Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Now that it's 100% actually for real happening, I can boast poast about the best thing to happen to me in over two years: (drum roll please).....

I got a job!

Yes, the employment gods decided to smile down on me finally, just when I'd almost given up! And the most exciting part is...(drum roll please).....

It's a job I really really wanted and am incredibly excited for!

I'll be assisting the designer at the The Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun. "The project seeks to raise the profile of recycled, reconstructed and repurposed clothing." They make clothing out of donated items and textiles, put on classes, have their own store, and I'm sure even more that that. I'll find out when I start on Monday!

The job is only 19.5 hours a week, which is absolutely perfect for me, so I can work on my novel and other writing projects in my off time. The position is through FAS's Community Employment scheme, so despite the part time hours, we are still receiving nearly the same amount as we were getting through social welfare (5% less). I also don't mind at all that it's all the way up in Ballymun (4 miles away) because it will be a nice healthy round trip cycle, and on the days that I can't cycle I can do some reading on the bus. I can't take the bus every day though because it would cost 6.50euro per day, round trip. I definitely need to get some good rain pants now though, that's for sure.

So it finally happened. I followed my father's advice to "keep hustlin'" and it paid off. I have a fantastic feeling about this new development in my life. It's what I hoped for when I decided, at age 32, to go back to school for fashion design. And furthermore, the fact that it's a non-profit that is all about reducing textile waste is the cherry on top!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I took another fantastic walk through the Phoenix Park a couple of days ago. There's nothing like walking a few feet from over 50 grazing deer. I tried to take a photo of them, but it was too dark! However I did take a few photos.
The sun setting:

You'd never know from these photos that this is a city park, would you?

These bumps of hay looked like they were little ents being born (that's a Lord of the Rings reference, for those wondering):

The sky was doing it's cool sky thing:

City lights off in the distance, backgrounded by the Dublin mountains:

The old Magazine fort against the darkening sky. It looks haunted!

It was the perfect evening for a walk, even though I did find myself at the magazine fort after dark, realizing I should be hurrying back to the main road!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hey! Another catch-up post!

Here's a strange shop I happened upon a few weeks ago on Berkely Street. This shop used to sell First Communion and Baptism outfits. Clearly they fell on hard times and had to change their inventory...but not their signage!

I'm not sure how clearly you can see it, but those are army outfits.
Today I was cleaning out the photos on my cell phone. I figured I'd post a few that I never got around to posting before.

First off, what I wouldn't do for some Kraft macaroni and cheese. I mean the kind in the box. This is Ireland's version of mac and cheese. Um, ew!

Sometimes you see things in the store and you wonder, what on earth were they thinking when they named this product? And this is was one of those times.

I've been sick for ages! First I had just a mild cold, and then when that was over, I got hit with what appears to be a sinus infection. Every time I think I've gotten it beat, it's like, "Yo, here's a new shipment of snots for ya!" But as happy as I usually am to hermit myself indoors, yesterday afternoon I decided to take myself out for a walk in the park. It was duskish. I walked over to the back of the Dublin Zoo, where you can get a really good look at the seals. One was hanging out on a slab, sunbathing (cloud bathing?), and another two were playing in the water. I tell ya it's really time I got a new camera. My old one takes such bad photos and is so huge that I barely ever bring it anywhere. But my camera takes even worse photos. Anyhoo that won't prevent me from posting this one of the seals:

As I walked through the park's main drag, I noticed the old fashioned lamps and realized that I have never walked through the park at night. I bet it's pretty cool! Even at dusk it gave a nice view of the lights from south Dublin and the hills. I really, really love living so close to the park...
Yes, those are mountains, not clouds.
Happy (belated) New Year!

