Wednesday, February 24, 2010

All the love I've met, I have no regrets, if it all ends now I'm set

Shit, it's been a while since I updated this...luckily only my close friends and personal stalkers read it so it doesn't really matter! The whole business of blogging is kind of stupid, and a bit self-serving, especially if one isn't famous or even slightly well-known. I don't read many blogs, just my friends' ones and Hayley Williams', which is interesting and funny without being pretentious or irrelevant. It's becoming increasingly obvious to me that certain people, be they famous or otherwise, use blogs purely as a vehicle for their own self-promotion. Some of them do it in a completely upfront manner, in the vein of "I'm so great, my life is brilliant, all of my friends are gorgeous, look at my awesome SHOES!" while others think they're being clever by doing so in a self-deprecating way. I hate people who can't take compliments, who constantly put themselves down so that they get complimented MORE. I used to be one of them. It isn't cute and it isn't modest. If somebody says something nice about you, just fucking accept it and say thank you. Where was I going with that..? Oh yeah, some blogs are fucking stupid. However, sometimes I have serious blog envy. My bud O had an amazing one but now it's private (boo!) which is good because at least I don't feel like my blog sucks, but shit because I want to read her thoughts. She's an interesting person, a bit of a contradiction and a cliche, but she's cool. She's honest, for the most part, and I admire that in people. Too many people hide behind niceties and false smiles, when they're talking everybody down in secret.

Oh, right blogs. Yes, some are pretentious. Some incredibly so. Luckily, I don't waste my time reading those, just like I don't waste my time on people who are fake. Since I'm in my final year now, I only have two classes a week during which I have to socialise with the rest of the people in my college course. Most of them are fine, friendly, whatever. And I'm used to the fact that I'm not everybody's cup of tea. But I have to admit that I love that this year, a lot of the study and work I have to do is alone. I like the space that I have to think, and that I can choose what I do and when I do it. It's incredibly freeing. Of course, the downside to that is that I've been working myself to the bone doing both of my dissertations and my radio project. I love what I'm doing, and I know that it will be worth it in the end, but right now I'm just so tired all the time that I'm worried the rest of my life will suffer as a result. I have great friends around me, who understand the situation I'm in and make the best effort they can to see me when they can, but it still fucking sucks. I can't wait till this is all over and I can just hang out for a bit and be with the people I love.

So! I've been incredibly busy the past while, like I said. I spent all of last week doing interviews for my radio project, which basically involved sitting in tattoo parlours (and my favourite piercing studio in Dublin too) and chatting to tattoo artists about tattooing. I just used the word "tattoo" about a hundred times...oops... Anyway, it was really good fun and so interesting. I learned all about the Dublin tattoo scene and how it developed over the years, about the so-called cliques who believe either that those who are heavily tattooed have more right to be known as alternative than those who have only one or two, versus those who think each to their own and there's no point giving out about prejudice against those who are heavily tattooed if they're going to be prejudiced to those who aren't. It was, at times, a terrifying experience (not because of the subject matter, just because of interviewing in general), but it was hugely entertaining and enlightening also. Every time I got nervous or felt like I couldn't do it, I reminded myself why I chose to do radio this year. It was because I wanted a challenge, I wanted to do something outside of my comfort zone. After all, life is short. What's the use in being scared?

The different mentalities of the two cliques got me thinking about so-called alternative culture in general. I'm somebody who, even dressed in a simple white T-shirt and blue jeans, with no piercings or tatts or make-up or anything, still looks like a freak. It's who I am, the way I was born. Yes, my style has evolved over the years and the bodymod makes me look a bit weirder, but underneath it all, I'm still a freak. I always have been and I always will be. I know people who look perfectly normal and they are the weirdest people, the most alternative and interesting. Let's face it, it's pretty easy to dress or act a certain way, and get shit stuck in your face or whatever, but you can't fake being "weird" or, for want of a better word, "different". In one sense, I agree with one of the tattoo dudes I spoke to, who said that we should just accept people the way they are, whether they're covered in tatts or only have one, because that's their choice. I have five tatts but they're all small, so I'm certainly not claiming to be heavily tattooed or hardcore. So who am I to judge someone who only has one but is really proud of it? Then again, on the other hand, I almost got fired for having a tattoo on my back that was hidden the majority of the time. There is a certain taboo associated with tattoos. And stupid teenagers jumping on the bandwagon and getting tattooed does make it seem a lot less special. But, that's their choice too. I think bodymod will always be a subculture, and that's cool. But just because it's more mainstream now doesn't make it less special.

