Wednesday, July 30, 2008

London Broil...a second serving

Hopefully Blogspot will cooperate today.

Now, where were we? Ah yes... Saturday's baptismal celebration

Esme gets dunked by the Vicar. (And don't say Vicar like it rhymes with wicker, you 'mericuns. Say it properly (or propa-lee), like the English, with great multitudes of pompousness and self-righteousness, thus rhyming it with "Flicka") Thank you, thank you Henry 8 for such fun words.
What is it about a baby in a photo that makes it impossible to get anyone to look at the camera?

Family Photo

(l-r) Godmother/Aunt Orla, brother Robert holding baby Esme, Granddad/Godfather Neville, Super Simon the Rockin' Pops and the Mum Clo*

*Please note: as I have been threatened with the punishment of death by mutilation if I post any pictures of Manus' cousin Clodagh, the mother of Esme, the role of Clodagh will be played by Penelope-Anne Abernathy, local Clodagh look-alike and impersonator, for the purposes of this blog.

Jake and Jesus sitting in the church.

Now Jake is Orla's son making him Esme's cousin, but given the age difference and the roles that will undoubtedly be played, Jake wishes to be referred to as "Uncle Jake". This is not to be confused with the West Virginian phenomenon whereas your cousin is called "Daddy". Jesus is Clodagh's brother Neville. Now this makes him Esme's uncle, but we call him "Our Father".

Pics from the Party

Katie played with her new friend Poppy.

William and his daddy played with the ceramic toadstool. Later this would be the spot of the infamous dead mouse show-and-tell. Thank god there was an adult there, Malinda, or one of the young innocent children might have picked up the rabid rodent. Oh wait... they did.
Penelope-Anne Abernathy, when playing 'Clodagh' insists on character accuracy, right down to the twisted knee and hospital-issue crutches.

The day was great, not a drop of rain. Lots of food, booze, stories and laughter. The children, when not investigating nature's cycle of life or Wii's endless offerings of virtual fun, were getting their asses kicked by me in the jumbo-sized Connect Four game. good times... good times.

Sunday was pretty much more the same... Steam, Jim Beam and Ice Cream. Or that was the party I attended in Alabama. In Essex it was more like heat, cold meat and bare feet.

But Sunday will have to wait until Thursday as the Princess is calling for her tea.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008



I can add this blog entry as it doesn't require photos (thankfully) and Katie is in her third hour of nap. (must be jet lag from England...)

Came home last night to the welcoming sight of dog shit. No, no, my fancy plastic fencing around the front grass is not failing. The dog is now just shitting on our driveway. Thanks.
The ironic thing is that now that I am trying to grow a plant in the grass, I just scooped the poop and tossed it into the grass. Maybe I should take down the fence and eliminate the middleman.

On a related subject, I believe George W. said it best when he said, "Fool me once, shame on you....uh..duh....ya fool me, ya can't get fooled again!"

Well, I did get fooled again. Had Katie downstairs on the tile (thank god) and she was just in her diaper. So she squats down and grunts, face turning red. No surprise as to what is occurring under wraps, but, when she stands back up, a corn puff that I guess had been wedged in between her diaper and belly popped out onto the floor and I did a double take thinking she had just pooped an intact snack. After finishing my laugh which led to katie's belly laugh which led to laughing so hard we had tears, I put her down on her changing mat and proceeded to change the dirty diaper. She has had some diaper rash so I decided to let her go al fresco for a while. A few moments later, "ppfffft, ahhhh" She actually sighed after farting. What a sign of the little lady she is to become! But that had us laughing again. I guess I was laughing too much to learn a lesson. What does a fart like to precede? yup.

I looked at my naked baby on the floor, confused as to what she was sitting on. I could see something between her legs and as I circled her, saw it was also coming from behind. No, correct that, it was coming from her behind.

Manus was laughing at this point but I no longer was. I was yelling at him to not "just stand there, get a friggin paper towel!!" The hilarity of the moment was lost on the poor man when he realized that, yes, I did want him to clean it up. "and scrub that grout.. Its not supposed to be brown!"

To quote Bob Dylan's famous hit, "How many times must the crapp'n balls fly before bare is forever banned?"

And lastly on this fabulous topic, I really have been working on my potty mouth as Katie is entering the stage of mimicry, but I was wondering, is there such thing as potty brain? Is it okay to think, "mother fucking shit on a fucking crapper!" if I only say, "golly- gosh darnit that sure is a shame"?

London Broil

O.M.G. it was H.O.T!

Our London weekend was a lot of fun but it was so, so hot! I'd say it was like we were back in Miami only at least in Miami everything is air-conditioned. In spite of the heat, here are some highlights of our weekend:

Drove to Dublin on Thursday. Dropped off the rental car (again) and checked into the Radisson SAS Airport Hotel. It is a very nice hotel, recently renovated and we had some sort of businessman suite that included a Murphy bed instead of a real bed. This meant that the base of the bed had two metal pieces that stuck out to support the mattress and mangle the feet. After just that one night in the hotel, it will be no surprise if Katie's first words are "Muthafukensumofabitch! I kicked that Gawd-damn thing again".

