Monday, May 31, 2010

We Interrupt Our Ireland Travelogue to Bring You...

...a video of a kitten getting rescued from a soccer field in an international game (best players in their respective countries) between France and Tunisia.

(I was watching the game yesterday and my heart just melted.)

All together now:


P.S. Kitty now has its own Facebook page.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ireland in a nutshell

Posted on a wall in a pub on one of the Aran Islands. Kind of captures the spirit of Ireland in a nutshell.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And Then the Castle Appears

So here's the thing about Ireland. You'll be walking down the street searching for something. Like, y'know, maybe Joe's Chinese Restaurant. (Ethnic food still isn't huge in Ireland outside the big cities. But it's getting there.)

But what happens is, you'll be walking along the thoroughly modern streets with their thoroughly modern shops and thoroughly modern apartments and thoroughly modern offices, and you'll be thinking, "Joe's Chinese. Where's Joe's Chinese?" And then you look up and...

Holy smokes, there's a castle!

Yes, a 13th-century castle, just sitting there in the middle of the city, with streets running by it, an office building on one side and apartments on the other. And, yes, Joe's Chinese Restaurant just down the street.

This is the Carlow Castle, estimated to have been built sometime between 1207 and 1213.

Or actually, techincally this is half of Carlow Castle, the other half having been torn down in the 19th century to build an insane asylum.

No joke.

I love Ireland.

(P.S. If you're ever in Carlow? Eat at Joe's.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Musings from Ireland

Currently in a little town in Ireland with my husband, just north of Dublin but far enough off the beaten path that tourists aren't taken for granted. Everybody is extremely nice, very friendly and curious about America and why we're here. People sitting at the next tables at meals invite us into their conversations. When we ran into the couple we'd been sitting next to at breakfast on Friday, later in town, they insisted on giving us a lift up to one of the town's main attractions.

("Seattle! Oh, that's where Frasier is!" is what a lot of people say when we tell them where we're from. Frasier is big in Ireland. There are worse things we could be known for.)

Last night we were at a traditional Irish music conert, held in the tiny Methodist church. (Tiny because there aren't exactly a lot of protestants in Ireland.) I'm guessing it was the first time a lot of the town residents had been inside; several of them were looking around curiously.

"I thought the Methodists didn't believe in stained glass?" said one of the women behind me.

"Yeh," a second woman responded. "I guess they need something to keep them awake during the service."

This Methodist says: Giggle.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vacation plans and gay uncles

Laurie: Heading out to go get keys made so I can leave on vacation tomorrow.
Laurie: If the volcano cooperates

c: No volcanoes cooperate. Ever.

Laurie: If we'd been leaving today instaed of tomorrow, we'd be golden.

c: that's not how the world works

Laurie: Our European flight is out of San Francisco, so we could always spend a few days there. There are worse places, I guess.

Laurie: Spend time with my uncle, who is like a senior citizen version of Sassy Gay Friend.**

c: Why does everyone have a gay uncle in San Fran except for me?

Laurie: You missed out, dude.
Laurie: Also: because that's where gay uncles hang out.
Laurie: duh

** Oh, you know! Sassy Gay Friend!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Vanity, Thy Name Is...

Yesterday I took the dog for a hike down the ravine trail near our house. (They're slowly devloping it, snatching away a little at a time. But for the moment we still have wonderful, steeply-sloping wooded trails just a five-minute walk away.)

It's been raining a lot lately, which makes the hills a bit treacherous. At one point I was making my way down a hill, slowly and sideways, edges of my tennis shoes digging into the dirt to keep from sliding, when my 80-lb. dog decided he was bored and it was time to continue forward.

He gave a jerk on the leash, my feet slid out from under me, and I was on my knee-hip-butt in the dirt.

No harm done, other than muddy jeans. But this caused me to reflect on what would happen if I broke a leg out there. These trails are mostly deserted. How long would it take me to crawl back home? Would I use downed branches to make a splint first? Would I have to rip up my jacket to tie them to the leg?

And then my brain settled on the real question:

After I crawled home, before I called the ambulance, would I take the time to shave my legs?

And the answer was: Yes. I probably would.

Vanity, thy name

Monday, May 03, 2010

Because We Don't Have Anything Better to Do With Our Money

Spotted these in a full-page ad in my Sunday paper, with this ad copy:

Tiffany Keys

An intriguing invitation.
A revealing discovery. A promise
of adventure. A whispered
romance. A question answered.
A secret kept.

Not stated: A really slick way to part people from boatloads of their money by allowing them to pretend that their lives are a lot more interesting than they really are.

(Wait. Am I being cynical?)