Thursday, July 31, 2008


Um, entertaining last-night-out in Dublin, to say the least.  Met some cute boys, one of which I just friended on Facebook with a very cheeky message.

Also, yesterday a friend of mine on the program came back from lunch break and had bought me a chocolate frog... because it made her think of me.  She doesn't know about the blog.


Okay, drunk and it's crazy late and I have a breakfast meeting at 10am.  Yipe!!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Magnetic Poetry Mondays

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The one with no title.

Greetings, from the slowest computer on the planet!

I am on the verge of caving and actually spending €15 to get a week's worth of wireless access, even though I'd have to sit on the stoop of my building to use it... because as much as I love the Post Graduate Reading Room, the insane slowness of these computers is driving me mad!  Mad I say!!

In other news, Dublin is still lovely.  We've had the entire weekend off to recoup our sanity after the 2 day whirlwind tour of Belfast, which left more than a few of us feeling a bit raw for one reason or another.  One thing I'm finding personally difficult about this experience is that unlike the majority of my fellow students, I've been here before.  Particularly in dealing with a place like Belfast, which has such a mottled history, it seems that most of my compatriots are still processing this information on a very emotional level... which I've done already.  I'm approaching much of this work from a very different place, mentally, and that can be alienating.

I had my little emotional breakdown on Friday night, and Slater walked me around campus in the drizzle as I chainsmoked and vented my issues, and I'm feeling much better for it.  Yesterday I spent most of the day wandering aimlessly around Temple Bar on my own, which was lovely--though I wish I'd chosen my footwear more wisely... my arse muscles are killing me today!  I bought some pretty jewelry at the Designer's Market, watched some hot breakdancers, and got all my hair chopped off--hooray!  So much easier to manage now!!  Now I just have to figure out what "normal" colour I'm going to dye it before I hit South America.  I don't need to wave my tourist flag for all the Brazilians to see.

Last night we got very drunk.  Snippets of the evening--like sprawling across the cobblestones at Trinity, speaking in Scottish accents while waiting for friends who were buying cheeseburgers, and one of our group nearly getting run over by an ambulance--keep flitting back to me throughout the day.  Hi-lar-i-ous.

Today a few of us wandered over to Marion Square, where artists line the sidewalks on Sundays to sell... well.. art.  Some of it was positively astounding (and positively out of my price range) and some of it was less impressive.  I ended up buying myself a cute little ink drawing of two men hunkering down behind pints of Guiness, and I also found a pretty watercolour to give to my parents.

For the record, I've spent a lot of money this weekend.  A lot.  But by the same token I've barely spent any during the days when we're in class, so I'm thinking it balances out.

And now I should probably repair back to my room and try to work on my Grant Narrative which is due in a few days.  We'll see how productive I'm feeling by the time I get back there.

Oh!  And Round One of postcards went out last week... from the looks of things at least one has found its mark!  I just bought another stack this afternoon, so keep your eyes peeled, and thanks for playing!


*That's "cheers!" in Irish

Friday, July 25, 2008

Part Four

(It's Fiction Friday! Previous installments can be found here.)

Peter was hungover.

Truth be told, he’d been waking up hungover quite often recently-—and not only since an ill-timed bar bet had landed him sleeping in a trailer with this crew of derelicts and misfits.

Nice boys do not run off and join the circus. Peter used to think he was a nice boy.

Lately, he was not so certain.

He pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes, watching the fireworks that exploded there, and wondered how much it would take to bribe Harry into cleaning up the grounds this morning so the he could catch an extra hour of sleep.

Judging from the snores echoing above him, more than he could afford.

He looked at his watch. 6:30. Don would be banging down the door any minute now, best to beat the other guys out of this dump and avoid the verbal lashing that always came with oversleeping.

“Ouch! Shit!” He stumbled over an empty bottle of Jack Daniels as he climbed out of his bunk.

