Friday, September 23, 2011

lettuce vs. cabbage

Had my first class on Wednesday and I was a nervous wreck. I don't know why I was freaking out so hard since, you know, I've done this college thing for three years already. It harkens back to my first day of college at Iowa when I was freaking out hardcore. My first class, of course, was Accelerated Rhetoric and at 8:30am. Yet, I knew it was going to be alright.

This time, I'm not so sure. I kind of liked what the class was about, but everyone in there was already giving me looks like I was a Martian. Most of the kids in that class are either third years or second years, so they've all known each other for at least a year. For me, I'm the newbie as opposed to at Iowa where everyone is a newbie. Worst yet, there was another American girl in there who I could have spotted from a mile away. She was wearing a North Face jacket, a North Face backpack, brown suede Ugg boots with her jeans tucked in, and a Camelback waterbottle. I almost vomited in my mouth. Worst morning yet.

Luckily, that class finished and I met up with Lynda to attend Societies Day. More hectic than Clubs Day, Societies Day is for all the non-athletic groups to persuade you to join their club. At least, that's what happens at Iowa. Here, it was incredibly cramped and I felt like not many people from the societies talked to me. I was really excited for Dramat, only to discover they mostly teach workshops. Not to sound pretentious, but I'm certain I know more about theatre than most of the kids in that club. They've just finished two years of theatre whereas I've finished three and had a more hands-on experience while I'm at it. When I was talking to the girl there (more like, when she was talking at me), she was telling me they do workshops on playwriting, lighting, sound, etc. I've taken entire semester-long classes on these topics. I feel like I'll be bored with pure workshops. I'll give the society a shot, but I'm incredibly weary about it.

This kind of happened with the Comedy Society and the Sci-Fi Society, and no one even spoke to me at the LGBT Society or the Film Society. It's interesting, but the one society I was questioning was Wargaming and Role-Playing Society, or WARPS. I hadn't given it much thought, but I figured I'd go to the Societies Day and talk to some people about it. There were three girls at the table who were super friendly and nice to me when I asked them about the society. They told me they were having a Fresher's Night on Thursday and I decided I'd go. I didn't have anything else planned for the evening, so why not?

I had an absolute blast. Everyone I talked to was so nice and welcoming and I learned how to play Magic: The Gathering! We played a game called Werewolf and Apples to Apples. Afterward, we went to the pub. I got to meet more people who were playing other things earlier and I really like everyone. Can't wait for next week!

Wednesday night I went to Chambers, the gay club, for their Glee Night. They had a few people singing Glee songs and dancing as well. It was super fun. I also made new friends there. Look at me go.

Thursday's class is going to be fun because 1. the professor is hilarious, and 2. my friend Kaitlin is in there. It's gonna be great.

Today, I didn't have any classes, so I slept in and went to Blarney Castle! Instead of writing about it, here's a video:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

what kind of sheep are they? killer sheep. they lie in wait.

GALWAY!

Yes, you read that right! This weekend, Lynda and I ventured north to the wide world of Galway and its neighboring towns/counties. We only really planned the buses and the hostel, but otherwise had tons of free time.

After 5 hours on a bus and almost wanting to kill ourselves, we arrived in Galway where the weather is more bipolar than in Cork. It rained, not misted, rained off and on all evening on Friday which was not the best for exploring the city. We did make the most of it.

First of all, we walked through Eyre Square (pronounced: Air Square), the city centre. It's a lovely park in the heart of everything. At first, we had no idea where to go for anything. Not even the hostel. We stopped at a tourist booth and picked up maps and brochures. Instead of heading to the hostel right away, Lynda and I wanted to eat and explore first.

HOW FUCKING COOL IS THIS.
Exploring included a great deal of places, most of which being shops. However, we did come across some things that were incredibly amazing. The first of these was completely by accident. We were attempting to find a theatre that was on the tourist map and stumbled on the T. Dillon & Son shop - home of the original Claddagh ring! Inside was the little jeweler's shop and they had a small Claddagh museum in the back, including casts of Claddagh rings and the smallest Claddagh in the world! It was super cool and we found it completely by accident.

Despite saying we didn't want to go, Lynda and I went to the Galway City Museum, mostly because it was free, but also it's really rude to use the bathrooms and not actually attend the museum. We wandered for a bit in there until the museum closed when we ran into some creeps thinking we needed someone to escort us back to the States.
1. I don't need an escort.
2. What part of 'we aren't leaving until December' don't you understand?
3. I don't need an escort.

