Thursday, 5 June 2014

So long, farewell.

This blog has not been updated in awhile, yet still attracts the occasional visitor. So, for you, I have made this post: my days with Blogspot are over, and in the spirit of the twenty-something I have a registered domain name and such. If you want more of my ramblings, head over to www.dytallixb.com

x

Friday, 21 February 2014

The Sketchbook Project



Back in November, I took part in the Trinity College Vis Arts initiative of the global Sketchbook Project. The basic concept was to get a bunch of people (not necessarily artists) to keep a sketchbook for a month, to gain insight into projects in development and everyday doodles rather than finished projects. At the end of the month, all the sketchbooks were put on on display in Exchange Dublin (which will probably be shut down soon, very sadly). The sketchbook ended up being really important to me, as it gave me an outlet for dealing with the topsy-turvy mess that is my mental health. Doodling my feelings away proved to be a lot better for me than the "wehhh I'm sad and my meds don't work" mentality I too often am crippled by. It was also quite important for me in that it was the first time I was telling anyone and everyone who happened to pick up my little book that I am Someone with Mental Illness Difficulties. There was something reassuring about the fact it could be complete strangers reading it, and perhaps that is why it's taken me so long long to put these photos up here, on a blog that my IRL people know exists. Gulp.













Wednesday, 8 January 2014

ringing in the new year

I'm not generally a fan of New Year's, but this year pleasantly surprised me. Massive glasses of wine, a new outfit, my favourite people and commemorating everything with film all helped to make 2014 lovely.  




Taken on a Kodak Funsaver disposable camera.

Monday, 30 December 2013

2013

I've entered that time in between Christmas Day and my birthday where I become even more introspective and reflective than usual. My birthday falls on the fourth day of each new year, so looking back on and forward to a year is especially important to me. 2013 has been a strange, horrible and beautiful year, all at the same time. This time last year I honestly could not have imagined I would be where I am today. 
This year is one of those years I'm kind of surprised we all made it through. At times it's felt like my friends and I were dragging around the shattered broken pieces of ourselves. We've all been through a lot, but we're all relatively okay. 
When the clock struck midnight on 2013, I was very drunk in Westport with friends who weren't very good for me. Tomorrow I'll be in a house in Meath (I think it's Meath, anyway) with a bunch of pals that I barely knew this time last year. A lot of things have changed since then. My hair colour; I finally moved out; I've gone through several jobs; I've wandered into being a photographer. I could rant incessantly about everything that has happened, but let's just go for the highlights.

1. Roller derby
I started training with the bunch of fantastic people that comprise Dublin Roller Derby. I went into it thinking it would be a bit of craic and a way to get rid of my latent aggression, but I was honestly blown away by the dedication they all show to their sport. I wasn't able to sit my freshmeat assessments due to having fractured my ribs and when I went back to freshmeats again I realised that unfortunately I just didn't have the time to fully commit. However, I don't regret a minute of it because it was an experience that changed my body image and my views on sport, and it was really good to do something that got me out of the Trinity bubble.

2. Edinburgh
I went to Edinburgh with the Lit Soc in college in February completely on a whim, completely disregarding the fact I couldn't really afford it. I'm glad I wasn't sensible, though, because the people I met there are some of my best friends. That's a bit of an understatement. I met my flatmates, my best friends, my boyfriend because of that trip. Plus, I'm the LitFest coordinator for 2014.


3. Moving out
I'd been planning on moving out for as long as I'd been in college, but it never worked out until April of this year. It's been difficult (cereal is so expensive, what up with that?), but definitely a big step in admitting I'm actually an adult.


One of my flatmates "helped me unpack"
4. Dressing up
There was a lot of it.