“Well, that explains the headache…”

He stumbled out into the blazing daylight and wondered for what felt like the millionth time just how exactly he had landed himself in this mess. His reverie was interrupted by Don’s deep baritone voice echoing over the lot.

“Hey! Walker!”

Peter groaned.

“What is it boss? I’m awake, aren’t I?”

“Walker it’s your lucky day.”

Peter groaned again. He had learned very quickly that Don’s idea of “luck” differed quite greatly from that of normal human beings. Visions of the underside of the tilt-o-whirl caused his already-unsettled stomach to churn as Don approached.

“Okay Don, what is it this time?”

“Big Man just bought a coupl’a animals off an outfit that went under ‘cross the valley. Need you to take the trailer and pick ‘em up.”

Peter waited. That didn’t sound so bad at all.

“Okay… that it?”


“When do I go?”

“Jakes is still out in the truck, checking fliers. Go grab some breakfast, you leave as soon as he gets back.”

“Right. Sure. Okay.”

Don shuffled off with his usual air of indifference and menace, banging on trailer doors and cursing under his breath. Peter breathed a sigh of relief.

Pick up animals? How hard could that be?

Looked like today might not be so bad after all.

[to be continued]

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dream

My feet are bare and bleeding.  Fucking pinecones.  How can something so perfect cause so much discomfort?  I feel like I've been walking for hours, I don't remember when I lost my shoes.  It's dark ahead, and getting light behind.  I'm running faster, chasing the night, and still these fucking pinecones!  They're everywhere!  A neverending sea of fractals.  Sharp fucking fractals.  And I'm running faster, toward god knows what.  I don't even know why I'm running, but my legs have taken control, pumping under me like the pistons of a steam engine, hurtling me toward an unknown destination.

And suddenly it's snowing.  The pinecones are gone and I'm standing on the edge of the ocean.  My footprints in the sand are dark--whether it's blood or water I couldn't say.  My breathing slows as the waves wash over my ruined feet, salt stinging in the open wounds.  The air smells like pitch.  Dark and dangerous.

I'm still looking for pinecones.  I can swear I see them in the crashing waves, seeking out the rest of me.  My shins, maybe, and then my knees.  Searching out every inch of flesh until I've been shredded away into nothing.

But they are only waves.  Washing calmly onto shore in the midst of my confusion.

*from a writing exercise we did in a workshop today.

Magnetic Poetry Mondays

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In Dublin's fair city, where the girls are so pretty...

Greetings from the Post Graduate Reading Room of Trinity College, where I was moderately consumed by guilt while logging onto Facebook--the atmosphere indicating a level of studiousness not accomplished by status messages and wall posts.

This was an impromptu visit on the way home from dinner or I would have brought my jump drive, on which I have saved a few posts written on my laptop--no internet access in the rooms unfortunately.

I've been in Dublin since Sunday, and thus far I have not been disappointed.  The program is proving to be quite interesting, though the days have been long and we've had an incredible amount of information thrown at us in each session.  However, in the grand scheme of things a little mental fatigue is entirely worth it, as I have a feeling that this experience will be--and indeed, has already been--incredibly rewarding.

I wish I had more to say, but I'm a bit frayed and frazzled at the moment.  Also, I need to go back to my room and catch up on my journaling for the past three days--and if I write about them here, I won't want to do it when I get back!

(Oh my good grief... the girl who I came with just whispered the most riduculous story to me and I nearly burst out laughing... and this is not the environment for raucous laughter.  The serious academics sitting below would probably have lynched us...)

Where was I?  Oh who am I kidding... I have no idea.  I need to go journal so that the events of the past few days aren't lost in the blur that I'm certain this trip will become.  Our first week is drawing to a close, yet it feels as though we've just arrived.

Photos (and potentially coherent posts) to come soon!  Well, as soon as scheduling allows...

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Magnetic Poetry Mondays

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Blogging via Mobile Phone

No, I'm not dead. Just a bad blogger... But all things considered, I
think I can be forgiven :).