It was difficult avoiding them for a second because we found another historical place in Galway that they happened to be sitting on: the Spanish Arc! It's part of the original walls of Galway. How cool is that? Another awesome ruin we ended up finding was the Hall of the Red Earl. On the map, it was placed with the Druid Theatre so we thought it was just another building. Turns out, it was ruins they found when they were attempting to build in Galway. Instead of destroying it, they excavated it and built around it. They have a mini-museum (which we unfortunately couldn't see), but the guy there told us about the site. It used to be the centre of town where the Red Earl, an Anglo-Norman, was stationed. In it, there is what you'd think was a cross, but it was just where later people put their anvil! Very interesting.

Lynda at the Druid Theatre
Literally across the street from the Hall of the Red Earl was the Druid Theatre. Technically it was closed yet the guy at the door let us in to explore a bit. Oh my god, do I love found theatre spaces. It used to be an old warehouse back in the day and it was recycled as a theatre space. I got this great feeling from inside and I really wish we could have seen a show there. It was awesome.

We then wound up at the Church of St. Nicholas. It's one of the only cathedrals that still functions as a church. It was beautiful inside. They had mini-tour pamphlets and I definitely took pictures of nearly everything in the pamphlet. Whatever. I do what I want. While we were there, a television team was there setting up for a scene. They were filming for a Gaelic TV show called "The Tribes" (I think) and it's based on the original people of Galway. We told the guy we were talking to that we'd watch it, but he said that it wouldn't be on until January and it'd be in Gaelic. But hey, isn't that what English subtitles are for?

We exited the church to its adjacent cemetery only to be approached by a very drunk Irishman who told us a story about something. I was more intent on getting the hell away from him. At the end of our little "chat" (if you could call it that) he asked us if we wanted a picture with an authentic Irish person. Let's just say I nearly pissed myself because I was holding in that much laughter. If only he knew.

Well, after that excursion, Lynda and I thought it'd be best to go to the hostel. This hostel was amazing! The desk clerks were great and the rooms were awesome. We were luckily in an all girls dorm and the room wasn't full. It was great. On top of that, each bed had its own personal light for reading and such! How great is that?!

Eventually, we went back out to get dinner and go to a pub. Unfortunately, the pub we went to was filled with Americans. Let me be the first to tell you: Americans suck. We suck so hard. I try to spend as little of my time with large groups of Americans. We're terrible. I see other groups of Americans and cringe. For example, I was bumped into by two American girls at TESCO (the grocery store) and wept inwardly. First of all, we're fucking everywhere. Secondly, we are so obvious. It hurts me every time I see or hear Americans who don't try at all to assimilate to the culture they're in. Especially those on vacation. Oy.

Slept well in the hostel and woke up to get ready for our bus tour! We were originally planning on doing the Cliffs of Moher tour, but the Conamara & Cong tour sounded way more interesting. So, we boarded a bus at 10am to tour through Co. Galway and Co. Mayo.

I would first like to say our bus driver, Mike O'Malley, was amazing. Hilarious and a great driver, particularly maneuvering the terrible turns in the tour. What a champ.

Yes, I am indeed humping this friary.
Our first stop was at the Ross Errilly Friary, a great "ruined" friary. It's a great one because all it's missing are the roof, the floor, and the furniture. It was AWESOME. Lynda and I went nuts with pictures in the 10 minutes off the bus. It was a beautiful old friary that was attacked by the British seven times. The monks, the champs they were, hid out in the tower until the chaos subsided.

After Ross Errilly, we stopped in the town of Cong, Co. Mayo. It's a sleepy little town with only one claim to fame: John Wayne's "The Quiet Man". Now, I have never seen this movie, so Cong wasn't important to me in that way. It was this little sleeper town with a ruined friary (sensing a theme?) and a beautiful river. For those who are John Wayne fans, you'd love Cong. For those of us who aren't, you'll still like it. May love, but mostly like.

We were driving through the countryside and Mike's telling us about Conamara ponies, a horse breed that is specific to Conamara. At one point, he goes, "Oh, look! It's Joey! Hello, Joey!" He honks the bus horn and a Conamara pony comes galloping to the gate! The pony's name was Joey and we got to feed him carrots and chocolate. One of the best stops of the trip.

