Festival Season – Electric Picnic

For the festival I helped Jane build shadow box houses…

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…as well as putting up the windmills and building A LOT of pinwheels (which everyone called windmills). Fun fact: all windmills turn anti-clockwise except for the ones in Ireland. Except for the ones we made, which also turned anti-clockwise.

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Aoibheann got so into the pinwheels that she immortalized one on her leg.
And Cherry Picker Dave got a scribble:

Mostly I was exhausted during the festival and trying not to get stung by the insane amount of wasps that were about, but was at least able to catch Bjork, David Byrne & St Vincent, The Knife and Jennifer Evans.

Of course I don’t have any photos of the actual festival, only after it was over.



Festival Season – Body & Soul

I am now reaching so far into the past that these pictures even pre-date the French cycling trip, but at the very least I’m being thorough.

BODY & SOUL – http://bodyandsoul.ie/

Basically I wanted to go to the festival but I didn’t want to pay in, so I offered up my labour in exchange for tickets. I was contacted by the very lovely Jane Groves to help with her installations – windmills made from bicycle wheels and lace clouds suspended from the trees. I basically moved into her house and we immediately got to work.

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We arrive on site, Ballinlough Castle, about 5 days before the festival. Everyone is camping in the fields (except for the lucky few that get to sleep in the castle!) The barn area becomes a huge production zone as the tents are erected and art installed throughout the walled garden.

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Jane’s windmills are erected by the main stage:

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And the clouds are hung in the forest:
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Complete with a swing, which got a good test run of rowdy-ness by Conor and I.

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The American artist Shrine was also in attendance, whose work is all over (I even spied it on the Haight when I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago). I talked him into giving me a tattoo in, quite possibly, the least hygienic setting ever – our lunch area. On his birthday.

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Also – Conor & Emily’s ‘Dream Farm,’ a hand pumped hydroponic farm in a glasshouse! Technically I contributed because I made a replacement colored glass square from perspex and lighting gel. And probably screwed like 3 things.

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Neither ‘potting’ nor ‘pottering’ are the correct words in this circumstance

Alison inherited a pottery wheel from our good friend Erin recently, so myself, Jane & Alison took it for a trial run. If you could even call it that, because I think we’ve all used a pottery wheel about 3 times collectively in our lives. We watched some Youtube video tutorials first, but they all made it look ridiculously easy and also all had boring monotone narration. Pottery wheels are not boring!! How could you not have seen Ghost? Seriously.


We were not half bad, in my own opinion.  (Above is my first attempt.) We definitely made some things that looked bowl shaped. Alison started strong and Jane redeemed herself by making a volcano.


Here are the photos of yours truly – I’m pretty I actually spent most of my time thinking about Ghost (or a similar scene from Quicksilver where they true a wheel and I have since learned does not exist), confirmed by the third photo. Or this was after I put on my “Mom Playlist” and either James Taylor or Mary Chapin Carpenter came on (sorry Mom).



Yay pots!





Somebody told me that February is actually the first day of spring and I wish I could believe them

…because it is cold and rainy! Ah well. I’m sure there are some perks of being able to see through translucently pale skin.

Not to much to report on otherwise. My house has become the refuge of choice for cold winter weekends, with all its fireplaces and ample teapots. A few weekends ago I hosted 5 guests from Saturday straight on through Monday morning. As of yet, no roommates have lodged any complaints so I will continue to bribe them with homecooked meals.

I could talk about work, but all the comparisons I can think of sound like I’m describing a historical WWI drama (aka CARNAGE) so I’ll just avoid it altogether. Though it might be noteworthy that I’m quitting in March to pursue farming, so I have loads to look forward to! I’ve been preparing myself by working on our garden in the back.

Which looks like this when it snows:

There was a cool event on in work recently called Digital Biscuit. I got to see a documentary film called Side by Side, which is about digital cinematography. But mostly Keanu Reeves interview loads of people and manages to have a completely different hair cut in every scene. Also I got to see a 3d camera (like what they used to film Avatar) and an ice sculpture camera (basically useless).

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Also I finally gave my Bike Raffle Prize, which was a bicycle tattoo on the winner. Lucky Aido got his first ever tattoo this week:



Christmas with the Careys

Honestly, this holiday season was somewhat marred by this strange and terrible flu I was struck by that made everything about being alive suck. A lot. Chills, coughing, vomiting, fever sweats, cold sweats…the works. For a few days my world basically looked like this (intermixed with hours upon hours of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, kudos Rathmines Library.)


My coworker & friend Alison was kind enough to invite to her family home for Christmas. And fortunately for me her family were generous enough to entertain a disgustingly sick American for 4 days. On the 23rd I dragged my butt off the couch and onto the train to meet them in Galway.

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I’ll be honest: for the first 24 hours I had no idea what anyone’s name was. I was probably also having trouble distinguishing reality from the immense amounts of Buffy I had just feverishly watched. Truthfully I wonder what they thought of me. I recall conversations of Malta and “meat sweats” in the bathroom of an Italian restaurant (not me). Also telling Ellie that I “wouldn’t put my mouth on her vaseline” when, apparently, I shouldn’t be opening my mouth at all. We did a drive by of the Shannon airport to “see the lights,” which I’ve captured below:


On Christmas Eve we went for a walk around Shannon, and visited this ruin that Alison’s mom was working on preserving. Apparently the house was used to hold an English general during the war (though history says he and his captors got along famously. Ireland.) and was later used for scouts. Currently there is a cow there.


That evening we went to Glenstal Abbey to hear the monks chant (but not for midnight mass. No way could I stay up that late.) This was lovely and also weird because we had just watched one of the Harry Potter films (the abbey is also an all-boys boarding school) and because of the super-unexpected psychedelic ceiling.

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The next day Santa came and brought me underwear and make-up! This has never happened to me before. Apparently I am now a woman. (PS – Thanks Olive!) We had a lovely Christmas day full of risotto and cheesecake. Also: Irish history Trivial Pursuit. I’d like to say I learned a lot, but really all I remember is that the radio and taxis were NOT invented by the same guy, and neither of them were Irish, but they both had Italian last names.

Thanks everyone for the lovely gifts and well wishes! I hope your Christmas day was as warm and lovely as mine was. Extra special thanks to the fantastic & hospitable Carey family!


Really I finished school in August when I turned in my thesis, though actually I finished classes in April. Which might explain why I completely failed to book my robe or tell anyone or even ask for time off from work. It also might be because they sent my graduation package to my parents’ house in California.

Afraid that I wouldn’t get a robe I showed up really early to UCD (after my staff meeting). The man asked me if I “wanted my robe right then” and I said yes. So he pinned it onto me and I had to walk around campus in this massive robe for 3 hours. Buying lunch was awkward.

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Excellent photobomb:


Thankfully the ceremony was super-short and done partially in Latin.


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What it feels like to be photographed:


After-graduation dinner with Clare’s family was sooooo lovely. (Thanks Clare!)

After-dinner after-graduation drinks!

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