My mac had a mini heart attack this week causing me to have a major one. Let's refer to my mac as my precious from now on. I experienced two days of utter dread while my precious was at the doctors lamenting all my lost photos and work. Alas $300 later and I welcomed my precious back and now I'm sharing some photos as I loving back the shit up. This is home and seeing these pictures make me pine a little but Australia, you're pretty pretty too.
My sister's getting married so I made this invite. Come to her wedding, you have the details now. It will be awesome, there will be cake and wine and loads of cheese. There better be cheese. And carrot cake, they're better be carrot cake too. I can't wait.
I'm the weird type of person that grows emotionally attached to objects and often attributes them with feelings. Better again if these object have faces then I can fully fall heads over heels for them. I often wonder if I was left to my own devices off in some isolated country house somewhere with non frequent visitors could I become a fully fledged certifiably crazy hoarder. Unable to depart with any of my junk and over-come by guilt because I couldn't possibly pay everything sufficient attention. Then one day my family would turn up with an American cable channel and they'd try to preform an intervention as I break down with them attempting to pry my egg carton plants from my bare hands.
So with this insight to my neurosis in mind, you can imagine how attached I become to actual people. I think this is what drives my photography addiction, which is also getting out of hand. Why actually experience something when you can photograph it. Derp!
There are times though, when I'm so glad to be the way I am. These pictures of my great uncle Hughie are case and point. I think I took them about 10 years ago. I was a photography student at the time, learning how to process and develop and as you can see making a right mess of every print I got my hands on. Despite the dodgy processing these shots make me happy and a little sad. They bring back memories and I always smile when I remember the story Hughie told me and my brother about why he had no right thumb. We were obsessed it, or rather the lack of it. We constantly questioned everyone but him about it. One day when we were feeding the cows and lambs I got up the courage to ask him why and he told me a cow ate it when he was a wee boy. I couldn't understand why he would keep feeding them cows after they'd ate his thumb. He told us if we didn't feed them then they'd die. It was such a dilemma for Patrick and I. We certainly didn't want the animals to die, especially the lambs but we were quite attached to our own thumbs too. The next time we went to visit Hughie we came prepared with rubber gloves and kitchen tongs. We had a job to do but we weren't about to lose our thumbs in the process.
For those of you that don't know (which is essentially everyone as it happened so fast) I've moved to Australia. Yes, that's Australia, in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia with all them kangaroos and koala bears, crocodiles and Mick Dundee and what not. Ta daaaaa! I'm here. Didn't see that one coming, me neither but I'm here. And yes, it's wonderful. That makes 2011 a dual-emigration-across-three-different-continents new record for me. Allows pause for approving nod. I'm getting to see loads of the world and it's fabulous, yadda yadda yadda. That's not what I'm here to talk about. No, it's far more interesting. TomSelleckcalledmesexy kind of interesting. That's what I'm here to tell you about today. That's my news. What enormous fabulous news I hear you say. Of course I'll elaborate, thanks for asking. Here's the background: So I'm sitting in my new temporary abode one evening on my lonesome, minding my own business, watching telly (it's all go here I tell you) drinking tea and rediscovering the delights of Fry's Turkish delight (available in all good petrol stations). When I flick over the channels and lo and behold to my utter delight there stands Tom Selleck in all his magnificent mustached glory. He was just as I remembered him, manly and gorgeous and coming and going as he pleased. Leaving behind him a trail of swooning high waisted short wearing,bouffant haired, females. I was delighted to see him, man I miss Magnum PI. I'd even forgotten how much I'd loved him. Thank you Australia for your endless repeats of nostalgia. It makes the prospect of involuntary unemployment somewhat less daunting knowing I can solve mysteries with Jessica Fletcher. Anyhow, speaking of people who never worked- did we ever truly find out if Higgins was indeed the elusive Robin Masters? I have vague recollection of a confession but it's blurred out by all the sexiness Tom was extruding (extruding. Is that even a word? Fuckit, it's late I'm not deleting nor googling it). Answers on a postcard please.
Back to my point. Being on my lonesome as afore mentioned, who could I possibly gush too except the whole universe. Hello twitter. Well, the gods shone down on me and heard my tiny tweet and alerted none other than the man himself, Mr Selleck. Yes, Tom Selleck replied....... Pauses for exceptionally long period followed by appreciative gasp and slow clap and mostly the opportunity for readers to make sense of the below screen grab.
