Monday, February 23, 2009

My last weekend in Dublin...

...was spent in Wicklow! Through no fault of my own, I managed to spend my last weekend before Germany in somewhere other than the city that is so close to my heart. Funnily enough, I had a fantastic time! Well, in retrospect anyway. Besides, Thursday night I headed out to Wagamamas and my favourite gay bar for one last time with Noodles, Stella and the emo. We even met Pauline Mc Lynn (aka Mrs Doyle) and were all totally starstruck!

Anyway, on to the final weekend. On Friday, I went to a 21st in Newtownmountkennedy (longest place name in Ireland - what fun trivia), which is a place that needs no introduction because there is nothing there of interest. It was a joint party, thrown by two lads, best friends and stoners of the highest degree. I was quite close with one of them for a while actually, but lately he's considered me not even worth acknowledging, which sucks. I'd ask him about it, but he's not one for talking. Or listening, for that matter. I was dreading seeing him, and to be honest I had no interest in going to his birthday party (I was invited though, funnily enough) and either being ignored or having to endure the ridiculous show he puts on for everyone (I happen to believe I caught a glimpse of the man underneath once upon a time, although given what's happened since then, that may be highly naive of me). Lately, he's been hitting on Star (he knows her through me, and is well aware that we are involved and have been for a long time) and so, I decided to swallow my pride and put up with the bullshit for her sake. The upside was that the party was being held in a swanky four-star hotel (my second in one week!) and we had our own room. It was gorgeous; all white, with a massive double bed and flatscreen TV. It was a fantastic place for pre-drinks (and post-drinks, for that matter).

I was dreading going downstairs and facing all of the people who hated me for no apparent reason (there are lots, and they were all there), so I was glad of the nagin in my stomach by the time I was dragged down. Birthday boy number one was very pleased to see Star, embracing her as if she were the love of his life. He made a face at me, and grudgingly gave me a hug so fake he might as well have commissioned somebody else to do it for him. I wished him a happy birthday and smiled that kind of half-smile/half-sneer I usually give people without meaning to - it seems to come out even when I try to hide my displeasure. He didn't thank me for the text message the day before, his actual birthday, but he mumbled something half-assed that I chose to ignore. He spent the rest of the night cracking onto Star, asking her for a birthday kiss (she declined) and bragging about the size of his hotel suite (she told him ours was just fine). I downed so many vodka and Cokes in the process that I have very little recollection of what I said and did, although I do know I kept my distance from him so as not to cause a scene (although he did deserve a smack, it has to be said).
However, I did manage to make peace with birthday boy number two, who was under the false impression that I had told him to fuck off at some stage. I finally got the chance to clear it up after months of worry, and also thanked him for being sweet to me over the summer, when the other one left me alone in a bar while he hit on random girls. I also addressed a feud between me and a guy I have great respect for, as there has been tension between us recently for reasons I am still unaware of - I went up to him and yelled "WHY DO YOU HATE ME!?" at the top of my intoxicated lungs. He was drunk too, and it's all sorted now. Here's a lovely pic of me and his girlfriend, both off our faces.

Needless to say, Star and I drank the bar dry, and afterwards headed to the residents' bar, in which I got a sickly sense of deja vu and realised I'd been in there stoned off my face one sunny June afternoon. I downed another vodka and Coke after that. I don't even know how we managed to make it back upstairs, but we did, and we also somehow had sex, but in my mind it was quite like the Smack My Bitch Up video - over the covers, lights on, really really fucked up. It was fun though, from what I can remember. She complained the next morning that her housmates were going to be disappointed in her for losing all her dignity. She also complained after I woke her up at ten to get breakfast. I felt like such a junkie that morning, sitting there surrounded by members of both the lads' families, clad in the same outfit from the night before. Did I mention I slept with my make-up on? Bleh. Our room ended up costing double what we'd been told (her punishment for not sleeping with him, I reckon) but it didn't matter in the end. We drove home in her car with the sun shining, shades covering our hungover eyes, and the Arctic Monkeys blasting out of the stereo. A fitting end if ever there was one. And, I suppose, in retrospect, it was a fun night...

