Galway Player almost definitely a virgin says top psychologist

GALWAY: NUI Galway’s top clinical psychologist claimed today that the blogger operating under the pseudonym ‘the Galway Player’ is likely a socially awkward introvert who is “almost definitely” a virgin.

Dr. Sinead Donnelly said: “The author of the blog has clearly based his persona on the type of ‘player’ you often come across in American sitcoms – think Joey in Friends, Charlie in Two and a Half Men or Barney in How I Met Your Mother, there is no evidence of any basis in reality. It is highly likely that far from being a player, a man who feels the need to hold down this level of delusion cannot even sustain an erection.”

She added: “The cloak of anonymity allows him to indulge in a fantasy where all women want him and all men want to be him. It’s like a comfort blanket for a man who has clearly been rejected one time too many – unfortunately, in many cases like this, the line between reality and delusion can become more and more blurred as time goes on.”

Aoife O’Brien, who says she lived with the blogger during her second year of University appeared to back up these claims in an interview today. She said: “He would get up in the morning talking about the bird he pulled the night before. He used to make a big deal of saying he’d sent her on the walk of shame early, but we literally never once saw him with a girl. He’d make small talk with us for a few minutes over a cup of tea and then head away again for a suspiciously long shower.”

Aoife’s boyfriend Pa Holian agreed.”It’s like this – if you’re that much of a stud, you don’t spend your time sitting at your laptop blogging – you’re too busy out getting action” he said, as he glanced somewhat wistfully at his girlfriend of eight months.

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A good start is half the battle

My four years at the University of Limerick were among the happiest of my life. I made a diverse group of friends, immersed myself in student culture, took an active part in clubs and societies and wrote extensively for the college newspaper. Some of my best memories are of setting the world to rights over tea in Javas – a favourite hangout on campus, planning events in the clubs and societies office and walking to the pontoon by the River Shannon on sunny spring days.

All in all, I could never say I regretted my experience of university.

The “but” is coming.

I studied New Media and English. Not a bad choice for someone aspiring to a career in journalism, you would think. I thought wrong.

I was 16 years old when I made that choice, and though I read the prospectus, I had only a very basic understanding of what the course would entail.

The English side of the course, to be fair, was exactly what it said on the tin: English literature in all its forms from Shakespearean plays to Romanticism to SciFi. The readings, lengthy essays and tutorial assignments no doubt honed by writing and critical thinking skills.

The New Media side of the course, however, was a massive let down. While a friend studying in NUI Maynooth was learning the ins and outs of media production and another in NUI Galway was gaining practical knowledge of print media, I was primarily studying cultural studies. The New Media aspect of the course was dominated by feminist and race theories, with the occasional module in media theory. Aside from a basic introduction to technical writing, students gained virtually no practical skills that could be transferred to a workplace.

I felt cheated.

As a result, I skipped a lot of classes, preferring to spend the time working with the editors of the college newspaper. I knew I would need a portfolio once I graduated and there was no chance I was going to develop one in class. Interesting though it was, another lecture on third-wave feminism simply couldn’t tempt me back. I pitched articles to local and national newspapers at every opportunity and interned with any newspaper that would take me on. I joined the Debating Union and honed my verbal communication skills.

I’m glad I went to UL. My advice to students picking a course, however, would be to give these vague wishy-washy courses a miss. Alternatives like European Studies or History and Politics will give you just as good a grounding for a career in journalism – perhaps a better one.

I got an incredible education at the University of Limerick. It’s just a shame so little of it took place in the academic sphere.

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Fianna Fail topping polls – has Ireland got Stockholm syndrome?

I’ve been reading lately that Fianna Fail are topping polls. It makes me so angry. Angry and confused. Because much as I keep up with the news at home, I just don’t understand. Things are still terrible at home, I get that. People are suffering and looking for someone to blame. And Fine Gael/Labour have broken promises.


