses -- I spent an hour at home today, vs. three hours bus time. It's also amazing how quickyl one person can get used to making their own dinner, walking everywhere and staying up all hours to watch Girls. Have I mentioned that living independently is amazing? It's already strange to be asked to em[ty the dishwasher or cean my room at home. Both of these things I do in Dublin, but more often than not at about 2am...

Remember how I said I'd be reviewing Django Unchained tonight? Yeah...not so much. I spent my evening in Centra instead, selling 1c coffee and having friendly banter with customers. Exciting stuff. It's a shame that it's so late, because I'm overflowing with blog ideas at the moment -- and not a moment of free time to be seen! If I do manage to do any writing, expect some sexism, religion, Tarintino (hopefully) and nightclub antics over the next week. Oh, and Girls. I have quite a few opinions on that show. I'm just not sure what they are yet.

I don't think it's like Sex and the City and I think it's the exact same. I don't know if I like any of the characters. I don't know if Lena Dunham can write. What I do know is this:
I need to watch more to make up my mind.

Oh well. Until I get some time to write, dears. Apologies for the shit post today. I was out earning money -- you can't win them all.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Music post: Joan Armatrading

So last night I went to the pub with a bunch of old school friends. "Old" being the operative word. Looking around a tiny nightclub and seeing girls you're pretty sure haven't a Junior Cert. between them can be pretty scary, let me tell you. That said, I had a lovely night, drinking cheap mojhitos, talking about blogging and rocking a denim jacket. As David would say: lookin' fresh til death. Or is it "to death"? I'm never sure, so I never say it in case someone calls me out. I'm cool.
This is myself and fellow (more successful) bloggers Megan and Danielle. You should follow both of them. Old friends and excellent bloggers. 

I arrived home from the night out at about half one and found my mam still up. She asked me about a song she heard earlier that day: The Weakness in Me by Joan Armatrading. I'd never heard of her before, but mum urged me to look her up, seeing as she'd been one of my mum's favourite artists back in the day. Wow, I'm glad she did. Go up there and listen to it. Right now.

There's something haunting about this song of love and loss -- it's spellbinding. Mum and I sat and listened to the whole thing through twice. I love singers in the vein of Armatrading, like Kate Bush, Patti Smith and other Lady Wonders -- but Joan is something else. Wow. The emotion in it is incredible. So here it is, for your Sunday night listening pleasure. Tomorrow, I'll (hopefully) be reviewing Django Unchained for you all and trying to get through the Romantic (and totally not racist) poetry by William Blake. The joys of an English degree. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Break Up.

Have you heard of Breaking Bad? Well, it's the best thing since The Wire. If you haven't seen that Family Guy video and don't know what Breaking Bad is, you definitely need to get out less.

Breaking Bad is a mind-blowingly good TV show that has engulfed my life (albeit on and off) for the past six months. I'm not going to go on and on about Breaking Bad and what it's about, because you probably know. Here's a very quick synopsis
  • Bryan Cranston (Hal from Malcolm in the Middle) gets cancer. He shaves his head and becomes a badass meth cook.
  • He is helped by Aaron Paul, the most beautiful man ever to exist. He says "bitch!" a lot.
  • Bryan Cranston's brother is in the DEA. This makes things complicated. Way complicated.
  • There's a lot of violence, hilarity and awesome meth-making montages.
So what more do you want, really? Well, I know what I want. I want it to never end -- I want Walt and Jesse to go on having methy adventures forever. This is my problem with television. TV, unlike movies and books, creep up on you. You start watching it, one or two episodes a day. You fall slowly in love with their clever direction, pithy one-liners and forty minute episodes. Time passes and you find yourself missing Breaking Bad if it doesn't feature in your day. Breaking Bad becomes what you wake up to (iPhones with Netflix apps are my lord and savior) and what you fall asleep to. In short: I fell in love with Breaking Bad, and over the summer we got into a relationship of sorts. We spent three beautiful seasons together, before I took a break. See, that's the thing with Breaking's really, really intense. It's beautiful and magical but way too intense. It's violent. It breaks your heart.

So, we stopped. I sped through three seasons of Arrested Development. But I missed the intensity. AD is a wonderful, wonderful show I'll blog about later in the year, but it's just not the same...there wasn't enough meth involved, I guess. Like the drug, Breaking Bad is horribly addictive. So I went back. Breaking Bad and I got back together and I've just finished the first half of season five.

So where does that leave me? Suddenly -- just as we were doing so well -- Breaking Bad has left me until July. It's a real kick in the teeth that comes only with TV -- the show finishes, almost as soon as it starts -- and leaves you without something to pass the evenings. There's a little hole in your life when a TV show finishes that no amount of Tumblr or movies can fill. Maybe it's just The Breaking Bad Effect. It's the most intense thing I've ever watched -- I feel somewhat lost without having another episode to eat.

You'd think that I wouldn't recommend it because of this awful sadness: I would. Trust me: you need to watch this show. It will ruin your life. You'll sit, lost, after it finishes, looking at photos of Aaron Paul on Google Images. You'll count the days to July. But you'll love the show. It will take over your life. It converted me to TV.

Go on, break bad. You know you want to. Until all of you become converts, I'll just sit here crossing off days until I discover what happens next.

(My blog inexplicably won't let me post videos, but here is a really good trailer for season one if you're not convinced by my heartbreak)

Friday, January 18, 2013


According to Daniel Corkery, the three things an Irish writer needs are an in depth knowledge of religion, nationalism and the land.

This quote comes directly from Irish writing critic and general nutcase. I suppose he may have had a point in the 1900's, when land, religion and nationalism was all we had, but it seems like such a dated idea now. It's strange that three things so important to yesterday's Ireland are more or less gone now -- except, I guess, for Irish nationalism.

