Thursday, June 30, 2005

Square, part 2.

So yesterday after work I did a bit of shopping for Bill's birthday (still in my suit). I stumbled into a record shop I had never been to in Dublin, Tower Records. Now, my father, being way more hip than I, has always insisted Tower is above and beyond the average high street multimedia emporium (I have never been able to tell the difference, not coming from the land of Tower Records). And indeed, I thought Virgin or someone similar took over Tower recently.
In any case, this Tower was obviously different, and far different from the HMVs and Virgins that dominate here, which make it pretty much impossible to acquire an album off the top 40.
So, Tower Records was all hip, with poorly groomed men too old for such appalling hygiene, listening to the Beach Boys and the Ramones. Also their John Mayer sidewall-thing had Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley albums lining the side, obviously assuming that one whiny guy is the same as any other (so not!). Although I certainly have tried same with my brothers, even going so far as to mold them to like music that I myself have never much cared for, but thought might make them a bit better if they listened to (i.e. oh you are listening to Blink 182, well, let's give the Sex Pistols a try).
In any case, I felt like such a freaking dork there, but also wondered at what point I started assuming that the record store clerks were probably not that cool after all. Probably when people I knew from high school started working in record shops and I realized that their haircuts were more important than their tastes in landing such a prestigious job.
Nevertheless, I felt like a massive tool, and that I had to buy something to restore my credibility. Thus, I wavered between looking for something very old, to show that I've got cred, and buying something brand new, to show that I'm hip to the scene. All this despite the fact that they didn't have the album I was looking for to begin with (this MIA album I keep hearing so much about--although I just read a review that totally lambasted it. Still, I would have liked to listen).
In any case, every time I remembered something else that I had vaguely wanted to buy, they didn't have it. At this point, I'd spent like 30 minutes there, aimlessly browsing and debating whether or not this was a cd that I would want to join my 30 or so trip CDs for the next 3 months, of which a few were major mistakes (Black Box Recorder, Momus, Princess Superstar), and I can hardly bear to listen to with the frequency having only a few albums in your possession demands.
Ultimately, I ended up leaving, walking 5 feet, coming up with a nice present for Bill, and decisively returning to the store and making my selection(something old, can't say until I give it to him, obviously). Then I saw something new that I wanted for myself--the new Smog album. Gave them both a little listen, made my purchase, and continued home.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Today, I started yet another new temp job (this time for a law firm--busy and easy, with internet, my fave, everyone's nice, in the city centre, blah blah, sadly just for 3 days). As one does when one starts a new temp job (for the uninitiated and thus, unsuffered), one wears a suit. Thus, I am wearing my suit (my fairly cute suit that I bought in the after Christmas sales in London--it's a bit wintry, but it's not the least bit summery today anyhow so who gives a fuck?). In any case, whenever I wear a suit, I just feel like such an impostor. I feel like a dorky penguin girl. And it's like I feel suits are for squares, I see girls my age wearing suits, and I'm like, show'em sister. I want to be a cool suit girl, and not feel like I'm dressed up like my mother.
This brings me to my second point. My advanced age. As you may know, my sugarplum is turning two dozen tomorrow. Ancient. I will follow in September. I'm not entirely comfortable (or really, at all comfortable) with my age transformation.
For example, Sunday, we had a barbeque. My flatmates invited their friends, etc, Bill and I invited our two friends, respectively, mine couldn't come, but Bill's brought extras so, fine. In any case, my flatmate Niaomh (rhymes with Eve), who is doing her Ph.D. introduces me to her 'friend,' a sociology professor. So I talk to him for a bit, waiting for him to do something professorly, like, I don't know, ask about my classes or something, until I realized that, in this new post-college world, we are peers. And indeed, I even have the option of looking down on him for living in the posh world of acedemia whereas I have a real job and actually work for a living.
I mean, can you imagine? Looking down on professors? I have this option now, and not even in the collegiate way of oh, poor professor thinks it's ok to wear socks with sandals...
Like going out to dinner as friends with a 40 year old. Maybe this is all very redundant, and maybe I should have figured this out years ago, but I literally just can't handle it.
I need to go back to school as to narrow my place in the world.

