Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today, I stood up to a wasp! ^_^

I’m sorry, but I’m very, very excited about this and HAD to post.

I’m not afraid of much – I’ve always wanted a pet snake or tarantula. I think mice are adorable. As for insects… Flies are a nuisance, ants are to be avoided, but aren’t scary. And bees? I actually quite like bees.
Wasps, however, petrify me.

They always have. Don’t ask me why. I haven’t the faintest idea. It’s completely irrational. It’s nothing to panic over. And it doesn’t make sense that bees don’t scare me. I’ll hear the buzz and begin to panic and see it’s a bee and go “whew” and relax.

I’ve been stung before – and it’s not so bad. A little pinch, and itchiness. Not so scary. I get migraines every week! A wasp sting is NOTHING. It’s not that painful. And I know this. I know it well. But knowing that doesn’t help.

It’s the way they flit around and are everywhere at once and are so fast and small; before you know it they’re behind you, or beside your head, or in your hair, and they chase you when you run and they buzzzzzzzz so viciously and the noise is all around you! And, I dunno, I’ve pretty bad depth perception too so when a wasp is there zig-zagging towards me I can’t tell how close it is and – argh.


One time there was one in my room, and I hadn’t noticed, and I was standing in front of my wardrobe, and I heard the buzz – directly above my head – and, without thinking, I dropped to the floor and scrambled out of the room… army-style. You’d swear a grenade had gone off.

Another time I was staying with a friend, and we got home from a party around 5, and at 6 or 7ish the sun came up, and the wasp that’d been in the room (asleep on the skylight) woke and started circling and screeching and I was awake and out of the room before I even remembered where I was. Not wanting to wake anyone, and having taken my duvet with me, I sat on a chair outside the room, hoping the little shit would roam into the hall and I’d be able to dive in and barricade the door behind me.

My friend found me later that morning, sound asleep on the chair, duvet ‘round me, still clutching my rolled-up magazine - waiting. He walked into the room and casually shooed the monster out the window. Mortified, I went back to bed.


Some psycho woman went for me in the bar last night.

I quietly, smiley-ly, politely asked her to stop spraying deodorant on her feet in the middle of the bar, as another customer had said they were allergic to those sprays. I suggested she maybe go up to the bathroom or something.

“Are you threatening me? Fuck off!”
No, of course not, there’s no need to raise your voice…
“Where are you from? Listen you dirty cunt, I’m a Dub, right? I’ll kick the fuckin’ gee out of ye!”

Charming, eh? I’m still not sure what I said to set her off.

Unsettling? Yeah! Unexpected? Definately. But scary? Not really. I didn’t know what to do, and when she swung at me and kicked me, I blocked, but mainly just stood there like an eejit, knowing the lads would be back any minute to gimme a hand, quietly asking her to calm down – I knew I’d be in serious trouble if I so much as laid a hand on her, and didn’t raise my voice once. By the end I’ll admit I got a little thick with her, maybe – but you should’ve heard her!

Anyway, the other barmaid finally came downstairs and helped me get rid of her. She’ll be barred for good. Turns out she was barred years ago for similar erratic/violent behaviour. Our club’s like a magnet for oddballs… What happens to people to make them that way?

That should have been scary, right? Apart from the (godsent) customer who stepped between us, I was on my own with the batty bitch.
But it was grand, like. I kept my cool.
And yet I’m petrified by a little wasp?


Today, I heard that familiar, harsher-than-yer-average buzz… and froze.
But, this time, I didn’t sprint out of the room and slam the door in panic. OR hide in the bathroom.

I kept calm(ish)… I crept over to the window that it was bopping its stupid little head against. I slowly reached up – my hands inches from the tiny, angry beast – and pushed it open. And… miraculously… out it flew!

Just like that.

I am so proud of myself.

In another, maybe.

And, with a sharp gasp that could be felt in the air, the plane took off. She wasn’t watching, but could feel it. By some invisible string, trailing from the craft, a weight was hoisted roughly, and her tense shoulders rolled and slumped into a sigh. She was free. The spell had lifted. She had revisited the past and found it as crisp and clear as her memory – and unchanged.

