Sunday, October 3, 2010

I should really be sleeping

So its ten minutes to 12 on a Sunday night, i have to be up in about 7 and half hours and i decided to update my blog. DISCLAIMER: If this blog is disjointed and makes no sense blame it on the evil tiredness elves.

So I've been in a school for a month now and I've come to the conclusion that its more work then i remember it being. It probably doesn't help that I've taken on an extra subject but still lots of work. Now don't get my wrong I don't completely hate school, in fact I love English, my teacher is awesome and yeah its just generally awesome. So its not that I hate school its more that apart from getting into college I really don't see any use for a lot of my subjects, and that bugs me. Irish for example, I like Irish... well I like the makey upy Irish me and my friends use casually but the subject itself I don't see all that useful. I don't live in an Irish speaking part of Ireland, I don't intend to live in and Irish speaking part of Ireland and in 2 years time when I'm in University (hopefully) I don't see myself worrying about weather I have the right verb ending. To me Irish is really just something I have to do to get to where i want to be, its fun to talk to my friends every now and again in Irish but thats it.

In completely unrelated news....I have solved the Rubik's cube!! kind of... As some of you may or may not know there is a youtuber called Dan Brown and he has a tutorial on how to solve a Rubik's cube on his channel. Pretty much all I did was follow his instructions. Easy as pie. I'm not super fast at it yet, I'm still trying to get under 2 minutes. But it just makes me smile knowing I can do it! Also it was on my list of things to do at some point.

Lastly, as I said English is my favourite subject. Last week my teacher handed us out 2 articles from the Irish Sunday Times, and told us we would have to write a letter to the editor in response to the article in class. So we did. He corrected them and told some of us that our letters were of publishable quality, mine was one these. So i sent it in and this morning when I got the Sunday Times what did i see ?! Thats right, my letter!! I'm still super excited about it. I can't believe it got published! And now for your viewing pleasure is my letter.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

School, Schule, Scoil

I haven't posted anything for a while, sorry about that. But I do in fact have a valid reason for it this time. School has started back up again, and where as for the past 4 years I got by (rather well) with not too much work, this year is a lot more trying.

If your not familiar with the Irish schooling system, in secondary school there are 2 exams. The junior cert after 3 years (doesn't qualify you for anything, won't get you into college, pretty much useless) then some schools offer an optional 4th year, known as transition year of TY. After TY, or third year, if you didn't do TY, you go into 5th year. 5th year is the start of the senior cycle and were a lot of the work for the final exam in 6th year is done. I am in 5th year. It is a lot of work, and I cleverly decided to take on an extra subject, and not just any subject, perhaps the most essay heavy next to English. History.

I love history, it is my second favourite subject, but my god is it a lot of work and learning off. Because its an extra subject I can opt out at any stage, but i really do want to do it and get a good grade.

I really should have mention the exam at the end of 6th year is called the Leaving Certificate. This basically decided if you'll get into your college/university/IT whatever. It is made out to be the be all and end all of your education but really there are countless back door ways into a lot of courses.

Your leaving cert results are transfered into points and certain courses require certain points. The most points you can get is 600. An A1 in a higher level class is worth 100 points and the points decrease as the grades get lower. Most students take 7 subjects, the results from your best 6 subjects are used to determine your points, unless a course has a required subject, then that is used in your points even if you only got a D. If you fail Irish, English or Maths, you have to go through 6th year again and resit the leaving cert (i don't like this rule)

Anyway, for my leaving cert i'm hoping to get 480 - 500 points, i'd love to break 500, but i'd be happy with anything over 450 really. The subjects I'm taking for my leaving cert are: Irish, English, Maths,German, Business, Physics, Music and History. Heres what i hope to get in each of them

English: A1
Maths: A1
Business: B2
Physics: B1
Music: A1
History: A1

The courses i'm interested in are Applied Music in Dundalk IT and Media Studies in Maynooth. Dundalk only requires me to get 2 Cs or higher in any 2 higher level subjects and Ds or higher in ordinary level subjects. Seeing as i'm only doing one ordinary level class (maths) i think this is more then attainable. Media however requires me to get an A in English, which is quite difficult. I only got B in the junior cert, but i know that's because i didn't revise my novel well enough and subsequently messed up my novel question.

