Monday, December 27, 2010


Well... I've come out of hiding.
And hiding is exactly ALL I've been doing since finishing college back in May.
I got a 1st. Woo. And a degree I should be proud of.
And I am. Christ, I'd be stupid not to be. Like all my classmates, I'd a tough aul four years. Nice to see it end. And sad. But mostly...inconvenient.


Because the plan was always: School => College => Blank. The blank was to fill itself once I got to it - like coming upon a clearing in misty woods (or some poetic bollox like that)... Everything, once a fogged blur, would come into focus: Paradise! The end of the road. The goal.

But, instead, I'm living in the Blank. Surrounded by Blank. I feel like a hamster who just fell off his wheel. Years of running, giving it my all... Lying on the ground, dazed now, looking back to realise I'm no further than when I started.

I've done nothing since May. Nothing of use, anyway. Plenty of fun and stuff (and still working full-time in retail) but, bleurgh, I need to dust the cobwebs off my brain and LEARN or DO. Or... just THINK even.

Well. I had an idea that the hiding and the avoiding and the *try-not-to-think-about-the-blank* would all be shaken off after a holiday: London! 10 days this summer. Lovely. No good, though.
So I thought: A week over Christmas! That'll be the time I need to set things right in my head and get motivated to A) research my options B) get off my arse and do something, and C) stop being afraid.
(Not necessarily in that order... C, I'd imagine, would come first)
Christmas is over now and I've work tomorrow. And the holiday didn't bring the epiphany I'd expected......

It did, however, give me time to relax... To think about what I want from a job (within whatever career path I eventually settle on), and what I want to do next with myself. (Drinking and scratching my arse is getting old.)

I finally (finally - for the first time in my life) turned on, tuned in, and got online to look at postgrads. *gasp*

That mammoth step took just a few measley minutes. And it changed everything.

I've a few ideas now. Only vaguely relating to my undergrad degree (if at all) but who gives a flying fuckwit?
I like the sound of one or two of the courses on offer. And one, in particular, sounded really fascinating: computery and technical and fun twiddly solo work. Just what I like.

What I want from a course:
= For it to be 1 or 2 years only - any more's too big a comittment for me after just having served 4.
= For it to be in Dublin.
= For it to be different, difficult, and open new and DIFFERENT potential NextSteps
= For it to involve(even just a pinch of an element of) creativity.

What I want from a job(when I grow up):
= For it to be challenging, fast-paced, demanding.
= For it to be (even just a little) interesting. (Even just at first.)
= For it to treat me as well as I will treat it. I want a job that I WANT to work hard at!

When I find my job, I want one I sort of hate a bit, but one where I'm tempted to stay late, work through lunch, take it home with me, dream about it... That's the sort of job I'll work well at. I'm lazy when I'm not under pressure. Well, not lazy, but certainly not at my productive best.

If a job could match me, overwhelm me, challenge me, it wouldn't matter what discipline, what sector, what I was doing at all.

Anyway, as I may have written earlier, I've work tomorrow. But I'm in a place at the moment where I need to do a lot of thinking, and that means talking to myself, which is fun on here. So...

I'm back, blogland. Hear me roar.

Friday, July 09, 2010

As for this blog?

As for this blog?

I'll probably leave it lying here, or save it somewhere, for the sake of perusing a few memories on some distant, bored, future day... but for now, I can't imagine being here very often. My visits, posts, enthusiasm, has fizzled out.. Any following I once cultivated I've completely neglected for the last god-knows-how-many months.

I started this thing in 1st year. I'm done now; no more to say.


As hard as the four years were, they were great. I'm glad I worked part-time straight through the years, exhausted and barely scraping by... because I paid my way and that feels really fucking good to say. And maybe it was easier for those with loans/living at home... but maybe not either. We all had our own distractions, it wasn't an easy 4 years, and I loved hearing that everyone did well... Even if I am pretty sure I won't have much contact with any of them beyond the grads - which is my own fault, entirely... I was too wrapped up in my self/work/stress/other to make the effort I should have, except sporadically, and that's not enough... In fact,when I did try, I think it was just a bit weird, in retrospect... Popping up for a group-night-out thing once every 6 months then disappearing again.


All in all, a nice bunch. Maybe it isn't too late. Or maybe paths will cross amach anseo.

I'm glad I missed lectures from being hungover/shattered after long Conradh nights... It got me mad-cool marks in Irish, and opened up a whole new world to me... I'm glad for everything. Even the really, really stupid stuff I did.

College really was... pretty great.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm preactically finished college, about 99.99% finished. I feel like I should mark the moment with a post here. But I don't really know how I feel.

[_] Scared.
[_] Relieved.
[_] Free.
[_] Lost.
[_] Aimless.
[X] All of the above.

