Best Dressed | The Met Gala 2016 – Manus vs Machina

My favourite red carpet occasion of the year raised its stunning head and left us with a vast array of fashion at our finger tips.

The Met Gala is Anna Wintour’s night to shine and with an outlandish theme it always allows fashion’s bravest to push the boundaries and test their creative prowess. Let me begin this post by stating my 2 non-disputable rules for Met Ball attendees:

Rules for the Met Ball:

1) If you are going to attend the Met Gala then you follow the theme!

I don’t care who you are or what you do. If you are forking out thousands of dollars for a ticket to attend a fashion exhibition then you owe it to the event to at least abide by the rules. Just as important to remember is that that includes pushing yourself. Wearing a simple metallic dress does not meet my standards of following the theme… If I see you in a plain silver dress for a Manus vs. Machina theme – next!

2) If you do abstain from the theme then your outfit needs to be perfect.

If you are going to irritate spectators and be brazen enough to turn your back on the wondrous theme, that I’m sure has been painstakingly chosen for you, then you at the very least need to make sure that your off-beat outfit is absolutely flawless. If not, then why be awkward in the first place? If you’re not going to follow the theme and you wear a boring outfit then you might as well have stayed at home. This is a fashion event, darling.

That being said, the majority of stars and fashionistas alike did me proud this year and I was more than pleasantly surprised when scrolling through Vogue, Elle and Vanity Fair online (where the pictures in this post were sourced from). Thus, let’s get into it.

Best Dressed Fashionistas of the Met Gala 2016:

Zendaya in Michael Kors Collection

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I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.

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The time has come where I can no longer relish in the safety of ‘studying’ for exams, ask my parents for a bit of cash to keep me going or piss away my days refreshing tumblr for hours because I, Pádraig Power, am now finished with my undergraduate degree. Yes, you read that right, 4 years of lazing around, pretending that I studied, or actually enjoyed doing my course,

have now come to an end. It is time for me to face the big, bad world and I have no idea what I’m doing. OK, I haven’t started out too badly. I mean I have a job in a restaurant, a house for the summer and lovely flatmates, but that doesn’t really constitute as knowing what to do. Why get a college degree to be a waiter?

It’s not all that bad though, luckily I have options. Currently I am awaiting responses for postgraduate degrees which I have applied for. Although, in saying that, I don’t even know 100% which I want to do! Every decision at this moment is paramount, or at least it seems that way. What if I choose a postgrad and don’t like it? Will I have just wasted another year of my life and a lot of money along with it? What if I do like what I choose, but suffer from the famous ‘Road Not Taken’ syndrome? All of these questions are things that I do not have time for. As the title of this post suggests, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I will get there. Life has been kind to me so far, but now it’s time for me to do things for me. I’m going to make decisions and even if I regret them later in life screw it! You only live life once and I’m not going to live it being afraid of choice, I’m going to stupidly throw myself head first into situations and life paths and it’s going to either be sink or swim. If I swim beautiful, if I sink then I guess that that just wasn’t the path for me. All I need to trust in is me and in life in general. It’s worked so far. Right now I’m a 21 year old with an honours degree, a wonderful person that I’m sharing my life with and the most amazing friends that one could ask for. Life could definitely be worse.

As for this post I guess it doesn’t really tell you anything, but it definitely has made my mind a little clearer so thanks for being here with me and I’ll make sure to bring you guys with me on my journey to success or failure. Either way it will surely be an interesting ride.

OK, I’m off to take a roll of the dice. Just remember: Image

Ciao for now,

Pádraig 😉

Au Revoir l’alcool!