After a power nap and a work-out that I still can't understand how I did, I got myself together and stumbled back in the direction of the city. I bought the newest issue of Dubliner magazine for the bus journey to Bray, which turned out to be a mistake because it got me very upset to be leaving Dublin, and before I knew it, I was back in the emo's bedroom, fondly known to me as the crypt. We discussed the night before, and he wasn't too pleased to hear that I'd slept with Star. He'd insisted prior to Friday that I tell him if we ended up fucking, but in the end I think he'd rather not have known. The situation with him is becoming more and more complicated, but there's nothing I can do to make it better because I feel very strongly for both of them, and I'm not ready to give her up yet. Still, I understand where he's coming from. I was actually sad to have to head back home the next day, but my mother was cooking Sunday dinner for me for the last time and had insisted I be there. I was late, having not been able to drag myself out of bed (I also took a leisurely stroll down Grafton Street with a Butler's hot chocolate, just smelling the Dublin air and being nostalgic about the great times I'd had there) and she wasn't pleased with me. She was even less pleased when the emo turned up on her doorstep. Again. I wonder why she hasn't questioned the nature of our relationship yet, but I suppose she just thinks he and I are close the same way Noodles and I are (little does she know...).
Saz and I are going shopping tomorrow, no doubt so that we can have time to freak out and whatnot, and after that I'm seeing Star for dinner and drinks (as per her previous request). Wednesday morning is going to be my last chocday with Noodles (our tradition; basically a day to drink as much hot chocolate as possible while discussing life and all its' randomness) and my last day in work. Thursday is me and Saz's going away party. Friday is my family dinner (to which the emo is being dragged along after I promised my grandmother he would eat something). Saturday...I'm leaving. In the meantime, I have to somehow get my life into a suitcase, see all of my favourite people one last time, clean out my bedroom (taking the majority of my posters down last night was particularly painful), soak up as much of this city as I possibly can, and tie up every loose end imaginable. I don't know how the hell I'm going to do all of this while simultaneously preparing myself to move to a different country for six months...but I'm going to do my very best.
Song of the day: Radiohead - 15 Step.

Monday, February 16, 2009

London calling

So, as I've probably already mentioned about a hundred times, my parents got me a trip to London for my 21st, and Noodles, one of my closest friends, decided to accompany me (partly cos he'd never been, partly cos he was the only one who could afford it). We got up at 4AM to catch our flight, and a million things went wrong over the course of the trip, but we kept laughing and it was all totally fucking worth it in the end because we had the best weekend ever!! London is my favourite city in the world next to Dublin. It is the only other city I feel comfortable in, and the fashion and atmosphere are just unbelievable. Although I'm hoping Munich will live up to it, in a way I don't think it will because, truly, nowhere compares to London.

Anyway, we arrived early Friday morning and came face to face with our first problem; the hostel we'd booked was SHIT and in the dodgiest area possible. Remembering a helpful person in King's Cross station who put us up when we were stranded last summer, I rushed Noodles to the same place and we begged the (very helpful) woman there to help us find somewhere to sleep for two nights. Not only did she oblige, but for only thirty pounds more, she put us up in a four star hotel on Great Portland Street (fancy as fuck, in other words). We ended up with an en-suite bathroom, flat screen TV, double bed, security, a place to keep our stuff, huge wardrobe and heating. In other words, the exact opposite to what we would've had in the hostel. It really made the trip for us, and we went back to thank the woman in King's Cross as soon as we could.

The rest of our first day was spent in the London Dungeons, one of my favourite parts of any trip there. I've been five times in total, and I love it more each time I go. Of course, I overdid it in the gift shop buying pressies for the emo and Sweeney Todd themed shot glasses, but we got the funniest photos of us ever on the rides (Noodles even managed to give the thumbs-up to the camera!) and it was really good fun, as always. Unfortunately, I got quite ill as the day wore on, even dragging Noodles back to the hotel early from dinner because of it. We waited an hour or so until I sort of half recovered, and he convinced me to go out anyway. I was really glad I did in the end, because even though I was still fairly ill, we had the best night. We went to this amazing club in Camden called the Electric Ballroom. It was Friday night, so Sin City was the theme, which is basically metal, punk, rock, etc on the first floor and old-school rock and metal on the second. I'd been before, but this time was more fun because there wasn't the bullshit of having to leave early (and the company was better, although I did miss Saz). The music was amazing and the hottest DJ EVER was there! Apparently a lot of people were trying to pull me, but I didn't notice any...

