Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Okay, update: I am back online, but all of my links, ect. have been lost-- please stay with me as I have had several adventures in the past couple of weeks and will post them all as soon as I can!

Don't know what's going on...logged on today to find my site (template and everything) wiped clean. Thankfully, my pictures, and all of my posts are still in my account (and what's more, I have everything backed up anyway). Has this happened to anyone else? How do I get my site back?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Show me the money

Something very wrong has occured. I went online to take care of some banking and saw that I am over 550 USD overdrawn! I don't know what happened, I don't understand. I am currently close to vomiting as the word "overdrawn" is not in my vocabulary, and do not know how this happened. To. Sick. To. Continue. Blogging.

Tag, I'm it.

Seven things I want to do before I die:

1. graduate with my bachelor’s degree
2. marry
3. buy a new car
4. finish reading A Tale of Two Cities (I’ve started and stopped halfway through a million times)
5. forgive my father
6. sing karaoke (I can’t sing, and have yet to be drunk enough to get up and not sing in front of others)
7. show someone (whose opinion [and intellect] I respect) my ramblings…er, um writings

Seven things I can do:

1. flirt
2. speak French
3. drive a manual transmission VROOM!
4. pretend to like you
5. code my blogger template
6. splice and build a film (I was a projectionist)
7. spike a volleyball and hit a quarter on the other side of the court

Seven things I cannot do:

1. drive a manual transmission well GRIND!
2. tie a cherry stem into a knot using only my tongue (sorry, boys)
3. eat spicy food
4. tan (I burn, freckle, and return to lily white)
5. run a mile in under 5 minutes
6. resist ice cream
7. write legibly (my penmanship is atrocious)

Seven things I say a lot :

1. “Je t’ai cassé” (you must see Brice de Nice)
2. “Shit”
3. “Ah, merde!” (ok, same thing, but different language)
4. “Emilio!” (Night at the Roxbury)
5. “Amen”
6. “I will C-I-L-L Kill you” (Eddie Murphy, SNL)
7. “Fuck! That hurt!” (if I’m not stubbing my toe, I’m bonking my head, or jamming my finger)

Seven things I find attractive in a male:

1. intellect
2. a sense of humor
3. morality/spirituality
4. humility
5. sweet skills
6. a job (preferably one that doesn’t involve narcotics), and decent credit
7. oh, and duh! height ;)

Seven celebrity crushes:

1. Daniel Auteuil
2. Jeff Goldblum
3. Jeremy Irons
4. Catherine Keener
5. Shirley Manson
6. Tim Roth
7. Steve Buscemi*purrrrr*

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Survival Guide to a Traditional Irish Breakfast