See Fig 1:
Can you imagine my utter elation waking up the next morning to a response from ze Tom Selleck. That's a rhetorical question because OF COURSE YOU CAN. So this happens and I float to work that morning through a beatific haze of possibility. On my way I imagine how our online affair shall progress. Now that he thinks I'm sexy he'll probably want to marry me, naturally. Which I'm ok with. Though there's always Fergal (my long suffering boyfriend) to consider. Sheesh, talk about an inconvenience. I wonder how Tom would feel about some kind of polygamous relationship? I decide Fergal and Tom will probably be ok with this, after all I am sexy. Next problem is where we'd live. Man, I'd only just arrived in Australia, another international move would be really draining. I decide it's probably best we live out our polygamous marriage here as I quite like it and after all I'm sexy, they should come to me. All is going swimmingly when I realise Tom's pretty old now and he'll probably tell me he doesn't want kids, just like he did to Monica. This could have been devastating were I not one step ahead of him. I'd have my Tom Selleck babies with Fergal and then we'd all raise them in one joyous, strangely hairy polygamous family. That day at work I was an absolute delight, if somewhat unproductive.
My new fond marital bliss was short lived though, very short lived. Almost as short as Kim Kardashians. Seven hours to be exact. I should have known better. I'd read People magazines a million times. All celebrity marriages are doomed, hollywood romances never last. Of course it was the ultimate in humiliation to find out the way I did. Logging back on to stalk my future husband I discover:
Had he forgotten that I was sexy already? Did the tweet mean nothing to him? Despair.And so it as quickly as it began it was over. All my hopes and dreams dashed by one Mia Bethany's and her happy vagina.
Well that's taught me my lesson. I'm much nicer to Fergal now, even though he knew nothing of our imaginary polygamous marriage and Tom Selleck babies. But best of all he's not on twitter.
Our Vancouver Opera ad's are generating a lot of interest and debate. And when I say debate I mean complaints. "Are you out of your mind over there to think that this is in any way funny or effective or anything but the most infantile, distasteful ad I've ever seen in any publication for all of my life?" being one of those. Man! That's harsh. We just thought they were kinda funny. Fortunately so do the Opera and the target audience seemingly. They are part of a series just launched in an effort to raise awareness especially among younger people who think of opera as stuffy and inaccessible. Vancouverites proclaim that they'll try anything once so the challenge is out there should you choose to accept.
Some of these I can understand, hence the linkage to the supposed offending articles, but others are just plain bizarre. This makes me wonder if I'm not portraying the utterly adorable picture of myself that is so obviously the reality and which has always been my intention.
So in order to counteract the image of a drunken, bisexual homeless prostitute I seemingly so vividly painted allow me to tell you how charmingly multifaceted and adorable I am.
Here goes, when I was little I felt so strongly that all of my stuffed animals had feelings (thanks mam), that I kissed all of them goodnight and then placed them in a more comfortable position on my bed than even I, so they could sleep well. I also implemented this rotating schedule of who got to be my main sleeping companion (sort of like now but with men.... JOKE!) so that none of them felt left out or unloved. An indication of how fair I am I think. I may or may not (depending on how you judge me) still have a very special stuffed animal in my very bed to this day as an adult. Written out, all this better illustrates my childhood OCD tendencies than my wholesomeness.
Speaking of OCD, this was exactly how I protected my whole family as a child. I had this routine involving light switches and steps that was clearly warding off all evil and basically keeping my entire family safe throughout our formative years. You're all very welcome.
This whole post isn't exactly going to plan as I write on. All I seemed to have managed to successfully established is that I was a weird, neurotic child.
Let's move on, and concentrate on my recent notable loveliness. In my college years I made friends with this old man who lived on his own at the end of my street. We'd talk most days. He told me one day he was lonely and sad so I and used to bring him biscuits and sometimes make tea. Most importantly I'd go to the post office for him. Isn't it funny how often old people need to go to the Post Office? There's nothing funny about this story though. That's the end. I heartlessly moved to Dublin and the community nurse took over. I hope he's still getting his pension.
