Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Harder Now That It's Over" (thanks, Ryan Adams)

I've been home for less than 24 hours and I'm already going stir crazy. Everything looks exactly the same, except for my bedroom, which has mysteriously acquired more miscellaneous objects in my absence. I'm already sitting on the couch, getting angry at the slow internet, feeling blase (oh Blogger, why can't I make accent marks?) about cleaning my room, and waiting for my friends to come around. Summer is here for sure. It feels like I never left, like I never lived in another country at all, like I've been sitting here on the couch for the past five months and suddenly became aware of it.

Is this culture shock? It feels more like the absence thereof...I miss the freedom of Dublin, and the friendliness of strangers, but I see cars driving on the right side and I'm not confused. I was a little overwhelmed at the supermarket yesterday, having gotten used to the smaller scale of Tesco, but I got over it easily enough. Hunger will do that to you. The most shocking thing of all, I think, was seeing one of those huge garbage bins yesterday (what are they called, the big metal ones? blame the jet lag) with "DUBLIN" on it. Double take!

Also, I would like to issue a retraction: my iPod is not deceased. Who knew that bad headphones could make your music go fuzzy and start skipping? Obviously not me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Things I Will Miss (and apparently I'm attracted to the letter S)

Abrakebabra, archaeological tourism

Barry's Tea, bridges, Bus Atha Cliath

counties, cliffs, cider

Dublin (duh), doors

even D4s

the face column outside of Screen Cinema

Galway Hooker, the good milk, Grafton Street

Hodges Figges

"I'm after drinking this Guinness"

Jaffa Cakes


the lack of "th" (i.e. "De Irish are true tespians. Dey appreciate da teater." Translation: "The Irish are true thespians. They appreciate the theater."), loading up my backpack for the next Great European Adventure

magpies, Molly Malone a.k.a. "the tart with the cart"


the "ollscoil"

political history in your face, Porterhouse


the art history Reading Room, real green grass, rugby, Ryanair

sausages, Screen Cinema, my singing hairdryer, the singing crosswalks, "smuggling peas," Spar, spring lambs, St. Stephen's Green, sunlight coming as a shock

taxi drivers, Temple Bar, Tesco

upper and lower streets

"veg" with your dinner

the word "ye"

X. I got nothing.

yellow gorse flowering on the hills


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I just saw a centipede in our bathroom. I am not normally freaked out by bugs, but there is something just wrong about centipedes. They are too sinuous.

Also, I blame this on my roommate, who recently cleaned the bathroom (badly) using the sponge that some of us use to wash our dishes. Today, I also had to move my toothpaste out of the bathroom so that she would stop using it. Can't wait to come home!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

All Good Things Must Come to an End

And by that I'm referring to my iPod, not the semester--16 days until I return to the states! And only three more exams between me and a blissful summer without (a lot of) rain. Is it sad that writing this blog entry is my reward for studying? I've seriously been regressing; Taylor Swift brought me back to thirteen, but I'm hovering somewhere near third grade now. Last night, I only allowed myself to watch an episode of Ugly Betty after finishing a novel for one of my exams tomorrow. The whole time that I was reading, even though I genuinely liked the book, all I could think about was Betty's new boyfriend and Wilhelmina's machinations (but who isn't interested in baby-napping and mistaken identities? come on, I'm not the only one!).

Anyway, back on topic: my poor little iPod has succumbed to exhaustion and rain. And at only 5 years old! Coming out of the exam building/hangar a few days ago, we got rained on a bit and it started skipping. I found out yesterday that I should have just turned it off and let it dry out instead of listening to the entire Spring Awakening soundtrack...oops. I'm still hoping that it will, in the spirit of spring (pun was not intended, but now that I notice it, it brings me joy!), resurrect itself, but it's not looking likely.

I'm going to miss you, iPod. I don't care if others have called you bulky or archaic--we've got history! We've done so much together over the years: traveling to the wilds of Israel and Montreal, making it through my freshman year of college, saying goodbye to two different laptops (and two iTunes libraries), listening to Ryan Adams when boys have been stupid, not running out of battery when the equestrian team accidentally drove us to Florida, and turning Clifton Road into a catwalk...among many other things.

Goodbye, iPod. Here's to you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Yesterday, when I was taking my first exam of the semester, I noticed an Irish student (how did I know? it has to do with a certain area code, if you get my drift. which you probably don't, unless you've been studying here, too) wearing a Franklin and Marshall sweatshirt. As in, Franklin and Marshall, the small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, the United States. And this wasn't the first incident...I've been seeing people wearing Franklin and Marshall sweatshirts all over Dublin for the past couple of months. Is this some sort of trend? Why Franklin and Marshall? Why not a school that's actually well-known, and not in Pennsylvania? I even saw people wearing their F&M accoutrement in Italy. Why this sudden upsurge of school spirit for a school that, I'm pretty sure I can safely say, these people don't even attend? It boggles my mind.

Or maybe F&M just has the least expensive sweatshirts of all American universities? When I start typing into my Google search box, the first suggestion is "franklin and marshall hoodie," followed by "franklin and marshall online store," then "franklin and marshall cheap." Hmm.

AHA! According to, "Franklin and Marshall" is a brand, based on the name of the college. They make vintage and collegiate-inspired clothing. But I still don't understand why they chose F&M, of all schools. Oh well, at least I solved the mystery. Now I can walk into my next exam knowing that I am not being thrown into the middle of some sort of Franklin and Marshall-based conspiracy. I can sit in the cavernous barn/warehouse/hangar/testing center with my 3,000 fellow students, my head held high.

Yes, that's how they take exams here. It's actually not that bad; I'm not really bothered by the large space, just the birds flying above me in the rafters. I really hope that none of them have been eating big lunches.

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Never Too Late for a White Horse

Just in case you thought I was getting too cultured:

Possibly due to a subconscious preparation for my return home, I've been listening to a lot of country music lately (something that, two years ago, I never thought I'd say). And, I'm sorry if this lowers your opinion of me, but I just have to say that Taylor Swift is sounding better and better. I didn't think she could top "Picture to Burn" or "Our Song," but I'm very much loving Fearless. Particularly "White Horse" and "The Way I Loved You." But why is that guy from "Laguna Beach" in the video?

Oh, and I like Miley Cyrus's new song. I'm officially thirteen years old.

"Ciao, bella!"

The pictures here are actually back to front, since we went Venice-Florence-Rome. But it's Italy! Some of the hostels may have been less than wonderful,'s Italy! I took a lot less pictures than I did the last time that I was there, just trying to enjoy the experience and the sunshine (and thanks to the lack of sun in Dublin that my skin has become accustomed to, I now have a terrible sunburn). I was surprised by how well I remembered the cities after four years! It's comforting to find that memories don't fade as much as we think they do.
Hadrianic roundels (if I remember correctly)
the Arch of Constantine
semi-unconventional view of the Colosseum
bridge with angels
Saint Peter's Basilica
the Ponte Vecchio (which was mysteriously stamped with Darth Vader masks?)
the view of the Duomo from our hostel terrace
the Uffizi framing the bell tower
after some light rain in Venice, San Marco plaza was flooded this badly--this does not bode well. platform walkways were set up all over the city, just in case.
quills! brings me back to the 18th century.
stairway to nowhere (well, it's somewhere, but it's locked. therefore it's nowhere)
colorful, wet buildings
at first we thought the platforms were for an impromptu fashion show...through all of Venice? I don't know what we were thinking.

Oh, and also! I ate cuttlefish in ink. I don't think that I'll be doing that again, but it was definitely an interesting experience. When in Venice...