We continued onward through Conamara, seeing Lake Na Fooey, Lake Mask, Lake Carrib, a faerie ring (!!!), the fjord of Conamara, and a faerie fort (!!!). It was absolutely beautiful. The biggest part of the trip, however, was just up ahead.

(L): Kylemore Abbey
Kylemore Abbey! Once a castle for a family turned abbey turned boarding school that just closed in 2010, the Kylemore Abbey is a stunning sight. It sits on the lake, situated next to a mountain, has its own gardens, own Gothic Church, and the mausoleum where the first owners were buried. Beautiful grounds and interesting history.

We spent a few hours at Kylemore, touring the grounds, before we went back into the coach bus to continue the tour. We drove through Inagh Valley and eventually made it back to Galway. Once in Galway, Lynda and I boarded our bus to go back to Cork.

Lots of buses in one weekend. The bus ride back was quiet. We took the very back row for ourselves, spreading across the five seats. There was some napping involved though we swore we wouldn't. Buses are so tiring.

We made it back to Cork and I could not have been happier. I think it was mostly from sitting on buses all day, but Cork is wonderful. Love love love Cork.

Speaking of loving Cork, classes started this week! I technically haven't had any since English classes don't start until next week and my first non-English class is tomorrow. Whatever. Today was Clubs Day so I went to the Student Centre and wrote my name down on a bunch of lists for clubs I won't join. Whatever. Societies Day tomorrow is my thing. I'm so there.

Otherwise, I'm knitting a scarf.

Here's one thing they don't tell you about study abroad. Despite your awesome planned trips, the times in between when you don't have anything going on are awful. I'm so bored all the time. When I'm bored, all I know is to go shopping. This is a horrible habit. I wish I had other things to do, so I picked up knitting again. I should read more, but I'd also like to feel the fresh air. I'm really hoping that things pick up as the semester continues. I'm just so incredibly bored.

If you have any tips for me to defeat my boredom that involves little to no money spent, please tell me!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

i bought my girlfriend ice and now she's totally into me.

The title of this post comes from class. My Irish professor, Dr. Margaret 'Marge' Humphreys, read this from a newspaper. I couldn't resist.

For the past few months, I've spread myself over several internet mediums: Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal, Tumblr, Blogspot, Vimeo, YouTube, etc. The list will continue as long as I've got an internet connection.

Today I was musing over where I should post my more melancholy topics. Usually I post them to LiveJournal, but this is somewhat Ireland related. I don't want to post them to Tumblr because the obnoxious 15 yr olds who lurk there will yell at me for being depressed and angsty. (Which is bullshit, by the way.) I can't post them to Facebook because no one likes to read moody status updates. Twitter is only 140 characters at a time.

So guess what, guys?

YOU ALL GET IT. CONGRATUALTIONS.

Lately, I've been rather down about being here. It's not homesickness, if that's what you're thinking. I'm just bored. There wasn't enough schoolwork from the class I just finished to keep me interested. I don't have a lot of my usual hobbies here. I've resorted to shopping which is hurting my family financially because I can't think of anything else to do. I went on a retail therapy trip where I will not divulge how much I spent, but it was quite a bit more than I wanted to.

Now, I know what you're thinking: you're in Ireland. I'm in (insert dull State here) and you're in Ireland. What do you have to complain about?

Well, I'm fucking bored. Last night, I slathered my face in hideous make-up because I was going stir-crazy in my room. Today, I bought embroidery floss and made myself a Ravenclaw anklet. (The Ravenclaw thing is a whole other story, too!) I've been sitting in my room for the majority of the day and my ass is not happy.

Most of my friends live pretty far from me. I can't go see if they're available on a whim like I could in the dorms, per se. As much as I love my roommates, I need communication with some Americans as well.

Perhaps the neediest thing I will say is that I am severely lacking on physical affection. I'm a very touchy person and I love hugs. I feel like I have very few friends here who do hugs as frequently as I do. Those who read this more than likely know how touchy-feely I am. It's difficult to assess someone's physical affection comfort level when you've only known them for a few weeks for a few hours a day.

