Thursday, December 29, 2005

shhhh. don't tell.

I am wearing a sweatsuit to work today. It's pretty pimp, and looks a lot like sweatsuits worn by old black men that have large hard stomachs. I am pretending like it's work clothes, so that no one need know the truth. While writing this to you, I felt a flash of incredible foreboding, and am now worried about the fact that if I am choosing to sneak around in a sweatsuit at 24 in a relatively new job (and I am), what will my life be like when I have actual stress? Will my style erode further, or is this the ultimate low? Will my teenage daugher be mortified that I want to wear a sweatsuit to work and insist that it is ok because it's, in this case, from Banana Republic, or, as will likely be the case in 20 years, that it's ok because it's Liz Claiborne?
To be honest, this is the most comfortable sweatsuit known to man, and I am completely disinterested in ever taking it off. My bra, on the other hand, is another issue. And the clogs I am wearing are not nearly as comfortable as slippers. And of course, I'd rather be watching Law and Order. And eating Papa John's pizza with pineapple on top.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas from my pretty new iBook!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas/ Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. But not courtesy of Virgin Mobile, because that ad sucks. I myself am curled up in my bed with my pretty pretty machine, listening to this Sufjan Stevens album that seems to have found its way on to just about every top ten list around. On the first couple listens, I definitely wasn't feeling it, but now I am pretty pleased with the first album I have ever chosen to download legally to a computer. There seem to be about 7 good tracks on the album, which would be a solid performance except that the album is nearly 4 times longer than that. But I am a happy girl, and especially happy because, for the first time in my post-16 year old life, I worked neither x-mas eve, nor will I work tomorrow. So that is joy, albeit unpaid.
Happy Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

So, I don't want to be one of those people that goes for more than a week without updating, since those people make my work days a little bit more sad and boring, so I will tell you three things.
  • After this Christmas season ends, I will never ever work retail again. I dislike enabling silly consumerist wankers. In other words, I hate helping people buy things, but decided to politicize my statement to make me sound better.
  • I have been so tired lately I can literally go to sleep at the drop of the hat. At crap job #1, my boss never comes to work before 10, and rarely makes it in before noon, so I have been using the morning to drift in and out of sleep at my desk. I am not proud, and I think the end result is that I am more tired, but it is difficult to occupy my mornings otherwise and like I said, I am really tired.
  • Saying this probably makes you wonder why my job is so crappy, if my boss isn't there in the morning and I get to sleep. But let me assure you that it is crappy. Indeed, this week I have been working on astral projection, which, if you don't recall from vaguelly supernatural books you read in the 5th grade, is when your soul leaves your body and goes and does other stuff (usually evil) then comes back. I need to do this so that my soul can vacate my body when she talks to me. It hasn't really worked yet, except I sometimes start shaking when she speaks to me.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

To velvet coats.

Wow! Someone read my blog today from Stamping Ground, Kentucky. What a great city name. I do hope you come back.
I just saw that Pride and Prejudice movie. Keira Knightly remains unfortunate. Nevertheless, I love Pride and Prejudice, and nothing, not even Keira Knightly's dopey-ass self, will convince me otherwise. Now all I want to do is re-read Jane Austen and fall into a love-coma with Mr. Darcy and all the disagreable men in her novels. Bill kept falling asleep during the movie and he never likes to dance at parties, which is of course disagreable, but not in such a charming way because he has no fortune. He is exceptionally cranky, which is helpful, but never ever wears brocade jackets, which is not. Sometimes I think I missed my calling as a goth... but then, I never find eyeliner charming, only velvet coats. Actually I think everyone should have velvet coats. Were I officially anything other than burnt-out, I would decree it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Must I recant?

So Kansas City is officially snow-drenched. We finally got the big snowstorm promised weeks ago. 8 inches and still going.
Fantastic, except that most of it happened while I was at work. So the drive home was fairly terrifying. My cute and fuel-efficient little car does not enjoy snow. My drive home from work took an hour and a half, as opposed to the usual 25 minutes. Mostly, I just drove very very slowly on unplowed roads along with about 50 million other people. Until disaster struck and I, along with about 10 million other people, were unable to get ourselves up a little hill.
Fortunately, we were rescued by a kindly Hummer and F250 truck. These two kind souls were driving back and forth, towing the smaller and more efficient vehicles up the little hill. My saviour didn't even say anything to me, just hitched me up and dragged me half a block, making my 1.5 hour journey a little more pleasant. So I guess I owe the massive car crowd one. Thus, I have decided I must recant roughly 20% of the bad things I have said about their owners.
The other issue I am wrestling with is whether or not I should go to crapjob #1 tomorrow... my boss told me it was optional. However, the option is get paid or don't get paid. If I do go, my boss will likely not come in, which makes the day a lot more fun than usual, but I will have to drive there, which will likely not be pleasant. If I don't go, I will stay at home... with the 3 teenage boys on snow day tomorrow.
Of course, at the moment, the snow is higher in my driveway than the doors of my car, so that may solve the dilemma for me. Either way, I am sure you will be hearing from me tomorrow.

grr grr grr

So my boyfriend is the funniest, and my friend Kitie is a sex offender. What would Elliot and Olivia say!
I myself am just cranky and curmudgeonly as my crazy-ass monsterboss is insisting I do unneccessary things while wasting resources. It would be one thing if this involved doing something I like, like smoking or driving in circles, but it doesn't, so I am annoyed.
Also, the National Weather Service reports that it will never stop snowing in Kansas City. I think I also heard them say that I should have called in sick from work today and watched the Sopranos countdown.

Monday, December 05, 2005

on my own again

So, friends, readers, etc, today I am at work alone. I will tell you about several things that have been on my mind.
1. My mother sexiled me this weekend. From my house. Awesome.
2. I will use my at work alone time to write Christmas cards. If you feel that you are deserving, tell me, and I will put one of my lovely holiday cards in the mail for you.
3. I watch a lot of tv, having little to do with my time, and I have to say, the commercials I find strangely compelling. I am very happy with my boyfriend, despite his pillow and couch hogging behaviors, but I am nevertheless tempted by these soul-mate promises, despite my convictions that such things don't exist. Everytime I see the ads, I want to hop online to see who they match up for me. Would eHarmony recognize that I could never date a Quentin Tarantino or Seinfeld fanatic? Would they set me up with someone who believes it acceptable to mix premium whiskeys or requests their Thai food served bland? Or would they set me up with someone who can be civil before his morning coffee and breaks an acceptable distance before stop lights.
But of course, I couldn't put these preferences in my profile, because then I'd immediately be written off as judgemental, which of course I am, but I like to think my cattiness does not lack charm.
In London, I tried to shop for friends on friendster, but was unable to find a single one acceptable, as I eliminated everyone with:
1. all foreign films listed as their favorite movies (a few, or even a majority, are acceptable, but all? come on.
2. more than 150 friendster friends. I will not be a notch on someone's belt.
3. a movie favorite list of 'pop' indie movies. garden state, napoleon dynamite, quentin tarantino, kevin smith, and wes anderson ditties. I like many movies by these directors, but try to enjoy at least a movie or two outside of your target demographic. My Fellow Americans, for instance, is hysterical.
4. same goes for michael moore movies or books. he is the converse of counterculture. smells like teen spirit, but swooshes like nike.
5. a music list of a bunch of pop music followed by 'mozart' or some other classical superstar. you expect me to believe that your ipod playlist is equal parts the ramones, the killers, belle and sebastian, wilco, the magnetic fields, and beethoven? give me a break. i'm sure you enjoy mozart, but leave him off the top ten list unless you are as likely to bust out the mozart cd as you are the yeah yeah yeahs. that said, your favorite music list should not read like the cmj charts.
6. your favorite book list must include fiction, and must feature a writer off the top ten list of contemporary literature for the 20 something crowd list. it's acceptable to like that chuck fightclub guy, or david foster wallace or nick hornby, or any number of tragically hip writers, but you must demonstrate a willingness to delve off the literary fluff shelf. Get down and get dirty with the classics or maybe something not published by the major league, media conglomerate publishing house.
Of course, many of my dearest friends commit these sins. Indeed, I myself justify my classical additions to my friendster profile only by telling myself that while I am far more likely to listen to pop music in my car than classical, I am in fact more likely to attend a classical music concert than I am a pop one. And this is only due to the fact that not much in the way comes to Kansas City, except the larger pop acts, and I am rarely willing to pay that much whereas you can almost always get into a classical performance for under a tenner.
So, what totally arbitrary things do you judge future friends and partners on? and do you want a christmas card?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

an amusing story that I will relate in a dull way

So, Tuesday was supposed to be my last day at crap job with monsterboss, as the new victim started on Monday. So, Monday, this itty bitty girl who is my age shows up. She is nice, but has a fairly limited command of the English language, especially for a college grad. I tell you, I bet she didn't even know the word 'fuck.' This girl had at least two of the three characteristics that I find despicable--excessively long hair and nails. I'm sure she doesn't like spicy food either, but that isn't confirmed. Anyway, a lot of the stupid things she said specifically related to Kansas City, which would not amuse most of my readership as most of you are unfamiliar with the area. Needless to say, she grew up and went to college in the northern suburbs, and had pretty much never been downtown or to midtown, where we work. When I asked her about this, she mentioned visiting Kaleidescope, the Hallmark-sponsored children's museum, in grade school... And then monsterboss offered to take her to the Jerusalem Cafe to lunch, to which newgirl said "oh, i had indian food once..." Also she was a psychology major and hadn't heard of autism... (my job is in the health care/special needs field).
In any case, Tuesday I was supposed to come in for a couple hours to make sure she was doing ok on her own. But when I got there, I found that she had, in fact, quit. This is not that weird as monsterboss is truly heinous. But she didn't even have the opportunity to see that, she just thought it would be.. too stressful. So, I am back at crap job until I/them find something/one better.

