Beautiful Women and Speedy Dragons

[Last night I had an exceptionally strange dream. It stood out to me so much that I can even remember most of it now–hours after the event. I figured I’d transcribe everything that I remember so that you could enjoy this rather odd dream too. I typed this out in one go and I’ve kept the editing to a bare minimum, so as to keep this as authentic as possible.¬†Any incoherency in this post is completely intentional; it¬†is a dream after all!]

My recollection of the dream begins with my cousin Conor dragging me along to a really fancy dinner party. We’re dressed in nice suits and we’re in a really fancy restaurant which is completely empty. We sit down at this long table covered in a white tablecloth with silver furnishings. Then other people start appearing as if they’ve been there all along.

There is a beautiful blonde opposite me (simple, elegant, beautiful) and she’s starts talking to me¬†immediately, ignoring everyone else. We get on very well and have an extremely intelligent¬†conversation, and I can’t help but feel that there could be romance budding. (This is interesting because I don’t usually go for blondes at all.). This goes on for a while. [In fact, I think another woman appeared at one stage but then I forgot about her and she just disappeared again. It’s all rather vague!]

Mid-conversation, a young stressed-looking man comes along and sits down beside me and tells me we have to talk urgently. So we leave (I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to the blonde!) and somehow arrive in a dark laboratory/office building. We’re on the top floor, completely alone.

At this stage I also realize that I am a wizard.

So we’re walking through this floor of abandoned rooms and I realize that I know it’s the Wizards’ HQ – and that it’s abandoned because all the other wizards are dead. The chap who is with me is the new chief wizard. (I briefly wonder why he’s still using an office at the back of the building instead of moving into one of the now-vacated nicer ones. I conclude that it must be a sign of respect.) We reach his office and he ushers me inside.

It’s a normal office and he lays out his master-plan for me on his desk. [He brilliantly uses some action figures to portray this.]¬†This is the deal: we’re the only two wizards left and we’re fighting some evil monster. Apparently the evil thing has killed all the other wizards but this has had the counter-effect of revealing his location to us. It’s time for the final battle!

I hesitantly raise the objection that there could be another force that we don’t know about that could interfere. I demonstrate this theory using a zombie figure who comes up behind our two figures and proceeds to attack them. (Complete with sound effects provided by yours truly.) The chief is unimpressed and throws the zombie on the floor. I pick it up and start attacking our figures again. He shakes his head and throws it on the floor. I pick it up. [This goes on for quite a while!]

Suddenly the door of the room blasts open and a MASSIVE DRAGON somehow flies into the room, turns into the beautiful woman from the party for a¬†millisecond, drops an envelope on the table, then turns back into a dragon and blasts out of the room again. This all happens in less than a second;¬†I’m totally gobsmacked and don’t know what’s going on.

The chief looks at the message, shakes his head, and mutters to himself (I remember this bit distinctly), “This is most unusual.”

I ask him to explain, and he tells me that we were just given a message by the great dragon Penelope. [Baffling, I know!] The chief frowns at the message and I consider asking him what it says.

Before I do so I feel a brief moments sadness as I realize that my wonderful conversation with the woman at the party was not what I thought it was. Was she just talking to me as part of some subtle dragon scheme? Was she trying to protect me? I wistfully wonder if she might still love me despite being an immortal dragon…

And then I wake up.

[So there you have it: my crazy dream. If any of you amateur psycho-analysts out there want to try to explain this to me then you’re more than welcome (I must have a lot of deeply troubling unresolved mental issues!).¬†Personally though, I’m rather hoping there’s a sequel tonight. Bonne nuit!]

Kevin’s Favorite Boxers

Sometimes when you really like a pair of boxers, you just have to wear them on your head.

Caught in the act.

I am not ashamed…

A lot of people were curious about the¬†intriguing¬†pair of purple boxers that I wore while bag-packing last weekend. So–ever eager to please my loyal fans–I have created this special edition, once in a lifetime post so that you can finally witness them in all of their 3 megapixel glory. Continue reading

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.

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 ūüôā

‘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