28 September 2008

R.I.P. Paul Newman

Got the sad news from my sistah blog.
Goodbye Paul, it was nice being your wife for a little while, even if only in a photoshopped picture.
Was even more fun being your dog.


25 September 2008

Lacrosse season in full swing already!

Alli sent me this gem she made a few years back. She calls it :

Lacrosse al Fresco

What could be better then Tony, me & Clayton having a tea party ?

The other night at lacrosse, I made an exceptional jump-from-behind-the-goal leaping shot...I scored, everyone clapped, everything was great....until the referee for the evening (Michael Kennedy) declared it no goal as I was in the crease.

Now I know what most of you are thinking...why would Michael, a frequent subject of blog posts here, try to deny a 38 yr old man the glory of such a goal ?

I, of course, questioned his call, but just briefly as I don't like giving ref's the business and I don't like getting the business as a ref. But let's be clear...it was a goal...

The next day I sent Mike a text message that said " I made you an appointment with the eye doctor". To which I got an email from Mr. Kennedy titled "Who do you think you are?" with the following picture:

Very funny MK, very funny indeed...



I'm currently in training at my apartment. I'm just jumping over my couch back and forth so next week when the opportunity rises, I'm gonna jump OVER Mike AND score....again.

21 September 2008

The calm before the (lacrosse season) storm

As previously mentioned, we spent a good part of one of our days in Wexford walking along the beach. The girls walked and talked about....oh who knows, girl stuff...

Michael & I couldn't be bothered with anything but picking through the abundance of perfectly formed skipping stones

We threw hundreds into the sea...judging our throws on number of skips, height and distance.

When we had to give up due to our arms hurting, Michael was declared winner with 7 skips.

The day was not over as we had still discover the mystery of...

Sea turf ! Apparently this is where turf or peat meets the sea...and is formed into these weird little dirt fingers.

Looks like turf

smells like turf....

Unfortunately, even the best stone skipper in Wexford can't skip turf.

In other news this week, the UCD Lacrosse season started and we had our first game against Dublin Lacrosse which ended in a 10-10 tie.

It was a good first game, with members of both teams able to knock the rust off and get ready for the rest of the season.

14 September 2008

Wexford - The Land of Tea & Cakes

County Wexford. Sometimes known as the sunny southeast of Ireland...I prefer to call it the Land of Tea & Cakes.

Kelly was away all last week on business in Galway. She arrived back in Dublin by train around 9pm on Friday to find Michael, Patrice & I waiting. The car was packed and we were all on our way down to Wexford, to visit with Michael's cousins down by the sea.

Normally Patrice does the driving, but Michael rented a car for this trip so he could keep his driving skills up to date. Off we went on our 2 1/2 hour journey south.

We arrived just before midnight in the sleepy village of Fethard-on-Sea, population about 300, 30 or so who are Michaels relations and were waiting for us at the Pub. We were welcomed straight off the road, into the pub for a few pints to wash the road off of us.

It had been arranged that we would all be staying at Michaels cousin, Oonagh's house. We got there late and slept in a bit. Saturday turned out to be a GORGEOUS day....

Oonagh lives on the Quay road with a great view of the Bay. She has a new construction house with all the bells and whistles...above is the view looking past her house from the hill behind..and below is the view out to the sea from the same hill looking away from the house.

Beautiful location for a house.

The picture below is of an aerial shot Oonagh has framed on her wall. Her house is the one just off to the right of center. Her little homestead is nestled on a spit of land in between the sea and the bay in Wexford...very, very nice.

On Saturday, we had breakfast then went on walkabout, down to the dock near where Michael's Mom grew up.

Michael & Patrice...sitting on the dock of the bay..watching time slip away.

We then drove around the tip of the bay opposite of Oonagh's house and walked on the beach for an hour or so

above, Oonagh's house from across the way

It was great day to be outside. Michael's cousin MayB and her daughter Oonagh joined us for a walk on the beach. The girls walked & talked while Mike & I basically turned into 7 yr olds. We had a great time finding cool rocks and skipping stones.

After the beach we drove to the Hook Head Lighthouse, which happens to be the oldest operating lighthouse in Europe. We met some more of Michael's cousins up there and had lunch.

I took the picture below on Hook Head on the way to the lighthouse...click on it to see it full size and see how beautiful it was that day.

The lighthouse itself was surprisingly interesting. We got the tour and went up to the top to check out the view.

Kelly & I on top of the ol lighthouse.

Now, you're probably wondering where the tea and cakes come in. Well, as is par for the course when you're visiting people, you're usually offered refreshments etc. Its of course no secret that the Irish drink a lot of tea...but when we were in Wexford, everywhere we stopped we were also greeted by cakes, tarts, breads, and buns. Not your run o' the mill store bought baked goods either...fresh homemade stuff.