Anyhoo, it is the ass crack of dawn here in the UK, and I am on my way
to Gatwick to catch a flight to Dublin. The London leg of my journey
has been lovely--albeit a bit damp. Violet and Jeff took great care
of me, and on Friday I had lunch with the English Ex, who is sexy as
ever. No, I did not sleep with him.

I'd promise a proper update soon, but there really are no guaruntees.
I will, however, do my best.

I think my stop is coming up soon so I'd best bring this to a close.

Happy Trails!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Part Three

(It's Fiction Friday! Previous installments can be found here.)

“Ouch! Damnit!” Gina hopped gingerly up and down on one foot, casting a scowl at the offending rollerblades that were the cause of her early morning outburst.

“Christ… MARK!!” She shouted, to no avail. The house was empty.

It wasn’t necessarily that she minded her brother staying with her for a few months while pulling himself together after a nasty break-up, but she did mind his uncanny ability to leave sporting equipment lying around in inconvenient locations. In the middle of her poorly-lit, upstairs hallway for example.

She examined the damage. Contrary to the throbbing sensation in her big toe, nothing appeared to be broken. She sighed.

“Well, at least he’s getting out of the house. It’s a significant improvement over last week…” She wasn’t certain that the smell of Chinese take-out would ever be entirely eradicated from her living room, but Mark was family. Her brother’s emotional well-being was worth the lingering scent of Kung Pao lurking around her Crate & Barrel curtains.

“I hate those curtains anyway,” she muttered as she made her way to the kitchen, stopping to grab her cell phone charger which Mark had conveniently left in the middle of the living room floor. Her battery had apparently died at the same time as the power had gone out, which seemed serendipitous in a pain-in-the-ass kind of way. She plugged in the phone as she poured a cup of coffee.

Mark may be a slob, but he always made coffee.

Replacing the milk, however, did not appear to be his forte.

Her cell phone chimed—Three New Messages.

“Oh shit…”

She dialed her voicemail.

“Oh… SHIT!”

She dashed from the kitchen, the still-plugged-in-phone flying from her hand and clattering to the floor, her boss’s last message still droning from the ear piece.

The meeting with Arveson. She had completely forgotten.

As she frantically began searching for her shoes, she stumbled, spilling coffee on her white blouse.

This was simply not shaping up to be a good day.

[to be continued…]

Monday, July 7, 2008

Greetings from London

Well, Twickenham really, but it's all one and the same really.

I would have updated before now, but the past few days have been a whirlwind of jet lag and reunions. In the past few days I have inhaled more (not-just-tobacco) smoke and consumed more tea than I normally do in a month. And this afternoon in the vicinity of Covent Garden I rapidly became wetter than I have been in quite some time.

All in all, however, it's lovely. I'm staying with my dear friend whom I shall call Lady Violet (her friends purchased her a title for her birthday), and her boyfriend/fiance whom I shall call Jeff.

I love this girl to the ends of the earth. I met her less than 2 months before I left England when I was studying here, and after a 13 hour "first date," we were inseparable for the remainder of my stay. It's been nearly 8 years since I saw her last, yet nothing has changed. This afternoon two different people asked if we were sisters, and when we said No they all said "Oh, but you're related, right?"

I never have to pretend with LV, nor she with me. She's straightforward and honest and silly and a bit of a geek and the perkiest goth (or semi-retired goth) you will ever meet.

It's so rare in our lives that we meet people that we connect with so easily and so instantly. It's nice to learn that these connections aren't fleeting.

Pardon the somewhat clunky attempt at sentimentality, but truth be told I'm a bit bombed [See: smoking comment, above. -Ed]. Jeff got my laptop set up for their wireless earlier this evening and I wanted to grab a free moment to simply say "Hello! I made it across the ocean alive and I am, indeed, having a fabulous time!"

In other news, I feel my accent scrambling itself further with each passing day.