Now, on to Saturday. We slept late, and then excitedly prepared for another trip to Camden. We were lucky because our hotel was only two Tube stops from Camden, so it was insanely handy. Camden is my absolute favourite spot in London. I really feel at home there, which sounds like bullshit, but it's the truth. The atmosphere is indescribable. We shopped (well, I did while Noodles gave his honest opinion), had four quid chinese in the Lock (where we managed to sit down next to two lovely lads from Dungarven) and shopped some more! I don't even want to think about the amount of money I spent, but the clothes are fucking amazing and I wouldn't change it for the world! Oh, and of course we had to make a trip to possibly the coolest shop in the entire world:

That night, being that it was Valentine's after all, we had a fairly romantic dinner in a restaurant up the road from our hotel. The food was all homemade, reasonably priced and amazing. If I were a restaurant critic, I'd be able to put it better but I'm not so that will have to do! We decided to head out to the Electric Ballroom again, because on Saturday nights Shake is the theme, which is 80s, 90s, pop, disco on the first floor and party hits on the second. We knew the crowd and atmosphere would be completely different to the night before, so we gave it a go. Oh, before I forget, the Ballroom bouncers are the soundest lads. They were sooo nice to us, considering we looked a bit mad and terribly young compared to everyone else. I bought a pink dress earlier in the day, on Noodles' advice, that's not really my style, but I kinda fell in love with it, and it's by one of my favourite labels, Criminal Damage (shit I spent a lot of money in that shop...), so I decided I couldn't really go wrong. It worked out perfectly, because I wore it that night to Shake, with a denim mini underneath, fishnets and knee-length Cons. Everyone thought I was either pop-punk or 80s, which suited me down to the ground.

The night was amazingly fun, especially because it's not really our scene (although I love clubbing every now and again). We danced the night away to Wham!, The Human League, Britney Spears and everything in between. There were quite a few characters there, too, and we came up with names for all of them. Two in particular who spring to mind were the Hammond, a man so short and cute, but who pulled gorgeous girls all night long, and Momma's Boy, a boy of no more than 17, dressed in a too-big shirt his mother clearly picked up for him, who spent the night freaking people out by dancing at them. I got hit on a lot that night, which is the one thing I prefer about the rock scene - men aren't as forward, or sleazy for that matter. The bar staff at Shake were the same as Sin City, and knew our drink orders by heart by the end. We had a great laugh with them, especially because they got into the spirit almost as much as we did (despite being hardcore metalheads)! The drinks were crazy cheap, and we were fairly hammered both nights in fairness, plus the taxi back to the hotel was a measly four pounds each so we were sorted! We even talked the night guy into giving us a nightcap in the lobby when we arrived in at 4AM.

On Sunday, we unfortunately had to head back home. But, before we did that, we headed back to Camden one last time to have breakfast in my favourite cafe in all of London, which ended up lasting about two hours. It was delicious and really hit the spot. We somehow managed to drag our asses to Heathrow on time to catch our flight home. Once I arrived home, the emo turned up and I got to shower him with presents. He didn't leave until this afternoon, despite how exhausted I was. He sent me the most unconventional Valentine's card of all time, too, which I loved (but mine was still better!) because we both hate the holiday. Now that there are only twelve days left until I head off to Munich, he wants to see me as much as possible. The only problem with that is the amount of other people demanding my time, including Star who he is not pleased I am seeing at all... Still, I have very little time left and I'm certainly not going to waste it being upset. Let my last days in Dublin begin! It's time for sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and this is my absolute favourite photo from the London trip. It perfectly encapsulates how much fun we were having (or how drunk we were...hmm...).

Song of the day: Rammstein - Sonne.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My 21st

This is probably going to end up being far too long, but I finally have five minutes to write about my birthday and I have to do it or else I never will!

Okay, so, I turned 21 last Thursday. It wasn't really a big deal for me, but apparently it was to everybody else in my life. I was told by a woman in work to do something nice for my mother, so I had the lad I do nights with make up a huge hand-tied bunch of flowers for her (those are the bouquets with the water in the bottom) while I tried to put my feelings into words on one of those little cards. I ended up writing something along the lines of "Well done for surviving the past 21 years - here's to the next 21!!". Work on Wednesday night was really fun, too, because a few of them surprised me with a cake and a card. And then the night lad got me another cake and a giant Toblerone too! I was really touched by all of it, because I finally feel like I've made a place for myself there and I really don't want to leave... Anyway, I got home and hid the flowers in the porch until my mother fell asleep. I thought I'd been rumbled at one stage, but she swore the next day that she hadn't seen them.

I woke up excited on Thursday morning, my 21st birthday. I had made an appointment earlier in the week to get my second tattoo done that day, and the anticipation began building up as soon as I opened my eyes. I was horrified to find it was snowing again (jogging in the snow is not easy) but I brightened up when I opened my bedroom door and discovered presents, cards and a big 21st balloon! My brother and sister got me a new hairdryer, and my parents (well, my mother really) got me a weekend in London and a St. Christopher medal which is supposed to protect me when I go away. I'm not religious, but it was a sweet idea nonetheless. I managed to work out, shower and eat breakfast before the nerves really started to kick in. Noodles was a bit late for meeting up with me, too, because of the snow, which made it even worse. As soon as he arrived, he dragged me to the tattoo place, assuring me I'd be grand. It took twenty minutes and hurt like hell. A woman did it, and she wouldn't let Noodles squeeze my hand for fear of me moving and it being screwed up as a result. She discussed lunch plans with another bearded tattoo artist at one stage and I almost forgot about the excruciating pain for a moment. The tattoo is simple and cute, a red heart in a black star, and is in between my shoulder blades. It was only really meant to mark the day. It still hurts like hell, though, and my buds are getting quite sick of rubbing cream into it! Still, I love it, it was worth it, end of story.

