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.