Manus, Katie and I ventured into Dublin city centre via Airport shuttle 'cause I had my eye on a sushi restaurant I'd seen advertised and Manus knows the rule; "When in Dublin, must have sushi." We ate at a place called Aya. It is conveyor belt sushi - my FAVORITE kind of restaurant. Even better than all-you-can-eat sushi, which is good, but I'm still traumatized by that time I ate at the a.y.c.e. sushi restaurant and ordered too many hand rolls and was smuggling them in my purse to throw away in the ladies room because I was afraid they would charge me for leaving food on my plate and maybe cut off a finger or two. Unfortunately, the sushi wasn't that great, our booth was too high for the highchair and our placement on the belt was very bad. You could see something really interesting coming out from the kitchen but there were too many people between it and us so most of the goodies were snatched up before they could make it our way.

Then the bus we were to catch on the way back just didn't show. Twice. I don't know if that is how they do things in Dublin, but.... We didn't get back to the hotel until 10pm.

Friday, up and to the airport. Quickie flight to Stanstead in London and score one for Hertz Gold Club; the car was waiting for us when we got there. Hertz, unlike the 'Dan Dooley' we are using here has you review a "scratch and dent" diagram to ensure that you return the car the way you got it. As I went into the office/hut to return our signed copy of the damage diagram, Manus popped the trunk open and right into the metal Hertz sign. Quickly I returned to the service desk to add that they failed to mark that the "S" was missing from our VW Pas_at. We should get away with it unless they review their security tapes.

The hotel we were staying in in Essex, where Manus' cousin lives was...small, hot and cranky. Or maybe that was just me. Fortunately each room had its own bathroom, but you had to enter it facing the right way cause there was no turning around once you were there. A window opened to a lovely view of the building next to us and was small enough to avoid letting in any of that pesky breeze. Upon entering it was hard to tell which was our bed and which was Katie's travel crib as the two were the same size. The crib could only fit between the foot of the bed and the wall so every morning at 7am we would wake to Katie grabbing our toes and giggling. P.S. she learned the funniest trick about sniffing your feet and then wrinkling her nose and waving her hand in front of her face while we say "Poo Tinky Toes". the cutest thing. don't know which irresponsible parent taught her that one... We slept in the nude all weekend (all 3 of us) and after each night of sweating up the sheets, it was more than just our toes that were a little "poo tinky".

Anyway, the weekend was not meant for spending in the hotel, it was for family togetherness and cousin Esme's baptism, so lets get to that.

Friday night dinner at Prezzo, a local Italian restaurant. Katie and Esme at the head of the table, natch.

When asked how she liked her dinner, Katie replied in classic Italian fashion-

"Mwah!... Delicioso!"

Who IS this fantastic family??!

You know, I have been trying for the last hour to upload more pictures but BLOGSPOT is having some "internal errors" and I am just getting angry now. So, the story of the rest of the weekend will have to be told tomorrow. (or am I just lazy and I now that I have you captivated by my tale, can lure you back for the rest while I go and TAKE a rest?) You decide.

P.P.S. For all ya'll anon commenters out there, pls sign your name cause it is driving me batty not to know who is saying what. Except Laurie, your rambling, anti-punctuational style is unmistakable - no need to sign.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sleeping Beauty and other misleading fairy tales

ahhh. yawn, stretch...Oh! Well! Good morning.. what day is it? In my bigger than life super dooper bed Ive been doing so much sleeping my blogging has drastically reduced. Have I been asleep since last Friday? groan..mumble..stretch

While Rip Van Winkle slept his beard grew and grew. Like him, my follicles were in overdrive.

In the words of my favorite utha-mutha, Carolee Perrin, "I can feel my leg hairs blowing in the breeze!"

Gee Leslie, you sure were right! NOT. So help me, if you jinxed me you can just consider yourself OUT of my will. That's right, you can just kiss your sweet $1.87 good-bye.

I still can't sleep. I can't get comfortable and I can't shut up the voices in my head. They aren't like the devil voices telling me to poison my husband's tea or anything like that (yet...) It's just me, my voice rambling on and on and on about nothing. I guess that is apropos for me, huh?!

And song lyrics! I get a song stuck in my head and it plays over and over and over.

For the last two nights my hips have been aching so badly. Its a deep, dull thud of an ache and it only seems relieved when I have my hips totally flexed. So I end up trying to sleep Katie-style; knees tucked up under me and ass in the air. That would work fine if. I. didn't. want. to. breathe. What is it that is pushing itself up into my chest space? Oh yes, my gut.. when did that get there?

According to WebMD at 3 a.m. aching hips are not a diagnostic symptom for any form of cancer or any other slow, drawn-out, tragic fatal illness. So, of course, that only proves one thing:

WebMD is not to be trusted.