As you know, I'm fucking weird. I take extreme pride in being fucking weird. The problem here is that it's really hard to be fucking weird in a country where you're trying to not act American or look American or sound American. I know the Irish are incredibly sarcastic. That's great. However, I don't know my boundaries on being weird and saying/doing weird things. Could there be a cultural difference? It's also difficult with the Americans because we all come from profoundly different backgrounds. I've only found a couple people who totally understand my oddness. I usually get this look from the other Americans:
The questioning, confused eyebrow raise
Or,
The uncomfortable, tight-lipped smile
I hate it. I guess I've gotten so used to being around other creeps and weirdos that I don't know how to handle the normals and the average folk. I constantly surround myself with interesting people that I guess I'm just at a loss as to how to deal with them. (And sadly, the Jenna Marbles face does not work in this instance.)

Lynda and I have pinpointed a specific problem we've run into while being here and that's nearly all the men and women from the U.S. look and act the same. Luckily for us, Garfunkel & Oates has a song that fits that exactly.


I just... I don't know what to do. I don't have that social base to just call someone up and go hang out.

Real school starts on Monday. Let's hope it gets better.

Monday, September 12, 2011

of brownnosers and burial mounds.

I apologize in advanced for the sound. We're getting the leftover rains/winds from Hurricane Irene. (Didn't think we were effected by those things, now did ya?)




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This is mostly reference so you know where I'm blogging this from. I am nice and cozy under my new Glee duvet! (And before you start worrying, Mom, I only bought the cover. The duvet itself is courtesy of 7 North Mall.) As you can see, I am very excited about this recent development. I'm falling into my terrible habit of going shopping when I'm bored. I mean, I needed the duvet cover and groceries, but I could have definitely skipped the shirt and the pyjama pants. Can I defend myself by saying they were on sale? 
It's funny to think about how many of these people here, both American and Irish, are still getting to know each other. For those of you back home who are reading this, many of you know I have a terrible shopping habit from my dad. We shop when we're bored or when we need Retail Therapy. It's usually books since I still have significantly low self-esteem about my appearance and shoes are just stupid. Yet, I was talking with some new friends here and they were surprised to hear that I love shopping. Guess it doesn't seem like a trait I would possess. Huh.

Anyway: Inis Oirr! Pronounced Inisheer, this is the smallest of the Aran Islands. Our class was lucky enough to spend two nights on the island for a field trip. 

Despite being told the Aran Islands were a little dull, I absolutely loved Inis Oirr. Well, when we got there. The trip there was not as much fun. We left UCC at 10:30a on the bus only to stop at Bunratty for lunch at 1p. This was a major disappointment as we had literally been there the week prior. The selection of food is atrocious, and it's not the best either. Alas, that's where Margaret brought us. We then drove a bit further for a bathroom break, then a short shopping break, then finally to the ferry outside of Galway. We were all sick and tired of the bus and thrilled to be taking a different mode of transportation. The ferry was fun as half of us were up on the top deck, being blustered around by the wind and mist. So much fun. We landed at Inis Oirr an hour later. Total travel time: 9 hours.

We were exhausted at this point. I'm certain that everyone felt similarly that when we saw the beds, we just wanted to sleep and never wake up. However, we did have a dinner to attend where they called turkey chicken and they ran out of chocolate cake. Going to the bar afterward with the rest of the class definitely made up for it. We drank and sang along to songs Sean, our bus driver, was playing on guitar. Occasionally, Charlie or Scott would play a song and we sang "500 Miles" loud enough that they could hear it in Cork.

The next morning we woke up to go explore the island. First stop was Cnoc Raithni, a burial site located on the island. I have such an odd fascination with burial sites. I thought it was lovely. It's related to the mythological race Fir Bolg, the people who inhabited Ireland before the Tuatha De Danann invaded. Very, very cool.

Of course, we amused our childlike sides by playing on the AWESOME playground they have. A zipline and a basket swing? WIN.

After the playground, we headed up to the O'Brien Castle ruins. Margaret had specifically told us not to climb it, so we climbed it. As much as I tried to be a good kid, I couldn't resist. (I really love climbing on things.) It was incredibly cool to see Inis Oirr from that view. You can see Inis Meain and the Cliffs of Moher from the island, but to be able to see them from way up high was something else.

