Tuesday 30 November 2010

Alternative Blogging Week - The Political and Current Affairs Blog

Hello, and welcome to Tuesday! Today, Musings will be a Political and Current Affairs blog. (Don't worry, this will be more interesting than it sounds.) 

There are a lot of things going on in Ireland at the moment. I didn't fully understand this (which is quite an achievement, since this has been happening since 2008) so I asked my dad, and this is what he said...

IN THE BEGINNING (the 2000s) people liked buying lots of houses from property developers. To buy these houses, people took out loans from banks. Everything was OK.

BUT the people who bought the houses can't pay for them and the property developers are losing money which they borrowed from banks as well to build the houses.

SO the property developers can't pay back the money they borrowed from the banks.

SO the banks are losing lots and lots of money.

SO the banks appealed to the government to bail them out and the government guaranteed the bank losses. This means that anything the bank lost, the government (in which I mean the taxpayer) will pay it to them.

BUT this makes the government poor.

SO everyone's poor. Income tax gets the government €32 billion, but their expenditure comes to €50 billion. This is not good.

SO the EU are bailing out Ireland. They're giving us €85 billion to make everything OK. This was agreed on Sunday night.

SO... no one really knows what's going to happen. I mean, the EU and everyone who loaned us money has some control over Ireland, because they can tell us 'No! Don't spend ten million on hospitals and education! Spend it on lollipops!' They probably won't say that, but the important thing is THEY STILL HAVE THAT POWER.

AND lots of people are saying 'OMG Ireland's lost her sovereignity! Pearse and Connolly and Michael Collins are turning in their graves!' and some other people are saying 'Guys! Calm down! This is a really good thing for Ireland! England owe us anyway!' and some other people are saying 'KILL THE BANKERS!' and no one really knows what to do.

There are a million other factors, but this is the gist and will probably get you through a conversation.

And this is why you need to pass your exams, kids!

Tomorrow's Wednesday, which means that tomorrow, I'll be blogging about the business that we call show.

Eleanor Roscuro

Monday 29 November 2010

Alternative Blogging Week - The Fashion Blog

Good afternoon, today is Monday, the first day of Alternative Blogging Week 2010! Hooray! Today, I will be blogging about fashion.

Originally, I was going to talk mostly about my style, but something happened. Something monumental.

It started to snow.

And it didn't stop.


Not yet.

And I am very, very cold.

I mean, Valentia in Co. Kerry, a few miles away from where my dad grew up, is the same distance from the equator as Moscow in Russia! The only reason it used to be sunny is because of the North Atlantic Drift, that drifted warmth from America up to the Irish coast, and in the past few years, that's started drifting away. My theory is that it drifted up to the icebergs and melted them. Anyway, so now it's really cold. And I thought to myself 'Shit. I need to write about fashion, something I don't understand, and it's really cold out. What am I to do?' But because I'm brilliant, I did this:

It's Really, Really Cold OutPolyvore is quite fun. But anyway.

I'm not really into shopping, or fashion. I really should have thought of that before starting this post, shouldn't I? Yep. But I have to admit, fashion is something outside my comprehension. OK, so you say you use fashion to be unique. You are not unique. You will never be unique. Some teenagers, for instance, wear Converse to be unique from their peers. Millions of people, all over the world, wear Converse. The people that you don't like, that you want to be unique from, probably wear Converse too.

Depressing, isn't it? Sorry.

And I know you might be thinking 'Hey Eleanor, maybe you should just go around naked then!' Well, there are people who do that. They are called nudists. If you are a nudist, you're not unique. You are a nudist. Also, weren't you listening to anything I've said? It's fucking snowing outside. No thanks!

So what can fashion be used for? The answer seems to be... for fun.

Fun? I know. Weird, isn't it?

Monday is slipping away now, so while I'm fashion blogging...


That is all.

Tomorrow, Musings will become a Political and Current Affairs blog!

Eleanor Roscuro

An Introduction to Something Extraordinary and Radical

So, I blog. I'm a blogger. I read a lot of blogs, and I have come to discover that the blogosphere is filled with all manner of strange things. Musings would probably be classified as a 'personal' or 'lifestyle' blog, which I think is a rubbish generalization, but anyway. This week, I want to get out of my comfort zone. This week, I will be posting every day and hopefully, Musings will become something diverse and unique, and I will learn how to write better. Today is the start of ALTERNATIVE BLOGGING WEEK. Look, I made a banner and everything, just to make it official:

I know.

