I Am Cymbeline Girl.


These pieces above are two presents I have received in advance of my birthday next Wednesday. The larger one is a very colourful breakdown of the entirety of Cymbeline (using the Arden 2 edition), spearheaded by Mickum, with assistance from L and my former and much missed housemate SM. The smaller is an original painting of a cat by SM. I love them both, and my friends, to bits. The unveiling of the former last night was only augmented by Easter caterpillar chocolate cake and L adopting random poses inspired by Shakespearean characters chosen by me at will.

It is currently snowing outside, and I am currently not in the library (when your mother calls you up on a Sunday afternoon, and tells you not to go and wrap up warm, then it’s alright, isn’t it?). I have also finished my masters classes for the year. It hasn’t really registered with me yet — Thursday felt like a normal day of classes and seminar and play reading, except us BritGrad elves put on another bake sale and I ate more of Our Fearless Leader’s cake pops. I know that now, there’s a long month ahead of me, in which I’ve got to write 6,000 very good words. And then start a dissertation in May. But first, there’s Easter and turning 23 with the other half and my Stratford friends. And then maybe, the Grand Revelation will hit me then. It always takes its time, where I’m concerned.

This is also my first time composing a blog post from the iPad. It’s been a fraught process, maybe because I keep hitting the wrong buttons on the touchscreen, and having to tell wordpress that NO, I DON’T WANT TO INSERT A LINK RIGHT NOW, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. But I can insert pictures (as you can see), which is very cool.

Baby steps, as you can see. Happy hope-snow-isn’t-obstructing-you-much day to you all. It’s the end of March, for god’s sake.


Days of Whine in Doses*, in which Emer experiments with MS Paint

*I just really liked the rhyme and pun. I couldn’t think of anything else more positive.

Greetings from the second-last-week-of-Masters-classes-sweet-jesus. To add my voice to the masses, I can’t believe how fast it’s gone by. It’s a Tuesday evening in Stratford and the most exciting thing that’s happened to me today was finishing a first draft of an essay due next week, ordering a lasagne in the Garrick Inn, and realising that I HAVE MS PAINT ON MY LAPTOP, and HEY, WHY DON’T I USE IT ON MY BLOG.

I have such epiphanies sometimes, you know.

But anyway.

1. I am 23 on the 27th of this month. I am almost two years off living for a quarter of a century. Which is kinda cool — I never got why people got so wound up about not being asked for ID once they got past a certain age. I’m also waiting for the whole panicking-about-what-I’m-supposed-to-do-with-the-rest-of-my-life thing to kick in, but before then, there are essays. And dissertations. And BritGrad (come to BritGrad! Ah, you will. Please?). And stuff. More present things. I had a performance exam last Sunday, so at least there’s potential for a ‘Will perform two select monologues from the Shakespeare canon for money’ cardboard sign. As well as the pointless Shakespearean performance history trivia that has wormed itself into my brain over the past few years. I can tell you when the Swan Theatre opened or when Kathryn Hunter played Lear for five pounds!

2. As represented by the work of art above, it is really cooooold in Stratford. In March. Sometimes it feels like I never left Ireland at all, what with all the indecisive weather. Not pleased with these turn of events, as I did not plan on WEARING WINTER GLOVES IN MARCH.

3. Thanks to the other half, I now have tickets for Richard II at the Barbican this December. One also recommends quite highly A Life of Galileo at the Swan and also looks forward to Hamlet and As You Like It at the RST, as well as the SI Players’ production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream THIS WEEK (break several legs, guys!).

4. I think I have a dissertation topic. It’s formulating and is still quite embryonic, but I’m genuinely quite excited about it. More anon.

5. Here is a horse. I drew it for you.

If anyone can think of a name for him, I’d be forever grateful.

It’s slowly dawning on me that this post was an excuse just to draw amateurish pictures on Paint. Bet you loved it anyway.

Guilty Pleasures, or, Why I Think Taylor Swift May Be A Genius

J-Swift writing another Birthday Poem to Stella.
J-Swift writing another Birthday Poem to Stella.

I’m in several minds about my music taste. I don’t know whether to call mine pretentious, ridiculous, or just really bad. Since I was about seventeen and became incredibly discerning about what I would listen to, I had considered myself a ‘music snob’ — of course, you’d run into people with the same taste in university, but I was the girl whose friends would scroll through my iTunes, not really knowing who ANY of the bands or artists were, and I could never tell whether it was to my or their shame (most likely the former). In general, most of the time my music taste was considered ‘weird’.