We had spotted a graveyard prior to the castle, so we went there next. Little did we know, there was actually a temple built in the 10th century in the centre of the graveyard. We were able to get down in it and check out the ruins. The ability to explore ruins is something I've definitely come to appreciate in Ireland. The United States has a hard-on for telling people to not touch things or climb on things while in Ireland you're really getting a feel for history. We haven't been to many places where they've had areas roped off or huge 'DO NOT TOUCH' signs. Then again, maybe we've just been going to the right places.

We thought to find the holy well before lunch, but thankfully we didn't since we never actually found the holy well. Sarah went back to go search for it on her own, only to report it was just a small pile of rocks. How unfortunate. Meanwhile, Ashley and I followed a dog to Cill Ghobnait, a small temple located on the island. Story has it that St. Ghobnait fled the mainland to Inis Oirr for safety.

When we returned to the hostel, a bunch of our classmates were playing games in the living room. I didn't necessarily want to play, so I watched for a bit, just resting my feet. When I had thought to find Ashley to go out to the Plessey shipwreck, she had already left. So, I grabbed my headphones and left for the shipwreck. On the way, I ran into Charlie, another classmate, who decided to walk with me out to the shipwreck, despite having ridden out there earlier in the day (he rented a bike). It was awfully nice of him since I'm not really one who likes long walks by myself (or on the beach, for that matter). We arrived at the shipwreck to find Ashley already there and soon Sarah joined us as she had been searching for the holy well all this time. Charlie left since he had to return his bike, so Sarah, Ashley, and I walked back to the pub for dinner.

Finally! Cajun Chicken! Dinner was delicious and was nearly immediately followed by a trip to the pub next to our hostel for drinks. Margaret joined us this time and got to experience Lynda and I in full force. I played the spoons while Sean sang and we all had a grand time. The boys at one point decided to buy Margaret a drink and, naturally, we started calling them kiss-asses and brownnosers. So funny. Eventually, a violinist and banjoist from the local areas joined us in the corner for some more songs and eventually I headed to bed for our early wake up call.

In the morning, we woke up at 7:45a to catch the ferry at 8:15a. Early, early, early. I'm not a morning person. I slept part of the way on the ferry, then on the bus when we got to shore. We ate a traditional Irish breakfast (gross) at a hotel somewhere we don't know. The whole class fell asleep on the next leg of the journey until we hit another rest stop. Finally, we ended up in Cork, 7 hours later. Margaret and Sean always make it a point to drop us off near our homes, so naturally Leeside and 7 North Mall were last. I just wanted to get off that damn bus. Got home in the sheets of rain and promptly decided not to move.

Oh, did I mention there was a water shortage on the island? No drinkable water as well as limited shower times. In order to fit in as much island time as possible, I decided to forgo the shower. I got home and did not care if I smelled till Sunday.

Then I get a phone call! It's Lorrie Brenneman from back home! She, her husband John, and his mother were in Cork that night and were wondering if I wanted to get dinner with them. I said, of course, but I desperately need to shower. An hour or so later, I was meeting them for a pint. We listened to traditional Irish music at a local pub where John asked the musicians to sing a song to his mom. She had always been promised to be brought to Ireland, and finally at 85 years old, her dream was coming true.

Our pint led us to The Cornstore, a wonderful restaurant on Corn Market Street. I was nervous because I thought it was going to be, well, all corn. Turns out, it's mostly steak and seafood. Lorrie and John encouraged me to be adventurous, so I got the Surf 'n' Turf and tried lobster for the first time! You know what? It was really good!

After saying our goodbyes and passing the 8 boxes of Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese to me, I walked home to sleep.

Sunday was lazy, so there's no need to hear about that.

Today was shopping with Lynda and I may be going to a pub tonight! Who knows.

Well, this has been a massively long update.

NEWSBREAK: unpopular opinion about 9/11

This is a break from my Ireland posts partly to say that an update is coming and that I need a place to put this as well.

----

We need to move on. Yes, 9/11 was a tragedy. Yes, many lives were lost. Yes, the United States was sucked into a turbine of self-defeat and trauma when we panicked over the attack.

We were devastated by Columbine. The Oklahoma City Bombing. NIU. Virginia Tech. Pearl Harbour. While it is nice to remember those who were lost, these are scars and scabs being scratched open, sometimes with sandpaper. To constantly bring up the tragedy of 9/11 every year (because face it, we do bring it up every year in some sort of memorial service or moment of silence) makes it harder to move on.