If i don't get into these courses, there are similar ones around the country. These are just the two i have looked at properly. But if i don't get my points or into any college I think i might go to America for a year or two and try to work on my music. Being a successful musician is of course what i truly want to do, but I know that it isn't the most likely thing to happen in the world.

Back to this years workload, i really went off on a ramble there. Anyway, its not so much that the workload is ridiculously big, its more that I'm doing it properly this year and putting in the effort i should, which i must admit I didn't really do before. This has resulted in both my blog and YouTube being ignored. I'm trying to fix this, but i don't know how often I'll be able to update, we shall see.

Oh and in other news i get to sing a solo in choir on Thursday :D

And y'all need to see this video

Friday, August 27, 2010

So I read.....

I rather like reading, in fact i might go as far to say as its my second favourite pass time (music being the first). Saying that though, my made of awesome librarian mum puts me to shame, she's like a reading machine.

I remember the book that got me reading, The Giggler Treatment. Its a fantastic kids book and ridiculously funny, to this day it still makes me laugh out loud. That was the book that started me reading on my own, but as I have said before, Harry Potter really brought out the love of books in me.

Since first reading, The Giggler Treatment and The Harry Potter Series, i have reread them, many, many,many times. And that for me is a sign of a truly amazing book, wanting to reread it, even memorizing pieces of text, because of the way they speak to you. I wish i could say that every book I've read has been like this, but it hasn't, i doubt anyone can say that every book they've read has been that good. I have of course picked up and struggled through books i haven't liked in the slightest. But all in all I know I've read far more good books then bad.

When i start reading a book, a lot of the time, and this happened more when i was younger, I would just put it down if it didn't grab me right off the bat. Like for instance, Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman. A friend of mine gave it to me as a present, and I just didn't have the patience to sit down and read it through. Mostly because of the long chapters. I found Northern Lights, at first, to be unreasonably long. I have of course read bigger books, but for me the length of the chapters can really drag a book out. So eventually after hearing how good it was from family members I started to read it properly, and wow. It was an amazing book. Long yes, but still amazing. It completely changed my perspective on books, in that now, even if the book had stupidly long chapters and felt very long, i would still give it a proper chance rather then dismiss it.

The reason I'm writing about books, is that I have just finished reading Catching Fire, which if you don't know is the second in the Hunger Games trilogy. It was mindblowingly awesome. But I'm not here to review it. After finishing it I realised that I hadn't been reading as much as i used to and it made me wonder why.

The first reason was obvious really. The internet. I love the internet but I'm sad to say that recently I've taken to reading things online rather then picking up a book. Like I will read a REALLY good fanfiction all the way through in one night, even if its stupidly long, in favour of picking up a book. And yes i know fanfiction isn't as good as most published work, but dammit i do love it. I'm not sure why I've taken to this habit, maybe its the amount of time I'm on the computer anyway. But in my opinion i think its because I can be reading it on an open browser on split screen and still be talking to friends, where as i find that more difficult to do with an actual factual physical book.

The second reason, is an odd one. My mom's a librarian. Now you would think that having a made of awesome librarian mom would be good for my reading habits. But no, this is because, my mom is in the library the whole time so I don't really have reason to go there when she's not. And thats not really very good. Sure every now and again she'll bring me something that looks awesome, but I'm not getting nearly as many books out as I used to.

I have no other real reason, other then laziness on my part. Which is something i plan to fix. I'm going to start reading more actual factual books, that is a promise. I have so many that I have bought shelved and not looked at again, but no more! Speaking of which, Mockingjay tomorrow, you have no idea how excited i am for this book!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


So several weeks ago i blogged about how i'm going to really try with this music thing and how i want to live my dream. And i do still want to. In fact I've even started busking! I have actually made money doing what i love. Its wonderful!

This new determination made me, on impulse, today decide to have a look at my old Myspace band page (and yes i know i have blogged about social networking before). So i logged on, and sure enough i remembered my password, which in itself was a mean feat for me.

Once i logged on, i realised it was all new and shiny and seemingly more user friendly. So i had a look at my profile. It was just as i'd left it, completely plain, well bar a few really rough recordings i'd uploaded. I decided the first thing i'd do was get a background image for, well no real reason in particular.