For those of you who know me and for those of you who have been reading my blog thus far I think it is pretty safe to say that you all know that I, Pádraig, am a drunken mess. It all started at the tender age of 15 when I first hit the town at a local social and got served without any problem and, more importantly, withot any ID. From that day on my love affair with alcohol continued to blossom until this very day. In fact, it went from me going out maybe once a week when I was younger to easily going on the beer with the lads 2-3 times a week in college! The persuasive thought pattern of ‘We’re young, why not right?’ has led to going out on many a night and to missing many a lecture the next morning. This has now come to an end, however, as I am standing up (actually sitting down on a stool to be honest) and declaring that I Pádraig Power am ending my long-term relationship with alcohol, well at least for 2 months…

It has come to my attention that I have only 2 months of lectures remaining in my entire degree (yes, that’s right I did just say that… ENTIRE DEGREE) and for this minuscule period of time I am going to buck up, attend lectures and, most importantly, stay away from the sweet, liver destroying treat that is my weakness: alcohol. Of course there will have to be some exemptions, namely the annual university’s ‘Clubs and Socs Ball’, St. Patrick’s Day(I am Irish, give a guy a break) and of course the all Ireland dancing intervarsities come the end of February, but this shall be all (I hope).

Asides from the obvious college attendance issues there are some other reasons why I want to give myself a break and perhaps ‘see other people,’ namely the gym and a clear mind in the mornings. Also, I think that maybe a little time alone might make me learn to respect alcohol a tad bit more and in the future I might wake up and actually remember more than one or two moments from the night before.

Of course vanity has come into the equation as well. I mean less beer equals less of a beer belly right? And of course the ever fantastic drunken photos. Think about it, how many days have you woken up to ‘so and so tagged 8 photos of you’ and sat there in desperation trying to remember when you saw this person the night before only to click into these photos and see just how much of a mess you were? This, compared to sober nights when you wake up the next day and think to yourself ‘Oh, some of these would make a nice profile picture’ is a big, big difference. Below you will see some examples of drunk me vs. sober me and you will feel my pain.

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Finally, for those of you who will inevitably say to me at some point ‘Ahh you have to drink tonight sure we all are!’ I will direct you to my new music obsession:

Ciao for now,

Pádraig 😉

We danced, we laughed, we rocked.

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OK, so some of you might already know this, but just in case you don’t I am a member of UCC Dance. 2 years ago I had never taken a dance class before, but then I decided to bite the bullet, test myself and dance and I can honestly say that I have never looked back since. After 2 years of taking classes in UCC I have finally grown the courage to choreograph for the first time and now I can officially hold my hands up and say, “My name is Pádraig Power and I am a dancer.”

So, as I said, I have now began to choreograph pieces of my own and last night I chose to put myself out there to the extreme by performing a piece in front of a judging panel and an audience of hundreds with my partner AnnMarie by my side.

This all occurred at UCC Dance’s annual event, UCC Goes Dancing. Let me begin by explaining the show. The premise of the show is for a dancer in the club to take a well-known face from the university who has never danced before, choreograph and piece for both of them to learn and then perform this on the night in front of an audience and judges, both of whom vote for the winner and, considering it’s my final year in university, I couldn’t let the opportunity slip away.

Thankfully I lucked out and got my friend AnnMarie as a partner for the show. Not only is she my friend, but she’s also a former gymnast so it goes without saying that I certainly used that to my advantage.

After 2 weeks of constant training, choreographing and re-choreographing it all came down to yesterday and needless to say we were both feeling the pressure. When the day began everything seemed great. We rehearsed a few times, decided what we were going to wear and enjoyed watching all of the other couples and dance classes practice for the big night. When it came to our turn to practice on stage however the nerves quickly settled in. I know that there were only a few people watching and that most of them had seen it before, but looking out from centre stage and imagining the bright lights and judges staring at us put a sizable knot in my stomach and created a nervous tingle in my joints. The same could be said for my partner. Because we were both nervous I bucked up, pretended that I was fully confident and went along with the show, just to give her some confidence. The rehearsal went down really well and was well received in the end which added some pep into our step as we prepared for the ultimate showdown.

