Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I woke up this morning feeling inexplicably cheerful.

Then I loaded up AIM and saw this:

TED KENNEDY DEAD AT 77

That explains it. I must have sensed his passing! At least death imposes term limits of a sort.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just a putzing-around-online-while-bored post.

When my mom saw a picture of N at two or three months of age, she mentioned that the smile looked impish. I had thought no such thing, but now I think mom just has a better eye for mischief than I do, because I swear the older N gets the more impish she looks.

They get it from their dad. No really! If y'all could see his baby pictures you'd believe me.

I have so much work to do around here it isn't funny. But of course I'm taking my usual route of burying my head in the sand and pretending I can't see the piles - no, mountains - of clutter and the Dust Bunnies of Unusual Size.

I'll take comfort in the fact that I am at least working on laundry, and I did run the dish washer yesterday.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son...

This means a lot more to me now that I'm a parent.

Ireland XI

Ireland X

By the time we reached Galway, Jo and I were once again in dire need of clean clothing. For an additional fee, the staff at the hostel would utilize the washer and dryer on the premises, so we turned over our laundry and were assured it would be ready later that night. In the meantime, we retreated to the hostel's common room to wait. Here we met that gol-durned annoying person, a young man from Canada. He was a conspiracy theorist as paranoid as Mulder, minus the charm, snazzy suit and the belief in aliens. He was obsessed with corrupt politicians and secret government projects. He also fancied he knew how the world should and should not be run and was "even more opinionated and obnoxious about it than I am!" He went on and on, and on and on, and then went on some more. Jo was just about climbing the walls in frustration but I was kind of amused.

When I first inquired about our laundry I was told it would be ready later that night. I asked a second time and was again given the nebulous response of "later" and when I asked a third time, was told it would not be done until the morning! The knucklehead on duty was giving us a song and dance routine. He (and several buddies) were also using some form of recreational drug and were so stoned that even someone as naive as I was could recognize it. We went to bed at around one o'clock with Jo in such an agitated state of mind that she did not even brush her teeth, such an extreme deviation from her normal routine that it earned mention in my journal. When we inquired of the young man in charge in the morning, we found out his coworker had never even put our laundry in the washer. He apologized for how long it took and I gathered it had not been the best morning for him, either - probably because our laundry was not the only work left undone!

June 13, 1999
Well, nothing like sitting in the park eating ice cream cones while watching horny pigeons. They're so funny! The pigeons, not the ice cream cones. The males fluff up their neck feathers and then follow the females around, cooing and bobbing their heads. The females studiously ignore them, appearing to want to eat more than anything.


Fortunately the Corrib Villa Hostel was not the Hotel California, so after we received our clean laundry we checked out and we left. We made a stop at the tourist office to inquire about researching our ancestors. That proved to be an expensive undertaking so we decided not to attempt it.
Jo had been in a bad mood since last night which turned into a towering snit when we found out that we had missed the bus to Oughterard while waiting for our laundry that morning. There would not be another bus departing until Monday evening. Rather than spend additional time in Galway we made reservations for the Harbor House in Sligo. We got lunch and then sat in the park eating our ice cream cones (which had become a bad habit with us) while Jo tried to exorcise her bad mood by writing limericks.

Well, we are in Sligo town now, staying in the Harbor House Hostel, which truly is 'the Taj Mahal of hostels' as the guidebook says. Although you must admit it's funny to compare it to a giant tomb. (Even though they only refer to the opulance of it.)

At the Sligo house we met Mark and Matthew, young men from England that were living and working in Ireland for the moment. Mark made tea and then he and Mark sat in the common room with us watching television. This proved to a source of major embarrassment for me. Having grown up in farm country I was usually unfazed by seeing animals mate, but watching wildebeest happily humping away on some nature show while in the company of two young men had me blushing fire red.

Fortunately Mark provided conversation, which drew everyone's attention away from the television. He and Matthew were actually brothers, and expressed an ambition which Jo and I found extremely odd: they wanted to go to America and become dancers for a celebrity musician. Matthew, the younger brother, looked like he should be a member of a boy band so I suppose being a back-up dancer would have been feasible. After some chit-chat Jo went upstairs to bed and Matthew excused himself and headed to their home, which left me sitting in the common room with Mark. In my youthful naivety I had chosen to deal with his accent, which was difficult for me to understand at times, by simply smiling and nodding - an unwise tactic in retrospect.
Mark proved to be extremely talkative and provided me with far more information about his life than I ever could have wanted, from his insurance claim to his old girlfriend to how many speakers he planned to have installed in his car. I concluded that I would rather see him dance than listen to him talk. He was a nice guy - just very boring!

Ireland I