Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ballinastoe and Lough Tay

Another great hike with the club today. The weather cooperated, and the wind made a special appearance while we were on the top of the trail. Honestly, it's been many years since I've hiked, especially regualr hikes, and I'm thrilled to be living in a place where the hikes are many and to have met a group of people to hike with. And it doesn't hurt that they drive me out there, too.

More hiking pics on PicasaWeb, of course!

Not much else is going on lately. Max is in Tel Aviv and I'm starting to count the days until I leave for San Francisco (14). I can't wait to see the dogs and cats--sure, It will be great to see friends and families, too, but the dogs and cats--ooooooh I can't wait to cuddle them! I will force many hugs upon Milhouse in particular because he's the most resistant. Also, I like to live life on the pointy, pointy edge.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I only have Eye for you

Yes, yes, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Tower of London, House of Lords, I realize that London has much historico touristico to offer. But who cares when you've got The Eye?

A big hearty THANK YOU to Kerry and Graham for being the best London tour guides ever!


Happy birthday and welcome to the world, Little Miss RJMR! Baby, you're a Richman too!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hiking the Dargle

The rain didn't stop me from going on my first Ireland hike today. And I'm so glad--it was lovely, just breathtaking.

We hiked along the Dargle River which is this funky brownish-red color because further inland, it flow through the boglands. The bogs are full of turf which turns the rivers very dark. So dark, in fact, that back in like 988 (or very long ago, anyway) the Vikings who had settled in Ireland named the Dublin area--where 2 rivers meet the sea--"Duv Lin" which means "black pool." That may not be exactly correct, but it's close. I think.

And yes, I've switched back to a Blogger template. For now. The site I designed was having some issues, graphically, that I can't figure out how to solve. Someday, I'll actually take the HTML class I've been talking about taking for , oh, 2 years now, and then I'll know how to do all kinds of fancy homepage type things. Flashing headers. Fancy roll-over image effects. All kinds of stuff. But looking at that half-assed site everyday was like looking at a half-finished scarf or a half-schlacked picture frame. Sad. And this template ain't so bad. It reminds me of someone.

We're off to London tomorrow to see many wonderful things, including (in no particular order):

1. Kerry!
2. Wicked (with the original Elpheba!)
3. Londonish things!

Wanna bet I'll take lots of pictures???

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fart jokes are funny in any language

Wow, has it really been that long since I blogged? Goodness me. At least it wasn't out of laziness or lack of inspiration this time. Rhonda cam to visit/work in Dublin for a few days. It's always fun to have a visitor because you get to be a tourist in your own city. We went to the Guinness factory, rode the hop-on-hop-off open air bus, took a walking tour, went to some great pubs...Rhonda knows how to make the most of a 2 day visit. We were also able to get a good amount of work done, so everyone wins.

On Tuesday, we flew to Italy where Rhonda is talking a cooking class this week. She had a couple of free days before the class started, so I tagged along--we stayed in Pisa and took a fabulous day trip to Cinque Terre. Pisa is basically the Leaning Tower and some kick ass food. Cinque Terre is this amazing string of 5 tiny fishing villages connected by a hiking trail. The weather was beautiful, nice and sunny, and did I mention the food yet? Holy crap, I can't even blog about the food; when I start to think about it I go off in a daze and start to drool. Really.

The seaside path connecting the first 2 towns of the Cinque Terre--Riomaggiore and Vernazza--is called the Via Dell'Amore (lovers walk), which is a lovely stone path with amazing views and many professions of love. Take Guido and Irene, for instance.

Our hotel was very cute--the Hotel Bologna. It was a great place to kick back after a long day of touristing and eating (droooooooool) and drinking wine. There's something downright appealing about watching The Family Guy in Italian.

