Friday, October 31, 2008

Things to Know

So you wanna study in Ireland? Well, there are two things you need to know if you are an American thinking of studying in, moving to or even just visiting Ireland.

1) Every foreign girl is hoping to live the movie P.S. I Love You. She is on the look out for a charming Irish musician who will steal her heart and sweep her off her feet for deep and passionate (if short-lived) true love.
2) Every foreign boy is hoping to live the song "Galway Girl" and get knocked completely senseless by a lithe, enchanting Irish girl.

And I knew right then,
As I gave her a twirl
That I'd lost my heart to a
Galway Girl.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Adieu, Adieu, To you and you and you

And so fair readers, I bid you adeiu.
I thought perhaps my last brush of death on this trip would be my run-in with a pregnant horse. Alas, I was wrong.

For today is the first day of the Halloween weekend, and I, frail and sick, fear that I may not survive.

For the past week I have been basking in the excuse of being sick - sleeping in, staying in my pyjamas (I'll spell it whichever way I want to thank you very much), watching movies. And although I don't deny that the sick part has been absolutely horrible, the results have been glorious.

But today, today it all ends. Today I must sally forth. I have woken early, far earlier than I have since last Saturday, to prepare myself. I join my friends in town in exactly an hour to go shopping for costume accoutrement, and by the time we return, I will have less than 8 hours to create, prepare, dress and go.

For this is the start of the Halloween weekend! And it shall be a grand weekend! Pre-Halloween parties, the night itself and then post-Halloween parties. 3 full nights of revelry and mischief, oh how I love the Halloween season.

But I weep for the loss of a more innocent time. A time when I went to sleep at 9 pm and woke at noon. A time when afternoon naps were plentiful and sweet. Yes, I mourn the loss of last week (literally), and the peace I found then. But my mourning SHALL NOT! Shall NOT! hinder my Halloween activities! I SHALL celebrate with all due excitement.

and so, fair readers, from Here, go I. And with luck and through miracles, I shall survive, even in my weakened and fragile state. And with that luck and through those miracles, I shall come out victorious and return to you, my fair and gentle readers.

Thus, I bid you adieu.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

On the Social and Cultural importance of Slut-O-Ween

An Introduction:

"Halloween has its origins in the ancient
Celtic festival known as Samhain (Irish pronunciation: [ˈsˠaunʲ]; from the Old Irish samain).[1] The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes [2] regarded as the "Celtic New Year".[3] Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.

Thank you Wikipedia.

For some, Halloween is a time of revelry, a time of imagination, of sugary reward, fantastic costumes and of harmless trickery. For others it is a time of pint-sized monsters terrorizing perfectly peaceful neighborhoods, forced generosity and an overabundance of mis-used eggs.

And then there are those for whom Halloween is a golden opportunity to unleash amply assisted décolletage and generally show some - a lot - of leg.
It is for these, these intrepid, these courageous, some may say shameless, masses, that the powers that be have coined the term "Slut-o-Ween." (Personally, I believe that said powers were scraping the barrel a bit with that one. I mean, did no one throw out "Hoochie-ween?" Because "slut-o-ween" sounds like "slut-machine" which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Halloween.)

Slut-O-Ween. The time of year when feminists, mothers and the traditionalists come together and take up arms against the sinful, evil and carnal display of flesh, crying out in dismay at the racks of costumes for women which all seem to have been misplaced from the little girl's section and been re-labled with the word "sexy." The time of year when the spirits of the dreams of every middle-aged pervert, whose "gentleman's magazines" are anything but (n/p), manifest themselves in high heels. The time of year when there is more twisting of the word "trick" than there has been since 1936. The time of year when we question the sexualization of the next generation's prostitots and when we discuss the limits and constraints on female sexuality in society.

But are we missing the point? Does Slut-o-Ween serve a bigger and more important purpose than to open the arena of discussion on social topics that we'd all just rather avoid during the rest of the year? I say yes, yes! Yes with raised arms and a heroic and faraway look in my eyes!

