Thursday, November 30, 2006

Holy crap I need to go here

Where? Here! Awesome!

I'm so not a museum person, evidenced by the number of times I've been to the Irish Natural History Museum which is--at most--a 3 minute walk from my home: zero. Also evidenced by Max and my infamous trip to Euro Disney while everyone else went to the Louvre.

However, I am a useful things person. Evidenced by my collection of snow globes. Obviously. And the Museum of Useful Things is the kind of museum I can dig! To be fair, I can also dig medical-historical type museums like the one at Walter Reed Army Base (the best part is the comment. read the comment.). And also the 24-Hour Church of Elvis, which is kind of like a museum. A museum of crazy.

And also here. Because, I mean, come on.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oh How I Love the Gym

Do you know how they measure body fat percentages? At my hi-tech Irish gym, they take this plastic protractor looking thing and pinch it onto the bulgiest, most sensitive parts of your body and then just let it hang there. They pinch the fat in awful, awful places; on your back, your arms, your waist...the humiliation alone must burn a couple dozen calories. And what about blushing? Does that count as exercise? So why would I write about such horrendous crap in my blog? In my first month of training (they call it "training" here, not "working out"), I went down 4 points of body fat percentage! That's right, I'm a body-fat-percentage-going-down machine. Imagine how many points I would have lost if I hadn't eaten like a frat boy when I was in the Bay Area.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Itsy Bitsy Etsy

If you're anything like me, you like to buy things. You probably like to buy things online, too. And you like to buy things for other people, especially when you realize that all of the knitting projects you thought you could finish by December will remain--unmade--on your yarn shelf.

Have no fear! My friend Liz and her new Etsy store to the rescue!

If you're anything like me, you have also recently discovered the joyous wonder of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm digging the love match between Seth "he's-as-cute-as-he-is-short" Green and Allyson Hannigan's goofy-smart-Jewish-witch character (before she comes out of the closet and before she's a witch).

If you're anything like me, you like pop. Here's a poppy new song from an Australian band called The Grates that I saw on Pop Scene, the Irish music video show. Pop! If it's got hand clapping and harmonies and you can't not jump around when you here it, it counts as pop, right?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Anecdotes from Thanksgiving

What a great Thanksgiving! It was especially great thanks to a fun-filled visit from Paul and Kristy. Turkey, the Guinness Factory, a day trip to Kilkenny--pictures online at Picasa Web.

It was a cold Thanksgiving weekend, with some rain of course (this is Dublin, right?). But the warmth in this apartment was amazing. A heartily handful of Max's co-workers joined us for turkey (figure 1) and football, brought to us by slingbox.

Figure 1

The only thing missing were dogs to eat the turkey bits that humans don't want and cats to eat the turkey bits that humans do want, directly from their plates.

The Guinness Factory provided delicious beer and top-notch views of the city, while our rental car--a Nissan Micro--provided wrong-side-of-the-road fun for everyone. We drove to Kilkenny on Saturday and strolled around and just absorbed the quaintness. Castles were seen, pub food was indulged in, and yes, good times were had by all.

Now that I'm back in Dublin and house guests have gone home, the routine is starting to reemerge. Work, gym, and hopefully blogging every day. We'll see. Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Back in Dublin

More than a little jet lagged, I'm back in Dublin. And guess what? It's c-o-l-d cold! Max tried to warn me. He said it was cold enough for thermals. I decided he was being wimpy. I was wrong. He was right. Brrr.

The night before I was scheduled to leave, Miru decided he didn't want me to leave, so the he willed the festering wound behind his ear to fill with puss and explode. Apparently, Milhouse (prime suspect) had bit him at some point during the week, and it had become an abscess. The resulting shaved-neck kitty is pretty funny, but also too gross to show on this blog (even though I know you're all dying to see kitty gore). But here we are at the emergency vet.

And here we are running away from oral antibiotics and warm compress the next morning.

I still left on schedule, but I was full of kitty guilt. Fortunately, I was also full of turkey sandwich. A great guilt fighting agent.

My brother and his Kristy are coming tomorrow to celebrate Thanksgiving. I'm really looking forward to showing off my fancy Dublin lifestyle and our cute little European apartment. I think we're even going to rent a car and go find some sheep. Sheep!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Food makes me happy

It's no secret: I love me some food. The Irish are not known for their culinary prowess, although I do enjoy the odd shepherd's pie or bowl of farmer's vegetable soup at the pub. I knew that when I came to spend a week in SF it would be not unlike a sampling of all the foods I had ever loved. A veritable smorgasbord of tasties. So far, I've dined happily on a chorizo burrito from Pancho Villa, Chinese chicken salad from Max's, Thai red curry, gyros, hummus, tiny cheeseburgers from Cheesecake Factory (a delicacy) and sushi (twice in one day!). I still need to track down the elusive turkey on a soft french roll from Beli Deli, but that's hard even when I live here.