I got busy. I went into the edit profile and was about to get to work when i suddenly remembered, i know nothing of HTML or CSS. It was then i remembered why i stopped using Myspace, it was so bloody difficult. Lucky for me however, they had updated it! Basically this meant HTML noobs like me could use it without frying their brains. So i uploaded my background picture, which took like 3 hours, because the pictures i wanted to use weren't big enough and looked awful tiled.

Anyway when i FINALLY got that done and had chosen my colour scheme and all that jazz. I noticed that somehow, at some time,Myspace ( and yes i am blaming them) had managed to put all the information from the bio and what not into a html box. Which is all well and good, but felt rather silly to me.
Firstly because it meant the information was on there twice and secondly because the html box doesn't seem to understand the concept of the enter button.

So i went about my way and deleted it. Only to find that it was still there. This perplexed me. But i reckoned that it was because i hadn't saved or something of the sort. So i went back and did this numerous times, getting more and more frustrated, when i realised that on Myspace changes can take up to 24 hours to update. I felt very foolish.

I was about to decide to give up when i though "hmmm maybe i should upload a new song or two" so i did. Well i tried. My upload attempts failed. Now i would've put it down to my terrible internet had it not been for the fact that i have been able to upload all my songs to Facebook. So Myspace its all your fault. I hope your happy Tom!

Anyway thats my rant over. No real purpose to this blog other then to rant. I hope you don't mind.

Friday, August 6, 2010

There shall be music on the streets of Gorey! ....and Kilkenny

If you've read previous posts on this blog, or are a friend of mine you know that I'm a musician singer/songwritery person. I love music, right now in fact I'm listening to an awesome play list I made yesterday. Speaking of which if any sentences don't have any context in this blog, its because I'm typing what I'm listening to. This happens a bit to often for my liking.

Anyway, to the point. I was in Gorey. Wait that's not the point... I was in Gorey and....oh yeah, i went busking! It was rather awesome. I have some experience performing, I sometimes play a song or two with a band called the shuck dodgers and I have entered the school talent show twice. So really I'm still a novice.

Now I'm not going to say that it was the easiest thing in the world or that i was natural, because well because that's not entirely true. Its easy enough to pick up a guitar and get set up and its even easy enough to start playing. But once you start playing and people just walk straight by and don't eh.. contribute it gets a bit awkward, well for me at least.

Luckily the interest soon picked up, and i was making a bit of money, pretty much doing what i love! Making music. Once I actually got into it and started having a good time, it was really enjoyable and I would have to say the high light of my to date. All in all for an hour and a half's work I made 30 euro which i consider to pretty good.

While I was busking a man with a rather complicated looking camera, came up and asked me if i wanted to be in the paper, of course i said yes. He got some information on me from my dad and asked me a few question, well 2 questions but I'm still counting it as a sort of interview! Its going to be in the south east time soon, I'll probably blog about it again when i get the newspaper.

So that was my first experience of busking! I'm going to Kilkenny tomorrow, and yes i am going to busk again while I'm down there and I can't wait!

Oh and i almost forgot i also get to see the genius that is Mick Flannery live! He is pretty much what i aspire to be as a musician so this is such a big thing to me! I may even get to meet him! And yes i am having a fangirl attack right now.

That's your lot for now folks
Until i blog again, goodbye.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Zip - a short story


Do you ever just hate it? Hate everything? Life, your family just want it all to go away, to just not be there?


I can’t say it’s the best feeling I’ve ever had.

I’m only 15 years old and my life’s already down the shithole! Mum and Dad dead. My brother tries but you know it’s not the same. He wants to be a parent and a brother at the same time. It don’t work like that. Not in this life. I can’t even remember Mum and Dad. Johnny, that’s my brother, he says I’m better off. I don’t think so. Who is better off not knowing their parents? WHO?!

He....he said, he doesn’t want to remember, that they were bad people. But I don’t reckon so. They can’t have been, they’re mum and dad. Mums and Dads aren’t evil. Everyone knows that.

He won’t even tell me what happened . Just says they’re dead and that’s the best thing for everyone. Course I love him, but I think he’s a right prick about them.

“Zip? Get your ass out here!”

Fuck, that’s El, god I love that girl to bits, but she has the worst timing.

