The Importance of Donuts

… I decided to be deliberate about marking achievements by eating one donut. Well, sometimes more than one, if it’s a really big deal. The act of donut-eating has actually helped me feel like I’m accomplishing my career goals.

This lady has the right idea.


On Reading


We’re in the middle of getting a terrifying amount of work done to our house in Marino, so we’ve temporarily decamped out to my mother-in-law’s house in Greystones1. My commute into work has switched from a 15-20 minute cycle each way to a 50-minute train ride each way. As a result of this new-found extra (dead) time, my reading has gone through the goddamn roof in the seven weeks since I’ve been out here. Instead of just the few minutes of reading I can snatch before falling asleep, I’ve got these huge swathes of time in my day where there is almost nothng else to do but read. Here’s a graph of my reading, based on what I’ve logged to Goodreads:

I’m finishing books I’d previously started and given up on (e.g. A Wrinkle in Time2), and books I’d been too terrified to even begin (e.g. Radley Balko’s Rise of the Warrior Cop).

As a result of this, I’ve decided there will probably never be a better time to tackle Infinite Jest.


Infinite Jest will be the eleventh book I’ve read in the seven weeks I’ve been out in Greystones. In this time, no-one has ever come up and commented to me about the book I’m reading. Even when I’m reading stuff that I secretly want people to come and talk to me about (e.g. John Darnielle’s Wolf in White Van3), nothing.

On Friday evening, as the train came into the station in Greystones, after I’d packed my copy of Infinite Jest into my coat and got my coat on, a complete stranger came over and sat down beside me. “Sorry, I couldn’t help but notice the book you’re reading there. How are you getting on with it?” I told him how I was really happy – I’m enjoying it because I’m actually making significant progress in the book (currently on page 305, which is the first time I’ve even got past page 100). “Yeah, stick with it. There’ll be parts in there that will make you want to give up, but stick with it, it’s totally worth it”, he said.

“Oh, I don’t intend to, I’ve also got a non-fiction book going at the same time to keep me sane”, I said.

“Good idea! Well…”

And then, awkward silence, because what else is there to say?

Now I feel awkward. Does this interaction mean I’m part of the problem, a pretentious DFW lit-bro? Do I now need to give up on Infinite Jest entirely, just in case I fall into some stereotype?


I get home and I tell the above story to my wife. She says “yeah, that’s weird!” She knows this isn’t my first time trying to make my way through Infinite Jest. and asks me how many pages I’ve read of it this time. I tell her just over three hundred.

“How many pages are in the book?”

“Nine hundred and something, not including footnotes. So I’m about a third of the way through. I’m pretty happy with my progress!”

“Yeah, but you’re not halfway through.”


  1. There’s an entire blog post to be written about the differences between living in Greystones vs living in Marino, but this is not that blog post.
  2. Which I gave up on previously because it felt like it was dull and overrated and which, having now finished it, I can confirm, is indeed, dull and overrated.
  3. If you’ve read this book, please hit me up on Twitter. I’d love to find more people (read: literally anyone) to talk to about it.

The Unofficial Lord Mayor of Ballymun

A couple of weeks ago, Jamie Harrington appeared on Humans of Dublin talking about how he helped save a suicidal man by just asking if he was okay.

I was just on my way to the American sweet shop to buy some Gatorade, when I saw this guy in his 30s sitting on the ledge of the bridge. I just thought, “wow…” I stopped and asked him if he was okay, but I knew from the look in his eyes he wasn’t, and he didn’t say anything either, but I saw tears coming from his eyes. I pleaded with him for a while to come down and sit on the steps, and eventually he did. We sat on the sidewalk on the south side of the Liffey and talked for about 45 minutes, about what was happening to him, why was he feeling that way…

(If you’d rather hear him tell the story, he was on the August 8th edition of RTÉ’s Playback – skip to ~30’00)


Trailer for the Hateful Eight

From the IMDB’s trivia page for The Hateful Eight:

According to Quentin Tarantino, this show is inspired by the Western television shows Bonanza (1959), The Virginian (1962) and The High Chaparral (1967): “Twice per season, those shows would have an episode where a bunch of outlaws would take the lead characters hostage. I love it in a Western, where you would pass halfway through the show to find out if they were good or bad guys, and they all had a past that was revealed. Just a bunch of nefarious guys in a room, all telling backstories that may or may not be true. Trap those guys together in a room with a blizzard outside, give them guns, and see what happens!”

I wasn’t crazy about Django Unchained, but I’m pretty sold on this.

(Also, it’s hard to believe this is only Tarantino’s eighth film.)


The New Devils' Dictionary

Google (n.): The kind of fun, colorful name you stick with to conceal the fact that your mega-corporation has become objectively terrifying.



How to Get Rid of Clutter and Live Abundantly

Have you ever owned anything? This is why you cannot forgive any of your former lovers. Things like “having chairs” is preventing you from living your best life, and also you should throw away any item of clothing you’re not currently wearing. If it’s not on your skin, you don’t really love it, do you?