Being "alternative" (that sounds so fucking pretentious, but I don't know what other word to use) is, in itself, subversive. So trying hard to be alternative sort of defeats the purpose. But then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who try not to look at all out there, who claim that, in doing so, they are the most subversive and alternative of all. That I really cannot stand. I'm grand with people dressing "normally" or "alternatively" or whatever the fuck they want, but making a conscious effort to look or not to look a certain way so that you appear aloof, thus making you more out there is just fucking retarded. The fact remains, be whoever you want to be and fucking keep it real. Take emo kids, for example. They get a lot of shit because, although they look mental, they all dress the same, making them sheep. I don't see anything wrong with that, because soon enough they will learn, like I did, who they are and they will dress accordingly. Personal style is a powerful thing. A lot of people hate my personal style, but lots love it too. It's been defined many different ways, but being categorised isn't something I adhere to so I'll just leave it simply at "my style", whatever that is. All I know is, I always feel like me. And I never, ever try to look weird no matter what anybody says because trust me, if I was trying to look weird, I'd look a lot crazier. ANYWAY enough rambling. This is a difficult topic to discuss because everybody thinks differently about it, but let it be known that most people don't have to try to be weird, nor do they have to try to look like they're not weird so that they may be considered even more weird!!

What else have I got to write about... My life consists mainly of college work right now, which is pathetic but it's what I love so I don't mind. Luckily, I've still been making time to read and write and see the emo. Speaking of which, this is hands down the best relationship I have ever been in. There's no bullshit, no fighting (unless I take into account drunken fights about nothing that are later resolved with bouts of fantastic drunken sex), we're completely honest with each other, we have fun together, we talk, we're best friends, the sex is the best of my entire life, we make each other laugh, we're comfortable together, it's romantic... I could go on for longer but I won't because I don't want to sicken my buds who are reading this and imagining what happens in that crypt-like room of the emo's late at night... Seriously though, it really is a fantastic relationship. I don't know what I did to deserve somebody so great. Maybe it's just because I've grown up a lot in the past couple of years. The only other time I've ever been in love was when I was 18/19/20 and it almost destroyed me (although I wouldn't change a thing). But this is...different...and it's great. I think it might last a long time, and yet I don't feel the need to count. I surprised him with turtles the other day (adopted from a mutual friend, he's wanted some for aaages). He was shocked but fell in love with them after about two seconds. Their names are Optimus Prime and Megatron, after the awesome Transformers. They're so cool, I could watch them all day. It took a lot of planning, but it was worth it to see the look on his face. Seeing him happy makes me even more happy. I don't think I've ever got so much out of a relationship before, nor have I ever given so much of myself either.. That sounds corny, but it's true.

Asides from work, everything is pretty great at the moment. Time is both flying by and standing still at once, it's the weirdest feeling. I can't wait to be done, and yet I'm terrified of what's to come. However, all things considered...I'm happy.

Currently reading: The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (the film is supposed to be shit though).
Currently listening to: The Betrayed - Lostprophets (took some getting used to, but it's different and it's great).
Currently wearing: My new blue Converse, cute little dresses, the emo's grungetastic ripped jeans, my leather jacket, pink hat, band new zombie flats that I am IN LOVE with!
Currently wanting: More Criminal Damage stuff, a scaffold and, of course, another tattoo.
Currently feasting my eyes on: Serenity Rose vol 2 - Aaron Alexovich (the emo got me a signed copy of this for my birthday, it only just arrived and I am IN LOVE with it!).

