Monday, December 29, 2008

Bring it on!!

Bring on the New Year, bring on the new semester, bring on the dramas, stress and hectic mayhem of Dublin and all the wonderful things I associate with that freakin' BEAUTIFUL city!! I feel refreshed, revitalised, ready for the New Year - I've had my holiday and Limerick (though cozy at first) has once again grown too small for me and I'm DYING to get back on track!!

So much to do, so much to do! People to see - people I haven't seen in a while especially! Stuff to organise, plans to make, work to do - writing! Must start writing! Must get published! Must start drawing again! And why not? About time I made time for something I enjoy (besides drinking, chain-smoking with sex'n'the city, late-night phone calls, and hazy conversations during those sweet hours that don't really exist in other peoples' lives...)

Bounce back? Understatement!
I'm dying to get back in the ring. I haven't quite been my superwoman-self these last few months; but these exams will be a WALKOVER (I've never failed an exam in my life and I don't plan to start now) and I'll have such a good time doin' work-experience and everything will fall into place. Like it always, always does. I regret nothing I've ever done. At the times it tortured me the most, life has taught me the most.

Most recent lesson? When approaching breaking point - TAKE A BREAK!! Lucky Christmas holidays came when it did is all I'll say.. It hasn't been a rosy holiday.. and it's nowhere near stress-free.. or over.. but it's just what I needed.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!

It's Christmas morning. We've just torn the presents open and put the turkey in the oven, and have all run off to enjoy our new stuff - my sister is lazing around her room soaking in the fresh sound of her new cd, my dad's flicking through the fascinating, battered old Irish Digest that my sis picked up for him in a second-hand shop (it has the original short story on which The Quiet Man was based!), and I'm going to have a loooong shower with all the smelly new fancy schmancy seaweed-based stuff I got!

I know I was reluctant to get into the Christmas spirit this year, but I can't help feelin' it today. The table's laid with the good cloth and a cracker poised at the head of each placemat, ready to be snapped; the cat is nestled in a bed of crumpled wrapping paper; I've had about 20 cups of tea in as many minutes; the living room smells of tree and last night's fire and chocolate and the new perfume my mum got me that I HAD to test right away; my dad has filled the digital camera with photos of bleary-eyed, oversized kids in our pjamas opening our gifts; everyone's in good humour despite getting little sleep and being woken rudely by my cruel, excited sister setting off that damn dancing/singing turkey mum bought two years ago.

We've grown up, but we're still kids on Christmas morning - up early to dive under the tree, rip open our presents and squeal with delight. It's nice. It's wonderful, actually. It's Christmas. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008


Not this year. Please just go away.

I've always loved Christmas; I'm the one who sings along to all the cheesy songs, requests them in nightclubs, and when they're played as early as November, I'm usually delighted.

I've often started my Christmas shopping in January. Yes! 11 months in advance. I've often bought Christmas presents on holidays over the summer. I think about Christmas all year round. But I haven't done any shopping yet this year and I don't want to.

This year... fuck it. Just... fuck it. I'm not trying to make a statement, or do that annoying "i'm gonna pick a controversial opinion and go with it so i seem cool and unique" bullshit thing... I just don't feel like it this year. I've had enough of it.

It won't be the same. There's someone missing. Missing. Gone. There's a hole in my Christmas. Well, it's always been there, and it's grown from time to time, but it's just recently gotten bigger and I - and my family - can't bear this blow. Enough. I said enough three years ago... It's even MORE "enough" now...

And I am positively dreading next weekend. I'll be finished the semester in college, back at home for the holidays, and counting the days 'till new year.

New start, new year... bring it on... Hopefully it'll bring something good.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Games.. and changing my shoes..

Games games... I am sick of games. All we ever do is play games.

In relationships.. with our friends... The "says" feature on Facebook.. Facebook and bebo and Myspace in general... The way we dress, talk, walk! There's a motive to everything we do and say, every facial expression, everything. Every-bloody-thing! Be yourself? NO ONE is. People who claim they are always themselves (what-you-see-what-you-get etc); that's an image too! That take-me-or-leave-me, i-am-my-own-person act is an Act like any other. That's how they want to be seen.

How important is it to us to control how others' see us? How we "come across"? We all try to make impressions on people... Try to control them... Small moments like being reluctant to reach for the girlie magazine instead of the paper. The "phone voice" you put on. The voicemail message that you recorded, and re-recorded, and re-recorded.. 'till it sounded right. The clothes you chose for a job interview. The clothes you choose for a night out. The different "look" you go for.

I just threw this on. Yeah.

I had a conversation about that with some girlfriends of mine - About the chosing what to wear for a night out.

One girl always made a big effort.. because she likes to look well put-together, and it makes her feel confident (and the attention it gets her adds to her confidence even more..) Another girl said the reason behind the slightly rock-y edge to her look was that she wanted people to think she was smart (self-conscious about her slightly D4 accent and ditzyness meant she was scared to dye her hair any colour other than black for years)

Me? I had to think about it for a bit. I dress down most of the time. I'm more of an attention AVOIDER than an attention-seeker, and I'm happy to have my more done-up, glammed-up friends act as a buffer for the cheesy lines and chancers..! But, again, that's just how I WANT to seem, right? SOME guys, when "on the pull", see a girl all dressed-up and figure it means she's "on the pull" too (ugh. On the pull. I hate that expression.) The dressed-down friend? Ignored. Just the way I like it.

Well, that's an attitude I'm trying to change. For a long time, I've felt like I can't dress up! If I did, it was only ever around family, and friends. Compliments made me uncomfortable, but worst still were stares, sleazy comments.. and even being grabbed at... Nothing makes me angrier, and I was sick and tired of slapping or shouting at guys when all they'd then do is laugh... humiliating.. To the nastier ones (the Coppers-esque crowd) a girl who dresses up is ASKING to be leered at.

So I stopped dressing up.
How stupid is that??? How often do I claim I don't care what people think of me - how much of a LIAR I've been..

I have some LOVELY clothes that I spent good money on and I NEVER wear anymore. I've gone out to clubs in my runners more times than I can count. No more of that. No more hiding. I won't be young forever - I don't have the BEST figure in the world, but I like it, it's only a few years till it all starts to go wrong on me so I better make the most of it while I have it! In 10 years time I'll kick myself for not flaunting it.

WHen your mum gives out that you don't wear short skirts often enough, something funny's goin' on.

I've been making (slightly) more of an effort lately - just around friends, in safe places where I know people... y'know..? and, sure, that one guy was REALLY scary, that other one was SO annoying.... and that guy following me wasn't the coolest experience either..... but FUCK IT.

I like dressing up. I like dresses. I like feeling feminine and wearing heels and all those cute tops that are gathering dust deserve to see day/night light again! And hell, maybe I could take it as a compliment..... or... just pity the ignorant bastards.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Le foilsiu i "TOAST" (Irish nua DIT)

Ar an Luan, 17 Samhain, chuaigh cúigear mac léinn ó ITBÁC go hÁras an Uachtaráin le freastal ar thaifeadadh an "Presidential Lecture Series", sraithchlár trípháirteach de chuid RTÉ Raidió a hAon. Ar an lá rinneadh taifead ar an chéad dhá pháirt, a chraolfar ar an 30 agus 31 Nollaig ag 1.30i.n. Déarfainn go raibh thart ar 60 mac léinn ann ar an lá, a tháinig ó beagnach gach aon choláiste triú leibhéal sa tír, agus bhí daoine ann ó thíortha eile chomh maith atá ina gcónaí in Éirinn anois.