I've never been a great one for plans. It's better to just see what happens, watch where the flow's taking you, react, and take it from there.

I had a vague idea, though... It went: School, College, Blank.
The blank was meant to fill itself.

It hasn't.

So, now blank seems to = Work... for now. In a job I'm lucky to have and...well... could it be forever..? Could it be a route worth taking? There's a great Optom course in DIT... Familiar ground and everything...

New plan, then?
Wait and see.

Tbh, I can probably afford to bide a little time. So, I'll save and save and think and think and then...God knows what I'll do. It'll hit me some day soon.

And if not - what's the fucking hurry anyway?

For the first time in 4 years, I have time to read again! ^_^ Draw, play video games, paint, go for long walks, maybe do a bit more stand-up...whatever the fuck I want.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I bloody fucking managed to do it! ... I DID IT.

I did it. Dissertation in, radio sorted. Life is manageable again. I KNEW the universe wouldn't let me down.
I knew I wouldn't let me down.
And the Dropkicks last night were effin' brilliant. I caught a guitar pick!

Time to start doing myself justice, 'though. As soon as I've recovered from these two consecutive (and painful) all-nighters, I'm straight back in - head first - to make the most of the little college that's left.

I got an award this week (that's apparently been sitting in a box for a while now, having been awarded at a ceremony I couldn't go to - and no one told me!!) and I was thrilled about it. It was for "outstanding contribution" to a college society over the four years I've been here. Delighted.

Then I found out that, this Monday, I'm being presented with another: the Chairperson's Medal for my "outstanding contribution to college life". Again, it's for all the societies stuff I did. Similar - but sounds to be a much bigger deal. I didn't even know such a thing existed. Socs office nominated me.

Whether it's deserved or not, it's certainly flattering. There are 10 medals in total and, when I heard who else was nominated, I was gobsmacked that the socs office thought I was up there with them: People who've worked their arses off and really made a huge difference, people who've set up hugely successful societies, people who've powered through college despite crazy hectic outside lives, people who've done amazing things...

I dunno if I've done "amazing" things for socs, but it feels amazing to have won something like this. I'll be honest... I've, genuinely, spent the last few months doubting my choices... wondering if my priorities were a bit fucked up going through college... wondering if I should have concentrated on the course more than all the other shit I got sidetracked with... wondering if I'd spent four years here working hard at wasting a whole lot of time.

But the shit I got sidetracked with was amazing shit. It was worthwhile shit. It was the best possible kind of shit. And it's that shit that I'm going to take with me from my college experience... and cherish forever.

When our Cumann Gaelach was awarded the "Most Improved Society" award in my second year of college, we got through to BICS - the national final. There was a guy there who'd won "Best Individual" in DIT, and who'd just gone on to win "Best Individual" nationally. Basically, it means he was, by far, the hardest working individual person in any college society in the country. He certainly was. Everyone knew it. He helped make something magical out of the already brilliant Drama Soc. And he was involved in every other aspect of college life too. And studying full time. And doing everything else you could possibly imagine. Think "impossible amount of achievement"... now, double it.

I remember talking to him... Barely. I was "interviewing" him, both of us propping up the bar, drunk as skunks... I wrote down his answers in the margins of the awards ceremony brochure... Scrabbling together a few quotes for my report in the DIT News was tricky; my usually illegible scrawl is even worse when I'm drunk.

But I got one good quote out of it. And a damn good one at that.

"If you're not involved in a society you're not going to college, you're going to class."

Here here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I thought for certain I'd become a mad hermit for these weeks - crawl deep into my work and block all out; Obsess. And get it done.

But I've spent plenty of time with him . He offered help and I took it; ignoring my usual pride, vanity, stubborness, control-freaky-osity... I asked him for help. He was a brilliant help. And good at it. Every call he made was good. It's nice to know, too, that he understands the inner-workings of it all a little better. I can share that, for the first time.

And, best and strangest of all, I've let him in.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Standing Up... for the impossible.

"You're not actually doing this...?"
My friends couldn't believe me when I told them I was going to do it.
They certainly didn't think I'd be able to do it.

Can't possibly make people laugh?

Can't possibly write my dissertation in less than a week?

Watch me.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Exactly 2 weeks.

Exactly two weeks and it's hand-in day. Jesus H. Christ.

Thousands have gone before and managed it, must remember that, must keep saying that. No way in hell I'm the LEAST organised person to ever finish this course. Nor the least able. Far from it.

2 weeks - 336 hours, right? And I'm more than able - and willing - to run on the minimum amount of sleep. Or none, I'd imagine, nearing the end.

Don't ask me how I fell so far behind. But, fuck it, if there's one thing I'm good at it's last-minute, quality cramming. Aoife McCrammy-Ryan. Old habits die hard and I never genuinely expected any less - even if it IS final year, even if it IS the dissertation... It's how I do things. And I've scraped by fine so far.