Song of the day: Lostprophets - Dirty Little Heart.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Burgers + tatts + too many drinks + kick ass pressies + awesome friends + no sleep at all = my fucking awesome 22nd birthday

So it was my birthday last Friday, and I'm only getting a chance to write about it now because college is so ridiculously busy at the moment - between running around, practically sleeping in the library and making calls begging people for last minute interviews, I haven't had a second to stop. I can't believe how much I have to do, I feel so overwhelmed sometimes. I'm quite behind on the Mega 64 podcast too, which is just completely unacceptable as far as I'm concerned. I just watched last week's one now and I've another loading up for when I'm done with this (although I'm probably going to end up watching it on the bus to and from college tomorrow cos I'm so fucking TIRED right now). I have to start a new book too, or else I'm going to go mad. I have one waiting for me, I just have to take a minute to sit down and fucking start it.

Anyway, I turned the grand old age of 22 last Friday and although Saz gave me shit for getting old, the fact that I'm rocking the emo fringe right now and still getting hit on by 15-year-olds while trying to hurry through the city on any given day meant I wasn't at all upset about it. My face, for some reason, is refusing to age. Maybe it's cos I gave up the cigarettes, maybe I'm just blessed or whatever, I don't know. But I still look young and I'm okay with that. It makes getting older much more fun.

Despite the fact that 22 isn't a big deal, for my birthday this year, I celebrated on three consecutive nights out on the town - the first of which was on Thursday in my favourite rock bar. The objective was to get hammered and I definitely, definitely did. By the time midnight rolled around I could barely speak. But that's okay, cos that was exactly what I wanted. And because it was technically my birthday night out, I knew other people would be in charge of getting me home.

I was fucking skint last week so I had nothing new to wear, which pissed me off. I ended up in pink zebra-print hotpants, a white vest top, fishnets and Docs (luckily, I was too drunk to care). Oh, and I had a badge that said "I am 8" which was given to me by the emo. I loved it, as I did his card, presents (that haven't arrived yet cos they're being shipped from the US but they are AWESOME anyway) and everything else I received that night. As usual, the pressies were unconventional. Scooby got me a Kevin Smith book and a framed pic of the two of us looking disgustingly drunk and sweaty on the dancefloor together (among other things), Saz got me a grungetastic Kurt Cobain top and Joker badges, Star got a pressie that was too big to bring to the pub, Ross got me a big chocolate bar that said "Happy Birthday", Tar got me a "Nicht lustig" book and skeleton arm socks, and Noodles got me a tattoo (to name but a few)! He surprised me with it the day before, over hot chocolate in Butler's (what else!?). We hopped excitedly in his car and sped off to Bray where I met the most frightening and probably best tattoo artist I've ever come across. I got the word "Liebe" (German for love) on my right wrist. It wasn't the worst pain I've ever felt, and I managed to set up an interview with the guy too which was awesome. It's healing quite well, which is great. The only problem is that I'm itching for more...

Thursday night went well overall. There was a bit of trouble with Star, who saw it fit to attempt to get Dill and the emo to fight (although neither of them knew she was trying to provoke the other until the next day). It escalated into a pretty serious incident, involving me being dragged kicking and screaming back to the emo's house, but once the dust settled the next morning it was grand. I'll admit it was a very shitty thing for her to do, but luckily the lads are too smart for shit like that and no harm was done. In fact, they may have formed an unlikely alliance in defiance of her.

