Thursday, July 31, 2008


This morning I decided to be a cynic. 

Over a complete whim, I underwent a  complete personality overhaul.

There are two key things that have made me decide this. Now, I'm not really the type of person who watches documentaries for the sheer fun of it, but every once in a while, in pop documentary titles in the channel guide that I just have to see from start to finish. Or at least the first five minutes of it, until yet another re-run of Sex & the City begins.

Such a documentary was called "Dispatches: Sandwiches". This 60 minute mini-film explores how blatantly the sandwich industry breaks health and safety regulations. And that, by the way, was an understatement - sort of like saying, Paris Hilton looks kinda trashy. Anyway, this lil' documentary has made me adamantly refuse to eat another ready-made sandwich, the way The Blair Witch Project has made me absolutely reject the idea of even considering the prospect of camping in the woods.

Days after, this documentary, whose name I could not remember due to what seems to be early-onset Alzeihmer's, airs. It's about the part-time abstract artist, full-time little girl, Marla Olmstead, who apparently is a "child prodigy". Her abstract paintings had been selling for thousands of dollars, until a "60 Minutes" episode presented what seems to me as more-than-credible conspiracy theories, questioning whether it really was her who painted her pieces, or whether she had more-than-little help from her father.

Ultimately, I don't even think that these two documentaries really were significant enough to completely change my attitue. I believe that I had already been harbouring a lil' cynic in me.

Now, after numerous, tormenting months of Braxton Hicks contractions - and a further sixteen hours of laborious pushing and deep-inhaling, I had finally given birth to my little cynic.

Monday, July 28, 2008


My friend Kate absolutely could NOT believe that I have NOT seen Footloose until it was shown on TV last night. Evidently, EVERYBODY had seen it. 

I have NOT heard of it until I flicked through the channel guide thing and happen to accidently switch to that channel. Anyway, now that I've slept on it, I realise what all the strum & drang was all about.

However, it wasn't just the addictive and heady music that clung to me. The film also made me think about the past in general - my past, anyway. It all came flying back to me, one overall at a time. Now, I was not born in the 80s (I'm only 17 after all), but I assumed that the 90s were sort of, not really, similar to the decade before it, in that the fashion of those times are very much eyebrow raising to modern viewers such as myself. 

When I was young overalls were de-rigeur and now, flipping through the dusty and antiquated photo albums that were banished into some corner of the attic, I realised that they might be the most hideous thing ever made by the hands of man. My only excuse for wearing them, and the one which I defend myself with, each and every time, was my youth and my innocence. I was not old enough to figure out what looks good and what looks like a drab costume from the set of To Kill A Mockingbird.

Even though the idea of overalls is nauseating, seeing myself in them, I personally think that I don't look that bad. I have a theory that the only people that can truly get away with anything are, not the Paris Voguettes, not Cate Blanchette, but the toddlers. Anything seems to look sweet and adorable on them.

I have long lost that Midas touch. I will be stuck posing eternally in front of the mirror, analysing what I have on, each and every time I go out. 

It seems shallow because it is. And I am. 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ordeal By Rollerskates

Sometimes I have those moments when everything that I had never done when I was young (and by young, I refer to the 6-10 age bracket), I do in a single day. 

Yesterday was such a day. I emerged from the rock that I had been living in, in my seventeen years of existence, and had entered one of those quaint little photo booths in an very-busy, very-claustrophobic, elevator of an arcade. Also, I had put on my very first rollerskates - which were borrowed. Yuck. Plus I wasn't wearing any socks because I didn't wake up thinking that I would be rollerskating that day. Yuck-er. 

So I tentatively put on those bacteria-infested, cheap suede ankle boots on wheels, very much aware that I could well take my foot out of them with hepatitis, or some form of scabies and/or an STD. But my hygiene-related fears were soon extinguished because a whole other, even worse fear had arisen. 

I was so much engrossed with freaking out about the possible health-related repercussions of putting on these loaned skates, that I did not, in the slightest, think about the embarrassing fact that I could NOT rollerskate. Stepping into that rink, I no longer cared if my feet were covered with pus and/or scales, post-skating. I cared more about NOT falling on my ass, keeling over and dying - perhaps the first person ever to die on rollerskates. And I was unwilling for the world to remember me just as that.

I had my moments of panic. There was a moment where I was very close to running over this five-year old (who was excellent at skating btw), and there was one where I could not figure out how to slow down - or more importantly, how to stop. Despite all of these stroke-inducing moments, there was a self-realisation that I had, that, in retrospect, over-shadowed those multiple near death experiences.