What is nationalism these days? Obviously it's had a long and difficult past but today, in a post-war, financially crippled Ireland, how do we celebrate out selves apart from getting hammered? More importantly: do we really need to? I've always been somewhat mistrustful of nationalistic ideals to be honest. Maybe it's because so many of them are tied up in Michael Collins and the RA or maybe it's history, but I've never it. Outside of Shipping Up to Boston by Dropkick Murphys, nothing makes me feel patriotic.

This apathy towards the four green fields made for quite a fun reading of Cathleen Ni Houlihan, a Yeats play about a man who is visited by Ireland, in, eh, human form. If you can get your head around that, well done, because the play is a cracker. However, there's an undercurrent of terrifying nationalism to it. Michael, the hero (of sorts) is almost hypnotised into going to fight and die for Ireland by Cathleen. At this point, my non-patriotism flared up: to quote the great Irishman Aengus MacGrianna: WHAT?!

This is something that I can't wrap my head around, to be honest. The whole idea of sacrifice to the cause. I suppose what I'm getting annoyed at isn't hugely relevant these days -- Irish people aren't throwing themselves into firing lines (much), thank god -- but the ideals of Cathleen Ni Houlihan seem to br still prevalent in some places, and it's weird. It might be the smallest thing -- graffiti proclaiming "up the RA" on a radiator or even the recent Belfast riots -- but it's there, this terrifying loyalty to a country for no apparent reason. I just do not get it.

This isn't a post slating those who are nationalistic, or even feel the remote stirrings of nationalism in their hearts.. God no. I envy you guys! I'd love to love something that much! Unfortunately, okay don't get it. Cathleen Ni Houlihan can't bewitch me anymore than 1916's blood sacrifice can. It's something that's always been beyond me -- is it because I'm a 21st century kid or a freak of nature? Strange one.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Poetry thursday

Yes, it's a lazy post. But sometimes one just doesn't have time to write much at all, especially when they have a single hour of college. Oh, and cake to make, a flat to clean and a party to have! In the meantime, I will return as normal tomorrow. Enjoy this lovely little poem by Ambraham Alghaenem, who I have never heard of. Ain't love grand? 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wishful thinking: sleep.

I really wanted to write a blog post today. I really did. Unfortunately, cooking a dinner (and a cake!) and entertaining friends/a boyfriend all evening has sapped all my energy levels for this evening, and now it's midnight and I'm falling asleep. Why does that happen? . By midnight, I'm ready to drop in a way that suggests the sleeping patterns of an infant, not a college student. And don't talk to me about nights out -- I'm useless for about three days afterwards. For the moment, I can do very little to help this. I can only hope that I can one day become as indifferent to sleep as the rest of you...

Of course, you would imagine that I could sleep wonderfully late if I stayed up late. Nope. I have a rigorous drill-seargant of a body clock, barking orders to wake up at the same time every day. I wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed only to mooch around my flat all morning, eating hobnobs and wondering why I'm incapable of sleeping past 9.48am. I hate you, afternoon lectures*. It's unfortunate if I've been busy -- falling asleep at five and waking around nine is never fun. 

It's quite sad really. I feel like I miss out an awful lot, being asleep in the dead of night. Much of the fun of the internet seems to take place at that time, and I could finally get to finish Breaking Bad if I could stay up past 1am.

Sigh. This has been a sleep deprivation post. Zzzzzz.

*That's a lie. My flatmates have four 9am starts and I don't know how they do it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Coffee fueled ranting #1: state of her and the price of tampons

I'm aware that all of my blog posts this week have featured my big move to the big shmoke, but you know what? No one wants to read about how I'm in love with my Medieval and Renaissance Romance lecturer. I'm far too busy to write about important things. So here we are, discussing...well, no. Sqeamish guys and gals look away now, because I'm going to be talking about...


You heard me.

Disclaimer: I am not "hormonal". This post is not inspired by my own period, but a good half hour spent stacking Tampon boxes in work today. So you can keep your jokes to yourself, or direct them to my supervisor in Centra.

Another disclaimer: I am not going to go on a feminist rant about how fucking stupid it is that people (even me) consider it to be disgusting. I'm far too tired for that, and I won't say anything thing that hasn't already been said to be honest.

 No, I have a much smaller bone to pick with the world of female reproduction, or more specifically those who make it that bit simpler for us. I am talking, ladies and...who am I kidding, ladies, about tampons. We can agree that they make life a bit easier for us all. I won't go into details because no one needs a long detailed blog post detailing the advantages of tampons over pads. NO ONE. It's like a post about condoms v. the pill or something. Actually, that might be helpful. I'm not doing it, though. I'm sticking to periods. Gross!

Anyway, my main problem with tampons is simple. It's the same problem I have with my phone's 3G connection, Costa coffees and Snow Fairy shower gel from Lush. These are all things I need in my day to day life. They make my life simpler, more informed, brighter and...sparklier. Unfortunately, all these things are really fucking expensive. But the difference between shower gel, coffee and tampons? I won't BLEED EVERYWHERE IF I DON'T GET CAFFEINE THAT DAY*.

The price of anything vaguely menstrual really wrecks my head. I mean, come on. A box of tampons is four fifty. No matter where you go. FOUR FIFTY. That is OBSCENE! It's nearly a fiver! I can go to the IFI and see a movie with that...I can make a lasagne. I can buy a book. There are so many things I can do with almost-a-fiver, yet I end up spending it on tampons. It's like water: if I had my way I wouldn't spend money on these things at all. In fact, I may spend the rest of my life campaigning for free menstrual gear for students. We get free condoms, so why not tampons? Why should I have to pay an inordinate amount of money just to know that my uterus still hungers for a child? It's a necessity, but an expensive one. I can't get around it. I can't go to the two euro shop for Tampax. I can't get them in Aldi. Well, maybe I could, but I'd probably regret it for the rest of my life...still, though, four fifty!

 I am a student! I cannot afford this sort of thing! It's madness -- and all to be uncomfortable for a few days?! For Gods' sake.