Friday, November 25, 2005

2 very good things

1. Shopgirl. Bill and I saw it tonight. Utterly charming.
2. Julie, Bill and I found digs today. We move in sometime after Christmas/around Julie's birthday (Jan 1). There is a gym and tennis courts and other cool stuff. Also it is right by the mexican price chopper, so that means horchata any time of day or night! We have no guest bedroom, having no money, but the closet space is exceptional! Come visit!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

At work alone

So, here I am, at work by myself with nothing to do. I've read a book (The Human Stain by Phillip Roth--I do not understand why he is so loved), bounced a ball all around the office, checked my email every 4 or 5 minutes, and colored post-its with high-lighters then immediately recycled them. I also drew you pictures of my time-wasting, as I respond well to positive reinforcement. I should do some stuff, like preparing my work crap for my monsterboss's new victim who starts on Monday, which is, fantastically, my last day.
So, here I read.
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My observant readers might note that my hair is a different color than Monday's images. That is not true. My hair remains the same color; what you are noticing is the different color in my drawings. There are a number of reasons for that: I 'customize' my hair color but never save the color, I am not sure what my hair color is anyway, and sometimes I think it is important to embrace my impending brownheadedness, while other times I think it would be fun to be a real blonde. Now, let's chase a ball.
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Monday, November 21, 2005

Oh, the troubles

Yesterday, I drove around most all of the Kansas City suburbs taking pictures of houses for sale for my friend Jessica, who is the photographer for a real estate magazine. Due to scheduling conflicts, she asked me to help out. Now, this was fairly exciting as I got to use Jess's fancy schmancy digital camera, yet also a bit stressful because I believe that Jessica may very well love her camera more than me. So I had to be very careful. My caution led to disaster striking. For the first time in my entire life, I locked my keys in the car. I have illustrated this for you.
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Mind you, I was in the middle of nowhere (Lee's Summit, MO to be exact) and had literally no one to call. Mom was in Topeka, boyfriend in Nashville, Jessica at work... other friends out of town... Besides that, my phone was in the car and one doesn't memorize phone numbers anymore.
So, I see some people in their yard and ask them for help. A guy with a mullet and a USA leather bomber jacket gets a wire hanger and goes for it. I have illustrated this as well.
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Unfortunately, he didn't succeed and I had to pay some other guy with a mullet $45 to do it. And if anyone tells me that the police unlock cars for free, I don't want to hear it.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Kirstie Alley Can Eat a Dick

I know that I am committing a blogging faux pas by updating right after I just questioned you, but please read down and help me on my computer queries. I really had to update about the atrocity I just witnessed.
Seriously, I just watched the first episode of Fat Actress and I don't think I have ever seen something so stupid and offensive. The episode begins with Kirstie lying on the bathroom floor, weeping after weighing herself. This goes on for literally several minutes. Then, of course, she gets up and gets herself a double burger and fries at a fast food joint. In her robe. Of course! Because it's funny, right, a fat lady eating a hamburger in her pjs. But obviously not funny enough, because she loses her french fries and thinks they weren't served to her, so she yells out the window that it's america and they need to learn to speak English. Hysterical, right? But that's not all the race fun the show has in store, because later, she and her assistants decide she needs to black men as they prefer the larger ladies. So what do they do! Go to a soul food restaurant of course! May as well kill two birds with one stone! Get her fed and get her fucked! But even more knee-slapping is when her assistant refers to the restaurant as a 'black market.' I remember those... American History 1660-1865 right?
And then there is the really awesome scene where Kirstie Alley goes on an interview all dolled up, and everyone just stares and stares at her. The office virtually shuts down so everyone can get a glimpse of her ass. Which is understandable, as you know, the size 16 Kirstie Alley is 2 whole sizes larger than the national average, so it's really unlikely anyone in the building had in fact seen someone so large.
But the episode reaches its zenith when Kirstie tries to make herself puke with a peacock feather but ends up deciding to finish her cookie. How can she hate herself so much she would be willing to degrade herself in such a way? Although I suppose one could ask the same question of the Look Who's Talking franchise...
Honestly, where were the calls to boycott this piece of crap?

Oh, brother...

So, the time has come to make a new computer purchase. My current laptop, bought refurbished over 5 years ago, is in serious need of retirement.
But I don't know what I need. I am seduced by the flash of Apple, but am not sure the price jump is necessary, as my current needs consist of internet and word processing. I definitely want a laptop with wireless capabilities.
However, sooner or later I will make the leap to digital photography. When I do so, I will want an SLR camera compatible with my Canon EOS Elan IIe. So we are talking at least a 1K camera. So, should I purchase the significantly more expensive computer bargaining on the fact that I will eventually make the digital commitment? Or should I wait it out? I will not likely get a digital camera body for at least a year.
And, if I am planning on the most mundane of personal uses, why would I buy an Apple?
I feel extraordinarily conflicted about this. I think I would rather buy a car than a computer.
So will someone please solve all my problems and tell me what I need? And how much I should spend on it and where I can find a deal?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sweet Potatoes!

It is sweet potato season and for this I am excited.
The Rachel's are playing in Kansas City tonight and I am going and for this too, I am excited. I love the rachel's. At least, I hope I am going because I refuse to pay ticketmaster's extortionate price. An extra $7.40 on a $10 ticket? There is no way in hell. I love the rachel's $17.40 but a girl has to has principles.
Speaking of, I am playing phone tag with a lady from Unity Church where I applied for a copywriting job. I assume she wants to interview me.
I debated long and hard about applying for a position with a religious institution to which I do not belong. I researched the church, I discovered that they ordain both women and gays as ministers, one of my main criteria. Indeed, considers Unity Church to be exceptionally fag-loving. The job also pays quite well and has excellent benefits. So I decided to apply. That said, Unity Church does seem a little weird on the website. But, a Unity church here always has good readings. So does anyone have any insight on this? Work for a church? Even a liberal church?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

So today

I finally got around to watching Garden State. It was, as previously predicted some months ago, awful, however not as awful as I thought. It was somewhat redeemed by Natalie Portman's character, who was far more genuine than the ladies typically featured in such movies. However, Zach Braff should stick to Scrubs, which is more or less amusing more or less of the time.
I have finished watching the 2nd season of the L-Word, and I reiterate my assertion that it totally rocks. Rent it today.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I wish I could update again but I have to watch the L-Word until I've seen all of season 2. Probably you'll hear from me again at the beginning of next week.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Fuck Desperate Housewives, The L-Word is the new Sex and the City

Yeah, you hear that, Teri Hatcher? You, and your twiggy big-headed bitches, suck. Despite being 4 women in their 30s, you don't even come close to the supreme excellence of sex and the city or the l-word. Your fashion sense is unremarkable, the dialogue is beyond trite, and the endless plot twists tedious.
As devastated as I was when Sex and the City went off the air, The L-Word is nurturing my recovery. Sure, the majority of the characters are lesbians, and I am not, but their hairstyles are downright inspirational. Not to mention the fascinating characters and plottings.
While being a housewife is cool and I'll fight for your right to whatever, it's a hell of a lot more interesting to watch a show where the characters actually have careers. Admirable ones. Museum director, journalist, tennis player, hair stylist, and yes, a housewife.
Seriously, if I see another magazine with Teri Hatcher's gigantic head on her skeletal frame again, I will puke. The only character on Desperate Housewives that is remotely interesting is Lynette, who, surprise, has a job. Yet even the L-Word manages to make their jobless character, Tina, among the most interesting.
That said, the L-Word has some flaws, like the sexually confused writer Jenny who is painfully self-conscious without being self-aware, but I suspect I only find her excrutiating because I'm pretty sure we roomed together once in college.
In conclusion, if someone references Desperate Housewives as the new Sex and the City, I will skin them alive and turn them into a pair of round-toe, knee-high boots and a pair of sling backs. What these fools neglect to note when make their comparisons is that Sex and the City was a feminist show, and Desperate Housewives is certainly not a replacement for that. Carrie and the girls had real issues, real weight gain, and real relationships. Desperate Housewives has horrible mothers (except Lynette, who is actually cool) and ridiculously low-cut jeans on women with no ass. The L-Word, while featuring women a damn sight more attractive than most of the lesbians I have encountered, at least demonstrates ambition and characters a girl can look up to. Which is all I'm asking.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Last night I had a dream in which someone told me I was 24 and I broke down crying. Even sadder is the fact that I am 24.
Even sadder than that is that a spider saw fit to get a little fresh and bit me on the second baseline.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I am good in every way

So, Friday I attended my first 'first fridays' something the crossroads district of art galleries in Kansas City puts on, on, you guessed it, the first Friday of the month. So, my KC Crew and I headed down to look at some contemporary art, most of which, you guessed it, sucked. However, I probably liked about 15% of the work I saw, which isn't a bad percentage. It was exciting to see the Kansas City downtown try to act like a big city. The highlights of the evening included giant white punching bag-esque sculptures that vibrated like heart beats and you hugged them. I do enjoy interactive art. We followed this up with nachos and margaritas at one of Kansas City's most famous Mexican establishments.
And yesterday, Bill and I attended the opera-- we saw Benjamin Britton's Turn of the Screw, which is... unusual. Some amazing voices, but dissonance in opera is not my favorite. Really, I attend the opera for the big arias that make my heart soar and all that, not goofy chord structures that make my heart sour. Nevertheless, it was fun, and I wore cowboy boots, which made me feel like a bit of a rockstar.
And today I played tennis! Which I haven't played since we covered all the sports in ninth grade gym. So I think everyone would agree that I am well on my way to joining the cultural elite, yeah?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I aim to please

That's why I'm updating my blog now even though I am tired and full of nothing interesting. However, yesterday I wore a skirt and tights and suffered dearly at the hands of static cling, which, as it turns out, is bad for my self-esteem. All day yesterday I looked like I was wearing culottes, which, as we all know, are not cool at all. Then I thought to myself, no, I look like I am wearing those gaucho pants or whatever. Then I thought, gaucho, isn't that like gauche? Then I thought about how no one seemed to wear those pants in Europe except that one honeymooning (American) couple Bill and I went on a tour with in Munich. Then I thought about how the bride, in gaucho pants, looked a lot like a girl I went to elementary school with, whose full name I am tempted to enter but fear she may one day google herself. In any case, I will share it in a tricky fashion: Phe0be Haz3lw00d Har1an. When I met her in the first grade, I told my parents about my new best friend, Poeheebee. In any case, she is totally the sort who would wear gaucho pants, if she has remained the same sort of person she was in the 6th grade which is probably the last time I spoke with her. That said, I am not comfortable ruling out gaucho pants for myself. After all, I do like skirts in that length, as well as other sorts of calf- grazing attire. So maybe I will pick up a pair of those gauche pants that are filling clearance racks across Kansas City. I'm a crazy girl, I'll try anything once.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Obligatory Update

So, Halloween in a few minutes. That's cool, but what would be cooler is a job I actually like. Also, would be cooler if I or even someone else in my household was going trick or treating, because I want some 2-packs of Starburst tomorrow and I'll be hella pissed if I don't get any.
In other news, I have acquired 6 pairs of shoes since landing on American soil 5 weeks ago. All exceptional bargains, I might add. Still, I expect I may be out of control. In my defense, I purchased almost nothing during the year abroad, so I am really making up for lost time. I get my first paycheck since my return tomorrow, so it's more or less acceptable that I bought 3 pairs of shoes yesterday.
In other news, my KC ladies (otherwise known as the triple J explosion) and I are starting a book club and I am charged with the first selection. Any suggestions?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What is fun is

Cooking with hot peppers and burning your tongue and/or eyeballs up to several hours later every time they make contact with your tingly fingers.