Somewhere in between those 45 minutes of horror, gasping, breathlessness, severe dehydration, and permanent blushing, I realised that the reason why I had embarked on that semi-suicide was because I was trying to make up for the fact that I never did those things in my childhood. 

Not for the first time, I thought about this theory that I have - that I would grow up, being one of those people who are perpetually wishing to be younger, because sub-consciously, they feel that they had incomplete childhoods, and have unsatisfied lives.

Maybe my body's way of compensating for the incompleteness of my childhood is by forcing me to do things such as roller skating and  photo booth-ing. And maybe that's a good thing. Maybe my mind is making a secret "What to do before I die" list and now, rollerskating and photo booths have checks beside them. Maybe I am two checks closer to that elusive state of happiness and contentment, that seven hours of yoga a week doesn't seem to be able to reach.

My fingers are perpetually crossed and my toes are perpetually sore.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not Much

Influenced by an overwhelming tide of nostalgia, I decided to delve into the archives of the past. Today is the anniversary of the night when our house had been burgled. Seriously.

Ever since that night when my parents, my brother, my sister and I came home to a closed, yet unlocked door, I have persistently asked myself this one question: What's to stop a complete stranger from breaking into your house and robbing not only your personal belongings, but also the security that you have in your home? Your house alarm? Their innate, yet suppressed morality and conscience? I highly think not.

Not much protects us from crime.

Our neighbours, the people to whom I occasionally give a polite, yet indifferent nod when I meet them on my way to the bus top, were also targeted by the thief. Or thieves, who knows. 

Ironically, in a way only fate can create, this burglary turned out to eventually over-compensate us for those that we had lost. Not only have my family made new close acquaintances, but I also have been re-compensated by the insurance company for the laptop that was unceremoniously taken from me.

Friday, July 18, 2008


There is a fairly thin line between consciousness and unconsciousness - and yesterday afternoon, on a relatively sunny day, on a relatively nice tennis court, I was treading on it.

I fell from the rooftop of the GPO and landed on a cart of nails. Twice. At least that's what my body felt like when I woke up this morning. I had no idea that playing tennis for three and a half hours would bring me so much pain. 

In retrospect, perhaps I was aware of that. Maybe I enjoyed the pain.

As I stood there, my unattractively sweaty hands attempting to grip the tennis racket, waiting for my friend Kate to serve, feeling like at any moment, my body would just keel over and die - I realised that I had the capability - and more significantly, the freedom, to stop this amateur tennis game and take a break. But I never did. I was pushing my body to the limit, the way I do my mom's credit card. 

Maybe it's the adrenaline. Maybe the feeling of being invincible, while at the same time, fatally breathless, was addictive. Maybe adrenaline was my recreational drug of choice.

Maybe I'm reading into this too much.

Anyway, I didn't ask for a break. The three bottles of Evian were left unopened and un-drunk. I just kept going. 

As I attempt to write this post (even my fingers hurt like a bitch), I realise that I'm a masochist. 

Like writing this insignificant blog, I push myself to the edge because it feels so good when I stop.

When Silence Is Insufficient..

.. I listen to this:

Btw, I do not at all get the title. 

My brain seems to be running slower than my DSL connection.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Collector's Needles In A North Dublin Haystack

Evidently, the all black issue of Vogue Italia is selling out everywhere. According to Bryanboy, the issue has "collector's item written all over it." 

So imagine my surprise when I popped by Easons in the north of Dublin this afternoon, and find six, pristine, wonderfully swathed in plastic, Vogue Italia issues. I had found six needles in a haystack. And I didn't even put in any effort - just like going to church. 

I was in such a rush to get home that I had forgotten to take out a 10 euro bill from my wallet, queue, and buy one.

The magazines were all hudled beside each other, looking out sadly, like those pathetic little puppies in the pound, eager for sometbody, anybody, to adopt - or in this case, buy - them.

How is it that such gems are left alone, at the very bottom of the shelf, without the oogling, savage eyes of hardcore fashion junkies, suspiciously eyeing everybody - in case they might get the issue for themselves?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It Takes Three To Tennis

I figure that this would be the perfect time to start another post which is sort of, not really, related to sports. I say this because the 2008 Olympics in China will be starting in.. well, soon.