I think the combination of not much food, too much coffee and not enough sleep has driven me mad, friends. I apologise for both the content and language of this blogpost. Meg sums it up best:

*I may not bleed everywhere if I don't have my caffeine fix, but other people might. I'm not fun without my fix.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The little things, specifically in relation to a cold flat

So it turns out I'm not very good at packing. By that, I mean that I'm not very good at packing at 10pm when I'm moving the next morning. And by THAT, I mean that my packing was reduced to haphazardly throwing things in a suitcase while muttering "it's only a week, I don't need anything really."
Two days later, here are some things that I have forgotten:

  • Runners, rendering the two pairs of tracksuit bottoms I brought with me somewhat useless. I had promised myself that I'd head to the gym this week, but that looks significantly less likely without, you know, shoes.
  • Pyjama tops. This I cannot understand. I brought three pairs of pyjama bottoms but inexplicably forgot any of the (numerous) pyjama tops, forgotten band t-shirts, thick jumpers or vest tops that I sleep in. On Saturday night, I was almost strangled by a polo neck I wore out of desperation and last night I was repeatedly scratched by my TCD hoodie. Sigh. It's too cold in the flat to wear anything thinner than seven t-shirts.
  • Socks. This I have no excuse for -- who forgets socks?! Socks are necessary for day to day living. Without his socks, Alexander Fleming would have been far too chilly to discover penicillin. Wearing tights under jeans is a pain, I can tell you that. It doesn't work for anybody! 
  • I also forgot perfume, candles and enough clothes to get me through the week, but those are a good deal less important, I have to admit. 
Of course, this could not stand. I could not spend my week wearing tights under jeans, nor a poloneck that is trying to kill me. So today I headed to Penney's to pick up some very necessary bits and pieces. I have something of a love/hate affair with Penney's...the clothes hang awkwardly on me and often they seem to ignore the existence of sizes that aren't six or eight. Today was no exception -- there was a striking lack of size twelve anything. That's not the point of this post, though. The point is something wonderful that I bought on a whim. While wandering through the pyjama section, something caught my eye...

"No, Áine, don't be ridiculous, you can't buy slippers"
"But they'd be so comfy. They're only four euro. They're an investment. Save you a fortune in fluffy socks."
"You don't buy fluffy socks"
"Look, four euro! And they're RED! Red is part of your grand design for your bedroom!"

Before I knew it, I was waltzing around my flat in a wonderfully fluffy pair of red moccasin slippers. They're the best thing I've bought in ages. I'm a sucker for fluffy things and a slave to capitalism, what are you going to do? If capitalism warms my feet, I'm going to roll with it.

My webcam skills need work

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The art and the artist: a dilemma

Today was my first real day in the big smoke, complete with about 20 euro worth of bus journey and a trip to the cinema. David took me to Roman Polanski's Chinatown, starring a very young Jack Nicholson and a very classy Faye Dunaway. The film was fantastic -- of course it was -- but afterward David and I got talking about the director himself. Polanski, of course, got done for statutory rape some years ago. The question we discussed over a cigarette and longing stares at the IFI menu was this: do the flaws of the artist destroy the art?

According to some, Art is separate and can still be appreciated, albeit in a different way. I am much more emotional on the subject: to be honest, I can't take art the same way if I know something's happened in the artists life. Chinatown, while hugely entertaining, was marred for me by Polanski's reputation.

And this isn't the first time. While I am no fan of Chris Brown, I experienced the feeling his (sensible) fans felt recently. Ian Watkins, lead singer of Lostprophets, was accused of sexual assault and owning child pornography. As a dark haired, eyeliner clad teen, I LOVED Lostprophets. I saw them live, listened to their albums lots and swooned at the fringed, snake hipped singer. "He seems like such a cool guy!" Is what I always thought. So, understandably, it shook me to my core to hear the news about his arrest.

Yet unlike Team Breezy, I couldn't come back to Lostprophets now. I didn't have a symbolic burning of their records or anything -- but I can't listen to them without feeling sick. I can't look at Ian Watkins and not be disturbed in my own head. How do I reconcile their music with that, even if I did enjoy it? How does anyone? It's disconcerting to say the least. Though maybe that's what my own head tells me.

It's certainly a tough nut to crack, and teenage girls posting about Chris Brown and how "he can beat me ANYDAY" don't help. I suppose it's down to the person and how much they enjoy the music - I personally wouldn't look twice at anything Ian Watkins, Chris Brown or others would do, yet I went to Chinatown this evening. Is it because I'm removed from Polanski's act, given it happened before I was born? That doesn't make it okay, of course. Its definitely one to think about in my new flat...


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy Independence Day

Quick post today -- and a photo of a very glamorous me, fresh from my flat in Dublin city! As of today, I live in the Big Shmoke. I have a duvet, an internet connection, tea and glow in the dark stars -- what more do you need, really? Of course, this is going to mean a good few posts about How To Live Away From Your Parents And Cook For Yourself. Today, I had soup, but I'm going out for dinner now, so I'm not too concerned. Though I was telling my sister about my meal plans and I ran out of ideas after Wednesday's macaroni cheese, so maybe I ought to be...

Anyway. Wish me luck in my new adventures :D

(I have visitors. Happy birthday Conor x)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Les Miserables review: or, I squeal over Anne Hathaway

A word of warning: don't go to Les Miserables unless you have plenty of food and water. Oh, and make sure you've peed first. At almost three hours, Tom Hooper's epic musical is one of the longest films I've ever seen in the cinema, but thankfully it's (more or less) worth it. Based on the 1987 musical, Les Miserables is all singing. I mean it. There are about twenty lines of spoken dialogue, almost like opera. If you don't think you can hack this, avoid it at all costs. However, if you can hack this, please go see this wonderful movie!