Mar dhuine de na daoine a roghnaigh ITBÁC, tá mé ag súil go mór le héisteacht leis! Ba chóir go mbeadh ITBÁC fíorbhródúil as an gcúigear againn agus as an ionchur luachmhar a thugamar don díospóireacht. Tá sé soiléir gur phioc na coláistí ar fad na daoine is neamhbhalbha agus is gníomhaí i saol an choláiste, agus go ginearálta bíonn mic léinn níos fearr nó dream ar bith eile ag teacht aníos le ceisteanna spreagúla, suimiúil agus cliste. Táim cinnte go bhfuair Joe Duffy (a bhí mar láithreoir ar an chláir) i bhfad níos mó ná mar a bhí sé ag tnúth leis!

Bhí beirt chainteoir ann ar an lá, ceann amháin do gach clár sa tsraith agus bhí deis againn ceisteanna a chur orthu agus ar an tUachtarán í féin. Bhí an bheirt chainteoir an-mhaith. Sa chéad pháirt labhair Martin O' Neill, captaen ar Aston Villa agus Éireannach ó dhúchas faoi 'Cad is Éireannachas ann?' (dár leis féin). Labhair sé go han-ionraic ar fad, ag tarraingt óna thaithí féin ag fás aníos sa tuaisceart. Nuair a thosaigh sé ag imirt sacair mar ógánach, mar shampla, níor ligeadh dó leanúint ar aghaidh lena chuid traenáil leis an Cumann Lúthchleas Gael a thuilleadh. Léirigh sé cé chomh mór is atá athrú tagtha ar an saol ó na laethanta sin. Léirigh sé cé chomh aisteach is a mhothaigh sé nuair a tháinig beirt Shasana chuig a theach chun agallamh a chur air roimh do bheith ina chaptaen ar Aston Villa. Chruthaigh sé íomhá siombalach go leor faoin bheirt fhear seo sa seomra suí leis agus an dhá phictiúir clasaiceach mar mhaisiú ar na ballaí - Pádraig Mac Piarais agus an croí rónaofa.

Bhí neart ceisteanna ag na mic léinn dhó, ach is í an tUachtarán a thug an freagra is fearr ar an cheist faoin chiall a bhaineann le hÉireannachas. D'aontaigh sí nach bhfuil an bhrí céanna ann inniu is a bhí san am atá thart. Ach, fiú i measc an domhandú, an galldú agus gach rud eile a bhaineann le sochaí nua-aimseartha se'againne, ní féidir linn dearmad a dhéanamh ar na mílte daoine i dtíortha eile atá fíorbhródúil as na fréamhacha atá acu, nó ag a gcuid sheantuismitheoirí as Éirinn. Tá brí éigin ag baint le sin – tá Éireannachas tábhachtach do na daoine sin, fiú anois nuair nach bhfuil sé chomh tábhachtach céanna do cuid againn in Éirinn, b'fhéidir.

Is é Pádraig Ó Ceidigh, Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta Aer Arann, a bhí mar chainteoir in dhiaidh am lóin. Labhair sé faoi chúrsaí eacnamaíochta na laethanta seo, agus cad is féidir linn a dhéanamh mar thír chun na fadhbanna ar fad a réiteach. Dúirt sé go bhfuil an todhchaí inár láimhe féin mar mhic léinn – tá an chéad chéim eile suas againne. Tá fiontraíocht agus nuálaíocht ag teastáil ón chéad ghlúin eile chun Éire a thógáil tríd na laethanta deacra dorcha seo romhainn amach. Mar chainteoir, bhí sé sármhaith, fíor spreagúil agus bríomhar. Labhair sé gan script nó rud ar bith aige ach é féin agus a scéal ionraic faoi conas a bhunaigh sé Aer Arann.

D'oscail agus dhún an tUachtarán an dhá chlár. Níor dúradh linn cathain a mbeadh an triú cuid den tsraith á thaifeadadh, ach nach cuma; bhí an lá fada go leor mar a bhí sé! Bhíomar ann ó mheán lae go dtí leathuair tar éis a cúig. Ach, fós féin, thaitin an lá go mór liom, agus is cosúil ó na rudaí a chuala mé gur thaitin sé le gach duine eile chomh maith. Ní raibh an lá crua ar chor ar bith, le sosanna fada, sólaistí áille, agus neart tae agus caife chun muid a choinneáil sásta. Bhí deis iontach againn labhairt le daoine ó choláistí eile chomh maith – tá fáilte den scoth san Áras!

Monday, November 24, 2008

To whom it may concern...

Dear Assholes,

I'm writing to all the self-obsessed, the pity-whores, the thoughtless wankers, the bitter, and the stupid people who have passed through my life... I’ve befriended you, worked with you, dated you, fallen for you, or dumped/been dumped by you. And tonight I would like to simply Thank You - just for being you!

I’d like to thank you because a lot of your horrid traits, ignorance, closed-mindedness, warped world-views, and selfish, evil hearts have made me think – wow, I hope I’M never like that. So, it lit a fire under me, and I’ve become more vigilant in my self-analysis and self-improvement. And I’ve grown a lot with every asshole I’ve encountered, and become a better person.

I always try to apologise when I fuck up – I know how important it is, because you DON’T. Even when you DO realise you’re wrong... (Rare as THAT may be, it does happen, except in the stupider majority of you)

I tend to be considerate of other people, and make an effort to be friendly, include people, and put people around me at ease – because I know how much things sucked when YOU DIDN’T BOTHER.

I don’t huff and puff and put on a grumpy face for attention, sympathy… or to coax someone into asking “Oh, what’s wrong?” Because YOU’VE shown me how irritating it is to be on the receiving end of that blatant attention-seeking “look-at-meee” bullshit. If you're over 4, you should be over THAT.

I try not to bitch about people or gossip, because it used to feel SHIT to find out assholes like YOU say worse about me. I say 'used to', because it doesn’t bother me anymore. (Desensitised to it at this stage – again, thanks to you assholes!!)

When I find myself acting like one of you, I stop and correct myself immediately – my worst fear is of becoming as shit a person as one of you guys. It would kill me! Awareness, and first-hand experience of what I don’t wanna EVER be, has helped me spot the warning signs and NOT end up like you. Thanks!

I try to reach a compromise, as I know how fucking infuriating it is when someone refuse to budge. Speaking of infuriating, how about those close-minded assholes among you? You lot are some piece of work. Convinced your word is truth and no one else’s opinion counts… Arguing with people like you shows me how NOT to get your point across effectively, and how to PISS everyone off so that they’ll NEVER take what you say on board.

And music snobs who judge people on what they listen to – btw, Goths, emos and all you other “alternative” peeps are JUST as guilty; perhaps MORE so, actually. Speaking of you lot, I have some goth friends, so I'm not attacking ALL of you, but, for the most part you're just attention-craving dickheads who think they're more interesting because they don't "conform" - bullshit bullshit BULLSHIT. Adopting an opinion, dress code or way of life JUST to be seen as different is CRAPPY and TACKY and HOLLOW and SHALLOW and just plain SAD. Try forming your own opinions, style and personality instead of joining a colony of clones. Stop hating people who are comfortable in their own skin and grow a pair... You're no better than people who go to restaurants and cause big scenes cos they're "vegan" or whatever and want EVERYONE to know about it. GET LIVES. Do what suits you, BE different if you wanna be, or (better yet) if you ARE... but don't DECIDE you FEEL like ACTING different to make a point when YOU. ARE. POINTLESS.

Thanks to all of you for your excellent examples of what NOT to strive for, what NOT to become, and how to be an irritant and a total dick.

