I’ll give you a tenner if you can guess how I feel.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
I feel like I’m not writing much of anything at the moment – except to update the world on my life. (It’s always me versus the world though, isn’t it? Always the binary distinction.) I haven’t been getting up to any mischief worth writing about but while I’m trying to sort my life out (again), here’s another update on my life:
- I’m taking care of my 16 month old nephew for a couple of €€€ while my sister is at work. He’s a cool cat and I love him. (Unconditional love is weird, man.)
- I bought an E-reader. Progress. I bought a Nook on eBay and though it hasn’t been delivered yet, I’m on a download spree for all sorts of epub books including Fifty Shades of Grey (vom), Lolita, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and On the Road.
- I am one assignment away from finishing Third Year (and I am procrastinating).
- I’m joining Weight Watchers. (Watch this space: I may change my mind or this blog may turn into a sob-fest – me crying about not being able to eat crisps and guzzle cans of cider. Wah.)
P.S. Some lovely things from cyberspace:
- Hyberbole and a Half returned today: “Depression Part Two.”
- This week is International Clitoris Awareness Week.
- Why Female “Purity” is Bullshit. (I agree!)
- My nephew absolutely loves this song.
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Anyway, in this alternate universe, my wardrobe staple would be a couple of sequin dresses (a natural progression from the sequin berets I wore when I was seventeen). MissesDressy have some pretty gorgeous ones at the moment and I’m a little bit besotted with several of them. Sequins can sometimes be a bit OTT but these dresses seem classy and understated (and in an alternate universe, those words would also describe me). Here are a couple of my faves:
That last one especially is a beauty. It’s covered in the remnants of the roller disco era but it still manages to look delicate and feminine. Love!
Now all I have to do is win a prestigious award and I can doll myself up and channel my inner Adele. Crooooon.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Italian Garden at Powerscourt House and Gardens, Co. Wicklow.
Europe is blessed with some of the world’s finest gardens, offering escapism whatever the weather. Here are some of our favourites.
Rousham House & Garden, Bicester
Rousham, on the doorstep of Bicester Village, is said to be the finest garden in England. It’s dotted with eccentric English touches including architectural follies, a grotto and an old dovecote. Still in use today, the dovecote is full of cooing birds that fly around the surrounding fruit trees and flowers. The celebrated landscapes frame classical sculptures and statues and stretch down to the River Cherwell.
Villa Borromeo Visconti Litta, Milan
If you happen to have an afternoon to spare after a trip to Fidenza Village, head for this unusual garden created by Count Pirro I Visconti, just north of Milan. If it’s a hot and sunny afternoon, even better. This nymphaeum, dedicated to the water nymphs of classical myth, hides numerous giochi d’acqua – water jokes designed to drench the Count’s unwary friends. Stepping on the wrong spot triggered a soaking, but nonetheless, visitors returned time and again to enjoy the riot of mosaics and surreal sculptures.
Powerscourt House & Gardens, County Wicklow
Add a short detour to Powerscourt when visiting Kildare Village. The gardens, set against the backdrop of the Wicklow mountains, are among the most spectacular in Ireland. From tree plantations, a walled garden, a fishpond, wooded walks, cascades, grottos, and terraces to the fabulous winged horses overlooking the lake, the variety here delights at every turn.
Promenade Plantée, Paris
The Promenade Plantée is one of the most imaginative Parisian gardens. Planted along a retired nineteenth-century railway viaduct, this earthy promenade stretches nearly three miles east from Bastille. Abundantly green and richly planted, it contrasts brightly with the stone and brick of the city around it. Visit en route to La Vallée Village.
Jardins Artigas, Catalonia
Antoni Gaudí is one of Catalonia’s most famous sons, his genius clear throughout Barcelona. But the great Modernist architect also turned his hand to gardens. Although Park Güell in the Catalan capital is his most famous, the Jardins Artigas, north of the city and La Roca, is arguably his most spectacular. Classically Gaudí-esque, with wooden beams, odd figurines and jagged local-stone structures flowing through a gorge, it is as vivid and absorbing as his architecture.
Court Gardens, Würzburg
The grounds of the Würzburg Residenz, one of Germany’s grandest baroque palaces, feature the delightful Hofgarten (Court Gardens), created by the energetic eighteenth century court gardener, Johann Prokop Mayer, under the patronage of the city’s prince-bishops. His topiary was a sight to behold and its legacy lives on – trees continue to be cultivated using methods that Mayer noted in his handbook, Pomona Franconica. They can be seen in the reconstructed kitchen garden, a charming spot to linger after a visit to the Wertheim Village.