Erm, what else lovely do I do?................. There's this homeless old man on Dunsmuir and Seymour that I give $5 bucks to nearly every Friday. We have this game we play where I pretend I believe he's done this pencil sketch he's holding. He then offers to sell it to me for $5. Then I say it's beautiful and give him the five bucks but allow him to keep it so he can swindle more money out of other passers by. I appreciate the effort he puts in and he seems like such a nice old man.
Wait. I'm beginning to see a trend starting here too: I'm slightly neurotic with a weird soft spot for old men. This whole post is becoming redundant. I actually dread to think the search results this posting will come under, necrophelia anyone?
I'm just going to counterbalance everything I said with keywords that will attract a more suitable audience: Wholesome, lovely, nice, good person, NORMAL, nice to children and animals and old men (evidently). Loves animals, dogs especially (not so much cats), friendly. Friend. Person who shares, sharer, carer. Wonderful, hugs, nice, kind, sunshine, rainbows, bunnies. Does charity work*, saves universe*, noble peace prize*, tee-totaller*. Sober, very very sober.* Did I say kind and lovely and lovely and kind.
Ta da. Plan implemented. Now step up google or chrome, or firefox or bing and start advertising me and this blog in the appropriate rose tinted light I prefer. Let's make my blog synonymous with all things nice and wonderful and not Jennifer Love Hewitt's large breasts. *not necessarily fact.
Thanks to the lovely Pete Riski for making this ad for us, being the first Finnish person I know, showing me that I want to visit if not live in NewFoundland but most importantly for teaching me how those tiny little ships actually fit inside those glass bottles. I'd always wondered. I still like to imagine it's a magical technique preformed by an adorable gentile old man who whiles away the hours working meticulously in a sunbathed dusty attic, not disimilar to the one in Bettle juice but with more charm and fairy lights. In my feature film mind Richard Attenborough plays the somewhat autistic old man and Betty White, his adoring wife, who brings him jam sandwichs and mugs of hot tea while marvelling at his progress. Wouldn't that be a lovely, if somewhat boring movie. You are totally welcome, universe. What do you think? Am I onto something?
Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, this ad. Get down to the casino everyone. It's so fricking exciting it'll make your hair stand on end. True story.
Apologies for my conspicuous absence from this blog - it's starting to look a bit dusty and unloved on here - like myspace. In my defense those episodes of Jersey Shore and Teen Mom aren't going to watch themselves.
I've been busy being fabulous, of course. You know, doing crazy stuff like getting the sky train, eating ready made meals for one (joke, Mammy I promise I'm eating vegetables) and being in work all the time. Actually I'm just back from the cinema, Drive is awesome by the way and Ryan Gosling.... not at all difficult to watch. I consumed approximately 4 litre of diet coke. My teeth hurt and I had to wee for 75% of the movie and now I cannot even construct a sentence without heading off on another tangent, aspartame is a food group, right?
So to my main point (I sort of have one), here's the brief,* Lauren my bff came to visit me. She's one of five potential people who actually read this blog (another one being Rachel) and one of the others being a robot spammer who left me a message suggesting retirement villages options in Australia. (I'm actually interested, retirement sounds perfect for me). Sorry this sugar buzz is too much. So for some strange reason both Lauren and Rachel are somewhat obsessed with the coverage they receive on my hugely popular international blog. Lauren's issue of contention however lays in the face time Rachel has received. And mainly the fact that she's never even been featured. After this post she may hark back nostalgically to those days.
