Low-Level Contact


It’s said that everyone in the world is connected. The only thing between me and some other person on this planet is, at most, six degrees of separation.


Now thanks to modern technology we can all be directly connected. Everyone we’ve ever met can be our Facebook friend.

I have 283 friends.

I haven’t seen many of them in person in years. It’s generally not because we’re separated by a large land mass or anything, in fact some of them live very close to me, it’s more because we have a mutual disinterest in each other’s lives, but still I receive daily updates on their “mad college nights out” and their J1 last summer and their upcoming trip to Thailand. Just about the only thing I have in common with these people is the fact that we both have a Facebook account.

I guess i’m just tired of low-level contact with people I don’t really know anymore. I understand that talking to others can be intimidating for some people. Technology that removes the human aspect from interpersonal contact is a god send for these people. But just because you’re less intimidated by the prospect of sharing your thoughts doesn’t mean you should share every mundane thought that goes through your mind.

Was human interaction better, or indeed, easier back in the pre-internet days? I mean if you didn’t have the internet or text messaging would you bother phoning some casual acquaintance or even writing them a letter just to find out about what’s going on in their life? Would you go to all that trouble to ask them the most generic mundane question about their plans for the summer or how their exams went and so on?

Did people have to deal with having awkward disjointed conversations on Facebook Chat with people they don’t know very well or much care about?


The _____ Life

The shelves were staked full with all kinds of books on fashion, music, culture and an assortment of other weird and random things like pornographic playing cards and a copy of Penthouse from the 80’s, while the walls were adorned with both the loud paintings of recent art college graduates and those more established artists. But in a silent protest against the warm homeliness of the room was a 42″ flat screen television, a Playstation 3, a Wii, a fuckload games and a surround sound system featuring a big obnoxious subwhoofer.

I’ve just moved out of the house I was living in for the last 6 months and on my recent return I felt a very strong sense that the atmosphere had changed. When I had lived there, there had been a small tv in the corner that was seldom turned on and was only ever used to play dvd’s, but now in it’s place, amongst the art work and cosy disorder of the room was all of this new sleak technology.

It all made me think about the dreaded working life – that 50-60 year period between finishing college and retiring/dying. This stuff had all been bought by the guy who took my room when I moved out. Clearly it was all he spent his money on. It made me wonder what I would spend my money on when I was earning a proper salary. I mean is it really worth working 5 days a week from 9 to 5 with only 2 weeks off a year just to get the money to buy stuff ? Do things that you sit in front of alone for a few hours at a time make you happy or contribute to you growing as a person?

This guy earning good money that he can buy cool stuff with



Anyone who says they have no regrets is definitely lying (or stupid)



We all get turned down sometimes. It’s not a particularly nice feeling. You put yourself out there, make yourself vulnerable for a moment and you get turned away. But it’s a good thing not to get what you want from time to time. It’s life affirming and makes you stronger.

Yesterday evening I went to see Fionn Regan performing for the DU Literary Society in Trinity’s beautiful old chapel. The seats were set out with two pews, which faced each other, on either side of a long central aisle. Sitting in the pew directly opposite me was a girl I had seen before. I had talked to her for all of ten minutes at a party and at some point later on during the night her friend, who I had never met before, approached me:

Friend: “Dan?”
Me: (a little confused, because some chic I don’t know has just approached me and somehow knows my name) “eh… yeah”
Friend: “hmm…. this is really really weird….. but ….. eh…. my friend…. you know, the girl you were talking to there…. eh….. she really likes you.”
Me: “… o – k
Friend: “so……. will I tell her you’re interested?”
Me: “eh…. I dunno”
[at this point, rather than saying “no, I’m sure she’s great, but no thanks love”, I decided, for some reason, to continue saying things like “ok” and “that’s good” and “eh.. right” in the most awkward tone a human being can possibly produce, until the girl’s friend asked: “so… are you gay?”]

What the fuck?

The sad thing is that this wasn’t the first time this had happened. At another party a few months before, a seriously drunk girl also enquired about my sexual orientation after I made it quite clear that I didn’t want to “go upstairs” with her. I realise i’m not exactly the most overtly masculine man around – I’m not the kind of guy who spends his day high-fiving my rugby-chums after my my mate “Padráig the Ledge totally beat the shite outta some absolute knack at a Bell x1 concert cuz he got his druggy hands on his ‘Cormbie hoodie” – but back to the point at hand:

Rejection doesn’t require a reason.

This isn’t a crit – i’m not going to give you constructive criticism (except maybe be more attractive, generally)

And what would make a person so arrogant as to think that the only possible reason in the world that someone wasn’t attracted to them is because they were gay?

Suck it up and walk it off.

My Philosophy


Brian: “What were you thinking Dan?”
Me (a little taken aback ): “Well…. I don’t have any hiking boots, anyway hiking is gay”

This moment really made me think. What was I doing there? What was I thinking? Had I made a foolish choice?

To a great extent we are defined by our choices. The choice whether to drink/smoke/take drugs. The choice to treat all people with respect and be considered a nice guy or be an apathetic obnoxious cunt and have everyone think you’re cool. The choice whether to buy a PC or Mac.

On our recent trip to the Mourne Mountains I made a defining choice. I decided that instead of taking a pair of sturdy hiking boots in order to handle the ~2hr walk-ins to the crags, I would break the mould and bring only a pair of purple canvas shoes I bought in RiverIsland for €10.

When Brian asked me “What was I thinking?” I felt pretty stupid, like someone who had decided to take a jaunt up Shit Creak armed with only a fashionable but totally impractical item rather than the more sensible choice of a paddle. Then I had an ephinany. I had not made a stupid choice at all. I had in fact done the cleverest thing in my life to date. 

Hiking boots are big and heavy and generally look pretty uncool. They don’t come in a range of unusual colours and you can’t get them in a shop where you can see the penis veins of the shop assisants through their incredibly tight skinny jeans. As good as they are at keeping your feet dry and preventing you from twisting your ankle on the uneven ground, you will not be able to pull an attractive mildly attainable Alt broad with glorious pert tits when you’re wearing them (unless of course you’re wearing them in a really ironic way, which is pretty hard and I don’t think I have the charm, wit, confidence or intelligence to pull it off).

You cannot, however, go wrong with a pair of purple Keds

The shoes I wore to the mountains

The shoes I wore to the mountains

My philosopy in life is that one should always dress as if they are on their way to a party. No matter how uneven the ground is, no matter how bad the weather happens to be, no matter how much the squares around you are questioning your decisions, you should always keep in mind that you may just bump into the Alt broad of your dreams and, god forbid, that day comes when you happen to have made the sensible choice and decided to wear some practical hiking boots then you my friend deserve the intolerable pain of missing a golden oppurtunity.

Sitting In Heat Transfer. Asking Myself How The Transfer Of Heat From A Hot Body To A Cold Body Really Makes Me Feel


Yunas A. Cengel. A sensitive man. A touching bookI’m just a sensitive young man with hefty emotional needs. Sitting in a heat transfer lecture for 50 minutes 3 times a week makes me ask questions about my real self. Do the numbers care about me? Do I care about the numbers? Would it be cool to cry during/after a lecture if the material had drastically changed my liberal world view?

A Little Joke I Just Made Up


Q: Who is the coolest guy in the hospital?

A: The Ultrasound guy

Q: Who takes over when he’s not around?

A: The hip replacement guy



Don’t really get it yet.