It’s got progressively weirder as time goes by. I still have an interest in the stuff I’ve listened to in the past few years (whilst discovering a few more along the way), but I started listening to musical soundtracks and also realised that the likes of Beyoncé Knowles, Lady Gaga, Shakira, and Justin Timberlake were bloody geniuses. Sceptical? Have you EVER listened to ‘What Goes Around… Comes Around’?

But none of this, NONE, can possibly excuse the weird/potentially embarrassing/just plain bad music that I admit that I… enjoy, or listen to more than once. Maybe it’s because I’ve realised that they’re potentially genius. Or maybe I’ve possibly lost it.

So, inspired by the lovely lady over at The Ridiculous Miss Mickum (a blog I thoroughly recommend), I’ve put together a list of guilty pleasures. Please, refrain from throwing the rotten bananas.

1. Katy Perry, ‘Wide Awake’: OK, for years I tried to avoid Ms. Perry. I admired (and still do) her dress sense, that would suffice, but I still begrudged her for ‘I Kissed A Girl’ becoming part of the Corrib Village playlist in first year, along with Kings of Leon’s ‘Sex On Fire’ and Rihanna’s ‘Disturbia’. But Christ, ‘Wide Awake’ is a tune and a half. So is ‘Firework’, despite such choice lyrics as: ‘Do you ever feel like a plastic bag?’

Actually, I’m going to listen to ‘Firework’ now. I still think ‘Sex On Fire’ is a terrible song though.

2. Taylor Swift, ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’: I’ve only come around to T-Swift recently, mainly because I had long thought, well, songs as ‘Love Story’ and ‘Teardrops on my Guitar’ were bloody awful. But thanks to Mickum’s endless playing of ‘Stay Stay Stay’ in my presence (‘I’d like to hang out with you for my whole lii–ii–ife’), my defences gradually wore down. She just works into your brain SOMEHOW. And this song especially, as I’ve been playing it repeatedly over the past 48 hours while I’m editing my essays.

I’ll be dedicating my PhD to Taylor at this rate.

3. Avril Lavigne, ‘I’m With You’: Those of you of a certain age, do you remember when Avril Lavigne used to be cool? Before the abominations that were ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘When You’re Gone’, before Chad Kroeger? (Before anyone asks, I didn’t really touch base with the second album.) Let us reminisce to a time when it was supposedly cool to wear a tie with your civvies…

4. Busted, ‘Year 3000’: I’m pretty sure I woke up one morning to find my father watching this on TV and singing along.

5. Beyoncé, ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’: It seems that a lot of people I know seem to genuinely hate Beyoncé, hence why she’s here. But I adore ‘Single Ladies’. That synth line! (For more goodness, see: ‘Halo’, ‘Crazy In Love’, ‘Deja Vu’, ‘Green Light’.)

Also, it’s impossible to hate the former frontwoman of Destiny’s frickin’ Child, right?

6. Rihanna, ‘Only Girl In The World’: The world and his mother has something to say about Rihanna. Mine are: a) I like this song, and b) ‘We found Dove in a soapless place’. There.

7. Oasis, ‘Live Forever’: ‘Maaaaaaybe I don’t really wanna knoooooooooow / How your garden grooooooooows / I just wanna flyyyyyyyyyyy’

I’m convinced that admitting that you like an Oasis song produces more ire than admitting that you like a Beyoncé song. True or false? You and I are gonna live forevaaaaaaaaa, anyway.

8. Abba, ‘Super Trouper’: Abba are supreme. Disagree with me at your peril. I’m genuinely serious. I have every single album they have ever produced in my iTunes, thanks to a good friend of mine, so that particular urge to listen to ‘Money Money Money’ or ‘The Winner Takes It All’ (possibly my favourite) is always addressed at quick speed.

It’s a shame Mamma Mia isn’t that great on a second viewing.

9. Paramore, ‘The Only Exception’: I too tried avoiding that little ginger and the other nondescript blokes in her band. It was futile in the end. And I do admit, this song is awfully cute.

10. Coldplay, ‘Viva La Vida’: Coldplay divides opinion like no other. They’re probably been called a watered down Radiohead god knows how many times (I’ve certainly lost count), but to hell with it, I like them anyway.

Honourable mentions: Lady Gaga and Shakira would be here, on a normal day. But let’s face it, I think we all know that the likes of ‘She Wolf’ and ‘Telephone’ are very much non-pareil in their sheer genius. RIGHT?

Thoughts? Rants? Deep dark confessions? I’m all ears. I won’t judge…