Parc des Topiaires, Durbuy
The pretty Belgian town of Durbuy, near Maasmechelen Village, is so tiny that it claims to be the smallest town in the world. Dotted around its Parc des Topiares garden are 250 yew, laurel, holly and cypress trees, pruned and sculpted into human figures and animals as diverse as elephants and squirrels. The surreal result of a local man’s hobby, the park is slightly bizarre, but very entertaining.
Friday, April 26, 2013
I’ve just had my last class of Third Year. Media Discourse Analysis is about as fun as it sounds (and I’m pretty much betting my FYP on that). I’m sitting in Scholars’ and I’m exhausted. I had a nap yesterday evening but I haven’t slept since. I’ve been power-writing an essay on Victorian literature and I’ve been managing to continue breathing. I’ve also bathed and brushed my teeth and put on some slap. I feel physically sick from tiredness but I have a cup of coffee in front of me and I’m on my own and I feel pretentious and I’m having my third existential crisis in as many days. But it’s cool, you know.
Today feels like the end of an era. I mean, it’s not. I still have another week (and about three assignments) left in Limerick before I head home for the summer. I still have a lot of packing and a lot of organising to do before then. And then it’s home for a couple of weeks, back to Limerick for another couple of weeks, back home again, and then back again to Limerick for my fourth and final year at university. Scary thought. But this time next year I’ll have submitted my Final Year Project and hopefully whatever other essays I’ll have. I might be facing an exam or two. Or I might just be facing the real world. Weird.
In the meantime, between right this minute and me eventually joining the real world, I’ve got a lot to do. I have to post a letter and I have to pay a library fine and I have to conjure up some self-esteem. Is it possible to function in the real world without self-esteem? I mean really function? I’m just about coping now but the only topics of conversation I carry around with me on a daily basis are Pubes, Homosexuality, Carbs, and Bowel Movements. I like fashion and books too but I feel I can’t say anything original on those subjects. With pubes and carbs, I probably have a story or a quip you haven’t heard before.
Existential crises are not fun but I’m on a real Alanis Morissette vibe at the moment and I guess that’s helping.
P.S. I’ve officially had a Golden Semester. I haven’t missed a single class in twelve long weeks. Click here to celebrate with me.
Friday, April 19, 2013
Imagine being conventionally pretty. I don’t know why I’m so angry at myself for not being conventionally pretty; it’s not as though I can help it. The way I look is a combination of luck, genetics, and environment. (Although the highlighted hair and the specs are a choice. And the excess fat is a bad choice. But even if I lost a lot of weight, I’d still be the same shape and I’d still have the same face and I’d still have the same natural pout. So I dunno.) Being conventionally pretty probably makes life easier but I’m not conventionally pretty so maybe I just suck it up and be a man. (I am reasonably comfortable with my gender.)
Image from Tumblr.
Monday, April 15, 2013
So I got the shift at the Clubs and Societies Ball (but Out in UL didn’t win any awards) and that shift led to subsequent dates and even more shifts. (The president of the chess club is a ride – who’d have thought it?)
I got that job I’d been coveting but sadly it’s only a four week contract so I need another job to fill up the other eight weeks of summer. (I have the distinct and very ominous feeling that I’ll be selling strawberries by the side of the road again. Still, plenty of time to read Ulysses ahead of next year’s Literary Modernism module.)
My Golden Semester is still intact which I think is pretty impressive when you consider my break-up, my regular bouts of depression, and my general laziness. (Of course, because of the Golden Semester, the Final Year Project has been put on the back-burner and the “Progress Report” I submitted last week was a joke: I haven’t made any progress at all. )
I am once again poverty-stricken and I’ve set myself a personal challenge: I am not going to spend any money this week. (I can get free tea and biscuits in the chaplaincy and the carbs in the kitchen should last me at least until Friday.)
In between now and the summer holidays (summer? what summer?), I’ve got four essays to write and two more weeks of classes. If anyone wants to donate some chocolate to the cause (and I am a lost cause), you can find me in the Students’ Union or Scholars’. (Stalkers/psychopaths need not apply.)
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
My brain hurts and my self-esteem is running on empty. My Golden Semester is still intact and I’m just about on top on my college work. I’m eating healthy for the most part and I’m going to a ball tomorrow (I’m still on the hunt for a strapless bra though). I’m exhausted and I want kisses and hugs and someone to tell me I’m wonderful. But I wouldn’t believe it anyway.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about self-esteem. I’ve been interrogating other people about where they got theirs from – all the while thinking that I missed the boat completely. How come other people like themselves? One of my friends is so self-assured, it’s amazing. She’s not at all arrogant but she 100% think she’s amazing. And she is. And even if she wasn’t, you’d still think she was. Because that attitude is infectious. Another of my friends called herself about a 5 or a 6 on the 1-10 scale of self-esteem, which is still a lot higher than me. I just don’t get it though. I find it astounding that the rest of the world doesn’t dislike themselves as much as I dislike myself. I thought everybody felt like this.