The traditional Irish Breakfast (heretofore referred to as TIB) is offered at all Bed & Breakfasts, Hotels, and some hostels as a way of providing a cultural experience and a hearty meal to their weary travelers. These establishments are also very likely to offer fruit plates or scrambled eggs (which are greatly encouraged by those of us here at as the better choice for reasons explained below).
Do not be fooled, while TIB offers more food and variety for the price, any alternative is a better alternative to a plate of food that, while sitting for several hours in your stomach, turns your arteries into sausage—black, spiced sausage, the consistency of couscous.
TIB usually begins with a bowl of cornflakes and a glass of orange juice. Now, while this is not always the case: if presented with any sort of cereal, encourages you to eat it with as much sugar as possible to counteract the affects of what’s to come, and ask for more orange juice—or any other kind of juice, the more acidic the better (stay away from coffee and tea, and under no circumstances, should you consume more phlegm-inducing dairy than necessary).
Next, you will be presented with a plate of what is best described as the 5 grease groups: eggs, ham, sausage, vegetables prepared in grease, beans; and toast.
The eggs will be fried (some establishments offer a choice of preparation—with little to no difference in amount of regret later). Eat them first. They have protein and will coat your stomach with a semi-protective layer of poultry reproductive fluids.
Ham (called Bacon) is an overcooked to the point of jerky ham steak. Relatively harmless. Eat this next as it is another source of protein for the busy day of sightseeing ahead of you, and the second least greasy (assuming you trim the fat) item of the TIB.
The sausage…just avoid the sausage. It is quite possible you will be presented with a variety of colors and sizes of sausage on your plate; whether bright orange, clotted-blood black, or regular kielbasa brown, DO NOT EAT THE SAUSAGE! Not to merely sample something new, not to experience this aspect of Irish culture, not even if you have recently been bitten by a mythical wolf man and must eat meat to avoid eating your traveling companions. Not even then! Make friends with diners around you and offer to trade them your delicious, plump sausage for their cereal.
The beans, I assume, are meant to be eaten with the toast, but, if beans and toast aren’t for you—as they aren’t for me, indulge in sampling the plethora of jams sitting in the middle of your table.
Beans on toast taste like beans (in ketchup) on dry, white toast, that is to say, they taste like ketchup on toast and offer the unfortunate tactile experience of dry, white toast and bean mush (warm if you’re lucky), and runny ketchup. As far as I can tell, there are no nutritional benefits and no rational reason to eat Beans on Toast.
Your TIB plate will be garnished with a cooked tomato, and mushrooms. Expect both to be covered in oil, butter, lard, or all of the above. If this is not the case, consume any and all vegetables available—before anything else.
As with many things in Ireland, each region has their own, slightly different way of doing TIB. The Dingle Peninsula, for example likes to include a fried fish steak. I’ve never been a fan of fried fish for breakfast, and when included on a platter of the 5 major grease groups, it is the opinion of that one is best avoiding the fish with the same fervor as the sausage.
If, after reading this, you decide not to heed my warnings, remember this:
You have just consumed 4 servings too many of animal by-product. Do not engage in any of the following activities:
Running (or physical activity of any kind), smoking (unless you’re feeling lucky—well, do ya?*), eating anything else for several hours, and never get on a bus going…anywhere. Roads in Ireland are winding, and it is very likely you will, along the way, hit something, or someone. This trip, on a bus is enough to make even the most seasoned Grey-hounder ill, adding to it TIB creates a travel memory not easily forgotten (as I learned the hard way).

European has inspired me: 30 pts. and eternal glory to the best limerick (your choice of subject). Some of you are quite clever indeed and I encourage you to respond-- even those amongst you lacking in the clever department ;)

*sorry, couldn’t help myself.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Back To Ireland

Hitchhiking in Ireland is nothing like hitchiking in the US. Everybody does it here, it's safe, legal, and there are no negative connotations attached to the people that do it.
That said, no one is guaranteed a trip just for sticking their thumb out or holding up a cardboard sign. I do not recommend doing it in downpour, torrential rainfall, high winds, or both. Especially if you are a foreign traveler with no means to dry your clothing after a few hours of standing out in the rain (with your hood down and no umbrella just to make sure motorists know that you are a girl [and, therefore, much more likely to get a lift). Pay the 10.50 euro for a bus ticket to TraLee from Dingle and spend that time, instead, paying 4 euro/hour at the only cyber cafe in town and maybe splurging 2.50 euro for ho-cho.
I ended up taking the bus anyway (damn that 20-20 hindsight!), but missed the connecting bus to Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher. Instead, I got as far as Limerick and spent the night.
I stayed a block from the station at a B&B run by the Boylan family.
I got as far as the front hall of the Boylan B&B and was told to wait by an old man sitting slumped in an armchair off to the side. He was wearing a hat, trench coat, and house slippers. He asked me where I was from, and told me he had been to Boston several times. Enter Theresa Boylan: "Leave the poor dear alone, can't you see she's soaking wet!"
"I was just talking to her, she is American."
"American?" I'm American, you know?" She says to me in a thick Irish accent.
Turns out, the mister and 'Mother' Theresa (as I began to refer to her), met in the states while they were in college. She actually got citizenship and loves all things Kennedy, Boston, and Catholic. In fact, her entire dining room is dedicated to them. She gave me a room (with a giant crucifix over the bed), and showed me the bathroom (next to the giant picture of the Virgin Mary). But the house wasn't at all scary or overbearing, there was lots of laughter from her many (11!) adult children (who all happened to be there that night), and she insisted on putting my clothes in the dryer--they don't offer laundry services and she did this for free. Then, I sat down and watched more Hurrican Rita coverage and ate some take-out from down the street.
I didn't see but one street in Limerick, the one in front of the train station, but was greeted with incomparable hospitality. Mother Theresa made a point to check in on how I was doing every half hour or so, and loved talking to me about her time in the States. She would enter the room, grab the remote control and turn up the volume, then begin to try to talk over it. She informed me that there was a prophet of some kind at the local church who foresaw that America was about to be chastened. She (MT) was sorry to hear it, and was glad that I had no family affected by the recent tragedies.
As I headed up to my room, to retire for the night, she hugged me "Good Night" and told me to be ready for a big breakfast in the morning...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Just a note.