I was dressed as the 90s
                                            
                                           
                                             

              
6. Drinking
Probably a bit too much of it...

this bottle of wine sums it up, really



 7. And just because "selfie" was word of the year...





8. Finally realising what I was good at.
Asking "so, what do you want to do?" is something that could inspire a panic attack in me last year. After losing a job because of my college timetable, I went literally everywhere in Dublin looking for a new job. One of the attempts was to get a job in The Twisted Pepper, but instead of bar work I was offered an internship with Bodytonic. I'd never really considered my ability to put on a good party as a career choice, even when combined with my love of all types of culture. Now I run my own nights based off cult movies (you can check it out here), and after being asked to take photos at two gigs we were putting on (Sam Amidon and Efterklang respectively)...







...I got hired as a photographer. 

All in all, it wasn't too shabby a year. 2014, let's being havin' ya!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Home

Returning home for Christmas was an odd one. This was my first time coming back for a holiday since I'd moved out. It seemed different for a variety of reasons: I didn't feel I was trapped in a house I felt I didn't belong; I had been working Christmas Eve so it didn't feel like Christmas had arrived; I was drunk for the first night. I've been back since Christmas Eve, and it's put me in a weird frame of mind. Old habits like staying in bed until 4PM watching stupid TV shows on my laptop and not bothering to put on any make-up have quickly reappeared. I've never liked Christmas, but this is even stranger than usual because I'm supposed to be studying for exams for a scholarship I'm not sure I'm capable of getting, or actually want to get. It's hard to muster the motivation to do anything when you're constantly sleepy because the house is over-heated, and you're used to being cold on winter nights because you live in a flat intended for students. 
It's strange returning home, because you can sit in your room all day doing nothing because you're an only child and there isn't anyone else around. I joke that my flatmates asking where I'm going when they see in the hall wearing my coat freaks me out because I'm not used to that, but truth be told, it's something you quickly miss. It's strange to come home and breathe a sigh of relief because you can properly be alone. It's even stranger to realise that even though that's something you thought you needed, perhaps it's quite the opposite. It's strange to want to grab your sketchbook or a camera or some Panadol and realise all those trappings of your life are in their places in your other home, the one you live in more often. It's strange to look around at the trappings of your life from your life before you moved out, the books; stuffed animals; autographs from Michael Cera; the birthday cards. 
It brings you to thoughts of what will happen when you move on from the flat you live in now. Will your other family of friends stay with you, or will you all drift apart? Or was that going to happen after college anyway?
2014 will be another year of moving homes, making a home for myself in a different country for a few months, maybe moving out of the flat I've made my home. My mother talks about selling this house that saw me through my teenage life. It's hard to know where home is. Is it with your friends, your family, is it where your most prized possessions are, or is where you fall asleep at night?

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

the ethics of piracy


One of the subjects I study in college is ethics. I tend to apply my somewhat hazy moral understanding to that place in which I live a good 80% of my life: the internet. 

For those of us who are more intensely immersed in the internet, we seem to have a certain sense of entitlement. We'll lazily drawl that it's okay to get a cracked version of Photoshop because Adobe don't really mind students doing so as when (if) we get into a career that requires Photoshop, we'll be paying for it then. 

The ethics of torrenting and piracy is a messy, messy thing in my mind. As someone quite competent with technology, it's all to easy for me to acquire whatever it is I want. And it's usually quite justifiable. For example, I study film. Although what's said in the lecture hall remains in the lecture hall, I can say with certainty that the faculty would be quite surprised if any of us paid to watch any of the prescribed viewing. It's quite easy to justify most things on the basis of education, after all. As a broke student, I don't exactly have the funds to fork out thirty quid plus on a hard to track down book on vampirism from the eighteenth century to modern times. So do I do without or gain my educational tools through illicit means? After all, either way, I won't be paying money, but in one scenario my degree doesn't suffer.

Going down the academic route certainly makes things muddled. After all, there is the argument that academic writing is funded so the proceeds from selling these writings to students is just extra money. When you're struggling for cash dollah dollah, this is what you're going to jump on. Let's say hypothetically that piracy is A-OK when it comes to academic purposes; at what point does it stop being academic? I'm doing horror in film at the moment, does this mean I'm entitled to access to all horror films for my education?