Don't get me wrong. I don't advocate slut-o-ween for my own selfish purposes. I am not one of those brave saviors who strut about in their heels and tiny armor. I am far too much of a perfectionist with my costumes to wear high heels if it is not perfectly authentic. (One year, as the waitress on the American Graffiti poster, I wore roller-skates. Ginger Rodgers may have done everything Fred Astaire did, except in heels, but she never tried to go trick-or-treating in roller-skates. Let me tell you.) In fact, I usually look down upon the armies of Slut-o-Ween with disdain, because it's really not original if you and every other girl out on Halloween is dressed like a hooker.

(You'd think I've also dressed as Mother Theresa one year, from the way I'm preaching, but in fact, I have not.)

But this year, I was forced to re-think this judgment. Fear not Gentle Reader, for I am not attempting to defend said women for selfish reasons; I am not becoming one of them. However, my experience abroad has, as is to be expected, broadened my horizons. It began with a logical explanation for the short skirts and high heels, and then morphed (with the help of the web of wikipedia) to a completley new perspective and respect on and for Slut-o-Ween.

See, what I could never understand back home was the pressure that the nightclub scene puts on women. In most clubs, you get turned away for not wearing appropriate (read: high, pointy and painful) shoes. And once you've transitioned to the club scene, you've obviously left the trick-or-treating scene. The modern purpose of one's costume is no longer to impress generous neighbors into giving you more candy. The modern purpose of one's costume is to continue to celebrate a holiday intended for all, not just children, while simultaneously impressing the bouncers to let one into the club. So here where I start to think that maybe we can see Slut-o-Ween, not as an excuse to dress risque, but as a coming together of normal going-out attire and the spirit and celebration of Halloween.

And then here's where I really start thinking. If the modern purpose of a Halloween costume involves inappropriate clothes in appropriate settings, then what was the traditional purpose of the Halloween costume again?
Aha! Thanks to wikipedia we learn that it is to "mimic and placate the evil spirits."
Well then. Are not the armies of hoochie-ween doing just that? Embodying the sinful, evil and carnal spirits? And if these are some of the most dangerous spirits threatening our youth today, are not these women taking up the front line on Halloween, protecting young girls and teaching them to defend themselves against capture by the true evil spirits? I, for one, believe that they are doing such a fine and accurate job of mimicking said spirits, that the rest of us needn't worry.
With such mighty warriors roaming the streets of every city that celebrates Halloween, I believe I shall feel quite safe on Hallowe'en night when the boundary between this, our world, and that of the underworld fades away.

For the record, I plan on dressing as a shark one night and the Absinthe Fairy the next night. Because, among a large group of American teenagers who are, shall we say, overexcited at the prospect of easy access to the fabled green liquor, I should think that the Green Fairy will really need some placating. And I will be more than happy to fight the good fight (especially if it's an excuse to not drink the stuff. I hate licorice.)
Plus, I'm really excited to dress up like a fairy again...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Flashes of Understanding

I have, lately in my life, been feeling disappointed by the big choices I have made. Not in any life-shattering way, but to be sure, there is a general aura of quiet disappointment. It's been elusive and hard to define and has left me questioning my happiness and the way in which I define the same.
But today I have had, as I often do, a sudden moment of understanding. Apparently, W.B. Yeats and myself are two of the same.

As Seamus Deane once said of the great poet: “Yeats began his career by inventing an Ireland amenable to his imagination. He ended by finding an Ireland recalcitrant to it.”