Set in Paris in the midst of revolution, the film looks absolutely gorgeous -- it rivals the stunning Life of Pi. Like I've said before, I'm no expert, but I know enough to know when something looks good. By god, does Les Mis look good. Shot in beiges and blues, it only makes the vivid reds of the revolutionary's flags look brighter. Amazing, but overblown. Any film that opens with a stretch of prisoners pulling a ship into a dry dock is guaranteed to be overblown, but Hooper takes Les Mis into almost Baz Luhrmann-esque territory. Not that this is a bad thing: musicals are made to be overblown. They are overblown by their very nature and that's why I love them. I loved Les Mis -- despite knowing two songs and no characters except for Fantine, Anne Hathaway's shorn, doomed prostitute.

Can we talk about Anne Hathaway's role in this film? I don't want to spoil anything for anyone: but fuck. The woman spent about thirty minutes on screen and completely steals the show. Her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" had me in tears about thirty seconds in. To be honest, I wouldn't recommend listening to it unless you can see her. Hathaway breaks down during her performance. Seriously. It's terrifying to watch and without doubt the highlight of the film. Watching her practically scream "So different from this hell I'm living..." with tears in her eyes is almost unbearably intense, and Hooper direction doesn't help. Almost from the moment Hathaway opens her mouth, the camera is on her: no-one and nothing else. There's no escape for the viewer: we're forced to feel her agony and shed some tears along with her. Christ. I'm not sure I'll ever get over that scene.

Less depressing, thankfully, is the rest of the film. No, actually. That's a lie. Les Mis will break your heart about ten times. Eddie Reymayne will break your heart with his adorable performance as Marius, lovestruck, semi-revolutionary, freckled heartthrob. How is it fair that someone that good-looking can sing and act? I was surprised at how adept he was at both. In fact, the entire cast is worthy of praise, particualry Hugh Jackman, who at times carries the whole film on his shoulders and (YES THANK CHRIST) Sacha Baron Chen and Helena Bonham Carter provide some splendid comic relief. Yes, some of the actors can't sing: Amanda Seyfried's birdlike trill gets on my nerves no end. But the rest of the cast left me starry eyed, playing their roles with such intensity that you can't help be spellbound.

One could complain that Les Mis is overlong, and no, it doesn't have enough of a plot to warrant three hours. It is dull in parts if you don't find singing entertaining. But the thing about musicals is that we're not there for the plot. We're there for another world, where people sing before battle, sing when they fall in love and even sing as they die. In terms of another world, Les Mis delivers. In spades. Bring the tissues.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


My friend Frances recently blogged her New Year Goals, one of which was to get a small tattoo. We were talking about it yesterday (over a mound of peanut butter cookies -- oops) and it got me thinking about tattoos. Again. After my Leaving Cert., I decided I wanted to get a little tattoo over the summer: I was convinced that this was what I wanted. This, like the blonde I stuck into my hair in June, was part of my post-Leaving Cert rebellion. The hair worked out, the tattoo didn't because I just couldn't decide on a design. I had plenty of ideas, of course. Just like when I was in Transition Year, and third year, and fifth year...

Tattoos and I have had a long and checkered non-history. It started off when I was fifteen, when I decided I wanted lyrics from The Killers' "All These Things That I've Done". Specifically, I remember thinking that getting "I need direction to perfection, you gotta help me out" up my arm was a good idea. In retrospect: it wasn't. While I still love The Killers with every beat of my heart, it's just not the most optimistic of things to get slapped on your arm. While the reminder to get help with things probably would have helped while I was crying over history assignments last term, in retrospect I'm glad fifteen year old me didn't have the guts to go through with it. Plus: up my forearm?! For all to see?! How about no!

Of course, I didn't stick with this idea for long. The fancies of the teenage girl never stick around, and pretty soon I had hit on a new idea: I wanted to get the lyrics of "La Vie Boheme" from RENT tattooed up my back. In case you don't know about RENT,  I wanted to post the video, but Blogger won't let me post videos, inexplicably. So here's a link.

Don't get me wrong. It's not a bad song. But for a start, my back isn't that big. The idea of getting an eight minute long musical song on my back was nonsensical. I'm five foot four, for God's sake. However, the real issue is: cringey or cringey? I can't listen to the song without wanting to curl into a ball and go to bed forever, hoping that anyone who remembers my oh-so-earnest tattoo plans will be dead by the time I get up again. Can you imagine a middle-class, Irish country girl getting ~bohemian~ lyrics tattooed on her? It's been three years and I've only just discovered who Allan Ginsberg is. I couldn't be less Bohemian if I tried. (Well, I could, but that would mean agreeing with people like Ronan Mullen and wearing bodycon, and I'm not prepared to do either of those things. They just don't suit me...) It's incredibly embarrassing to think about, but I was sweet on that idea for a good year or so. Christ. If I ever, ever mention wanting to get the word "yoghurt" on my person again, please slap me, friends.

Fast forward a year and a half to June of last year, when my longing for a tattoo reared up again. Picture it: I'm studying all day every day, mostly English. Mostly poetry. Mostly Adrienne Rich, in the vain hope that she'd come up on that pink paper in June (spoiler: she did. And I got an A1. Mwahaha.). So of course, the obvious conclusion was a nice homage to the wonderful feminist poet who I loved so dearly. I had the quote picked, the spot on my body picked, even the font had been chosen. ("The words are purposes, the words are maps" on my right hip in Courier, in case you're interested.) All that was left was to scrape some money together and head to a tattoo parlour: but I never did it. Something stopped me. Maybe it was the pain factor, maybe it was the idea of the two-year rule with tattoos...but something did. Thank god it did, because four or five months later I studied Adrienne Rich's feminist theory in college. Turns out she is something of a raging douchebag who believes motherhood is a social construct and that Trans* people are 100% not okay. Much as I adore Diving Into The Wreck (and my god, do I), the woman has too many poisonous ideas for me to tattoo her words on my body forever.