We'll all do fine. Or, at the very least, we'll all get through it.


And my reward? What I'm most looking forward to? Not the degree I've lost enthusiam for, not a fun-filled summer, not a breather from the weight of work and stress of it all.... No. My brightest light at the end of the tunnel is...

That's right. The night of the 22nd it'll be me, the boy, the Bucky, and the Dropkick Murphys. Win, Lose or Draw; that will be a damn good night.

Hell. Fucking. Yeah.

Goodnight... tomorrow begins the marathon...

Monday, April 05, 2010

No Escape

On holliers from all my jobs... All of them. One month of nothing. Nothing. Christ - I can't stand it.

It's probably been about 3'na half years since I'd this much damn time off. Nowhere to rush to. No mad work schedule (with bleak hours of study crammed in wherever possible; never a minute of "free time" without that hanging guilt of procrastination...)

I quit to create time to do my Dissertation, y'see... To finish my research and write it all up; leather-bound and beautiful by the 22nd. Also, the radio project needs finishing (a documentary on how Stand-Up Comics start out - with my very own performance coming up on the 13th. Yes. I'm really doing it. God help us all.)

But, even 'though it's a lot of work, I feel...idle. Helplessly idle. Without the pressure of work and lateness and lack of time to do college work, it's been impossible to do college work.

What's that expression? "If you want something done, ask a busy person"...? That's just it. My momentum's gone. And there's no escape into work or rehearsals or society work or... anything. Seems it was easier to get assignments done when all I had were those tiny, designated, rare windows.

I took this time off to work solely on college: final stretch of final year, get it done! I thought I needed time...
But I'm going insane with endless empty hours... to fill as I please...

Ah well... I'll just have to get used to it.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Almost...! Graaaah!

I think I'm getting there. If I can't come out of today with a solid plan for this dratted dissertation, then I may as well give up. Today. Obsessively. I must sort it out.

Everyone's started collecting data already and have been workin' away for a month or so, as I've been wrestling with my research plan and scrambling to pinpoint some basic fucking idea of the direction for the thing.

But I think I've almost got it.

It all has to come down to Today. It has to be Today. I want to go to sleep tonight happy that I know what the hell I'm doing.

In other news... Other proj's are going swimmingly. Suspiciously so. But whatever.
And I'm still utterly smitten - more-so every day.
And life is good. (Except for dissertations and research topics. All else; good.)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Write what you love...

This isn't it.

What am I doing? Fuck this college stuff. But won't shy at the last hurdle. Gonna do it. And do it well.

And, on a vaguely related note, something (wonderful) happened that I, at first, thought would scupper my final year successes (...when you least expect it, they say...) But, bad timing or no, I couldn't be more delighted that it happened. Whenever it happened. So long as it happened.

And... I have found it hard to stop smiling all month. Everything else may be demanding, stressful, difficult... but this has been effortless. Uncharacteristically, and ideally, I feel neither threatened nor desperate to sabotage. Everyone says it's supposed to be hard - and I believed that. And I saw it, from experience, to be true. But it's not meant to be hard.
It's so deliriously easy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A whole new direction entirely?

What of Dublin? Do I stay or do I go? Is there any point being there? Certainly more of a point than being in Limerick. I never felt home in Limerick... and can't imagine uprooting all over again...

I'm tempted to stay put - it's easier to imagine. But I'm restless, too. And people keep asking asking asking - What are your plans for next year? My response of "I haven't any" gets pricklier every time..

I've gotten along fine 'till now favourong impulses over plans. So, fuck it, that's what I'll do this time too. Play it by ear. I feel that prickle of annoyance subsiding already.

Everyone has an opinion, 'though... You should travel. You should work for a while and think about it. You should do a masters.

I'll do what feels right when the time comes. And, for now, enjoy being where I am.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Great Coffee...

... can turn a bad day into a great one... a highly unproductive mood into a hopeful one... an anxious tummy into a happy one... and a grey city scene into something of gobsmacking beauty.

Try an americano in The Bald Barista at the Avalon house. Has to be black. Thick as tar, and tastes of burnt chocolate ashes, or something.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Good Time

I like to believe that people – most people, anyway – aren’t deliberately cruel. I believe that, like me, they only treat other people badly when they can justify it to their self-involved selves, or forget to be considerate, or just… neglect to think about it at all. And even when someone IS deliberately cruel, there’s some reason. Maybe not a GOOD reason, but maybe enough for them. Maybe you just caught them at a bad time. Maybe their shit’s hitting the fan in another area of their life and their tolerance is down. Maybe being pleasant is too much work that day.