All of my family came over for drinks that evening before I headed out with my parents and siblings for dinner. I was a bit tense because I was terrified that the snow would keep people from making it for drinks (and in the end Scooby didn't) but I had to hope for the best. We ate in Yamamori, which meant I had to explain the menu but nobody complained so it was grand. My mother and I went for cocktails afterwards. I took her to my favourite gay bar, and she didn't even notice it was one because we had a hugely emotional, drunken chat and got on better than we have in a long time. I tottered off to the bar once I'd put her on a bus. Noodles met me outside and informed me that not only was the emo waiting to surprise me, but Star was on her way also. I knew we were all in for a mad night, and the emo didn't cope with me and Star very well in the end... She tried really hard, but gave up and was just all over me instead. I didn't really mind. She turned up with a red rose for me and I was touched. She's not the kind to show emotion, so it was really sweet of her. Lots of people turned up in the end, too, and we got hammered and danced the night away so it was great fun!

We ended up in Frodo's that night after an arduous hike through the snow. Noodles and I fell. The emo did not. We were mad at him for it. Well, actually, Noodles was pissed off because of his behaviour earlier in the night. I was just annoyed due to drunkenness. The emo and I were freezing on the futon that night, but it was fun anyway. Noodles and I showered at his place on Friday morning, and then headed to town for lunch and dress shopping. I found one eventually, and he bought it for me as a birthday present. We headed back to mine, I changed, and we set off again to Frodo's for movies and food. Noodles had to leave early, so it was just Frodo, Stella, the emo and me watching V For Vendetta, which seems fairly random, but wasn't really. We had more blankets on the futon that time round. Stella fed us the next morning. Her and Frodo are my favourite couple of all time.

I squeezed a workout and a nap to In Rainbows in before I started getting ready on Saturday night. I felt slightly self-conscious in my dress, but I was feeling the Goth vibe and just went with it, blood red lipstick and all. I met up with Noodles and we did nagins before heading to the bar. This is my favourite photo of myself from the entire night, despite the fact I'm knacking it up in it:

Anyway, we headed to the bar and there were people there waiting for us with seats and mad presents! Let's see... Stella made me a box of chocolate skulls, Chris got me a Batman book starring me, Saz made me a card with her as Hayley Williams and me as Lauren Conrad, detailing our friendship so far, the emo did a fucking awesome pic for me, Scooby got me a 'Where's Dildo?' book and a brand new All Hope Is Gone Slipknot tee... It was madness! I was so happy! My friends are all so creative, too, which makes their presents even more thoughtful. We got hammered and danced the night away again. Star, the emo and Dylan were all there. I hooked up with all of them (Dylan for the first time) but the emo took me home, as per our previous agreement. Some spa was pissing me off on the bus and he told him off in his own dry, witty manner. I apparently ate half a block of cheese when we got back to mine, but I don't remember. I got my birthday sex anyway, so I was happy (although Frodo tried to get in there first).

We woke up late Sunday morning, and my mother kindly agreed to feed the emo. I bet him a tenner he couldn't wear my drainpipes to dinner. Not only did he wear them, they were fucking falling off him! (haha now everyone will know his shame!!!)

I was quite jealous. He convinced me to let him stay another night, so I made him watch Skins. He got quite into it in the end. It was a random couple of days. We talked so much, and yet, I could've gone on for another fucking week. I don't think I will ever tire of his company. He told me he loved me, too, and I desperately wanted to say it back but I couldn't get the words out. I guess my fear is still sort of holding me back. I know I'll just blurt it out some day at the worst time possible, but I think he understands me so I'm not too worried. I think if I were going to get serious with anyone, though, it'd be him... And now I'm going off on a tangent.

Happy fucking birthday to me! This is the happiest I've been in a really long time, and I could not ask for better friends, better family or a better life. I can't believe it's taken me so long to realise that I'm not who certain assholes think I am... Luckily, I have people around me to remind me every single fucking day. And I still look too young to be 21!!!

Here are two of my favourite people, who I haven't known that long but feel as if I've known forever. I love you both more than words could ever say. Team JIR forever!!