I had one of those moments where it was hilarious in retrospect, but completely not at the time. After spending the entire week cruising the sales racks, I decided to give my wallet a break from all the work out. I decided to give myself an actual workout that isn't yoga, pilates or yogilates. I decided to play tennis. 

I decided to attempt to play tennis.

Today I woke up, fresh and ethusiastic about the physically-demanding, hydration-demanding day before me. I had my cliche white outfit on, my SPF 134 sunblock, three bottles of water, and my brand-new, light as Renee Zellweger (pre- Bridget Jones) tennis racket. 

I arrived at the court sunny and optimistic. 

Like the Irish weather, that soon changed. 

It takes three to tennis. Two rackets and a ball. I had a racket, Kate had a racket. Between us we had no ball. We had the classic "I thought you were gonna bring it" conversation, where both were talking and nobody was listening. 

After five minutes of freaking out and one minor sun-stroke, we had sobered up and began to think of a solution to this very hot potato, while simultaneously re-applying sunblock. But we could come up with nothing intelligent. Like the tennis balls, our brains were left at home.

We were literally on a crossroad, traffic lights and heavy-traffic included. To the left was the way home and to the right was the way to our work out. We, of course, took the right way. I figured my wallet had rested enough.

There comes a time when, like Victoria Beckham's fashion line, there is no other option but to give up.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Define-ding Friendship

My friend Kate turns 18 in two weeks and has come up with the idea of hosting a small get-together of her closest friends on the eve of her birthday. 

I suggested that she make a list of all her friends, so no one gets left out, swears eternal revenge, and curses her future child - who one day touches the pointy tip of a magic spindle and sleeps for millions of days, until Prince Charming, with his blindingly white smile, kisses her and concludes her early life to the much-aspired and often elusive stage of happily ever after.

I handed her a post-it, on which to write out a couple of names to invite. Instead, she grabbed my A4 pad.

As she began to write down the names of her closest and dearest friends, watching the list grow and grow until it no longer looks like an invitation list but more like the phone directory, made me question (internally), just how close a friend she is with all these people. 

Is it humanly possible to have so many friends? How can one person juggle school, appearance and weight, and at the same time maintain friendships with so many people? Maybe our definitions of what a friend is, are completely different. Maybe she's just not very selective with her friends - calling the guy, whose mobile phone she once had to use when she ran out of credit, her friend. Or maybe I am just an elitist snob who is too uptight with labelling people as friends.

What exactly defines a friendship? Is this a question that has no concrete answer, like the meaning of life, or how long should I leave the hair conditioner on?

My volatile theory seems to be that a friendship, just like all relationships, is defined by another. X and I must be relatively friends because, compared to my relationship with Y, we get along well. Is friendship something relative?

Regrettably, I had asked this question to my friend Margaret, to which she shrugged her shoulders and said, "Did you know that Naomi Campbell and Stefano Pilati are both gonna be on the cover of August's issue of i-D?" Were we even friends? Or are we just people who hang around together, sharing similar tastes in fashion, music and the like?

And what exactly are the ingredients to a friendship? Is it platonic affection and altruism (in which case, I have few friends)? Is it a shared, common interest in something (in which case, I have a lot)? Or is it all of those (in which case, I have one or two)? 

Whether I answer this philosophical sudoku or not, the small get-together of a hundred thousand people will go ahead.

I end this post scratching my head. Not in a I-have-headlice-manner, but in a confused one.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Burning Realisations

I am sorry to say that for the last three days or so, my life has revolved around my lips. I have a feeling that this bizarre waft of shameful vanity will continue to permeate up to the end of this week.

One of the best things about not being in school and being on vacation is that you have all of this time to spend. 

One of the worst things about not being in school and being on vacation is deciding how to spend this time. Wisely. 

This also applies to money. 

A month has already flown by, and I still could not think of anything at all that I did or that had happened to me, that I could grossly exaggerate and recount to people in school. Nothing. At all.

For instance, for the last three days, my complete existence revolved around my lips. My chapped lips. Forcing my very red, very stingy, very stubborn lips to undergo lip therapy was very hard indeed. By lip therapy I mean Vaseline - and the occasional apple-flavoured Chapstick.

Everyday, I see more and more of myself in the caricature that is Mr. Woodhouse from Austen's novel, Emma. Everyday, I realise that I am a hypochondriac. I seem to be a hyper-hypochondriac.

And reading an article from june's issue of Reader's Digest about the CA-MRSA bacteria (which could kill a person in 3 days), helped little. But, through the magic portals of wisdom that are Google and Wikipedia, I have thoroughly researched everything there is to know about the very serious condition that is chapped lips. Seriously, quiz me.

