Thursday, March 18, 2010


A couple of days ago, I went to the Ruby Sessions at Doyle's, a pub across the street from Trinity College frequented by students and normal human beings alike. The Ruby Sessions consist of four acts (this past Tuesday only three, alas), in a quiet, jazzy setting with candles and couches and couples.

It's the perfect place for a date, really - low lighting, booze and something to talk about built into the setting. I was pretty miserable. I had just started antibiotics to shove out this sinus infection that has been ravaging my face and chest for the past month. That, companied with a complete inability to take any of the performers seriously, had me in quite a state. Although, it proves that I was on a date with the right person, because we were both equally miserable.

I don't think I could really bear to describe the scene in any detail, so just a few words:

Spoken-word poetry. Love songs...about dead people.

"Could you make the guitar more oceanic?", says the musician to the sound man.

Let it suffice to say - the biggest sin in my book is taking yourself too seriously. Sinners, all.

In other news, I spent St. Patrick's day asleep. Saw the crowds from afar, sea of green. Maybe it was the drugs, or the sickness, but I was completely uninterested. It was all the craziness you would expect, in a completely dull way. Big crowds, lots of beer, yelling, skipping, puking. Facepaint on babies, on trashy girls, fat men. Blah.

Currently, exiled to the living room, due to my flatmate's night going exceptionally well. Love you, Julia!

Headed off into the day to learn about Trinity's sculpture collection, and hopefully regain some of my will to live.

Though, despite my miserable state, I am dreading leaving this city. Where will I get a proper pint?

Sunday, March 7, 2010


So, I'm still up. I'm writing an essay about freedom and self-realization. Isaiah Berlin believed that its an infringement on one's freedom to have another person make a decision for you in your best interest.

I'm pretty sure that I would be okay with that right now. If I were smart, and didn't like the night as much as I do, I would write this paper right now, instead of typing this, and therefore be able to sleep for a decent amount of time. Tomorrow, I would awaken, eat an apple instead of drinking coffee, and also take a shower.

Funny thing is, when I actually do start working on the essay, the word count just keeps climbing effortlessly. However, I'm so appalled by the writing and utter lack of scholarship that I retreat back into my procrastinating shell to avoid self-inflicted shame and admonishment.

But guess what? Whenever this essay is done, in an hour or five, once I've emailed it to myself, I'll probably never think about it again. And the stress leaves just as easily.

Yet another reason I will never be an academic. Also, I hate tweed.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Black Hole of Academic Self-Loathing

Why am I so incapable of starting to my work? The closer the due date looms, the more entranced I get with the game of how long I can wait before it all hits critical mass and I have to remain hunched over my computer for 18 hours straight so I don't get myself booted out of this fine institution. So, in addition to stress levels verging on a full on panic attack (with the creditors still calling me about paying for my last emergency room visit - 100 euros to have some 24 year old med student tell me to breathe into a paper bag? I'll splurge on the brown bags for next time) I am left crippled with my neck twisted so far out of alignment that I have to drink my celebratory pint through a straw. 

This would all be fine and well worth it if I was even remotely interested in the paper topics handed down to me. Last semester I loved this time, just throwing myself into the phenomenology of faith and the outer-horizons of cups, but in all honesty, do I really give a flying flip about Rawls' Theory of Justice or the digression in Plato's Theaetetus? Not in the least. 

It's a good lesson, in a way. I'm finding my niche in philosophy. The stuff that makes my head explode, but in a pleasant way. This stuff, however, is pure chinese water torture. 

It will get done, I know. I've been in school too long to not know that. But it is precisely this conundrum that I face - I know it will get done, but I just can't seem to force myself to do it anymore. So, then, how will it get done? If, after years of school, its been drilled into my head that work just has to get done, I know longer panic about getting said work done, how will it? 

At least, at Sarah Lawrence, everybody is just as irresponsible about work as me - the countless nights in the library of Heimbold spent dry sobbing over your conference work, only to look over and see your own agonized facial expression mirrored in the face of your closest friends? Nothing beats that camaraderie. 

It's a sunny day in Dublin - the rays are taunting me through the gross victorian curtains hung in the window of our ornate living room. Give me the industrial austerity of Heimbold any day over the lonely purgatory hell of my fully-furnished front room. 

Oh, feck it. I guess I'll just keep typing. Socrates, you're a real ****. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Caffeinated Crackdown