Also, fun, a giant gold dick fountain in Amsterdam with drug dealer/ art student in the background.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


It has become critical that my boss be exterminated. I don't know a hit person, so am wondering if any of my readers are interested in making a career change. I also have no money, but am willing to provide in-kind services, such as dog-walking or fish-feeding.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Yeah, mountains are cool, especially when they come in colors that match my blog. 3 cheers for the aus-countries and their fun citizens that rocked Estes Park with us crazy Kansans. However, driving 2500 miles over the last 3 weeks sucks. Also so does my boss.
Nevertheless, I am pretty pumped about future and entirely tentative 'great lake states' tour, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Also by default Iowa and Missouri. But that's cool, Iowa has a lot to offer.
Also I am looking forward to Showtime's promise to show the second season of the L-Word on demand soon. I love that girl-drama.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Terror before Coffee?

So, let me preface this by saying I am, generally speaking, cool with the military's existance and respect our underpaid soldiers.
That said, full fatigues, army boots, and big guns getting off my elevator at work (where, incidentally, I am all by myself) before I'm fully awake, absolutely terrifies me.
Now, likely they are here for some administrative purpose as there is some sort of Army office in the building. Why one of them had what I believe is called an 'assault rifle' as he walked by me while I was exiting the bathroom, I couldn't really say. Maybe it's show and tell at a local high school. However, the other guy leaving the elevator had only a cup of coffee.
I know some of my big city readers are no doubt used to a military presense; however, I am not.
But honestly, I think the issue for me is really more the fatigues than the big guns. Fatigues just seem Timothy McVeigh, who, in addition to being a huge dick, is (was? did they kill that ugly bastard?) a total dog. I prefer the Tom Cruise/Richard Gere full-dress thing. While it seems to be rarely sexy in practice, in the movies it always looks nice. And Richard Gere and Tom Cruise don't even do it for me. No, fatigues, particularly tucked into boots, give the impression of man-hips, which says to me "I am angry at the world for my genetic defect and thus am predisposed towards killing innocent people," whereas the dress uniform says "I am a strangely patriotic young man with a truly fantastic ass."
Now, tell me, which would you rather see at 9 in the morning?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


So yesterday I reached saturation point with the whole 'living at home' thing. With this whole having a sorta job business, and then going home, it means that I am literally never ever alone. This means that I have no tolerance for my mother's tendancy to follow me around the house, babbling about this or that. However, I am forced to continue along this path until I have enough money to pay rent and a deposit. Which the soonest that could possibly happen is the beginning of next month. That is, however, only if I decide it is unimportant to pay anything more than the minimum on credit card and student loans.
On the really exciting side of things, my Australian friend from Dublin, Alana, is arriving tonight, and I really doubt Kansas City has EVER had an Australian tourist! So I envision loads of free drinks and free food, and when we drive to Colorado on Friday, I anticipate her charming accent getting us out at least one speeding ticket. Also, I will probably have to make her wrestle a mountain lion, just for fun.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Yeah, Foliage, Yeah

So, an exciting weekend spent in lovely Galesburg, Illinois. Not nearly as exciting, though certainly exciting, was the prettiness of Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois. Driving across the Midwest reminds me of how much I love it. Sure, there is a lot of shittiness, and I'd pretty much rather die than live in these small towns that I admire so much aesthetically, but man, I love to look. The hills, barns, cornfields, and this time of year, pretty pretty foliage makes me awfully happy, especially when accompanied by some Stephin Merritt and Yo La Tengo. Three cheers for Long Vermont Roads and Autumn Sweaters. But I was sad that I couldn't think of any midwestern bands that waxed nostalgic about the midwest, although I have to say I get a little misty every time Stephin Merritt sings 'your eyes are kansas city, one in kansas and missouri' (or something like that, quoting is not my strong suit). Surely there must be some that I just couldn't think of at the moment, or maybe I was unable to stop myself from choosing any number of the Merritt bands, which tends to happen when I'm on the road for more than 20 minutes.
So last weekend I headed north on I-29 to family in Lincoln, Nebraska. This past weekend, I-35 followed by US-34 (my fave) to Galesburg, and next weekend, I-70 to Estes Park, Colorado.
Three cheers to roadside produce stands, and Sprite and Hostess Cupcakes from the Chariton, Iowa BP.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Nerve!!!

When did the New York Times add this TimeSelect bullshit? It is bad enough that older articles cost money, now this! You have to be a member to read a damned editorial? 50 bucks a year to read a bunch of our nation's intellectual elite bitch about the Bush administration? Don't get me wrong, Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich seem cool and all, but I can't think of the last time I read an editorial that expressed a particularly unique opinion. Really, all editorials tend to do is make me hate my fellow liberals for their ineffectiveness and baby-boomer mentality. Also I don't know what I mean by baby-boomer mentality but consider it a scathing remark.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Soupy and the Banshees

I like soup, so I am going to make some in a few minutes. But in the meantime, I thought I would post in my blog even though I've got nothing of note to say. However, after I get done making soup, I am going to eat it, duh, then go play poker at a bar! But don't worry, not at a casino because I got no dough and also because I am afraid of playing poker in the special room. Also I am afraid of losing money. Really afraid of that in fact. My combined losses at the Ameristar casino in Kansas City total $43. The first time I lost 10 dollars at blackjack and 10 on the penny slots, which takes much less time than you would think. The second time, 15 on blackjack and 8 on the penny slots.
I was going to conclude with something like, but man, if you could play blank for money, I'd be rolling in the dough, but then it occurred to me that there is no game for the blank. Despite the fact that I like games and am always willing to play them (except Monopoly which really freaking blows), I am not very good at them. I think this demonstrates that I have a great spirit and a damn fine nature, not to mention my ass in the jeans I am using to cover it.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Nebraska football

So yesterday I attended a Cornhuskers game in Lincoln. Those of you that know me know I am not at all interested in football; however, my mother (a Nebraska native) felt this was an essential cultural experience for our Belgian exchange student. Nevermind that I have never attended a Nebraska game in my life.
While watching the game, I discovered a few things. Mainly, football is really dull. However, as I watched I began to understand a few things. Primarily, why I find football so boring. Previously, I thought I had no appreciation for the game because I never played it as a child. I played soccer, basketball, softball, and volleyball. This is also the list of sports I find worthwhile entertainment. But it turns out I find football unbearable because the game stops literally every 5-10 seconds, and this is meant to please the crowd. When the bad guys have the ball, the crowd goes wild when nothing seems to be happening. They are pleased when the bad guys are unable to advance a yard. This makes for an excrutiatingly dull game. At the beginning, I felt inclined to cheer for a tackle that occured after a nice long run, whereas my co-spectators found this an opportunity to groan and make disparaging remarks. They went wild when nothing seemed to be happening and it was impossible to figure out where the hell the ball was. That is when I realized I now officially understand football and think it is dead boring.
However, it was exciting to see 75K people wearing red. I too wore red, but it was a Knox hoodie and a pair of kick ass sneakers. Still, damn glad I went with red.
Incidentally, Knox friends, will any of you be attending homecoming? I sure will be! But I will probably not elect to go to the football game.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

What do to with stuff?

Notes passed in the 8th grade, mix tapes lovingly made in the 10th, graduation announcements from high school, college, graduate school. Old purses, favorite shoes, worn out tee shirts. Jewel cases for long-lost cds, marker sets, negatives, and so many books. How on earth can I hope to be an adult in a room I've lived in, off and on, for 15 years? What does one DO with this stuff? How can I possibly throw away an empassioned treastise from Colleen on how Jeff is such an asshole and no one will ever love him, even though I haven't spoken to Colleen in about 10 years and I have no idea who Jeff is? Or even more humiliating notes from friends I still have and read this blog so I will not spill the details on their secret crushes from years past.
There are compelling reasons to get rid of all these things, but I am more compelled to keep them. But something has got to go, as I have no space, and though I don't know how long I am going to live in my bedroom, I still need to turn it into a room with more than just overflowing boxes stashed in every corner. Any suggestions how to do this without getting rid of my most treasured memories?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Ay yi yi

Is that how that's spelled?
So yesterday I exercized deliberately for the first time in over a year. After a week of lying on the couch, eating, and drinking, I decided that if I wanted to continue to fit in the clothes my mother has been kind enough to buy me these past few days, I had better find a more effective way to burn calories than scooping ice cream into a bowl (which can be quite strenuous!). I decided to go running, literally the first time in well over a year not counting the occasional chasing after a bus in Ireland. Foolishly, I took my dog, who is still significantly faster than me, but worse, is significantly more interested than breaking far faster than I can and climbing up trees. Nevertheless, I managed to last for over a mile (non-stop!), which may not sound like much, but is damn good for the first day out. And it is HARD to keep hold of a dog!
Nevertheless, today has been pretty painful.
However, my interview went fairly well, probably because Bill bought me some sexy sexy shoes today that I wore. Red, Kenneth Cole round-toe pumps. They don't get much better. But don't worry, they were on clearance at a new discount shoe store, so mega-bargain. Bill might be nice, but I'm sure he doesn't love me full-price. So, I think I stand a good chance of getting the job but don't have my heart set either way, probably because I have another interview lined up as a grant writer with UMKC, which pays better so I like that. Also I might get to take free classes in the evenings and learn something useful.
So, I am stronger than I thought, I have sexy shoes, and surely someone will give me a job soon.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Humiliation + Interview, whee