Next stop: Armadillo Willy's!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Having fun, wish you were here

It's been great being back in the Bay Area. Besides the absence of certain people (you know who you are Mir), it's nice to see and be seen. It's also nice to drive. It's great to be back in the office this week; there have been many celebratory lunches. Now if only I could fit those dogs in my suitcase...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

New camera, same dogs

And thank goodness for that!

There is also one grey cat who is happy to see me, especially when it's time for supper. And breakfast.

Supposedly, there's a black cat here, too. I haven't seen much of him, but I could swear there was a furry body sleeping in the small of my back last night.

I've been here for 2 days now, and have spent a great deal of that time lounging in my parent's bed, watching their new plasma hi-def. Do you hear me complaining? My cohorts aren't complaining, either.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

New and possibly improved

I've been toying with the idea of switching to Vox. I have the account, I have the blog, I have the way-cooler-than-this template. It's almost as if Blogger read my mind and made the new beta available to me today. So I'll try the new blogger beta for a bit, and continue the Vox contemplation. Now watch me tag like I've never tagged before.

I guess the secret ingredient is sugar. And salt.

I went to the AWCD penny raffle this morning. For those of you who don't know, I joined the American Women's Club of Dublin. That's where I hike and do crafty things and buy penny raffle tickets. And when you've stopped mocking me, I'll tell you about some of the super cool people I've met. But back to raffle. I didn't win anything, but all of my raffle tickets were used trying to win one of 5 gigantic baskets full of American goodies--Oreos, Goldfish, Jif peanut butter, Kraft Cheese and Macaroni, Bisquick, Jell-O brand dessert, Duncan Heinz frosting and cake mixes, Jet Puff marshmallows--keep in mind that I'm going back to the States tomorrow and could easily buy all of these things. Of course I wouldn't, because nobody in their right mind buys such junk food when they're supposed to be dieting. But the idea of winning a basket full of tasty sweets and salties made me very happy indeed. And it wouldn't be like I bought the junk food, I would have won the junk food. And it was for charity! Eat junk food for charity. I'm nothing if not charitable. And addicted to junk food.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Come on, feel the Illinoise!

What? What's that you say? You recently had the time of your life on a giant ferris wheel? And you just finished an amazing book about the Chicago World's Fair? And you're looking for a theme song? Preferably one with a kick ass horn section and no skimping on the xylophone? Sufjan Stevens has got you covered.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Promises, promises

I promised myself I would blog every day in November, even if it was just a few sentences. Even if nothing noteworthy was going on, even if I just didn't feel like it. It would be a glorious exercise in discipline. I wouldn't do it as part of some "let's all blog every day in November" campaign or as part of some "let's all write novels in November" kind of thing. Not that I don't respect either of those campaigns. I just figured I'd do it because it's a good thing to do.

Well so is drinking 8 glasses of water a day and turning out the lights when you leave the room.

I may have fallen off of the proverbial wagon, but I'm going to get right back on the horse. And many other cowboy metaphors.

Needless to say (and when has that ever stopped me?) I'm very excited to travel to the Bay Area on Friday. That trip has been at the forefront of my thoughts the past few days. I'll have a shiny new toy waiting there for me, and some shiny if not slightly used pets. Huzzah!

In the meantime, I'll curse the rainclouds that make Ireland their home, and get some quality cuddle time in with Max and the Slingbox, my two favorite people in the world.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Bray to Greystones

Yesterday was the perfect day for a hike along the Irish Sea. We walked from Bray to Greystones on this wonderfully level and easy trail. It was the kind of hike where I was chatting it up so much that it was over before I knew it, and I'd hardly taken any pictures. Which isn't to say that I didn't get any pictures. Heavens, no.

There's a few more up on Picasa Web.

We decided to cancel our trip to Brussels this weekend. Everything's fine, but Max has been doing a lot of traveling lately, so a nice mellow weekend at home is just what the doctor ordered. It's also the last weekend I have to get my act together before I leave for the US and before Paul and Christy come to visit for Thanksgiving. I still have to figure out how I'm going to fit a turkey into our tiny European fridge.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


What a terrific Halloween! It all started on Sunday when I was walking home from the gym (yes, I gave up on running and switched over to the whole dry, indoor exercise thing.). Out of the corner of my eye, I notices a wall of posters advertising shows coming to the Dublin area. I rarely recognize the names of musicians and bands that play in Dublin, let alone see a name on a sign where my eyes pop out of my head. But Sunday proved to be what will hopefully be the first in a long string of musical surprises. There on one of the signs were 5 beautiful letters and 1 dazzling punctuation mark, announcing the glorious news that in just 2 short days, on Halloween night, M. Ward would be playing in Dublin! Huzzah!

It was a fantastic show and a great way to spend Halloween, even with the noticeable lack of candy.