And thus is the lonely, disappointing life of an idealist.
I chose to go to UC Berkeley because I expected to find people full of life and passion who, upon their soap boxes and through their academic endeavors, would call the world to arms, would demand change actively and daily, and would live their lives as fully as possible in every way. I thought I would jump readily into a fight, a surge of change and start making the difference in the world that I wish for. I was so convinced of this, my own invention, that I vowed to go to Berkeley or no other and closed my mind to any other possibilities.
Though I have found a place at Cal and a love for the city of Berkeley, the second half of my first year was strangely depressing. Instead of political fervor and world shaking movements I found a conservative campus that was fully permeated with an competitive obsession with one-up-man academics. I found flailing and floundering movements that lacked logic, direction and the ability to succeed. I failed to find myself among those who were more passionate and more experienced than myself who would take me under their tutelage. And, thus disappointed, I gave up.
I set my sights and hopes on studying abroad. On Ireland. Or, as I have found, on the poetic and literary image of Ireland. The Ireland that I know through the literary revivalists of the turn of the century. The image of Ireland created by nationalists who sought to revive their beloved country and raise her up to be worshiped. The Ireland of mysticism, spirituality, nature and countryside, heroes, and music. The image that was preserved and fiercely guarded by immigrants to protect themselves from the harsh reality of a new country and the troubles of living. The image they passed down to their children which was augmented and enforced by the enchanting music and literature that came from those on the island who also wished to escape raw reality.
And so, wandering pilgrim searching for fulfillment of an ideal, I arrived in Ireland, hoping to find that image of Ireland that is still perpetuated in movies and music today by national pride and patriotic love of the Irish and Irish immigrant descendants alike. Hoping to finally live that dream ideal I've been searching for since the innocent and sweet light of my idyllic childhood was pulled from my by the hands of time.
And I arrived. I arrived in a city. I live in a dorm. I am surrounded by Americans who came looking to drink. I see construction and modernization out my window and wake to it each morning. The only aspects of this city which I expected and hoped for are unappreciated and unnoticed by all, the Irish and the foreign students alike. Who notices the river Lee, eddying beneath the great, sturdy stone bridge and surrounded by blackberry bushes? Who appreciates the sound of footsteps echoing along the painted tile floor of the old church in which I study Irish music? Who wants to admire the old stone buildings up on the hill, smudged with lichen and set in a bed of old growth trees and moss? Who, in a modern world and in a country that has recently pulled itself, literally by its bootstraps, up from poverty, wants to be forever associated with an image of rural, simple and superstitious life?

So I, the ever idealistic wanderer, was dealt a double blow - culture shock/homesickness (which is normal for all) and a disillusionment that crushed my last hope for an idyllic life. But acceptance is the first step to recovery. And I am beginning to pick up the pieces with a new understanding.
My love of travel stems from the security in spending short periods of time in a place. I mean, if I never spend more than a week in one place, I will always be in the awestruck honeymoon stage and will never have to accept the brutal reality that has always disappointed me. But I can't always be on the move. I can be as active as I want, but at some point, I have to face reality, I can't keep running forever hoping that by the time I stop, I will have gained the knowledge and experience to deal with the feeling of being jaded. Which is impossible, of course.

And so today, I see Ireland with new eyes. It is not what I expected, it is not what I hoped for. But at the same time, I know I am lucky (which also tends to happen). Although I am not living every part of my life here the way I expected, I can still find it. The one aspect of Irish society which is true to my imagination is the music. That expected love of traditional music, and the image of the twisting lilting strains twining themselves around the bottles and out the door of small pubs is true. It can be found, even in this modern city in which I live. That, is exactly what I pictured and wanted. So it's lucky I came here to study Irish music, huh?

Yesterday, I arrived back in Cork and for the first time in a month, I felt at home. Not just in my room where all my stuff embraces me daily, and not just in my apartment with its places and things I know and understand by now. I feel at home in the city. It's not yet a comfortable home, but it was the only feeling of belonging than I've had so far. Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed here, all I can think about is the places and things I love back home. I have a mental list of things I want to do when I get home. But last night when I sat down to write it out (I was in a list writing mood), I couldn't quite think of any. I mean, of course there are places I'd like to go, and things I'd like to do, but the yearning that I'd felt for them earlier was gone. I've ceased longing to go home and have started longing to become a part of this city and this country and to make the most of my time here.

Is this just part of the cycle of culture shock? Is it Mercury coming out of retrograde and FINALLY letting me live my life again? I don't know. I don't care. But if you want to come visit me in the next two months, I'd love to show you around my current home.
(My Ireland. The River Lee, Cork City and the hills beyond.)

(I bet I can use some of that for my final English essay on the literature of Modern Ireland..."We're all searching for that ideal identity...")

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Praha pirahnas.

Oh Prague.

How do I begin?

We started our journey on Wednesday afternoon to arrive at the Dublin airport at 11 pm for a 7 am flight because the first bus into the Dublin airport is at 7 am. And let me tell you, the phrase "this is a security warning. Do not leave your bags unattended. Unattended bags will be seized and may be destroyed" will haunt my dreams.