This is how it will run:

  • Monday - In which Musings becomes a fashion blog. This one makes me really, really nervous. Especially since today is Monday.
  • Tuesday - In which Musings becomes a political and current affairs blog. This will be about IRISH current affairs, but wherever you're from, you're bound to know what's happening. If you don't, come along on Tuesday!
  • Wednesday - In which Musings becomes a showbiz and gossip blog. This also freaks me out, but I will hopefully come out of Wednesday unscathed. I'll be glad to reach...
  • Thursday - In which Musings becomes a book blog. Considering how much books are important to me, I don't really blog about them much. This ends Thursday!
  • Friday - In which Musings becomes a cooking blog. I have to say, I'm really looking forward to this!
  • Saturday - In which Musings returns to normal, and I evaluate the week.
  • Sunday - Quote of the Week, and rest.
What do you think? Now I have to finish this introduction to ABW, and start writing about fashion. Wish me luck!

Eleanor Roscuro

Sunday 28 November 2010

Quote of the Week #32 - I Am Eleanor Roscuro

Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform.

Roscuro, however, stared directly into the light.
Reader, this is important. The rat called Chiaroscuro did not look away. He let the light from the upstairs world enter him and fill him. He gasped aloud with the wonder of it.
'Give him small comforts!' shouted a voice at the top of the stairs, and a red cloth was thrown into the light. The cloth hung suspended for a moment, bright red and glowing, and then the door was slammed shut again and the light disappeared and the cloth fell to the floor.

Roscuro sat on the dungeon floor. The whiskers on the left side of his face were gone. His heart was beating hard, and though the light from the match had disappeared, it danced, still, before the rat’s eyes, even when he closed them.

'Light,' he said aloud. And then he whispered the word again. 'Light.'

From that moment forward, Roscuro showed an abnormal, inordinate interest in illumination of all sorts. He was always, in the darkness of the dungeon, on the lookout for light, the smallest glimmer, the tiniest shimmer. His rat soul longed inexplicably for it; he began to think light was the only thing that gave life meaning, and he despaired that there was so little of it to be had.

There are those hearts, reader, that never mend again once they are broken. Or if they do mend, they heal themselves in a crooked and lopsided way, as if sewn together by a careless craftsman. Such was the fate of Chiaroscuro. His heart was broken. Picking up the spoon and placing it on his head, speaking of revenge, these things helped him to put his heart together again. But it was, alas, put together wrong.

Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Tell Gregory a story. Make some light.

Kate DiCamillo - The Tale of Despereaux

Sunday 21 November 2010

Quote Of The Week #31

I've been watching a lot of vampire films - Oh, you know, just thought I'd try and get to know you better. They say some great stuff. I mean, once you get past the cape era you start wondering what it's all a metaphor for - AIDS, heroin, anorexia, the spiralling chaos of western society, and not knowing the difference between good and evil - I mean not being able to define the terms. And they're sexy and heartbroken and mostly Californian, and they keep coming up with amazing cliches like 'It's easier to succumb to the darkness within than to fight the darkness without' and you think if it weren't for their nihilistic disregard for human life, they'd be the nearest thing we've got these days to gods!

Frank - A Vampire Story by Moira Buffini, Scene V

Friday 19 November 2010

WTF - Because I'm Irish...

My friends have a running argument whether my hair is russet or ruby red.

I have never used curling irons, because my hair already has bouncy curls, all the time.

My favourite artists include Westlife, The Dubliners, The Saw Doctors, and the Clancy brothers, God rest their souls.

People know I'm Irish because I say things like 'riddle me this'.

My liver lost its virginity at the age of seven, when my grandfather gave me a pint of Guinness and forced it down my throat. I drank the next five on my own and have three a day since. I'm an Irish abstainer.

I have a soft, lilting Irish accent that makes boys all over the world swoon.

I can say 'Irish wristwatch' without twisting my tongue.

Dancing Riverdance is my party trick.

When I'm bored, I count the freckles on my face. So far I have one hundred and thirty seven. That's as far as I've gotten before I lose count.

I knit all my own clothes. Did you know denim can be knitted?

I have emerald green eyes.

All my clothes are in varying shades of green. My favourite colours are jade and olive.

What the hell are Lucky Charms?

Sunday 14 November 2010

Seven Things In My Room

Blogging on my birthday? I know. I'm the best.

Quote Of The Week #30

The destinies of wizards and princes might seem more certain than those carved out for the rest of us, yet we all have to choose the manner in which we meet life: whether to live up (or down) to the expectations placed upon us; whether to act selfishly, or for the common good; whether to steer the course of our lives ourselves, or to allow ourselves to be buffeted around by chance and circumstance.  Birthdays are often moments for reflection, moments when we pause, look around, and take stock of where we are; children gleefully contemplate how far they have come, whereas adults look forwards into the trees, wondering how much further they have to go. This extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is my favourite part of the seventh book; it might even be my favourite part of the entire series, and in it, Harry demonstrates his truly heroic nature, because he overcomes his own terror to protect the people he loves from death, and the whole of his society from tyranny.