Michael's Aunt made us an apple tart, which we destroyed in one sitting over tea...bye bye tart, we loved you.

On Saturday night we met up with MayB, her husband Pascal and daughter Oonagh for dinner at the local pub, Neville's. After a great meal and our second night of merry making at the local, we headed home by foot to see if we could of course scare up some tea & cake.

It was a quiet moonlit walk in the country back to Oonagh's house...took us about 20 minutes. Nice end to a nice evening.

Up at the crack of noon, we all made another big breakfast fry of rashers, pudding, sausage and scrambled eggs. Kelly buttered 700 pieces of toast and we all mistakenly drank each others coffee as we fueled up for another day of Wexford exploration.

Our final destination before heading back to Dublin was Michael's cousins Domini's house to visit with her, her husband Ray, their 3 young sons (Stephen, Martin & Brian) and to see their incredible farm on the water that consists of who knows how many acres of land including 7 castles on their property...yes, Castles on their property !

We were short on time and it was raining, so we didn't have a chance to break out our archeological gear and scramble around their ruins. We, of course, did have time to have tea and some fresh out of the oven hot apple baked goodness with cream on top !

...and enjoy the view.

Kelly had to catch a train to Galway from Dublin at 8pm so we hit the road, leaving behind the Land of Tea & Cakes, new friends and great memories.

Thanks Wexford...now that we know you, we'll be back !

09 September 2008

You know its time to off yourself when.....

...when you find yourself in this situation :

(excerpt from a troubling email I received this afternoon)

me and bingo just caught ourselves having an argument as to who has more talent, Brittany Spears or Jessica Simpson. We are ashamed. - Jimbo

Bingo defends his actions :

I was for jesica simpson and jim said brittany had ten times more talent

04 September 2008

No Woman No Cry

Rita Marley Arnold - R.I.P.

Things you may not know about Marley:

She was conceived in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Not an easy cat, she had a small yet devoted following.

Marley was the kind of cat that gave cats a bad name, but only if you didn't know how to handle her. Those that truly knew her, loved her.

She snored.

She would come running from anywhere in the neighborhood when we sounded our little Tibetan prayer chimes.

She was a Buddhist.

She liked to follow us around the house and the neighborhood. She'd let you get ahead, then come bounding after you, chirping and trilling little happy sounds.

She was slinky.

A born hunter, she brought home lizards, birds, and squirrels. She once delivered a slug to my sister-in-law's feet, earning her the nick-name Slug Mouth.

I once saw her kick a four foot snake's ass (where is the ass on a four foot snake, you ask? About three and a half feet down from the mouth, I tell you)

But her favorite prey was a foot under a blanket.

She pooped in the litter box but peed next to it.

She respected and obeyed our older, tougher but sweeter male cat (Repo) and despised our younger, bigger, softer and dumber male cat (Jack)

She outlasted both of them.

She loved to sit on your lap, but you pet her at your own risk. She'd enjoy it until she HATED it and then she bit you, hard.

She was very photogenic.

She liked being manhandled about the neck. A good hard grab and tug on the extra scruff there and she was yours for life.

She would lick the gravy off her wet food then walk away.

When we had three cats she slept between my knees. When she was an only cat she slept under my left arm.

She HATED closed doors and would scratch at one for hours.

She was really good at getting her way.

She always wanted to be in the same room with us, even if just to ignore us. Whenever we had a party she was the only cat who'd hang around with our guests. Even if it was to bare her fangs and scare the crap out of them.

If we went away she would shred the toilet paper to punish us.

She was fearless.

After her salad days were long gone she developed a saggy belly that made her look perpetually pregnant. She refused to acknowledge this and if you dared to touch it she'd destroy your hand before you could say 'lay off the whiskas.'

I never once saw her lick herself anyplace inappropriate.

She liked to lay on my tummy and stretch her front legs out till her paws rested on my lips. I always felt like she was telling me to shut up.

She went NUTS for the sound of a tin whistle.

When we left Florida, Clayton the Amazing worked hard to find Marley the right new home.

He was kind enough to take her when we moved, then find her another home when his didn't work out, then find her yet ANOTHER home when she didn't fit into the second one. (I told you she was difficult)

He kept us posted on how she was doing and how much she was adored by her new people. Then we got this email last week:

I'm sorry to report that Marley is no longer with us.
She died last Thursday, August 28th.
Beth started crying while she was telling me and said she was inconsolable all weekend. They loved her very much. Believe me when I say she had a pampered existence for the final part of her life. Marley had fallen in love with Beth's husband, Horus, and he with her. Beth was always telling me stories of how jealous she was of the fact that Marley would follow him around and jump in his lap and snuggle in with him at night. I'm sorry it took a few months to get her settled in an environment that was good for her, but at least her last year was without other cats and with people that loved her.
I hate telling you but I thought you would want to know.