The Dublin airport at night is like a battlefield littered with the bodies of the casualties of inefficient planning and/or transportation systems. And in the true anarchical style of a battlefield, the hierarchy of comfy sleeping spots is based on time and experience. Though, it does depress me to see a 50+ year old man who is so used to traveling for business that he knows to bring a sleeping bag with him to the airport so he can hang his coat and shoes over the back of the chair that he has staked out since 9 pm. And the victorious authority stomps through the field in their garish vests and Doc Martins demanding passports of the huddled masses who are only desperate for sleep. And those Starbucks workers who can weasel bits of power for themselves abuse it and lord it over us lowly homeless. I mean, since when does he get to decide that everyone has to wake up at 4 am?

By the time we could check in and go through security, I almost understood the stupidity of whoever tried to bring the half-full bottle of Jack Daniels that was sitting on top of the security x-ray machine. I mean really, did they think they could get that through? And yet, and yet...

By the time our plane took off for Prague, we had been traveling for 12 hours, and had slept for a sporadic 3. Little did we know that this would be a pattern for the weekend.

Day 1 was spent checking into our quintessential YOUTH hostel, getting our bearings, eating and napping.
Night 1 consisted of learning the extent of the quintessentialness of said YOUTH hostel which put on a pub crawl. Imagine a group of youth travelers, mostly Australian and American (including Canadian) carousing through the streets of Prague under the direction of the hostel's management, who were of the exact same mind. Let's just say that the description of what the pub crawl's cost included the word "unlimited."

And oh the stars did converge and conspire against me that night.
Mostly, I blame Absinthe, which is a fascination for many, even a "jaded" bartender like myself who hates licorice and only tasted it for the shock value.

For Prague, I can say this: considering how absolutely awful I felt the next day, and I'm talking full-day recovery feeling sick, tired, mortified (the last mainly when I realized how much the taxi driver had charged me/ripped me off) and just generally shitty, I still loved Prague.

We spent Day 2 seeing the city, and literally traveling. We walked. A lot.
The girls I traveled with were all nice, but I do believe that a big part of the experience depends on who you are with. Lets put it this way: without any self-pity, I was always the one on the far side of the picture. We were all just different kinds of people and travel differently. We saw everything on the Prague to-do list, but it was in a markedly different way than I would have under other circumstances. For example, I'm not big on shopping and spending money, but we stopped at -literally- every store that sold pashminas. By the end of the 2nd day we knew which stores had the cheapest ones. And by the end of our last day there, the shopkeepers were saying "oh! back again?!" I mean, between 6 girls we bought 59 pashminas. (I did not buy 59 pashminas, I bought significantly less. I didn't even buy the average 9.83 pashminas. But I did contribute to the number...) An experience I never thought I'd have, but I did. And it was fun.

But it was fantastic traveling in Prague with them because they have friends studying in Prague, and as a group we had a fantastic time going out at night.
Prague nightlife is amazing, even when you decide that it's going to be significantly more tame than your first night there was. I think at one point the plan was to stay up to see the sunrise over the Charles Bridge on Sunday night, but we accidentally almost did that on Saturday night instead when one girl (who had to leave a day early) looked at her watch and went "hey, guys, can we go now? It's like 5 am, and I have to be at the airport in 2 hours."

We never actually saw the sunrise in Prague, that'll be on my list for next time I'm in Prague (because I am definitely going back.)

On our final day, we realized that we'd already covered all the big Prague things: the castle, the cathedral, a couple of old famous squares, the Charles bridge, the big tower, eaten a sausage from a sausage cart, bought pashminas, etc. All that was left was the Jewish cemetery (which was closed because it was Sunday), a little craft market and the Communist museum. Which, by the way, the Communist museum, though fascinating, seemed to be sending mixed messages to my sleep-deprived brain. Pro-communist propaganda from back in the day sat alongside descriptions and explanations that had a very blatantly anti-communist slant. But the poster was of one of those nesting dolls, except it has fangs, which is just awesome!

