Some sad news was going around this week: the only cinemobile in Ireland is rolling to a stop.
My first visit to the Cinemobile was during the Grace Kelly Film Festival in Newport, back in the autumn of 2012. All seven films of the festival were screened in the Cinemobile; I watched Rear Window and The Swan.
The next summer, when my boyfriend was visiting, I made him attend the Galway Film Fleadh with me. I let him choose a few of the films, and to my everlasting irritation, his choices continuously trumped mine (teenage lesbian werewolves, anyone?). The film we saw in the Cinemobile, which was parked outside the Town Hall Theatre during the entire Fleadh, was The Act of Killing–a batshit documentary about Indonesian death squads.
The Cinemobile started as a Millennium project in 2000 and will cease operation tomorrow, 15 July 2016.
In shut door/open window fashion, I also read an article yesterday that the Galway Picture Palace is finally set to open. Of course, when I moved into my apartment next door, nearly four years ago, I heard it was due to open the following autumn.
But I remember the scaffolding fondly, and it really was a nice stretch of the legs to walk 20 minutes in either direction to the big box cinemas on the outskirts of town.
This is a bit late, but with the European Capital of Culture 2020 announcement coming Friday, I’m once again saturated in the Galway arts scene, even though I’m 4,500 miles away and haven’t been back in three years. So I thought I’d share a post about the time Galway’s street art company, Macnas, visited Austin. It was a really big deal for me, a bit of Galway here at home, but I didn’t properly volunteer with the event and I’m not very proud of the photos so they’ve just kind of languished on my Flickr. Then it occurred to me I could do something more millennial and instagrammy with them. I always intended for this blog to look more like a magazine, something I never really accomplished because images on WordPress are the devil and I’m not a coder, but I do have some training in desktop publishing (mostly InDesign and Photshop) and I need to go ahead and use it before I lose it.
In addition to the Capital of Culture suspense, the Galway Film Fleadh and the International Arts Festival just happened / are happening / will happen soon, and I have another post planned for tomorrow and maybe Friday as well (hoping for good news). Plus, the subscription is up on this domain name again, and no matter how I neglect it, I just seem to let it go…
But here’s Macnas on Sixth Street!
I almost called this post “Happily Ever After,” but then I thought of a more fitting title. It’s a shame my blogging just went off the rails like that. Some cool things happened during my last few months in Ireland, but I guess with classes finishing and writing the thesis, I didn’t have much time to blog. But it was exactly a year ago that I graduated and left Ireland. Since I’ve got the holiday off from work, I thought it was time to revisit.
My boyfriend came to visit again in the summer, and he spent much of that time babysitting me as I wrote my thesis. He would sit on the couch, I would sit at the kitchen table, and he would make sure I did a full day of writing. It worked, I got an A on my thesis, and graduated with first class honours (yes, “honours” with a “u”).
I got to take part in the Galway Arts Festival SELECTED programme, which was this unbelievable opportunity for young arts professionals to sample the festival’s offerings and get behind-the-scenes access to the people who made it happen. I know why I didn’t blog during that fortnight — it was exhausting. Life changing, but exhausting. I remember telling someone “You can only have your mind blown so many times a day.”
I made a wonderful new friend during the festival (that’s her in the video, which we shot on my balcony), and got to visit her family home in Dingle. We saw Fungie, went sailing, and sat front row center at a Maria Doyle Kennedy show. I also rode a bike for the first time in a decade, and did not crash.
Once the thesis was turned in at the end of August, I started working at Charlie Byrne’s. I don’t even have to say how wonderful that experience was. We were officially voted the Best Bookshop in Ireland by readers of the Irish Times. Someone posted a photo of Cross Street on Facebook-via-Instagram earlier this week, and I almost cried when I realized that, a year ago, walking down that street comprised 25% of my commute to work.
I went to every Sunday night screening for the Galway Film Society, and I watched the entirety of Friday Night Lights.
My mom came back at the end of my stay. She and I visited London, so she got to experience a ferry ride and a hostel, and I really thought she was going to get arrested by a bobby for touching his horse. Back in Ireland, she became a fan of Galway Falafel. She also got to participate in a lock-in at an Irish pub. For graduation, she gave me a dancing frog.
Graduation was on Thanksgiving Day, appropriately enough. After we walked, the ROPES team presented one of those giant cheques to our charity. That evening, we went to Charlie Byrne’s for the launch for our sister MA programme’s journal, Adventure Hat. Then we went gallivanting.