My silver lining: I discovered two great things about English satellite television at 4 a.m. One, Dr. 90210 is on and they don't blur out the boobies. (which is ironic because they bleep the word "ass" on Scrubs here- which is my favorite show now and I can watch it anytime between 6 am and midnight because it is on ALL DAY LONG on Paramount Comedy One and Two, channels 126 and 127 for all you Sky subscribers out there) btw, my friend Leslie once told me that I was a female Zack Braff and I took offense. But I dont anymore. He is comic genius. And he dated Mandy Moore. That ups his status in my book. That's like saying I could land a gal like Mandy too... yeah, righteous. And second magical discovery, The Sarah Silverman Show. I've known that I like her comedy for some time now. My cousin Ali took me to see her live in Miami Beach. If I hadn't had those two martinis at dinner right before I'm sure I would have told you how great the show was. Its all a blur to me now... But Id never seen her TV show and now I have and if I am going to be awake at 4 o'clock in the morning from this day forward, so be it. I will watch that show every morning and reaffirm that I have meaning in my life.

p.s. Jimmy, whatever you did to make my Sarah sad, undo it and get back together. please. for us kids...

Speaking of songs playing incessantly in my head, there is a song out there and I don't know the name of it. I don't know who sings it. I, in fact, don't even know any of the lyrics. I woke up one morning with a tune in my head and hummed it for Manus, he confirmed that I didn't dream it but couldn't name it either. I have been listening to the radio 24/7 and scouring top 40 lists and the ITunes store for best sellers trying to find it to no avail. And now I can't even get the melody in my head. So, if you hear my song, jot down the name of it - and let me know...

We are going to London for Katie's cousin Esme's christening. Will be back Tuesday. Don't worry, I'll take lots of pictures. You wont miss a thing.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bed, Box and Beyond

Our new bed arrived today! It is magnificent and it is LARGE. We asked for, ordered, and paid for a King sized bed. Yesterday I went out and bought a king size sheet set and king size mattress cover. I then washed, dried and ironed (yeah right) said bedclothes so they would be ready for the big day.
As we were making the new bed, something became strikingly apparent. They delivered a SUPER KING bed. 30 cm more of back-supporting double-coil goodness. But the damn sheets wont fit. Its a good thing I got the El Cheapo cotton-poly blend. I went back out today for proper fitting sheets and spent 100 euro on the only superking sheet set I could find. This stuff is 300 thread count, so if we are paying by the thread, its not too bad a deal.

At this rate, I think we would give our last dollar for a good night's sleep. And just when you think we just might get it...

This is the scene from our bedroom window. This morning they fired up their engines at 7:30am. Please don't let them work on Saturdays..

My mom sent us a box that arrived today. I told her its like Xmas, Easter and my birthday all rolled into one when a package arrives. Goodies for everyone! Katie got a new doll and really cute outfits. She got a pair of turquoise daisy dukes that I wish fit me sooo bad. A shot glass that though I dont believe was intended for her, Katie has commandeered and is eating her puffs out of it. She knows I got something good, but I wont share my peanut M&Ms! Manus got a box of Breathe-Right nasal strips but he doesnt know it yet. I got my 3 lipfinity "modern" lipsticks that I'd bought on e-bay. Yes, that's right Laura, I went and STOLE them right from under your nose. That's what you get for turning me on to a discontinued product. And, they were only 3 bucks each! In fairness however, the online store had 5 tubes for sale, so there should be 2 left.

And perhaps the best part of these boxes are the past two months of People magazine. I could die a happy woman. I devour each issue. I dont really even care about celeb gossip, but it is so good to get a few words about home. Now if only I could lock myself in the bathroom with one or two... heaven!

So, needless to say, thanks mom for all our gifts. They really make my day.

Manus has been working hard to get our lawn looking nice. He sprayed for weeds and the other day we went around digging them up. Now our lawn looks a set design for Groundhog Day 2.

Before and After

Maybe the weed killer killed a little more than the weeds. I got lawn seed today so we shall sow the seeds of success this summer. We need to buy fertilizer. Manus said that is what our compost bin is for but we realized only the other day that we have had it upside down and when we turned it over it unleashed an unholy terror of a smell. I will not be spreading that out on the grass.

My gardening project has been to find a way to keep the damn shitter dog next door from shitting in our front yard. (perhaps we should let him go wild in our back yard..)

So far, so good. Two poop-free days and counting...

I'm in a self-righteous funk these days. I need some direction in my life. Still no word from the Nursing Board. I sent a large packet of info pleading my case for educational reciprocity. The assessor had it for a week now with my request for him to call me after he reviewed it. I will call and harass on Monday. Manus is bearing the brunt of my frustrations... He said to me that he will have to work tomorrow (Saturday) and instead of feeling bad for him I muttered, Oh that's just great. He said, Why? Do I have plans? No. But that is not the point. He is meeting with our landlord this evening to iron out our plans for next year. I said, Oh that's great. He said, why? Did I want to do something tonight? No. But that is not the point. I dont think I can explain it to him.... (Can someone explain it to me?) Manus said, you know... it seems like lately I cant do right no matter what I do. And I said, You are absolutely right.

