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Oxegen

What I missed...

Today, round about lunchtime the first part of the line-up for Oxegen 2010 was announced.

It was really rather amusing in school, as one friend of mine skipped class to sit in the bathroom listening to Cormac Battle via her phone. Having said that, this was really just so she’d miss Irish as opposed to her having any interest in what acts were being announced.

At lunch time, everyone was at it. There were phones out all over the place as everyone frantically disregarded the fact they were using up ridiculous amounts of credit and logged on to Facebook, Twitter, oxegen.ie, or even rte.ie I heard. I got my first glance at the line-up when a friend logged on to Facebook, and I was surprised to say the least.

Eminem. That shocked me. And not in the good way. I really don’t know why. It puzzles me.

Anyway, along with Eminem they announced Muse, Jay-Z, The Black Eyed Peas, Kasabian, The Prodigy, Florence and the Machine, Paolo Nutini, Faithless, Stereophonics, David Guetta, Vampire Weekend, Mumford & Sons, John Mayer, Hot Chip, Calvin Harris, Newton Faulkner, Gossip, The Temper Trap, Empire of the Sun, Goldfrapp, La Roux, Wolfmother, Rise Against, The Coral, Broken Social Scene, Ellie Goulding, Two Door Cinema Club, Armand Van Helden, Steve Angello, Simian Mobile Disco, Erol Alkan, Steve Aoki, A-Track, Aeroplane.

So there you have it. There’s a few that stand out as ‘Yay I want to see’ but it’s the headliners that turn me off. Well Muse, cool, but compare Eminem and Jay-Z to last year’s Blur, Killers and Kings of Leon and I know which I’d have chosen. I think I kind of missed out last year. I remember looking at the poster in Plugd everytime I went in over the summer and pointing out all the acts I wanted to see. Not so much this year so far..

Florence, Vampire Weekend, Broken Social Scene, Two Door Cinema Club and Simian would be top of my list. And there’s always the remainder of the line-up which is being announced on March 8th I think. I guess I’ll go, if I have the money and if the ‘rents let me go. But if I was 18, I know I’d be choosing Electric Picnic. Still though, I guess it’s sort of a ‘coming of age’ thing and there are a good few bands I like alot, but I know my friends will probably want to be elsewhere. (Caroline I’d love if you’d come..)

At one point today actually, a girl in school said she had the line-up on her phone from the Oxegen site, and reading through it, it was simply amazing. I was jumping for joy (not literally). But then it began to sound all too familiar. It was, lo and behold, the 2009 line-up. So much for that.

So here’s to the festival season, eh?!

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People, and how I miss them

This started out as a post entitled ‘Le Weekend’ and I was going to give a rough outline of my weekend, along with photos but I didn’t have it in me to write it.

All I can think about is how much I miss people. I had such a good weekend. Yesterday evening I was so, so happy, and now there’s all this shit on my mind and I can’t even make sense of what it is. I feel like I’m missing someone, like I’m growing apart, like I love someone. I don’t know.

I know who I miss. I saw two of them today. I saw another one of them on Wednesday.

The today people are so cool. So amazingly lovely and funny and the best. And it’s cool with them, except I don’t get to see them as often as I like. One of them never fails to make me smile. Ever. And we can talk for ages and I always feel so happy after. But I don’t get a chance for these chats as often anymore.

The other person, from Wednesday, I don’t even know anymore. I’m building it up to be something it’s not, but I can’t help it. Being away from the person is hard, and I’m over-thinking everything and I wish I could stop. It’s nothing. That’s the worst part. I know it’s nothing but I’m not acting that way.

But this is probably all just because I’m super tired seeing as I didn’t get to sleep til 5am this morning.

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The Mighty Sales

January. It brings determination to lose that bit of weight you think you put on over Christmas, ridiculously cold weather, and the infamous ‘January sales’.

I hate sales. Rooting through all that crap thrown together. Jeans on the same rail as dresses for a night out; red shirts next to pink jumpers next to orange skirts; sizes 4, 6, 18 and 20. Although saying all this, I did manage to get one or two things in the sales. But sales are a mess in most places.

It’s an Irish thing though. As soon as Christmas is over everyone rushes out as early as possible the morning the sales begin to try and get the best bargain. As widely publicised in the media, some of the larger stores opened on Stephen’s Day this year in an effort to combat the recession. Looks like it worked. Wait, Celtic Tiger two-point-zero ain’t here yet, but alot of people went out hungover and bloated to fight through fellow shoppers.

I didn’t.

Admittedly though, that was because I was in the far boglands of Kerry and there ain’t no BT’s or Arnott’s around those parts. I don’t know would I have bothered if I was at home either though. I prefer to happen upon amazing bargains, because that happens so regularly.

I’ve also noticed sales on foodstuffs recently. By recently I mean today. A friend and I were feeling cold and hungry so we went to the hot food counter in Tesco. And there, before our eyes, were bags of 10 chicken nuggets reduced from €1.20 to 48c. We gave into our desires and bought them. They were small, hard and dry. It was after the first five that the terror of food poisoning set in. Let’s say we decided the bin looked hungry after that..

M&S had a ‘food sale’ too. I walk in,, take a look around, and there on the shelf are sweet, crumbly mince pies, left over after the festive season. Looking all lonely and forlorn with their yellow sticker stating they’ve been reduced from €2.59 to €1.50. How could I leave them there? I mean really, having to spend another night on the cold supermarket shelf. What did they ever do to deserve that huh?

