A damn lot of it. And I'm not even sorry. *eg*
What happened was: I met up with my friend Karen, who showed me a real Irish night out on the town. We started off at Doyle's, which is a pub something like three feet away from Front Gate, and which I of course hadn't been to before, because I am lame. But Karen was nice enough not to mock me too much. I had a vodka and orange and she had a pint, and then we went to see a trio of friends of hers play at this pub called Conway's. There were several interesting logistical factors involved. First, Conway's is INVISIBLE, so we had a hard time finding it. We actually walked right by it several times--I think there must have been a cloaking device involved, because the only other explanation is that we are both blind. (As we happen to sport nearly identical Geek Glasses, there may be some validity to this theory.) Second, we were told the club where the band was playing was up some stairs at the back of the pub, but from what you could see at the bottom, the stairs seemed to lead straight into the kind of restroom you'd expect to find in a nasty prison movie. But we braved it, and after a quick jot to the left down a (possibly also cloaked) corridor, found ourselves outside the club. Which was called--I kid you not--The Boom Boom Room. Sadly, it was not ladies' night. ;-)
Karen's friends' band, Darkroom Notes, was actually quite good. Plus, they're all archaeologists--the world needs more singing archaeologists! (Also, more dancing entomologists, but that's a separate issue.) If you are an archaeologist and sing, I hereby declare it your duty to start a band. You can even call it The Singing Archaeologists, which is a pretty groovy band name, if I do say so myself. You don't even need to credit me, though I would appreciate a backstage pass or two, if you make it big.
ANYWAY...while this was going on I was introduced to several of Karen's very cool friends, and also managed to consume two vodkas and cranberry. (Or is it "two vodka and cranberries"? Booze grammar check!) Then the next act came on. First there was a guy who looked exactly like Brent Spiner in Independence Day. Kneeling on the stage, he very intently moved some levers on a...synth thing? Whatever it was, it mostly produced a high-pitched feedbacky noise. We giggled and rolled our eyes. Little did we know that this was a veritable SYMPHONY compared to what was coming next. Because then Brent Spiner was replaced by an evil, demented hobbit and a girl who looked like the bastard lovechild of a bizarre three-way union between Natalie Imbruglia, Clea DuVall, and Avril Lavigne. For instruments they had another synthy thing, a long piece of wood with some strings, and, apparently, THE POWER OF SATAN. For the next--oh God, it seemed like years--they produced a single, blaring piece of...I can't say music. Sound. Noise. Raw, screeching discord. At one point a clarinet was brought out and added to the mix. At another, the evil hobbit simply screamed into the microphone, his mouth open and gaping but whatever sound he was actually making lost in the din. I think I can most aptly describe it as dental surgery for your ears. Or Vogon poetry set to music.
It was awesome. I mean, it was totally horrible--and at times, physically painful--but it was just so weird, one of those experiences where while it's happening, I already know that I'm gonna be able to use it as material for years to come. Karen kept apologizing, but seriously: I am so, so glad I went. So glad I saw it. It was great.
However, it was traumatizing, so we all went back to Doyle's and got smashed. I'm really not sure how it happened, but I somehow managed to consume four more vodkas and orange. People just kept buying me drinks! Yes, it's all their fault--blame the generous people!
All in all, it was a fabulous night. *eg*
Today, when I emerged blinking into the sunshine, miraculously without a hangover (but with my sunglasses handy, just in case), I met up with my friend Katrina and we went to the photography museum in Temple Bar. The exhibit was by a woman named Lindsay Seers, and like last night, it was utterly weird and utterly wonderful. First there was a DVD component, supposedly a documentary about the artist herself, and I'd describe it as The Ring meets House of Leaves meets The Museum of Jurassic Technology, except that doesn't fully convey how cool it was. Then there was a room containing a half-dozen "Mouth Photographs," which were small, pink-tinted, and highly distorted images that looked like nothing...right up until the moment when they suddenly became intensely creepy.
Finally, upstairs was the creepiest thing of all. Picture this: through the doorway, you can see a series of fairly bland snapshots taped messily to the far wall. You walk in to take a closer look, and Holy Crap No. 1: there is a two-headed mechanical sailor dummy in the corner. Its two heads swivel, its four eyes gape open and then click closed, its two mouths open and shut soundlessly. It is completely terrifying. But you laugh it off, make the requisite Sid joke (a reference Katrina actually got--which is why she is AWESOME), and go to take a closer look at the photographs. And then Holy Crap Nos. 2-20 million: the frickin' dummy takes a picture of you! With its eyes! The flash goes off, like demonic pupils flaring up out of the abyss, and the next thing you know, you're set to be another picture up on that wall. They say that a camera can steal your soul--I never believed it until today.
Katrina and I also visited the Chester Beatty Library at Dublin Castle, which was cool, but nothing compared to Evil Sailor Sid. The best thing, though? We got lost on the way there (my fault), and while we were stumbling around, I FINALLY found the groovy bookshop I've been dreaming of. It's called The Secret Book and Record Store, and for good reason--it's down this twisting alleyway off of Wicklow Street. It's also right next door to--I kid you not--Sheppard's Hair Salon. (Katrina did not get this reference, so she still has room to become awesomer.) And, miracle of miracles, they had a copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes! It was just sitting there, right out on a table. With all the time and effort I've spent looking for it, this was the equivalent of finding the Holy Grail, say, under a fur coat in a thrift shop. (And anyone who gets that reference is the awesomest person ever.)