We have our tickets to the states bought. Our trip itinerary is as follows:

Sept 10-15 Charlotte, NC
Sept 15-Sept 23 Miami, FL
Sept 23-Oct 15 Sacramento, CA
Oct 15-Oct 24 Miami, FL
Oct 24-Oct 26 San Francisco, CA
Oct 26-Nov 18 Sacramento, CA
Nov 18-Dec 2 Miami, FL

Adjust your schedules and rearrange your lives accordingly.

Time to put the sheets in the dryer. Have a happy weekend.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Mom Chronicles. Chapter 3

I've long ago resigned myself to the fact that I will never go to the bathroom alone. And in some ways I think it is entirely fair. I sit and watch Katie as she makes her 'grunts and grimaces' face, why shouldn't she be allowed to look at mine?

They say that every kid has their own 'poop face' and Katie's... man, what can I say about it? It's not pretty, but you have no doubt as to what she is doing.

I've even found myself mimicking some of her gesticulations hoping my output would be as grand as some of hers. Of course, I chew my food so it will never be exactly the same.

This discovery of toddler behavior and subsequent acceptance occurs alongside the blossoming of toddler curiosity. I realize and accept that Katie wants to get into EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME. She has a distinct, though I imagine not unique talent of scanning the room and zeroing in on the ONE thing she is not supposed to touch. If there are 6 plastic bottles on the table, she will go for the one glass. We have four remotes, if the stereo is what is on, the stereo remote is the one with the most interesting buttons. (if the tv is on, the tv remote is the only thing in the room worth playing with).

So, anyway, I have a bathroom monitor with me at all times. Like I said, comes with the territory. But the other day I discovered the true dangers in co-toileting.

As I stood upon finishing my business, in the split second between hiking up my pants and swiveling to flush I hear "Plop!" and there is Katie, who in the short time it took me to pee has removed everything off the bathroom shelves we have from hairbrushes to Q-tips ('ear buds' here), but here is Katie, little head peering over the rim to see just what does happen to a tube of toothpaste when it is submerged in the basin.

Ugh. So yes it was only pee, but a tube of toothpaste is not something you flush down and replace. No, I had to retrieve it. And we dont even have any salad tongs here.

Then, what do you do with the tube? The cap was on, but do you take the chance that there was seepage?

I'm making up a job description for motherhood. It now includes the following questions: Are you willing to touch another person's vomit? Are you willing to touch another person's poop? Are you willing to plunge your hand into a bucket of your own urine? Are you willing to do this for free?

Look what else Katie is into these days...

yup. its a tampon applicator. Fresh from the box, I swear -the possibility of a used one is more vile a thought than I can muster- but nonetheless... a disturbing image.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Come to Rose Hill!

After my cousin Laura's visit here was such a success, Manus and I decided to team up with Ireland's Tourism and Travel Board and list our place as available guest accommodations for anyone visiting the Kilkenny area.

We have to submit our own brochure ideas and pictures, but fortunately we took quite a few while Laura was staying with us so our advertising will have a real air of authenticity.

This is the copy and layout that we have so far, I was hoping you all would look it over and just give us some initial feedback. If we end up using your suggestions, we are prepared to offer a 20% discount on YOUR next trip to Rose Hill.

Here it is:

Planning a trip to Kilkenny? Why book into an overcrowded hotel in the middle of the city? Come enjoy a rustic retreat in your very own cabin!

With stunning views of the Irish countryside.
This spacious cabin comfortably sleeps six, and we lock you up good and tight each night for your own added privacy and safety.

As you can see, we boast only the best four-ply mattresses and bedding. Why not relax and read a book before heading off to dreamland?

You will wake each morning refreshed and ready to welcome the day!

Why not start your day the truly Irish way - Play Guess the Day's Weather! This game will challenge and amaze you. Not even our forecasters get extra hints.

If the weather does stay fine, there are lots of activities for you to choose from right outside your door!

Or take advantage of our state of the art recreational facilities

Each cabin boasts its own central heating and lighting amenities

And of course, with each cabin is your own private toileting facility. weather permitting.

For those parents who just want to get away on your own, we offer a fully equipped children's playroom in the main house.
As always, clothing is optional.

We look forward to your stay with us! Book soon!

So, what do you think? And how much should we charge? Is $1000/night a bit too much?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

There Is Something About Katie

Katie is channeling her inner Cameron Diaz.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Funny Friday Supplement

Remind yourselves of how lucky you were today, getting two posts in one day, the next time you don't see anything new for a while..

Just another good joke that was sent on to me from my friend Caroline Thomes.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One! that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth? That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay, too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side.' That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never crash........reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Now we had a link to this on our old Katie website, so you may have already seen it, but if you didn't, it is fantastic!

As we approach a new presidency, lets look back on some of the good times...