Justified negligence of the ‘right thing’. I readily forgive that trait in myself… Haha, not that it registers… It doesn’t even make me flinch most of the time (‘till afterwards when I weigh up its worth). When I really feel like I’m justified, who can convince me otherwise? But it’s harder for us to forgive it in others. Maybe because it’s much easier to internally convince yourself something’s ok to do/doesn’t matter/isn’t THAT bad. Or to convince yourself that you just don’t really care, at all. We all do it. All the time.

But, from the outside, it’s more obvious that you’re being a shit and, no matter how many excuses you come up with, it’s probably inexcusable.

Maybe being a shit just comes naturally… to everyone… sometimes… and maybe it’s about pushing yourself t’wards self-control.

Or maybe, like everything else, it’s all about timing and circumstance.
Timing and circumstance control your destiny, if there is such a thing. Unless you can control them, you can’t control anything. And… you can only ever really control them to an extent.

Love, hate, rivalry, mercy, charity, faith, wealth, choices, success, first impressions… Timing and circumstance rule it all. Even your mood. Even who you ‘are’.
I left my favourite scarf in Cork on New Year’s Eve and my friend, who I was sure would forget all about it, got it safely back to me.

And then (subsequently, promptly) I lost it. And it occurred to me that, if he HAD forgotten it, and still had it, unreturned… I’d be irked somewhat, but basically would still have a scarf. But now it’s gone forever.

Which has nothing to do with anything. But it was a funny thought.

Like missing a plane that crashes. Or never getting to know that person. Or applying for a job at JUST the right time. Or the introversion and imposed loneliness that comes with forgetting for a while that your life is, in fact, so much bigger than just you (and that it takes work to keep it that way… work you can’t cram in at the end…)

Or, losing your scarf.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Snow in the City

It was beautifully snowy in Dublin today. This winter's been snowier than I've ever seen in my life. At home in Limerick, it was the first white Christmas we've ever had.

Dublin shut down today. (City of drama-queens...) Shops and pubs and everything closed and the buses stopped - everything screeched to a standstill. (It's just a little snow! The rest of the country shrugged and got on with it, but when Dublin's slippery, the world stops!)

Sigh. Anyway. Seeing as College, like most everything else, was closed, and I had nothing better to do... I grabbed my camera and headed for a walk.

Here are my faves:

Enjoy! ^_^
(If you wanna see the rest, see here: X)

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Days of Dial-up

I’m having flashbacks. My new meteor broadband plugin USB yokey is sheer shite. Reminiscent of dial-up frustrations. It’s bullshit, like. What should have taken no time at all (uploading pics to FB and finding a map to where I need to be tomorrow) has taken hours. Balls to this.

Dial-up… god wasn’t it awful? The internet was a place for those with plenty of patience, and a high threshold for annoyance and despair. Clicking the same link 50 times, knowing it would only slow things further, but doing it anyway…. to SPITE it.

Back then, ‘though, I practically lived online. Insane. Back when I was a gamer too, and had taught myself a little html, and knew all the lingo… I fit in quite nicely in the e-world. I was a “reg” in several rooms across the net... a triumph, in my young, lonely eyes. I was even subject to (what I now suspect was) "grooming" (but was far too shy for it to ever have worked - haha.)

Then I suddenly got a life (IRL) and all changed.

Now, even with Twittering, FB and blogging sparsely… it’s NOTHING to the hours, days, months I accumulated in various chatrooms, online forums, etc. Now I almost feel like a tourist or something. I’m only ever just passing through. The only on-line communities I’m part of are made up of real-life communities and friends (apart from blogging, which I really, really wish I had more time to give to - but I don't at the moment. Must make more time...)

And a part of me might miss those square-eyed sessions, telling strangers what I could tell no one else and knowing it’d never matter… There's something lovely about that. But...

Me and the net have grown apart. Gone our separate ways. And, like with many old, faded friendships; I don’t recognise it anymore. We still talk, but… well, y’know.
I suppose, this, where I am now, is the real triumph.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Clumsy? Me?

After a nice new year's dinner with parents and couple of family friends, sitting around playing pictionary. (Cute!) I pour myself a glass of wine (my FIRST) and take a sip. Then it's our turn.

I reach for a pencil... and my elbow grazes my glass, making it wobble slightly.

Panicked, my cat-like reflexes kick in and I lunge to grab for it... swinging it off the table with the back of my hand. On my second attempt I sorta swing an upper-cut at it in mid-air, making it spin and splatter all over my sister, before it crashes to the ground.

And I couldn't even blame the wine as I hadn't but a small sip drank.

I can only hope my reflexes are as quick if I'm ever attacked. I'll spot the villain wobbling out the corner of my eye, and have him dazed on the ground in seconds.

On the other hand...if a friend was ever to slip suddenly, say, and I end up back-handing and thwacking them in the face...that would be less helpful.