Dinner was... well, hilarious. First we went to this place where the waiter was so outright rude and hostile, that we got up an left right after he took our order. But then we ended up in it's polar opposite where all the wait staff joked with us and teased us in a friendly way, calling us their "angels" and bringing us complementary appetizers. At one point I asked for ketchup for my fries and they brought me mustard, which I meekly accepted until one of the other girls, called the waiter over and asked for the "red one." So he brought over Tabasco sauce. Finally, with most of the wait staff and some of the kitchen staff poking their heads around the corner and trying to stifle giggles, he triumphantly brought over a dinner plate with a small dollop of ketchup in the middle. Oh they were so nice.

It was interesting going to a country that I knew next to nothing about (except that it is "an amazing city" which everyone seems to have to say when they refer to Prague). I had few expectations, and had no idea what I wanted to see. But with everything bad that happened, over spending, horrible hangovers, I still loved Prague. I still had a fantastic time. And I want to go back. Well, really I need to go back now that I know what I really want to do and see and how I want to experience the city. It was an amazing city.

And coming from me? That's saying something.

Friday, October 10, 2008

green monster

So I woke up with a red streak on my arm and one of my fingernails and thought "OH my god! I'm bleeding! Where? Where?"
And then I realized it was just pasta sauce from my late-night second dinner a few hours ago.

Silly girl.

I found out a further disadvantage that comes with a dairy intolerance: it's called aftershock. Allow me to elaborate.
I went on a pub crawl last night with one of my roommate's and her friend. Fantastic girls, so nice. Well, after Bullmers, they were all feeling full and so decided to do a couple of shots instead. So they asked the bartender to make us a shot of something awesome but sweet. With no tequila. Alright fine. So he pours peach schnapps into shot glasses and then starts to float Baileys on top. I can't drink Baileys because of the dairy. Oh, okay. So he turns around and grabs this other bottle and pours out this clear, electric green shot. It looked like liquid green jell-o. Yum, right? (well. actually, I don't really like Jell-o, but eh.) 1 - 2 - 3 and down! Whoo! Strong! Oh my god. it's licorice flavored. I hate licorice. UGH! Aah! Usch! The bartender grins. "Strong, eh?" Um yea. Strong and gross. But I just smile "jeeze, strong!?! That was ridiculous!"

you know when you give a dog peanut butter and he sits there sticking his tongue to the roof of his mouth and then pulling it off repeatedly? That was me for the next 15 minutes trying to get that god-awful taste out of my mouth. There is definitely a reason that it's called "aftershock."

And to think the other girls got peach schnapps and Baileys.

it is, indeed a cruel world.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

If there is one...

The worst part about being here in Ireland (which is really saying something) is the fact that my friends here don't know me the way my friends do at home.
So when I come home at 3 am and just need someone who I can go "OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!" to, they just dont understand the gravity of the situation!!!
I feel that perhaps the universe is trying to tell me something.
Yesterday at the gym I looked down at the electronic display and saw the works "Running is not recommended" running across the screen.
And then this morning I stepped into the elevator and heard "Overloaded. Please Exit."

I kid you not.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Stream of Consciousness: 11:47 pm

I have made a fatal error. I have left my cd case of movies out in the living room. As in, the living room in which my roommates are all just chilling out on a lazy Monday night.
I can't get in there. I can't get my movies. Because it's awkward to want to watch a movie alone in my room? Apparently.

So now I'm watching old episodes of The Office on my computer eventhough I intended to go to sleep like 2 hours ago.
I don't sleep much here. It was a big deal.

Also, this week has been progressively more awful. I've been in kind of a funk and bad stuff keeps happening. Like this morning! This morning, I go to pour my casein free milk into my gluten free oatmeal and it's all rotten. Yuck. And that's just one thing. It's just been an overcast mood all week. And then I remembered, DUH! It's because Mercury is in retrograde! My life ALWAYS gets crappy when Mercury is in retrograde!
But don't worry because there's only about a week left until it starts turning, so it's all good.

Also, I found a really cool key yesterday.

We went to Blarney yesterday, and I had some super awesome poetic ideas about how to write about it, but now I forget. Also, the Folk Festival was this weekend. I saw this really cool trad band in this little pub and then walked home in the rain which felt AMAZING! I love the rain. Also we saw this Salsa Celtica band which was a salsa-traditional Celtic music fusion band. SO cool.
And in Blarney we picked up a traveler. His name is Mick (which looks like I spelled it wrong.) And he's still here... which is why I can't go get my movies. Because he and one of my roommates are in the living room debating about watching a movie or not. I do not want to join them. Actually, now it is a moot point because it sounds like they've all gone to sleep since I've been watching The Office.