Knowing you all has made me feel a LOT better about the person I am, and want to become. Because, see, that’s the big difference between me and you – I want to be a better person. YOU, however, wallow and mope, bitch and moan, and/or blame others for your (deservedly) shit lives. I try to better myself everyday. I stay positive, see the best in people, take other arguments into account, and laugh at everything. Though I get uptight and stressed sometimes, I don’t use it as an excuse to be bitchy to people (right now's just for fun!!) Though I’m sometimes wrong, I admit it and apologise. Though I’m not perfect, I’m closer than you’ll get...

Yours gratefully,

PS Thanks for reminding me how much I rock. And how important it is to keep on rocking.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I read some old emails today… I tend to save the ones I know I’ll regret sending. Reading back on them days/weeks/months/years later helps me see how far I’ve come, and how far I have yet to go. Life goal? Conquer myself; have complete control of me. And, trust me, I will.

My housemate’s downstairs in the flat below us, and I can't sleep because the music’s blaring – but it’s American Pie, a song I must admit I quite like, so I’m in my living room singing along to a party I’m not at! But, with the paper-thin walls and floors we have, it’s not the first time either. And, y'know, there’s something really soothing about it… Comforting? And annoying. Odd combination..!

I really ought to go to sleep. It’s 5am and I have a lecture at 9 that I really need to be at.

A lot of things became clear tonight. Two posts ago (“Awake”) I spoke about not coming to the conclusion I was workin’ on; seemingly heading towards… I walked home again tonight and think I’ve finally got it. I think. Though there's not much to get. And reading the old I'm-Gonna-Regret-This-Email collection helped straighten things out in my head.

It's a good idea to save emails before sending them, wait an hour, or even a day, then re-read them before actually hitting "Send." A good idea that can stop you making a big mistake, but, seeing as I'm ME I rarely stop myself, and within seconds I'm like... oops.

Right now my arm itches, my feet hurt, my hair needs a wash tomorrow, and I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm always feeling overwhelmed. I've been advised by more than a few people to give up some, or even just one, of my many commitments, jobs, and stuff I'm involved in. I would never. Not now! Life is for living, and I don't care how much I exhaust myself doing it. I love everything I do, and even if I'm buckaroo and about to kick off, I want more and more! I wanna push my limits. I was idle and bored (and borING) for long enough.

At least one of my most demanding, draining "commitments" is out of the picture now... even if he'll always be right there on the edge looking in.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008


(1) Songs I Love

Dreaming - Blondie
Kiss Me Deadly - Generation X
Boy in the Bubble - Paul Simon
Cain and Abel - Interference
Breakfast at Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something
Sic Transit Gloria, Glory Fades - Brand New
Ocean Walk - Astronautalis
Disarm - The Smashing Pumpkins
Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler
Vermillion Pt. 2 - Slipknot
Wherever You Will Go - The Calling
Handbags and Gladrags - Stereophonics version
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) - Green Day
Gold - Interference
Beautiful People - Marilyn Manson
Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon - Urge Overkill
Irreplaceable - Beyonce
Paradise By The Dashboard Light - Meatloaf
Summer of '69 - Brian Adams
The Green Fields of France - Any version
Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum
Jaan Pechechaan Ho - No clue, but was on the Ghostworld soundtrack
Man on the Moon - REM
How To Save A Life - The Fray
Hurt - Nine Inch Nails (much more raw, honest and true to the lyrics than Johnny Cash's version)
...And Justice for All - Metallica
Fairytale of New York - The Pogues and Kirsty McCall
It's Too Late - The Streets
Cemetary Gates - Pantera
No Leaf Clover - Metallica
America - Simon and Garfunkle
Ghetto Gospel - 2pac feat. Elton John
Bad Day - Daniel Powter

(2) Songs that strike some sorta chord with me..

Caladonia - whoever sings it!
Something Pretty - Patrick Park
The Places You Have Come To Fear the Most - Dashboard Confessional
Drops of Jupiter - Train
The Perfect Fit - The Dresden Dolls
Unpretty - TLC
The Dance - Garth Brooks
Holding My Own - The Darkness
I'm Not Okay - My Chemical Romance
I've Got Friends in Low Places - Garth Brooks
Easier to Run - Linkin Park
Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
I Hope You Dance - Dolly Parton's version
City of Blinding Lights - U2
Vindicated - Dasboard Confessional
What I've Got - Sublime
The Piano Man - Billy Joel
Born Slippy - Underworld
Blurry - Puddle of Mudd
Desperado - The Eagles

(3) Songs That Break/Broke/Slightly Irritate My Heart

Awake - Dashboard Confessional
I Miss You - Blink 182
Romeo and Juliet - Dire Straits
Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
Voice of the Soul - Death
Heaven - Brian Adams
Prelude in E Minor - Frederic Chopin
Fade to Black - Metallia
A Rainy Night In Soho - The Pogues
Letters to You - Finch
Gabriel - Lamb
More Than Words - Extreme
Viva Forever - The Spice Girls
Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
Fast Cars - Tracy Chapman
Signal Fire - Snow Patrol

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I was walking home, and, odd as this may seem, when I couldn't get a taxi I assumed it was because I wasn't finished thinking.

That tends to happen to me, I'll be at a bus stop or something, thinking about something that's on my mind, and I can be there for what feels like hours for a bus that's scheduled every few minutes, until I come round to some conclusion - some genius conclusion.. Then, and only then, the bus comes.

It's almost as if I'm meant to wait.

So, it was unusual that I couldn't get a cab and, therefore, I assumed that, by the end of the walk, I'd have some sort of resolution.
But I'm home now and I haven't.

I still feel confused, although strangely light. Lighter than I've felt in a long time. So I went online. I don't know why.. Maybe cos no one in their right (or wrong) mind is still awake at this ungodly hour.. And maybe I needed something to do. I certainly can't sleep with this unfinished thought process.

I'm asking myself why. Why can't I come to that magic conclusion I usually come to.. How long do I have to stay awake for.. Or do I need to sleep on it?

Dashboard Confessional...a band I'm embarrassed to like as much as I do... have a song called Awake, which is in my head right now. That, and Drops of Jupiter. Which is equally vague and confusing. And which kept popping up today. I heard it everywhere. Why are they in my head?

Well.... I've a better chance of sleeping if I log off I suppose.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Táim ar fucking buille!

Bhí mé i club an Conartha aréir, áit ina oibrím agus ina ólaim go minic… cuireadh déistin orm. An droch-attitude a bhíonn ag daoine áirithe!! Tá sé dochreidte!! Tuigim anois cén fáth go mbíonn an áit comh folamh na laethanta seo – áit a bhí dubh go doras chuille oíche fadó.

D’fhéadfach sé bheith ar nós croí-lár pobal na gaeilge i mBaile Átha Cliath. Áit compórdach, cáirdiúil, oscailte ina raibh daoine in ann gaeilge a labhairt agus a cleachtadh agus a fhoghlaim i suíomh gan brú, gan daoine daorbhreithiúnach nó ardnósach ag magadh futhu agus faoina neaspa gaeilge. Sin an cinéal áit inar cór don Club a bheith. Ach níl sé fecking mar sin ar cor ar bith.

Deirtear go bhfuil fáilte roimh duine ar bith leis an meon ceart, le spéis sa teanga agus cúltúr gaelach, le fonn an teanga a fhoghlaim. Daoine a dhéanann iarracht ar bith, cibé caighdean atá ar a gcuid gaeilge, ba cheart go mbeadh fáilte rompu agus cairdiúlachas á thaispeáint chun iad a mhealladh ar ais. Sin a cheap mise anyway!