So now, I'm stuck. I desperately want a tattoo -- what Caitlin Moran calls "a marker pin on your body, to reclaim yourself, to remind you where you are: inside yourself. Somewhere." Since starting college, I've been a bit all over the place, and I want something that's really me: something that would have been ten year old Áine, is nineteen year old Áine and will be forty-five year old Áine. I don't want one for the sake of a tattoo. I want something that'll look cool and that will remind me of who I am, who I was and who I will be. Apologies for the odd, biblical sound of that last line. Maybe I just need to get very drunk and make a snap decision. Though knowing my luck I'd end up with a Bane from TDKR quote on my leg forever...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Music laziness on a Wednesday

I'd like to think I have reasonably cool taste in music. That is to say, not unspeakably bad. My Spotify is a nice mix of LCD Soundsystem and Rihanna, Muse and Taylor Swift. With some Johnny Cash and musicals stuck in there, of course. Anyway, I figured on the days I'm too busy to write a long post, I figure I'll cheat and give you some music from my Spotify playlist for that month. Today, it's Rihanna feat. The XX. Yeah, RiRi has gone off the rails a bit -- dating Chris Brown is 900% not ok -- but Talk That Talk is something of a banger of an album.

(If it doesn't post, I'm sorry. It's called "Drunk on love" and you ought to listen to it)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Transformation

I've blogged about getting fit, losing weight and eating healthier before, when life was a post-Leaving Cert bag of smiles and sunshine. Over the summer, I went to the gym several times a week and dieted like crazy...and all I lost was a cup size! Three hard months of dieting and I still had a big tummy, big thighs and a general air of wobbliness. Much as I'm an advocate of loving your body, I found this a bit of a kick in the I stopped dieting.
College started, and fifty hot chocolates, an immeasurable amount of Kinder Buenos and a lot of pizza later, I'm back where I started: the same weight I was doing my exams. And again, I do accept how I look (it's not too bad), but it could be a lot better. Less -- wobbly, shall we say. I could do with tightening up the screws. (January, being the most depressing, dreary month of the year, is of course the time for it. OF COURSE it's time to eschew chocolate with a firm hand. Of course. I'll never understand the January fitness craze. It's such a depressing month without dragging yourself into the freezing rain for a run and ignoring those delicious biscuits. I should start a petition for Get Fit February. January is just not okay.)

Of course, Trinity College seemed to read my mind, and last week I received an e-mail about TCD Operation Transformation. It's basically a bunch of people getting together to follow the TV show and to get fit together. Sounds great, right? I was a little hesitant about doing it, largely due to the following:

  • Problem one: I haven't got a TV in my flat. This makes watching the TV show -- and following my "leader" (a notion that sounds vaguely cultish, but I'll roll with it. I am the newbie here) somewhat difficult. But Operation Transformation is all over the RTÉ website, so bang goes that excuse.
  • Problem two: Cooking meals is expensive, yo'! I can't afford that! I'm a student! Except that the "diet" for the show involves massive quantities of fruit and vegetables, which are cheap as anything in Aldi or Lidl. No excuses!
  • Problem three: Exercise. I just don't like it, yo'. I'm going to do the exercise (read; THE HARD BIT) with the lovely Louise, however, plus find a way to go with David. I mean, come on, if working out with your boyfriend isn't motivation enough, what is? 
Thing is, excuses won't get me anywhere, and neither will delicious, delicious Dairy Milk. So there you go. For the next seven weeks, I am transforming, coming close to the light, and eating lots of carrots and Special K. It's going to be a bumpy ride that will probably culminate in a lot of tweets about hunger. Maybe, just maybe, though, I can learn to love exercising and healthier food. Now put the cheese down, Áine... 

Monday, January 7, 2013

...and suddenly i'm an adult!: pillows edition

Sometimes, things don't feel real until the smallest things happen. Moving out is one of them. When I signed the lease on my flat, I figured I could survive pretty well: I can cook, I'm reasonably clean and I don't have wild parties on a regular basis. Though I'm not sure if that last one is a big plus or a big minus for moving out. I'd been thinking about moving out for months, and BAM! here I am in a little flat with my parents, 97% I wanted to move there.
But, as always, I didn't really...take in the gravity of the situation. That is to say, it didn't really hit home (hehe) with me for a while. I stayed in the flat on New Year's Eve, which was fine, apart from the fact that I couldn't work the oven or the heat. "Maybe I'm less prepared than I thought!" a voice chirped in my head. Fortunately, it was NYE, so a bottle of Rosé sorted that out nicely. I slept on a mattress with a sleeping bag, terribly pleased with myself. I woke up in a very sunny mood the next morning. "It's 2013! I'm in my flat! This is the first day of the rest of my life!". That sort of thing. But, of course, it's easy to think that when you're having pizza for breakfast.
Of course, now that I've been home for a week, reality has set in. Heaton's shaped reality. I went shopping with my mum yesterday, thinking I'd pick up one or two things I needed. You know yourself. Maybe a pretty duvet cover or some nice mugs. So I'm standing in Heatons and I have this...crystalizing moment of realization. Or horror. Though I think that's Heatons fault. I'm not sure how many of you have ben to Heatons, but it is one of those bizarre shops that seems to stock everything and anything, but stocks it all in such a way that it's impossible to find any of it. I wandered around, lost in a haze of bath towels vs. bath sheets (will someone explain to me what a bath sheet is?!) and whether black bedsheets was a good idea. In the end, I figured out what I needed -- save bowls and plates, which I forgot -- but it was an eyeopener.

In less than a week, I will no longer live under my parents roof. I'll be fending for myself. Buying washing powder, toothpaste and soup will be my responsibility. This is not a case of a few nice mugs and a duvet cover. This is TOWELS! PLATES!  SPOONS! A CAN OPENER FOR ALL THE CANNED FOOD I'LL BE EATING! (Fun fact: I can't really open cans. I'm a leftie and I grew up in a house that never seemed to have a working can opener. I've stabbed them open for as long as I can rember...not very safe, that, I think I'll stick to ring-pulls for my flatmates' safety)

All of this hit me in Heatons, of course. Suddenly mugs weren't so important and I set about finding the cheapest bedsheets. And pillows. It's these little things that you don't think about -- cooking, cleaning and washing, yes. But the other things. I have my own tube of toothpaste now. My pair of €7 pillows are sitting in my bedroom, ready for off. I HAVE TO BUY MY OWN SHAMPOO.
Sheets! And pillows! And, eh, toaster bags!