Knock, Knock

Who's There?
Irish-American Who?

I 'rish' Ameri can tell a better joke than Malinda


(Who the hell is Ameri?)

No, really, I just made that one up. I swear. I've thought up a few humdingers in my day, not that I like to brag or anything. The saddest thing is that I made up a real doozy of a joke one night while I was laying in bed (not sleeping) and I can't for the life of me think of what it was...
The people of earth suffer for my forgetfulness.

But, in talking about American stereotypes the other day, I got to thinking of all the Irish stereotypes we see in the jokes told by Americans. How many jokes do you know with "Father Murphy" or "Old Paddy Joe" or "An Irishman, a German, and a whatever..." or "That Irishman who loves Whiskey" - (oh wait, that one's Manus..) But my point is, there are a lot of "Irish Jokes".

Well, I set out to see what jokes the Irish tell about Americans.

And there aren't any. There are redneck jokes and well, George Bush jokes... But those are jokes we tell ourselves. And, apparently, they are Jokes we elect President. Twice. Who is laughing now?

There just doesnt seem to be an American Joke genre here in Ireland. Or Europe. I think they feel we do and say enough IN REAL LIFE that they find really hysterical. No need to make up shit. I dunno.

But I did find some few jokes that I think have an air of truth about them, and I share them with you now...

After the Irish Beer Festival in Dublin, all the brewery
presidents decided to go out for a beer. The guy from Corona sits down and says, "Hey Senor, I would like the world's best beer, a Corona." The bartender dusts off a bottle from the shelf and gives it to him. The guy from Budweiser says, "I'd like the best beer in the world, give me 'The King Of Beers', a Budweiser." The bartender gives him one. The guy from Coors says, "I'd like the only beer made with Rocky Mountain spring water, give me a Coors." He gets it. The guy from Guinness sits down and says, "Give me a Coke." The bartender is a little taken aback, but gives him what he ordered. The other brewery presidents look over at him and ask "Why aren't you drinking a Guinness?" and the Guinness president replies, "Well, I figured if you guys aren't drinking beer, neither would I."

And remember the story I told about the singer... what's his name? He played with Donovan... And he didn't want a whiskey cause he was a recovering alcoholic, he'd just have a glass of Guinness?

An Irish man walks into a pub. The bartender asks him, "What'll
you have?" The man says, "Give me three pints of Guinness please." So the bartender brings him three pints and the man proceeds to alternately sip one, then the other, then the third until they're gone. He then orders three more. The bartender says, "Sir, I know you like them cold. You don't have to order three at a time. I can keep an eye on it and when you get low, I'll bring you a fresh cold one." The man says, "You don't understand. I have two brothers, one in Australia and one in the States. We made a vow to each other that every Saturday night we'd still drink together. So right now, my brothers have three Guinness Stouts too, and we're drinking together. The bartender thought that was
a wonderful tradition. Every week the man came in and ordered three beers. Then one week he came in and ordered only two. He drank them and then ordered two more. The bartender said to him, "I know what your tradition is, and I'd just like to say that I'm sorry that one of your brothers died." The man said, "Oh, me brothers are fine----I just quit drinking."

North Dubliners don’t like the South Dubliners because they think they are
righteous snobs. South Dubliners don’t like the North ‘cause they don’t get out
of the shower to pee.

These are a few I found on a website posted BY Irishmen so they can't get offended, and there must be a bit of truth in them too.

An Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irishman went into a pub for a pint of Guinness one day. After being served a fly landed in each of their pints and stuck in the creamy heads. The Englishman pushed his pint away from him in disgust and proceeded to order another pint. The Scotsman simply fished the offending fly out with his finger and proceeded to drink his pint as if nothing had happened. The Irishman, eyes wide with anger grabbed the fly and held it over his pint shouting "SPIT IT OUT!!! SPIT IT OUT YOU BASTARD!!!"

A new priest at his first mass was so nervous he couldn't stand still. He asked Father Murphy for some advice. Father Murphy replied, "When I'm worried about gettin' nervous on the pulpit, I take a wee bit o'whiskey. Just to calm my nerves” So the next Sunday he took the older priest's advice. Before the mass, he got nervous and took a drink. He then proceeded to talk up a storm. Upon return to his office after mass, he found the following note on his door:

1. A few sips of whiskey. Not the whole bottle.

2. There are 10 commandments, not 12.

3. There are 12 disciples, not 10.

4. Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.

5. Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass.

6. We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.

7. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Senior,
Junior, and the Spook.

8. David slew Goliath, he did not kick the shit out of him.

9. When David was hit by a rock and knocked off his donkey, don't say "He was
stoned off his ass."

10. We do not refer to the cross as the Big T!

11. Jesus broke the bread at the Last Supper he said, "Take this and eat it, for it
is my body"; he did not say, "Eat me."

