Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yesterday, I met my hero...

In the midst of some very, very dark times for the joke of a country that is Ireland, I've decided to blog about something positive that happened in my life - something that I will look back on fondly for the rest of my life. Because, after all, it is a very good life that I lead. I'm grateful to be working, to have family and friends and a boyfriend around me who love me for who I am, to be healthy, to have a safe and lovely home, to be educated and hold a first class honours degree...there are loads of things I'm probably forgetting too, but for the moment, let me just say that I am happy and feel the need to write about something that reflects that, as opposed to a long, rambling rant about the state of the country. I understand that these are dark times, but feel no need to dwell on them here, because this, for the most part, should be a positive account. And besides, I'll be out of this shithole soon enough anyway!

So! Yesterday was a very, very important day for me. One of my all-time heroes and idols, the incredible Kat von D, was coming to Dublin to sign her brand new book, The Tattoo Chronicles. I'd made plans to go to this signing with two of my friends, both of whom cancelled on me for no good reason at the last minute. Not deterred by this, or by the snow that chose to appear overnight in Dublin, or the vicious hangover I'd woken up with after a night of heavy clubbing and even heavier drinking, I begged the emo to come with me, and after much, much persusasion, he finally agreed. Of course, given the snow, and the state of the so-called transport system in Dublin, it took me forever to arrive at Waterstone's, and I was late. The emo was not impressed, since he'd got into the queue on my behalf a half hour previous to my arrival. Luckily, we had two tickets (only a limited amount were given out for the signing, I think there were about 300 in total).

We stood patiently for the first hour, but nothing happened. People arrived and joined the queue, others gave up to go shopping, some were turned away when the tickets ran out, I made several runs to Starbucks for hot chocolate (and was accosted by a man who thought we were queueing to meet Stephenie Meyer - vomit)...but still, nothing. Apparently Kat von D was arriving soon. Ten minutes, twenty tops. Another hour passed, and nothing happened. By this stage, she was two hours late (we later discovered her flight had been delayed because of the weather) and people were getting really, really pissy. "Maybe the rumours about her being a bitch are true" said the chick in front of us. I assured her that there was no way in hell that was true, and that we weren't going to be turned away without meeting her (thank fuck I was right or I wouldn't have been able to defend her at all anymore).

It was unbearably cold. I had about five layers on and big, knee-high Docs but I felt like I was going to freeze to death. Then, finally, at 4.30PM (a half hour before the signing was due to finish), the queue finally started moving. Then, within another hour, we were inside the cosy, toasty confines of Waterstone's, in a queue that snaked all around the shop and upstairs to where ms. von D was standing patiently, signing book after book, meeting fan after fan.

I didn't get nervous until we were stood on the staircase. And when I stood on tip-toe and spotted her posing with a fan, I nearly passed out. I didn't know what to say or how to act or if I would even be able to walk over to her. I'd waited four hours in the freezing cold and now I wasn't sure I'd even be able to meet her!

See, I've admired Kat von D for years, as a tattoo artist, as a businesswoman, as a woman, as an alt woman...she's one of my heroes. If I could, I'd completely model myself on her. She's entirely self-made and, despite having many, many critics, she has yet to put a foot wrong in my book. I still watch her show religiously, and one day, if I am ever lucky enough to be tattooed by her, I know my life will be made. She stands for everything I admire and aspire to be, and she gives me strength and hope that, one day, my mother won't give a shit that I look like a freak, and that being myself will eventually pay off. She's made me love who I am and fuck all pretences otherwise, because she does.

And then, I was standing a few feet away from her. She signed my book, one employee had my camera, another was holding the book, and there was Kat von D, standing there smiling and so ridiculously, shockingly beautiful in real life, with her arms outstretched to hug me. I couldn't move. The emo shoved me a little (he was getting impatient and he couldn't feel his toes, not to mention that this had monopolised his whole day) and I slowly closed the distance between us. She embraced me in a hug that was warm and friendly, almost like she'd known me for years. Her perfume drifted up into my nostrils. I felt like I was going to faint, I couldn't believe I was still standing upright, and so close to my hero.

"Hi!" she said, smiling hugely at me. "Hi..." I whispered back, clutching my book to my chest, totally in awe and completely unable to look her in the eyes. "I love what you're match the book!" she complimented me, taking a step back to check out my outfit. "Thanks.." I choked, still unable to look up. The emo took his place on the other side of her, I turned my head very slowly toward the camera, she put her arms around both of our shoulders and I tried my best to smile. "I blinked!" I exclaimed as the flash went off. "Do you want to take it again?" she asked good-naturedly. The Waterstone's chick showed me the photo and I shook my head, finally forcing myself to look up at her. She was like a fucking goddess, I couldn't believe she was even looking at me. "It's fine" I whispered, "thank you...". She smiled again, "no probs, see you guys around" and waved as I tried my best to put one foot in front of the other, and slowly make my way back downstairs. It was all over in a flash, but I was in a daze for the rest of the day. I couldn't even believe it'd happened, it was like I was having an out of body experience or I was dreaming or something. Kat von D is the type of person that I never thought, in a million years, that I would get to meet. I've looked at the photo below a thousand times since and I still can't believe that's me she has her arm around.

