28 November 2007

Just Another Thursday Night

So I ended up going to the Lucinda Williams show on Thanksgiving. It was pretty good, but didn't quite live up to my expectations. Not faulting Lucinda for this, more my own lack of familiarity with her work and our almost-late arrival - which necessitated a spot in the way back of the venue which was more crowded then I expected. I think to truly appreciate LW you gotta be up front, soaking up her whiskey-voiced stories and moody songs. So - no rave reviews but I ain't panning her performance either. She did a damned fine job and I'd see her again if the opportunity arose.

And now onto the real highlight of the night.....

...Suzanne's Shiny Red Shoes!!!

Oops, I mean....Hanging Out With Suzanne!!

(while she was wearing her fabulous red shoes!!!)

For real though - for those back on the farm, lemme introduce you to a hot, little blonde number I have been lucky enough to become friends with. Suzanne hails from Cork and has the cutest accent to prove it, we met her through the softball team and she has been nothing but sweet and warm and funny and genuine to us from day one.

She's got a big heart to boot and I consider myself fortunate to count her among my new friends. (awww, I'm feeling all mushy tonight - can you tell?) I know I've spoken about volunteering in Moldova to some of you (look for a blog post about it soon) well Suze is the girl that did it this past summer and has inspired me to do it with her again this May. Two weeks at an orphanage for special needs kids - didn't I tell you Suzanne was something special?

And she's got these SHOES!!!
Bonus repeat leggz picture
Get a load of those gams!! And that peaches n' cream skin!!!


25 November 2007

Fame and Fortune: Here I come!!

On Thanksgiving Day the Irish Independent ran an article about American ex-pats living in Dublin and how they cope being away from home during the holiday. I was one of the interviewees and although misquoted a bit - I'm in there. Check it out.

I'm representin y'all.

24 November 2007

Vegetable stir fry please

Today we had lunch at The Hairy Lemon, which I have been wanting to visit since we moved to Dublin, mostly because it is called The Hairy Lemon. Plus it's got that funny little chap on the sign.

Decent food, pint, service and atmosphere. Methinks we shall go here again. But still mostly just cause it's called The Hairy Lemon.


23 November 2007

Winter Break is upon us !

-by Chris

Ok I know its technically not winter yet, but... the University term ends next Friday so no more lacrosse practices until Late January. Tonight is our last women's team game of the season vs. Dublin and our last Rookies Intersquad game as well. The Fall season was great for both the UCD Men's & Women's teams. Four practices a week and games almost every Friday. Both teams had 3 game series vs. crosstown rival Dublin Lacrosse (men's & women's club teams) and a cool road trip to Bratislava & Vienna.

This is what a happy Coach looks like

So what's next ? The Spring season runs January to April. We have a busy practice schedule, games & tournaments. Team Ireland tryouts will be held at UCD in late January, some players will join Coach Chris at the TampaJam in February and the season will end with a big bang at DublinFest, a big college team tournament.

Some of us will head off to the NCAA Lacrosse Championships in Boston over Memorial Day weekend in May and then Team Ireland will be heading to the European Lacrosse Championships in Lahti, Finland in August !

21 November 2007


Happy Thanksgiving to all our American homeys out there. I can't believe it's the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I am not furiously washing, peeling, chopping and baking away.

No last minute trips to the grocery store for forgotten items. No figuring and re-figuring how to fit everyone in comfortably. No Macy's parade while I get up early and start dressing the turkey. No stuffing. No alternately worrying there is either not enough or too much food. No Thanksgiving prayer, always funny & sincere, from my Uncle before we eat. No phone calls to family before the sh** hits the fan and I am too busy cooking to speak to anyone. No case of Beaujolais Nouveau. No cacophony of voices passing dishes to and fro around the table. No struggling with the infinite mystery that is making good gravy. No out of town guests (miss you K.K.) No crispy turkey skin. No forgetting the cranberry sauce till halfway through the meal. No dishes to clean. No girl friends, sisters and cousins to help make light of all the work. No smell of apple pie.

It's all a bit weird, I tell ya.

Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday. I loved it in New York when I had very little responsibility; I loved it just as much when I grew up and got to host as many people as I could cram into our house. A labor of love, in the truest sense. Whether my love was for the people I was feeding or the food itself, I'll leave you to figure out. (jk!)

I struggled a bit giving it up, but decided trying to recreate something akin to Thanksgiving here in Dublin this year was an enterprise destined to fall short of the mark. Perhaps our life in the States is still too recent a memory and we'll try it next year. So to distract and placate my delicate sensibilities I bought tickets to see Lucinda Williams, singer- songwriter extraordinaire, for tomorrow night. Woohooo!!!

So - eat up, folks and enjoy. Our hearts and minds will be with you, just, unfortunately, not our stomachs. But we love you just the same, and if we were having Thanksgiving and we went around the table announcing what we were thankful for....you'd be on our list.

p.s. Don't think for one second that I am trying to garner sympathy for missing out on Turkey Day, we are having a blast, as usual, and Dublin is in high-gear for Christmas already. It's really kind of magical. Like the t-shirt says: Life is good.

p.p.s. Okay, maybe just a teeny tiny bit of sympathy...NO LEFTOVERS


18 November 2007

Pure Imagination

Quite possibly the best thing ever invented....Photoshop!

While I'm not a photoshop guru, it does come in handy to have an artist sister who is.

Thats her on the left...Hello little 5 year old Alli with 5 year old Kelly !