So today, like most days this week, I applied for a job! Several jobs in fact. But on one of the cover letters of one of the jobs I applied for, I made an egregious error. I wrote: Through a variety of customer service roles and my honors degree in English literate, I have developed superb written and oral communication skills.
Incidentally, I'm not sure if I used egregious correctly up there. But I know my charm will see me through. Also, please note that the italics are for your reading convenience.
In any case, of course I noticed this after sending the email. So of course I panicked. But then I wrote the lady back and said that I hoped she had a laugh, and not to hold it against me. And guess what happened, not even 10 minutes after I sent my follow up email! I got an interview! So I could be an 'information specialist' at a public health non-profit!
I am very pleased to have my first interview set up at a place I would actually want to work, despite my humiliating mistake.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Kansas City Here I come

Ok, so I have actually been in Kansas City for several days now. But whatever. Tonight I went to a local brewery for $2 pints (incidentally, have I mentioned how much I love America?), but what did I find there?
My former middle school's musical god, being their 'live music' which means crap john mayer cover band. Fortunately, I escaped unrecognized but my friend Julie was not so lucky. In any case, check out his awesome website: Musical God of the 8th grade. Allow me to say that I never fell for his charms. Perhaps this is due to the fact that we shared the 'most musical' award in the 7th grade. Fuck him, man. I may have no job, no digs, and be significantly older than I was a week ago, but at least I got a haircut today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Oh, shit.

Literally. I just spent my fourth night in Kansas City scrubbing shit off the floor of the bathroom. Incidentally, it was not even my own shit. Not, of course, that I do such things. And even worse, not even not my own nevershat shit, but likely the shit of a teenage boy. Which teenage boy I can't say, but I feel confidant that the sheer revoltingness of this age group overwhelms any semblence of difference between shits.
So, I'm sure you'd like to know why this happened. About to go to bed, I head to the bathroom and notice that the toilet is not flushed. I flush it. It doesn't flush back.
Then, I try plunging it with what appears to be some sort of bellows that is sitting behind the toilet that I have never ever seen before. It looks like this:

Please note that it probably holds two liters in there.

I plunge away for about 30 minutes with no success. Meanwhile Michael calls. He is hard to follow. I decide, hell, let's just flush and see if it's ready. Wrong. It begins spewing all over the rather large bathroom.

I get off the phone with Michael. My mother wakes up. I am furious about having to use such a worthless plunger. Mind you, and my past roommates will vouch for this, I am a masterful and fearless plunger. But this job eluded me.
Instead, I ended up scrubbing shit off the floor.

Monday, September 26, 2005

24, Unemployed, and Living at Home

Just the way I always dreamed it would be!
The good news is, however, that I am the proud owner of a 2000 Mazda Protege. I think it's green, but I can't be sure as I have only seen it at night. But I am pretty pumped, as this is my first car made in the same decade I am to be driving it. Although it was likely made in the 90s. So perhaps better to say model year. Still, pretty awesome.
Also, my friends rocked at remembering my birthday. I know how to pick them for sure! Also, I am big on shameless self-promotion. And the Royals won for me yesterday as I knew they would (side note on the baseball game: Jess gave me a fat lip while trying to catch a flying hot dog, and there were no mint chocolate dip n dots to be had).
Tomorrow I begin the job search in earnest, as well as catching up on my shows. I figure for every hour of good job hunting and applying, I should be entitled to two hours of watching the sopranos, dead like me, six feet under, the l-word, the OC or any crime show re-runs. Also I could be persuaded to rent desperate housewives but I think Teri Hatcher is truly appalling. I will also consider Entourage, and I admit a certain curiousity with Rome. Really, I feel pretty flexible about this, and will consider most television programs and movies. Although maybe not movies yet as I don't have the attention span and, to be honest, I have seen most all of the movies.
As a side note, I do think that television rots most people's brains, but I am a critical viewer and am constantly learning and engaging with the television.
Also, I was incredibly moral for 4 months of television free existence in Ireland.
Basically, what I am saying is, don't judge me as I would judge someone for a similar blog post.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Land that I love

Home! I am finally home! After a week in Colorado, 1 day in the air, 364 days in Europe, and finally 3 days in Colorado, I am finally in my home state of Kansas! While Kansas is perhaps not the most exciting place on earth, I could not be more thrilled to be here.
Europe's grand and I can't wait to go back, but this is my country and I love it best. The space, the food (perhaps not as delicious as some cuisines, but variety is the spice of life), my friends, my family, the everything and the et cetera.
I mean, what is not to love about rest stops? Clean free toilets? Brilliant.
And tomorrow, I go to the Royals' final home game with all of my KC friends! And then the next day, I turn 24! So don't forget.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Whee! Yesterday Bill and I went to the famous Red Light District!
Now, those of you that know me know that I have a profound fascination with the sex industry, so as you can imagine, this was downright a dream come true! The girls are actually in the windows! Amazing! And most of them were quite good looking, though there was a wide variety of girls on display. I have no idea how much they cost, but to be honest, if they are reasonably priced I fear the extinction of girlfriends. I mean, I know that I'm a great girlfriend and all, but I'm sure you could buy better and never have to eat at a vegetarian restaurant or watch sex and the city again. So I may have to rethink my pro-legalisation stance.
In any case, I think my eyes were wide open the entire time I was there. I'm not sure though if the prostitutes were my favorite or the johns, as I think it's far more scandalous to go to a prostitute than to be one. But I couldn't stare as much at the johns, as they weren't in windows in their underwear. Also adding to the excitement of the whores were the large tour groups moving through the area and the abundance of young men offering Bill and I every type of synthetic delight.
I admit to being disappointed that we didn't see any obvious transsexuals or women going in for theatrics. One lady was dressed as a schoolmarm, but the rest were in standard 'sexy' clothes, ie lingerie, usually lacy although occasionally rubbery. I am quite sure I would go with some elaborate stage set and costume. I would have especially liked to see some lady dressed as one of the women Rembrandt painted. Surely there is a fetish for that? Tonight Bill and I will go staring again!

Friday, September 16, 2005


Well, Bill and I are now in Amsterdam! Very exciting. Yesterday, we went to the Sex Museum, where I learned that American women invented anal sex, and that women especially are fascinated by bestiality and find it quite erotic. Hmm. I am pretty sure the Romans invented everything naughty, and as for my alleged prediliction for bestiality, well, just know that Hello Kitty is near and dear to my heart. I also learned that the only thing that has changed in pornography over the past two thousand years is the hairstyles.
Of course, after learning such shocking things we had to clear our heads and decided to partake in Amsterdam's most famous legal substance. I was quite worried about this as I feared that I would totally love smoking pot and feel that the last 10 years of my life were wasted as I rarely take part in such activities. While I did get much higher much quicker than in the good old US of A, I can't say I felt too bad about my wasted, or lack there of, years. However, Bill is a big wuss. But I will not tell about his pansyassedness.
Before Amsterdam, we were in Bonn and Cologne with actual Germans! Very exciting. We watched soccer and drank beer as one does, very fun. I met Bill's London Eye friend Jenni, who was our fantastic host and insured that we ate chocolate and crepes, which is ideal in a host.
So, that's the news. I reach America in 5 days, and turn 24 in 10. Too much excitement.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Prague Schmague

This is what I say when I am disappointed.
Prague is nice but rancid with tourists and there just isn't that much to do here. I am having a hard time figuring out why everyone loves it that much. But it's nice.
In any case, tomorrow we go to Berlin which I could not be more excited about.
That's the news.
In Munich, Bill and I saw Bewitched. I love Will Farrell best.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Vienna, whee

Well, Bill and I are now in Vienna, which is fanfriggintastic. For instance, for lunch, I had fried, fried, with a side of pickles and Bill had a 2 meter long wiener! I don't even want to hear what Freud would say about that.
Then we went to the Staatoper where we saw Verdi's Don Carlos, which was so incredibly exciting I nearly peed in my pants (she said she liked it more than pirates of penzance) and not even because it was 5 hours long.
Tomorrow we will consume more rich, fattening and delicious Austrian food and culture in Salzburg!
Budapest was a little cruel to Bill and I, with much unexpected closings, bus cancellations, etc. However, we spent plenty of time soaking away our pains in their lovely baths and eating gyros and falafels. Without the remnants of Turkish occupation, I'm sad to say, Budapest might have been kind of crap.
Vienna, on the other hand, has consistently rewarded Bill and I's moral rectitude. I will recount its virtues.
Yesterday Bill and I realized, shortly before boarding our train, that, in fact, August has 31 days and our hostel booking was for the wrong day. So, we were en route to a city notoriously difficult to find beds in with no reservations. However, this turned out to be fine.
Then, we noted that the modern art museum was open late on thursday, so we headed there to find that not only is it open late on thursday, but its two sister museums, an exhibition hall and another, slightly less modern (19th & early 20th century) museum are also open and having a special 'art night' where all 3 are available for the bargain price of nine euro! Which is a bargain as that's the price for one. So, that was great! If we were in Budapest, we would have showed up, found out that it was free yesterday and is now closed for the season. But Vienna rewards us with loads and loads of contemporary art. 60 sq km of it!
And they have green foam boat things for you to sit in outside.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Whee Croatia whee coffee