I have a tendency to be a bit of an accent chameleon--I inadvertently begin adopting the speech patterns of the people around me. Yesterday I started noticing vowels coming out of my mouth differently than they usually do, and I've started using words like "jumper" and "bloke," and saying "toilet" instead of "bathroom," (as in "Excuse me, where is the Ladies' Toilet?").

I'm sure it doesn't help that LV has a habit of slipping in and out of various dialects of the British Isles, paired with a fairly smashing American accent as well. As a result of her contant shifting, I've been slipping in and out of my own assorted British accents with increasing frequency.

Just do me a favour. If I come back talking like Madonna, smack me.


And now I'm off to bed, for LV and I are attempting to haul ourselves out of bed and get an early(ish) on the day, for--here was my surprise when I arrived--she's taken the whole week off work to play out with me! This sort of alters my plan to be Uber Tourist Girl, as LV can't afford to shell out hundreds of pounds for some of the exhorbitant entry fees (nor would even consider asking her to!); but really, London isn't going anywhere, nor will I leave it another 8 years before I come back. Time with my friend is ultimately more valuable than a bunch of photographs.

LV is being a sport, however, about showing me around the areas she knows. She's well up for coming with me to the dozens of free museums all over London--being, like myself, a bit of a geek--and if there's something I'm really dying to get into that costs money--like the Tower of London or Hampton Court Palace--I'll pay for her to get in. After all, she's giving me not only a roof over my head, but my own bloody bedroom! And Jeff has been proving himself to be an excellent cook.

As yet we really haven't managed anything touristy other than shopping at Camden Market and visiting Covent Garden (we were headed to Trafalgar Square afterwards so I could take touristy photos in front of the lions, but it began to piss down rain so heavily that we said "fuck it" and went home).

I will attempt a more coherent update sometime soon, replete with the (fairly minimal) travel woes, my observations on the similarities and differences of New York and London, and other fascinating(?) tidbits.


*Hey, cut a girl some slack. It's nearly 1am over here!

Magnetic Poetry Mondays!

Welcome to the first in a series of attempts to maintain your interest whilst I gallivant around the world.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Almost There

Well, I just trudged back from my third and final trip to the laundromat this week. My subletter will have clean sheets, oh yes!

Now all that remains to be done is clean the litterbox, clean out the fridge, take out the trash, take a shower, do some last minute paring-down of the travel wardrobe, squash everything into my bag, call Slater to hear about his big date because I was way too drunk when he called last night to process anything he was saying, drop my last (unwatched) Netflix movie in the mailbox, get cash at the ATM, and call a car to take me to JFK.

All in the next 2 1/2 hours.

I can totally do this.

See you on the flip side!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I feel like ass today--a continuation of yesterday's afternoon burnout--and I sound appropriately frog-like having completely lost my voice.

So here, in an effort to remind myself how awesome I am in the throes of feeling wretched 2 days prior to leaving the country and having a million things to do in the meantime, is an explanation of my Myers-Briggs Personality Type, with highlights and commentary to keep it from feeling like a total cop-out...

ENTP - Extrovert Intuitive Thinker Perceiver

ENTPs are nothing if not unique. A rare personality type, they comprise approx. 3-5% of the total (American) population. They have an enthusiastic interest in everything and are always sensitive to possibilities. Known as the "inventor", they are non-conformist and innovative, self-confident and competitive. [Mio? -Ed.]

ENTPs are known to be verbally as well as cerebrally quick, and generally love to argue--both for its own sake, and to show off their often-impressive skills. They tend to have a perverse sense of humor as well, and enjoy playing devil's advocate. They sometimes confuse, even inadvertently hurt, those who don't understand or accept the concept of argument as a sport. [Substitute "often" for "sometimes" and you'll have an accurate summary of 1994-2003. -Ed.] They get pleasure and intellectual stimulation from arguing both sides of a subject, or from doing something unusual or unexpected just to get a reaction.