Thankfully, when I came back to Dublin, a nice 3-day clear spell had just started, so Max and I spent Saturday hiking on the Cliff Walk in Howth, (yet) another fishing village just north of Dublin city. There are a bazillion pictures of all of these latest adventures on Picasa Web--I tried to upload only the real winners, considering I've taken over 200 pictures in the last week. There are three new albums--Pisa, Cinque Terre, and Howth Cliff Walk--as well a handful of new pics from Rhonda's visit in the Dublin folder. Enjoy!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Different but the same

I've recently found this great TV show here called Project Catwalk. Sound familiar? It's exactly like Project Runway, complete with some random condescending gay guy to "mentor" the designers ("You don't know what you're doing. Don't you even want to be a fashion designer? I would let my auntie's dog wear that."). Granted, he's no Tim Gunn. After two episodes, his catch phrase hasn't yet appeared ("Make it work!"), but he does show promise. Sadly, Heidi Klum's role is played by Elizabeth Hurley, who is inferior for the following reasons: She's not gigantically pregnant, and she's not sugary sweet--and believably so--as she boots the designers off the show. No "aufidazen." No kiss on the cheek. Hurley just says "Fashion shows no Mercy. Please leave the catwalk." Guh??

Something else in Dublin that is different but the same: Halloween. Halloween is of course approaching, and you can find tacky yet charming decorations at most of the stuff stores that I frequent--Dunnes, Inspiring Ideas Crafts and Gifts, TK Maxx (not TJ Maxx, fitting in with today's theme)--and the grocery store is practically forcing me to buy tiny bars of chocolate in preparation for "the little visitors." How is it different? Well, so far, the youth in my neighborhood (and all over Dublin I hear) celebrate Halloween by setting off fire crackers and minor explosives. The kind that have been illegal in the US since the early 80's. Not the pretty 4th of July kind, but the loud, glass-shaking "was that a bomb?!" kind. And they start celebrating October first. Every night, I forget that I will be scared by a loud nice to the point that I shriek in my living room. And every night, I thank goodness that Ozzy's not here. He'd have had a heart attack by now.

And I keep wondering: do they have Shamrock Shakes in Ireland? (As I searched on "shamrock shake" and found that link, I realized that I've posted about Shamrock Shakes before. Which is just weird.)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

More pictures and things

I just posted the last batch of photos to the Portugal folder on Picasa Web Albums. These are from the fisheye camera, and there are some real goodies in there.

It got real cold here all of a sudden. I finished knitting scarves for Max and myself just in time. I'm also going to Italy just in time. Rhonda arrives Sunday, and after a couple of days of working and touristing, we're off to Pisa.

DeGrassi TNG started last week, and my hunch was right--Emma's a floosy. And what extra super fantastic event happens tonight? The Sharks hockey season starts! We're going to really put that slingbox to the test.

Monday, October 02, 2006

CFTPA Show in Dublin

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone came to Dublin on Friday. It was a terrific show, and the venue was nice and intimate. Last year, after I'd been listening to CFTPA for a few months (another gem introduced to me by my musically right-on brother), I learned that the fella behind the band was the high school best friend of my good friend Alene--talk about a small world! The show was really good and the crowd seemed to dig it, too. It was strange to see what had been a one-man-band for so long play on stage as a 5-piece ensemble. But it definitely reflects the direction of his new album--check it out if you like good music!

Then the rain fell. And fell. And fell. It may have stopped us from going on the cliff walk in Bray, but it didn't stop us from going to the farmer's market (we've been eating delicious vegetable stew for 2 days now) or from seeing movies: The Black Dahlia with Josh "Squinty" Hartnett and Clerks 2 with Rosario "Would you light my candle?" Dawson and Kevin "I spoke with him on the radio once about DeGrassi TNG" Smith. Both were watchable, neither was great. Clerks 2 was all it could be (gotta love Jay and Silent Bob) and The Black Dahlia was aesthetically great with just the right amount of sex and gore, but the story was just all over the place. Did I mention that Josh Hartnett is totally squinty?