Yes, it was a devastation for our country. Yes, many people have sacrificed their lives for cleaning up the rubble and saving those who were in that catastrophe. I am not trying to minimize their efforts and their jobs into obscurity. Yet, that’s exactly what they were doing: their jobs. If anything, we should be thanking them daily for all the effort they give to our country, instead of once a year when we ‘remember’ their dead coworkers and others who perished in the tragedy.

It hurts me more to know what the aftermath of 9/11 was and I’m not talking about the deaths and the Al Qaeda witchhunt. 9/11 ruined us. There was a chart created specifically to tell us how afraid we must be at all times. Muslims are profiled, persecuted, and humiliated for what a small group of extremists did. It’s even affected us globally; one day we passed a group of Irish folk who started yelling at a Middle Eastern man to walk faster because they didn’t want him exploding bombs near them.

9/11 created so much hate and sorrow in our country and around the world. We should not be lingering on the past, but focusing on the future and understanding why tragedies like 9/11, Columbine, and the Oklahoma City Bombing occur. Yes, remembering the tragedy of 9/11 may be important to some, but living for the people who died there and in the aftermath will make us stronger.

---

I don't necessarily care if you agree/disagree with me. I'm not the most patriotic of the bunch (or patriotic at all). I mostly felt the need to explain how I feel about 9/11 and why I will not be in attendance for a memorial event. It's picking at a scab that should be left alone.

Monday, September 5, 2011

i am the lover, guardian, and patron saint of awkward kids.

As I was reading Gabby's post, I realize I didn't really talk about class. I was definitely more focused on talking about Lynda's Wet Crotch and Bunratty Folk Park.

As I mentioned before, I thought the class was about mythology considering the title included the word "folklore". I was speaking with Abbey, Gabby, Karie, and Lynda and they all thought the same thing. We all figured it would at least speak about the faeries, leprechauns, and ghosts of Ireland's history. Of course not. That's in a literal mythology class which I intend to take. That is, if I could find it in the timetables (aka schedule). I'm desperate because this class is boring the living daylights out of me.

But let me talk about my professor. She is this adorable little Irish woman who also has a pretty good sexist streak. On the first day of class, she told us she wouldn't bother learning all of our names. This would have been okay with me had she not followed it with strictly learning only the boys' names because apparently it's impossible to learn 30 students' names in a matter of a month. So instead of calling on us girls by name, she chooses to acknowledge our raised hands with "Good girl." I die every time. On top of that, when no one's raising their hands, she specifically calls on the boys because they're the only names she knows. It's annoying for everyone. I would love for her to know my name and I'm pretty sure the boys would like that as well so they can stop being picked on.

On top of not knowing our names, she additionally makes comments about how us girls should know things like cross-stitching, quilting, knitting, cooking, etc. Though I know how to do two of those four activities (one learned out of boredom, the other out of survival instincts), it does not mean that I necessarily care. Or that the girls are the only ones that know how to do those activities. She assumes some things about the boys, but it's usually an aside or I'm still so fueled with rage from her misogynistic comment that I don't listen to her for a minute. I understand that she's teaching a folklore (not mythology) class. I understand she's from an older generation. I understand there may be a cultural difference. It does not mean that I'm not allowed to ask the question "What the everliving fuck?!" As Gabby put it, this is the 21st century. Women have careers now. We no longer all stay at home making food and watching children. Most of us are going to college because we don't want to do that as our primary job. If you do, awesome. Good for you for making that choice. I, however, do not wish to be talked to as if that's my only option. I will be successful in whatever I end up doing with my life and it won't be housewifery.

Naturally in every class, there's the one kid who tries to be a kiss-ass to the teacher. There's also the kid who is super fucking awkward. Then, of course, you get your arrogant kid who's just a douche. Here's the thing: this is all one kid in my class. I have bestowed him the loving nickname of "Pig" as he resembles one and, in a way, is one. And before you start to say I'm a terrible person, Pig has crossed all sorts of lines with me. He has pissed me off on more than one occasion and I've had to hold it in since we were either in the classroom or the library. I don't give a shit. I will give you a horrible nickname if you get on the wrong side of me. (Then again, I have a penchant for giving people horrible nicknames in general.)