Many may be surprised to learn that Lauren and I spent the long weekend in BC, the outdoor pursuits capital of the world, essentially drinking but Ta-Da... we did. Having someone like Lauren come visit BC was heaven on earth. She's lazy as sin, love to drink wine and is so laid back she's horizontal. Sure we did stuff, but we did it with the least amount of energy we could possibly exert. Besides we were exhausted, those wine glasses we're going to lift themselves. Boozing in the sunshine, getting freckled and sun burnt is tiring. One could also argue that we'd too much to talk about having not seen each other for months upon months. Lucky for Lauren I'd saved up all my chat and proverbially vomited all said chat onto her. Proverbially, what a pretentious word. Chuckle. Impressively, with the little effort exerted we still managed to accomplish the following: Shop, chat, drink, chat, shop some more, chat, eat dinner in rosemantic spot over looking the water and city, walk approx. 27 miles. Chat. Get a sea bus. Chat. Travel up a mountain on a gondola, spy wolves from said gondola. Chat. Have a lesbian sit beside us on our romantic journey. Don't chat. See real life bears, be really impressed with said bears. Chat. Happen upon a bird show, be less impressed, decide to have some wine instead. Chat. Walk past a wood chopping show, feign interest, decide on more wine. Chat. See the whole world (or Vancouver at least) from top of mountain. Take photos. Go disco-ing like in the olden days, snog a Canadian. Slur. Hiccup. Chat. Get out of bed after little sleep and haul ourselves with the other peasants through public transport to an island on a ferry whilst still experiencing fragile effects from copious wine consumed. Don't chat. Be continually subjected to loud American's almost everywhere. Listen. Scoff. Try on hideous second hand attire. Laugh. Scoff. Buy said hideous vintage attire. Flirt with hot half Irish half syrian concierge (some of us were better at that than others) and be courted by a dubious Canadian hipster with a penchant for English accents, Kate Middleton look-a-likes, and saving the whales. Laugh. Be talked out of planned whale sight seeing trip not because concern for environment nor whales but rather potential disappointment we might experience from not actually seeing whales and therefore not being able to drink more. Laugh. Be on a ferry again, see a volcano. Chat. Fat app ourselves,laugh. There was a lot of eating in there too but I don't like think about that. All our chatting lead us to an sauvignon blanc induced epiphany: I have way too many feelings and Lauren is actually dead inside. I feel like these feelings were a result saturn being in venus and sauvignon blanc being in our glasses. Amazingly after 8 yrs of friendship I managed to break Lauren down and open the flood gates to year and years of repressed emotions. Sharing is caring Lauren and I'm happy to say I sent her off on her merry way. Back to single-dom in NYC where she'll probably die alone or at the very least be such an old bride she'll be wheeled up the aisle by one of these "bridesmaids" who apparently "won't be me", which is fine as I'll probably be 6ft under by that stage anyhow and you'd have me in a hideous dress regardless. It's been lonely since Lauren left. All my feelings are getting stored up again. It's time for Rachel to visit now. Come soon though, otherwise the Maylee's in for a very long skype.
Every now and again I like to make lists of things I've actually already done. This is an excellent form of procrastination and also gives me a smug sense of self achievement. I typically add these to the huge lists of tasks I actually have to do and rather than that list depressing me I trick myself into thinking I've loads done. Try it, it works.
So, I'm living in Vancouver now.I would apologise for the lack of blogging but it would probably be annoying to read and even more so for me to write. So I digress. Now that I've been living in Vancouver for just over 4months I feel I am a somewhat qualified to comment on some things Canadian, from a foreigners perspective. Here's the tiny morsels of wisdom I can give you thus far.
This won't be news to some of you but Canada is MASS-HOOSIVE. Seriously. So all those maps out there depicting Ireland as this small quite legible country in the Atlantic are lies, lies I tell you. It's microscopic. It took me a day to get to Vancouver Island. Incidentally this is the size of Ireland and then some. A day. Donegal to Cork takes 8 hours. Anyhow, I just thought I'd tell you we were all being fooled and if you ever think you can take a trip to Vancouver Island and still be back in time for an interview the next morning then you'd be wrong. Plan ahead.
It RAINS here. You know how in your head you somehow don't connect real life and living abroad and you have this wild exceptions of sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. Welcome to the real world which also exists in foreign lands. Vancouver has it's fair share of rain but it's the Californian coast in comparison to other Canadian cities so really it's hard to complain. If you're Irish you'll still give it a good go. Vancouverites have promised me an "awesome summer" and all I can say is that I hope for yer sake it materialises otherwise there will be a wyle bit of whinging done.
Which brings me to my next point. Canadians are a happy bunch. Their enthusiasm amazes me and sometimes it knows no bounds. Sincerely, even the crappiest most mundane task/ thing ever, seemingly delights them. Case and point:
Coffeeshopguy to me (excited): "Heeey, how's it going?"