Finally, the clock struck 8 and the show began. If our nerves weren’t bad enough anyway we were the last couple to perform which led to the butterflies being intensified by the dance. Eventually the time came where it was our turn to perform and while we were waiting in the wings right before the couple ahead of us finished I can honestly say that my heart had lodged itself firmly in my mouth, but then all of a sudden we were on stage, the music was beginning and all of the nerves flew out of my body. This was the moment, this was what it came down to and there was no point in messing it up. The dance literally flew by and we gave it everything we had. My face lit up every time I heard cheers from the crowd or saw a judge clapping along and all of a sudden when the dance finished the crowd erupted into cheers. Then the MC came on to ask questions and all of my words had left me (he literally got one-word answers). When he was finished with his questions we looked at the judges and I was absolutely delighted with what I saw. From left to right each judge held up their scores and I read them one by one, 8, 9, 9, 9 and 10! Yes 10. I was bursting with pride for both of us, especially for AnnMarie who had never danced before, but then put herself out there and owned the stage. Later on in the night they announced the results and we won 😀 So all in all i think I can safely say that my first time choreographing was definitely a success.

Afterwards the celebrating began. A half litre of vodka and some drinks in the club later and a very drunken Pádraig could be see shaking his ‘thang’ on the dance-floor with everyone who performed on the night.

The main reason that I’m posting this is just to thank everyone for last night. I’d like to thank the UCC Dance committee for letting me be part of the night, my partner for being better than I could have ever hoped, the other couples for dancing amazingly and of course all of the judges and the audience for cheering us along.

Also, if anyone who reads this is contemplating dance as a hobby, a way to let off some steam or just randomly for fun every now and again: do it! Honestly, you will never regret it. As the next picture says, ‘Never miss a chance to dance’.

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Thanks for taking the time to read this,

Ciao,

Pádraig.

Belated Christmas Party.

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Yes, the usual time for Christmas parties is in December or maybe the very beginning of January, but where I work we like to do things differently, so last night was the night where we all got together, wolfed down our food as fast as humanly possible and consumed as much free alcohol as our poor bodies could handle, all to wake up the next morning thinking, “Oh God, I can never show my face in work again.”

For me it was all quite rushed getting there as I didn’t arrive home from college until 8:25 and had to go home, get ready and be there for 8:40, but that’s all part of the fun of it. As I arrived to the hotel famished (I hadn’t had time to eat all day) all I could think of was that I wanted food in my belly, NOW. That thought quickly subsided however when that first pint bottle of cider was placed in front of me and my inner Irish alcoholic made a well received entrance to the party.

This year we decided to raise the stakes just that tad bit more by adding the dreaded ‘Secret Santa’ to the mix. Lucky me, as always, that I pulled out one of the most difficult people to buy for, our head chef Donal. Don’t get me wrong I love Donal, but trying to think of something to get for him was a nightmare, especially as his moods comprise of either hilarity or extreme seriousness and that’s why I eventually went for the cheeky dig by buying him a book for first time cooks entitled ‘How To boil An Egg’. I’m not going to lie, as he began to open the present my heart fluttered just a tad due to the suspense of whether his reaction was going to be a hearty laugh or a look of disdain. Thankfully, the Gods were looking down upon me and Donal opened the present with a big smile on his face (dodged a bullet on that one).

After the most suspenseful moment of the night (am I exaggerating this a little it? Nah, couldn’t be), with the relief of everyone at the table being happy with their presents, either ordinary, like a scarf, or funny such as ‘penis bowling’, yes I did just say penis bowling (although the recipient of the gift originally thought it said ‘penis blowing’ which I think would have been even better), the drinks truly started flowing.

Post-meal time we all got our coats, presents and selves together and went to a local bar to enjoy a dance (or 20). When we arrived it was relatively quiet, but that went unnoticed after we had a couple of rounds of shots in our bellies, and with those shots came the chats, giggles and bonding with people whom you haven’t really spoken to since last year’s drunken Christmas party. Also, as I only work night-porter nowadays, I got to befriend some new coworkers whom I hadn’t really seen much of before, which is always a nice additive to an evening!

Towards the end of the night the drunken stumbles, dancing with all of the old people at the bar and sing-songs (but of course) made their appearances and they certainly ended off the night with a bang.

So yes, we may hold our Christmas parties a little bit later than most, but at least when we do it we do it in style.