12. The Virgin Mary is not referred to as the, "Mary with the Cherry".

13. The recommended grace before a meal is not: "Rub-A-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, yea God"

14. Next Sunday there will be a taffy-pulling contest at St. Patrick's, not a patrick-pulling contest at St. Taffy's.

A ventriloquist visiting Wicklow, walks into a small village and sees a local sitting on his porch patting his dog. He figures he'll have a little fun, so he says to the Wicklowman "Can I talk to your dog?"
Villager:"The dog doesn't talk, you stupid git."
Ventriloquist:"Hello dog, how's it going mate?"
Dog: "Doin' all right."
Villager: (look of extreme shock)
Ventriloquist: "Is this villager your owner?" (pointing at the villager)
Dog: "Yep"
Ventriloquist: "How does he treat you?"
Dog: "Real good. He walks me twice a day, feeds me great food and
takes me to the lake once a week to play."
Villager: (look of utter disbelief)
Ventriloquist: "Mind if I talk to your horse?"
Villager: "Uh, the horse doesn't talk either....I think."
Ventriloquist: "Hey horse, how's it going?"
Horse: "Cool"
Villager: (absolutely dumbfounded)
Ventriloquist: "Is this your owner?" (pointing at the villager)
Horse: "Yep"
Ventriloquist: "How does he treat you?"
Horse: "Pretty good, thanks for asking. He rides me regularly, brushes me down often and keeps me in the barn to protect me from the elements."
Villager: (total look of amazement)
Ventriloquist: "Mind if I talk to your sheep?"
Villager: (in a panic) "The sheep's a liar!"

Now this last one isn't Irish, but it pretty much explains how I feel when I'm in town shopping (pretend that I am the one asking for the sausages.)

Everyone is in a hurry to scream 'racism' these days!

'In what aisle could I find the Polish sausage?'
The clerk looks at him and says, 'Are you Polish?'
The guy (clearly offended) says, 'Well, yes I am. But let me ask you something.
If I had asked for Italian sausage would you ask me if I were Italian?
Or if I had asked for feta cheese, would you ask me if I were Greek ?
Or if I had asked for German bratwurst, would you ask me if I wereGerman?
Or if I asked for a kosher hot dog would you ask me if I were Jewish?
Or if I had asked for a Taco would you ask if I were Mexican? Wouldyou? Would you?'
The clerk says, 'Well, no!'
'If I asked for some Irish whiskey, would you ask if I were Irish?'
'Well, I probably wouldn't!'
With deep self-righteous indignation, the
guy says, 'Well then, whydid you ask me if I'm Polish because I asked
for Polish sausage?'

The clerk replies, 'Because you're at Home Depot.'

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The gut-wrenching, dagger-through-the-heart agony that is a mother's love

I didn't know it would be this intense to love your child. When Katie was first born, I can remember telling Manus that had I known how much my heart would actually hurt from loving her so much - I felt real pain - that I don't think I would have had any children. Now, looking back on it, perhaps that was a little of the post-partum talking...

I hear myself telling Katie, "I love you so much I just want to eat you up!" But the thing is, I really do. Like, hugging her and kissing her isn't enough. I want to nibble on her toes, pinch her cheeks (all four of them), squeeze her so tight that her little eyes bug out of her head. I want to breathe her in, I want to ingest her... Just loving her doesn't quench my need for her.
Just yesterday I said to Manus over lunch,

"Do you think it's like creepy and maybe a little inappropriate that I want to kiss Katie all the time?"
"But, I mean, I kiss her on the lips."
"That's okay. She is your child."
"But with tongue?"

Stunned silence. I like to get Manus all riled up. I kid. I laugh. I usually laugh alone.

But seriously, don't call the fuzz, I don't use tongue.

And, just to keep things fair, I don't even use tongue with Manus.

The other side to loving someone so much is the freaking worry that comes with it. And wildly inappropriate and drastically grandiose worrying is my strong suit.

Being a nurse is not a good career choice for a hypochondriac. I just learned the names of the illnesses that I have.

Now we have a little hypochondria by proxy in this house. Last week Katie went through a phase where she was not sleeping, really clingy and needy and she didn't want to eat.

I convinced myself that she was becoming autistic from the MMR vaccine (which, p.s., gave her the measles last month) and that she was in acute renal failure. Now I know what you are thinking, that I am crazy and I don't even make sense cause real clingy is the opposite of autism, but as my father likes to say, Please don't confuse me with the facts.

I had to put a temporary ban on Google when Katie was first born because I was freaking myself out with all the crap I was looking up - baby acne, the bump behind her ear (oh wait, there is one on the other side too..), the color of her poop. The frequency of her poop. The consistency - Holy shit, the first time I fed her bananas I was sure she had a large intestine full of worms!! I saved the diaper to show my mother for a second opinion. You guessed it, not worms.