Friday, June 24, 2005

As it turns out, I am a better person than my employer.

When I started my job, and entered data from HR, I noticed that despite the fact that this is a distribution centre, nearly all of the employees have Irish/English names. I thought that was a bit odd, as the labour is certainly low-prestige and relatively unskilled, and in the US, I'd imagine similar jobs are staffed by non-native speakers to be sure. Certainly, all the stockworkers at my old Nordstrom are of Latin American descent, though the cleaning staff seemed generally Eastern European.
However, early this week I noticed that, in fact, there are loads of Eastern European men working the stock, as they would show up in reception from time to time and well, definitely not speak English. But it turns out they are from a temp agency. Multiple agencies, actually. And indeed, every day I sat up in reception, a few more showed up to work.
Then I thought, well, jeez, why don't they actually just hire these guys? Then I thought they must be bigoted dickbrains. And then I thought, well, I'm a temp and I'm not temping because I'm discriminated against, I'm a temp because I wanted short-term, low-commitment work. Then I didn't think anything of it.
Until yesterday, when I began writing about 1 million letters to former residents of the former Soviet Union and its neighbors, as well as a few dozen Africans. Also a handful of Irish women. To be fair, in these million letters were also a few rejections for Mr. Brian O'Brien and Ronald McDonald, but most of those were either 16 or 61 years of age.
In reading their CVs and cover letters, I was literally heartbroken several times, as nothing is more poignant than bad English. I mean, when I write a cover letter, I do my best to sound like I don't desperately want this job, but in fact, have come to the realization that the company desperately needs me. But lacking proper English skills, these wanna-be lads write "I am good worker I very work hard" while their CV lists a master's in engineering back in Nigeria or Lithuania. And there is nothing more devastating than the truth. My cover letters never resonate like this:
I wish I could be given the opportunity to work in the warehouse. I promise to work to the best of my capacity and to display my talent in picking and loading area of the warehouse. I really believe I have the experience in those area.
says an accountant from Nigeria who also has an Irish certificate in forklift driving.
I would totally give him a job.
Then I realized that I am excited to go home and start looking for a job where I don't get to feel so self-righteous all the time.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Funny that

One Polish Bachelor from Nowa Ruda writes on his CV that he speaks German at "a need intercourse level."
My bit of work funniness.

Me and the lads

As it turns out, I am not free. I (luckily?) get to keep this job until Friday.
This job is at a distribution center in the middle of nowhere. As primarily there are truckers, loaders, pickers, etc, I am one of the few girls here.
Incidentally, the workers here are described as such:
Lads (the manual laborers)
Girls (the female office workers)
Guys (the male office workers.
There are probably around 250 people that work here. 90% are lads. 5% girls, and 5% guys.
In any case, twice today a 'lad' has introduced himself to me and mentioned that he's 'heard' of me. And on Tuesday, a 'guy' asked me where I was from and said that he and the lads were talking about me and couldn't decide on my accent (apparently, the consensus was not American). This isn't too surprising, though, as most Irish seem to travel to New York, Boston, and the rest of the Eastern Seaboard quite frequently to visit their kinfolk. Thus, my steadfast insistence on the pronunciation of Rs is probably quite confusing (though I acquired this skill in years of speech therapy to punish me for being taught to speak in New Jersey) to Irish ears polluted by our countrymates in the Northeast.
On one hand, I realize that as probably the only female under the age of 30, I am quite a novelty at work. It is understandable that they wish to converse about me. On the other hand, I am disturbed and slightly intimidated by myself as an object of conversation. Yet, on still another hand, I find myself wanting to wear short skirts and display copious amounts of cleavage, in hopes that someone will give me a candy bar. Perhaps I should do this tomorrow. I feel quite sure Bill would not notice my wardrobe change (even though I am writing about it), and it's not like I'm after anything more than a couple Kit-Kats.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Today is the last day of data-entry/soul-depletion. Good, except tomorrow brings yet another day of Irish unemployment. Puke.
Maybe I will run around being clever and then write about it and my public will love me.
Without books, a charming boyfriend, and frequent trips to Lidl, life would not be worth living.
Today is the hottest day so far, according to my coworker. I'd estimate it at 75 degrees. The airconditioning in my work is set at probably 60. And Europeans are better than Americans? Fuck that, Jimmy Carter moved the White House thermostat up to 69 ages ago.
Also one of my flatmates (Irish) leaves the lights on all over the place.
mm hmm. European arrogance be damned, we will all go to hell in the same handbasket.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Such Indiginity...