The next day, my mom and I prepared to leave Galway. We had already broken down my apartment and packed pretty much everything, but we had some errands to run in town. As we walked down Shop Street, this wonderful confluence of events happened: I saw some classmates from my MA as well as the sister MA — Claire, Meadhbh, Katy, and Roisin — having tea outside Griffin’s Bakery. As I took their photo, I felt a tap on my shoulder, and turned to see my old friend Krystian, who I met in the fall of 2004 when we first arrived in Galway. Then my mom called to me, and I snapped one more photo of my Charlie Byrne’s co-worker, Olivia, and her boyfriend, Ray. By turning a pivot in one spot on Shop Street, I was able to take three photos filled with people who are special to me, from three different areas of my life, surrounded by the city that brought us together.
That is how Galway told me goodbye… and we all lived happily ever after.
It bears repeating…
In a world where I am sending resumes into the void with barely a courtesy reply, putting in hours of work for exciting but unpaid internships, and getting turned down for a volunteer gig (seems no one even wants me to work for free now), it has gotten fairly difficult to avoid going negative on this blog. Hence the past month of not posting.
This is a very disheartening time to be writing/publishing/selling books for a living, and I am not going to lie – it is getting to me.
There are some bright spots. My boyfriend is here, I cranked out 12,500 words for my thesis, and the gorgeous weather is back. I also have a birthday coming up… which could be a good thing, because it turns out that I need money to keep running this blog.
All these things can be bundled for $99, but all I really need is the $26 domain name. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
It’s cold and rainy in Galway again! Yeah, I did that. You’re welcome.
So the big news today is that Mr. Spock is coming back to Galway. Zachary Quinto apparently lived in Galway for a summer during college, and the Galway Film Fleadh lured him back to teach an actor’s masterclass next month. The Film Fleadh is drawing some big names, and it is really cool because they are one of our ROPES advertisers. I am hoping to volunteer with them, if I can get my summer schedule locked down and don’t have any more giant thesis-related meltdowns (yeah, that happened today).
I’ve posted here before about The Belfast Train – the Enterprise – and my Star Trek themed weekend in Dublin. I’m really only an amateur geek when it comes to trekkiness, but I saw the new movie as soon as I got back to Galway, and it made me laugh and feel and contemplate the nature of evil, so I am looking forward to Spock beaming into Galway.
A couple nights ago, back when the weather was nice and the sky was clear, I watched the International Space Station zoom past Galway. Apparently, it took this photo:
Here is another one from last year:
And, my personal favourite, Galway from space at night:
Part of the reason I spent the month of May in Berlin had to do with my internship at a literary magazine, Spolia, the new sister publication of Bookslut. The internship is based online, but I had a chance for an apartment swap in Berlin, so I went.
As a Spolia intern, one of my first duties was to locate the Devil card in a Tarot deck, run it through the scanner, and send the JPG on for the designer to use as the cover for Issue Two. I have had quite a few internships in my illustrious career, and never before have I explicitly been asked to find the Devil.
In doing so, it meant that I had a hand in the production of Issue Two of Spolia, the Black Magic issue, which is available now.
Spolia is also running a special for the Black Magic issue, which invites readers to have their star charts and/or tarot cards read by the editor-in-chief, Jessa Crispin, aka the Bookslut.
I had mine done, opting for the Creative Flow reading to answer some questions about my thesis. It was very insightful, and helped me to focus my ideas and plan a writing schedule for the next three months. We even delved into my relationships in the last five minutes, because one of my cards so clearly represented another part of my life blocking my flow.
I would recommend it, especially if you’re a writer who is stuck on a project and you need someone to shake you loose. It is a reading by the Bookslut, after all.
You may go over to Spolia to check it out, and decide the cost is a bit prohibitive. That’s okay… it makes the $5 for an issue of Spolia look like chump change, doesn’t it? Ah, go on go on go on. Then you can just let these zodiac cats decipher your horoscope for you.
Remember how I have a conflicting love for books and trees? Well, Cúirt found a way to ease the guilt of buying so many books… by planting trees! The Author Tree Planting in Terryland Forest Park is meant to offset the festival’s carbon footprint and maybe make us all feel a little bit better about the way books are made.
It was raining, so the event was sparsely attended, but I got a giggle out of it when Maidhc Danín Ò Sè greeted me as Gaeilge, paused for a beat, then asked “Where are you from?”
“Ah, Texas. I was thinking you were a bit slow with the Irish.”