Day 2.110

Tasting: a Milky Way crispy roll in my mocha
Feeling: sore in the shoulders, nauseated
Smelling: the heater turn on
Hearing: the Jack O’Rourke (plus Strung and Anna Mitchell) concert with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra
Seeing: a very swollen River Lee, a grey and drizzly sky

I’m gonna do that thing where you start a movie by showing a part from the end. I talked to my mum on the phone before I went to sleep, and she told me about a t-shirt she saw that said “my morning routine includes lying in bed for 10 minutes thinking about how tired I am.” Well, that’s how I started my day. Not sleeping in a ton, but having a lie-in, as they say around here.

I decided that I needed to get back into the gym after about a week of not going. My body (and mind) was starting to feel kinda sad and restless, so I went to do some leg strength training and that felt pretty good. Except for how I may have injured my knees from trying to run recently.

I went to practice for a bit, then realized I was running short on time since I had told Greer that we’d study for Celtic Languages together. I picked up a three-pack of donuts on the way home, though, because how can one study without donuts? We had a pretty good time going over the exam, but I’m wondering if I’m studying the right things.

Then Mark came to pick me up for the concert, where we were going to see his friend/teacher Jack O’Rourke play through his new album with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra! There were two opening acts, which combined, were probably as long as Jack’s set himself. It was such a fantastic and unique concert, and I’m very lucky to see a local, but rising, artist in such a fantastic venue.


Day 2.109

Tasting: surprisingly good chocolate birthday cake
Hearing: glasses breaking, RA chants
Smelling: the hair wax Sean used on my new haircut
Seeing: colored lights, the view from my professor’s office
Feeling: sore feet, very tired and weak

What got me out the door in the morning was my barber appointment, which didn’t go quite as well as I’d liked. Mainly just that I could have waited a week or two before getting it trimmed but I was getting really tired of my fuzzy sides, but the sides ended up looking just slightly patchy. It was at 9:30 appointment, so perhaps Sean didn’t have enough time to warm up, heh. Well I guess I made the appointment somewhat last-minute so I hope I didn’t ruin his plans last night.

I cancelled rehearsal. I’m not going to go into too much detail about what’s in my head right now, but I wasn’t feeling strong enough to rehearse and I already had to meet my professor that afternoon. I watched plenty of B99, met with the Celtic languages prof and went back to my room to laze about and nap until it was time to head out to Barra’s party.

I arrived pretty early, which felt a little awkward at first but it was nice to meet Barra’s and Laura’s families. The party picked up soon enough though, once the very late DJ arrived. There was serious tunage, and plenty of fried foods (most of which was potatoes) and cake and drinks and it was fantastic. I was amused about everyone shout-sang the national anthem at the end, followed by some RA chants. Also, when we sang happy birthday, instead of inserting a “cha-cha-cha” someone exclaimed “up the RA!”

We tried to go out afterwards, but it was difficult to find somewhere that would let us all get in. So I walked home, somewhat bitter, until I was informed that a few people were gathered at Laura’s house which was right near my place. We chatted for a bit, then I went home and had a surprisingly difficult time getting to sleep but did eventually. I felt happy again.

Day 2.107

Tasting: Bailey’s cheesecake
Feeling: crampy legs
Seeing: sun in the city center of Cork
Smelling: sunscreen
Hearing: the pop music playlist in Hassett’s

After practice, I met up with Leah at Hassett’s for her first visit, and visit #843 for me. I had one of the best sandwiches I’ve gotten there, which was packed with veggies and feta and tuna. We got desserts too– Leah got a chocolate slice and I got a Bailey’s cheesecake. It was fun hanging out with her and I was happy to try a dessert I hadn’t yet. I stopped by Cummin’s to get a new water bottle this time, one that was cheaper and bigger than the last. I went to the English Market for soda bread, then the Quay Co-op.

I got a good chunk of studying done that evening. I kinda hope that Welsh is on the exam because I think I learned a lot about it last night. And I was surprised with how much food science study I got done that night.