New Year's Eve at Seomra Spraoi was a good time. I was due to DJ from 9 to 11, so I put together a real quirky set, thinking that no one would be up for dancing quite at that hour. Not that the music wasn't danceable! I'm actually going to share my set list because I had such a good time putting it together. Some of the segue ways were pretty funny:
Essaywhuman?!!!??! by the Roots
Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying by Belle and Sebastian
Sweet Leaf by Black Sabbath
Cat Scratch Fever covered by Fudge Tunnel
New Year's Eve by the Knife
Second Hand News by Fleetwood Mac
Voodoo by Ganglians
C is the Heavenly Option by Heavenly
Iko Iko by the Dixie Cups
I Found that Essence Rare by Gang of Four
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
Uncontrollable Urge by Devo
New York New York by Nina Hagen
Gronlandic Edit by Of Montreal
Magic by ELO (from the Xanadu soundtrack)
I Don't Mind if You Forget Me by Morrissey
Firework by Kay Perry
Katt Witt 700 Watts by Eero Johannes
Super Disco Breakin' by Beastie Boys
Liar by Dragonette
Let It Whip by Dazz Band
Too Drunk to Fuck covered by Evan Johns and His H-Bombs
Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
Music Is My Hot Hot Sex by Cansei De Ser Sexy
Birthday Cake by Cibo Matto
Imma Be by Black Eyed Peas
Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC
Alex Chilton by The Replacements
Downtown by Petula Clark
Life with the Lions by Billy Bragg
Sugar Assault Me Now by Pop Lefi
Fantastic Voyage (remake) by Coolio
Mr. Blobby song by Mr. Blobby
U Got the Look by Prince and Sheena Easton
Evil That Men Do by Queen Latifah
A Funny Thing (Jeffrey Jerusalem remix) by Penguin Prison
Dancing Machine by Jackson Five
Clean Up Woman by Betty Wright
I'm the Biz Markie by Biz Markie
Blowin' Bubbles by Call & Response
Vitamin C by Can
If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out by Cat Stevens
at midnight I played the theme song to 2001, which was poorly timed (it didn't crescendo until after midnight). I stole this idea from my friend Dan, who did the same thing on 2001 NYE.
Policy of Truth by Depeche Mode
Happy New Year by ABBA

then things started to get dicey because I had run out of music (my music is on an external Hard Drive so when I DJ I usually only bring the music I plan on playing). But the next DJ had bagged out at the last minute. Things got a little hairy. I played some Ride (Vapour Trail, of course), I started basically DJing with youtube, playing people's requests (Strangely, Chuck Berry and another Morrissey song, which I sneakily played a cover version of). But not everyone was nice about it. Also, it was amazing to me how many people were like, "Yeah, can you play such and such song? So, when are you going to play it, exactly? You know what you should do? You should stop this song that's going now, and just play my song right now." One guy in particular didn't like the pop music I was playing. He said, "Hey! You don't know your audience. I mean, we're an alternative crowd." I wanted to laugh in his face because honestly, has anyone even used the word "alternative" since 1996? I played his "alternative" request, The Passenger by Iggy Pop (and seriously, if you want to get "alternative" I wouldn't consider Iggy Pop, who regularly stars in car insurance advertisements). Then his friend came up to me and was like, "Can I just play a mix off the internet?" I declined and then turned to Mark, pointing to her, saying "Can you believe these assholes?" By this time I'd been DJing for nearly 4 hours. After putting on some Brazilian Girls and some hiphop, someone gave me a "soul" mix CD, which I put on and went to use the bathroom. I was going to call it a night, but seeing as my computer was being used for the music anyways, and I didn't want to leave it unsupervised (all I needed was for someone to spill a beer on it), I got to thinking. When I got back downstairs, only like three people were dancing to the soul music. I thought, you know what? Screw those people who think they're too good for pop music! So I got back to the computer and said, "I'll show them!" I played "Let it Bump" by Missy Elliot, and suddenly the dance floor started to fill up. So I followed that up with "Push it" by Salt 'n Peppa. People were diggin' it, and I was laughing my ass off. I moved next to "Check the Rhime" by Tribe Called Quest, "Pump up the Jam" by Technotronic, "Everybody Dance Now" by C&C Music Factory, "Good Vibrations" by Markie Mark and the funky bunch, "Can't Touch this" by MC Hammer, "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice, "No Scrubs" by TLC, etc. People really were having fun and didn't seem to care if it wasn't "alternative" in any way, shape or form.

Finally, I was rescued by a very nice couple who took over my computer and did an incredible job playing cool songs (they actually did play a fantastic mix of music). I got to dance a little, relax, and talk to people. Then the party was over and I packed up my stuff and we biked home. All in all, as New Year's Eves go, it was very good! (I usually don't enjoy New Years, for whatever reason). I won't say I didn't shed a few tears when I got home, though. 2010 may have been one of the most difficult years of my life, but it's not easy to usher in a new year that I know will be spent without my father. Still, Mark wiped my tears away, we made a little late-night snack, and went to bed feeling positive about the new year to come.

If photos of the party surface, I'll have to post them later!