Intense, vivacious, almost convincing... and finally over. Not what she had hoped; but exactly as she expected.

She had asked for nothing, and received generously of it; lost nothing, and gained some insight, and her answer.

It wasn’t her fault.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Deja Vu

My sister's graduation was last Thursday - she's officially finished secondary school (starting the Leaving Cert. in mere days - eep! I don't envy her that..)

It was... weird.

I went with my dad, because my mum was away on a trip she'd booked long before she knew the grads date. Doesn't it always work out that way? Anyway, I said I'd go - I wanted to. I've been dying to go back to that school for a long, long time.

And I had all these ideas in my head...
I was going to talk to my Irish teacher (who'd thought I wasn't great, but had potential) and tell him how much I'd learned and how involved in Saol na Gaeilge I was now, and how big a part of my life the language is now... how much I'd seen and heard and learnt... all my plans...

And I was gonna talk to my old English teacher, and tell him all about how journalism was going and thank him again for being such a huge inspiration.

And I was gonna talk to my old Art teacher, and tell him I've been neglecting my drawing etc. but that I'm getting back into it. And ask him how things were; that I'd heard he'd been ill.

And I was gonna talk to my old maths teacher - and thank him for scaring me off going to Art college. He probably saved me.

And I was gonna walk in with my head held high.


It didn't quite go like that.
It was really, really strange.

My sister's friends told her her dress was too "club-wear"-y, so I lent her one of my dresses.. and a handbag... and some shoes... and my jacket... and she walked out of the house looking EXACTLY like 18-year-old me. In fact... I remember wearing that dress to the year above me's grads...

As I walked in with my dad, my old principal (standing in the exact same spot, shepherding people the exact same direction) stopped me to ask what class I was in. I had a feeling he was just about to comment on the fact I was late, when he did a double-take and said, "Oh! Sorry. It's your sister."

At the ceremony, they read the same poem - Desiderata - that they'd read at mine. And, just like last time, I mouthed along - having memorised the words years ago. I was a little rustier this time.

The speeches were the very same kind of funny... students and teachers poking fun at each other with all the same jokes. Nothing much had changed... Jibes at the two young, spikey-haired, lads-lads teachers; "hedgehog one and hedgehog two, aka, Jack and Jones"... And, about getting suspiciously overdressed when heading out to the library...

The choir sang all the cheesy goodbye songs... The "talented" kids had their bitta the spotlight. The token (slightly rockerish) band played a set... No one paid attention as the trad soc played incredibly well... Two blatantly popular fellas butchered Galway Girl to riotous applause...

As 18-year-old me collected her little certificate and class bracelet thingie (clearly nervous, and just a little awkward in herself - I wished she knew how gorgeous she looked) Dad snapped away, commenting on how much easier it was to get a good shot this time, being so much closer.

And then there were refreshments - tea, coffee, and the exact same finger food. It was even laid out the same. I snubbed the sambos and made a beeline to where I felt the springrolls would be. There they were.

Whatever triumphant confidence I thought I'd feel...didn't happen. With my now blonde hair, and my glasses (which I wouldn't have been seen DEAD in back then), not ONE of my teachers recognised me in all the faces.

The students didn't know me. The teachers didn't know me. The parents didn't know me. The feeling was all too terribly familiar. I felt as invisible and lost and jittery as I had on my first day at school. Being in that place set a lot of old nerves singing...

I - eventually - got up the courage to approach my maths teacher. Gesturing to myself; "Aoife Ryan" sparked an excited recognition. He was delighted to see me! Full of questions and praise and, well, everything I'd expected! We had a great chat. And I spoke to one or two more teachers after that (each time having to introduce myself).

Though it kinda seemed so at first, I haven't been forgotten... I've just changed a lot. So much that I'm unrecognisable.

Which is exactly what I wanted.

I guess.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


... has broken! Well, a good few hours ago at this stage. My first in a while... Didn't sleep. I'll get round to it later on!