Now I realise that there are absolutely more important goins-on in the world today than my sore lips. Oil is at an all time high, lots of Burmese people are migrating illegally to Thailand to search for jobs, and there is that debate about women bishops in the Church of England. 

Frankly and superficially, they mean little to me and my chapped lips. What bothers me is the fact that I could not sleep well at night because of this supremely annoying sensation that my lips are on fire. Every morning, I have to check that my pillow is intact and unburnt. These chapped lips are my top priority at the moment. I even missed yoga for them.

More realisations follow as I write this post. One of these is how very much alike I am to Emma Woodhouse as well. She's superficial, I have my bouts of that too. She lived happily ever after, hopefully I will one day, too.

I seem to be the most shallow person in the world. 

After the tan people in The Hills.

To re-iterate, I seem to be one of the top 30 most shallow people in this planet. Not only have I let chapped lips occupy my days, now I am writing about them.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mommy Nature

They say that a mother doesn't have a favourite child. 

I have always been a lil' dubious about this pseudo-saying. However, after seeing Nadal vs. Federer, I had completely disregarded it, the way I do every single season of Big Brother. 

Nature acted motherly today. She sent rain to pause the match after Nadal sort of injured his right knee, and then she sent a second one, perhaps to calm him, when Federer was dangerously catching up. Clearly, Mama has a favourite.

I am, of course, talking about the single men's finals at Wimbledon. That's tennis, by the way, to those living under rocks.

I had chapped lips for the entire day and had to reapply chapstick every minute, just to make sure that my lips didn't fall off. I had to put a pillow, a very thick one, on my lap because my thighs were red and stinging from me dementedly slapping them, everytime Federer scored. They are, to this moment, very sore.

The duration of that game was perhaps the longest that I have ever stared at a television, and I am quite sure that the quality of my eyesight has just dropped a couple of points. The game had my complete, undivided attention. Most of the time.

There were moments though when my attention span fleeted, and was that of a retarded goldfish. For instance, I kept asking myself these two questions every now and then: 

Number one: What do you call those pubescent boys and girls that scutter about the place, catching balls and handing towels?

Number two: Why the hell does Gwen Stefani look so bored?

At about 2:30 in the afternoon, I plunged down the waters of Wimbledon and had just resurfaced, at this moment, for much needed, life-preserving air.

Ultimately, Tarzan (aka Nadal), with his tan and bulging biceps, became the king of the Wimbledon jungle. He climbed his way up to his family, which included his bioloigical mother, and hugged/strangled them.

An upstart has to win someday, right?

This upstart, like that upstart, is exhausted. 

Friday, July 4, 2008

I'm Mrs. Dalloway

Nothing happened this week.

It's as if I went to bed on the night of the 30th of June and woke up in the very, very, very late morning of the 4th of July, exhausted, confused and freakin' hungry. I had over-slept and missed the Time-bus.

I suddenly began to think about Jane Austen, her life, how it was shaped by seemingly unextraordinary, unremarkable, common events, even perhaps those of historical insignificance. I say this of course, only as an ordinary reader, not as an expert. My knowledge of her life is mainly from the short biographies that usually occupies the first few pages of her novels (the cheap, 2 euro each, Penguin classic ones).

I thought then about my own life. How unremarkable, how irrelevant, how unspecial it must be to anybody outside my family and friends. And maybe even within it.

I still don't know what brought on this wave of depressing inertia. Maybe it's because I'm on the first few pages of Mrs. Dalloway, the part where she ponders about how silly her life is. Or maybe it's because I'm sick of watching re-runs of Friends (could it BE any less funny?). Maybe its not just me. Perhaps the whole world stopped as Angelina checked into a hospital in Nice to await the coming of her Messiah-like twins. But something brought this on. It may be foolish, but I never shall blame myself for this.

There are a lot of things that should have made me jump out of the bed in the mornings this week. Wimbledon is going on at the moment, even though the deepest I've ever thought about it is how tan and stoic-looking Nadal seems to look each and every time. Then there's the couture shows in Paris. Personally, I loved Givenchy. Also, my provisional license had materialised through the mailbox. But these silly little nuggets didn't seem to lift the languor.

This week remains a mystery. I end this foolish, unremarkable, irrelevant post, hopeful that the coming week shall start with a bang. Literally or otherwise.

If not, I shall put rocks on my coat and drown myself in the Liffey.