Tag Archives: love

A rant about music

For the past weeks or two I’ve been contemplating doing a 2010 music post. Not necessarily what I thought were the top 10 albums or anything, but more like my soundtrack of 2010. I still might. First though, I need to get a thing or two off my chest..

Number one. I believe that music is made to be shared (we’ll get into the legal vs illegal debate later) but it can also be an intensely personal and private thing. I’ve made friends through music, and sometimes there’s nothing better than a chat about what you’re currently listening to or what you bought last.

Introducing others to music is all part of it too. A lot of new music is discovered via word of mouth, from friends’ recommendations or listening to some records while in someone’s house or at a gig or whatever. Not wanting to sound too corny here, but I honestly believe a strong bond is created when people share music. It’s unspoken, but it’s just there.

Which brings me onto the slightly contradictory point of music being private and personal. I’m not talking about a couple having ‘their song’, but more so that people can become extremely emotionally attached to a song or album. Music can be a stronger reminder of an event or a period in someone’s life or a person than any photo or diary entry or physical thing. I know people will disagree with me here and say the idea is ridiculous, but I understand why certain people may want to keep certain music to themselves.  It may be the most over-played Lady Gaga song or an obscure classical song; it doesn’t matter. To that person, this album may have changed their lives, helped them through the tough times, or might just serve as the most effective reminder of some time in the past. People can be protective of and slightly possessive over music, but that’s why it’s so important.

Number two. I far, far prefer to listen to music on a CD than on my laptop. It usually takes that little bit longer to find the CD you want and put it into the player, but it all adds to the true experience that listening to music should be. If that record player sitting in the corner of this room actually worked, I’d go for vinyl, but for now, it’s CDs. At least they’re a million times better than MP3s.

I see people with iPods full of stolen music. I’m the first to put my hand up and say that yes, I was a semi-regular downloader at one stage, but not any more. I can see why people, especially younger people, feel the need to obtain music for free. The media never shut up about how easy it is to download illegally, and with people trying their hardest to save a few pennies it’s inevitable that spending on entertainment will be hit.

It annoys me. It really does. I feel sorry for these people too though. When you buy a CD or a record, you part with your hard earned cash, so it makes sense that you’ll value the music. You’ll make an effort to listen to it, get to know it, develop an opinion on it. It’s a physical object too. You can leaf through the inlay, examine the artwork, read the lyrics or notes while you listen, the list goes on.. You download an album without leaving the comfort of your couch, listen to it once, and then forget it’s there. Also, depending on where you buy it, picking out a record and buying it is an event in itself. You talk to other music fans about the artist, the latest releases, or just life in general. You might report back on what you thought of the album, and generally just appreciate the whole process more. Head to a P2P for your illegal download and you’ll get none of this. Your choice I guess..

Then we get into the legality and the morality of downloading from the internet. Well it’s illegal. Full stop. Morally though? That’s up to you. Some people couldn’t give a crap about the artist who created the music, but others do, and rightfully so. If you’re listening to music, getting enjoyment out of it, you should be giving something back. That’s just my opinion. I’m not talking about bands or producers who are just starting out. There is, of course, a time when artists just need to get as many people as possible to hear their work and that’s when people should enjoy music for free. Artists lose out, small record labels fold, and independent record stores close, all because you couldn’t be bothered paying a few bucks for your music.

Number three-ish. I love music. Alot. Years ago, I didn’t love music as much. It just didn’t feature. But thanks (probably) to a lovely little record store here in Cork I now love going to buy new music. For me, it’s worth every penny and I love coming home on a Saturday evening with a new album to get me through the week. I don’t claim to have a hugely extensive music knowledge, because I don’t, but I love what I know so far. So here’s to many more years of new and old music, live gigs, in-depth discussions of an album, charming record stores, CDs, vinyl and maybe the odd song through a tinny laptop speaker.

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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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This looks nice..

All I want is love.

I just want that feeling again. That utterly crazy, scary, happy, amazing feeling. I want to spend every day with that person and I want to feel like we’re made for each other.

It’s a pity dreams are dreams, and reality is reality.

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If Life Were A Film..

As well as all the lovely things that I’d have in life, like being ridiculously good looking and every day being abnormally eventful, I’d be falling in and out of love on a regular basis with fellow beautiful people.

A friend gave me the Gossip Girl box set, and despite it being a box set I had judged from the cover, I kinda fell in love with it. Yesterday, from about 2 o’clock until 11, only pausing briefly for dinner, I watched season one straight through. And it’s quite simply amazing. Watch it. I mean it.

It’s weird how addictive these things are. You are quite literally sucked into this world and it’s all you care about for a while. I am aware this is very, very bad, but who can blame me for wanting to escape for a little while? And if I can escape to Manhattan’s Upper East Side with the oh so beautiful Nate Archibald, then I think I’ll take the opportunity.

It’s weird how TV shows and films can make you feel. It can sort of turn you into a different person, with different hopes and dreams, but it can make you realise things about yourself too. I think what affects me most is any theme of love. I can’t help it. Every couple, every love story, it just captures my mind and I want the couple to stay together so much, or want them to break up and go back to their ‘rightful’ partners.

And then I want it for myself. I want to feel that love that’s portrayed so vividly. But you have to ask yourself is this real? How do I know if I’ve experienced true love or not? Sometimes I genuinely think I do, but it’s hard to distinguish between friendship, lust and love when all three are in there somewhere. Surely you should be sure if you’ve been in love. And yeah, perhaps I have, but that’s not my point. When do you know he’s the one? And what does ‘the one’ even mean? It’s supposed to be that person who makes you feel like no other. But does marriage not get monotonous? I know it’s hard, but surely ‘the one’ should always make you feel like you did the first time you realised they were your other half..

I can see I’ve gone off on a tangent here. I know what I wanted to write about, but I can’t remember how I was going to link it to the title, but I guess I’ve raised some issues anyway.

If life were a film I could go up to that guy I don’t know and ask him out and he wouldn’t think I’m crazy and he’d be single. If life were a film I’d either be going out with that person, or else the best of friends. If life were a film that other person wouldn’t care. If life were a film alot of things would be different.

But we live in the real world. It’s not Wisteria Lane; it’s not Upper East Side; it’s not a remote desert island.

Everything that happens in completely and utterly real. Even if it’s false, it’s still real. There’s no script writer deciding your fate. It’s just you, other people, and the world.

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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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