There was a horrible racket outside and I thought it must be the binmen or something... went to investigate (in full crazy-lady getup: pink bathrobe, ski socks, squinty eyes, cigarette, morning hair...)

Peering out the window, it turned out it was neighbours of mine! (who I couldn't pick out in a line-up, if I'm honest..) Anyway they'd loaded all their belongings into a "Rent-a-Skip" and then some scruffy driver/mover/crane-operating guy crane-lifted it onto the back of his truck... and off they noisily went. (Good thing I WASN'T asleep, actually..)

The only times I seem to see the really early morning (5.30am-7.30am) is when I stay up for it.. (eg. had to get an early flight once.. only chance I had of waking up on time was not going to sleep!)
Sometimes, yeah, it happens that an early rise is forced on me (for one usually-stupid reason or another)... but I didn't sleep because I wanted to see it today! :D

I'll sleep in the afternoon - I can afford that. I've seen PLENTY of afternoons. I'm sick of afternoons. It's such a dull time to wake up. Everyone's awake already and gone off doing things, and you feel so left behind that it's easier to decide; fuck it, I'll never catch them... Afternoon's the least remarkable, most reliable time of day.

Whenever I have to remember to do something, I'll set my phone reminder for 3pm. Always. It's a good reliable time - it's rare you'll find people sleeping at 3pm. FAR too early to go to bed and, unless it's a particularly evil hangover day, far too late to be still asleep. So... it's usually a good time to remind myself of whatever needs doing.

Anyway. Yeah. Watching Morning Ireland. They're all a buncha head-wreckers! I know morning shows are obliged to be perky and chirpy and so on.. but they're about as sincere with each other as they are interesting... It's like a horribly forced atmosphere - like a dinner party everyone's been guilted into going to. And the mini-fashion show's a bit... Gak.

Although, I LOVE the sweet old won they had on making omlettes.

I've had breakfast (a stale pita bread, tea, and a cigarette) but think I'll go out for something...well.. something that resembles food a little more closely...

Maybe a breakfast roll! Or a Mc-WhatevertheFucktheySellintheMornings! Just for the novelty...

Yeah. I've decided I like this. Morning's are nice and interesting and longer days = more time to play around with. Nights are my thing, true.. and always have been.. but time to shake off my body-clock rut and see what I'm missing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A little surprise.

I found this written on the back cover of a tattered, yellowed copybook at work:

For Good Human Relationships
Speak to people
Be sincerely cordial
Smile at people
Call people by name
Be friendly and helpful
Be genuinely interested in people
Consider the feelings of others
Be alert to render service
Respect the opinions of others
Praise generously;
Criticise cautiously.

You can come across the oddest things in my bar… It was so strange. Just a normal copybook. God knows what made them print this on the back – in big bold print, with no clear reason for it, except… well, why not? Maybe that particular printing company had a notion they’d change the world… One copybook at a time! ^_^

It certainly gave me something to think about that night at work

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nothing stressed me out today.

I hate this. I'm bored - something that doesn't happen a lot. Le tamall anuas, whenever I've had nothing to do, I've collapsed in a heap and slept - tired from all the stuff I was doing!

I shouldn't have taken the day off. Precious few left. After Friday, no more Work Experience. And no luck on the job front just yet. What will I do?

I have no new "news". I tried on a dress I didn't like... Thought about the logo I'm working on... Sketched on some scrap paper... Got a Quiznos... It was fun, like, but...

Nothing stressed me out today. Nothing. Today was just... a day...

.. Wasted?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Dublin at 6am is lovely.

Especially today. It's bitterly cold (or, "brisk", if you prefer), but bright, and promises to be warm when the sun gets a little higher... and cold tonight, maybe... Ideal.

An old friend told me I'd make a good weather girl. I scoffed; hopefully my Journalism degree will get me further than THAT. He meant it in a nice way, though...
God, I hope he's doing ok.
'Though I can safely assume he's not.
But... it's not my business anymore.
And that's ok.

It's funny how much easier it is to get out of bed when you wake up happy.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Back to my roots.

I was at a metal gig in Limerick last night.
Hero in Error - Dublin band.
They're alright! But it was just... so... much... fun. So energizing. I miss that shit.