Tháinig mo bhuachaill isteach liom aréir. Disléicseach atá ann agus mar sin bhí deacrachtaí uafásach aige le teangacha sa scoil. Comh maith le sin, tá fhios againn uilig nach n-éiríonn leis an bloody corás oideachas gaeilge a múineadh do daoine. Ach, bhfuil fhios agat, tháinig sé in éineacht liom chun casadh le na daoine a bhí mé i gconaí ag caint faoi, chun bheith in ann an áit atá comh speisíalta dhom a fheiceáil, agus tá sé dáiríre faoi dian-iarracht ceart a dhéanamh chun níos mó gaeilge a fhoghlaim. Níor iarr mé air teacht liom, bhí sé ag iarraigh teacht é fhéin. Agus dúirt mé leis, is cuma muna bhfuil an misneach nó an foclóireacht agat – déan iarracht agus beidh fáilte romhat. Tá gach éinne an-dheas agus an-sásta cabhrú leat.

Shuí sé liom, i measc na leaids. Bhí sé an-chiúin, agus tháinig cinéal panic air nuair a chuir duine ar bith ceist air. Ní raibh an muinín aige gaeilge a labhairt, ní raibh sé ag iarraigh béarla a labhairt. Bhí sé in ann cuid mhaith a thuiscint, ach d’fhan sé amach ón comhrá nuair nach raibh sé in ann é a thuiscint… bhí sé ag éisteach don chuid is mó; ag iarraigh é a lanúint.

Agus duine amháin… anois, ba mhaith liom a rá ar dtús go bhfuil (nó, do bhí..) ard-meas agam ar an té seo. Bíonn sé an-dheas de ghnáth... Sin an fáth gur chur sé iontas an domhain orm nuair a thosaigh sé ag magadh faoi m’fhear díreach ós a chomhair. Ag ceistiú ceard a bhí cearr leis. An éireannach é? Ag ceistiú cén fáth a raibh mé ag siúl amach leis ar cor ar bith! Breathnaigh, níl expression ar bith air.. ní féidir focal a thuiscint... haha..

Níos luaithe bhí sé ráite agam go raibheamar sa chúrsa Iriseoireacht céanna, ach bhí mé ag déanamh gaeilge leis agus é fhéin ag stadéir Fraincís. D’iarr an fearr seo air, cén fáth? Cén fáth nár roghnaigh tú gaeilge?

Bhí sé ag stadéir fraincís ó bhí sé sa bhunscoil, agus cheap sé go raibh sé níos éasca ná gaeilge – agus níl an mileáin air. Bíonn a lán daoine mar sin mar bhíonn na teangacha eile múinte i bhfad níos fearr sa scoileanna. Tá fhios againn uiliog sin. I mo laethanta scoile bhí i bhfad níos mó gearmánais agam i ndiaigh 6 bhliain á fhoghlaim ná gaeilge a bhí mé ag foghlaim ón céad lá sa naoinra. Bhí m’fhear ag iarraigh Iriseoireacht a dhéanamh, seo an cúrsa ab fhearr leis, phioc sé fraincís chun é a dhéanamh níos éasca dhó féin, agus bíonn deis dul thar lear ar taithí oibre comh maith má roghnaíonn tú sin. Ceard tá cearr le sin?

Tá blas an-láidir ag an fear seo so ní raibh m’fhear in ann é a thuiscint ar cor ar bith… fiú nuair a thosaigh na leaids eile ag gáire faoi comh maith... Cheap sé go raibh joke éigin ann nár thuig sé. Agus bhí. Faoi!! Ní raibh mé in ann an-chuid a rá leis an fear seo chun é a chosaint -- bhí mé scanraithe go dtuigfidh mo bhuachaill mo chuid gaeilge, ‘s go dtuigfidh sé céard a bhí ag dul ar aghaidh. D’imigh muid agus náire an domhain orm, agus lasmuigh nuair a dúirt mo bhuachaill gur thaithin an oíche go mór leis agus go raibh sé ag súil go mór le teacht ar ais, bhí mé ar tí pléascadh!!

Ní thuigim an seafóid sin! Bíonn pólannaigh agus francaigh agus chuille sórt daoine istig agus bíonn fáilte rompu, ach éireannach ag iarraigh gaeilge a fhoghlaim? Ha ha. Ní féidr leis an amadán seo muid a thuiscint. Ba cheart go mbeidh sé in ann. srl srl. Tá sé fucking ridiculous!! Cainteoir dúchais ag… fucking… “lording it over” duine atá tar éis teacht agus suí ansin agus bheith fágtha amach ón comhrá - ag iarraigh éisteach agus foghlaim. Gan a bheith ag cur isteach ar duine ar bith, gan a bheith ag labhairt béarla fiú!! Ní thuigeann an fear sin cé comh deacair is a bhíonn sé ar daoine a leithéid de sin a dhéanamh. Dhá bhliain ó shin nuair a thosaigh mé le Aisteoiri Bulfinn bhí mé díreach mar an gcéanna. An raibh daoine ag magadh fúmsa comh maith? Bhíodh mé i bhfad ró-náirithe teacht ar ais riamh arís dá mbíodh fhios agam sin!

An raibh daoine ag gáire faoi Seán Ó Riordán? B’fhéidir go raibh! Tá an-chuid daoine i saol na gaeilge nach cainteoirí duchais iad. Tá an dearcadh ag daoine áirithe go bhfuil sé ar nós fucking club eisiach nó rud éicint! Club le haghaidh daoine le gaeilge, a labhraíonn gaeilge le chéile, ag plé cursaí gaeilge, ag gearán faoi daoine nach labhraíonn gaeilge… B’fhéidir go mbeadh i bhfad níos mó spéis ag daoine é a fhoghlaim muna raibh an diabhal dearcadh sin ann!! Bíonn an eisciachas céanna le feiceáil i cuid de na Cumainn Gaelach sna coláistí – sin fáth mór nach mbíonn daoine le gaeilge lag ag iarraigh bheith páirteach leo, níl fáilte rompu! Conas gur féidir le daoine ón taobh amuigh an teanga a fhoghaim mar sin?! Conas gur féidir an gaeilge a cur chun cinn gan a pobal gaelach a mhéadú agus é a roinnt le níos mó daoine?

An seachtain seo chaite, bhíos ag obair taobh thiar den bar nuair a dúirt seanleaid liom go raibh sé ag caint le grúpa daoine ó Chonnemara nach raibh ag iarraigh teacht ar ais riamh arís mar: “níl san áit seo ach snobs” – níor dúirt duine ar bith Hello leo, fiú.

Bíonn fir barr ann a bhíonn ag éisteach le cheoil nó ag léamh gan aird ar bith a thabhairt de na chustaméirí, seachas pionta a chaitheamh amach chuchu ó am go ham.

Tá fhios agam go bhfuil daoine dena custaméirí agus den foireann atá béasach, fáilteach, agus ag iarraigh iomhá oscailte agus cairdiúil a chruthú don áit – bíonn an chuid is mó dóibh ar nós sin, actually!! Ach bíonn roinnt daoine nach labhraíonn le duine ar bith, seachas a ngrúpa féin, agus nach mbíonn fáilteach ar cor ar bith agus cuireann sé frustrachas orm!! Ní thiocfaidh na daoine seo ar ais! Ní thiocfadh mo fhear ar ais má insím dhó go raibh siad ag gáire faoi!

Tá an Conradh an-tábhachtach dom. Tá sé mar cuid mór do m’shaol anois. Munar féidir sin a roinnt leis, muna bhfuil fáilte roimhe, níl fáilte romhaim. Ní raibh sé just ag magadh faoi amháin, bhí sé á mo mhaslú comh mhaith. Níl sin ceart nó cothrom. Bhíos ag iarraigh saol na gaeilge a thaispeáint dó…. Seo saol na fucking gaeilge...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Littlest Security Guard

When reading this, bear in mind I'm 5'7", blonde and have no experience whatsoever doing security. I guess I get asked to do these sorta things because I'm the sort of impulsive person who goes, sure to hell with it - why not!