Yeah, Zagreb rocks. It's full of lots of outdoor cafes where you can get a cappucino for less than a euro! Funny that it's a euro, not an euro, because that sounds stupid.
So, as it's Monday and everything cultural is closed, Bill and I are forced to drink cheap coffee and smoke cheap cigarettes. Probably soon we will have to get a cheap slice of pizza.
Now, Croatia is not as cheap as one might think, given the whole relatively recent war and former-Yugoslavia business. (Incidentally, my mom studied Socialism in Yugoslavia something like 90 years ago. Or perhaps like, 30 years ago. Isn't that weird? She has an MBA). While lodgings, nice dinners and internet cafes are no great bargain, consuming pizza, coffee, beer and cigarettes are tremendously cheap. Obviously, this is the most important thing. Another good thing to note, which we discovered on a rainy day in the beach town of Pula, is that Croatian TV is almost entirely in English! Indeed, we saw Harry and the Hendersons with Croatian subtitles. Also, a number of other forgotten series and movies. But also Boston Public, which, as always, rocked. Oh yes, I look forward to returning to Kansas where the best thing to do is watch my mom's fancy digital cable (and to think, she used to be a communist).
This afternoon, to Budapest and fancy baths!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

More on the greatness of Ljubljana

Last night, Bill and I saw 3 free bands and one free play (which was a little boring, being in Slovenian). And when I say free, I mean, free! Not buskers! Glory!
Also, I am of the firm belief that David Lodge rocks. He's hysterical.


is where Bill and I are at the moment. It is lovely. Yesterday we ate Mexican food here! We arrived from Venice which has already started sinking. Literally the canals were higher than the streets. And Piazza San Marco was about 4 inches (that's roughy 12 centimeters) under water, more in some places! Which could have been really fun, if I were still young. Indeed, I think 12 years ago there would have been nothing I would have liked more than standing in half a foot of water and feeding pidgeons. However, in recent years I have begun to prefer dryer feet.
In any case, today we explore the bustling metropolis of lovely Ljubljana and tomorrow we will perhaps head to the Julian Alps and Lake Bled, or perhaps the town of Split (in Croatia).
I hope that you know where Ljubljana is or at least look it up, I admit that perhaps I was unaware of this country and town a year ago, before I began reading my Let's Go Europe.
Whee Ljubljana.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Firenze Schmirenze

So here Bill and I are in Florence, which is basically closed. Or where it's not closed, it's got a line out the wazoo. sigh. I know Italy's supposed to be like, the worst country in the world to visit in August, so I was prepared mentally for this, but not emotionally. All my favorite stuff from when I studied here is closed, and man, life was much much better when the professors took us through the museums, etc. And a lot cheaper.
Still, it's nice to be here and the weather is beautiful.
Now we are trying to sort out Rome, etc. I am tired.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Brave New Girl

So, Bill and I just returned from the weekend of fun with our Spanish friend Pablo.
Saturday, we arrived in Mojacar, where Pablo collected us from the bus station, took us to the hotel and demanded we change instantly into swimwear to meet his friends at the pool.
We did, and then I met the 11 20something Spanish guys we were to spend the weekend with. In my bikini. The stuff nightmares are made of. As a Kansan, I don´t really consider swimwear to be regular clothes, like those from Florida or Spain. Indeed, I am quite uncomfortable with the concept. So I am brave.
In any case, we went to the beach, and then, in the middle of the night, had dinner, where Pablo and his friends ordered while Bill and I sat incomprehendingly. And, as it often is on the beach, dinner turned out to be seafood, and more seafood! Fish with their heads, mussels, calamari, all sorts of things that I never, ever eat. But I was brave again (emboldened, perhaps, by the many pitchers of sangria consumed) and in fact, even liked the fish. Especially, oddly enough, the fish with the heads still on!
In any case, after a long night of drinking that Bill and I had to wuss out of at 4 am, we spent the next day on the beach, then went to Mazarron where Pablo´s family stays during the summer.
There, we spent two more days eating, drinking, and playing in seas and pools. And I continued to be brave, attempting to speak Spanish to Pablo´s non-english speaking parents and trying even more seafood! Clams, fully dressed with eyes prawns, more mussels and calimari, crab, etc. But I was so brave and in fact discovered that I love clams.
Incidentally, Pablo´s friends and family are about the coolest ever and I could not possibly have had more fun. Murcia is the best province in Spain, it is true. Also, they have peaches there that are literally the size of grapefruits. And man are they good!
Now we are in Barcelona, which hopefully will not require so much courage.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Hot Granada

So, we got sunburned on the beach, but still Cadiz was very nice.
And Granada, well, blah. It´s nice, and the Alhambra was pretty cool... but not as superspecial as I was led to believe. See Bill´s blog on this issue.
Although he lies constantly.
In my opinion, Seville and Granada´s cool Moorish stuff have not successfully topped Cordoba's. Mostly because Cordoba´s was first, and also, it was less crowded.
Tomorrow we beging trying not to get sunburned in earnest.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Wheee! Cordoba is the prettiest, Sevilla is the hottest and most delicious.
Tomorrow, beach in Cadiz. Love cold water.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Madrid Dos

So, Sevilla it is, via Cordoba.
We wanted to go to Lisbon, but they only has 1st class tickets which, even with our Eurorail passes, were very expensive.
In any case, I am pleased with our plan.
So, Madrid has been very enjoyable. Mostly, we saw lots of art, and sat in parks or plazas in the shade.
This is the best thing, I think, about Madrid. There seems always to be a nice place to sit down every few steps.

Friday, July 29, 2005

From Madrid

So, Madrid is very lovely and not as hot as I expected. I have to say, though, that it feels more ´big city´than ´foreign country.´ Except of course, for the people making out on benches in parks, which feels a bit ´junior high´except that actually I am jealous because I had no boyfriends in junior high and well, Bill and I are a bit too American for massive public displays of affection, unfortunately.
In any case, for the additional info, please see Bill´s blog, as I don´t feel like rehashing the day´s events.
So, we will be in Madrid until Sunday probably, at which point we will either go to Portugal, or the sister city of Kansas City, Sevilla. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Aloha from Paris

Dear all, Paris is lovely although humid and grey out so that sucks.
We arrived Friday and met up with our friend Ryan who is living here with his lovely Austrian girlfriend, Natalie.
Spent Saturday wandering about as we were exhausted from our 6 am flight. At the Arc de Triumph, bizarrely enough, we ran into a girl we went to high school with but moved our sophomore year. so we went kept her with us and then went to drink wine on the steps of Sacre Coeur, which was exciting. Then bar crawled near Bastille where Ryan lives which was very exciting.
In any case, spent Saturday on the Champs Elysee watching Lance Armstrong defeat the world, which was exciting though we couldnt see much. There were about a million Texans there, most of whom were in cowboy hats. I think I may have even got a picture of him, though its hard to say as they all looked about the same. Also did the Eiffel Tower which is always nicer than expected.
Monday and today we spent doing museums and other historic sites. I think my fave was St. Chappelle church and the Musee DOrsay. I cant get enough of that Manet, no sir.
So tomorrow, we head to Bordeaux where we will stay one night and drink lots of wine... then off to Spain on the night train, very exciting.
So, we are enjoying Paris very much, I had forgotten how much more attractive it is than most cities.

Friday, July 22, 2005


begins the great european adventure!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Grrr man.

It would be cool if this post was going to be about Germans and how crappy they are. Unfortunately, I've not really met any crappy Germans, although Monday some dickhead came into my work and was telling me about how much the Germans will hate me when I go there because I'm American. This may well be true, but at least they will have some decent food and reasonably priced cigarettes... I hope. Please tell me Germany is still sensibly allowing people to make bad health decisions at low cost.
In any case, I digress. Today some other dickhead came into my work and started talking to me about my typing speed, which is quite fast. But not, I'd imagine, significantly faster than most of my American peers.
Fine, compliment my typing, it doesn't mean much, but I'm pleased with it. But then he starts comparing it to playing the piano, which is weird. I mean, my piano teacher was always telling me to slow down when I played. So not the same at all. But then, even weirder, this dick starts telling me that you know, it's great I've found something so good at, and can have a happy career at, blah blah. And I'm like, what, as a typist? It's like, yes, I have traveled my way across the sea to make a career as a typist.
I definitely did some glowering at this. I suppose, though, when sitting at a computer hooked up to a dictaphone typing, one looks like a typist.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Some Bullet Points for Funness

  • Saturday Bill and I went to a club with flatmates, friends, and lots of strangers oddly tanned considering the weather. This club was very hip, and they made this evident by projecting images on a screen of starving children in Africa while we got down to Billie Jean. As far as I could tell, the 9 EURO cover was not for an Oxfam benefit or something. Maybe it's to go with the African prints that are all the rage this season.
  • Sunday Bill and I saw the Wedding Crashers, which made me laugh. I was happy to see an insanely stupid comedy which was not too revolting for my tastes. Also, I find Vince Vaughn very appealling.
  • Yesterday Bill and I got to eat Laotian cuisine and cake at my friend Alana's, which was tremendous. In addition, she totally spoiled our little pants off by letting us watch Law and Order (SVU). I hadn't seen this one before. Where was Olivia (even if I hate her effing eyebrows, I missed her)? Maybe if you all are lucky, Alana will spoil you same when she visits the US in October!
  • Today I hope to get my hair cut. Nothing fancy, just trying to keep myself well-groomed, which is increasingly difficult.
  • Also today, my calendar notes that today in 1631, the English mathematician William Oughtred introduced the symbol for multiplication. I am shocked that this tidbit of information has surviced nearly 400 years, and that indeed, the x was ever such a big deal. Also I am curious as to what they used before.
  • Yesterday, some dickhead came into my office and hassled me about travelling in Europe before seeing all of Ireland and told me about how everyone over there hates Americans. I bit my tongue and pretended like I thought he was funny. I hate having subservient jobs and the way middle-aged men talk to me.
  • We leave for France in 4 days and oddly, all I want to do is buy stuff. I feel my shirts are woefully inadequate, and I don't know what I was thinking not packing any denim skirts.
  • Fin.