Day 2.106

Tasting: spaghetti bolognese (without the meat)
Hearing: construction on the way to practice
Smelling: a sandalwood candle
Feeling: cold rain on my hands and face, dehydrated
Seeing: alternating rain and sunshine

​After a practice session in the morning, I walked to the Mardyke to see if they had my water bottle, and naturally they didn’t. Basically, anything lost in that gym is lost. I wasn’t too upset about the item lost, I just hate losing things. I bought some fruits and vegetables at Con’s on the way  back home, chilled out on my bed for a bit, and decided I needed a run since I was feeling antsy. I only ran for a couple of kilometers since there was strong wind and rain, plus I remembered that I really shouldn’t be running with the state that my back, knees, and ankles are in. I then made myself a hearty late lunch that was a cross between shakshuka and spaghetti bolognese, and attempted to study.

Studying wasn’t going too well, so I went over to my teammate Nigel’s gaff down the road for tea, and to check it out as a possible venue for my farewell party. When I returned, I was feeling pretty stressed about how I didn’t do as much today as I wish I had. My mom reminded me not to stress about it since there’s never any use in worrying, and my friend Mark said that getting anything done is worth it. So I refocused myself on submitting an application for a research assistant position on my home campus. It’s not a dream internship or anything, but it’s very cool and I’d be thrilled to have it.

Day 2.105

Smelling: a summer night
Feeling: too warm and stifled under my windbreaker
Tasting: PSL blondie
Hearing: triple-j “Like a Version” song covers
Seeing: lots of green in the view over the city and on campus

It was rough getting up this morning, but I did get up somewhat on time thanks to an amazing technology called an alarm. After breakfast I decided to make these coffee blondies with pumpkin spice chips. Getting to the practice room was kinda late, but that worked out fine for me. I felt really together in practice, like I finally know what I’m doing. I still need more practice but I can do that.

I spent the afternoon eating, reading my Celtic Languages, and watching only one episode of Brooklyn 99. I accidentally got ready for training half an hour early– I was a little on edge today. Training was nice, even if it was all drills. After, I cleaned up the kitchen and listened to Jack O’Rourke’s album Dreamcatcher and went to bed a little too late.

Day 2.104

Smelling: sulfurous streets
Feeling: sore hamstrings
Seeing: pretty cappuccino art
Hearing: an near-empty church to practice in, a loud and talkative American student
Tasting: new ice cream, a fantastic chickpea/spinach/cheddar/mozz quesadilla

I’d set an alarm for 7 but that felt too early when I woke up so I tried 7:30 instead, made some French toast with sautéed bananas, drank some tea, and lay in bed for longer. I lay in twilight sleep until I was ready to actually get up, which was about 9. I made it to the gym at a quarter past 10 and got a little upper back and bicep workout with a little cardio, but wasn’t feeling energetic enough to do more. That’s fine though.

I went grocery shopping again. Hey, it’s Sunday, that’s what you’re supposed to do at the start of a week. I saw this adorable cock-eared young husky on the way there!

fullsizeoutput_5eaMy next goal was to read some of Languages in Britain & Ireland and get caffeinated in Café Depeche, then journey onwards to the practice room. I didn’t get much read in the café– there was a customer, who like me, was an American exchange student chatting up the barista about her own Erasmus experience in Spain. Both parties in conversation really seemed like cool people, but I was a little dismayed just because I usually get more concentration in Depeche. Also, when living over here, hearing a North American accent in public sometimes makes me cringe. I know that sounds like an asshole thing to say, and maybe it is, but I won’t explore every single aspect of that feeling right now.

In the music building on my way to the toilets, yer wan approached me asking if I played piano as she was looking for an emergency substitute accompanist for her violin exam. I really wanted to help her, but I’m not at the level she needed, especially with classical piano. I wish her the best of luck finding a teacher.

I had more success practicing one piece, “Gentle Rain” than with the other, “All the Things You Are.” It got kind of frustrating, but I think I was productive enough. When I returned home I was very hungry and ate a fantastic quesadilla and delicious mung bean stew from the co-op, and finished the chapter I was trying to work on.

Oh, and I don’t know if it was even necessary to say that today was punctuated by several episodes of Brooklyn 99.