Me to coffeeshopguy (deadpan): "Grand, how are you?"
Coffeeshopguy to me: (smug) "Pretty fricking awesome".
Me (thinking) Maybe I should work in a coffee shop.
Mostly I think this is great and an absolute pleasure but sometimes, just sometimes I think a good dose of Irish cynism is called for. *At least that's how I like to justify my mood swings.
Vancouver much like Montreal (apparently) has some very attractive peeps. Never has the statement "the ole Irish head on him" resonated so much. You can normally spot us from a mile off. The girls in particular are infamous and if your Irish and male your in luck. I can only conclude that they're over indulged in too much PS I love you and Colin Farrell fantasies ( though I am guilty of that one myself). Having an Irish accent on a man in Canada is the equivalent to having a rippling six pack, a Porsche and the ability to cure sick puppies while galloping majestically on a white stead. Use this power wisely. An Irish accent on a girl in Canada is the equivalent of having a beard. That won't be your biggest obstacle in your attempts to snare a Canadian boy though. Unlike Irish men who wear their lack of rhythm and questionable fashion choices as a testament to their heterosexuality, Canadian men dress well, are polite and often carry man-bags. Your first task is sorting prospective guys from the gays. Secondly, being able to have “the craic” (usually mindless vandalism, borderline alcoholism and language that would make a sailor wince) isn’t something most Canucks look for in a potential life partner. Thirdly, see point 2.
And finally and perhaps most notably for me, not all Canadians will find you as hilarious as you believe you are. My humor has been described European (read: not funny), when in fact we all know that I'm hilarious (read: European).
It's D-Day in Ireland as the Budget will be announced this evening. It's been a cause of distress and anguish amongst the whole country these past few weeks. Much speculation has surrounded it as we await our fate. Here's a press ad I just completed that ran as a full page ad in today's paper. It's for our clients, The Irish Examiner.
This weekend was designated to Rachel and I indulging in some "we" time. "We" weekends can really lead to day's evaporating into a haze of beatific nothingness. Before you judge us too harshly I'd like to point out the Dublin is currently experiencing epic snow fall and therefore it practically forced us to sit in front of the fire for 15 hours straight, gossiping, guzzling wine and gorging on chips. It was amazing. Every month should have a "we" weekend. With the snow being so treacherous we managed to eliminate all guilt we may normally of had from not experiencing day light whatsoever. Sure wasn't there only about an hour of it anyhow (please nod along when reading that last line). During this fifteen hour telly-thon we learned many things that are important for one to know in order to fully enjoy a snow day and some "we" time with one's own friends. Please allow me to education with some of our morsels of wisdom.
Applying make up and getting dressed is a waste of time, energy and resources. Far better you concentrate on what's in the fridge and not fool yourself into pretending you've contemplated venturing out. Here's what you should wear.
A small fire place can sure use a lot of fuel. Please ensure you have at least twenty logs, a fire bag and three buckets of coal to maintain adequate heat in the room. It's also a good idea to put on the heating and boost it every two to three hours in order to maintain that sauna like existence you've become accustomed too.
Bagel's work for both breakfast, brunch and lunch. The trick is to have a little variety in every meal. We used eggs and coronation chicken (not together). One should eat as often as possible throughout the day to ensure you keep your strength up. Chilli Doritos are also nutritious and delicious.
It is strangely easy to consume six pots of tea in one day and yet still not feel like you've had any tea. Make sure to stock up on milk and tea bags otherwise you may have to go to the local shop. God forbid.
5pm is an excellent time to begin drinking wine and not have guilts of your alcoholic tendencies due to early day time drinking.
5pm is much too early to begin drinking wine and not expect to be quite intoxicated come 9pm.
Singing men are incredibly attractive. Falling in love with X factor contestants is inevitable. Don't fight it. You'll come to your senses in the morning.
Bacon is good for you. Please watch this clip over and over and over again to reassure yourself of this fact.
Sometimes chicken nuggets for breakfast can sound very appealing.
Mario's chippy in Harold's cross to exceptionally tasty chips. We can recommend the curry sauce and the taco sauce but never together.
When drinking wine it is possible to spend €100 on call credit and yet still maintain deep conversations with the person beside you. Rachel's bank manager would never recommend this however.