I have to ask some lady for the key to the bathroom here! And not just one lady, like, any lady because my wardens all have keys and I do not! And the bathroom's crap, not like some awesome posh bathroom. Where is Amnesty International when you really need them?

Solitary Confinement

Have job, am locked away in the middle of nowhere in a small room by myself with nothing but a computer, an overactive air conditioner, and a shitload of data to enter. The firewall won't let me read my email or do anything nice except read and update my blog. I have nothing to say, except that I hate working and look forward to lunchtime freedom. Data entry makes me want to die and I go all brer rabbit on them. "Have you ever done data entry before?" they ask... bastards. One finger at a time, I'll do it. In between changing every "the" in every document on the shared drive to "bananaramadingdong," I'll enter how many sick days poor Bobby McGee took in 2004.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Bullet Points

  • Saturday Bill and I came home(slightly tipsy) to find the window panes in our lovely wooden kitchen in our lovely wooden house covered with termites. Bill, armed with whiskey, all the junk mail in the house and a spray bottle of all-purpose household cleaner/poison, took on the invaders while I laid in the room wanting to die and/or vomit. He seems to have defeated them, though a few ugly bastards present themselves for slaughter from time to time. Of course, our Irish housemates/landlords are out of town at a wedding, so we've been left to fend for ourselves.
  • I have not found a replacement temp job. This is bad for a number of reasons. I need the money for my travels which begin in just over a month. I also cannot register with another agency as I have done during previous dry spells as no one wants me for such a short time. Argh. I am positive I will have something for Monday, but I am not thrilled about being out all week if that's what it comes to. Though I am being very productive.
  • Speaking of productive, yesterday I bought my first piece of totally impractical clothing since beginning this madness 9 months ago. A pair of sea foam green peekaboo toe heels. They are adorable and have a gigantic bow at the front. They were on sale for €8, so no major harm done. Of course, I can't even really walk in them as my foot is not entirely healed from rolling my ankle a few weeks back. But that's cool, they are a lot more fun and exciting than the practical clothes and shoes I have been wearing for ages.
  • This morning, however, I shed a tear about how much I miss my lady friends as I was thinking who would borrow them and who would make fun of them only to want to borrow them a few months later... This made me really sad as I don't know when my friends will have access to my closet again and vice versa, as there is no city in the world that has any majority of them. Or even a sizable minority.
  • Speaking of cities, it is time for Bill and I to begin the official European Extravaganza plans. So, if you are someone I know and will be in Europe from July 23 to roughly September 23, please contact me and we can make plans to kick it Euro-style (i.e. smellier and hopefully thinner!)