Say Goodnight Gracie.

Goodnight, Gracie!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Usually when I get the mean reds, I watch Breakfast at Tiffanys, but this morning I knew WHY I had the mean reds.

So I did two things: I looked for volunteer opportunities working with kids around here in Women and Children's homes

and I booked a flight to Prague.

right. Oh, by the way, did I mention that I'm going to Prague?
yea, it should be cool. We were planning to go in a few weeks, but it's cheaper to go the weekend after next.
Oh yea! did I mention that I'm going to Prague the weekend after next? yea. Pretty psyched.

Outside Mirrors

I'm having one of those days today. I'm in a mood, I guess you could say.
One of those mornings when everything is a little too dim and I can't focus on anything and can't really get myself to care about anything. My movements are slow and my limbs feel heavy. I haven't been crying but my eyes, cheekbones and nose feel swollen and sore as if I had. And I'm just kind of blue. Melancholy but not sad. I can't keep my thoughts in one place, and if I try, they are as blank and expressionless as my face no doubt is. It's been one of those mornings when I just want to throw things and break things. Glass, metal ceramic. Just to hear the noise it makes. Just to feel that disturbance. I accidentally dropped my spoon on the ceramic tile in out kitchen and it was the most pleasing and satisfying sound I could have heard in that moment. There were at least three distinct clangs and then a moment of clattering - metallic sharp and harsh.

I think I'll go for a walk.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Once in a while, I secretly love mornings that go in slow-motion and start at noon.

I had this huge long post that I wrote about the other night, and how, if my life were a play, it would have been the end of act one because all these ends tied up nicely but there was this ominous feeling of temporariness around the whole situation. It was four pages, single spaced, so I decided against it.

That's a lie.
I got lazy and didn't post it and now I feel it's rather archaic.

But last night, oh last night. Let me paint you a picture:
It started out pretty normal. We went out. Because you have to go out Thursday nights. It's just how things ARE around here.
On the way into the city, we got kicked off the bus. I'm not sure why, and it obviously couldn't have been all 15 of us, but I do know that at least one of our group was asked to leave so we ALL got up and walked off in a proud line that was not just necessary because of the narrow aisle on the bus.
I usually like to hit the Wash kinda for a drink, but mostly because I have a crush on one of the bartenders there. But no one else wanted to go there last night so I went by myself. It was super sneaky too - I waited until we went through this big crowd that always forms around this one atm and then I doubled back.
I know it may not have been the best idea, but it was early enough in the night, and I knew a couple of our friends were in the bar across the street that I felt safe about it. Also, a little bit thrilled.
And let me tell you, it was SO worth it! We had a conversation. It went like this:
"Can I get a bullmers? ... BULLMERS?"
"Thanks!" *smile*
"Hey, can I get a water?"
"yea" *sheepish smile* "thanks"
Sigh. can't you just FEEL the connection there?
And last night, oh man oh man. When I was done with my water glass I pushed it further in on the counter and he took it and said "cheers!"
Yes, it was a magical night.

Then there were more shenanigans at a club or two that finally ended in with me and my three roommates standing in front of Hillbilly's (THE most in late night greasy dining in Cork city) shocked and appalled at the line. Then Meg goes "this is ridiculous. We're going home and making our own Hillbillys."
I think we intended to cook french fries, but there was also left-over pasta, chips, salsa and guacamole, toast, Nutella, and I don't even know what else. It was epic. It was just a bunch of us sitting in the kitchen, busting at the seams from all the food and all the laughing as we re-hashed and re-re-hashed the night until 4 am. It was absolutely ridiculous, but it has now been cast in the golden light of a cherished memory.

But I'll tell you a secret. I woke up at 10 this morning before any of my roommates were up and walked into the kitchen to make some tea, but when I saw the absolute horror of a mess we made last night, I turned around and closed the door to my room and pretended to be asleep until I heard one of my roommates cleaning up. Shh!