ENTPs are as innovative and ingenious at problem-solving as they are at verbal gymnastics; on occasion, however, they manage to outsmart themselves. This can take the form of getting found out at "sharp practice"--ENTPs have been known to cut corners without regard to the rules if it's expedient -- or simply in the collapse of an over-ambitious juggling act. Both at work and at home, ENTPs are very fond of "toys"--physical or intellectual, the more sophisticated the better. They tend to tire of these quickly [or immediately, take your pick. -Ed.], however, and move on to new ones.

Like most Extraverted-Perceivers, they are more excited about pursuing a new idea than about following through on an existing one, which can be a cause for frustration and anxiety--both for themselves and those around them. To the ENTP, all the world is a chessboard whose places must be moved in such a way--by the ENTP--that all the players will get the best and most out of life.

ENTPs are basically optimists, but in spite of this (perhaps because of it?), they tend to become extremely petulant about small setbacks and inconveniences. [See Monday's post. -Ed.] (Major setbacks they tend to regard as challenges, and tackle with determin- ation.) ENTPs have little patience with those they consider wrongheaded or unintelligent [See Also, I hate stupid people. -Ed.], and show little restraint in demonstrating this. However, they do tend to be extremely genial, if not charming, when not being harassed by life in general. [Wish I'd come up with that phrase. -Ed.]

In terms of their relationships with others, ENTPs are capable of bonding very closely and, initially, suddenly, with their loved ones. Some appear to be deceptively offhand with their nearest and dearest ["Wow, really? I had no idea you cared so much!" Direct quote from The English Ex when I explained that he had trampled my heart. -Ed.]; others are so demonstrative that they succeed in shocking co-workers who've only seen their professional side. ENTPs are also good at acquiring friends who are as clever and entertaining as they are. Aside from those two areas, ENTPs tend to be oblivious of the rest of humanity [Guilty. -Ed.], except as an audience -- good, bad, or potential.

Even though they are extroverts, ENTPs may demonstrate a subtle tendency towards reservation. Those who have had problems establishing friendships may manifest a quiet nature and a lack of general outgoingness, one day appearing social and friendly only to be indifferent or avoidant the next. Over a period of time specific social patterns may develop, appearing unfriendly and reserved to some and friendly and open to others. With their sporadic nature, they may unwittingly convince others of a general dislike and social discontentment, even though it is not their intention.

ENTPs do not readily follow social norms. They do not like to have their independence threatened by unnecessary rules, and they can appear expedient and out-of-place in a society that values any various forms of unnecessary subjugation. While ENTPs may have a healthy respect for rules when they are necessary as a guideline or are necessary and good for the well being of people, they do not readily tolerate intentional subjugation to any type of rule or method that they consider to be out-dated or harmful to the well-being of individuals. ENTPs tend to look down on people who do so, considering them to be childish and lacking of confidence.

The main peculiarity of ENTps behaviour is an incredible absent-mindedness [I'm sorry, what were we talking about? -Ed.]. They usually leave items where they used them and have a tendency to constantly lose smaller objects. [This was the cause of many wars between myself and Evil Ex Roommate. -Ed.] ENTps work place and personal belongings are often kept in disarray. [That's putting it mildly. -Ed.] They invariably forget what they have already done and what they need to do. However, they are quick and shrewd in day to day matters, taking advantage of every opportunity that arises. Because of this others may consider them to be crafty or shifty.

ENTPs are actually pretty positive people, who enjoy life greatly. Unless circumstances prove it necessary, they rarely find reason to think negatively about people. [Possibly the truest of everything said so far, which totally pisses people off sometimes. -Ed.] They seek to accept and to understand people for who they are inside. They do not like to condemn people for their personhood, and they can often be sought out by others for matter of practical solutions to common every day problems. People typically have respect for the intuitive understanding of ENTps towards them and appreciate their loyalty in personal matters. [Until "circumstances prove it necessary" to boot your ass to the curb, of course. See also, Evil Ex Roommate. -Ed.] It is not like an ENTp to betray a friend in need.