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Madonna and Child

Today marks the last day of my contract with Satan. I think I still have a soul, and yet, I have a strange craving for fois gras and veal...
In honor of my last day, I have illustrated something that I will miss. My daily bus co-riders. As the company I work for is based somewhat out of the city, I tend to ride the bus with the same folks each day. The couple I have illustrated here, the kid-hating trophy wife and her extremely adorable daughter, catch the bus just a few stops before I get off for work. Every morning, I see the mom, wearing a ridiculous amount of makeup (note her excessively orange skin--the mark of an Irish girl) for 8:10 am (the time we collect them), along with very trendy and revealing clothes, sulking just a little bit aways from the bus stop, while the daughter cheerily flags down the bus (holding her arm out as soon as she sees the bus until it stops for her). Then they board the bus, and the girl chimes, in her adorable little kid voice "one child please." That's the end of their cuteness.
In any case, here they are.
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Thursday, June 09, 2005

I'm pretty when you're stoned.

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Yesterday I went out for drinks with my one friend, Alana. That is us above. We sat outside, as it was nice out. You might notice that I am wearing a cowl-necked sweater. It is nearly summer. Fuck them.
In any case, the man pictured (the airbrush feature is meant to be dirt) stumbled over to us and said "I wouldn't come over, except that I am stoned out of my mind."
Alana and I are like, errr, you totally can't have our bottle of wine, if that's what you are asking...
"but," he continues, "I just wanted to say how pretty you both are." And then he said some other stuff that was relatively incomprehensible and wandered off. But none of it sounded like begging or sexual harassment!
I figured it would make a nice picture...
Also, notice that my love-biscuit has entered the world of blogging. You will find the link to the right. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Last night I had a dream. Like most of my dreams, everything was exactly the same as my normal life except for a few key details. In this dream, Bill and I were living in Chicago with Amy (I suspect she took a starring role because I got a proper letter from her yesterday, making her a damn sight better than the rest of you jokers) and I picked up some vaguely newsy magazine like Newsweek or something, only to discover that there is a small article about me on one of those blurby-pages in the front stating that I am the most original mind of our century (just exactly like my normal life...). And I'm like, what, I haven't done anything at all! In any case, I look up the author (which incidentally I just typo-ed as the other...) and the article was written by a Knox alum, class of '97, named Nathan Odim who had listened to a talk radio show I did on good old WVKC back at the turn of the century (i.e. my freshman year). Much like in reality, I was like, no I never did a talk radio show although that would have been cool. Unfortunately, I say like too frequently to be of use in that respect. Anyway, this guy wanted to turn me into a celebrity, a bit like Dolly Parton in Straight Talk (incidentally, that is also in Chicago) but also thought I should write fiction. So we have a long talk about my insecurities as an English Lit major and how I'm simply not a fiction writer. Amy is very supportive on this front and through her encouragement I acquiesce and am turned into a celebrity (actually, I am guessing on that because the dream is totally hazy from this point forward). In any case, one can only assume that I am now yapping away on WNDY, driving my pink convertible to book signings and the like. Of course my books have matte covers. I am probably a celebrity writer like Toni Morrison or something although obviously I have overcome less.
One wonders, if, a year out of college, one begins to lose their critical thinking skills.

Friday, June 03, 2005


Despite the fact that this has been a very fun week, and I have had many horrible and amusing things happen while at work, I cannot think of anything to draw you all. Indeed, I just spent half an hour or so working of a few different pictures, but all of them were crap. I just can't seem to capture the vibrancy of my early months. I trace my lackluster performance to a variety of things, all clustered around the same few days. I am unable to isolate them. 1. Coming to Ireland. March 22nd. Downhill since then. 2. Turning 23.5, March 26th (something not one of you commented on). Downhill, which, I think, suggests I should really be dreading 57. 3. Easter. March 27thish. Maybe Christ and I are on some sort of pulley thing. He goes up, I go down. ba dum chink.
There was of course, that fantastic cat burglar picture but I believe it is the exception that proves the rule.
Right now I am trying to translate a letter from Spanish to English. I have never studied Spanish. This is fun. Also, today and yesterday I was asked to shred a few thousand pages of confidental documents by hand (we have no shredder). Also fun, but it hurt my hands.
This weekend I am taking a roadtrip. I am driving. Pray for me.