“El, Just leave me alone. You’re not even allowed in here. Boys Toilets. I know your thick but even you can read pictures”

I tried to sound teasing, didn’t sound convincing even to me.

“You know the drill Zip; teachers will tell John if you don’t go”

I knew that, stupid teachers, they knew nothing!

“You just gotta make it through graduation then, you can fuck off for all they care”

I knew that too. They pretend to care, acting in “locy parents” or whatever it is. But they don’t as soon as you graduate and decide you ain’t coming back for more, they’re laughing in front of your face not behind it. I really did not want to have to go into a room full of liars and cheats and bastards and sluts and the general scum of society. That’s what we were, students, teachers, the lot. I’m not all high and mighty, I’m as bad as all of them, maybe worse, but at least I don’t lie
about it.

“Zip come on! You know I’ll drag your skinny ass outta there if I have to!”

Ha! She would and all you know. She has some moves my El.

We’re not dating or nothing, she’s like my best mate! More of brother than Johnny. She has this thing for leather, denim and chains. Got a bit of Goth look about her. I think she’d kill me if I told anyone she loves “The Backstreet Boys” particularly that Jason bloke. Jason Tumblerton or something. Don’t really give two shits about it to be honest. She just El and that’s all I need really.

Me and her don’t look half odd walking round the school. I’m a tall lanky yoke, 6’2 and she’s barely 5 foot not to mention me with my second hand baggy jeans that hang way too low and third hand Nike hoodies and t-shirts, and her with her leather and chains. Some of the lads thinks she’s into chains and whips, you know in the bedroom. I don’t think she is. Not something we really talk about though.

“I’m coming you impatient brat” I’ve always called her brat, little nickname, I’m Zip and she a brat. Hell I’ve been called Zip for so long I barely remember my “real” name. I do though, keeps me, like, connected to my parents.

She pulled me to the hall, little witch, at least I got to sit beside her. She ain’t got no family either. Well she does, but they’re alchos, they’d sell El if it could get them a beer or vodka or something. Never really like alcohol myself, drink it course, everyone in this school does, well cept for El, she doesn’t cause of her parents, but I never really liked it. I just do it.

“Now the last part of this evening’s event. The handing out of certificates”

God I hate my headmaster he can make the simplest sentence sound arrogant, thinks he’s so above everyone.....Did he say certificates ?

“El” I whispered “did he say certificates? And how longs it been since this thing started “

“Yeah he said they’re handing out the certs, and like 2 hours why? “She looked at me kinda weird.

“You okay Zip”

“Yeah I’m fine” I muttered.

Had I just spent 2 hours in my head? Just thinking? I must have, otherwise time was skipping or some other weird sci fi junk was happening.

“Zip!”....”Zip! They called your name! Get up!”

I looked up; apparently it had been a few minutes since they’d called my name. A few minutes too long. I got up and got my certificate, didn’t shake that bastard of a principles hand though. I think everyone noticed but no one seemed to care. Why would they? I wasn’t there responsibility anymore.

The last half hour of that stupid graduation we’re the longest of my life. I could tell I wasn’t the only one itching to get out. Even the teachers were pissed by now.

As soon as the bastard said goodnight, I was out the door. Apparently, I’d dragged El with me. I don’t remember doing that.

“Hey Zip, hold up, I got an idea.” She paused. I dunno why.

“You don’t get nothing from alcohol right?”

I nodded, I didn’t know where this was going, but it was El she had her shit in order so course I gotta listen to her.

“Well, I got some Coke and E the other day, cause you know me and drink, I was wondering you wanna give them a go?”

Drugs? I didn’t know about drugs. Johnny said they were bad. That’s all I’d ever learned about them. “Drugs are bad”, never told why. Still didn’t know if I wanted to take em though, I mean I’d heard some stories of drugs going down the wrong way.

“El, I dunno, I mean like I’ve heard stories, and I don’t wanna get sick or nothing like”

“Come on Zip, it’ll be fine! And them stories are a load of bull! I’m not gonna take them if you don’t!”

Its drugs. What’s the worst that could happen? I always thought them stories were a bit...over the top, and sure I’d heard that they get you feeling good, and I hated most everything , cept El, I needed some feeling good.

“Uh, sure El, I’ll give it ago, you know how this shit works?”

“Course, you think I came here, uneducated?!”