And that's terrifying. Not the buying the shampoo, you must understand. The symbolism of it. The real world-ness of it. The "if you screw up at work you can't eat that week" of it. Tins of soup I can deal with. Washing I can deal with. But the idea of being self-sufficient is pretty scary.

All that said, I'm moving in on Saturday and it's scary, all right, but it's also terribly exciting, wonderful and life-changing. I can't wait. :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Before it Breaks out: short film and the importance of talking

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I had several blogposts planned for today, believe it or not, but this film (linking because my blog is acting up Youtubewise)  is so good, and so important, that I decided to post it instead. David's college friend made it and not only is it a cool film (spot the cute boy with the Electric Picnic wristband), but it's got a really important message of, well...talking. Mental health is important. Really important. Talking is really important. I once saw a quote from a comedian about mental health, her basic message being: no one is blamed for cancer. No one gets slagged off for broken bones. We rarely keep illness to ourselves -- so why should we keep feeling low, angry or sad to ourselves? It's our brains feeling ill, and talking is the bed rest and Berocca of mental health. It's something I've learned lately, no matter how hard it is to do: talk. Talk and talk and let it out and talk. Don't let it build up in your head until your thoughts are tangled all over the place because it never ends well. Yeah, it's hard. You'll probably wreck peoples heads, people will probably knock you down but you have to keep trying and keep talking! No one wants to be stuck on a bridge screaming their head off. 

There's one of the first of some mental health posts. Because shit's important. It's a minute long, do watch.

Love love x

Saturday, January 5, 2013

In praise of brown eyeshadow, red lipstick, and black eyeliner

Today, I'm going to go all ~beauty blogger~ on your ass. I'm not even close to  a fashionista, as I've said before, but I love me some makeup. Oh, man, do I love it. Always have. Makeup is forgiving. Makeup will not make you look pregnant. Makeup will not grow back, leaving you with silly roots. Makeup will not slip, slide and feel least, most of the time. Everyone can appreciate makeup, even more so than clothes. "High fashion" makeup doesn't really exist in the real world. Whether you stick on a bit of concealer and mascara and get going, or spend hours on it, makeup is makeup. It loves you all. Even the 2007 version of yourself -- back in the day, I used to wear various crazy colours of eyeshadow to school (the neon pink glitter was a mistake). I'd still rock a bright green every so often, just for old time's sake. Over time, I upgraded to brightly-coloured eyeliner and then to metric tonnes of winged black eyeliner. Then I stopped wearing makeup altogether in sixth year. I was so tired from studying all the time that I basically rolled out of bed in the mornings and I didn't go out much. But my god, how I missed it. I could write poetry about putting on makeup. I just love to do it. The sweep of the eyeliner (okay, I digress, I still rock A LOT of liquid eyeliner) ,blending several different kinds of eyeshadow together to make your eyes look all pretty...the despair when I mess something up or have one eye perfect but the other ALL WRONG. But hey, we can't have it every way. On a good day, I cross the final frontier...lashings of red lipstick!

Lipstick and I have had something of a troubled past; my mother never liked it and I convinced myself that I didn't suit me. I was wrong, though. To be honest, with pale skin and dark hair, I'd be a fool not to pile it on like I'm Marilyn Monroe. It's just about finding the right colour. I had a practically-pink Rimmel one for years, but it's just...too damn pink. I discovered that if one is going to do red, one should do it PROPERLY. Firebrand. Pillarbox. Tomato. Proper, Dita Von Teese red. My favourite is by Catrice, which I'm wearing in the picture below. I got it for four euro just before Electric Picnic and it's just great.  Lately, I've been rocking red lipstick with my usual makeup quite a bit. Whoever came up with the eyes/lips rule is a boring cunt. Who doesn't look exponentially more sexy with red lips and dramatic eyeliner? Messy sexy, of course...
Pictured: metric tonnes of lipstick and eyeliner. Unfortunately, I can only really wear red lipstick when I'm not with David. It's not conducive to smoochin' at all.

But where was I? Yes. I've grown out of the bright eyeshadow (mostly) and have taken to stealing my younger sister's browny colours for college and work. Much to her chagrin, of course, as Eimear is someone who has a special right to everything I own but woe betide me if I borrow her stuff. Furthermore, her eyeshadow palette is "special". (Read: expensive). I'd been thinking about buying my own, cheaper version of what she has, so you can only imagine my delight on Christmas day when THIS turned up, courtesy of my wonderful aunt: the glorious NAKED palette from Urban Decay.

The Naked palette is glorious. It is the perfection of nature, the song of songs, the most beautfiul part of the creation. And I've been doing too much English. For those of you who don't know, this pallette is ten pretty shades of brown eyeshadow, a grey one and a black one. Six of them have SPARKLES (yay!) and they range from practically white (If I was doing this properly I'd call it "champagne shimmer" or something, but I'm not,I'm just fangirling) to chocolate coloured. Behold: 

It's beautiful, isn't it?! I've used it every time I got out since I got it. I can use the sparkly black one on top of eyeliner to make it last longer,  I can use the grey one to be all ~smokey and sexy~ and I can just shove the brown ones on three at a time, blend it all together and look nice. The gold colours make my eyes look more Kurt Cobain blue than their actual washed-out blue colour (flawless flawless) and the pale ones are really handy to highlight stuff. Or at least they would be if I knew how to do things like that. Like I said earlier, I am not going to go through packaging, pigmentation and all that jazz. Mainly because I don't care. This isn't a review telling you to buy this eyeshadow; this is a post in praise of having it bought for me. Here's to brown eyeshadow, man. But here's to red lipstick and green eyeshadow and purple eyeshadow, too. But most of all: here's to metric tonnes of black liquid eyeliner.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Lazy day

It's funny, despite today being the first day that I didn't do anything since Christmas -- and I mean that, I've been shockingly busy -- I didn't have time to write. I spent my day chilling, trying to write an essay on Walt Whitman (bisexual god of American poetry. Fond of the ladeez.) and I'm currently curled up on a sofa watching Ruby Sparks, which I'll probably review tomorrow or the next day. This isn't a hugely important or imaginative blogpost, I know, but we all need our recharge days, don't we? For getting to the end of this slightly dull post, have some words from the man himself;. This is one of the poems I'm studying for my essay and I think it's interesting, if a little off-kilter. When you consider that it was written in 1822. I'd like to be friends with Walt, I think.