Things Pig Has Done:
  1. He assumed I'd like horror movies and argued with me on this topic. I loathe scary movies. Just ask my mother. We were watching "Panic Room" (undeniably the only movie Kristin Stewart was ever good in) and I didn't want her to leave the room because I was terrified of something. I don't know what. So when I say I like historical deaths and find them interesting, it does not mean I like horror movies. Historical death, disease, and destruction are historical and based in truth or fact. My mom and I also watch "Ghost Hunters" and really any ghost-related television show we can find. I also like the paranormal when it's based in a historical, real situation. What bothered me the most about this was that he not only assumed, but argued with me on my extreme dislike of horror movies. Strike #1.
  2. Strike #2: Greeting me in class the next day with "Oh look, it's Death Girl." Fuck off, Arrogant Pig.
  3. He eavesdrops on conversations and then awkwardly and obscenely inserts himself in that conversation. For instance, I was talking to Packy, a dear, dear friend of mine, about the pub crawl on Wednesday night and whether I would be in attendance. I have never been on a pub/bar crawl, so I was curious. Naturally, Pig inserts his piggy face into conversation to ask exactly what a pub crawl was. Packy nicely explained it and I, of course, responded with, "And they make you crawl from pub to pub on your hands and knees." Packy laughed, but Pig then says to me, "You're such a compulsive liar to me." I'll give you a second. He called me a compulsive liar. Apparently he has never actually met a compulsive liar or met anyone who makes jokes because he does not know the difference between them. (I'm not a compulsive liar, in case you were also confused.)
  4. On top of eavesdropping on certain conversations, he pretends he's included in conversations. Another instance in which I was talking to Packy about movies and Pig turns to me and says, "I like you; you're fun." Excuse me? You tell me this after calling me Death Girl and a compulsive liar? Nuh uh. This friendship you're attempting with me is not going to happen.
  5. To all my gay men friends: Pig does not understand why you like me. Once again, talking to Packy (NOTE: in real life, I do not talk to Packy this much. It just so happens that 90% of the conversation Pig eavesdrops on are Packy's.), I was telling him that I get the majority of my drinks from gay bars where they serve good alcohol and on top of that, I'm practically a gay man magnet. Pig tells me that he does not understand why gay men would be friends with me. Once again, I spluttered, shocked at what this pig just said to me. I'm the exact personality most people love in the first place. What you don't understand, Pig, is that you're the one no one likes. Hm. Look at that. And besides, if I were in X-Men, Gay Magnet would be my power. Even if my friends aren't gay, oh, they soon will be. (Fair warning.)
  6. He said some snide thing about my blueberry tea. To quote Lucille Bluth, "If that's a veiled criticism about me, I won't hear it and I won't respond to it."
  7. He decided to argue with our professor about the symbolism of the colour green. Though this was not to me directly, it directly wasted minutes I will never get back.
  8. BONUS: We're writing papers on rituals. I'm writing mine on the pledging process for Alpha Phi Omega. Pig is writing his on, wait for it, writing a paper. How fucking annoyingly meta can you get? Only hipsters do that shit and can get away with it. Meta is their life even though they will classify it incorrectly as irony. Pig is doing it as attempt to show us how interesting he is. Our responses included either an eye-roll or loud sigh. I definitely did both, and for emphasis, a groan.
The icing on the cake: nearly everyone in my class I've spoken to say they feel bad for him. Why?! I'd understand that if a junior in high school was like this. They're 16 turning 17, believing the whole world is out for them and no one likes them. (At least, that was my experience.) But when you're a junior in college and 20 turning 21, there's no excuse for some of this absolutely childish, arrogant, privileged behaviour. I love awkward kids, but most of them know how to vaguely function around groups at 20 years old. Best yet, they know what groups will accept them and which won't. Pig is so awkward it is physically painful to watch him do anything. Even I, the lover, guardian, and patron saint of awkward kids, cannot stand this kid. He's a twat.

Am I a horrible person for this? I remember telling Tyson to give Pig a chance. You always gotta give someone a chance. But when they blow it with calling you "Death Girl" and question your friendship with gay men they don't even know, you have to give them a shitty nickname and make rude comments about them as much as you can.

So yeah. Not a horrible person. Pig's a pig and that's that.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

that wet crotch is chunky.

Whoa. New interface. It's kinda cool. Very sleek, Google. (If this is still a way for you to coax me to Google+, I'm still uninterested. You're gonna have to work harder than that.)