It’s not even that I dislike myself really, it’s that I doubt myself. Sometimes I think I’m funny and then I immediately correct myself. You could tell me ten times a day that I’m an okay person and I still wouldn’t believe you. I could try those cognitive behavioural methods and look in the mirror and remind myself every day that I do possess some positive qualities. It wouldn’t work though. I’d look in the mirror and I’d know that I was lying to myself.
And I am so desperate for validation at the moment and whether that comes in the form of the shift or the ride, I don’t mind and I don’t care. As long as it does. But it’s futile, isn’t it? Of course it is. I’ll still go back to feeling like this. Even on my good days, I still can’t quite convince myself that I am an okay human.
And then I go ahead and fall in love with boys who will never love me back.
I don’t know. I feel futile.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
- I haven’t missed a single class this semester. (I may or not be going insane though.)
- I am eating healthily. (It’s painful to see my friends eating chicken fillet rolls while I cry over a rice cake.)
- I have started taking exercise classes. (Spinning class makes my butt hurt much more than any butt-related activities do.)
- I got new glasses. (Cheers, Specsavers!)
- I got contact lenses. (I can’t stop looking at things.)
- I am in serious money-minding mode. (Did you know you can get free tea and biscuits in the chaplaincy in UL? Sound.)
- I am a domestic goddess (packed lunches, washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, etc).
- I bit the bullet and bought … a bullet. (Possible review + gory details soon? Probably. Vom.)
- I’m trying very hard to stop picking the skin off my fingers. (Eww.)
- I have the Cosmic Horn. (Oh God.)
Thursday, March 14, 2013
I was recently approached by the lovely people behind Specsavers. They offered me an eye test and pair of designer specs in exchange for an honest review on my blog.
I’ve been going to Specsavers since I was fourteen or fifteen and I’ve never had any complaint. To be honest, I was pretty excited about going through the spectacle-getting process again.
I booked my test for last Tuesday week in Specsavers on Cruises Street in Limerick and sat around instore for about ten minutes waiting to be seen. An assistant then took me into a room and measured how well my eyes focused. She also blew some puffs of air onto my eyeballs. (Not pleasant but necessary, I suppose.) She explained what she was doing as she was doing it which earns brownie points in my book – I like to know how my body works.
After sitting around for another twenty minutes, I was finally seen by the optician, a lovely woman who explained my eyes to me, astigmatism and all. She pointed out that the battered state my own glasses were in offered no real benefit to my sight. Because of my astigmatism, if my lenses are off by only a couple of degrees, my vision is affected. She went through the examination, explaining everything as she went, and afterwards passed me over to another assistant who helped me choose my frames.
I’d had a pair of blue Gok Wan aviator style glasses in mind – definitely statement specs – but when I tried them on, the assistant advised me against them: they didn’t suit my face shape and they moved when I smiled. I ended up choosing a different pair of Gok Wans – cream with a slight cat-eye. They’re very ladylike and pretty and yet I feel like I stand out. (My friend Niamh suggested that those of us who feel we aren’t pretty will find other ways to stand out – this is certainly true for me.)
While in store, the optician asked me if I’d thought about contact lenses. In fact, I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately. Unfortunately, because my eyes are so strange and astigmatic, daily contact lenses aren’t available in my prescription, which is annoying if you don’t want to wear them every single day. With monthlies, you’d be wearing them most days just to get your money’s worth. I asked to book a contact lens fitting and found that last Saturday was a special day in the Specsavers calendar in which all contact lens fittings were free. I said, ‘Pencil me in!’ I’ve since been fitted and taught and I’ve ordered the contact lenses – a three month supply including solution for €71. I was seriously impressed with the price, expecting them to cost double that due to my dodgy eyes.
I collected my glasses on Monday and they are a beauty. I’ve been a Gok Wan fan since I first spotted him on How to Look Good Naked and I’ve been coveting a pair of his glasses since he launched his brand in 2011.
Overall I had a really good experience with Specsavers this time around. Despite having to wait around a bit, the service was good and the opticians and assistants were more than happy to answer any questions I had. (I’m that type of person; I always have questions.) I’m thrilled with my new glasses and have already received a multitude of compliments. My new look has been described as “1950s journalist,” which I love. Thanks a million to Specsavers!