ONE’S-SELF I sing—a simple, separate Person;
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-masse.

Of Physiology from top to toe I sing;
Not physiognomy alone, nor brain alone, is worthy for the muse—I say the Form complete is worthier far;
The Female equally with the male I sing.

Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,
Cheerful—for freest action form’d, under the laws divine,
The Modern Man I sing.

Also, here's some Lana, becausep she's all I've been listening to lately. She's the queen of my heart.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

My top 5 of 2012: movies

Yes, yes, I know that it's 2013 and that I'm a week too late with this post. Nevertheless, I shall persevere, because I like lists and I like movies and god knows I didn't read enough books this year to justify a top five. . Well, unless you count "The Origins of Modern Germany". Banter. I saw an awful lot of films this year, actually. Maybe it's being in Dublin every day or maybe it's dating a film student : either way, I saw far more than I have any other year. Anyway, without further ado, I give you my top 5 of 2012. Sorry to Lawless and Argo, which I really wanted to put in, but a top 7 just doesn't work. 

Number 5:  Skyfall, dir. Sam Mendes, October

Before 2012, I had never seen a Bond film before. I have discovered since that I've missing out - big time. From the sumptuous opening credits with Adele warbling over them, to the gorgeous cinematography (particularly the underwater shots), the plot was almost secondary to my enjoyment. Which isn't like me! Daniel Craig is an excellent Bond, equal parts suave and scarred. He plays of the villain, the terrifying, camp Javier Bardem brilliantly too. Action films aren't my thing, but the social-media aspect of the plot kept me interested Certainly makes me want to see more Bond. Blimey. 

My Oscar: Supporting cast of the year. Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw all made this film at times poignant, exciting and hilarious. Simply stellar.

4: The Dark Knight Rises, dir. Christopher Nolan, July

It's a testament to how good a year 2012 was for film that a Christopher Nolan film comes in at no. 4 on the list. If you had asked me in October or even November, I would have placed this film at number one, no questions asked. So what has it so far down the list? Well, it's largely David's fault, who hasn't stopped criticizing it since July. I have to face facts: TDKR isn't a perfect film. In fact, there are quite a few holes in it. Okay, okay, it's kind of dull apart from the bits with Bane and when Batman's in prison. You got me. That said, Tom Hardy puts in a performance and a half as Bane, a villain so menacing that part of you wants to keep away from planes for the rest of your days. And it's got Ann Hathaway in it. I fucking love Anne Hathaway.

My Oscar: Opening scene of the year. The deeply menacing Hans Zimmer score. The image of a small plane disintegrating before the viewer's eyes and some very intense Bane dialogue. "Crashing this plane...WITH NO SURVIVORS!" 

3: Life of Pi, dir. Ang Lee, December

I saw this film with my family on Christmas Eve and if there was a prettier film this year, I didn't see it. life of pi isn't a film to make you believe in God but it's one to make you believe in cinema. Set almost entirely on a tiny lifeboat, Ang Lee brings the ocean to life. This is often done to harrowing effect -- the film is intense and certainly not a feel-goodie in parts. But then again, you're an idiot if you go into a film about a shipwreck expecting a heartwarmer. OH WAIT, that's what the trailer practically promises.

I cried. Don't go unless you're steeled for scenes of sheer desperation and less hope than the trailer implies. That said, it is fascinating to watch and takes you into it's world, hook, line and (er) sinker. 
My Oscar: Most visually stunning film of the year. The twenty minute boat sinking scene. The opening credits. The flying fish. It's pure ART. 

2: Silver Linings Playbook , dir. David O Russel, December

It kills me not to put this at number one, it really does. 2012 was J. Lawrz' year. While I loved her in The Hunger Games, her performance in Silver Linings Playbook was simply astounding. Playing a young widow with seriously intense mental issues, she bonds with the equally unstable Bradley Cooper. The two begin to dance together and over the next two hours, they fall in love. I did too -- what I love about SLP is how real it is. The two fight, they scream at one another and then they make up. Robert deNiro is an awkward dad, uncomfortable with the blossoming relationship. The film looks lovely, the soundtrack is fab and it leaves you filled to the brim with happiness. Wonderful stuff.

My Oscar: Best performance of the year in anything for J Lawrz. Yes, ok, I have a slight crush. 

And finally...

1: What Richard Did, dir. Lenny Abrahamsson, September

What can I say about this film? It's as close to perfect as you're going to see, trust me. I went to see this with David on a whim -- I'd read the book it's adapted from but wasn't even aware of the film. It's perfect. It opens with a group of lads in a Tesco buying cans. It shows teenage Ireland almost exactly as it is: not like a Skins style freakshow, but a silly, sometimes terrifying way to live. The story takes a dark turn when a crime is commited: the scene of the beating pulls no punches (sorry!) and leaves the viewer gasping. Literally. I've never witnessed such a powerful, horrifying moment in a cinema. What Richard Did is my film of the year becuase it's all around me. It's an Ireland anyone can connect with, and an Ireland everyone should fear. I've never seen anything like it and I don't think I will again. 

