21 May 2012

The Day We Went Zorbing

Whatever you do, do not go to the Outdoor Discovery Adventure Centre in Clondalkin for your zorbing needs. The place is a little bit like Funland in Father Ted, minus the spider babies, and the fun. This country genuinely hasn’t seen such a shambolic setup since Steve Staunton was in charge of the boys in green.

As soon as we laid eyes on what was before us, my friends and I, all aged between 25-27, exploded with laughter. However, it wasn’t a funny kind of laughter, it was a “Christ, we’ve wasted most of the day on this sh*t” kind of laughter. There were a scattering of young kids being pushed around a big field in inflatable balls, and one or two others with what looked like home-made bow and arrows aiming at a crudely drawn bulls-eye board. The look of absolute disinterest on their faces made me wonder if the people working there were trying to explain the Fiscal Stability Treaty to them between goes. Kids have more fun at mass on Christmas Day than they do at this place.

Needless to say, we turned our backs and walked the other way. What annoyed me was that the woman on the phone had assured me earlier that day, with great confidence, that we would have a ball. She even said that there was a treasure hunt that we would enjoy (I can only imagine how bad that would have been). My one regret from the day is that I didn’t find this woman and verbally abuse her before leaving.

The only adventurous part of the whole experience was trying to find the place; there wasn’t a sign to be found anywhere in the maze that is Clondalkin. I’m certain that they know how bad their operation is and live in hope of people giving up and simply forfeiting the tickets they had already paid for online.

Cowboys, Ted.

8 May 2012

The Italian Gentleman

"Are you actually Italian?"
"Yes, of course, why would I'a lie'a to sucha pretty face?
"You don't really look Italian."
"My mother is from Dubalin, you see. She move with my fatha' many years ago."
"Huh, I have never met an Italian man before."
"There are not so many in this town, yes?"

"Tell me more about Florence, Gianfranco..."
"Is the most incredible place on Earth for me, 'is my home. Make me very sad when I think of all the, how do you say...eh...poverty? So very sad."
"Oh Gianfranco, I had no idea that you were so sensitive."
"Me, no no no. I love my country and my people, same as you. We are not so different, you and I."
"Oh, I don't know about that. I have to visit Italy someday though, is it really as beautiful as they say?"
"For me, is most beautiful thing I have laid my eyes upon, until this moment..."

The gentleman proceeds to gently lift the lady's hair from her face, before passionately kissing her as the summer sun falls out of sight. Hours pass in what feel only like moments, before the gentleman leaves to rejoin his friends.

"Did you just tell that girl you were Italian?"

"I did yeah, she was loving it."

2 May 2012

Destination Procrastination

It’s the root of all evil, but procrastination is a part of our daily lives, whether we like it or not. Rarely does a day pass by when we don’t dawdle over some decision or defer something we’re too lazy to do, and that is not likely to change any time soon. It’s not a big deal really, unless, of course, you are a student, where procrastination has the power to consume you on a day-to-day basis…

Put yourself in the mind of the student for a second. An assignment is set and you are told that you have three weeks to complete it. You conjure an early plan, with the best of intentions, to gradually work away at it over the course of the next three weeks. However, distractions come in all shapes and sizes, and the due date is so far away that you decide to take a well-earned hiatus.

The weeks fly by, and nothing is achieved. Out of nowhere, Monday arrives and the assignment is due on Friday morning. Though you do not know it yet, you are about to settle into 3-4 days of champion procrastination. There is a high probability that you will watch all six series of The Soprano’s, and it’s very likely that you will get addicted to some terrible Playstation game that you found under the couch. You will do lots of things during this period, but that assignment will certainly not be one of them.

Those glorious few days will unfortunately come to an end and you will not enjoy going to sleep on Wednesday night, that much I can assure you. Once those lights go out and you’re left alone with your thoughts, you will realise that you’ve pissed away the last three weeks and now you have one day to do the entire assignment. That all too familiar heat will begin to consume you, and it will seem as though there is no way out. If there is a hell down below us, this is most definitely what it feels like.