The worst thing that ever happened to me was Katie turning one. Cause now she is supposed to give up the bottle and the formula. But then how will I know she is getting her nutrients? I depend on enfamil for her vitamins and minerals and ADH or ADHD something. I have read guidelines on how much of what toddlers should eat, there are diets and cookbooks.
I am in a panic about whether or not she got all her servings of fruit, veg, protein, dairy, omega 3s, antioxidants, probiotics! And how could she? I was drinking a juice box of apple juice (shouldn't give it to the kids cause its full of sugar and where's the fiber?) and it boasted that it was "1 of my daily 5" servings of fruit. Five servings? I am not hungry enough. And Katie sure isn't either. She will shove a whole banana in her mouth though... wonder how many servings that is.

I couldn't tell you the last green thing she ate. She must be her mother's child. No veggies, only sweets. One day she got caught red-handed, literally with her hand in the cookie jar.

I do not know how she got into the chocolates as fast as she did. I left the room just to throw away a dirty diaper and walked back in to this scene.
All I could do was laugh.

Then of course, after obtaining the incriminating proof, I spent an hour on Google search trying to find out if she was going to die from eating chocolate at such a young age.

Talk about shoveling food in! I told you before that girl doesn't chew. It goes out the same way it goes in. And most meals she does do a little gag as too much food slips to the back. Before each meal I do a mental run-through the infant Heimlich maneuver and what is the quickest route to get her out of the high chair and what is the ratio of breaths to compressions in child CPR?
Then I really do myself in cause I'm watching shows like "101 more things removed from the human body". Hand to God I did not make up that title. Shake your head and say, "Crazy Irish TV" all you want, but sorry, it was an American program. Anyway, part of the show was dedicated to all the things that kids ate. Double A batteries, for heaven's sake! And so many coins... oy vey! All that has to happen is one coin getting stuck horizontally... Stop it. stop it.

Since Katie was born I say a prayer each and every night that Katie stay healthy and safe and not be dead in the morning. And this is not so much because I am religious as much as soooo superstitious. I've started this thing now and it's worked so far so there is no way I can stop it now. I'm just glad I didn't make a deal with God that first night that I would give up chocolate or beer or something in exchange for her safety. I'd really be kicking myself if I'd bound myself that way...

Manus seems to be dealing with my neuroses and superstitious rituals pretty well. Secretly, I think he is a little glad I have someone else to focus my angst toward. I am no longer telling him on a daily basis that I think he has leukemia or esophageal varices. I am, however, keeping a close eye on those moles...

I think I keep my crazy fairly well tucked away out of plain sight. I don't think I am going to make Katie afraid of her own shadow or scared to cross the street (not that she will be allowed out of the house. ever.) I know she will get some bumps and bruises along the way and I'm okay with that (I do, in a panic, beg that there not to be any permanent disfigurement the instant I hear her cry out in pain) but, I let her explore the stairs and things that are hot and/or sharp. I let her eat food right off the floor all the time. I don't think she will ever know that every morning that I don't wake up hearing her babbling from the crib that I am convinced that she is dead.

Now, don't go calling me morbid or sick or disturbed or tell me that I have to go see a shrink about my fears and anxiety. I let you into my little world of wacko, don't make me regret it.

And besides, in other words of wisdom from my father;

"If you admit it, it's not wrong."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Proud to be an American

ABROAD, adj. At war with savages and idiots. To be a Frenchman abroad is to be miserable; to be an American abroad is to make others miserable.

- Ambrose Bierce, The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary

Oh really, France?

Lookie what I found in Time magazine...

Most Obnoxious Tourists? The French
Friday, Jul. 04, 2008 By BRUCE CRUMLEY / PARIS
A poll reveals that the French are now considered the most obnoxious tourists among Europeans.

Remember the tightwad tourist whose baggy shorts, frequent complaining
and shouted questions about why none of the locals spoke any English made the
ugly American the world's Visitor from Hell? Well, it's time for Archie Bunker to move over and make way for Petulant Pierre.
According to a recent international survey, the French are now considered the
most obnoxious tourists from European nations, behind only Indians and the
last-place Chinese as the worst among countries worldwide.

I dunno... there are a lot or American tourists here in these glorious days of summer and I've gotten quite good at picking them out even before I hear them speak (clearly and from across a crowded room)

The Encarta dictionary defines "Ugly American" as: stereotypical offensive American: a loud, boorish, nationalistic American, especially one traveling abroad, who is regarded as conforming to a stereotype that gives Americans a bad reputation. In contrast, defines "the Ugly American" as: Pejorative term for Americans traveling or living abroad who remain ignorant of local culture and judge everything by American standards.

Wikipedia has some interesting tidbits of information

How many American tourists does it take to change a light bulb?

Fifteen. Five to figure out how much the bulb costs in the local currency, four to comment on "how funny-looking" local lightbulbs are, three to hire a local person to change the bulb, two to take pictures, and one to buy postcards in case the pictures don't come out.

Sorry Im so boring today. That third vodka last night was a bad idea.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Caught on Camera

A Yeti...
The Loch Ness Monster...

Just a few other things that measure up to the greatness of that which we caught on tape...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Livin' Large with Laura: Why'dja KILKENNY?