So, late last Friday, I was on my way home from Dublin to Limerick (4hours on bus) to spend a nice quiet weekend with my family.

My friend Aisling calls me out of the blue – quick! 16 people who were supposed to do security ran off - taking their Access-All-Areas wristband with them. We’re in a lot of trouble and REALLY short-staffed – you in?

Why not! I tell my parents when I come in the door... "Sorry, I can’t stay long… Know how I couldn’t afford to go to Oxegen? Well… I’m going for free!"

10am the next morning I’m back in Kildare at the Oxegen music festival and ready to start work.

I’ve never experienced anything like it.

Where was I stationed? Only the Dance Arena – the epicentre of all the drugs, violence, and general dodginess at the festival! I’m sick to death of dance music after it (been hearing the “nnsk nnsk nnsk” in my head ever since!!)

You may think “wow cool! Being paid to go to a festival!!!” And that’s what I thought. But, no, not so cool. Throwing water at people, throwing people out, beind sicked on, carrying drunk girls to Med-centre, breaking up fights, wading through muck and mud, checking the portaloos for drug-dealers, guarding barriers, stomping tablets into the floor, trying to talk sense to people who's eyes are popping out of their heads...

The only act I got to see was the very last one of the weekend, just before I ran for my bus (had work at 9 the following morning!) And that act was… Rage against the Machine!!! Absolutely AMAZING gig, I saw the last hour of it (so really didn’t miss much) including their dazzlingly good encore…

Naturally they closed with Killing in the Name Of, and, even though I ran for the bus immediately after, I was an hournahalf late for work this morning. So… exhausted…

But, who cares!!! They were the only band I REALLY wanted to see and were mind-blowingly good and it was free… apart from the soul-destroying labour…!

Saw some crazy stuff over the course of the weekend. Being sober, and spending the whole time watching the (wasted drunk) crowd like a hawk, means you see some really REALLY odd goings-on! Here are some of the weirdest moments:

Told a fello to put out his cigarette (no smoking/cans/bottles allowed in Dance Arena building) and… he took it out of his mouth, turned it backwards, and put it back into his mouth. Quenching it with his tongue. I gaped at him and he smirked at me (cig still in mouth!) and, speechless, I walked on!

Roughly snatched a can out of a guy’s hand and yelled at him… he turned out to be one of the DJs – oops.

Saw 3 girls stooped on ground in front of a Portaloo, went to investigate. As I got to them, they were just standing up and one girl was showing the others a handful of E tablets (about 15 maybe) – as I couldn’t prove they were theirs (they insisted they’d just picked them up) I just took them away and said nothing to them, then threw them in a puddle of filthy portaloo-run-off water and stomped them into dust, then kicked mud over them and went back inside. 5 minutes later, another security guard tells me he saw a guy (in aviator glasses and a Hunter S-style hat) on his hands and knees picking around in the puddle and eating them. Urgh.

Asleep in fellow-security-guard’s Chicky-chento in the security carpark, and in the middle of the night the lads (all big securty-type fellas) picked the car – and us – up and spun us around, shook us, bounced us, and left us down a few meters from where we started (pointing a different direction) - I was so tired that I slept right through it! I didn’t even hear my Aisling (the other guard in car with me) screaming “FUCK OFF LADS!!!! COP THE FUCK ON!!” as we were held in the air (strong sleeper I guess!!)

Was asked HUNDREDS of times by people whether I would sell them the stuff I’d confiscated. Unbelievable! (Besides, anything I found was MINE!)

Fella from the Fratellies got in fight with one of the other guards – pulled the whole “don’t you know who I am?!” routine when told he couldn’t exit through an entrance-only door.

It was nice that I got to see Rage, (and buy a tshirt!) but I don’t know if I’d go again. It was good craic in the security carpark (drinkin all the confiscated cans and bottles and stuff – very cool!) but the hours were too much, 15hours Saturday – no break (and only got to sit down when on toilet – that was pretty much it.) and 11 hours on Sunday with a 10 minute break… Ate out “dinner” (our only meal in whole day) standing at our posts.

Feet still killing me.

Also saw 2 dudes dressed up as the 11850 guys.

And that’s not even the half of it…!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Deireadh le Ré

Tá an Club chun dúnadh taobh istig de bhliain. Táimid ag druidim chun deireadh le Ré an Conartha ar 6 Sr. Fhearchair. Cé nach chreidim féin go foil é, tá sé fíor... :(

Fuair mé post (eile!) ann. Thosaigh mé Dé Luain ag obair taobh thiar den bar (Aisteach – cleachtaithe le bheith ar an taobh eile!) Bhí mé ag iaraidh níos mó am a chaitheamh ann sula nimionn sé…

Tá an “auction” le bheith ar siúl ar an 15ú la Iúl. Cé go mbeidh na daoine sna hoifigí thuas bogtha amach go háiteanna sealadacha gan rómhoill, ní bheidh an club dúnta láithreach. Tá daoine ag rá go bhfanfaidh sé ar oscailt go dtí am na Nollaig. Tá obair na hoifigi le leanúint ar aghaidh, ach ní thugann sé sin mórán sólás dúinn… domsa. Táim croíbhriste!!

Ní dóigh liom go bhfuil ‘fhios ag duine ar bith cé comh fhada is a mbeidh an club dúnta, imithe, marbh... 3 bhliaina? 10 mbliaina? Go deo? Thóg sé tamaill fada an áit a chur le chéile sa bhealach ina bhfuil sé anois… Tá cuma “charming” air, agus céard faoi na truscáin álainn? An bhfuil aon áit stóras ar fáil go dtí go bhfuil áit nua socraithe?

Tá neart luaidreáin ag eitilt thart… An mbeidh go leoir airgid chun an Ionad mhór nua seo a cheannach? I measc an fhaitíos ar fad faoin spealadh eacnamúil atá tar éis teacht ar an tír, an é seo an am is fearr le bogadh? An mbeidh an airgead céanna le fail ón rialtais? An gheobhaidh siad preighis mhaith don áit? Táim scanraithe, sin an méid... Táim cinnte go bhfuil fhios acu cad tá ar bun acu – tá an cuma orthu go bhfuil.

Thit mé i ngrá leis an cathair nuair a tháinig mé go Baile Átha Cliath dhá bhliain ó shin, ach ‘sé an conradh an áit is fearr liom sa cathair, agus sa tír! An méid de stair atá ag baint leis an áit .. Tá sé treascrach… Tá pictiúirí taobh thiar den barr ón tréimhse ina raibh an áit in úsáid mar banc Sinn Féin fadó. Is breá liom an fhoirgneamh í féin – na tolláin faoi Áras Móibhi; na sean-shimléir; na síleálacha airde... Tá draíocht éigin san áit, nach bhfuil? Gach uair a théim ann, agus é ciúin, suimhneach... breathnaím thart ag smaoineamh. Dearfainn go mbeadh na mballaí in ann an-chuid scéalta a insint! Samhlaigh é!

Idir óg agus aosta, is cuma sa chlub. Tá beagnach gach éinne cairdiúl, cainteach, ag baint sult as an cumarsáid trí mheán na Gaeilge le daoine leis an suim céanna. Gach éinne ag iarraidh ár dteanga a usáid, agus a chleachtadh. Cuireann sé Cheers i gcuimhne orm!