Thursday morning will arrive and you will conveniently forget all about the demons that plagued you the previous night. A large proportion of the day will seemingly pass you by until evening arrives and affirmative action is needed. Once you actually start, things will begin to mellow until a rhythm is found. Several hours will pass by before you will find yourself staring at a completed assignment, to a relatively acceptable standard. This will lend to a great deal of satisfaction, having ‘beaten the system’ once again.

Upon reflection, you'll realise that the doing of the assignment was actually the easy part and that the days you spent thinking and worrying about it was what made it seem like torture. At this stage, you will solemnly promise that you will not allow yourself to be consumed by the heat ever again.

The following week you will be handed another assignment, a tougher one this time. Will you learn from your previous experiences? You will not.

30 Apr 2012

Lonely Facebook Status

You know that horrible feeling. You posted a Facebook status three hours ago and nobody has had jack to say about it. Hindsight tells you “That was a stupid status, you've made yourself look a right mug”, and it's not entirely wrong.

We’ve all been there; you thought it was hilarious at the time, and that the social world would revere you for it. You go away to have a shower or something, and when you come back to no notifications, all you can think is “Facebook is very slow this evening, 'cos this status is dynamite”. Then a few more hours pass and you start to realise that it’s not actually that funny, and has probably offended more people than it hasn’t.

At this stage, you begin to wonder if you should just delete it, but you can’t do that either because it’s been out there too long. You’re in trouble, you’ve made a mess and there is only one solution. You need to come up with something that is genuinely hilarious and post is ASAP, so nobody will remember your earlier faux pas. 

However, there is one major problem; your confidence has been rattled and you can’t come up with anything worthwhile, when all of a sudden… HALLELUJAH! Somebody has 'liked' the status! Crisis over, time for bed.

Thank f*ck for that one solid friend who likes everything you post online, regardless of how much of a gimp he/she thought you were when they read it. You will begrudgingly return the favour one day.

On another note, guess who’s going to look like a complete tosser if nobody likes this when it’s posted on Facebook. Better start thinking of a hilarious status to counteract it. 

22 Apr 2012

Social Relationships 2.0

Twitter tells me that she is unhappy with the way our relationship is going, that she wants me to grow up and start treating her with more respect. Things had been going so well, but I started a new job recently and, much to Twitter’s dismay, my new employer is female. 

She has become insanely jealous of the professional relationship that this woman and I share. She wants to know why I am so sensible and sophisticated when I interact with my boss, LinkedIn, and always acting the fool when I spend time with her.

The thing is, I have no interest in LinkedIn. I interact with her simply out of necessity. Talking with her is a complete bore, and even the funniest of people are dull in her company. I’m serious, when she is in a room, the conversation rarely stretches past strategic marketing options and economies of scale. Also, she is incredibly cocky, always boasting about the things she has done, “Oh, I got a 1.1 here and won Student of the Year there”. It gets tiresome.

What I just can’t understand is why Twitter wants me to act like that around her. The reason why I fell in love with her was because she was such fun, and she allowed me to be such fun. After some rocky relationships in the past, I had thought that this was it, but I’m beginning to wonder what separates her from the rest.

When I think about it, she actually has a lot in common with my previous two girlfriends. She has that wild streak that reminds me of Bebo, who was a complete mentalist, and a rampant slut to boot. Also, she has her fair share of annoying moments which really remind me of Facebook. For example, any time somebody mentions The X Factor, she goes crazy and it’s all she wants to talk about. Facebook was the exact same with that nonsense.

I guess I do love her though, deep down, but she can’t expect me to talk about linear regression and binomial distribution with her all the time. She is supposed to be my escape from people like LinkedIn. I’m actually thinking of suggesting that we see other people, just for a while, partly because I met this sexy red-head in a bar last night who asked me if I would to Pin her to my headboard, which sounds like it could be interesting.