I hereby nominate Clayton for the Best Friend Ever Award.

Marley agrees.


02 September 2008

Wanna watch The Channel?

(I dedicate the next word to Helen)

So I turned our cable off a while back.

It was a bit of a rash decision. After months of bad service and frustrated phone calls to "customer care" (we'll use those words very loosely) I was fed the fugg up.

I stopped paying the bills and canceled the damn thing.

This is how it went: Chris was in China.
I was able to watch my few select shows online (Weeds, Family Guy, Project Runway blahdy blah blah.)
I convinced myself we were in danger of slipping into a life dominated by the idiot box.
We should save money. We should read a book. We should get out more. And the cable company should GO TO HELL.

Then one day our blinking black box was gone and the screen went dark.

I had made the decision figuring we'd get 5 or 6 basic channels...umm...yeaaaah...that didn't happen.
We got one. ONE. 1. Uno.
That's right folks - one channel.

So now we don't watch TV, we watch The Channel. Now instead of saying "Hey, wanna see what's on the boob-tube?" we say "Wanna see what's on The Channel?"

Right now The Channel has on a BBC / PBS nature show called "The Pacific Abyss" or "The Dark Abyss" or "Crazy Scientists Diving Very Deep" or "Cool Nature Footage with Manufactured Drama.'" Or something like that.

Anywaaaay. "The Pacific Abyss" is on and they are diving trés deep and discovering new fish species and the like. I'm a certified diver (or was once, at least) but I've only been to 50 feet or so - these crazy dudes were going 300 METRES down. Interesting stuff.

BUT I had to walk away cause the narrator kept referring to them as The Fish Scientists.
As in "The fish scientists are preparing for a dive deeper than any man has gone on before" and "As a storm brews on the surface the fish scientists are down so deep they've lost communications with the boat and don't know that ascending now could mean facing certain death."
Surely the English language, the BBC and PBS have some better words to describe these guys. Like say, oh, I don't know...maybe MARINE BIOLOGISTS??? Or maybe just scientists? Biologists?

Why the FISH SCIENTISTS?? That's just wrong.

Call me weird if you must, but this got under my skin so badly I had to walk away.

So (helen) I'm trolling away online, looking for something to distract me from the constant barrage of the words FISH SCIENTIST and then the next show comes on the channel.


Dear god in heaven either help me or shoot me now, it's Prison Break.

Lemme explain.

In the last weeks I've developed a real love/hate relationship with this show. And by love/hate relationship I mean I DESPISE this show, but am constantly compelled to watch more. It's like being addicted to a drug that gives you no high (sorta like cigarettes...hmmm...anyone see a pattern with me?)

Let's rewind and break it down step by step, shall we?

1) I turn off cable tv.

2) We have one channel, usually with nothing on.

3) We start renting DVDs on the occasions we feel the need to devolve in front of the mind- drinker.

4) We decide to rent whole seasons of shows from time to time, more bang for the buck, so to speak.

5) Video stores in Dublin are small and understocked.

6) None of the shows we'd want to watch are ever in.

7) One day we pick Prison Break Season 1 cause I say 'Oh, I think I remember this being popular, it must be good' (Seriously - I am not a dumb girl but for that weak moment I forgot that popular = lowest common denominator. I forgot all the really good shows get canceled before their time. Speaking of which - is Friday Night Lights still on?)

8) We watch Prison Break Season 1 and find it to be one of the most inane and unbelievable shows ever created.

9) We also get addicted and NEED to know what happens next. It makes us mad. It pisses us off. It insults our intelligence. The plot has holes so big you could drive C.W. McCall's convoy through it.
We don't enjoy it, but we must know what happens next.

10) We rent and successively watch Prison Break Season 2 and Prison Break Season 3. Each one is more ridiculous than the next.

11) There are no more seasons of Prison Break available at our video store. We breathe a sigh of relief. We have been released from this insidious addiction. Our supply has dried up. We have no choice but to go cold turkey. Escaped Con Michael Scofield is flying a kite and smoking a jay on the Chattahoochee Rive for all we care. We are done. We are FREE!!

12) While watching some lovely Friends reruns the other day we see a commercial on The Channel. Prison Break Season 4 starts Tuesday on The Channel.

13) Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

14) Tonight. 9pm. Prison Break Season 4 has begun and I am doing my best not to watch. I write this post in protest. I will NOT get sucked back in. The internet is my methadone. I am using it like a nicotine patch. Chris is watching and I can SEE his blood pressure rising. This show is just b.a.d. but he can't let go just yet. I'll do my best to get him to kick the habit, fight the good fight and drop this life sucking piece of garbage....wish me luck.

I wonder what The Fish Scientists are up to?