May 24, 2012

I didn't get a job I thought I might get. Maybe because I told the interviewer that I liked the second half of the job description but wasn't so pushed on the first. Yes, I still thought I'd get the job. I forgot that an honest employee is only half as valuable as an unpicky employee.
Anyway, it's all fine because I have a tan. In the rain. Well, looking out at the rain from the Starbucks I hang out at every late Thursday afternoon. The one where I feel appreciated by the person at the cash register who always remembers my name. (Confession: I didn't know her name so I just bought a tall Awake tea to surreptitiously find out. It suddenly seems to represent everything wrong with my life right now. All fixed; her name is Liz.)

The tan. Yes, I sunnied up my grey morning/mission-writing process this morning by applying some gradual face and body tanner. Now, the smell of depastification along with my gradually emerging  orange glow makes me think about less rainy days, summer afternoons, and the luxury of time to read. My pale golden (by Jersey Shore standards) self is immensely relieved that she told the truth and won't have to do the first part of that job. She won't even have to do the second half. She can instead compile a reading list of a few books—old and new—she's meaning to read in the coming weeks.

Mother America, a new collection of seventeen short stories by Nuala Ní Chonchúir.

Dubliners by James Joyce, in anticipation of Bloomsday on June 16th. Wish I could read this $4,000 first edition copy but that might require interviewing again.

Mistaken by Neil Jordan. Released last year but I missed it. I assumed there'd be a movie of it by now.

Blind Man's Bluff, a (soon to be released) book of anecdotes and cartoons by Aidan Higgins.

Saints and Sinners, a collection of short stories by Edna O'Brien. Missed this last year so high time I read it now.

Claire Keegan's Foster. Another one I've been meaning to get around to.

Sigh, so much to read, so little time.

May 15, 2012

Watch this Space (and Video): Heritage Centre

Love this new video from Irish band Heritage Centre. It's for their new single "The Boss" from their upcoming album Alright, Check it Out, to be released later this year. I like the song, too, but have to admit that I liked it even more after watching the video. I know, real critics listen with their eyes closed (and probably don't like gummy bears just because they're so adorable and fun to play with before you bite their heads off).

The video features five women and is set in the sixties, but it seems these lads are indeed lads and they live in the less black-and-white here and now. 
Because you are that shallow and wondering what the boys had to hide behind black-and-white women from the sixties, here is a photo that proves that they are not bad looking Irish lads at all. 

Download the song for free from their site or Soundcloud (and go ahead and eat gummy bears with your eyes closed while you're at it). I don't know about you, but Heritage Centre got my attention with this vid/song and I can't wait to hear the rest of the album.

Heritage Centre on Soundcloud
Stalk them on Facebook

May 2, 2012

Feeding the Habit with Irish Fashion

I've been writing a daily shopping column for about five years. That's five years of searching, finding, sharing, writing, and yes—sometimes buying. It's kind of hard to switch off the detection signals on my shopping radar now that I'm no longer paid to deliver finds, but with my company closing shop, I have no other choice. Rather than go cold turkey, I thought I might release my virtual shopping hound on cool Irish online shop—, and daydream about new out-of-work, finding-work, and—fingers crossed—back-in-business wardrobes. These choices all work for my play-the-lotto wardrobe, too.

Lounging About
I do have a few other freelance jobs to work on at the moment while I job-hunt so I can't be a complete slob in pjs or sweats. I think I should be dressed in Sinead Doyle's comfy but chic wool pants and silk jersey top, so that when opportunity knocks, I'll be presentable.


Yes, finding the right job is all about who you know. If I wear this Eme Vandal silk polka dot blouse and skirt with leather belt, maybe with cheeky green heels and colorful gem brooches, it could also be about who I wear. You're right, I should "Marge" up the auld hair, too.

On the Job!
I plan to work in a very funky office, with great views, decent tea in the kitchen, a generous boss, and flexible hours (HR offices everywhere, on alert). Here are a few interesting wardrobe bits by Irish designers to get me noticed in the elevator:

1. Natalie B. Coleman, 2. Caroline Kilkenny, 3. De Bruir, 4. Joanne Hynes, 5. Joanne Hynes, 6. Eily O'Connell, 7. Shevlin Millinery all at

Retail therapy; there's nothing quite like it, is there? ... well, besides actually buying the stuff you spot. Anyway, I feel better just knowing I have a shopping list at the ready for when that first fat offer rolls in. Hope you are looking and feeling good today.