But looking at the facts, I cannot fathom why anyone would want to put Fianna Fail and whatever runt of a party they can drag with them back in government. Ireland has consistently been commended EU/IMF for meeting our bailout targets since the Fine Gael/Labour government came to power, the international media has nothing but praise for Enda Kenny and his ministers.


Do people think that any other combination of parties or independents in Ireland can do a better job? Do you really think any government can keep Ireland afloat without cuts?


Back when Tommy Tiernan was funny, he had this sketch where a young schoolboy was explaining sex to his friends. Too young to understand, his friends were horrified at the thought. The punch-line goes: “Some of the lads skipped back to Father Murphy, singing ‘better the divil you know, better the divil you know’”.


Fianna Fail is certainly the devil we know, but surely that’s a reason to run screaming in the opposite direction – not to skip back to them.


As well as effectively defecating on the economy, Fianna Fail spent the best part of two decades ignoring or shirking issues like abortion, the Magdalene laundries  and the undue influence of the Catholic Church – particularly where the abuse of vulnerable children was concerned. Enda Kenny’s government has bravely faced these issues, while Fianna Fail heckled them from the safety and comfort of the opposition benches. Have they offered alternative solutions? Of course not. Constructive debate instead of cheap point-scoring? That would be asking too much.


Reverting to Fianna Fail when times get tough is lazy.


“This shower is no good, let’s get the last shower back in – things were never as bad then.”


Remember – We’re paying for every year of the boom ten times over now. The closed A and E’s, the cuts in education, increases in taxes – these are the legacy Bertie Ahern and the Fianna Fail tent at the Galway Races left behind. Very shrewdly (and if I’ll give Fianna Fail anything – they are shrewd) – Fianna Fail have made their bed and left Fine Gael and Labour to lie on it. They do have a keen sense of timing.


Here’s what they don’t want you to know: Fianna Fail are absolutely delighted to be in Opposition at the moment. Delighted.


They don’t want to be the bad guys, raising taxes and making cuts. They’ll wait until Fine Gael and Labour are just about to get the economy back on track and that’s when they’ll mount their attack.


And because we tend to have memories shorter than that of a goldfish, we’ll most likely vote them in again. Like I said, it’s lazy.


Go out and speak to your local representatives, question them. Find out what the international media is saying about the government. Ask yourself who did more to get us into this mess, and who has been helping us claw our way out of it. Do a bit of research. Look at the big picture. Be an active citizen – you get the government you deserve, we vote these people into power.


Just don’t vote Fianna Fail back in because it’s too much effort to find out what the alternatives are.


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The Secret

Books don’t usually make me angry.

At times happy, at times sad. But it’s quite rare for me to flick through a book and be left with a feeling that I’d actually like to beat the author to death with a copy of it. Not to overreact or anything.

I picked up a copy of The Secret the other day. I have heard a lot about it and knew vaguely that it was about how thinking positively can improve your daily life. That’s a concept I’m on board with. I believe that the more positive energy you throw out in the world the more you get back. That’s why I tell people ‘Have a good day’ as often as I can. More often than not they say it back and you both feel a little happier after the interaction.

Further, you’re more likely to get help from your neighbours/ colleagues/ family/ friends if you are perceived as a happy, well balanced and friendly person than if you come across negatively. You might be thinking, ‘this is all a bit obvious Katie, you’re just stating truisms’. Right. I just want people to be aware that I’m not completely opposed to the idea of positive thinking before I start ranting.

The book

The concept of the book is that the Universe will provide anything you need for you as long as you think positively and believe it. Every single thing that has ever happened to you has happened because of the way you thought about it and the ‘frequency’ you were emitting. The secret is the Law of Attraction and you attract whatever thoughts you’re sending out into the universe.

What really annoys me about this book is that it attempts to sway vulnerable people into believing that they can ‘manifest’ things like a rabbit from a magicians hat by obscurely quoting quantum physicists and using out-of-context quotes from people like Einstein to back up their spurious claims.