There's nothing better than a metal gig. Nothing. The first PROPER, big, open-air concert I was ever at was Metallica at the RDS in '04. And I will never forget it as long as I live.

I remember that ticket was the first Valentine's present I had ever gotten. And I still think it was the best. It was a hell of a risk on his part, if ya think about it – we’d only been together about 2 weeks! And the gig was in June!

I got him a joke-gift. Y'know… We hadn't been together very long, and I thought it'd be cool.
It...erm...wasn't... especially when he proudly presented me with my very thoughtful, expensive gift, and heartfelt card.


We got to Dublin. Way, way too early. And it was way, way too sunny. We stopped by Asha in Steven’s Green – I bought a cool “…And Justice” necklace and a horrible top. I got it because it wasn’t too bulky, and had Metallica written on it, but just tied it ‘round my waist for the day. Horrible. Wore the necklace, though. Still do the odd time, even though it’s broken.

So, into the queue. My head was burning. I suspected I was getting a migraine - nooooo! I'd soldier through it. Standing in the sun, mostly in black (blergh. too warm!), glaring at the awkward twits in support-band Tees. (the sheer cheek!)

I was nervous. I thought about the big crowd and the crush and getting shoved around. Everyone was a lot bigger, and badder-looking than me. Except for a few scrawny Slipknot fans (with their trade-mark bad tattoos).

We got into the RDS and headed for the main arena. Lost Prophets were first. I grabbed C’s hand and practically dragged him through crowds of mean-looking biker-types… their piercings and sweaty foreheads glistening in the sun. I thought, if I wanted to be at the front, this was my best chance. Lost Prophets fans were bound to be the easiest to push through. And I made it! About half-way through their set, I was within reaching-distance of the barrier.

What was I wearing… Red boots (very uncomfortable – but flat at least), probably teamed’m with a skirt, which I can safely assume was black (but I don’t remember…), and a red sleeveless Punky Fish top which, at the time, I thought was the COOLEST thing EVER. (Uncomfortably tight, it had a zip all the way up the front, and back. So, in theory, you could rip it in two. Unnecessary, and clearly asking for trouble, but no one ever went there! It used to catch on my belly-button piercing... Ick. I couldn’t wear it these days – it being disgracefully tacky and all…)

So, the poor Profs got booed off the stage. The biggest cheer they got was for mentioning the word “Metallica”. A hail of bottles and abuse. A friend of C’s chucked something that hit one of them in the head. Really feel bad about that. I didn’t join in. They’re not a bad band. The crowd just wanted to emphasise that they didn’t belong there. It wasn’t cool. But… I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hilarious.

“Thanks for your fucking support.” And they sauntered huffily off stage.
Some skinhead guy in front of us shouted; “Don’t listen to them guys! I still love you! Woooo!”

Well… that’s nice!


So, my head’s getting quite sore… this is gonna be one of the BADder migraines… but all I had to do was get through Slipknot. And at least we were at the front!
“Aoife, I’m getting a little claustrophobic… can we go back?”
Are you kidding me?!? But, dutifully, I took his hand and barged my way back out. It was nice to have a little space. I guess.
My head was killing me.


So, I never really liked Slipknot. Bang bang bang music. Boiler-suits and stupid masks. Seemed a little too theatrical and…well… y’know… just didn’t understand their appeal. And don’t think calling your fans “maggots” is very nice.

They charged on stage. Crowd freaked out. I started to kinda get into it. Their music blasted the pain right out of my head. Maybe it was adrenaline, maybe it was the frequency of the bang bang bangs, maybe it was that I’d taken the top from around my waist and draped it over my head to keep the sun off… but I couldn’t feel a thing. Nice one! I started hoppin’ around, whippin’ my hair about, tried to encourage C to get into the mini-mosh pit that’d formed near-by, and, when he wouldn’t, bounced in myself. Wooooo!

(By the way, C’s coming across badly in this, but bear in mind he wasn’t feeling great. Food-poisoning from Subway the day before. He got a card for free subs for a year because of it! But never really took full advantage of it. Which pissed me off no end.)