Bíonn sé ar nós go bhfuil tú tar éis éalú ón cathair ar feadh tréimhse. Uaireanta i mbliaina nuair a bhí rudaí ag éirí ró-deacair orm – an brú ag méadú agus an cathair gnóthach ag tabhairt tinneas cinn dhom – bhí mé comh sásta i ndiaigh cúpla uair a chloig a chaitheamh ann. Fiú nuair a bhí mé ag obair thuas staighre ag cabhrú ag an fáiltiú – tá aitmaisféir san áit nach gheobhfá in áit ar bith eile…

Bhí mé ag caint le fear amháin aréir atá ag teacht ann le daichead bhliain anúas… Tá daoine eile ann gach seachtain, bíonn na mic léinn ann gach Máirt… bhraitheann an-chuid daoine ar an áit. It’s one of a kind! Cheapas go mbeidh sé ann go deo. Actually, chun an fhírinne a rá, níor smaoinigh mé riamh ar sin. I suppose I took for granted that it’d always be there.

An grá atá agam don Gaeilge, thug an club dom é, agus na daoine a bhíonn ag crocadh thart ann. Chas mé le cairde iontach ann. Chonaic mé taobh do muintir BÁC, agus do Tír seo, nar fhaca mé riamh roimhe. Spreag sé mé agus anois sé mo bhrionglóid ná a bheith ag obair sna meáin cumáirsáide Gaeilge as seo amach i mo iriseóir, nó scríobhneoir. Gaeilge agus Béarla.

Chas mé le lucht Aisteoirí Bulfinn sa chonradh. D’fhoghlaim mé mo chuid gaeilge leo –agus aisteoireachta!

…ag cleachtadh drámaíochta, ag ól, ag caint, ag pleichíocht… ag cóisirí, ag ceiliúradh cibé rud… Is cuimhin liom an chéad oíche leo – an léamhscriopta. Oh holy God! Ní raibh mé ach cúpla mhí sa coláiste, agus ní raibh mé i mo Uachtarán an Cumann Gaelach ag an am sin, mise á rá leat!! Ní raibh mo chuid ghailge go han-mhaith (bhí sé HOPELESS) agus bhí mé go hIOMLÁN caillte! Hehe... Fiú nuair a fuair mé “grind” sa bhliain deireanach sa mheanscoil, ní fuair mé ach B2 nó rud éicint… Sa scoil, bhí Gaeilge ró-dheacair dhom. Nó, sin a cheap mé!

Bhíomar ag léimh an scriopt (well, bhí mé ag iarraigh – ag stopadh ag gach dara focail chun “sounding out” a dhéanamh leis… Náireach!) Níor thuig mé teideal an drama (let alone an chuid eile de!) Níor thuig mé rud ar bith a dúradh liom. Bhí mé ag cogar istig i cluas mo chara (What did he just say to me…?)

Fuair mé páirt – bhí an cuma ceart orm don charactar! D’fhás mo chuid Gaeilge go tapaigh – bhí mé tar éis léimt isteach sa “deep end” agus níorbh ann ach dhá rogha (“snámh” a roghnaigh mé!)

Oibríonn an tumoideachas. Fuair mé tumoideachas ó lucht Bulfinn, agus ó Club an Conartha. Is aoibhinn liom bheith ann leis an cumann gaelach (MO chumann anois! Sin cé comh fhada is a tháinig mé!)

Gan an conradh, níl fhios agam cá mbeadh mé anois. Beadh mo Gaeilge i bhfad níos laige – I bhfad ró lag le bheith dáiríre faoi obair sna méain Gaeilge. Ní bheadh an post seo agam san Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann don Samhraidh. Ní bheidh mé ag dul go Inis Oirr an deireadh seachtaine seo chugainn go dtí an Tionól Gaeltachta (le cairde ón conradh AGUS Bulfinn!)

Go bunúsach….. sé mo phointe ná, d’athraigh an Conradh (agus an Club faoi) mo shaol.

Beidh sé deacair slán a rá leis an áit, y’know?

Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot.

Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
your name.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We Said NO

No offence to any journalists out there but, when it comes to the Lisbon Treaty, the Irish media are missing the point completely. Their emphasis is on the fact that we didn't understand the importance of the vote; that we acted out simply because we don't trust our politicians, as if it was a childish attempt to get back at them or something.

Well! One thing we certainly DO understand is the crisis we are in now. Politicians in Europe - in Ireland, France, Spain, and others - are going over the heads of the people they are supposed to represent.

You know there were celebrations in the streets across Europe after Ireland's No vote? I don't see many reports of that in the media. The media are as eager to make us feel stupid and guilty as the politicians are; portraying us (as the Irish Independent's Lise Hand put it) as "a nation of ingrates" and an embarrassment to Europe. We were the only ones with a voice and We Said No. And we were under the impression that we had the right to say no. Seems not!

I think MOST people who voted No knew what they were doing. We may not trust our politicians, but that had little, if anything, to do with it. The problem was that we didn't trust the effin' Treaty! OR the direction in which Europe seems to be heading...

One good thing that came from the No vote is that it exposed the current reality of EU "democracy". No-compaigners were afraid the new EU would mean Ireland had less say and less of a voice. What better proof of those fears than Nicolas Sarkozy's respone to the result! He declared that Ireland's vote didn't matter, and would not stop what so many countries have already ratified.

This is not the EU we signed up to. This is an EU where we have no voice; where big countries change the rules when things don't go their way. The people of France's voting rights were taken away. It was originally agreed all 27 had to ratify the Treaty for it to be accepted, now it doesn't seem to matter.

With an approval rating of around 30% (on a good day), Sarkoze has some nerve to suggest he speaks for the French people.

The EU, and our politicians, only ever saw our vote as a formality; an empty formula. It seems our constitutional rights, and our opinions, only count when those in power agree (i.e. NICE) We made the "wrong" decision so they gave us a chance to redeem ourselves and, like naughty children rapped on the wrist by a government and media who insist we are ignorant, we obediently changed our minds. If we have another referendum, I pray we stick by our vote. We should not be pushed around by those who WE voted into power.

True, the EU has been good to us, but just because they helped fund our economy, does that mean they own us? Should we fall into line, blindly agreeing with whatever they put to us? It was advertised that the Treaty would make the EU more "democratic." We can already see what an absolute lie that was.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Setanta Murphy le Garret Keogh

"Setanta Murphy Part 1 - A Comedy In Which Nobody Dies"

Níor chaoinigh mé in amharclann riamh roimh sin ach, an Sathairn seo caite i Bewleys Cafe Theatre, bhí cupla deoir i mo shúile. Níor lean an léiriú ar aghaidh ach ar feadh daichead nóiméid nó mar sin de, ach ní fhaca mé dráma níos láidre nó níos cumhachtaí ná Setanta Murphy le fada agus bhí iontas orm go raibh sé in ann cur isteach orm comh mór sin. Is dóigh gur chur sé mo sheanmháthair i gcuimhne dom... Bean uasal a bhí inti... Cinnte... Agus í uaigneach ag druidim chun deireadh... Bhí a lán sniffles le chloisteáil ón lucht féachanna agus táim cinnte go raibh an cuid is mó dóibh ag smaoineamh ar duine áirithe comh maith!

Sa dráma, níorbh ann ach beirt charactair; Setanta é fhéin agus a sheanuncail. Bhí ar an seanfhear dul isteach i Nursing Home, agus dúirt sé: “It’s not what I expected at all. They’re all so old.” Agus é ceithre scór is deich mbliana d’aois é fhéin! Sé an radharc sin (an radharc dheireanach) an ceann is éafachtaí agus brónach sa dráma - dráma a bhí lighthearted go leoir taobh amuigh de sin. Gach uair eile ina raibh a chuid uaigneas á thaispáint dúirt an seanfhear rud éigin greannmhar, nó d’athraigh sé an ton i bhealach éigean, ach an uair seo bhí a chuid éadóchas comh láidir gur líon sé an amharclann bheag sin, agus bhog sé chuille duine a bhí istig ann. Bhí sé deacair breathnú air, fiú... agus na haisteoirí ag gol comh maith... Bhí eagla uafásach air roimh an áit - roimh an todhcaí sceirdiúil a bhí in ndán dó...