J.K. Rowling - The Birthday Book (in aid of the Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts)


I know I keep talking about it, but how can I not? It's not like turning forty-seven, after all. It's an important milestone!

So I haven't told you what happened the day I turned fourteen, even though I said I was going to. Thing is... I did tell you. It's on this very blog right now. But I didn't have any followers then, and I doubt you've read that far back, so I'm going to give you an excerpt from my past self. Are you ready?

For my birthday I decided I wanted to go to Tramore with my family. So we brought Theo, our Jack Russel aswell. The waves were huge. It was terrifying. They were like the life-threatening ones you see in Hawaii.

So we got chips from Dooly's and sat on a wall happily eating them. We were watching a man play with his dog, throwing a plastic bottle. They were having great fun and it was lovely to watch.

The man was still grinning at us when the wave hit him.

He didn't see it at all.

His head bobbed out of the water a few times. Then nothing.

We sprang up, as did ten other people who were there. Someone got the nearest lifebuoy, but the rope attached was tangled up and people were wasting time untangling it.

Then, without thinking, I started running.

I ran halfway down the promenade to get another lifebuoy. But I'm not a fast runner. It was only when I stopped at the lifebuoy that I realised how tired I was. I started running again, but I was slower. Then a girl ran up to me. She held out her arms and I gave her the lifebuoy, then she started running. I ran back too.

Four men balanced on the wall, risking their lives to get the man in the water to grab the lifebuoy. My 
mother was screaming 'Someone hold those men! They're going to fall!' My dad was talking to 999.

The man was pulled out of the water. He was awake and conscious. Then the Gardai came and asked a lot of questions. An ambulance arrived eventually and took the man away. We left then, not knowing whether the man was going to be OK.

It wasn't one of my best birthdays.

But then we went to Waterford City, and there was an old-fashioned merry-go-round there, and I love old-fashioned merry-go-rounds! So I hopped on, and then we went home. That part was nice.


That was Saturday, 14th November 2009. Flash forward to Wednesday, 22nd March 2010. At an English class. We were reading To Kill A Mockingbird and Boo Radley, in a fit of adrenaline, had just saved Scout and Jem from being murdered. Our teacher was talking about adrenaline like that, and how it can make you do stuff you'd never be able to do normally, giving an example of a man saving a child from a train on the London Underground a while ago. I put up my hand and started innocently talking about the man, and the day at Tramore, when I started sweating and shaking profusely, and I couldn't talk properly, and I didn't have any breath, and I felt really dizzy, and it was very scary and I didn't know what was happening or why. I'm getting a little dizzy typing this. That's one of the reasons why I copied the excerpt from an earlier post up there, so I wouldn't have to write it out again. That, and I wrote it only a few hours after, so the memories would be fresher and more clear.

I'm going to get some water. Back in a second. While I'm gone, you can watch this.

OK. I'm back.

Since then, I've been getting what I can only describe as panic attacks? I don't know what else to call them. I don't like it. It's very distressing.

Anyway, it's 23:59...

Damn. It wouldn't let me post at 23:59 because of some HTML errors, so now it's 00:05, which isn't as good. But still, I'm fifteen now.

Friday 12 November 2010

A Very Good Answer To A Very Important Question.

Oh. I get it now. Thanks to Finn for giving me the link! Also, I think this fits as well...

God, I love Hardly Working.

Eleanor Roscuro

P.S. I haven't yet been able to tear myself away from Twitter yet, if you're interested.

Vulture Private/Personal/Professional Investigations

In the fair Irish city Kilkenny,
Three gentlemen detectives reside
Who use their wits and cunning
To solve, and thwart bad guys.

James Vultour, raising Cain,
With socks and sandals too
And Dan McGrain (the man's a saint)
Who's always pointing at Andrew

And we can't forget Niall Tennyson,
Who makes a lovely brew
The sanest guy in V.P.I.
(And he smells lovely too!)

Vulture Private Investigations
Solve mysteries, but these days
They're battling the evil Pinkertons
Led by an elusive Ms Blaise

But never fear, for V.P.I.
Are made of sterner stuff
(Like Tennyson's tea and cigarettes
And maybe Dan's got snuff),

So come and join their motley crew
Of teenage chavs and stoners
Taxi drivers, litter wardens,
But no moaners and groaners!

