Wednesday, April 29, 2009

There's a surprise...

D'other day I was given my first proper translating task:
Gaeilge -> English.
And, sadly enough, I found it fascinating! It's very, very like editing. And I very, very much love editing. But it's got the extra dimension of having to move between languages. And is, therefore, more difficult. (= more fun!)

It's like when I used to do life-drawing in Art class and it'd be on... every time....... except that I'd always 'neglect' to include that pimple, or the squint in their eye, or the frizz in their hair. I'd tidy their eyebrows... once, I even reshaped someone's nose! Just slightly. Just enough for them to say "Oh wow.. that looks just like me! Actually, I look really pretty in it!"

Ha. Editing people. Maybe that's why I like make-up so much. (especially crazy stage/costume make-up)

I love editing. Love love love it. I have been offered a certain editing position in DIT that I'm not sure if I can talk about yet... actually, I might have mentioned it on here before... God, i hope not... woops... but, anyway, I'm VERY interested. Yes, I'll be in my final year. Yes, it's quite a lot of extra work. But it's paid! And it's what I love. And it's less hours spent in this place.

Yes, I'm still on Harcourt St... but it's Feidhliocht tonight and that's easca peasca. With free coffee and bikkies.

Like normal, day-to-day, English->(better)English editing, you have a lot of freedom to do what you like with the text, but are kinda-sorta-not-really obliged to show some sort of respect for the original writer's take on it. And I like to... usually... except with that irritating German Erasmus chick...

*****sidetrack story***** ^_^
I was overall editor of our class' first edition of the Liberty (March-ish '08). We only get one shot at it, I was the only one stupid/ballsy enough to shoot my hand up, and, by God, I made the most of it. Complete layout overhaul (because it was boxy and horrible and dim.. btw, they've used ours for every issue since... *grin*) Anyway; German girl. I assigned a sub to her article, and she came moaning to me that they'd done it wrong. I asked her to talk to them about it, not me, as I had MOST of the rest of the editing/layout to do and the "team" of 20-something had dwindled to about 6 (on a good day...) and we were WAY behind schedule. But, when she once again found them "unhelpful", she went to 2 (yes, two) different lecturers who red-penned the article like a Leaving Cert. Irish paper. Back she trotted to me, proud as punch: "See? Here? I was right. This is not edited properly." And (frustrated, stressed, and low on nicotine) I asked, flatly; "You want it edited properly?"
I cut it, from over 600, down to 200 words. It was a ridiculous story idea, written all wrong, terrible English (that we would have let slide as she was an Erasmus student, but, she said properly...), very little interest or point... and I made a concise, pleasant, easy-to-read piece out of it. Unrecognisable.

There. Edited. Properly.

And we're back!

In case you've forgotten what you're reading:
Translating. Like editing. Only harder.
It's almost got an element of mathsy problem-solving to it. You have to break it down, take it apart, make sense of it in your head, and get down to the root of what the person's saying. Then re-say it. In editing, you have a frame that you can follow if you like - and you usually needn't rewrite the whole thing.

But translating - it's amazing. Blank canvas. You can say things in a hundred ways. And, when you aimsigh the perfect one - it's very, very satisfying. You need to forget about the language you're translating from, and start with no distractions!

That's why i find English->Gaeilge MUCH harder.

That's what they had me doing today. I'll never be as good as I am with the reverse, because English rules in my head and always will, and all I'll create is an Irish version of what I want to say, and I'm not allowed touch the English either! (which can be frustrating)

Ah hell... I still love it...!

But any of my Saol na Gaeilge friends who talk about how there's money in translating, srl... It just seems soooo.....
I dunno if it's for me. I could do it all day - every day. But there are a LOT of things I COULD do all day, every day. I think I'd quite like it. And my Irish - and English - would improve beyond belief. But... what about all these other things I wanna do that are far more interesting and risky...?

Monday, April 27, 2009


I'm tired. I'm done for the day. I wanna roll downstairs and have a cup of coffee. Then a cigarette. Then maybe another coffee. Then I'll go home and sleep.

But Aoife, you haven't posted in ages! Won't you write something interesting?!

Well, sorry, but this is all I've got at the moment.

Oh! I finished my cartoons. :) I'm very proud of them.

I've forgotten about that art competition - the deadline's Friday. There's still time! I just gotta get my act together. I have my idea, and even decided exactly how I'm gonna do it and what with - all I need is to set aside those 2 hours to actually DO it.

Oh, and I was gonna buy a scarf today! 'Cos I didn't bring one, as it was so beautiful when I left the house... but, by the time I got to work, I knew it was only gonna get colder. And I was right! It's freezing.

But I forgot to. So I'll be cold walking home.

So might stay for a drink. Just one. Central heating.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

"You are where you live"

Something in the Sunday Times (Irish, so we're clear) today caught my eye... stuffed in at the edge of Page 8 (most of the rest of which is taken up by a massive, melodramatic anti-smoking article calling for an overall ban on smoking in cars (to protect children, of course) ... Jan Battles can shove it)

It was about people of like minds/personalities gravitating to certain areas... living "in clusters"... very interesting... Not the (fairly basic) article (which I won't bother quoting, even), but the idea.