Sé seo an chéad oíche ina raibh an seanfhear chun fanacht san áit. Díreach landáilte, scanraithe, déistin air faoi stad an áit… Bhí an intercom ag rá go raibh ar cuairteoirí imeacht abhaile, ní raibh Setanta réigh chun fágail go foil, d’iarr súile an sheanfhear air: don’t go! Ach bhí an drama fineálta go deo – níor éirigh sé ró-maoithnach ar cor ar bith.

Bhí Setanta go han-mhaith. Luke Griffon a bhí sa pháirt. É ag caint leis fhéin don chuid is mó, agus ag samhlú é fhéin mar laoch. Chasamar lenár laoch agus é lasmuigh de doras an Nursing Home, agus tríd a chuid ramblings atá ar nós go bhfuil sé ag smaoineamh ós ard, fuair muid réamheolas éigin don scéal, agus don caractair Setanta agus an cineál duine a bhí ann. Sé Setanta an t-aon gaol atá fágtha ag an sheanfhear, ghlac sé an freagracht agus cé go bhfuil fustrachas air, déanann sé a chuid.

An-scríobhneoir é Garret Keogh, agus an-aisteoir é comh maith! Agus nílim just ag rá sin de bharr go bhfuil aithne agam air. Níl sé 90, obviously, ach bhí sé go hiomlán sochreidte agus rinne mé dearmad gur é fhéin a bhí ann (chabhraidh an feasóg bréagach le sin is dóigh!). Ar aon nós, I was blown away. Bhí an dialóg comh nádúrtha, ní chreidfeá é! Bhí nósanna agus tréithe éigsúla ag na charactair, bhí a bhfórsa bheatha féin acu, ar bhealach. Pearsantacht an-láidir a bhí ag an beirt acu, agus gné dhaonna nach fhéadfach cuma as an spéir, y’know? An argóint faoin radaitheoir a bhí briste, an comhrá ar an fón a d’fhéadfadh do chroí a bhriseadh... bhí an gaol eatharthu faoi straidhn uafásach agus bhí sé seo le chloistáil sa “banter” a bhí ag dul ar aghaidh, ach bhí teolaíocht idir an bheirt acu agus atrua ag Setanta don seanfhear agus bhí sin le feiceáil go soléire comh maith.

Níor chreid mé conas go raibh Garret in ann an réalachas seo a chruthú sna charachtair... Mar a tharlaíonn sé bhí an Seanuncail bunaithe ar a sheanuncail féin ar bhealach, agus thánaig an scéal as meascán de stair na teaghlach, eachtraí a tharla, agus ficsean. Suimiúil!

Déarfainn go mbíonn sé deacair ar daoine siad fhéin a shamlú ina tseandaoine... nó mar cuid de haoisghrúpa ar bith. Is furasta crá croí an charachtair a aithint i daoine áirithe a bhfuil aithne agam orthu. Thuig an lucht féachanna go ghortaíodh Setanta nuair a bhí air an seanfhear a thréigeadh san áit lofa sin.

Bhí an stáitse an-bheag, ní raibh ach prop nó dhó in usáid ag aon am amháin, ach ní raibh gá le aon rud eile. D’oibrigh an aisteoireacht agus an script le chéile, agus ní raibh rud ar bith eile ag teastáil...

Tá an “run” sin i Bewleys críochnaithe anois, ach tá Garret ag smaoineamh ar leath eile a scríobh (“Part 2”) agus a cur leis agus dráma lánfhada a dhéanamh as... Mollaim daoibh dul ag breathnú air. Corraitheach, greannmhar, an-thaitneamhach!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Star is Born!

A short (true) story about one girl (me) and her wild, stab-in-the-dark attempt at starting a music career.

So, a few months ago at Karaoke night in the Village, I was getting off the stage after doing Blondie’s “Call Me” when a woman approached me. “That was great! Are you a singer?” Being drunk (as is the norm at karaoke-related events) I replied, “I am yeah!!”

Then I realised she was serious. “Well, no, I’m not. I just love Karaoke!” “Well, you SHOULD be,” she said, “I’m a producer and I think you’re very talented!” Then she gave me her email address and told me to let her know if I ever chanced writing a song.

I couldn’t believe it! Now, prior to this I’d never really been the type to dream of being a singer. Well, obviously I wouldn’t have minded the money, but it wasn’t something I ever thought about. I know loads of people dream of it – but I was Karaoke queen and that’s all I wanted to be! I loved singing, but it’s not a “real” choice, is it? Not for me. But that comment, and the few emails we exchanged afterwards, lit a fire.

I put my name down for a singer-songwriter/comedian open-mic night on March 18th in the Ha’penny Bridge Inn, Temple Bar; an event called “the Battle of the Axe.” Seeing as it was MILES in the future I thought; how hard can it be to throw two songs together? I’ve always loved writing, I love singing, and any idiot can rhyme. Also, I used to play piano so think I have a fairly “ok” ear for music.

Aaaand the weeks went by and I kept putting off practicing. I was busy, and forgot about it, and played every once in a while and had two songs in mind – one finished, one that wouldn’t work out no matter how I tried. But I was sure it’d be fine!

I decided I’d pick up the guitar again. I’d only ever played for like a year, and had never been very good, but hey, I have WEEKS before the show, right? But when the 18th came I didn’t feel very ready at all! And, luckily, I ended up going to Connemara that week on a college-funded trip. So I postponed. The new date? April Fool’s Day. (How appropriate...)

So, the big night arrives. My brother came up from Cork to see me. A bunch of friends from my drama group came too. So did Fiona, one of my best friends, and Eanna, my boyfriend at the time. I had quite a nice fan-base even before I started – great!

Well... Alright. I’ll start by saying it was a lot of fun, and went well, but not quite in the way I’d planned!

On arrival I was told I’d be the first act of the second half – excellent! I had time to get some Dutch Courage into me! So I headed straight for the bar... and dropped my first drink immediately after pouring the redbull into the vodka. Shite! My hands were shaking with nerves. A friend bought me a replacement, which I made quick work of. I was dying for it to be over and playing the chords in my head – don’t forget the order they go in! Don’t forget the words!!

There were a bunch of stand-up comedians and some really amazing musicians in the first half. Oh no... BUT I assured myself I’d be fine – for the previous three days I’d done a lot of practice, grown a few blisters on my fingertips (from the guitar) and, besides, I had the chords all written down on a tiny piece of paper which I safety-pinned to my knee. What could possibly go wrong!?

The musician who ended the first half – who was very talented – helped me tune my guitar and gave me some words of encouragement. He even promised to buy me a drink afterwards, which cheered me up immediately!

So, they called my name. I got on stage, bringing a chair with me (because if I’d been standing up I wouldn’t have been able to read the notes on my knee!) The place was packed. And everyone was bloody looking at me!!! I introduced myself, and then froze. I was nervous, my hands were the only things that weren’t frozen – they were shaking!! – and, for what felt like forever, I sat there like a rabbit in headlights. Then I started laughing at myself. “Sorry, I’m a little nervous. I don’t often do this sort of thing, or, like, NEVER.” Dead silence – oh no!! Say something else!!