“Bad joke, El”

She took my hand, and pulled me back to the boys toilets.

“What is it with you and boys, toilets El?”

She shot me a death glare I knew she didn’t mean then she gave me a small pill with an “M” on it, looked like the McDonalds logo to me, but I wasn’t gonna argue. She told me to “shove it down my noise hole”, course I did. Then she got this powdered stuff, the coke I reckon. Laid out four lines of it. She took 2 and left me the other ones. I was bit fuzzy cause of the weird M pill, ecstasy I think she called it. But I took the tube, and took my lines. She looked so out of it, I probably looked them same, but man it felt good. So good.

Till I collapsed. I just fell in heap, I couldn’t move, it was so weird. I didn’t have clue what was happening. I was so out of it. I think I heard El scream, I don’t remember though really. I just sorta lay there, not moving. It was the best I’d felt in years. It felt like the life was slipping from me. The hate was going with it. It was the best! Till I realised I was dying.

I hate life, and all that shit, but I don’t wanna die....

I just zoned out for ages. I curled up real tight; I didn’t want the life to spill from me. Then I heard it. The best and worst sound of my life.

“Zip you here?” It was Johnny looking for me. I must have been there a long time cause he works real stupid hours, the get home at 4am kind.

“Zip?.....Oh god no. Zip!”

I heard him fall to his knees, I was trying so hard to say his name, but nothing worked. It was like everything was dead, but my mind was still alive.

“How could you do this Zip?” He was crying, my big brother was crying. He wasn’t my parent no more; right now he was my big brother. And he was crying.

“I thought...I thought if I didn’t tell you about Mum and Dad you wouldn’t do this. But no your here just like they were.”

I didn’t know what he was talking about. Did he think I was dead, like Mum and Dad were?

I needed to tell him I was here. I wasn’t gone. I was still his little bro, alive and kicking.
He looked at me. That’s all he did, look at me.

“So you took after dad, not a one drug kinda man, you like to mix and match”

Dad was a druggie? That was news to me. Was mum one too?

“Mum, always stuck to heroine”


“Now you’re here, on the floor like they were.”

I heard a noise in the background, like a siren.

Then nothing just blackness. And a voice.

“Wake up Zip, you gotta wake up”

So i met Eoin Colfer

Okay, so I have to say this Summer has been pretty awesome. I mean i discovered the awesomeness of Doctor Who, I saw Green Day live and I'm just after meeting Eoin Colfer. A friend of mine said that Summer of 2011 will have a lot to live up to, and he is right.

There's a chain of bookstores in Ireland (it may be in the UK too, i don't actually know), called Easons. They've been having these young adult books signings since May. I went to one for an author called Derek Landy and i was hoping to go to one for Darren Shan but other things got in the way.

Anyway, so my mum entered her name in to win 2 tickets to this Eoin Colfer book signing (if you don't know Eoin Colfer wrote the Artemis Fowl series and the new hitchhikers book) and she won. I think its if you enter your name you can fairly certain you'll win.

I was, naturally, hyper about this, because i do love his books. I had intended to bring the books of his I owned with me, but i forgot, I blame the dentist. My mum and I walked around town for a while because we were early and we don't often get to go down to Dublin. While we wondered around I bought a Sonic Screwdriver, which I love, and the 2 Artemis Fowl books i didn't own. By the time I actually got to the signing I had 5 Eoin Colfer books, despite having leaving my own at home.

My mum and I were relying on my dad to pick us up, and we knew he was going to be lateish. So instead of being first in the line, which I could've been, I hung around for a while. In this time i managed to nab myself 2 posters, which made me very happy.

I should probably mention, that Eoin talked for a while, and is one of the funniest people. Really down to earth and just all round cool guy.

I got into the line, my hands bulging with books and posters and then I met the man himself. Apparently, I seemed familiar. As far as i know we'd never met before....hmmm. So he signed my books and he asked me some general small talk questions, when we managed to get on to the subject of my sonic screwdriver (which I had in my pocket) i then proceeded to take out said screwdriver, hand it to Eoin Colfer and explain how it worked, now this was awesome enough, but then we talked about our favourite sci fi shows! And them two moments have made my year!

I then said goodbye, left, and went home, annoying my dad with my sonic screwdriver all the way home.