Do we?

The study was led (a while ago, now) by a Jason Rentfrow)... <-that's a link to a nice little page where he blathers on about it. Lovely little pic, too. Aaw. Lookit him. Proud as punch.

Maybe that's why I wanted out of (close-minded, divided) Limerick the minute I set foot in the place. Or why Phi and I both ended up in (dirty, rushing) Dublin. Or why I wanna move back to (cool, down-to-earth) Galway.

Phi said to me the other day that she thinks she's more suited to city life - she doesn't like to be on her own, likes to keep busy, and loves the general buzz. "You never know who you mind meet!" apparently. Dunno about that. How often do you meet, and chat to, new people in the city?

Though, I'd a lovely (if a bit strange) conversation with a fella on the Luas today - but that NEVER happens.

Right now, we have work and college. That's where we meet people (or... in nightclubs) and that's our community.

Read this - much better article (even though this one's about how his study relates to America). Had to laugh at the bit about the neurotic "Stress belt" - love it!
Maybe I'll move there. :P

Friday, April 17, 2009

Of all days...

Today I wanted to be fearless and confident.

Instead I am uncomfortable, heavy, icky, and slow.

I hate being a girl.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I feel anxious. Since Tuesday night. Way, way, way, weh-heh-heeey too much happened Tuesday night. Still soaking it all in. Head whirring. Clearly I should never go away for a week. EVER.
I was away for too long and.. -= BAM =- ..come back to all this accumulated crazy.

Ok, that pic's a little bit of an exaggeration - I'm not pulling my hair out. Not quite. But I got carried away - and doesn't it look cool? Did it on Paint, in about 3 mins, and using a laptop touchpad?!
If I were you, I'D be impressed.... :P


I can't believe ANY of it. Tuesday Bloody Tuesday.

Nice to see J again, axly.. Didn't see THAT one coming! What're the chances he'd walk by the very second I happened to be running up to lock the gate? Mad. Hope we both meant what we said about being friends. I didn't expect to be as happy to see him as I was. We were better as friends.

Anyway. I feel anxious.

Often when I feel anxious, I get a sick stomach.
And usually a migraine.
And I barely say two words to anyone.
And I can't decide what to wear so, distractedly, I throw on any old crap - adding to the overall air of troubled-ness.

Omg, I haven't even done my make-up properly today.
This is bullcrap. Fuck this. Snap out of it.

I'm just tired and grumpy.

Plan of action:
Shop. Neurofen Plus. Coke. Crappy Centra Sushi. Home. Shower. Sit in jamies, draw and draw and draw, and watch Breakfast at Tiffany's. Or, any DVD, really. Bitta Marilyn or Carey Grant, mebbe?

Song of the day: Pokerface.
Yes, we're all sick of it, but fuck it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Look! An Art Competition!

I'm gonna enter.

I haven't entered one since I was about 11.

I'll let you know how I do.

Galway? :)

I can’t believe how much that week in Galway affected me. I’m still thinking about that week; last week. But not the nights out, not the classes, not the people I was with, not the funny moments - not even the WEEK… all that was fun, and very memorable etc… but all I can think about is the very last day.

We left Connemara and were dropped in Galway City on Friday to make our way home from there. And then I kinda accidentally lost everybody; heading off to check when my bus was, knowing the group was getting food, and then the train, together. I could’ve stretched to afford the train, but the bus was cheaper…

Also, I think after spending a week hanging out with people, a little self-company is pretty appealing… Ar aon nós, in the end, it was for the best because I decided to go to Limerick instead!

The bus wasn’t leaving for almost 2 hours.
So, laden down with bags (I am The Bag Lady – I always over-pack. It’s easier than deciding what to bring. I still never take the right stuff), I wandered the streets of Galway for a little while.

Here’s something weird – I was completely lost and don’t know my way around at all, but I kinda felt at home. I recognised little pieces (signs, shopfronts, funny micro-landmarks like confectionary stands – the odd, insignificant stuff a younger me remembered) here and there. More than anything, though, I recognised the vibe of the place. It felt comfortable. A better fit.

I barely even remember living in Galway, but I miss it. Is that mental?
… Probably a little.

When I moved to Limerick first, I hated it. I made friends (eventually) but I always hated it. I refused to say I was from Limerick. I was from Galway. My passport still said so. But I don’t still say so. After nearly a decade in the place, I stopped insisting I was from Galway, and instead set my sights on Dublin: new, big, busy, far away.

Anyway, I’ve decided I wanna live in Galway for a while. Not now – I have one more year left in my Journalism and Irish course. When I’m done, though, I’d like to look for a job – any job – there, and find a flat (on my own, or with randomers/students – don’t care) and just… see what it’s like. Start again. See what happens.

When I moved to Dublin, it was on my own. I wanna do the same again. Off to Galway, no plan, maybe sign up to some sort of something to have an excuse to go/opps to meet people once there, but I don’t really have a reason, or care what I do there. I feel like I want to go. And I’m gonna.