“Am... as you can see, I’m more of a sit-down comedian!” Silence. Ouch. “Sorry that was awful,” I muttered, “stick to the music Aoife... leave that to the real comics...” I got a laugh for that one. Hallelujah! Then I said “ok, sorry, just a sec – I’ve the chords written here in case I forget...” They noticed my little cheat-sheet and roared laughing. I thanked God that I could feel the vodka going to my head (Just in time!), I took a deep breath, and began.

I sounded really good! Until, around three bars in, I fucked up. Bigtime. I tried to pull it together but panicked, my hand slipped, and the guitar made a painful “waoarrrrrrrrrr” noise. I stopped, laughed nervously, went scarlet and said “Ok, sorry, I can’t do this... Thanks very much, I don’t know what I was thinking!” and I went to get off the stage... Suddenly, the whole audience started shouting at me!

“No! Come on, you can do it! We wanna hear the rest! Finish the song!” I was gobsmacked. I couldn’t stop laughing but said “Ok I’ll give it another go!”

So, this is the part in the movie where the hero takes a deep breath, and, encouraged by the audience, wows them with a perfectly-performed piece of music. Then she gets carried out of the pub on the shoulders of a cheering crowd, holding her trophy high above her head, and the credits roll up and it's all happy ever after...

That didn't happen!

I started again, with a newfound energy, newfound talent! Within seconds I’d f**ked up again and said, "Wait, shit, that's not a chord!" and, thank God, they all laughed. I said, "You know what, i think you've heard enough of that song. I know the other one a little better so let's move on!!" so they cheered and I was just about to start playing, when I realised, “Oh shit, I haven’t been using a plec!” I honestly hadn’t realised.! A cooler person would have subtly found one and pretended it was all intentional to play the first song with her fingernails, but no, not me! I muttered some lame apologies, they fell around the place laughing, and eventually, when I found one, I started into the second song.

There were some faulty chords and I pulled quite a few "oops" faces but my voice sounded good and I managed to get half way before I forgot what came next. I stopped to look at my cheat-sheet and go "aaam," and they all started applauding and whistling and cheering – thinking I was finished! The vodka had taken a firm hold by now and I brazenly shouted into the mic “Hey! Wait wait wait! That’s not the end! There’s more! Let me just check here...” and off I went again! I played right to the end... well, ALMOST. And it was terrible but I was shaking – with laughter this time – and figured I should quit while I still had SOME dignity!

After a (very generous) round of applause I said, "Thanks very much! That didn't exactly go as I'd planned but I hope you enjoyed it! And I hope the next person up here has some actual talent!"

I left the stage in a fit of giggles, barely able to breathe from laughter and shame. With my head down I made my way over to my brother, who gave me a hug. And I decided I really, really, really needed a cigarette!

Later, after having countless people coming up to congratulate me “for trying and for being the funniest act all night!” they decided to announce the winner. The audience had to vote, by cheering, and when the MC announced that it was between me and two of the comedians I said (quite loudly, thanks to the numerous pints my fans had bought me) “What?! Are you kidding me?!”

They screamed and clapped and whistled and cheered for me, and I actually freaking WON! I couldn't believe it and I walked up on stage, my eyes streaming from laughing so hard. I took the mic and just kinda said something like, "Uhm, thanks but I can't say I agree with yer choice!! I promise I won’t be back!" Then some lads down the back started shouting "Encore! Encore!"

You MUST be joking! I accepted my certificate and “Lucky Duck” award (which is usually just a yellow toy duck but, that night, they couldn’t get one and got a plastic dinosaur instead. Go figure.)

There were actually some really, really talented musicians and HILARIOUS comedians performing that night – and if I’d have performed properly I probably wouldn’t have stood a CHANCE!

Loads of people, including the MC, the organisers, and the other musicians, told me they’d love me to come back and play again.

Yeah right!

Friday, February 22, 2008

IFI Taispeántas Gearrscannáníochta

Cuireadh taispeántas gearrscannáníochta ar siúl ar an 19ú lá Feabhra san IFI i mBarra an Teampaill, Baile Átha Cliath. Líonadh gach suiocháin agus dhíoladh gach ticéid. Thug Alan Marr ón Bhord Scannán na hÉireann oráid roimh múcadh na soilse faoi scéimeanna nua atá bunnaithe acu, agus faoin milliún euro atá siad ag beartú do chomhlachtaí léirithe gearrscannáin sa bhliain 2008 .

Bhí ocht scannáin in iomlán, ach sheas an scannáin "Frankie" amach. Stiúirithe ag Darren Thompson, fuair sé an Gradam Absolut don Scannán Gaelach ab fhearr ag Féile Scannáin Corcaigh 2007.

Tá Frankie 15 bhliana d'aois agus ag súil le breith a linibh. Bíonn sé ag cleachtadh le babóg. Thréig a athair fhéin é ina hóige. Idir a bhlas láidir Bleá Cliathach, agus an tslí a insíonn sé an scéal go hionraic dúinn, faighimid pictúir den bhochtainis ina mhaireann sé.

Dhealraigh an scannán fíor-mhaith ón taobh amharcealaíon de. Tá radharc iontach ann le Frankie ina shuí ar tralaí i lár páirce, ag stanadh isteach i súille an bhabóig, tithe comhairle sa chúlra. Tá an chuma atá ar an aisteoir foirfe sa pháirt – súile caola, ach miongháire saonta.

Bhuaigh "An Créatúr", stiúirithe ag Peter Foot, Gradam an Lucht Féachanna ag an bhféile i gCorcaigh. Breathnaíonn an príomhcharactair siar ar a shaol, ach samhlaíonn sé é fhéin mar atá sé anois – fásta suas – sna radharcanna éigsúila. Níl a leithéid den scannán seo feicthe riamh. Caithfidh go raibh sé deacair ar an aisteoir ról an linibh a thógáil, agus d'éirigh le Robbie Sheehan bheith socreidte leis.

Tá sé lofa 'bheith ag breathnú ar breith an fhir fásta, leis an corda imleacáin agus gach rud eile le feicáil, agus scéal gruama atá ann – faigheann dreatháir Robbie lot inchinne. Ach casann an scéal go tobann tar éis barrchéim ollmhór agus d'fhagtar an lucht féachanna in iontas.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


I’m in a bad mood.
And I’m getting a headache. Which always happens when I’m in a bad FUCKING mood. Which always puts me into a WORSE fucking mood!

There’s some baldy weirdo at work who keeps fuhLIRTing with me and makes no secret of the fact that he’s a sleazy prick but I know that horrible look he gave to his friend was an "I’m-in-there" look.

WANKER! Leave me alone!

I’m just annoyed. Across-the-board, all-inclusive annoyed. Every INCH of me is annoyed. And yet, I’ll go out tonight after work, and get a few drinks I can’t afford, and grin and giggle like an idiot and have a "GREAT" time.


I’m sick of trying to be this! This... this happy-happy-cheesy-chatty ball of fucking friendliness! I just wanna be left the fuck alone and – preferably – lie in bed all day. All day EVERY day. I’m sick of pissing myself off and sick of people pissing me off and sick of being pissed-off in general!

I’ve always been an angry person, but no one would guess would they? Cos I’m so HAPPY. Smiling pleasantly, talking politely.. carefully-applied makeup and bottle-blonde hair and oh-so-freakin' friendly and good-natured all the time.. I wanna go back to listening to MY music - not "cool" music. Strong, angry music with a deep, all-consuming beat - and I DON'T CARE that I don't always know the album, track number and the lead singer's favourite fucking colour. I hate people showing off how much they "know" about their fave bands. It's not important. I miss my dark hair. I miss putting red and purple streaks in it. I miss when I didn't CARE to be seen kicking a chair or a wall or something.. before I got my temper "under control".

But I suppose that’s the old me, right?