They were good though, the one I had anyway. The five that are left are hidden behind the party finger food and under the naan bread in the freezer. If anyone dares touch them….

So the moral of my mind-blowing story is food sales can be good, just make you choose your reduced foodstuffs from a reputable source, and never buy on impulse. You’ll regret it.

Happy shopping folks! 😉

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A crappy end to a good year

Two thousand and nine. I liked it. It was all so, so good up until, I dunno, Stephen’s Day or something. Christmas Eve was the best, but I don’t want to say it started going downhill from Christmas Day. I guess the depression really sank in the day after Stephen’s Day. The mighty 27th of December.

The past few days were horrible. Really, really awful. Our 7 month old German Shepherd had been getting sick for a while and lost a huge amount of weight over Christmas. We had to ring the vet on his mobile and call him in to the surgery during his holidays to have our Zico looked at. He got a blood test on the 28th and we got the results on Tuesday evening. There was no definite illness, but our vet said it could be Addison’s disease, a very rare condition of the adrenal glands, whereby the body does not produce sufficient steroids. It is mostly found in middle-aged female dogs. JFK had it. I found all this information from the mighty Google, and it all looked quite positive, because with proper treatment there is no reason why an Addisonian cannot live a long, healthy life.

On the 30th, Zico was brought into the vet early in the morning. I was sitting in the car, and I watched him walk after my dad, so slowly. And he went in through those doors, and the staff came out and chatted to my dad for a bit. And I saw Richard, the vet, lift poor Zico up, so easily, as though he were a much smaller dog.

My dad came back to the car and told us that Richard wasn’t hopeful. Even in two short days he had seen a deterioration in his condition. They were going to do alot of tests on him, to get a definitive result on the Addison’s, and if that wasn’t it, try everything else. Leaving there, even though it wasn’t extremely hopeful, I knew he was in the best hands, and that there was nowhere else safer for our sick puppy to go.

We went for breakfast in town, as in the rents, my brother, and me. It was fine. I had toast with butter and cinnamon or some shit, and a glass of orange juice. I felt a bit wrecked because I had a cold and after breakfast I left the others and went to Plugd. Albert had a smile and a bitta banter for me, and Jim asked me did I want a tea or a coffee from next door. I was crying in there, mostly from the bitter wind outside and the fact that my eyes are incapable of staying dry in such conditions, but also because I was worried about the dog, and because it was the second last day of Plugd Records, and how Albert still seemed happy, and Jim personally offered me a coffee.

And then I went and got my photo taken for the provisional which turned out crap because I hadn’t had time for a shower and I had a cold. Town was eerily quiet, and I hated it. I waited at the car for over ten minutes as I almost froze to death before the parents came along. And I realised my passport was at home so I needn’t have bothered with the bloody photos.

And as soon as I got through the front door and into my bedroom I took off my coat, threw my bag on the floor and got into bed. I pulled the duvet over me, just wanting to hide from the world. Along with the cold I just felt miserable. I was so worried about the puppy too and I just hated it. I wanted it all to be ok again. I lay awake alot. I slept a little bit. After eight hours in bed, I finally got up at about eight pm. I went into the kitchen where my mum was clearing up. My dad had gone to drop my nana home. I poured a glass of water. I sat on the couch in the kitchen. My mum came over to ask me how I was.

I didn’t care. I asked her about Zico, and she was silent. ‘He died, didn’t he?’ I said to her. Again, she didn’t reply. Then, ‘The vet called. He had to put him down this evening.’ And that was it. Every feeling in my body disappeared. I didn’t care that I had a cold and a fever and a headache. I screamed. I cried. I shouted. I bawled and roared my head off. The tears streamed down my face and I wanted that dog back so, so bad. I couldn’t take it. I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted someone to blame. So I looked.

‘It wasn’t the Addison’s’, my mother said. ‘He developed pouches in his oesophagus so food was getting caught there and never reaching his stomach.’ I knew it wasn’t Addison’s. He was a young, male puppy. Addison’s wouldn’t have killed him anyway. I don’t know how long I moved from room to room screaming and crying. I felt like a part of me was gone. I felt so empty.

Two years ago, on my way into Maths Paper 2 of the mocks, I found my black Labrador dead on the road. Of course I cried, alot, but not as much as I did when I heard about Zico. The Labrador was almost six years old, so you’d think I’d have been more upset having grown more attached to her. That was true, but with Zico, it was this horrific sorrow of losing him. It was because he was so young, and was such an amazing dog. In his short four months with us, he became the most well-behaved dog we have ever seen. He was an absolutely gorgeous German Shepherd, my dad’s pride and joy. When the weather was still fine, we’d bring him to Kinsale and the waiter in the café fell in love with him. He’d always ask for him when we didn’t have him with us, and brought a dish of water for him when he was with us.

I hate thinking about how he suffered, not for long, but he suffered. And it’s awful to think of how I could have spent more time with him, but I didn’t. He was such a beautiful dog and I miss him. I miss him so much. I cry when I think about him and want him back. I want to walk down the road with him and I want to play with him and I want to hug him and I just want him to be sitting there when I go outside. But he won’t be. He’ll never be here again, but he will forever remain in our hearts.

RIP Zico.

Here’s a photo of him on one of his first days with us. More recent photos haven’t made it onto the laptop yet.

Our baby...

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