A quarter-life crisis, a Familienfest, the land of the free, my first real job.. Here are the highlights of 2011

January

I was: unemployed, restless, devilish

What I said: “I have few accomplishments to recommend me; I cannot draw, my recitals on the pianoforte are clumsy at best and I have neither a talent for embroidery nor the gift of graceful movement. The one area in which, after much searching, I have found myself to excel is in the ability to produce plausible-sounding Gibberish at will…” more

February

I: found a job, was still devilish.

What I said: “I check my e-mail before going to sleep and there’s a Valentine e-card in from LSB! I think: “Aw, what a sweetie”. I open it up only to find a Fine Gael cartoon canvasser tell me that “Labour are red, Fine Gael are blue, we won’t raise your taxes like they want to do”. Then he winks and looks shiftily (seductively?) to the side. I send one to every member of my family signing it Eoghan Murphy xxx, the name of the Fine Gael candidate in my constituency who topped 98 fm’s “hottest election poster boy” poll…” more

March

I: had a quarter-life crisis

What I said: “There was once a raven-haired fortune teller who, tracing her forefinger over my palm, told me that I would live to be in my nineties. I was alarmed when I realised some time ago that I had reached quarter age in spite of her promise of longevity. This realisation, coupled with acute post-graduation panic (PGP) has propelled me to a life crisis…” more

April

I: tried to forget about my Quarter Life Crisis by taking a trip to Sligo with LSB

What I said: “We’re leaning against a stony wall by the riverbank. I’m unzipping my camera case gingerly because I want to remember the stillness and his solitude when a blonde-haired man of about thirty staggers, stony-eyed towards us.
“Don’t you dare take my picture”, he yells. “You’ve no right, you sons of bitches. You’ve no fucking right at all”…” more

May

I: thought about my younger and more vulnerable years.

What I said: “I was 16 and practically the same but for a hideous mane of long, straggly brown hair with orange highlights. I had just finished struggling through The Satanic Verses. I’d taken it to Germany where I spent many a journey on slow trains, puff-puff-puffing their way through the Bavarian countryside, with the battered book on my knee, trying to make sense of it all. Bizarrely-named angels, and evil and the Muslims didn’t like it: it went something like that…” more

June

I: took up a political cause

What I said: “As they beat their hammers on their oak writing tables and whisper “Objection” in advance of September’s Referendum, the twenty-two dissenters will inevitably privately concede that the scrapping of Article 35.5 represents good riddance to bad rubbish. Objection over-ruled…” more

July

I: thought about pens and penises

What I said: “Unless it’s accepted as equally scandalous that the proportion of male nurses is equivalent to that of female corporate executives, a discussion of gender can never be detached from a social weighting in favour of money…” more

August

I: attended the annual Familienfest

What I said: “As I was tucking into my vegetable bags (or Gemuse Taschen) I had a sudden sinking feeling: I had forgotten to pick up the bag of black sausages!…” more

September

I: admitted that I don’t have the first clue about the economic crisis

What I said: “Every weekday morning, I brush my teeth while listening to the business news on Morning Ireland. Once the weather comes on, I know it’s time to spit…” more

October

I: realised that there’s nothing quite like an Irish Presidential election.

What I said: “The struggle for the presidential candidates to find many more words than the Queen of England herself during the “Irish Language” debate revealed the incongruities that are still gripping this little nation, which – desperate for an export-driven recovery from economic ruin- continues to struggle with its own identity…” more

November

I: went to America.

What I said: “Subways in New York are grubby places. They are for poor people and for people who read large books with city library stamps printed on their spines…” more

December

I: finished learning the Arabic alphabet!

What I said ““That is a beautiful and new car!”, I said pointing to a rusty 1993 fiat punto. “I am Kate Katharina.” “Pleased to meet you.” “Give me a falafel please”.”… more

………………………………………………………..

Thank you all so much for making 2011 lovely and for taking time out of your much more exciting lives to leave comments. I appreciate you all enormously. ❤

Advertisements

My boyfriend is a savant

My boyfriend is a savant. He can multiply enormous numbers by each other in seconds and can list the members of my expansive German family in order of age without ever having been formally taught. He can recall facts about obscure historical figures I’ve never heard of and whenever we share a book to read, I have to skip paragraphs to keep up with his page turning.

Of course he denies it. He shakes his head with a bemused smile, masking the beginnings of faint frustration and says, “I’m not a savant, Katzi”. Then I ask him to multiply 678 by 78 and he says “52,884”.

“Is it really?”
“I think so”, he replies modestly.
I check it on my phone. He’s always right. I have found that he finds it difficult to refuse an offer to compute.

Being a savant’s girlfriend has its complications. One becomes idle. Instead of whipping out a calculator, or typing something into Google, or even better lifting one of my enormous encyclopaedias, I call him.

Another problem I have found is that it is extremely difficult to find a fault or defect to offset the genius quality. As well as knowing lots, he’s also unbearably humble.

The difference between us is that I don’t like to let the facts get in the way of a good diagnosis. I understand that according to the Strict Diagnostic criteria, LSB unfortunately does not qualify as a savant. However, this does not stop me from addressing text messages to him with “What’s up, Savantface?”

In an effort to refute my hypothesis, this Christmas he gave me a book with the title “Islands of Genius” with a foreword written by my hero Daniel Tammet. I fear he thought that reason was the way to a change of heart. This book, like most academic works, disguises interesting and insightful points with dull prose.

Peculiarly, though I received it last week, the inside cover claims it to have been “first published in 2012”. I see this as nothing more than further evidence of LSB’s preternatural processing speed.