Day 2.103

Feeling: slightly sweaty
Smelling: gross leather fencing gloves
Tasting: mediocre Chinese buffet food
Seeing: quiet city streets
Hearing: a teenager screaming on the phone to her mum, the Penumbra podcast

I was determined to start the day like I would start a school day– getting up promptly, drinking coffee and eating a hearty breakfast. I tried my best around 8 after waking up around 5:30. I did some cartooning just for my own relaxation, but went to the library for a couple hours to start some studying and research (the latter of which I believe I was fairly late to do). Since I was losing concentration and ended up just staring at the page at one point, I decided that I needed to go home and do yoga. It really did help.

When I first arrived at training I was only the third person there. It was quite light that night due to how several of our members were at Nationals, plus it was still a holiday. And since none of the armorers were there and no one else had a key to the lockers, so we essentially trained for two hours but didn’t get to go up on piste. I still got to do some great training with Donnchda, particularly to work on my blade speed.

Myself and three of my teammates went to a Chinese buffet afterwards, which was a nice way to relax with them. I was still fairly quiet and tired, as I was at the beginning of training, but it’s nice just spending time among them.

Day 2.102

Tasting: cinnamon-orange gelato
Feeling: sun shining in my face, sore right shin
Smelling: three different things being cooked at once
Seeing: sun reflecting off the Nike swoosh
Hearing: Mark’s voice, a belligerent bird making odd disgruntled noises

I willed myself to stay in bed extra-long in bed in attempt to make up for a late bedtime, but when I finally did get up I wanted to get a workout. I started walking to the gym but felt overdressed so I decided to turn back to my place and change into some running gear. It was an short run, since I hadn’t done one in a while (PT’s orders!) but nice to get out in the sunshine. Everyone else was out catching the sun too. It was funny, I decided to listen to a new workout playlist but I forgot to download it, but I went a few kilometers before it stopped playing. Magic.

Once I was showered, I went to the Centra to take out some cash and on my way out I overheard one of the lads saying “…and she was wearing black socks so she looked really sexy.” I couldn’t help but imagine that the socks in question were like, black men’s sports socks. Sexy indeed. Anyway, when I was walking back to mine I saw Mark standing outside; I recognized him because of the shiny Nike swoosh on his sneakers. We went to get gelato, then took a walk around town and around the Loch. About five hours had gone by by the time he had to go.

I still probably went to bed a little too late that night.

Day 2.101

Smelling: the Mardyke smell strangely of Tex-Mex food
Feeling: sluggish
Seeing: campus at night
Tasting: way too many Speculoos Rolls
Hearing: the cricket club

The main productive thing I did today was practice, the other was training. Besides that, I was more or less out of commission. After drinks after training I went to get grub with a few teammates and we had a nice adventure trying to get through campus so we could get to the ATM. But eventually I got my fish and chips and eventually got into bed.

Day 2.100

Feeling: warm duvet cover fresh from the laundrette
Smelling: two different kinds of hot chocolates in my apartment
Hearing: someone in the adjacent practice room playing a ballad version of “Shape of You”
Seeing: sun shine into the kitchen
Tasting: poached eggs, matzah crack

I was feeling too tired and nauseated to do much this morning. I did, however, go to SuperValu for the third time this week and still forgot to get extra-virgin olive oil. I did get extra-large garbage bags to help clean up the kitchen, though. My main purpose of going was to get almond milk so my pal Jack and I could make for each other our special hot chocolate recipes, since we both think we make the best hot chocolate. I still like my own better, but Jack had a pretty good edge with the white chocolate. We also watched Scott Pilgrim vs the World, which I hadn’t watched in a while and is still one of my favorites.

I went to the practice room but I ended up being way too tired to focus. I hope I can get some good rest and beat this chronic fatigue.

Oh, and this is day 100 of the second semester of living in Ireland! Yesterday was exactly a month until I leave. I’m not looking forward to leaving, but I also have things to look forward to returning to, y’know? Like Colm keeps saying, my life is in a really good place right now and a lot of it’s going to end.