Friday was my actual birthday, so I had to race home to see my mother for a bit (even though we'd been fighting all week long). I asked for Converse and she got me bright blue ones, which the emo and I later doodled on (he drew a heart-shaped skull on one toe and I drew a Scott Pilgrim head on the other, which I then labelled "Scott Pilgrim" because it looked nothing like him due to my inferior drawing skills). Other than that, I got lots of money and clothes and a big bag of Werthers from my grandparents (aren't they sweet?). I'd only been home about a half hour when the emo rang to tell me he'd forgotten what time we were meeting and that he was on a bus into town so he wouldn't be late. I rushed to throw on a dress and heels (I'd decided Friday was going to be my classy night out, dunno why) and then legged it out the door. He took me for a lovely birthday dinner in Wagamamas, one of my all-time favourite restaurants, and afterwards we met Noodles for drinks in my favourite gay bar. Many cocktails, cheesy pop hits, Subway and a bottle of red wine later, the three of us headed back to Wicklow and I slept as much as I could in preparation for my final day of partying.

Saturday was another mad rush, as I legged it back to Dublin to shower and make myself somewhat presentable for that night. I still had nothing to wear, so I ended up in Cons for the night (which I was glad of later). Dill decided that my birthday present from him would be a night out, and I was only too happy to oblige. There's nothing I love more than good food, drinks and decent conversation with a friend. He took me to a little hipster restaurant called Jo'Burger that although a bit of a trek outside the city, was worth it in the end because it was definitely the BEST burger I have ever had in my entire life. I thought GBK was good, but this was out of this world. I'd read about the place in Dubliner and I was glad to discover that it was just as non-coupley as they'd described it (everybody sits squashed up on long benches, so it's not exactly a romantic setting) which meant that there were no awkward moments between the two of us. After all, there's nothing worse than finding oneself on a date with somebody who is just a friend, especially when knowing deep down the other person wishes it was more than friendship (not to mention the fact that I'm taken for the first time in two years). The place was very hipster, with a DJ spinning tunes, only organic Coke on the menu and mad burger toppings such as feta cheese and rocket salad. But it was delicious, and I was surprisingly glad of the walk back to the city as it gave me a chance to deflate.

We headed to Bruxies first, but it was packed with match fans who were shouting and boozing too much for my liking, so we ended up in Doyles for the night. It's not a pub I go to terribly often, because the music and crowd are predominantly indie, but it's a good spot nonetheless. We drank and chatted and there were some decent tunes. As it crept into the wee hours, we opted not to pay an extortionate price for a taxi and to simply follow the Luas tracks back to Dill's place, BK in hand. It was an odd walk back. I felt a bit like I was in a post-apocalyptic zombie movie. But it was nice, too. The Dublin air was refreshingly cool, and we got more time to chat (we never run out of things to say to each other). I didn't get a wink of sleep that night because he was snoring so fucking loudly, but I didn't mind. I was buzzing from the last three days.

On Sunday morning, Dill surprised me with the new Lostprophets album The Betrayed (which I'd been whinging about not getting for my birthday) and, after much gushing from me about how fucking awesome of a friend he is, we parted ways and I settled into a comfy chair in Butler's to read the Sunday Independent and drink the best hot chocolate in Dublin, before the emo arrived and we headed out to mine for dinner. Although I was nervous for him to eat with my crazy family, he did very well and even impressed my mother with his manners (which is a difficult thing to do) and my siblings with his wit (not so difficult). He was charming, funny, respectable, polite and sweet. He really did me and him proud. It was the perfect end to a rather perfect birthday and I couldn't have been happier.

The whole notion of birthdays gets a bit silly after the big ones, like 18 and 21, but this one still felt really special to me because I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by people who genuinely love me, and whom I genuinely love back. It probably sounds really corny, but I'm really happy right now. And even though college is ridiculously hard, my mother is trying my last nerve and I'm bloody skint, I wouldn't change anything. It's so funny, because I never thought I'd say that. I feel terrible complaining about anything, because my worries are so insignificant compared to others'. I haven't cared for a long time what people think of me, so I don't know why I'd let it start bothering me now. I was reading an interview with Ian Watkins the other day, and he was saying that even though people hate him and think they know him when they don't, it doesn't bother him or stop him from living his life the way he wants to. I know he can be an arrogant prick at times, but I really try to emulate that in my life. And frankly, I think I'm doing a pretty fucking good job of it at the moment too.

Song of the day: Lostprophets - Where We Belong.