Song of the day: AC/DC - Back In Black (it made sense to me earlier).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fucking snow

I woke up to find that my lovely Dublin was covered in snow, and more of it fell throughout the day and night. I'm not a big fan of snow, mainly because it's cold and wet and difficult to jog on (I didn't fall this morning, though - woo!) but, I must admit, ploughing through it after work this evening, everything around me looked beautiful. But then I had to wait twenty minutes for a bus that never came, and my mother consequently had to trek out to rescue me, and then she spent the entire car journey complaining I kind of ended up hating it again. I'm turning 21 on Thursday, and it'd better not fucking snow that day or I will go MENTAL.

Let's see... I spent the entire weekend with my emo, which was lovely, although he scared the shit out of me on Friday night by turning up at my my living room window and waving at me... He's a strange boy. We had quite a quiet night (well, for a bit anyway...ahem) but it was fun. Unfortunately, it was quite bittersweet because, after we hung out all day Saturday, I had to leave him to go on a date with Star. I was quite anxious about the date, because I didn't know what to expect, and also because I knew I had to tell her about him. It was awkward at first, because she knew she'd fucked up big time, but once we had a few drinks and some good music, we settled into it and it was actually quite fun. She took the news of me and my emo well (although she is completely and utterly sickened by him - I'm not, I could eat him up with a spoon!!) but also made it clear that she intends to fight for me, especially at my birthday thing this weekend...

Anyway, we left early enough and I headed over in the direction of the emo's place. I got a call from a very tipsy Noodles en route, and we decided to meet up at the bus stop near his house and drink a concoction of whiskey and Cidona out of a plastic bottle - very classy indeed. We were in absolute fits, especially after a failed attempt at hiding from the emo that left my drainpipes muddy and me very confused the morning after. The emo had had a bath and got quite tipsy in preparation for my arrival (he had clean hair and smelled very sweet, which isn't quite as odd as the fact that he insists we hold hands constantly while walking down the street..). When we got to his place, we drank more and got fairly silly. I untied his shoelaces and put his phone in the fridge behind the cheese, which is quite clever if you get the in-joke. The rest of the night didn't exactly go to plan, but we had fun anyway. We always do. Time flies when I'm with him, and it takes me forever to get tired. I usually keep talking until I fall asleep.

The morning after, Sunday, we woke up tired and confused. His mother finally got to meet me. She seemed quite shocked to find me spinning around on his desk chair reading Kevin Smith's autobiography while he sulked in bed fully clothed with his back to me. She made some comment about me being his girlfriend. I didn't correct her. She was lovely though, and she gave me a birthday present and a card which was so sweet of her. His entire family sort of crowded around me at one stage, just before I left, as if I was somebody amazing. I'm not, really, but they were all so nice (not quite as mad as mine, but still lovely). The emo was ill all morning and quite upset with me for not telling Star to go fuck herself the night before, but in the end he sort of understood. I know he's dreading seeing us together at my 21st, but he also knows that I am closer to him than I thought I could be to anyone. I don't know how he managed to convince me to trust him, but I do. He makes me believe in love again, which is mad to me, but in a fantastic way... (Star is somebody I could be serious with, but her circumstances right now lead me to be very wary).

And now I'm gushing. I had a family dinner that night, to celebrate my birthday and my gran's because they're only a few days apart. The food was fantastic. I don't eat much when I'm around the emo, because he enjoys starvation. For a long time I couldn't figure out who he reminded me of, but I just noticed a poster of Kurt Cobain on my wall and I think that's who it is. It's not typical Cobain, he has brown hair and a beard and is lying topless on a bed looking annoyed. He looks skinny, but not half as skinny as he was later on in his career. I think it must be one of the earliest photos of him, but I love it, and now it's going to remind me of the emo forever.

My mother told me I have to clean out my room before I go away. I have four weeks to do it. I can't even believe that I'm going away so soon, and those four weeks are going to be insane too. I'm so looking forward to leaving, but the stupidest things are already making me wish I wasn't. I was so sad leaving the hairdresser last Thursday, because I knew I wouldn't be back there for six months at least. It seems stupid, but it's amazing how much one gets used to things...

Oh, here's how my hair looked afterwards. It is no longer that straight, but the roots still look fantastic. At least for the time being.

And now I'm rambling so I'll shut up. I wrote lots today, though, and I'm going to write more in a little bit, so that's good. I was running today and I heard a song that just inspired me to sit for hours and write and write and write. I really got the creative juices flowing, it was a good day. Fucking snow though. Grr...

Song of the day: Radiohead - Nude.