My Oscar: Most accurate portrayal of teenage Ireland ever

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Busing it

In case I haven't spoken to you for more than five minutes lately, here is a small fact: I take a lot of buses. Twice a week, I take a Dublin Bus to work and up until recently I took a Bus Eireann one home. Having done this for the past several weeks, I have to say; I tip my hat to you, regular commuters on the 14, 15 and 27b. I didn't think anything could make me like Bus Eireann, but here we are. On a bus, as it happens.

I get the 27b (nervously) at Amiens Street or Eden Quay, clutching my bag for fear of the junkies that hang out at bus stops. I've never seen a bus stop quite as bad as Amiens Street for junkies - not the "sorry love, have ye a spare euro for a hostel?" Kind, but the fighting, I'll-kill-ye-for-your-chips kind. Genuinely scary. When the bus finally arrives, I jump on, only to be met with an angry driver who doesn't want a student asking how much it is to Fairview. They want to go for a smoke and a coffee; which they often do.
Can someone explain to me the phenomenon of changing buses? At Eden Quay (a stone's throw from Busaras, so the temptation to leave and
retreat to the country is always there), buses switch drivers. Which is fair enough. But more often than not, passengers are forced to switch buses for reasons that seem lost on even the driver. A few weeks ago I got on a bus had to get off at Eden Quay and THEN wait fifteen minutes, only to get back onto the original bus. All this and I'm charged 2 euro to be late for work!

Charges are not my biggest problem with Dublin bus, though. I'm a huge fan of the Leap card, which allows me to bop around Dublin with my student ID - and it's a bit cheaper than a regular fare, too. No, Dublin bus isn't expensive. Not when one spends so much on Bus Eireann: specifically the 120. A bus route of majesty and sadness. Let me tell you, the sight of a double decker bombig it down the quays at 80 mph is quite something. This sight is a familiar one -- the queen of the Bus Eireann Fleet has become my second home since September. In fairness to Bus Eireann, it doesn't have the scary junkie or angry driver problems of Dublin Bus. Sometimes it has wifi and more often than not, it's lovely and warm. I have two very different issues with bus Eireann: first, the cost. Do you know, dear reader, how much my bus costs? It's 50 euro a week. Fifty euro. For some context: a flat in town is double that. For 100 euro a week I can go out, walk to college and NOT spend my nights staring at the grey and red seat in front of me, wondering who's idea that itchy, scratchy material was. Bus Eireann has a monopoly on the countryside and by god does it abuse that. Which brings me to my second issue with bus Eireann. You know the dinky orange signs you Dublin folk have to tell you when the bus is coming?

In the country, we don't have signs. We have faith. We spend hours every week oping that the 9am will arrive before half. When half comes
And hoes, we shrug, sigh and hope that the 10am will be on time. at night, We crane our necks at the Ha'Penny bridge, watching for the big neon 120 to loom out of the dusky dark of the city and carry us home. And when it does arrive, we rejoice! I have never once seen a bus Eireann passenger berate a driver for being late. Never once did I consider it myself, overcome with joy at seeing that bus arrive. Such is the complex relationship we culchies a have with our national bus service.

All this commuting was a holy terror, and to be frank, it got to me. I don't hate waiting in the cold for a bus, but I don't relish it either. No, what I really hate is running from a lecture (full-pelt, with open laces and a laptop) to my stop, praying that I haven't missed the bus. The infrequency of my bus drives me mad! So now, after a mere term of commuting, I have moved to Dublin. I've chosen junkies over waiting around and leap cards over ten-journey tickets. Though a small, slightly mental part of me will miss the banter of Bus Eireann, I'm mostly glad I won't have to hear the words "Setanta
House"* over a scratchy tannoy every day

*for the uninitiated: Setanta house is one of the few announced stops on my bus route. No one ever gets off there and it's a horrible halfway point between town and home. It's the most depressing place on earth.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New year, seventh beginning

You know, within a week of starting college I stopped blogging. I remembered that every so often -- on the bus home from college, staring out the window at the dim lights of Celbridge -- or in a particularly boring lecture. "I could go back to it", I'd murmur to myself. "It's only been a few weeks". I'd check back every so often, reading over my CatMo post and promising to start again soon. However, college had other ideas. It's amazing how much time a ten hours a week degree takes up. Hint: more than ten hours. Weeks turned into months and pretty soon both my Project 365 and my blog lay forgotten. It's been a busy few months, I'll give myself that. But I missed it! Of course I missed it! I've been blogging sporadically for the better part of three years! DAMMIT, I WASN'T GIVING UP THAT EASILY!

So here I am again. Inspired by a friend who blogged every day for 2011, I'm going to attempt to write a small blog post every day. I won't lie. That's going to be bloody difficult. And unlike Meg, my posts probably won't involve interviewing Enda Kenny or winning an iPad. The question is, and will remain: what do I write about? How much can an English and History student have to say? Well, I'm hoping it'll improve as time goes on. It's probably going to chronicle my first full year at university in all it's messy glory. By "messy", I mean in the sense that I'll be writing surrounded by handouts, clothes and half-eaten pizza. Though I'm sure I'll chronicle a few ~messy nights~ too. I can write about living in a tiny flat in Dublin, working in Centra on the (very) northside, a small puppy, terribly cooking and movies. I can write about new friends, new experiences and (hopefully!) travel. I can write about my other New Years' Resolution: I'm not going to eat chocolate for the month of January and I'm going to brave Trinity gym. Hopefully I can write about serious things too.Trying to save money, which is something Insomnia hot beverages has made me terrible at. Feminism, something I care quite a bit about. Love. Various other topics. The world is really my oyster for the next 365 days.

This sounds like a serious mission statment, as though I'm giving up the next year to type thought provoking blogposts -- I promise you, I'm not! I'm sure plenty of posts will involve Youtube links or photographs I've taken. But I'll try my best. I can promise that.

Here's to carpal tunnel from too much typing x