Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 3 - Fail.

I blame the fact that the floods happened. I had photos, I wanted to share photos, and well everyone was online, on facebook - so how do I communicate with people through this disaster if not through facebook? So I failed. And I am disgusted. 3 days is an awful fail. I will try again though, especially as I am away this week in Rome!

In the mean time water is rising, winds are reaching gale force 9 and there's a long night ahead. I wish I had scrabble.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Social networking experiment - Day 2 - and possible apartment fire

So I'm on day 2. Initial reaction when I came into work yesterday was to check my gmail, check facebook and I felt a surge of panic, so I had to tweet about it - SHOCK - Twitter was down for maintenance: What would I do? How would I let people know immediately in that minute the panic I was feeling? I couldn't, so I made a coffee. It took a while to feel slightly calmer, and only because twitter came back up, and I had a blog to maintain.

Today, I am much more calm. I spent a while reading articles last night about facebook and the yuppie generation (yes, instead of being on it, I read about it) and felt slightly smug at being out of it - don't get me wrong, I'm a recovering addict so the temptation to get sucked back in is still there, my account is still "temporarily deactivated". I reckon I'll make the leap though. I've successfully given up cigarettes and alcohol before. It did occur to me, will I miss scial events, parties, birthdays etc.? Probably, and I'll cross that bridge when the time comes! For now I feel smug that I'm out of it, and better for having to make the effor to ask people how they're doing and not read it in the newsfeed.

In other news I got a call this morning:

"Lorna, we eh think your apartment might be on fire, can we take a look? There's smoke and the alarm is going off"

Ten minutes later:

"There's no fire in your apartment, or upstairs, so eh we don't really know what's going on. I'll keep you posted."


I am so not renewing my lease.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Social networking experiment: Day 1

Facebook scares me. I am definitely an addict, that I know. Tonight I ran out of things to watch on my laptop, I don't have a tv and so I passed 1 hour perusing the facebook news feed, 1 whole wasted hour that I could have spent reading, or writing, or playing music. Did I learn anything? No, I really did not. I have facebook, twitter, gmail, googlewave, msn, aim, ning, myspace and youtube accounts... I wholeheartedly embrace technological advancement, I really do, but I do not need that many social networking sites; it's not healthy! So tonight I start the experiment: I am going to see how long I can go using just my chat applications, twitter account and blog tools. The social networking sites are the culprits here for my time-wasting.

It will be hard I know. As I was trying to deactivate my account, facebook listed the 165 people who would miss me, and it told me they would miss me, by displaying their pictures with "x will miss you" above them. Guilting me into staying; the horror of 165 people I definitely do not speak to on a daily basis missing my ever so valuable posts on my hourly antics? I really don't think so... and should that be the case, they can call me, email me, or visit me.

So now I have no facebook and no television. It doesn't make me a hippie, it just makes me someone who is trying desperately to retain some ability to "plug out" before our generation becomes entirely consumed by social networking, before we completely forget how to interact on a human face-to-face level, and before I wake up one day and realise that instead of looking at the beauty on the streets outside, I have whiled away my existence looking at pictures online of said beauty. It's already there. My friends are outside. I can actually touch them. I can't remember the last time I had a hug, a proper hug, isn't that sad? And that, is a wake up call to plug out if ever I needed one. So here I go. Day one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If you read this, do something.

I met a lovely man on my way to work this morning; Cameron. The phrase that sticks out from our conversation is "It's a shit life": Cameron is homeless, but even so, was full of chat and that statement was all he would say about it; everything else was about the day itself.

Saturday night myself and my brother were walking around the city - on St patricks bridge we encountered 2 homeless men, one of whom was doing a big of a dance up to people to get money for him and his friend. He danced up to us and said "I'm sorry lads, I know I'm being a bit cheeky, but I have to be these days", and what he said resonated deeply: The increase in the volume of homelessness means begging has turned into a competition... what's that age old saying? "The richer get richer while the poor get poorer"... or 'the rich get meaner while the poor are forced to become more enterprising'. On the opposite side of the bridge was another homeless man (making 3 on the one bridge at 9.30pm) who was taking nothing in... not entertaining enough next to the other two. On we walked towards Emmett place and saw a mother and her child being given €20 in two tens by a passing man. The woman wouldn't take it, insisting it wasn't fair and she would only take €10; pride kicked in, which was heartbreaking to see.

A few weeks back my friend and I were heading out for a dance and my friend stopped to speak to a woman sitting outside Londis on Bridge Street - she was full of the joys and we chatted about all sorts. I found out afterward that my friend had been without his wallet drunk in town one night, and she, seeing him in this way, insisted on giving him €5 to get a taxi home... she had no money, and gave him all she had to get home safely. So now he stops every time he sees her and has developed quite a good relationship with her: She lost her son to suicide 21 years ago, turned to drink and subsequently lost everything.

For the last elections a local TD (and boy do I wish I could remember which one now) wrote an article in the Echo complaining about his posters being stolen. That same day I was walking across the bridge by the Clarion and in the alcove just off the bridge were those posters - they were being used as tents/shelter by homeless people. If I had a camera with me I would have sent pictures into that politician to make him shut up about a few missing election posters.

I'm not perfect, far from it, but I do what I can the same as everyone else I know, but it's not just about tossing a few coins at people (though that helps), they are exactly like you and me, but they fell down along the way, so sometimes a chat and a cup of coffee/cigarette is better. It's hard to write this without sounding somewhat self righteous and morally superior, and I'm really not, I am as guilty as anyone of putting my head down and refusing to see what is in front of me. Everyone is going on and on about the recession, but really we have absolutely no idea what it is like. It is coming up to Christmas, and people are more charitable at Christmas which is great, but it's not enough. I cannot judge people, but I ask that maybe as well as doing what you do to help, stop for a chat, feel your heart break after that conversation, and then say it to someone else to stop and do the same. Maybe, just maybe we'll start something bigger than what we are already doing and heighten awareness with those doing nothing.

They are the same as you and me, they've just had some rotten luck.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How a 180 year old house loaded with history has a downside...

I do not like staying in my parents house coming into winter - huge f-ing hairy spiders - one just crawled onto the duvet and is now having his wake in the bath * shudder *... I got the baby too, but I'm willing to bet it's not a single parent family, and I'm pretty sure spiders still buy into the concept of wergeld.