Because I updated on Tuesday about the weekend, I figured I should update you on my class. I'm not just over here for shits and giggles, unfortunately. There is much to be done.

Currently, I'm in a class called "Early Start Semester in Irish Folklore and Ethnology" and it is nothing what I thought it was going to be. We didn't get explanations as to what would be covered in these classes, so I just picked one that sounded interesting. For some reason, I thought it was going to be a course on Irish mythology (given, folklore) and ignorant me did not bother to look up the word ethnology. I figured it was like mythology, just another word.

Folklore & Ethnology = Not this.
It's not at all what I was expecting. We've talked about cool topics such as marriage rituals and death rituals, but I'm dying with the discussions on the home life and the constant reminder as to what a ritual is. Dying.

Speaking of dying, the Merry Wake should come back. Playing pranks and dancing with the dead body? Count me in!

But in all honesty, some of it is absolutely dull. This week, we spoke BRIEFLY about the Merry Wake, then spent two days talking about types of houses and what you find in a house. Colour me bored. For those who don't know, I used to volunteer at the Naper Settlement, an outdoor walking museum where you visit different buildings that were found on the Naperville homestead. I've also been to other historical museums where they show you all the stuff people used to use. There's a point where it's cool, but when you cross that line, I check out. Butter churns will never be cool to me ever again. (Especially after "The Butter Song" from 4th grade. Soundtrack to my nightmares, along with "It's a Small World".)

Bunratty Castle
Regardless, we took our first field trip to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. The castle was super cool as it was my first Irish castle! Bunratty was a defense castle for the Earl and his family. It had a moat and murder traps and oh! So cool. Death, disease, and destruction are my favourite parts of history. We were able to climb up to the turrets and see the landscape which is absolutely beautiful.

Some of the spaces in the castle were wonderful. There were a lot of pictures of Jesus everywhere, which made me uncomfortable. I felt like I was being watched. Then, we find out there are spy holes all over the castle. That's where the watched feeling came in.

The castle was the focus of the park, but was not the only part by far. There was the whole Folk Park to explore! I spent the day with Mollie, Megan, and Kelley [sic]. It was fun, particularly the parts where Mollie almost fell off the castle and I was being eaten by a horse. Yeah, it happens.

That morning, I definitely was not looking forward to the field trip. Fortunately, I enjoyed the people I was with and got to pet a pony and a horse. Yay!

After we wandered around the Folk Park and Castle, like most of our class we ended the day at a pub near the park called Durty Nelly's. It was cool. We mostly sat outside to wait out the rest of the time at the park. We got back on the bus and went to dinner.

Lynda & her Wet Crotch
I found a new friend! Her name is Lynda (yes, with a 'y') and she's a Doctor Who fan (and Glee, and Arrested Development, and Harry Potter...)! I've been trying to find another nerd for two weeks and she's been in my class this whole time. It's so exciting to finally have someone to geek out with over here in Ireland.

I've also been spending loads of time with Tammy as well. We both ask each other a lot of questions and make fun of each other for our accents (me to her) and phrases (her to me). Last night, she organized a get-together for some American students and Irish students at The Mardyke. It was super fun to meet some more students and talk to some Americans whom I haven't had the chance to meet yet. On top of that, Mags, Cillian, and I had the privilege of watching Lynda swallow down a Wet Crotch shot. Definitely the highlight of the night.

One of the things I've been up to lately is researching my family history. I'm mostly curious as to what my heritage is. I'm all registered on ancestry.com and have been obsessing over my mother's line as that's the one I'm biologically related to (and has the least amount of research). We've discovered that my great-grandfather Peter Prinz, Sr. was born in Hungary and legally changed his name from 'Peter Bothseller' to 'Peter Prinz'. There are no records on a 'Peter Bothseller' ANYWHERE. We're thinking there was some conspiracy for them to escape the Nazi Party because they were Jewish. (I found a record for a Josef Princz who was exterminated in a concentration camp and he was connected to Katie Prinz, Peter Prinz's mother.) So, on top of being a quarter Hungarian, I'm possibly a quarter Jewish as well! Take that, Jewish friends!

Anyway, Doctor Who in an hour! I get to watch Doctor Who with all the Brits! I'M SO EXCITED.