Monday, July 18, 2005

A shocking view

So this is what I saw when walking home from work Tuesday. I would, obviously, have uploaded these Friday but stupid blogger was down. To set the scene, you should be listening to the Genius of Komeda... which you should own if you don't, as it's one of my top 10s of all time, or rather would be, were I male and prone to making such lists. In any case, I am walking down the street, at about 5:30, when, at a major intersection, behind a chest-high wall of the sort people like to put in front of parking lots here, I see this middle-aged man strangely close to the wall moving his arm in a suspcious fashion. When I cross the street, I can see behind the wall and what do I see but this:

Scandalous! He's totally yanking it at a busy intersection in Dublin's poshest area behind the wall of a funeral parlour!
For the third time in my life, I see some random old guy diddling himself in public. The two times, incidentally, occured at or near the shopping centre across the street from my middle school, when I was 14. Those times were more gratifying as I was with friends thus we could have a giggle about it. This time I had to just send a text and wait.
Now that I've told the story all weekend, it's not nearly as fun to post my pictures.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Perfect Mix CD Tracklisting

  • Lali Puna- Faking the Books
  • Dresden Dolls- Girl Anachronism
  • M83- Run into flowers
  • Les Georges Leningrad- Sponsorships
  • - Soopa Doopa
  • Interpol- Obstacle 1
  • Radiohead- A Woolf at the Door
  • Belle and Sebastian- I love my car
  • Frou Frou- Let Go
  • Azure Ray- Across the Ocean
  • Camera Obscura- Let me go home
  • Elliot Smith- Pretty (ugly before)
  • Goldfrapp- Bedlam to Brooklyn f/ Turin Brakes
  • Sondre Lerche- Sleep on Needles
  • Lali Puna- Micronomic
  • T-Rex- Cosmic Dancer
  • Scissor Sisters- Laura
  • - Filthy/Gorgeous

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

3.2 miles and the mix cd

So, as of yesterday, I have a new job at a law firm on the other side of town from where I live. I live 30 minutes by foot southwest of the city, this job is 40 minutes southeast of the city. The job is fine (although they use dial-up, what?!?), but public transport leaves much to be desired, as the buses only go into the city and out of the city--never through the city or, as I would prefer in this case, under the city. In any case, I refuse to pay E2.60 to ride two buses, one in and one out, so I am now, as of yesterday after work, officially walking to work, as although my house is exactly 3.2 miles from my job, it still takes less time to walk here than it would to wait for two buses and ride on them in city traffic. Instead, I get to walk alongside a fairly disgusting but still pleasant canal, listen to my Discman, and hopefully look better in my new bikini when I hit the Eurobeaches during my upcoming travels. I feel very proud of myself for making this decision.
In any case, this morning I selected for my Discman a CD my dear friend Michael made me for my birthday last year. He also mailed it to me in England which makes him a lot better than most of you. And this CD was perfect--the absolute best thing for a morning walk. And even better, most of the music is new to me, and I realized that all the CDs Michael makes for me are like this. In fact, for the past 10 years now Michael has been making me mixes of genius. As I walked to work this morning, I thought to myself, Man, could this mix be any more me? I thought not. Then I thought, hell, I'll even write about it in my blog today! And then maybe more people will send me mix cds. But then I had the sad (in this case) realization that I will only be in Ireland for another 11 days, not enough time for such CDs to arrive to me. Which is too damn bad, really, because I have very few here with me and as I'll be spending much of the next two months on trains and buses, really too damn bad. So it turns out I can't even use this opportunity to hit you all up for music.
Of course, my next birthday is only 2 months and 2 weeks away... and I will be restored to my home state by then.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Sad, sick, and worried.

London, you are in my thoughts.

Friday, July 01, 2005

End of an era

Man, I can't believe they just pulled my knox email out from under me like that. Lucky I spent yesterday reliving the good times and deleting everything before Sean Reidel could get his grubby paws on them. I will have to retrain myself entirely.
In any case, my new primary email is
isn't it grand?

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Square, part 2.

So yesterday after work I did a bit of shopping for Bill's birthday (still in my suit). I stumbled into a record shop I had never been to in Dublin, Tower Records. Now, my father, being way more hip than I, has always insisted Tower is above and beyond the average high street multimedia emporium (I have never been able to tell the difference, not coming from the land of Tower Records). And indeed, I thought Virgin or someone similar took over Tower recently.
In any case, this Tower was obviously different, and far different from the HMVs and Virgins that dominate here, which make it pretty much impossible to acquire an album off the top 40.
So, Tower Records was all hip, with poorly groomed men too old for such appalling hygiene, listening to the Beach Boys and the Ramones. Also their John Mayer sidewall-thing had Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley albums lining the side, obviously assuming that one whiny guy is the same as any other (so not!). Although I certainly have tried same with my brothers, even going so far as to mold them to like music that I myself have never much cared for, but thought might make them a bit better if they listened to (i.e. oh you are listening to Blink 182, well, let's give the Sex Pistols a try).
In any case, I felt like such a freaking dork there, but also wondered at what point I started assuming that the record store clerks were probably not that cool after all. Probably when people I knew from high school started working in record shops and I realized that their haircuts were more important than their tastes in landing such a prestigious job.
Nevertheless, I felt like a massive tool, and that I had to buy something to restore my credibility. Thus, I wavered between looking for something very old, to show that I've got cred, and buying something brand new, to show that I'm hip to the scene. All this despite the fact that they didn't have the album I was looking for to begin with (this MIA album I keep hearing so much about--although I just read a review that totally lambasted it. Still, I would have liked to listen).
In any case, every time I remembered something else that I had vaguely wanted to buy, they didn't have it. At this point, I'd spent like 30 minutes there, aimlessly browsing and debating whether or not this was a cd that I would want to join my 30 or so trip CDs for the next 3 months, of which a few were major mistakes (Black Box Recorder, Momus, Princess Superstar), and I can hardly bear to listen to with the frequency having only a few albums in your possession demands.
Ultimately, I ended up leaving, walking 5 feet, coming up with a nice present for Bill, and decisively returning to the store and making my selection(something old, can't say until I give it to him, obviously). Then I saw something new that I wanted for myself--the new Smog album. Gave them both a little listen, made my purchase, and continued home.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Today, I started yet another new temp job (this time for a law firm--busy and easy, with internet, my fave, everyone's nice, in the city centre, blah blah, sadly just for 3 days). As one does when one starts a new temp job (for the uninitiated and thus, unsuffered), one wears a suit. Thus, I am wearing my suit (my fairly cute suit that I bought in the after Christmas sales in London--it's a bit wintry, but it's not the least bit summery today anyhow so who gives a fuck?). In any case, whenever I wear a suit, I just feel like such an impostor. I feel like a dorky penguin girl. And it's like I feel suits are for squares, I see girls my age wearing suits, and I'm like, show'em sister. I want to be a cool suit girl, and not feel like I'm dressed up like my mother.
This brings me to my second point. My advanced age. As you may know, my sugarplum is turning two dozen tomorrow. Ancient. I will follow in September. I'm not entirely comfortable (or really, at all comfortable) with my age transformation.
For example, Sunday, we had a barbeque. My flatmates invited their friends, etc, Bill and I invited our two friends, respectively, mine couldn't come, but Bill's brought extras so, fine. In any case, my flatmate Niaomh (rhymes with Eve), who is doing her Ph.D. introduces me to her 'friend,' a sociology professor. So I talk to him for a bit, waiting for him to do something professorly, like, I don't know, ask about my classes or something, until I realized that, in this new post-college world, we are peers. And indeed, I even have the option of looking down on him for living in the posh world of acedemia whereas I have a real job and actually work for a living.
I mean, can you imagine? Looking down on professors? I have this option now, and not even in the collegiate way of oh, poor professor thinks it's ok to wear socks with sandals...
Like going out to dinner as friends with a 40 year old. Maybe this is all very redundant, and maybe I should have figured this out years ago, but I literally just can't handle it.
I need to go back to school as to narrow my place in the world.

Friday, June 24, 2005

As it turns out, I am a better person than my employer.

When I started my job, and entered data from HR, I noticed that despite the fact that this is a distribution centre, nearly all of the employees have Irish/English names. I thought that was a bit odd, as the labour is certainly low-prestige and relatively unskilled, and in the US, I'd imagine similar jobs are staffed by non-native speakers to be sure. Certainly, all the stockworkers at my old Nordstrom are of Latin American descent, though the cleaning staff seemed generally Eastern European.
However, early this week I noticed that, in fact, there are loads of Eastern European men working the stock, as they would show up in reception from time to time and well, definitely not speak English. But it turns out they are from a temp agency. Multiple agencies, actually. And indeed, every day I sat up in reception, a few more showed up to work.
Then I thought, well, jeez, why don't they actually just hire these guys? Then I thought they must be bigoted dickbrains. And then I thought, well, I'm a temp and I'm not temping because I'm discriminated against, I'm a temp because I wanted short-term, low-commitment work. Then I didn't think anything of it.
Until yesterday, when I began writing about 1 million letters to former residents of the former Soviet Union and its neighbors, as well as a few dozen Africans. Also a handful of Irish women. To be fair, in these million letters were also a few rejections for Mr. Brian O'Brien and Ronald McDonald, but most of those were either 16 or 61 years of age.
In reading their CVs and cover letters, I was literally heartbroken several times, as nothing is more poignant than bad English. I mean, when I write a cover letter, I do my best to sound like I don't desperately want this job, but in fact, have come to the realization that the company desperately needs me. But lacking proper English skills, these wanna-be lads write "I am good worker I very work hard" while their CV lists a master's in engineering back in Nigeria or Lithuania. And there is nothing more devastating than the truth. My cover letters never resonate like this:
I wish I could be given the opportunity to work in the warehouse. I promise to work to the best of my capacity and to display my talent in picking and loading area of the warehouse. I really believe I have the experience in those area.
says an accountant from Nigeria who also has an Irish certificate in forklift driving.
I would totally give him a job.
Then I realized that I am excited to go home and start looking for a job where I don't get to feel so self-righteous all the time.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Funny that

One Polish Bachelor from Nowa Ruda writes on his CV that he speaks German at "a need intercourse level."
My bit of work funniness.

