Dust

Cue the night:

I’m buried in seaside dust, raw from overreaction;

Building futile ashen castles,

Ironically unwashed by vaguely dreamt metaphors?

{And I should know} If I opened my mouth, I’d only sneeze in more than would be wise;

Those strange laws of expulsion-impulsion.

So I will stay, holding my breath though I never reached the sea,

Contemplating lasciviousness in bewildered detachment;

Like a cow in a charnel shed, face shoved in dead could-have-beens.

Tourist guide:

Not quite sure why I was there. Just let the dust be dust again.

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Bag-packing In Tesco

You can probably tell from the title that this is going to be an INCREDIBLY EXCITING BLOG POST!!! If so, I must compliment you on your finely honed perceptions! (And you think I’m being ironic?!?) I went bag-packing for the first time in my life on Saturday, and thus began my first foray into that noblest of trades. It was not entirely of my own volition mind you; my cousin and a couple of her friends from medicine in UCD needed people to help out with some fundraising and I was more than happy [(-_-)] to oblige! But you know what? In the end it actually turned out to be a lot of fun!

Le bag.

The whole point of the collection was to raise money for a hospital in Sierra Leone, with most of the donations going towards medical supplies such as antibiotics and vaccines which my cousin and her friends would be bringing over with them when they went over to assist. (As far as I know they actually paid for their own travel expenses.) It was a surprisingly noble cause, and the amount of money that people donated was, I think, a fair reflection of that. It was also a much needed salve for my normally laid-back self-image; if I had gotten off my butt to collect for something silly like new jerseys for a football team I don’t think I’d have ever been able to look at my reflection straight again! Continue reading

Some Thoughts: Hans Zimmer and The Great Dictator

Occasionally when perusing YouTube you stumble upon a comment that is truly epic and inspirational. When listening to Hans Zimmer’s ‘Time’ from the Inception soundtrack today, I came across one of these comments. I leave it up to DCStudiosofficial (to whom all credit is due) to explain it to you 🙂

‘rewind and pause this video. go to /watch?v=5IvPIWzQcUY when the man(Charlie Chaplin) starts to speak, play this at the same time. blow awesome sauce out your ears!!’

– DCStudiosofficial

I have embedded the two videos in this post already, so you should be able to do all of that from here! Prepare to be amazed.

Song of the Day: Agalloch, They Escaped the Weight of Darkness

I watched Pan’s Labyrinth for the first time tonight so I was feeling pretty melancholy. This song is perfect when you’re in that dark kind of mood. It’s sad, haunting and beautiful. The style is simple; it’s a solo cello piece with the ambient noise of a river in the background. The cello is a really under-appreciated instrument which is truly beautiful when played well, as it is done here. This song is best listened to when you’re feeling somber and it’s the middle of the night. When you want to reflect on sad things.

Band of the Day: Mogwai

I felt so bad for not listening to my new Mogwai CD until now (sounds like a story!), that I decided to write a ‘Song of the Day‘ post specially dedicated to them to make amends. This song is actually one of my favorites from their album ‘Mr. Beast‘ which I’ve had for quite a while – and which I highly recommend. It’s completely instrumental, as is most of their material. They have a pretty unique sound, blending traditional rock instruments with electronic bleeps and bloops. They also use a lot of piano – and if you’ve read any of my previous posts you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I love piano!

[Kevin loves piano. Mogwai uses piano. Therefore Kevin loves Mogwai. Simple really!]

The artwork for 'Mr. Beast'.

This song is interesting because it has two distinct halves (though the same chorus is used for both, to great effect). It’s also a wonderful example of the Mogwai technique of layering waves of music on top of each other to somehow create a coherent whole. Mogwai is a band which rarely provides “easy listening” material; but when you’re in the mood, they can straddle the line between beautiful and challenging perfectly. They’re “a thinking man’s band”… with an edge.

If you’re liking what you’ve read/heard so far then I would also recommend the song ‘I Love You, I’m Going to Blow up Your School’ from their more recent album ‘The Hawk is Howling‘. They’re… intriguing titles to say the least. The first few minutes of this song are darkly peaceful… and then it explodes into a cacophonous guitar solo!! It’s a powerful showcase of the two ends of the Mogwai spectrum, and the brooding tension that their songs hold.

If you like instrumental music, check them out!

Mistborn: The Hero of Ages, Review

Mistborn: The Hero of Ages

This review has actually been waiting to be written for a month now, so it’s about time I got down to publishing it. I’ll try to keep it nice and short; let’s face it, if you’ve read the other two books already then you’re probably going to read this one too!

One line summary: The Hero of Ages is a very good book. It’s noticeably better than the previous entries of the series in a couple of areas, most notably in characterization. Previously bland or secondary characters like Spook and Ten’soon get their chance to step out into the limelight – each having their own POV here – and they’re both stand-out, likable, and complex characters..

Plot-wise, I’m of two minds. Sanderson comes good on his promises and  brings every strand together masterfully here. The grand tapestry that he has been building up to is finally fully revealed. After the last twist, everything fits and everything makes sense. In fact, I would have to say that it fits too well. The plot is so carefully constructed that in a certain way it actually restricts the story. Continue reading

Impulse Buying: CDs

[P.S. (pre-script!) I’m back writing now. WOOO!!!]

I don’t know about you, but I generally consider impulse buying to be a very bad idea! So, when I went to HMV yesterday and bought a CD completely out of the blue… Well, there was a rather large amount of reckless glee involved! And you know what? It actually turned out to be really good!

There’s been a lot of rumors going around that HMV is closing down in Ireland. Considering the amount of downloading that’s going on (both legally and illegally), I’m not that surprised. It’s just easier to buy (or steal) music online. I use iTunes, and it’s really handy to listen to a preview of something before you buy it, or browse through related/suggested artists. I can happily spend a few hours browsing for music online before finally deciding on something. I’ve been in CD shops abroad where you can scan a CD into a preview stand and listen to it there and then, but there’s nothing like that in Ireland.

Then the other day, while cleaning out my room after the paperwork nightmare that was teaching practice, I found a lonely HMV voucher just sitting there waiting to be used.  Startled realization: better use it quick! Continue reading