Some guy fell on the ground. Oh my God he’s going to die.

“BACK OFF! FUCKING BACK OFF!” – some massive hairy giant parted the crowds, picked the guy up and grumbled; “You ok man?”
“Yeah.. thanks!”

Metal fans are so nice! Anywhere else and he’d’ve been trampled. It’s not violence for the sake of it – it’s a bit of rough ’n tumble, and all in the name of fun, and they look out for each other. I couldn’t believe it. I had nothing to worry about.

Suddenly some psycho a few feet away starts roaring: “Get the FUCK down! GET THE FUCK DOWN!”


The music was dying down. I looked around and everyone – everyone – tens of thousands of black-clad fans were on their hunkers on the ground. C was too. I got the fuck down. Confused. Going with it.

And then, with thunderous drums, the music went ballistic and the whole RDS leapt to its feet and roared and trashed around and oh… my God…

I understood now. I’ve never bought a CD of theirs, but I’d LOVE to go to another gig. They are phenomenal live. They send the crowds into a frenzy. It’s an helluva rush! ^_^


Away from the main arena, sprawled on the grass, moaning.
“How can I help?”
“I dunno. Step on my head. No. Get me some chocolate or something.”
The minute the music stopped, the pain came back. I didn’t know if I could take much more. What fucking awful timing. My day is ruined.
He came back with the chocolate. It didn't help.
“They’ll be on any minute.”
I got up and shuffled miserably alongside him, and we headed back to the fray.


Just as we came through the passage-thing, Ecstasy of Gold started up. That’s Metallica’s entrance music, borrowed from an old western, promising something great.
The scene opened out in front of us, entrance music still soaring, and I got this tightness in my chest, and butterflies, and something else too. It was overwhelming. The crowd seemed to have doubled, tripled in size. I know people say this a lot, but you actually COULD feel the excitement and anticipation. It felt like I’d been waiting forever for this. We all had. Thousands and thousands of fans. And these heroes – these absolute legendary men – standing there. They were right there. Right in fucking front of us.

And they opened with the first song on my favourite album and I freaked - out. Blackened. One of the best intros to any song ever. Really got the gig going. Migraine didn’t even exist anymore.

When it was over, and we were sufficiently revved up (they were starting things on a high that was to continue…)
“Gimme an M!”
“Gimme an E!”
“Gimme a T!”

“… GIMME FUEL GIMME FIRE GIMME THAT WHICH I DESIRE!” – Fuel!! Not the best song, and a pretty obvious way to introduce it, but still, UNREAL!!

And it went on and on and got better and better. And the sun was gone. And the stage was radiant. I called a friend (who nearly cried) and held my phone on high, to join the thousands of others, during Nothing Else Matters.

A pyramid of about 20 smelly men formed over to the right somewhere. I can’t remember what comment Hetfield made about that, but I remember it was hilarious.

Hammett was mesmerising.
Lars was…Lars!
And that large, hulking dude (who was the newbie then and, to me, still is) was actually pretty cool.

And they apologised for having forgotten to play Whiskey in the Jar the previous year. And proceeded to play the HELL out of it to make up for it.

And they closed with Seek and Destroy and we were left angry, breathless, and on a wild rush – I’ve never felt so high.

And when it all went quiet, and I came back down to earth……
“… Ow… oh fuck… ow…”
Remember me? Migraine’s back!
Ah, fuck it, it was worth it.
One of the best memories I’m lucky enough to have.


I love all different kinds of music. And all sorts of gigs are great. But... nothing compares to the pumping adrenaline ya get from good, old-fashioned metal... :)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

On the Red train.

I missed the last bus home (by AGES).
I missed the last train home (9pm) by minutes.
I proceeded to panic.

BUT my panic was wasted. There were two additional, slightly-later services loading! “Rugby Special” trains. This one left at 9.20pm, exclusively for Thurles and Limerick. It’s full of good-humoured (if mildly disappointed) Munster Fans. (But at least there’s an Irish team in the final. *nods*)

I think I’m the only plain-clothes person on the train. People are looking at me like I’m foreign. No one even sat next to me. (Well, my pile of bags and "I’m-Asleep" act may have deterred them…) I’m a Munster girl, though! I swear!