Q: What are you doing for the Haitian children?
A: Poppin’ champagne, oh ho.  
Monday of Reading Week has come and almost gone, thus my procrastination has reached its saturation point. I have discovered most concretely something that I have subconciously known about myself for a long time now - I am completely incapable of keeping to a healthy work timetable. I know this is true of most students, but its more than that I am unable to wrap my mind around the fact that my stress levels would be more bearable if I just started my work earlier and proceeded slowly forward in small increments of dedicated study time. I find it actually much more enjoyable to not think about school at all for weeks on end, and then seclude myself in the library for days on end on some kind of masochistic study binge. 
There is just something so satisfying about jacking yourself up on coffee and having a days long academic bender. I’m sickly looking forward to this week of all out hellish work ethic and seclusion. I love letting my whole world revolve around the inner workings of one nine page paper. Staring at the horrible fake wood table having a slight panic attack about the phenomenology of faith or whatever ridiculously self-indulgent topic the philosopher kings at Trinity set us off on. 
Side note: Somebody in the library is wearing a vintage Chicago Blackhawks shirt - what are the chances that he’s actually a fan, and didn’t purchase the shirt at some ridiculously marked up price because its got that soft, worn, vintage thing going on? Sadly, slim to none. 
Then again, I’ve never seen a Chicago Blackhawks game in my life, so who am I to judge. 
Anyway, point is - In the library, too jacked up on coffee to even start to contemplate the differences between Rawls and Cohen’s theories of justice. At some point I’ll start the slow process of slipping into my self-induced coma of academia and saturate myself with this nonsense, but there is no forcing it. Therefore, I’ll write up my weekend. 
I decided a week or two ago that I needed to get out of Dublin, and have some girl time with my cousin Patsy, my sister in this world, because, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this - besides my wonderful roommate Julia, all my friends in Dublin are men. This is not that different from my life in the States, but it is almost without exception here. Given the ratio at SLC, I have way more than my fair share of male friends, but I also have an amazing group of ladies that I just could not live without . 
For some reason, and this has been true for my entire life, I just find it much easier to become friends with men than with women. I’ll spare anybody reading this an attempt to delve into the psychology of such a pattern, but suffice it to say that the friendships I have with my women friends have been the product of years of intense community in small high school environments and the X-chromosome ridden campus of SLC. 
Trinity is the opposite of such an environment, being the sprawling, socially diluted experience that I have found it to be - Thus, all my friends are guys. Which I have never had a problem with, but when it is to such extreme levels as it is here, I found myself craving time to just bitch about life and embarrassments and bowel movements.  And so it was had!
I flew Ryanair (a hellish experience that every student in Europe is bound to have at some point, involving a cornucopia of elbows and smells and big jackets and luggage restrictions and hair that isn’t yours - also the feeling that you are flying in a coffin to your premature death) to Edinburgh. 
This being my third trip to visit my cousin at St. Andrew’s, and having yet to really spend any time in Edinburgh, when my flight arrived at 7:30 AM I was determined to stick out the day in the city visiting castles and little pubs and shops. But, it was raining, and I had gotten up at 3:30 that morning and seriously, what is there to do in a city at 8AM besides drink too much coffee and hate yourself for being awake - so I accepted my personal failures and fell asleep on the train out to Leuchars (LOOH-CHers, I’ve learned).  
The big event for the semester at St. Andrews is the FS:X Charity Fashion Show. It’s completely student-run, with student models and student designers in addition to the fairly big name labels that they get to sponsor the event. Coming from SLC, I was complete bowled over by the lavishness of the thing. The venue was this old paper mill warehouse that was scheduled to be demolished the next week, so the whole thing had a very edgy/we’re-freezing-to-death-in-a-warehouse-for-fashion-feel to it. 
I’m having trouble deciding how to accurately represent the sheer ridiculously lavish nature of this event. For a staggeringly high price-per-head, a group of friends could secure a table decked out with “free” champagne, vodka, red bull and vitamin water, and gift-bags filled with free D+G perfume and designer condoms.  Suffice it to say, I was completely out of my element. My crippling five-inch heels weren’t helping, but I found that whiskey helped dull the intensity of the situation a bit. 
When I was thinking about the guests of the event on my way home, I just thought “trollops”. I have no idea what that word means in any specific way, but that’s exactly the kind of girls that were stumbling around me. For having obviously put a lot of effort into their attire and general look, these girls just looked, well, messy. Their profanely-expensive dresses sliding off their malnourished shoulders, they were a gaggle of tottering trollops. Tottering trollops. I don’t really understand this trend of looking like you are hanging onto life by shoestrings. It’s not just the skinniness, that’s been around for forever, and not worth commenting on. It’s this look of morning-after chic. All my cousin’s friends looked classy and beautiful, put-together and having a great time, without looking like they were falling apart at their thousand-dollar seams. 
I guess the word I am looking for here is reckless. This has nothing to do with the liquor or drugs that were being consumed with urgency throughout the night by everyone and their Mom (literally. Fifty and having a 20-year-old help you vomit in a portapotty is not a good look), it had more to do with the money being almost quite literally thrown around. There was an auction in the middle of the event that had students dropping money that rivaled in quantity the amount I paid to go to Trinity this semester. Guys were buying champagne for 35 pounds a bottle, and popping it in the middle of the show, spraying everybody within 30 feet (thanks to Jay-Z, or whoever that was, for making “poppin’ champagne” a symbol of status). 
One of the most hilarious moments of the night came, when we were standing next to probably the most insane looking woman I’ve ever seen in real life. She was a caricature of one of the assistants in that movie The Devil Wears Prada. She was wearing this long black cape/jacket thing, with elbow length gloves, and the most severe, blonde bangs I’d ever experienced. She had this reporters notebook that she was writing in with this pencil that was just slightly overly sized.  She turned to my cousin, who was wearing this fabulous black and white blazer, and asked her “who she was wearing”. My cousin answered her, and then she went back to watching the show like she was analyzing the incoming stock prices from the Japan Market or something. The tone she used to ask who made my cousins blazer was pretty much the same tone somebody would use to ask, “what are you doing for the Haitian children”? 
Despite the incredibly self-indulgent nature of the scene, I had a great time just getting rowdy and dancing to electronica . It was fun to, if not be a part of, but experience that kind of lavish social scene without having any concern for my own place in it. 

Thinking About a Guinness?

Thinking About a Guinness?