Friday morning, 11:30. On Wednesday we went to the Sir Alfred Chester Beatty Library museum with Mark's Dad. I stupidly forgot the camera. But the collections were beautiful and fascinating, and the conversation between the three of us was quite lively at times. Admission into the museum was free, but we decided to grab a bite to eat in the museum's cafe, which was highway robbery (30 euros for two lunches and a two coffees). After that, we caught the bus back to the pub across from Mark's parents' house and his mom popped over for a couple of Guinness. All in all a very nice day. But otherwise I haven't done a whole lot of sight seeing aside from a heck of a lot of shopping for the house right when I first arrived, concentrated mostly to one general area that is sort of like Boston's Downtown Crossing.
I'm 15 pages into my portfolio, and nearing the end, but I am feeling discouraged that it will actually get me a job in the industry. But at least it will be done and I can send it out and then set about creating a new collection to replace the weakest collection in the portfolio, and then once that's done, another, and so on and so forth. I may simply start sending out my portfolio directly to designers and ask for suggestions, informational interviews, etc. I just want to start talking to people whose work I like. I did send out an email to one designer who's in Dublin Fashion Week (it's next month) to ask if she needs interns or helpers in preparation for the event. No response yet.
Also anxiety producing is my CV, which I feel may need some work. It's my first CV, as opposed to the traditional US Resume, and given its lack of response, there's got to be something wrong with it. Given my vast experience doing the jobs I'm applying for, I don't think it's that I'm not qualified. And my cover letters are pretty ok I think. Or maybe I'm just being too impatient. But I'm definitely starting to get a bit stressed out on the job front. Businesses are closing all over the place here and unemployment is up. I just hope that my education and experience is enough to offset my foreign status (though I am legal to work).
Procuring internet at home has been a frustrating process because everything here is done via "broadband," and most of the providers require that you have a landline to get their internet. It's just really hard to swallow a 50 euro bill for something I used to pay 17 US dollars for at home. So I may look into another option, which is this thing that you put in the window -- a sort of wireless connection thingamabob. But it's not as reliable I'm told. It's all so frustrating! I hate having to go to the internet shop to get online. (Right now I'm typing this on my computer at home, and I'll upload it later, probably at the pub with free wifi up the street.)
People have asked if Dublin is like living in a time warp or if it's a modern city. Sometimes I am struck by the old-fashioned quality of life here. Many of the roofs on the houses are covered in moss, and of course the faces of the buildings are most often original. But then there are also modern features like the Luas train, which looks very space age compared to the Boston trolleys! People tend to put much more effort into their outfits here -- I'm quite a slob in comparison with my jeans and hoodies and lack of makeup and flat ironed hair. I've never seen so many people with flat ironed hair! Holy crap! I've been tempted to buy some new clothes since I arrived, but I have actually not bought one single piece of clothing. I promised myself I would wait until I got a job. Though I did bring over some fabric, so of course I could make myself something. Given all this spare time I've got, it just may happen!
Speaking of which, I am going to get back to the portfolio and see if I can finish it today.
Sunday morning, 11:18am. I guess I'm officially a non-contributing member of society because I thought it was Monday when I woke up this morning! But alas, it's Sunday. Mark and I stayed in yesterday working on our separate projects -- I finished my portfolio (this version, for now -- it's a 22 page .pdf) and Mark worked on his two papers for school that are due next week. Then, having a real case of cabin fever, we decided to go out. Of course, with my luck, it was raining by the time we were leaving, and I was reminded once again that I forgot to buy fenders for my bike before I left the States. I was a little cranky about it, but I knew that taking a bus into town and a cab home would be twice as annoying as getting a little wet, so I grinned and beared it as we took our somewhat short ride to our first destination, the Welcome Inn, just outside of Parnell Square. Mark had been warned by his dad that it was "where the queers go," but actually we later learned that is just a weekend pub patronized by people who maybe don't dress as conservatively as the rest of the city (some might use the word "hipster" but as I have an aversion to that word, I won't if you don't mind), and so naturally I wanted to visit it. We'd already been to Mark's two other haunts: the Dice Bar, a little place that reminded me of the Plough and Stars but that is a bit of a hike from our apartment; and Fibber Magee's, a metal dude hangout a couple doors down from the Welcome Inn that was ok, but, you know, a little rough around the edges for my taste. This is only going to mean something to about three people, but the Welcome Inn sort of reminded me of the old Shakeys Pizza in Nashua from the outside -- it has these multicolored paned textured glass windows in the front that the light shines through. Then when we walked in, the ornate Burgundy burnout velvet wallpaper and black vinyl seating reminded me of the Royal Oak bar in Brooklyn. The place smelled like someone's basement in the 1950s, that is, very musty. But the look was pure 60s. Above the bar hung these mod cylindrical lamps that had multicolored bits of glass for the light to shine through. There was a corner with a huge black vinyl booth entirely done up in wood paneling. And all over, these fantastic little 60s rectangular tables. The place reminded me of a bar that would have been on the wrong side of the tracks in Twin Peaks. We just needed the one armed man to walk in and we'd be all set. There were only about 20 or 25 people inside, but it seemed like more were filtering in as we were going -- we only stayed for the one drink before we had to be off. But I'll definitely want to go back there again. Despite the musty smell, I felt quite comfortable there. And it's a pretty short distance from our house, so that's always convenient. I'm already envisioning my DJ night there. haha. You can see some photos that someone took and put up on flickr HERE
Then we were off to Peadar Kearney's, the new location of the "goth night." As you know, neither Mark nor I are goths by any stretch, but being music lovers of all kinds, we love ourselves a good goth night now and again. And when you aren't into the dancing, there's always the people watching! Of course I debated what to wear, being on the bike and also having massively conservative style these days, so I went with a black t-shirt and jeans. I figured I'd be the only one in the club with a full sleeve anyways, since tattoos aren't as common here in Dublin as they are in Boston, and I was right. The folks weren't quite as colorful as the crowd in Manray (no little people in bondage gear), but there were a couple of people who stood out, namely this very enthusiastic dancer in a fishnet top and leather kilt with a patent leather cummerbund with buckles and a fanny pack. He had hair down to his behind and he was very dramatic dancer indeed! Sadly the evening ended in tears for him. At first Mark and I thought that he was merely doing some kind of interpretive dance on the floor, but as it turns out he had apparently been hit in the eye by something or someone and was in a great deal of obvious pain. He left the club with one hand over his eye and the other hand groping his way out of the place, half muttering to himself, half sobbing. Poor guy. Bonus points for the show though. There was another guy who was done up in traditional goth head-to-toe patent leather and the obligatory platform boots, with long black hair back in a ponytail, but he had gone through the trouble of getting those novelty contact lenses so his eyes were the lightest light blue, almost white. I made eye contact with him a few times (no pun intended), and I couldn't help but be freaked out each time. It's like, you know they're contacts, but you want to stare anyways. He really just looked like he'd watched too many Marilyn Manson videos. But the crowd had a really great time -- you could tell they were so thankful to the music and danced with joy -- an irony not lost on me, of course. Once again, we haven't talked to anyone or made any friends on our night out, but we had a great time as usual, so I have no complaints. As long as I have one partner in crime, I am quite content for now!
Today I hope to get over to the Internet shop and call my Dad. I thought I would have had internet at home by now so I could be Skyping at home, but the way things work around here, it's going to be at least a few more days. Being cut off from hearing people's voices has been trying. But in a short time I should be able to communicate freely!