Me and the lads

As it turns out, I am not free. I (luckily?) get to keep this job until Friday.
This job is at a distribution center in the middle of nowhere. As primarily there are truckers, loaders, pickers, etc, I am one of the few girls here.
Incidentally, the workers here are described as such:
Lads (the manual laborers)
Girls (the female office workers)
Guys (the male office workers.
There are probably around 250 people that work here. 90% are lads. 5% girls, and 5% guys.
In any case, twice today a 'lad' has introduced himself to me and mentioned that he's 'heard' of me. And on Tuesday, a 'guy' asked me where I was from and said that he and the lads were talking about me and couldn't decide on my accent (apparently, the consensus was not American). This isn't too surprising, though, as most Irish seem to travel to New York, Boston, and the rest of the Eastern Seaboard quite frequently to visit their kinfolk. Thus, my steadfast insistence on the pronunciation of Rs is probably quite confusing (though I acquired this skill in years of speech therapy to punish me for being taught to speak in New Jersey) to Irish ears polluted by our countrymates in the Northeast.
On one hand, I realize that as probably the only female under the age of 30, I am quite a novelty at work. It is understandable that they wish to converse about me. On the other hand, I am disturbed and slightly intimidated by myself as an object of conversation. Yet, on still another hand, I find myself wanting to wear short skirts and display copious amounts of cleavage, in hopes that someone will give me a candy bar. Perhaps I should do this tomorrow. I feel quite sure Bill would not notice my wardrobe change (even though I am writing about it), and it's not like I'm after anything more than a couple Kit-Kats.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Today is the last day of data-entry/soul-depletion. Good, except tomorrow brings yet another day of Irish unemployment. Puke.
Maybe I will run around being clever and then write about it and my public will love me.
Without books, a charming boyfriend, and frequent trips to Lidl, life would not be worth living.
Today is the hottest day so far, according to my coworker. I'd estimate it at 75 degrees. The airconditioning in my work is set at probably 60. And Europeans are better than Americans? Fuck that, Jimmy Carter moved the White House thermostat up to 69 ages ago.
Also one of my flatmates (Irish) leaves the lights on all over the place.
mm hmm. European arrogance be damned, we will all go to hell in the same handbasket.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Such Indiginity...

I have to ask some lady for the key to the bathroom here! And not just one lady, like, any lady because my wardens all have keys and I do not! And the bathroom's crap, not like some awesome posh bathroom. Where is Amnesty International when you really need them?

Solitary Confinement

Have job, am locked away in the middle of nowhere in a small room by myself with nothing but a computer, an overactive air conditioner, and a shitload of data to enter. The firewall won't let me read my email or do anything nice except read and update my blog. I have nothing to say, except that I hate working and look forward to lunchtime freedom. Data entry makes me want to die and I go all brer rabbit on them. "Have you ever done data entry before?" they ask... bastards. One finger at a time, I'll do it. In between changing every "the" in every document on the shared drive to "bananaramadingdong," I'll enter how many sick days poor Bobby McGee took in 2004.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Bullet Points

  • Saturday Bill and I came home(slightly tipsy) to find the window panes in our lovely wooden kitchen in our lovely wooden house covered with termites. Bill, armed with whiskey, all the junk mail in the house and a spray bottle of all-purpose household cleaner/poison, took on the invaders while I laid in the room wanting to die and/or vomit. He seems to have defeated them, though a few ugly bastards present themselves for slaughter from time to time. Of course, our Irish housemates/landlords are out of town at a wedding, so we've been left to fend for ourselves.
  • I have not found a replacement temp job. This is bad for a number of reasons. I need the money for my travels which begin in just over a month. I also cannot register with another agency as I have done during previous dry spells as no one wants me for such a short time. Argh. I am positive I will have something for Monday, but I am not thrilled about being out all week if that's what it comes to. Though I am being very productive.
  • Speaking of productive, yesterday I bought my first piece of totally impractical clothing since beginning this madness 9 months ago. A pair of sea foam green peekaboo toe heels. They are adorable and have a gigantic bow at the front. They were on sale for €8, so no major harm done. Of course, I can't even really walk in them as my foot is not entirely healed from rolling my ankle a few weeks back. But that's cool, they are a lot more fun and exciting than the practical clothes and shoes I have been wearing for ages.
  • This morning, however, I shed a tear about how much I miss my lady friends as I was thinking who would borrow them and who would make fun of them only to want to borrow them a few months later... This made me really sad as I don't know when my friends will have access to my closet again and vice versa, as there is no city in the world that has any majority of them. Or even a sizable minority.
  • Speaking of cities, it is time for Bill and I to begin the official European Extravaganza plans. So, if you are someone I know and will be in Europe from July 23 to roughly September 23, please contact me and we can make plans to kick it Euro-style (i.e. smellier and hopefully thinner!)

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Madonna and Child

Today marks the last day of my contract with Satan. I think I still have a soul, and yet, I have a strange craving for fois gras and veal...
In honor of my last day, I have illustrated something that I will miss. My daily bus co-riders. As the company I work for is based somewhat out of the city, I tend to ride the bus with the same folks each day. The couple I have illustrated here, the kid-hating trophy wife and her extremely adorable daughter, catch the bus just a few stops before I get off for work. Every morning, I see the mom, wearing a ridiculous amount of makeup (note her excessively orange skin--the mark of an Irish girl) for 8:10 am (the time we collect them), along with very trendy and revealing clothes, sulking just a little bit aways from the bus stop, while the daughter cheerily flags down the bus (holding her arm out as soon as she sees the bus until it stops for her). Then they board the bus, and the girl chimes, in her adorable little kid voice "one child please." That's the end of their cuteness.
In any case, here they are.
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Thursday, June 09, 2005

I'm pretty when you're stoned.

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Yesterday I went out for drinks with my one friend, Alana. That is us above. We sat outside, as it was nice out. You might notice that I am wearing a cowl-necked sweater. It is nearly summer. Fuck them.
In any case, the man pictured (the airbrush feature is meant to be dirt) stumbled over to us and said "I wouldn't come over, except that I am stoned out of my mind."
Alana and I are like, errr, you totally can't have our bottle of wine, if that's what you are asking...
"but," he continues, "I just wanted to say how pretty you both are." And then he said some other stuff that was relatively incomprehensible and wandered off. But none of it sounded like begging or sexual harassment!
I figured it would make a nice picture...
Also, notice that my love-biscuit has entered the world of blogging. You will find the link to the right. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Last night I had a dream. Like most of my dreams, everything was exactly the same as my normal life except for a few key details. In this dream, Bill and I were living in Chicago with Amy (I suspect she took a starring role because I got a proper letter from her yesterday, making her a damn sight better than the rest of you jokers) and I picked up some vaguely newsy magazine like Newsweek or something, only to discover that there is a small article about me on one of those blurby-pages in the front stating that I am the most original mind of our century (just exactly like my normal life...). And I'm like, what, I haven't done anything at all! In any case, I look up the author (which incidentally I just typo-ed as the other...) and the article was written by a Knox alum, class of '97, named Nathan Odim who had listened to a talk radio show I did on good old WVKC back at the turn of the century (i.e. my freshman year). Much like in reality, I was like, no I never did a talk radio show although that would have been cool. Unfortunately, I say like too frequently to be of use in that respect. Anyway, this guy wanted to turn me into a celebrity, a bit like Dolly Parton in Straight Talk (incidentally, that is also in Chicago) but also thought I should write fiction. So we have a long talk about my insecurities as an English Lit major and how I'm simply not a fiction writer. Amy is very supportive on this front and through her encouragement I acquiesce and am turned into a celebrity (actually, I am guessing on that because the dream is totally hazy from this point forward). In any case, one can only assume that I am now yapping away on WNDY, driving my pink convertible to book signings and the like. Of course my books have matte covers. I am probably a celebrity writer like Toni Morrison or something although obviously I have overcome less.
One wonders, if, a year out of college, one begins to lose their critical thinking skills.

Friday, June 03, 2005


Despite the fact that this has been a very fun week, and I have had many horrible and amusing things happen while at work, I cannot think of anything to draw you all. Indeed, I just spent half an hour or so working of a few different pictures, but all of them were crap. I just can't seem to capture the vibrancy of my early months. I trace my lackluster performance to a variety of things, all clustered around the same few days. I am unable to isolate them. 1. Coming to Ireland. March 22nd. Downhill since then. 2. Turning 23.5, March 26th (something not one of you commented on). Downhill, which, I think, suggests I should really be dreading 57. 3. Easter. March 27thish. Maybe Christ and I are on some sort of pulley thing. He goes up, I go down. ba dum chink.
There was of course, that fantastic cat burglar picture but I believe it is the exception that proves the rule.
Right now I am trying to translate a letter from Spanish to English. I have never studied Spanish. This is fun. Also, today and yesterday I was asked to shred a few thousand pages of confidental documents by hand (we have no shredder). Also fun, but it hurt my hands.
This weekend I am taking a roadtrip. I am driving. Pray for me.

Monday, May 30, 2005

The Wedge

So, everything is really great, blah blah. Bill and I went to Galway for the weekend and had a blast-- spent almost all of Saturday in various pubs, sitting outside with our Murphy's or Guinness, etc, watching the tour groups tread down the lovely cobblestoned streets.
Sunday my friend Amelia from my study abroad program arrived in Dublin. She was doing some teaching exchange thing in Wales and decided to pop over to bonny Ireland for a visit. In any case, she's here for the week which should be a blast as I am dying for someone to shop with...
You see, the wedge is back in town. I don't know if it's the case in America now, but every damn shoe store is filled with wedge heels here. And honey, there ain't nothin' I love more than a nice wedge. My closet at home is FILLED with wedges of all shapes, sizes, and colors (I love them all, baby). But of course, as I am traveling, I have nothing but the boringest black and sensible shoes here that I've been wearing for over 8 months now.
So, you are probably thinking, Ruth, you make good money working for the devil, go and buy yourself a nice pair of fuschia paisley wedges. Teeter about those rainy Dublin streets. But you would be thinking wrong. For one, I plan on two months of backpack-style travel beginning at the end of July. The kind of wedges I am thinking would probably fill a third of my 60 liter pack. Either that, or I'd have to pay to send them home or something, which would be pricey. And let's face it, Europe is no longer the land of superspecial shops. Anything I can buy in Europe you can buy in America... usually for a lot less. Fuck the VAT and the shoddy social services it provides to every goddamned foreign national but myself. In any case, I digress. The point is, by the time I return to my own shores, it will be late September and the American versions of these sexy sexy wedges will be on sale! Plus it'll practically be too cold for open toe.
So this, far and away, is the most difficult hurdle I've come to since being abroad: to buy the wedge or not to buy the wedge.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Working for Satan...