Some excerpts:

On ‘The Secret’

P. 27, Dr.Joe Vitale “Everything that surrounds you in your life, including the things you’re complaining about, you’ve attracted”… You’re going to immediately say ‘I didn’t attract that car accident. I didn’t attract this particular client who gives me a hard time. I didn’t particlularly attract the debt.’ And I’m here to be a little bit in your face and say yes, yes you did attract it”

The good doctor goes on to explain that this applies in all cases, including where masses of people have died, because they were on the same ‘frequency’ as the event in their minds. As the doctor says the law applies 100% of the time, we can surmise that rape victims ‘attracted’ their rapists, 9/11 victims ‘attracted’ planes into the world trade centre and this ‘law’ also applies to health so cancer patients, stroke victims etc ‘attracted the illness into their lives.

I find this concept, which is repeated throughout the book by various doctors and believers, to be utterly offensive.

On attracting abundance:

P.99 Rhonda Byrne “The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts… All the money you require exists right now in the invisible. If you do not have enough, it is because you are stopping the flow of money coming to you.”

The chapter goes on to explain that if you start visualising cheques coming in the mail instead of bills it will happen. You just have to really believe in the Universe.

If only children across the Developing World knew the secret. If only they knew if they would quit whining about being starving and focus on abundance, money, food and clean water would be theirs. Or does ‘the Secret’ not apply to the Developing World. How elitist of it.

As if to prove a point, p 107-108 states “the wealthiest people on the planet are the greatest philanthropists. They give away vast amounts of money, and as they give, by the law of attraction, the Universe opens up and floods vast amounts of money back to them – multiplied”

I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works. Philanthropists like Bill Gates give away significant amounts, but tiny in the context of what he earns. The money that floods to him is not the Universe’s reward to him, it’s the result of building one of the most successful countries in the world.

On health

P 128, Michael Bernard Beckwith “The question frequently asked is, “When a person has manifested a disease in the body temple or some kind of discomfort in their life, can it be turned around through the power of ‘right’ thinking? And the answer is absolutely, yes.”

Again, this makes me angry. Firstly the idea that the disease you have is nothing to do with genetics, your surroundings or just plain bad luck – you manifested it yourself through thinking ‘wrong’. Secondly, the idea that any and all diseases, aches and pains can be cured by the power of positive thinking – backed up by a succession of reader stories that claim it to be true. It’s just not fair to sell this idea that you can cure yourself of anything by thinking about it a different way. Many readers will be vulnerable people who will grab any kind of hope they can – and Rhonda Byrne and her contributors are taking advantage of that.

The book also says you can consume as many calories as you want and not do exercise and you will stay skinny as long as you keep picturing yourself your perfect size…. I wish!

I realise most people will say ‘It’s so obviously ridiculous Katie, that you shouldn’t even get worked up over it’, but people do believe it. People change their lives and make huge, irreversible decisions based on this absolute nonsense!

I could rant about this all day, I’ll leave it there for now.

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Not Your Average Friday Night

Burlesque. Asian girls that are boys. Music. A midget. Champagne. Cabaret. Thai food. Acrobatics.

In all fairness, what more could you ask for a Friday evening’s entertainment? The Lady Boys of Bangkok is an evening of fun and frolicks featuring, you guessed it, Thai lady boys.

I’m not going to lie, we weren’t quite sure what to expect going in. At 24 squid a ticket we had high hopes, though the male contingent looked nervously around the largely female queue ‘there doesn’t seem to be a lot of men here’. Would we see any lumps, bumps or bulges? Would we think they were attractive? Would it be entertaining? Would it be very sexual?

The show did not disappoint. Displaying varying degrees of femininity, the Lady Boys took to the stage with classic performances of YMCA, Tina Turner and references to pop culture favourites Corrie, The Sound of Music and Sister Act. Combining this with the theatre that is Lady Gaga and a very literal rendition of Rihanna’s S and M made for a thoroughly lively performance.