Confession Time: Since we moved to Ireland, Katie has been eating pre-made, store bought, jarred baby food. There, I said it. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I started out with good intentions - I peeled, diced and boiled potatoes, sweet potatoes, courgettes (tee-hee; zucchini) and carrots and Katie ate them up. Then she got sick around her birthday time and would no longer entertain the idea of finger food veggies. So, I gave her a jar of "Cow and Gate" mixed veggies and she was willing to eat the mush. Why the leading baby food maker in Ireland thought "Cow and Gate" would be a good brand name, I dunno. I bought it 'cause it was the cheapest. guess I shouldn't admit that though. No! I didnt even give her the organic baby food! I know I've now been disowned by mama, but the truth must be told.

Of course, I admit all this now because I just spent the morning with Annabel Karmel making some delicious baby gruel that is even freezer friendly. Clodagh gave us an A.K. baby cookbook and I cracked it open for the first time making treats such as Lentils and Vegetable Puree, Hide-The-Veggies Pasta Sauce, and Salmon Potato Cakes. I am officially filing the purchase of my first hand held upright Sachini blender under "Best Things I've Ever Done".. I'm sorry again mom, I never packed the baby food grinder-mill for Ireland as a) I thought I was done pulverizing tasty morsels and b) this is cooking 21st century style. Modern electric gadgetry is a train and it's leaving the station; swing yourself over the rail and hold on tight... (I'm no longer beating my clothes out on a rock or churning my own butter, either.)

So the salmon cakes call for canned red salmon. The average human body has 206 bones. (I say 'average' because I was watching a special on this guy with no arms that saved a woman from a burning car. He obviously has less than 206...and he is simply NOT average. No lie. However, humans have NOTHING on the 14, 987 bones in a salmon. I know cause I counted them as I plucked them from the canned meat. To make sure I had them all, I reconstructed the salmon skeleton as I went.
Diligent as I was, there is NO WAY a little bone didn't find its way into my potato cake. I just hope I annihilated the little bugger with my blender/bone crusher! I think I'm going to go blend again, just for good measure and the joy it brings me. Someday when Katie is older and writing her memoirs, "Mommy Dearest, part 2" she can include that I force-fed her fish bones and made her kneel on a hill of beans. No wait, that last part is for MY memoir...

Anyway, thanks for all the well-wishing done on Brian's part. Yes, all ONE of you... Fortunately modern medicine does NOT rely on strangers' thoughts and prayers for successful outcomes (sorry to those I offend with the truth). Brian had his surgery yesterday and is doing great today.

His appendix didn't fare out nearly as well...

As if!! Wouldn't that be the coolest if I could get a picture of HIS removed appendix for my blog?! Dude. That would be so rad.

The doctors said he was lucky it was just his appendix making him sick. They've heard recent horror stories of mothers feeding their babies fish bones...

All this and we haven't even relived our time in Kilkenny with Laura.

Although I'd been here 5-6 times even before moving here, I'd never taken a proper tour of the city. Laura's visit supplied the perfect opportunity and we booked in with Pat Tynan's Walking Tours. But no, it wasn't Pat Tynan leading the tour... It was Mr. Finnigan. I think I introduced
you to him before:
Well, I don't really know what his name was (the guy in the picture or our tour guide) but so as to not have to continue to call him "That Guy" Laura affectionately named him Mr. Finnigan and it stuck. He's not the last person we named, though the others are a bit blurry at this point. Laura - reminders? I know there was a Patrick... was he the young fiddle player?

Mr. Finnigan was a wealth of historical knowledge. (He should be, as he was there when it all actually happened). A lot of what we saw on tour is stuff that I showed you in another post so I won't repeat myself.

So I won't repeat myself. ha.

Stunning Stained Glass in the Black Abbey. (We went to mass there on Father's Day also.)

Kilkenny Castle

We took a guided tour of the castle. Another OLD building. It was the Butler family's private home until the 1970s. No one had lived there since the 20's when the Butlers, facing financial strain, auctioned off all the furniture and interior finishings and high-tailed it out of town. If you happen to own a piece of original Butler family furniture, the Castle would like to have it back. Let me know and we'll put you in touch with the right people. The 3 sided castle was once a 4 sided fortress. Cromwell did the drastic leveling renovations. Excavations have shown that this stone building sits atop the site of the original wooden fortress built for STRONGBOW himself.

This is the castle's backyard. You have seen this place before too. We go jogging here. There is a playground (currently under renovation) and a duck pond with 2 beautiful white swans. Yeah, it's tough living here..

And this is proof that Laura made it all the way up to the top of the Round Tower in St. Canice's Cathedral. Stunning 360 degree views of Kilkenny City. Note death grip on railing. Laura said all she could see were stars.
I looked around and found where we are living! Pretty cool. Actually, Manus told me that if you do "Google Earth" you can find us too. But it must be an old picture cause its still mainly a construction site.

What would you do if the day the satellite snapped the picture of your house you were sunbathing nude in the back yard?