Many of you might remember the post from June about everyone doing the Errol Flynn salute (click here to read the old post). I also mentioned an Errol Flynn photoshop contest which never materialized...except for one entry, which would have won no matter how many entries.. look at this beauty

Holy Cow ! Dale IS Errol Flynn ! Once again, Alli Arnold makes Photoshop magic !

Then, as if that wasn't good enough, she makes this one of my brother, Brian Hood

Hello Brian of the Loxley.
Lol....then there are always the special jems Alli sends me like our family morphed into Wonka world... even Alli's dog Nino is an oompa loompa.

I forget who made the picture below of Tony, Clayton and I...but it still cracks me up. Actually, any photoshopped pic cracks me up.

I snapped this pic in our backyard in Tampa.

Ahh the old Bingo and Rob as babies...Rob, you have some drool on your shoulder.

JediMasters Chris & Ken

For those of you who are StarWars fans, if you havent seen the Family Guy do Star Wars yet it is quite possibly the funniest Family Guy episode yet.

You can watch it for free at Great Stuff TV , season 6 the episode is called Blue Harvest...2 parts

13 November 2007

International Lacrosse Trip!

Our first University College Dublin Lacrosse team road trip !

Both the Men's & Women's teams flew out of Dublin on Thursday to an unlikely destination :

Bratislava , Slovakia !
Bratislava is right on the Danube River in the former Soviet Bloc / Iron Curtain country that was Czechoslovakia. These days (since 1993) they are two separate countries, The Czech Republic and Slovakia.

27 students made the trip along with Kelly & I, the other UCD coach Michael, and our friend Ashley. After flying into B-town, we all took a bus...to another bus...to downtown where we found our very cool hostel.

( For those of you who remember, the movie Hostel was set at a hostel in Bratislava...spooky)

Luckily, noone was tortured to death at this hostel. It was actually very nice. the kids all slept in dormitory style 8 person rooms.

The Coach & his wife got a private room.

Look at that huh...we each had our own little beds ! Although I will admit, we did share...for warmth :)

Like much of Bratislava, our hostel still had many of the hallmarks of the Soviet era...like your typical Eastern European apartment building elevator !

The food at the hostel was delicious... here we see Kelly's very delicious dinner of Bryndzove Halusky, small dumplings made of potato and sheeps cheese topped with bacon, butter and bacon grease.. yum yum yum yum

What trip to Eastern Europe would be complete without the obligatory bust of Lenin layin' about

Downtown B-ville wasn't super spectacular, but like much traveling, its just nice to be someplace new.

Many things don't translate the same from language to language. We spied this advertisement at a breakfast place called "A Coffee & Bagel Story"...in Bratislava ! Look at the names of the Summer cocktails...yuuummm I'll have a Mojito Ice Death please !

Here I am in at the statue of Pavol Orszagh Hviezdoslav, the greatest Slovak poet of all time.

Kelly & I in the historic area of Bratislava.

We spent 2-3 hours walking around town Friday morning...we even saw :

The filming of... a Slovak TV show ?

Who knows, we didn't stick around to find out. The building in the background of the picture above is the Hlvana Stanica, the train station where we took the train to :

Vienna , Austria !

Another city, another hostel ! This one was also great (and happy!), centrally located near the Westbahnhof (west train station), we were able to catch streetcars and subways right around the corner.

In Vienna we didn't have a small room, we had a whole apartment to ourselves ! It was bigger than our apartment in Dublin ! Look at this place ! It made us very happy !

Kelly danced around the kitchen most of the time we were there.

Vienna is a very, very attractive city. The weather didn't really cooperate, but we had a great time anyway. It was COLD...30-40 degrees F and windy...and sometimes rainy.

Luckily we found a place around the corner that served cold beer and VERY good traditional Austrian food.

Wiener Schnitzel anyone ? Ya, Danke Schon !

The Gasthaus is owned and operated by our new best friends in Austria, Gary & Inge Francheschi. We had late lunch and dinner there on Friday, and then Saturday night we brought the whole team back for a great team dinner.

The kids got a good meal before going out on the town. It was a great opportunity to show them a traditional Austrian Gasthaus with different food then would have probably eaten (fast food, yuck) The kids loved it.

The next day we woke up to... SNOW !

We didn't see much snow in Florida, we were suprised on how happy it made us. It was like being a kid and waking up to a white snowy morning...hope school is closed !

The historic district of Vienna is incredibly beautiful. The Austrian Empires wealth comes across loud and clear.

Tons of monuments as you can well imagine. Lots of stuff, but not enough time. We had lacrosse games all day Saturday in the freezing cold. The girls team won one and lost one, while the guys team tied one and lost one. We could have played better, but it didnt ruin our trip...lacrosse seemed secondary !

Guten Tag Kelly ! Kelly outside the last stop on our trip, the Museum of Natural History.

Here is Coach Chris with his favorite dinosaur from his childhood, Triceratops.

Michael had been to the Museum 11 years earlier and apparently this fish had made a big impression on him. We found it just minutes before we had to leave.

Some of the kids left on an earlier flight, but as you see here many joined us at the Museum. They like to do what they called the "dragon" when someone takes their picture. In this case, we'll call it the lion.

All in all, a great trip and a great experience for everyone ! We'll post more pictures from our trip and the lacrosse games when we get them from everyone.

Our trips in the spring will be to England, Wales and Amsterdam...wooohooo