I probably sound like a fucking lunatic, but this was honestly one of the greatest moments of my life. I will never, ever forget it. And I'm so glad she was so beautiful and sweet and friendly in person, because I was so scared that all of the shit I'd heard about her was true. But now, I couldn't believe even for a moment that it is...

Eep!! I still have goosebumps at the thought of it!

So, that was my happy memory for the next...I dunno, probably ten years or so. I can't imagine getting pissed off about anything stupid ever again, when I got to meet my idol in the flesh... The snow didn't even really bother me today either! Here I am frollicking in it with the emo's adorable little puppy this morning. It was such a lovely walk.

In case it isn't obvious, I am still totally buzzing from yesterday. Oh. My. God.

Song of the day: High Voltage - Eagles Of Death Metal.

Currently reading: The Tattoo Chronicles - Kat Von D. I didn't think it was worth thirty quid when I bought it, but it's a great book. Full of gorgeous colour photos and lots of really in-depth info about her clients and personal life. Well worth a read.
Currently listening to: Songs that suit the weather, because I think it's too early for Christmas songs. I've had a lot of goth on today, but as it's got later, I've drifted into The Birthday Massacre. Their newest album, Pins and Needles gets even better with every listen.
Currently wearing: The outfit that KAT VON D said she liked!!!!!!!!!! Still can't believe it! I'll probably be mostly in warm clothes and boots while it's snowy, but I'll still have to make an effort to look corporate for work during the week. My winter wardrobe consists of lots of black, big jumpers, chunky, statement accessories, skinny jeans and big Docs or New Rocks.
Currently feasting my eyes on: The Tattoo Chronicles - Kat Von D. Loving it. Still can't believe it's signed. Holy shit I'm lucky...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Must update more regularly

I've called this post that, and even now, ten seconds after writing it, I know I won't stick to it. Life has been so wonderfully busy, I haven't had time to write in, well, months. I suppose that's a good thing. I'm not too sure who's even reading this anymore. Maybe my buds who live abroad, or those I don't get to see all the time...I'm not too sure. But I'll continue to write whenever I can anyway, just in case somebody enjoys reading this. And because I love writing so much that this is still a fairly decent exercise for me.

Right! So, what's new then?

Well, I'm officially employed in a proper, grown-up, 9-5 job. It's both terrifying and exhilirating in equal measures. I'm writing every day, I'm getting ridiculously good experience, I'm learning how to do marketing, which is something I'd never really considered doing but still! It's been great. I have to dress like a normal human being for it, i.e. take out my piercings, cover up my tattoos, wear blazers and...*shudder*...heels, but it's actually pretty good fun. It kind of feels like I'm playing a character. One of the lads who sits across from me (it's a very swanky office that I work in, unfortunately, or fortunately depending on what you're into) noticed I had a tattoo on my arm and has been very hurt ever since, seeing as, in his words he "used to be the office freak". The people I work with are really good fun, and very inspiring too, especially the main chick I deal with, who is so good at her job that I could sit there all day and simply watch her in awe. She is my inspiration! Anyway, it's been really good fun. It's challenging and scary, but great. I'm so happy to be making money again and to be doing something I enjoy, getting valuable life experience, writing every day...and just generally having a life. It's awesome!

In other news, I got my biggest tattoo yet two months ago, at this stage. It's Ramona Flowers, one of my absolute favourite comic book characters, in one of her classic ass-kicking, tough girl stances, on my right lower leg (apparently also referred to as the calf, but it's not on the back of my leg, it's the side, and it creeps slightly onto my shin). It took four hours of intense pain (the most delicious kind), but it was also an excuse for some quality time with my girl Scoob and our shared, incredibly sexy tattoo artist. We ended up staying in the tattoo shop till way after closing, just having a laugh swapping stories. It's awesome to have finally found a great tattoo artist in Dublin. I was kind of losing hope there for a bit. Afterwards, I had to make my way ever so slowly to Noodles' house, seeing as I've been giving his adorable 18-year-old sister German grinds for the past month or so. I looked crazy, my leg was all bandaged up and I was limping about, but luckily his mother is used to this sort of shit with me.

I love getting tattooed. It's one of my favourite things to do in the whole world. I know a lot of people don't understand the desire to get pierced or tattooed, but I really, really love both. I don't consider myself to be hardcore or incredibly unique or alternative or anything of the sort. I'm just me.