So, yesterday I began a new job. It appears that I will have plenty of time to update and draw pictures. This is the good news.
Friday, my agency calls me about a job as a secretary for a whiskey-maker! And it pays €2 an hour more than my current job, so I am like badass, even though I despise whiskey with every fiber in my little being. But Bill really likes it so since I was like, yeah, I'll do it. Then the temp agency says to me: Great! It's a small family company, and they also own another company based in the same building called African Diamonds!
So, that sucks, but I had committed to the job and I consoled myself with the fact that I would be making whiskey, not you know, being evil.
Then I come into work on Monday and am shown to my desk. In front of me is a sheet of paper listing all the companies chaired and directed by this family, though they are publicly traded, etc. Essentially, the list is pure evil. The whiskey production is the only justifiable sinning. I will go down the list with their mini-descriptions that sits in front of me for you. I will use the actual company names to prove that I do not care if I am discovered.
  • Cooley Whiskey: "The Only Irish Owned Whiskey Distillery"
  • Pan Andean Resources: "Oil and Gas Producer and Explorer in the US and Bolivia"
  • African Gold: "Gold Miner and Explorer in Ghana and Zimbabwe"
  • Petrel Resources: "Oil Exploration and Development in Iraq"
  • MINCO plc: "Gold in Siberia, Silver in Mexico, Zinc in Ireland"
  • African Diamonds: "Diamond Exploration in Sierra Leone, Botswana, and Guinea"
  • Persian Gold: "Gold exploration in Iran"

!!!! So I have agreed to be the secretary to the financial director of all these companies! I'm in the head office! The bunker, if you will. But, like the protagonist of that Downfall movie, I'm just a secretary, I don't know nothin', right? Sure...
Really though, as evil as this company is, I've sold Nikes at Nordstrom (although I always pushed New Balance...) who sell diamonds and loads of other jewelry, probably mined in Africa.
I feel this is an opportunity to learn. I've shopped at Walmart, eaten at McDonald's (but not for many years!), and committed a multitude of sins. And I consider myself a conscientious consumer. So let ye who has not sinned cast the first stone, eh. This is a learning experience. And besides, I'm not REALLY working for Satan. I'm just a temp.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

If I only had Paint...

I would totally draw you two pictures: one, my lovely library; two, the massive amounts of foundation worn by Irish women.
Instead, I will settle for telling you about them.
First of all, I live very close to a little library with a little Irish librarian. She is so sweet and cute and knows my name, as I am here 2 days a week for sure. Also, judging by the return cart, I am the only person who seems to read any books without embossed lettering; I assume this warms her heart. In any case, she looks just as a librarian should, with a salt and pepper longish bob, and nice cardigans and loafers. Sometimes she wears shimmery eyeshadow, which is precious.
Second of all, the Irish are massively into fake tans and bronzer. Literally, my new work place is filled with women with cracking faces. Today, I got a look at my boss's hands and was absolutely shocked to see that they were paler than mine. I honestly couldn't stop staring at them, as her face was about the color of a nice horse saddle.
And last week, when I was doing the market research stuff, the scientist in charge had about the orangest face I had ever seen. And coming from the suburban midwest, that's saying a whole hell of a lot. And she was a scientist!
So that is all. But just imagine what beauteous pictures I would have drawn for you.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

6 Yogurts and a Free Bottle of Wine

Yes, it is easy to find a job in Dublin. It is, however, apparently impossible to find a job with free internet access! Devastating!
For the past week, I've been working for this university standing on a street trying to make people come inside and taste 6 yogurts, for which you got a free bottle of wine. Obviously, a really awesome deal. Even for someone like me, who finds yogurt wholly gag-worthy. While the job totally sucked, it was an interesting opportunity to interact with strangers. I only wish I could draw you a picture, but I am at a stripped-down library computer. I also made my first friend here that does not live in my house, so a major bonus.
Basically, this is what happened all day:
Me: Excuse me, did you have a few minutes...
Them: No
Me: to try some yogurts?
And from 5 feet away, they would look at me like I was a madwoman, laugh, and continue on their way.
Of course, this university is in a rather dodgy part of town, so there were lots of unsavory characters about, so I tried not to say free bottle of wine too loudly. Still, this was an exciting sociological adventure. The Irish are a good bit more touchy to strangers than Americans, so that was disconcerting.
I am really not feeling this update, so I will stop. I promise to regain my wit and glitter soon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Well, Bill and I went to Belfast for the weekend. It was pretty wild. As you are probably aware, Belfast is/was the centre of the IRA vs. British Nationalist-related violence for the past 40 years, although it officially ended in 1998.
In any case, Belfast felt largely like any other city of its size in the British Isles (which I am saying to include Ireland although I don't know if that's proper). Except for when Bill and I went off to see the murals, in the areas where the violence primarily took (and still takes) place-- two lower income neighborhoods on either side of the 'peace wall'. And this was far and away the most memorable part of the trip. The murals on the Protestant side of town featured quotes from such glorious Protestants as Oliver Cromwell saying things like "kill all the Catholics" and had pictures of their militia, men in black hoods holding gigantic guns. The Catholic side of town's murals were a bit less aggressive, with mostly painting of their martyrs, like those that died in a hunger strike during the 80s and children that have been killed by rubber bullets, which the police shoot at them sometimes.
Also, the Catholics had some murals of other oppressed people that they identify with, like the Kurds and the Palestinians and some others, I can't remember which. And of course the obligatory anti-Bush mural.
In any case, the Shankill Road (Protestant side) area looked like a war zone. First of all, there are these rows of 'terrace houses' (what we call townhouses, at least, what I do) and they all have murals on the ends, leading to a big grassy field. You would think, as it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, that people would be outside playing or something. But no, completely empty.
The Catholic side of town was a bit more lively, but I just couldn't believe it. We saw two prisons that had 5 foot thick walls, with more barbed wire than I had ever seen in my life. And the peace wall is just this monstrously tall concrete and barbed wire structure. It was truly frightening. I took pictures of course, so eventually I will post these.
And certainly, the conflict is far from over. Right by our hotel, there is this new office building going up, and already, the scaffolding features UFF murals, and the curbs were painted red white and blue. In a lot of ways, the UFF and IRA seemed like slightly politicized versions of the Crips and Bloods.
Sunday, Bill and I wandered around the city centre, when all of a sudden, a parade! Loads of old men wearing derby hats with orange fringey scarves around their necks. Now, orange is the color of the Protestants, so we figured this was them. But I was thinking this is probably some sort of Kiwanis thing for the Protestants. But alas, I was wrong, as sure enough there was a drum that said "Shankill Road Defense League." It would be so much cooler if American gangs marched around in bowling hats.
So this is a very disjointed update about Belfast. I was just surprised to see how present the violence was. The UK elections are, as you may know, in about a week, and the whole city had loads of signs up about various candidates, and literally, every single candidate (except for a few stray socialist flyers) featured the UK or the Irish flag. Apparently, everyone votes along these lines. Labour and Conservative have virtually no presence in Northern Ireland.
I suppose I could babble on about my reactions to the city for days, and indeed, have been. I will go ahead and leave it with this this though.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Not dead.

I am glad that none of you worried too much about my potential bedtime slaying.
On the plus side, I have a new job that has allowed me to complete Nelson Mandela's autobiography in 48 hours. No mean feat, considering it's 600 and some more pages.
However, the big negative is that I have no internet access at work which I consider to be truly abusive. An example of the unfair treatment temporary workers are subjected to. However, the job should end on Friday and I should then have something better. And by better, I mean pays more money and allows me to dick around online unencumbered.
This is all very sad for you because I had a fairly eventful weekend that would have made nice pictures. Alas, no Paint for me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


You are bad, ungrateful people. I have had several requests for photos from my abroadlife, and then when I put them up, at great personal cost (€1.99 for the CD and obviously such clever captions were mentally taxing) and what do I get in return? Nary a comment.
But alas, I am a benevolent and forgiving god, so I will not punish you. In fact, I have even drawn a few more pictures, because...
Yesterday Bill and I had AN ADVENTURE. Not really the good kind, but you know, the acceptable kind. I will relay the story now:
Around 10:30, Bill and I stepped into our backyard for a breath of fresh air. When we came back into the house, our front door was wide open. Our front door that locks automatically. No one else was home. I've illustrated our looking out the door.
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And yes, our house is that color. The curtains are a little off, I think there is also green. Also, Bill and I look literally nothing like that. Especially as we have bodies. And that's art on the wall behind us. It's not original, it's a print. Also, the cat burglar may or may not actually exist. The rest of the post will explain.
So Bill walked around the house looking in all the doors and yelling hello. I stood by the door feeling like a girl.
In any case, Bill turned up nothing. So we left the house and set the alarm, figuring well, if someone's in and they try to leave, it will go off. If it's our flatmates, they'll turn off the alarm.
But when we leave, we see a suspicious looking mini-van. Mind you, our street is literally narrower than most American drive-ways, and it's a dead end. Why the mini-van? A mystery.
So, we wait outside for a while, thinking it's possible one of our flatmates ran home and then ran out to get something and didn't shut the door all the way... But no flatmates. So, Bill makes us call the Garda, which is like the police except Irish.
And they come and declare our house safe. This is one of them. The picture is entirely fictional as Bill and I met them at the street. Still, I felt like this was a multiple image story.
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And of course, as they leave, my Spanish flatmate comes home with his non-english speaking friend. So I am sure that amused them. I am quite sure I heard them call us gringos and stupidos and americanos. Except, do the Spanish call white people gringos? They are white too. Well, so maybe none of the words sounded like that and I am imagining things.
In any case, I could have a ghost! Or, someone could have tried to rob us! Who knows!
So that was the yesterday adventure. If I am murdered in my bed tonight, expect no further updates.