(I got my friend Niamh to take a few snapsnots of me in my Gok Wan glory. Needless to say, I have no modelling skills whatsoever. Luckily the rain held off for a little while!)
Photos by Niamh Broderick.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I posted last year about Queerbash 9 , in which Queers Go Native. They did. They went native. It was a great night. (I kissed a boy on the mouth. A good-looking boy.) This year is set to be even better as Queerbash hits double figures and celebrates its 10th birthday. There’ll be performances from UL Drama Soc, UL Choral Soc, DJ John Kelly, and many more, all hosted by the darling Davina Devine and the charming Candy Warhol.
I’m especially impressed with the theme this year – mainly because I’m a Kirsten Dunst obsessive. We’re channelling our inner Marie Antoinette as we roar, ‘Let them eat cake!’ It’s decadence and royalty and glamour and cake. The cake’s important. What birthday party is complete without a little sugar rush? There’ll be a free cupcake for the first 100 people in the door on the night.
Queerbash 10: Let them eat cake!
Dolans’ Warehouse, Limerick City.
Friday, 22nd March 2013.
Doors @ 9 pm.
(RSVP here, you beautiful creatures!)
Thursday, March 07, 2013
It’s currently RAG Week. I’m currently sitting alone in my room trying to do an assignment. It’s post-break-up and pre-one-of-my-best-friends-leaving-the-country-for-five-months and I’m feeling very, very sorry for myself. Maybe I’m just tired. Maybe it’s the obscene amount of college work I have to do. Maybe I miss home. Maybe I was at home last weekend (briefly) and maybe that’s not enough.
I just feel vulnerable right now. Like, post-cider vulnerability. But it’s not that: I was in bed by half eight last night, having done my washing and ironing and cooked my dinner. I’m kind of anti-RAG Week and pro-domesticity. Actually, I’m just pro-distractions at the moment. But I’ve run out of steam. I knew this week would be tough. Post the actual “talk” (or cyber version thereof), I knew that this was real. Not a joke or a phase or a whim. A real life thing that leaves me back where I started. Sort of.
I keep telling myself that nothing’s changed, not really. I mean, the long distance wasn’t exactly going too well anyway (even as far as I was concerned, and I was oblivious to the whole being cheated on thing) so what’s the difference now? Well, now I don’t get the occasional one-word text that so infuriated me before. So that’s a good thing, right? Maybe. But before I could convince myself that someone loved me and just had a strange way of showing it. Now I’m left in no doubt that actually no one loves me. Cool.
Of course I’m being melodramatic but what else is there to do? And who else is there to complain to? I don’t want to bore my friends so instead I’ll convey my woes to the internet. John Steinbeck said, “Don’t make everyone know about your sadness,” but Anne Lamott said (and I 6,000% agree with her), “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better,” but Beyoncé said, “I’m not gon’ diss you on the internet ‘cause my mama taught me better than that.” In other words, I’m getting a lot of mixed messages. But I’m sad and frustrated and this is where I vomit up my feelings. Maybe it makes me feel validated. Maybe I am looking for attention in all the wrong places.
I am doing all I can at the moment to sustain normality: I’m still going to class and reading and doing assignments. I’m still bathing. That’s something, right? Most other aspects of my life have gone downhill though. College is a priority right now so the rest of my life isn’t as noticeable. What even is the rest of my life? I get consumed by one thing or another and right now I am obsessed with having a Golden Semester. I don’t have room in my brain for much else. But when assignments get boring, other things creep in. And now it’s self-loathing and nihilism and the whole lot.
I just want a hug.
Sunday, March 03, 2013
I've been absent for over a month. Have you missed my mindless musings? I've been busy participating in real life and real life doesn't really lend itself to stories of lunacy and shitting the bed. I've been going to college and reading and eating regularly, if not healthily, and I've been socialising. With all that and sleep, it's hard to find time to write or indeed get up to the kind of mischief that's worth writing about. But a week ago, something wonderful happened. Something worth mentioning. Something that is nothing but a catalyst for the self-destructive part of my psyche to kick in. I got my heart chewed up and spit out. Or eaten and regurgitated. Probably the latter. It's more apt.
But I didn't self-destruct. Weird. I'm no stranger to heart-break (in fact, I could give a guided tour) and my go-to gurrrl in dealing with heart-break is usually some self-mutilation, a lot of alcohol, and someone else's penis. Not very healthy. Or helpful. This time though, I woke up the morning after the night before and I put on some lipstick and I went to college. Somehow, miraculously, and without me even noticing the transition, I've reached a point in my life where I can just get on with my life.