Drinking wine and eating chips can make you giddy and hilarious. Why not share that hilarity with the rest of the world. They should really know how fantastically funny you and your friend/s are and what your up to right now. You've heard about chatroulette and think it's probably fun. Why not, if nothing else it's an immediate audience and it's probably like going to a bar without having to get up from the couch, right?
Wrong. People on chatroulette don't actually want to chat at all. They probably only want to see your boobs or in our case toes.
Sunday's can make "we" time look like a dark polluted swamp of drink, debauchery, bad food, bad TV and lots and lots and lots of laughing. Counteract any fear or dread you might have by never ever being alone and watching repeats of 16 and pregnant in order to feel better about one's life.
So Hello Canada, I'm coming. Here's my drawing of what I expect it to be like. I hear it's so cold the bears wrap up and talk- that's nothing to do with cold though. I'm so fricking excited. I have only 18days left in Dublin. Then I leave for Canadia one month later. Expect much more bears/ deers/ moose's in my drawings to come.
Friday past I attended a copywriting course in the Guiness storehouse (see attached pics). The course, "Righter Writing" was hosted by the lovely Patrick Collister of Creative Matters and previously every agency in the UK it would seem. Impressive CV.
It was a mortifying experience for an Art Director clueless in copywriting, particularly because I stupidly and naively sat at the front. I guess the same set of rules of stand up comedy shows apply in lectures. Don't sit at the front if you don't want to be picked on and most importantly- if you're an idiot. I got both wrong.
Our first task was to write ones own obituary. What a hideous task. We had five minutes. I drew a coffin with a grim reaper sobbing over it. A speech bubble from him said "She was so so young. It was an accident". The drawing was shocking. Underneath it I wrote 1982-2010. I then sat for two of three minutes and wondered what the 25 strangers in the room were writing. Everyone seemed to be diligently scribbling away. Shit, better put something down so I wrote 'Annie will be missed very much by her friends and family because if she's not she will come back and haunt them till the end of time.'
Time was up. Momentary relief for me as we put our pens down. I never expected my idiocy to be exposed. Can you imagine my utter humilation when Patrick said "so....what have you written?". Sheee-it. Was he talking to me when he stood in front of me, looking at me asking that question? Surely not! Incrediously I looked left, then right and said "who me?". My inner monologue did a series of panicked f*ck, sh%t and cr@p's. I spluttered that I didn't have anything. Phew. Anyone else might have sensed I was a cretin and moved on, but Patrick perservered and encouraged, saying things like "come on, I seen you writing" and "don't be afraid, it's good to share. We're all learning here." Undeterred I persisted that I had nothing and I clung to my notepad as though I would reveal the 3rd secret of fatima were anyone to see it. I was prepared to eat that piece of paper before I'd share with the group. Eventually Patrick realised and moved on. Halleluia. This is what my obituary should have said:
Annie, female, aged 28. Died mortified. Suffered from horrendous congenital stupidity.
I can't help but feel my erratic behaviour set a precedent for the rest of the talk. I spent ages wondering if he thought I was an idiot, asking myself why the hell didn't I just say it and get it over with and a substainitial amount of time mentally slapping myself in the face.
In between all the self torture I was doing I managed to pick up quite a few tips. None of which I've implimented here, which is great. He's actually really smart so please don't let my writing be a reflection of the day.
Although not strictly just about copywriting and more about concepting I found his suggestion of approaching advertising from seven key points to be quite helpful for when you've hit a creative block. He broke down those seven types into key points.
6.Slice of life (observation)
You can approach any brief by looking at one or all seven of these themes. It's a clever way to think in terms generating thought starters for when you seem to run out of steam.
This isn't all the information I took from the day, it's just some simple pointers that help you over the hump. I'd have to write a dissertation or include the actual presentation if I was to go through everything. If you ever get the chance to see Patrick speak I'd highly recommend it.
This is a tactical idea we had for the four door MINI Countryman coming up to the budget in Ireland. Everyone's aware of financial shambles Ireland is currently in and there's public outcry at politicians arriving in the Dáil in seperate chauffeur driven cars- that's where the new MINI would come in. Clever eh? Unfortunately this idea won't be going ahead but wouldn't it of been awesome.