Maybe there’s a drawing course I can do? That sounds good. That’s my greatest love, and I’ve been ignoring it.
Why? ‘Cos I got scared away from pursuing it by someone who meant well and was right about everything else.

I don’t feel at home in Dublin, except in the Harcourt “Asylum”. And I don’t feel at home in Limerick, except in my parents’ house.

Maybe I won’t feel at home in Galway either, I wonder if it’s nothing more than a buncha rose-coloured kiddie memories… but the last time I did feel home-y was when I lived there, and an hour’na’half of wandering its streets last Friday was enough to make me think that it might still be possible to get that “home” feeling back.

I needed to get away from the exhausting, repetative schedule I've had for the last while and open my eyes. I'm glad I did.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I just realised - it's no longer Good Friday!

Sherry before bed, perhaps? ^_~

Friday, April 10, 2009

Highlighting what's important...

Earlier, was in Galway bus station, queuing for a ticket, smacking my lips and preparing to say “Student single to Dublin”... Then I changed my mind. I am now in Limerick. (Which is a bit of a surprise even to me)

I like it! Good to be home. Home-Home, not Dublin-Home.. Home-Home’s where the heating works, and the fridge is always full, and there’s a big tv, and a house phone, and a dog.. It’s where my room is. I love my room. I still have my Lion King curtains up, simply because I LOVE the strange red hue they throw on my (densely teddy-bear-populated) bedroom every morning... then there’s those kickass posters to remind me of my “crap” (ie. awesooome) early music tastes..

I spent the week in the Connemara Gaeltacht to improve my spoken Irish and… know the funniest part?
I spoke less Irish this week than ANY other week since… I dunno… September of last year? Apart from perhaps Christmas time, and the week I spent in Virginia this summer.

It’s only recently occurred to me that most of the friends I’ve made since coming to Dublin have, or are involved with, An Ghaeilge. I work trí Ghaeilge. I live in Irish-language accommodation. Most of the texts, calls, and about 30% of all emails I receive, are as Gaeilge. As for a base/home/comfort-zone community type thing? Rather than my college campus, it's that old madhouse on Harcourt street!

The hell..? If you’d told me Irish would become this big a part of my life two years ago, I’d have laughed in your face.

I pulled a Des Bishop before Des Bishop pulled a Des Bishop. True, I had the advantageous 13 years of groundwork (not that it counts for much) and, true, my tv series wouldn’t have been half as entertaining (being a far, far less successful comedian)… but I still can’t get my head around how far I’ve come.

I was thinking back… trying to figure out how it all started… how I went from grumbling about how annoying Irish "The School Subject" was, to raving about how vibrant and fascinating Irish "The Language" was.

Y’know what started it all?

A free highlighter!

It was societies sign up week in my first year in DIT. September 2006. And all the college societies were desperately pleading their case to new members – vying for the firsties’ attention – waving bags of freebies. Great buzz.

Anyway, I spot the free highlighters immediately. I love highlighters – cannot study without them. Pink is the first go-over, then yellow over the pink, so I know that the orangey bits are all I really need. Then I rewrite orangey bits onto new page, highlight, take out the orangey bits, and repeat until all I have left is one page full of mismatched words that make no sense to anyone else, but are all I need to glance at going into an exam. Each one stands for a whole paragraph - or a whole chapter, sometimes!

Anyway, these were great ones. Dual-headed! Pink and Yellow! AAAAGH!

Over I went, and I was assaulted by the most chirpy, friendly, and impossible-to-understand person I have ever met. Dazzled by her incomprehensible Donegal Irish, I took everything she handed me and hurried away.

Ended up really liking the Irish Soc (Cumann Gaelach - in fact, I'm now its Chair..) When they text me saying there was a “Léamh scripte” (or something) on, I was like, oh how nice! They’re going to read a script to me! :)

I turned up. Roomfull of actors. Not a word of English being spoken. And I was handed a script. Uh oh.

Despite not even understanding the title of the play, and not being able to pronounce a single one of my lines correctly, I was offered a small part – I looked the part, apparently! (I was told this, smiled dimly, half-memorised what was said, had someone translate later, and was THEN delighted.)

Weeks, then months, of rehearsing, and going to the pub afterwards, straining to get the gist of the conversation… most of the jokes went over my head… most of what I said made no sense and made me look like an idiot. But.. I gradually got better.

I’m thinking of doing one of the TEG (Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge) exams to see exactly what my standard is at these days. I have no idea (it’s been so gradual and mostly hit and miss-style learning) but I’m told I’m quite good. And I speak it every day these days. As much (or perhaps more) than English.

I actually.. sincerely.. utterly.. undoubtedly... did NOT miss the fucking internet this week. They HAD a computer room. I was there once. That was plenty.
I felt like I’d woken up.

And now… I’m back online. And have just wasted an hournahalf on facebook/twitter/gmail/here.

Enough! I may just go for a walk.