And the break-up is not wonderful in a wonderful way but it's something worth writing about. My first instinct was to live-blog the situation, complete with relevant quotes, pictures, and Youtube videos. But I didn't. Because it's been done. Mostly by me. Go back through the archives of this blog and you'll find heart-ache in all its flavours. This time it tastes a bit sour but it's nothing new. The circumstances are different but it's all the same really. Just one more person who said, “I never loved you.” So boring.
I've been coping with this break-up by doing the same things I do every other day: get up, shower, breakfast, make-up, college, friends, home, dinner, college work, read, sleep. Throw in an occasional pint (for purely social and not self-destructive purposes), a healthy dose of crying followed by belly-laughing, gate-crash a couple of parties, and see David O'Doherty perform live in Limerick and that's pretty much my post-relationship life in a nutshell.
My mother always says that when one door closes, another one opens. Lots of doors have opened for me in the past week. There's a couple of blogging projects in the pipeline, I've made new friends and grown closer to other ones, and, most importantly, I've learned that I can cope. Who knew? This break-up is worth noting not because it is the be-all and end-all of my young adulthood but because I learned things. I learned that I'm capable of doing life. Right in the butthole. In any and all circumstances.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
So I’m currently sitting in my apartment by myself surrounded by half wet towels and pyjama bottoms covering every available space, as near to the the radiators as possible. Brookfield’s dryers still don’t work properly – despite their showing off of their “new washers and dryers.” No, like. I just spent €2.50 to not dry my clothes. This put me in a bad enough mood to warrant getting Indian take-away delivered to the apartment. (Then again, after walking the length and breadth of Castletroy yesterday, I think I kind of deserve unhealthy food.) I made my lovely new American housemate choose my food because I wanted to pretend that I was a vegetarian from New York. (Castletroy’s not the worst place in the world but it’s no New York.)
Damp clothes aside though, Limerick’s alright. I moved back on Saturday with a car-full of my life and €90 worth of Aldi products. I unpacked some stuff and met my two lovely boys in town in a coffee shop recommended by my worldly housemate – O&F on Little Catherine St. Spent too much money on Chinese food, went home, fixed up my room, had Francis over for carbs and wine, watched Miranda (for the first time; mixed reviews) and fell asleep. Sunday was Niall and catching up and copious amounts of vodka and wine. The rest of this week has seen me trying to sort my life out. I guess it’s mostly working but I’m in need of a clothes horse like nobody’s business. I’m even toying with the idea of going home tomorrow just to steal one of my mother’s plentiful supply. Wet knickers will probably result in nappy rash. And nappy rash on a twenty-one year old isn’t very attractive. (For that matter, neither is dropping my towel and offering to show my “baldy fanny” to my gay male friend in an effort to make him vomit but I still do that. Meh.)
Anyway, classes begin at the crack of 11 am on Monday and I’m just about willing to get on board with the whole education thing again – it has been a long year of taking pointless classes. Marketing? Human Resources? Journalism? What was I thinking? Still though, those pointless classes had their ups; they gave me the opportunity to meet fabulous new people. (By which I mean I was busy meeting fabulous new people while I should have been in class.)
Back to the grindstone now – Cultural Studies, Research Methods, and writing 2,000 word essays the night before they’re due. Can’t wait.
Monday, December 31, 2012
I’m thinking about 2012 and I’m thinking about how much I’ve grown. But I’m also thinking of some stupid things I did and I’m thinking that those stupid things were only a couple of months ago. I think I’ve grown but only last summer I was obsessed with a boy who was a dead ringer for Charles Manson.
2012 was an interesting year – like every other year of my young adulthood, there is so rarely a dull moment and, when there is, I usually do something ridiculous to liven things up a bit. My 2012 began with kissing my friend out of boredom and spiralled out of control sometime in late February, early March. The first half of 2012 was spent doing gay things and drinking wine with Niall and Francis. 2012 was bagels and carbs and getting make-up lessons from drag queens and sex advice from virgins. In the latter half of 2012, I sold strawberries by the side of the road, turned 21, temporarily emigrated to Scotland, fell in love and came home with enough clothes to last me until next Christmas, and some extra weight around the belly that will keep me warm until spring.
2012 is drawing to a close and I’m happy – somehow. I’d like to say that I was happy in 2012, that I finally became comfortable with myself, that I never got depressed, that I never acted out, and I never self-destructed. 2012 wasn’t perfect but I had fun. I met wonderful people and became better acquainted with wonderful people.
I have high hopes for 2013. This year I’ll be returning to proper classes at UL, I’m motivated to drop a dress size and maintain it by this time next year, my blog is becoming ever more productive, and I’m hoping to procure a job in the Big Smoke during the summer. Things are looking up.
Hope you all have a fab 2013!