Now let's leave aside academia. Let's talk about music. Torrenting music is equally murky, as it's more about the actual possession. We have the ability to stream music via Spotify, Youtube etc, so why do we feel the need to actually own the music? I rarely pay for music these days, whether it be through legal streaming means or, ahem, other methods. One of the justifications I've used to myself is that in the toss-up between forking out twenty quid for an album, or forking out twenty quid for a concert ticket, I'll always choose the concert ticket. Even this has become murkier for me now, however, as while doing an unpaid internship, I get paid in concert tickets. There is also the element of being in a working environment where you are surrounded by music, you feel it's your obligation to constantly discover new music. 

These days, we're a lot more discerning about what we'll actually spend money. I love rap, but I refuse to pay for it because I dislike the idea the idea of funding Odd Future's somewhat misogynistic lyrics---but I bought The Heist from iTunes because I admire Macklemore's ability to rap about issues in a thoughtful and provocative manner. A lot of us these days are choosing to spend our money to fund particular artists, whether it be through buying vinyls, T-Shirts or concert tickets. 

As per usual, when I come to the end of typing this, I'm no closer to formulating a stance then I was before.

Monday, 28 October 2013

on @Horse_ebooks

Finding out that @Horse_ebooks was a fake spam account hit me like a two-ton truck. It was like finding out that Santa wasn't real all over again. When I was first told, there was lots of anguished shouting of the word "what?" and upset texts. Apparently I'd come to the discovery a month after everyone else, having been without my laptop as incompetent repairs were taking place. My friend Sile and I were having a minor mental breakdown about the whole thing, and all those around us were mildly confused and concerned.

I tried to pinpoint why exactly I was so upset about the whole thing. I am one of those people of our generation who grew up on the internet. During my awkward adolescent phase, I made friends on message boards and Googled my problems. The internet didn't judge you and you were invited to everything, unlike in real life. When I started to make real friends at the age of thirteen or fourteen, they were all people more comfortable sitting behind a keyboard, and we spent hours on MSN, occasionally leaving our respective houses to see each other in real life. 

At some point, I moved on from being that person without even realising it. All of a sudden there were parties and boyfriends and taking selfies in bathrooms. My relationship with the internet  became one of validating my existence: how many likes can I get on my profile photo? And thus I became someone who watched Youtube tutorials on how to apply liquid eyeliner and put serious thought into my Instagram filters. The more I was concerned with how I appeared in real life, the more important it was to document the life I wanted people to believe I had online. 

When things got rough for me, the internet was a blessing and a curse. There was the ability to peruse the lives of my former friends and find myself crying because I didn't understand why they had all decided to cut me out. I stared at the computer screen, refreshing to see what colleges everyone had added  to their timeline after the CAO offers came through, and wondered why my life wasn't working out. I Googled everything I got diagnosed with, and scrolled through pages of Calming Manatee to try and make myself feel better.

When things started to feel better, everything got chucked on my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook to prove to ex-boyfriends, former classmates, the world that my life was GREAT now.

And when things weren't so great, there were always nasty anonymous messages on Tumblr for me, ready to make my day.

And when I made one of my many decisions to start AFRESH, there were endless websites for inspiration.

The internet functions as an innate part of our lives. I've gotten internships by sending ballsy emails, won free lunches on Twitter and been able to interact with musicians and artists and people who inspire me in a way that I would never be able to do in real life. 

The reason we lived Horse was because it was a tiny snippet of magic. Seemingly random bits of nonsense were sometimes beautifully philosophical, and it seemed to prove that even in a world where we carefully curate our online presence, sometimes serendipitous things could still happen. It brought us all together as we retweeted and screenshot the best ones. We laughed because only Irish people would find "shift shift shift REJECT shift shift" as funny as we did.

So when we found out it was just performance art, we felt used. It was proof that anything online can be a lie, and that we'd all been taken for fools.