Friday, April 24, 2015

On the train to Sligo.

We're listening to the conductor say the names of the stops in their Gaelic pronunciations, before saying them in English, and reminding us not to put our feet on the seats.

 We had a long conversation with a man who's studying law at the university in Maynooth, taking up this enterprise at midlife after the economic downturn a few years ago. He advised us to go to Bundoran, a bit up the coast from Sligo. "Ireland is tiny," he said. "You can go anywhere in the country--leave at 8 in the morning, you're there by ten, spend the whole day, leave at eight at night and you're back where you started from by midnight."

Out the windows, I saw a cemetery bristling with headstones and monument. I saw a field of sheep. I saw blossoming trees. I saw a white cow.

Like train stations everywhere, the concrete and out of the stations are heavily tagged, gorgeous illuminations spraypainted in unreadable signatures. The further away from Dublin we get, the less of this is in evidence. Instead, thickets and brambles of tree and vine.

The fields outside the window are misty.

The conductor seems to be saying "This is the eight hundred hours train to Sligo." Can that be right? 

Nothing from the trolley, thank you. Although the fact of the trolley is lovely.

We're traveling across this tiny country by train. Across a whole country by train, and we'll be at the Atlantic, more or less, by eleven.

 poem

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Acclimation.

The best possible thing to do is eat a great, restorative meal.
Walk across the Liffey while it's light and after the sun has set.
Collapse like a sack of laundry on your bed, in your clothes, and sleep till midnight, when you will wake, brush your teeth, and collapse again like another sack of laundry, or the same, but not in your clothes, and with clean teeth. Sleep till the early, early hours of morning.
Wake up and write. You're in Dublin.




Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dans un aéroport européen.

Notes:

  • when exhausted from a ten hour trans Atlantic flight, and irrationally excited at the prospect of checking one's digital account, do NOT inadvertently set the phone down whilst shouldering one's carryon bags and thereby leave it on the plane.
  • We tried the fasting on the plane, eating when one arrives plan for short circuiting jet lag. We'll see, I guess, the ultimate outcome. Immediate outcome: very hungry upon arrival. Did not sleep on the plane. At least not to speak of.
  • RE Only Lovers Left Alive: these vampires are maybe the most cultured, well-read vampires of all vampire-dom. Possibly a little insufferable, but maybe only a little. Tilda Swinton looks swell with a great pile of doubtfully clean blond hair. All of this is based on having watched precisely half of the movie. 
  • On the other hand, a great swath of Brooklyn 99 episodes did not go amiss.
  • Hating airplane outfit. Possibly because I have been wearing it for 21 hours.
  • Doubting advisability of this trip. Possibly because I am hating my airplane outfit and we are not yet in Dublin and (never underestimate this) I have not slept to speak of in quite some time. And I am still a little hungry.
  • HOWEVER. Europe, even an airport. 
  • One more thing: seriously, no croissants on this concourse. Nary a croissant. The people cry out for justice!
Poem, written on a plane.

Monday, April 20, 2015

I would just like to share with you and everyone

that I have reached, perhaps, peak sleep dissatisfaction.

I would like to say this, but in the act of writing it--of coming up with the noun dissatisfaction--I basically disproved the claim at the very moment in which I was stating it. So that's a nonstarter.

Other nonstarters of the evening:

1. I planned to vacuum my study tonight. Nope.

2. The fancy outfit I had planned, written on a post it note, to wear to my fancy event? Nope. So I exchanged the planned

  • black velveteen trousers and a 
  • black silk shirt and my 
  • dragon necklace and 
  • black suede boots and 
  • some sort of black jacket 
for the new and improved (wait for it)

  • black velvet skirt and 
  • a black v-neck sweater and a 
  • different necklace and 
  • black suede boots with 
  • tights* and a 
  • black cardigan. 

Sort of the same, I guess, but I really hated the black jackets I came up with for planned and rejected Outfit 1. One after another: nope. Nope. Nope. Not even. Stupid. No way. All horrible. Outfit killers, those black jackets.

On the other hand: black cardigan (Outfit 2) = perfect.

3. I have graded...well, not everything I need to grade. I am lying to myself about how much I can accomplish between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m. Loads, is basically what I'm telling myself. Heaps. Grand amounts.

I have books aplenty on my iPad. I hope that there is a good magazine to buy and read at the airport.

I hope that leaning on the historian whilst we are in flight is both comforting and comfortable. I really, really hope this.

I hope that the music on my iPod is dramatically satisfying and soothing.

Have I done all I can do? Just about, and that is the truth.

I even wrote this poem. (Actually, I discovered it almost fully written in my notes. That's why note keeping is for #winners.)

*I have already stopped wearing tights for the year, and I have rather strict rules about this (once you have bare legs, no more tights, and conversely, once you wear tights, no more bare legs). HOWEVER: I will be in Europe, so all bets are off.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Panicky, just a little.

This morning I woke up before eight. Not that early, according to the early to rise hegemonauts, but freaking early for a day in which I planned to wake up when I woke up, i.e, after eight. Too much to ask? Apparently, since I was thinking about the following:

  • where will we eat in Dublin? This must obviously be planned.
  • GRADING.
  • poem for my writing group.
  • too many things on my list, will never ever ever get them all done before we go.
  • laundry.
  • dinner this evening.
--so many things that I sprang as if sprung directly from my bed, into my clothes and onto the tasks of the day. (see above.)

Well, it's been a fine day. Beautiful, am I right? Full of good works, and I spoke to each and every one of my children about things of consequence, to wit: recovery from surgery, wedding planning, will we have breakfast tomorrow?, would you like to consume my leftover carnitas?, is Whiplash a good/execrable movie?, what will we do when we go to Scotland? and so on.

I now have a Google map with saved locations on it, AND I synched up my mobile Google maps with my non-mobile (?) ones, so I can have access to these starred locations when we are waltzing (I'm assuming) about Dublin and then Sligo.

The GRADING is still not finished. Shall I take the optimistic posture? I've made progress! (Alternately: not enough progress, doom despair human sacrifice dogs and cats living together mass hysteria!)

Well, anyway, at least I'm up to date on my poems, so that's something. 

( zzz ) < I just about apologized for the quality of my poems. But I am resisting that pointless gesture. That's a little something I like to call progress, bitches.

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