Shit for school Wi-Fi won't allow me to use Safari and I am struggling with internet explorer. I can't post pictures, and I must post two or three posts at a time as I can only use the internet after business hours ( I am sitting in the dark on the wet grass outside the student union [and I use that term loosely).
So, scroll down and read both of my posts as they are in order from bottom to top.
Please know that I am stopping by all of your sites when I can and will try, in the coming days, to get a set blogging schedule so I can get back on the blogger track.

I hope that's the int'l sign for more ketchup?

Since my arrival, I have seen his cakey white face on posters all over town. Leering out at me, “What are you doing here?” “Ooooh, that does make you look fat!” “Can you help me get out of this invisible box?”

Marcel Marceau, the famous mime everyone thought had died decades ago, is touring France with a new show and was in Caen last night. As much as I didn’t want to pay anything more than what loose change I had in my pocket to see a mime, it was Marcel Marceau: the mime. At 83, the man of silence is still going strong. His stage show was something to behold. Granted, it was still a guy in whiteface not talking in front of a room full of people (completely sold out). But he projected an amazing amount of energy and any physical comedy he can no longer include in his show, was replaced by skill only found in the most expert of performers. The control he exhibited over his body and expressions was striking, and, after a while, one became completely enraptured with the “scenes” going on onstage, and forgot about the single performer. This was humor without politics or sex, an acute study of the both the human body and how it is used, and a celebration of one of France’s most beloved performers once again making the rounds. The spectacle was followed by a 10 minute standing ovation that brought tears to the eyes of both the mime and his adoring, cheering audience.

Nothing particularly breathtaking about the show stands out in my mind—only hours later, but I will forever remember that I saw Marcel Mar-fucking-Ceau live in France.

Welcome to the Hellmouth

I am in Caen…well, my mother told me if I didn’t have anything nice to say, don’t blog about it. *shrug* It is not Paris.

I really don’t like it here. From the soviet ghetto-type dorms to the fact that the language placement exam was a fiasco and no one seems to have been placed accurately*; the fact that the only people I know here are American and speak in English to me all the time, and that they all insist on doing things in a big group like we are all in jr. high and not capable of going to the mall by ourselves (meet ya’ in front of the Orange Julius)!
It’s just a lot of change and a lot of stress all at once—and I don’t have internet (my solace) in my room, building, or the whole north side of campus. And the rooms with internet are only open until 5 p.m. each night. I should be able to sit outside the Wi-Fi hot zones at night and catch the signal, but I still can’t seem to configure my browser.

I have had to buy all new bedding, towels, dishes, and even rugs for my room as it is a complete hole, and the rotting pieces of fabric issued to me by the school aren’t cutting it. The kitchenettes on each floor consist of one hotplate, and a large sink that (on my floor) is always plugged with hair. There is no refrigerator or microwave, and neither are allowed in the rooms. I have no way of keeping or preparing meals as I have no pots or pans, and no cooler. Fortunately, the weather has been very poor and I have just enough room on my windowsill for yogurt and milk. This means I eat out for close to every meal, and am bleeding money.

I am really trying hard to stay positive: if I don’t I won’t make it through the semester, let alone the year.
I am still mourning my move from Paris. I have plans to go back in November for the Rufus Wainwright concert (yea!), and will be there at Christmas for a few days… *sigh*

The city isn’t bad, not nearly as expensive as Paris, and the public transport is great (a brand new tram system and really easy, clean buses). There are two enormous markets, and I think Sunday mornings for the rest of the school year will be dedicated to the market. Caen also has some great nightspots, but I’m not really a club kid—or even a barfly. Two of the three cinemas play films in both French and their original English versions, and there are lots of ancient and medieval buildings, ruins, and sites (including an enormous medieval castle in the middle of town, and across the street from the university).

*The school policy requires that students spend the first TWO WEEKS!!! of class in their original placement before moving them to another—perhaps better suited level. So, regardless of what class I end up in—and I can assure you it won’t be the one I’m in now—I will have missed the first two weeks of class!