Vultour, Tennyson and McGrain
The best detectives you'll ever know
 Log on vulturespi.com
And let's enjoy the show!

Whenever I try to write a poem with a rhyming scheme, I fail miserably. So I'm quite proud of that. Yep.

Vultures is a Kilkenny based sitcom about three private detectives, or dicks, running their own agency. Is it any good? Oh yes. Oh yes indeedy. (Well, it's actually bloody brilliant, if you really want to know.) Vultures is the brainchild of two locals, John Morton and Paddy Dunne. (During my escapades with the Red Square Kibosh during the summer - if you don't remember, click here - I ran into John a few times, because he was one of the official Kilkenny Arts Festival bloggers with Ken McGuire. They're both very nice.) It burst onto the internet in late 2007, early 2008, with their first episode entitled The Kris Kringle Konundrum, about the struggles V.P.I. have as they try to buy each other the perfect present for Christmas. Since then, it has grown from strength to strength. There are seven mind-blowingly awesome episodes in this first season (and hopefully not the last...), and the amount of professionalism that's been put in is incredible. The actors are amazing, the characters are unforgettable, and they make little trailers for each episode! And character profiles on their website! And some characters even have their own little websites! And it's just so damn good!

And another reason why I love it is because it's based entirely around Kilkenny, and I recognize streets and places all the time, and it's just so selfishly great to be able to say 'Oh, I was chased there too!' And it's so Irish, and most of my readers are from America (with Ireland coming in a close second) and Americans love Irish things, don't you? Like me! So watch the first episode, The Kris Kringle Konundrum, and if you like it, go to their website and watch the rest! If you don't like it, go to their website and watch the rest!

 (Note - I've only started watching Vultures in the past few months, and so am relatively new to it compared to other viewers. Please excuse any inaccuracies I make. It's my birthday this weekend you know.)

Eleanor Roscuro

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Happy Blogday Everyone!

I am an idiot, and I'm sorry.

So on Sunday 7th of November 2010, Musings of an Undiscovered Genius was one year old! One year! I can hardly believe it! Thank you all so much for your support and words. I'm so, so pleased that any of you read what I write here, and I am just so grateful. Thank you!

Oh, and I got my hair cut in September. Much longer now. I'm sorry, I can't smile in photos.

Eleanor Roscuro

Sunday 7 November 2010

Quote Of The Week #29

Hello. I'm Frank Pickle. And I'll be here for the next hour. Or maybe a little longer, in fact, because I have to put my coat on afterwards and say good-bye to the vicar, which should take a few minutes. Anyway, I'll be with you for quite some time. So I'll start by telling you something I think you'll find very interesting. I first discovered I was gay when I was 18, and I fell in love with a young farmhand called Justin. He was beautiful. Ive been trying to tell you, dear friends, for 20 years. But its tricky. Thats the lovely thing about radio. Speaking into this microphone here, alone tonight, I can say things I could never say to you face to face.

Frank Pickle - The Vicar of Dibley

Saturday 6 November 2010

A Very Important Question

So what's a hipster?

This is something I've been puzzling over for a while now. There's no real definition. From what I can gather, they're hypocrites. But what does that mean?

(Yes, I know what a hypocrite is. I just want to know what makes them hypocrites.)

Eleanor Roscuro

The Thing With Twitter

So this is the thing with Twitter.

I joined Twitter in October 2009, around a year ago. I joined because up until then, I didn't do anything on the internet. I just looked up stuff about books. I wasn't on Facebook. I didn't know what a blog was. I was not savvy. I was not savvy. But then I joined Twitter, and, slowly but surely, I learned what a blog was. I made a blog. And you know what happens next, of course.

But lately, I've been trying to live a more minimalist life. Of course, I can't apply that to all aspects of my life, but I'm trying to apply it to my life on the internet. All the time, I'm unfollowing people on Twitter that I don't feel I need to follow. I'm unsubscribing people on YouTube that don't keep my attention, I'm deleting blogs from my reading lists that I don't find interesting, I'm revising my Favourites lists. I do this almost all the time, and the only reason I keep some stuff is because of sentimentality, or because I don't want to upset people I know. (I know this may sound a little silly, but there are some people I would rather avoid confrontation with.) But I was reading the blog of Alex Day a few days ago, a post about the new MacBook Air he's bought himself, and he said:

If it wasn’t for YouTube – and this will be a controversial statement for the people who read this – I really wouldn’t need a computer. I could still use my iPad to check email once a week, but that’s about all. (On the note of that; since I got back from Zambia I’ve been testing only checking/replying to my emails on Mondays and living the rest of my week mail-free, and it’s been wonderful and liberating. Without Twitter, Facebook or anything similar that I have to keep maintained, the only things I need to do online are write blog posts and upload videos, both things I love too much to stop. What I’ve found with the emails is that if something’s important, someone will ring or text me about it within a half hour of sending an email anyway, and if it does take up to a week for me to reply, it really doesn’t matter. I can then spend the rest of the week reading, writing and going out and seeing the world and generally enjoying life. Give it a try :D)

I’m a firm believer in physical surroundings having a massive effect on your mental surroundings. Your mind will be busy and distracted and unfocused if you have a room full of stuff to distract you. I don’t really own much; I have an iPad, a laptop, a phone, a few books, a few DFTBA CDs, my camera and tripod, a guitar, a bass, a uke, six t-shirts, two hoodies, three pairs of jeans, a coat, a pair of slippers, eight pairs of boxers and eight pairs of socks, and that suits me fine. A computer perfectly suited to travel and minimalism is fine for me, since that’s what I want to do with my life. Travel, write, document, enjoy the simple things and have fun :)

I don't have an iPad, but I really don't have a lot of time anymore. And, slowly but surely, I've come to realize that I don't really need Twitter and Facebook. My Twitter is linked up to Facebook, so I don't really post on Facebook anyway. Twitter makes me feel like I'm part of this exclusive club, and I love being in exclusive clubs. If I let go of Twitter and Facebook, I'll have more time. More time for me, and more time for all of you. Besides, if anyone wants me to know something, they can email me. Just for good measure, let's see why Alex deleted his Twitter...

I think that Twitter stifles ambition, because I see people like Tom and Ed who are intensely creative, but spend hours in a row on Twitter. People talk about what a good platform it is for making your voice heard, but I worry that so many people are saying things when they could be busy DOING things. And I haven’t found a way to use Twitter casually without feeling like I’m doing a disservice to the people who follow me. I don’t like doing something unless I’m willing to give it my all.

Hark indeedy. Hark indeedy do.

But another thing is, it takes me weeks to write one post. This means that I had time to think about all that, and time to go on Twitter. And I love Twitter! I want Twitter! Without Twitter, how could I have known that Ken McGuire's set up a new food blog, or that John Green wants some more Swedish hip hop in his music collection? But the thing is... I can be very outspoken. You all know that by now. Like I said, it now takes me weeks to write one single post on Musings. This gives me time to think about what I'm saying more. With Twitter, that is taken away. I know it may seem like I don't really care what I say, and that I don't really care about offending people, but I'm not a robot. I do (sometimes) care about other people's feelings. I do have people in my life that I don't want to hurt, and I'd like to minimise this risk as much as possible, because like I said before, I'm very outspoken. And because of my ability to speak my mind, my parents have said to me that they would very much like it if I stopped going on Twitter and Facebook. I mean, the only reason I'm on Facebook is because of it's Chat feature. I like proper conversations. That's why I don't really like huge social gatherings, because you can't have a proper conversation with somebody. Anyway, is there any other website that is good for chatting to people? What is MSN like?

But about Twitter... I don't want to disobey my parents. They're brilliant people, and I love them very much. And I don't want to go all 'teenage rebellion' on them. But since Twitter is, if I think about it, the key to half of my happiness (the other half is my friends and family and everything that happens to me in real life. The life where I eat. This half is the stuff on the internet.), it's very hard to get rid of that so quickly. And my family don't really know what Twitter is, and I can't really explain it to them in words. Besides they've already made their minds up.

In the last thirty seconds or so I was thinking about this, and I decided that I would leave Twitter alone for a week or so, and see what happens. But since I spend most of my waking hours at school, that really won't make any difference. Then I had the idea of waiting until Lent came around, on Wednesday 9th March 2011, and giving Twitter up for forty days and forty nights, and seeing what happened. It would make much more of an impact then, but of course, I would still be disobeying my parents.

This is another reason why I don't like loving people - because you try to make them happy, at your own cost.

I know this is idiotic. I should be able to just drop Twitter like that. But it's shown me so many things about humanity. (Which of course can be a good and bad thing.) Um...

FINE!!! I'm quitting Twitter! I'll keep you posted on my non Twitter minutes. Go Alex.

Eleanor Roscuro

P.S. SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT! I got my own DFTBA link! This is it - http://dft.ba/-musings
Amazing - after the thousands upon thousands of DFT.BA URLs that have been created, nobody has used musings. But I got there first. Oh yeah.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Quote Of The Week #28

I say 'Oh how I feel like a 3rd wheel, to you + your vanity". You say "I never look in the mirrors, M.. The mirrors keep looking at me!'

Marina and the Diamonds