Know that Supermac’s in Heuston station? Usually empty. Tonight? Thronged. Supermac's is very much our thing. :)
I regret now that I turned my nose up at the queue – there’s a guy a few feet away with a chicken burger and it…smells… so… good… What I’d give for a Curry Chip ’n Cheese and a CanaCoke now! Ah well. I bought posh train-juice and an extortionate Freshways sandwich. I got funny looks for asking for Egg and Bacon, and, when they didn’t have that, Ham Salad. Fuck off. I like pig meat, and you’re an idiot.

I also heard a kid shout “Piggy!” when someone sneezed earlier. The swine flu thing’s getting tiresome. But ya can’t BUT laugh at the online buzz... Like Swineflu - The Game. ^_^

Anyway. Heuston station was dearg le daoine. Packed with Red jerseys with sloppy pints bein' waved around. But no-one annoying. No prominent assholes.

I’d much rather be on a Munster train home than a Leinster one.

I can never get my head around the chasm of a difference between Munster and Leinster Rugby. In Limerick, everyone likes Rugby. You just do. You don’t even need to LIKE Rugby to like Rugby. You don’t need to watch the match, even. (‘Though, it’s better craic if you do!) What’s not to like? Families, friends, strangers in the pub, schools, parishes, whatever; we all get behind the team. It’s always a mad and messy night out, and always good craic, and just a good buzz all ‘round.

And when they’ve got the big, BIG screen on O’Connel St… wow… It really is spectacular. The whole city just stops: everything revolves around this colossal projection and everyone’s laughing and cheering and jeering and biting their nails… It doesn’t matter what area you’re from, or who you are – you’re in Limerick and you’re in Red and everyone’s in it together. Whose idea was that big screen anyway?! It’s GREAT! At least once, everyone should experience being squashed into a crowd, watching a match, standing in the street… (sneakily sipping yer Cider can, and NOT climbing the lamp posts, please.)

Rugby’s a funny kind of relief for Limerick. It’s the one time where everyone’s on the same side. The snobby areas chill out, the dodginess dies down… The bad press gets Red-washed over for a while.

Then in Dublin it’s a cliquey statusy thing? I’ll never understand it.

(written on train, no Internet, forgot to post ‘till now, after getting home and watching half of Tropic Thunder.)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

And also...

I was just reading one of my posts from only a few months ago - and I barely recognise myself. The way I wrote it... my attitude...

I'm just tired.
All this in the last few months really IS wearing me out. I miss having time for my friends, for my family, for me... just time.

Summer soon. So soon.

I don't even think I'm up for getting the bus now after all. The post-work buzz had me all... well... buzz-y... but now I just feel drained. 's what's expected when ya don't sleep, I guess.
Think I'll just lie down. -_-

Today, I'm missing my old friends.

(And I haven't slept yet, so, by today, I mean Friday.)

I can't sleep. It's after 6am. I'm that eager to just be back at home. Even if it's just for a day and a bit. The first bus is at 7.30.

I always hated Limerick when I was "stuck" there; when I moved there from rose-coloured Galway... I looked forward to Dublin's new start so much.
Nothing's any different here.
I mean, yeah, things are good. Interesting, at least. But... dammit...

I've been looking for a job in Dublin. But I've only realised today that... well... I haven't been looking very hard. To be honest, part of me would LOVE if I didn't find anything, and ended up "stuck" in Limerick for the summer.

I found out today that a friend of mine is apparently engaged. Mad. It stung to have a complete randomer tell me - a jackass music-snob whose name I can't even remember - when I'm supposed to be.....
Well, I haven't heard from her in a long time.

I know she thinks I wouldn't approve - but that's not entirely fair. I would. Hell, I snuck them around for years! Despite thinking he was bad news, I did whatever I could to make her happy.

I wonder if that's why we haven't kept in touch... 'cos she thinks I won't understand.