Here’s to another successful one next year.

Ciao,

Pádraig.

San Francisco Memories.

“One day I’ll go to heaven and say, “It ain’t that bad, but it ain’t San Francisco,” ” Herb Caen.

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Last year I sat myself down and decided that no, I would not spend my 20th summer in a row lounging around my home-town going to the park and eating ice-cream, instead I would do the exact same thing, but somewhere else – in San Francisco.

To be honest, I had planned on going to France for the summer, but then my friend Danny asked me to go to SF (never ‘San Fran’ as I soon found out on my arrival, or ‘Frisco’ [that one even annoys me]) and I couldn’t resist. I genuinely did not have one clue about what to expect upon my arrival, all I had known was that that was THE  bridge on which Leo spoke to the ‘Elders’ in Charmed and that was good enough for me! So, like the naive young man that I am, I let Danny organize everything and on May 27th 2012 I literally just showed up to the airport and hopped onto the plane, little did I know that I was about to experience the best 3 months of my life.

Everything about San Francisco captured my heart, the place, the people, the atmosphere, the diversity. Let’s just say that it certainly ain’t no Irish countryside. So, after our arrival, myself, Danny, Jamie, Shane and Carrie (all of whom I went to the US with) moved into our beautiful little house by the beach and with that everything slipped into place. I got 2 jobs, made lifelong friends and fell in love with the city.

One of the places that I worked in was the famous ‘Bubba Gumps’ in which you had to be ‘Gumpy’ 24/7 and I absolutely LOVED it! Having all of the bants with my co-workers, testing all of my customers with some Forrest Gump trivia, singing birthday songs to 40 year old bears of men while making them shake their booty in front of the entire restaurant (best moment of my life) and of course strengthening my Irish accent in order to increase my tip by the sentence 😛 I would literally walk into work broke and leave 5 hours later and be buying everyone shots, it was amazing. Oh, and I also got to be in a clip of an ad for the company… My first step to world domination 😉

Another thing about SF which I found astounding was the amount of cultural diversity and all of the ‘sub-cities’ it possessed. There was a China town, Japan town, an Italian district, the Castro, the city itself, the ‘stoner’ population on Haight Street and oh so much more that I can’t even fathom to remember. Each day you could go to a different part of the city and feel like you were in a whole new place, while still feeling the atmosphere that only SF can provide.

Due to all of this diversity and the mass of the city itself there was always something to do and something new to discover. One such thing was attending SF Pride. This was one of the most entertaining days of my life. From everyone in sight being drunken messes to seeing huge men wearing next to nothing whilst parading around in rainbow fairy wings it truly was hilarious. I also noticed an ‘adult store’ in the Castro entitled ‘Does Your Mother Know’ that day which is genuinely the best name I have ever seen.

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I also loved the weather that we discovered stateside. Although most SF natives found it cold a lot of the time, being from Ireland and going to somewhere that is even moderately hot, everyday was a t-shirt and shorts day for me. Also, just a 40 minute drive away was Russian River where the weather was always unbelievable. There is genuinely nothing like lying by the river, soaking up the rays and having a few beers with your friends (yes, I did just say beers and not cans as we say in Ireland, but just be thankful that I said friends instead of ‘homies’).

Freedom was the cherry on top to give SF such a dear place in my heart. Everyone there was who they were and that was it. It didn’t matter if you were black, white (Michael Jackson eat your heart out), straight, gay, introverted, extroverted, had the most outlandish opinions on everything or were just completely out of the ordinary, you were who you were and everyone was accepted. This, I believe, is a wonderful thing and makes me want to go back to the city of my dreams more than anything else, and that’s exactly what the city is, a dream. As Paul Kantner said, “San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality.”

So at that, I shall let you go while I daydream of spending a day with my SF friends relaxing in Dolores Park followed up by a night of very competitive beer pong and feel content with my 3 months that I had there.

San Francisco, I will be seeing you again soon and you better be ready and waiting!

Ciao,

Pádraig. 😉