Elements of comedy broke up the performance nicely, with the exception of some well handled if unexpected technical issues towards the end of the first half! The inevitable but ever-amusing moments of audience participation had every man in the place shrinking back in their chairs, lest they be brought upon stage, half-stripped and given a lap dance by a Lady Boy [scared they’d enjoy it too much, I expect!]

The most impressive act of the night for me was by one of the male performers. He arrives on stage, which has a newly acquired pole. Oh, a male pole dancer, you think, wonder what this will be like. Instead, he puts on this athletic, acrobatic feat that I can’t even put into words. I’m sorry – you had to be there for this part. But picture this, he did completely horizontal chin ups on the vertical pole. That’s upper body strength!

If you were wondering about my questions above – no, we didn’t spot any lumps, bumps or bulges. Some of the performers had masculine looking jaw bones, eye brows and thighs in my opinion but despite some very risque moves we didn’t see any you-know-whats! Some of the performers I would swear down were women, and very attractive ones at that. The performance was suggestive and fun but not overly sexual!

And yes, we were very, very entertained!

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“I’d like to thank my Mom… and God…”

Whaddya know. I got nominated for a Reader Appreciation Award from sosassyandsingle! I’m sure she won’t mind me telling you that I had to Google it to find out what it really means.

Basically, bloggers form a community when we throw our writing out there for the world to see. Most of us are a bit narcissistic, we love when people ‘like’ or comment on our stuff, and this award is essentially a way to thank people that follow you, encourage you and give you feedback!

With that – I’d like to pass the award on to the following friends of mine on the blogosphere! Put it up on your own blog and pass it on.

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Making memories – my British bucket list!

It’s easy to fall in to habits. Some good. Some bad. Some simply apathetic.

You get home in the evening after a long day at work and all you want to do is grab a bit of dinner and watch Corrie… the weekend rolls round and all you want to do is have a few drinks and chill. We’re all guilty of it!

When I lived in the United Arab Emirates I somehow managed to go almost three years without going up Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – despite passing it on numerous occasions. I was always too busy or had something else on or couldn’t afford it. I regret that. It’s like those memes that get passed around say – you regret what you don’t do more than what you do.

So here I am in England. Only across the water from home really yet with so much to explore! But unless I start making real plans and following through on them, the same thing is likely to happen again. How to go about this? A Bucket List for my time here in England. Summer is coming, the Euros and the Olympics are on, it’s an exciting time to be here!

So – you guys tell me – what is the best way to spend my time? Here are some of the things I’m thinking about but I’ll need your suggestions!

Matthew Street, Liverpool: I was well in to college by the time I realised how

Imagemuch I loved the Beatles. It doesn’t matter what kind of mood I’m in; happy, sad, lonely, just wanna dance, in love, out of love – there is a Beatles song that will encapsulate it. The idea of visiting the Cavern Club where they played in the early days genuinely excites me, walking the streets where those four boys walked – definitely Number One on this ol’ list of mine!

London: I tried to make this one more specific but I can’t. I want to see a show in the West End, stroll Imagethrough Covent Garden and explore Piccadilly Circus. I want to shop London-style. I want to get a picture inside an old-school red telephone box. I want to go to an underground club where acts play before htey get discovered and forget their humble beginnings. I want to picnic in Hyde Park and go to Hamley’s Toy shop. Heck I want to go full-tourist on this one, camera round the neck on an open bus tour, saluting the changing of the guards! Hmmm, I think London’s going to require more than one trip!

Cornwall: We Irish are only getting used to holidaying-at-home again since the recession, but
Imagethe Brits have always been fans of it and from what colleagues have told me, there’s good reason why. Cornwall comes most highly recommended, with apparent fun-for-all-the-family as well as a decent nightlife for us young’uns. And LOOK, it’s so pretty! Could that not be somewhere in the Mediterranean? Just a couple of hours away, I’m dying to get down here for a weekend over summer for a change of scenery and some fun and frolicks!
I guess that’s it for now!
As I said, England’s an exciting place to be at the moment. Exploring it has to be top priority. Where else do you fine people think I should go and what else should I do?
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