I can't wait for my next tatt...but I'll probably want to get pierced again first seeing as it's quicker, and usually something I do on the spur of the moment. Last one I got was a scaffold, and it was (surprisingly) more painful than my nipple piercing. It was a bitch to heal, as most ear piercings are, but it looks AWESOME. My mother still hates how pierced and tattooed I am, but luckily, at 22, I really couldn't give a shit anymore.

Last weekend I took my adorable little sis to see her favourite band (and one of mine), Paramore, in the O2. I splurged on a suite for the two of us in the hotel across the road (one of the fanciest hotels I've ever been in) for the weekend, we queued outside in the rain for seven hours to get to the front, made friends with mad Brits, took on hipster pricks, watched dozens of kids pass out and get pulled out of the crowd by massive, burly security guards, didn't pee for twelve hours, ended up bruised and exhausted...but it was totally worth it. This was the third time I'd seen them, and they blew me away. I get a lot of shit for liking Paramore, but a quick chat with Scoob (she of the mad Green Day obsession) and I feel totally normal again! Hayley Williams is definitely one of my heroes... Here's a photo of her from the show that I did not take because my camera sucks.

I have almost ten Paramore tees at this stage...which would be kinda weird if Scoob didn't have 30 GD tees. Now I feel normal again! I love this band. I'm probably going to see them every time they come here. And abroad too. And at festivals. Yup. It was a great weekend all round though, and we left with some fantastic memories.

What else...

Oh yeah! I graduated the week before Paramore. It was pretty standard; long, boring ceremony with too many speeches, lots of fake questions about "what I'm doing with my life" from ex-classmates, ridiculously high shoes that the chicks wearing em could barely walk in...and my mother cried. Then we had a lovely dinner in my favourite Chinese restaurant, which included not just my mad family (minus my father of course) but my lovely boyfriend too! He did a pretty good job of impressing everybody (especially my cousin and sister) too, which was pretty awesome.

The following night was the grad ball. I had my perfect dress, awesome shoes, great hair and make-up, and some fucking KILLER accessories (namely a giant cross necklace and a spider ring that was almost as big). The night itself was a bit blah. The emo was bored as hell and less than impressed when one of my old hookups shamelessly hit on me in front of him (and texted me from across the room) but, all in all, it was a fun night. Saz had a great time, which was really cool because usually she gets a bit self-conscious in those kind of social situations. O looked beautiful as always, and we had some fun breaking it down on the dancefloor, which gave me some hope that the people who are supposed to be in my life will be... I suppose it was a great end to four years that I didn't think I was going to survive.

Oh! I also took my little sis to see the West End production of The Rocky Horror Show, which was fucking awesome. Dill came along and swept her off her feet with his perfect Chris O'Dowd impression (although he's still not her fave of my boys, but that's a pretty difficult feat). The show was AMAZING, easily the best musical I've seen on stage. Of course, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is one of my favourite films of all time, but seeing it live on stage was something else... It was incredible. I'd definitely go again. The company wasn't bad either!

So, all in all, life is pretty fucking good at the moment. I feel incredibly lucky to be working, and even when I feel exhausted at the end of the day, I force myself to take a step back and give myself a mental kick up the ass. I usually stick on "Starbucks" by A too, because I think it's the best "Fuck this, at least I'm working!" song. That probably sounded sad, but it's true. I'm making more money than I ever have in my life, which means I get to go out, go to shows, get tattooed and pierced, buy shitloads of drainpipes and band tees and, in some kind of pathetic effort to be somewhat girly, I've even bought some proper make-up and hair products. I got my hair done before grad and it felt very...odd. I hadn't had my hair done in a year, and thank fuck, it wasn't in as bad condition as I'd feared, which means soon it will be long and wavy and awesome! Oops that was pretty girly...

I should stop writing this now and get some translating done before I pass out... I did nothing but laze about with the emo, fuck, eat junk food, watch movies, Mega64 and "Veronica Mars" (yeah, we're a maaad couple) all weekend...but even so I'm absolutely exhausted! Must be getting old.

Song of the day: B.O.B feat Rivers Cuomo - Magic (he supported Paramore and he totally won me over).

Currently reading: Shooting the shit with Kevin Smith - Kevin Smith. Looooove him. His podcast with Jason Mewes, "Jay and Silent Bob Get Old" is awesome too. Has made me laugh and cry in equal measure.
Currently listening to: Lots of Paramore. Lots of Combichrist. Some pop, just because it's nice to mix it in every now and again.
Currently wearing: For work, conservative shit. For downtime, band tees, drainpipes, cons, scarves and hats, my leather jacket. Got some stuff ordered too that I'm very excited about.
Currently feasting my eyes on: Lenore - Noogies. I fucking love Lenore, I can't wait to get a Lenore tatt...or several. Also, Kristen Stewart, as always. I'm pretty obsessed with Hayley Williams at the moment (obviously). Her style really influences mine, so I like to check out what she's wearing all the time.