Thursday, December 24, 2009

MRI (Murl's Ridiculous Incident)




It's Christmas Eve.

I am thinking about my annual year end letter that I slap up on this blog and I get excited when I think about summarizing things. I like to take stock and bookkeep.

(Little known fact.. BOOKKEEPING has the most double letters in a row of any word in the English language...except for BOOKKEEPER and BOOKKEEP-ERSON.)

Before I take stock of 2009 (and maybe of the decade?) I wanted to let you know I've spent way to much time looking at a recent MRI of my shoulder.

I went to the good people at Missouri Baptist for a contrast media injection. They shoot this dye into your arm joint and then take a picture of it. Simple enough.

I am sure that I was not aware I had to strip down to my socks and underwear to get this procedure. Other wise I would not have brought every bulky belonging I had to the hospital that day. They let you tote your belongings with you in plastic bags. I needed three of them. (Purse, Coat, Clothes, Boots... it adds up.) Well I definitely picked that day to wear boots. Confession time: When I wear boots, I simply do not care about the socks happening underneath them. I wish I had cared a bit more that day because not only was I wearing two different socks, of two different colors, and two different materials (one was like a nylon trouser sock) but they were also two different heights. One was knee high. One was ankle high. I know. Man looketh on the outside, but the Lord looketh upon the socks.

I was draped in the typical gaping open hospital gown, just chatting up the nurse assisting the "Needle-man". Nurse-man was very fun to talk to and witty banter ensued. He assured me that I had the best "needle man" in the hospital, that he comes by special request and that he is very very good at what he does. I'm not scared of needles at all, so I'm wondering why this guy has to be so good at his job. How hard is this gonna be?

I was weirded out that I was being over-assured by nurse-man. So I start to get a little tense about this. And I'm always tense talking to strange men when I'm in a hospital gown and mis-matched socks.

Enter Needle-man. He is very professional and kind and just the level of nerdy that you want in your doctor, even if you may not want to have a beer with him later. I catch an exchange between nurse-man and needle-man:

Nurseman: "Heard you had one spray on you today!"
Needleman: "Yeah that was weird"
(Me... thinking WHAT is spraying exactly?? And from where? I thought this guy was Mister Needle-America?)
Needleman: "It was a faulty syringe, very strange occurance."
(Me...hmm. Ok, whatever.)

I am yoga-breathing trying not to stress out on the table. I like that needle man can laugh at spraying syringes. Glad he's confident enough to joke infront of his next victim. I figure no pain he is about to put me through will be as painful as spiking a volleyball is right now. So I relax considerably and wait.

Needle man explains in great detail again and begins the procedure. They sterile-drape me and are simultaneously taking x-rays to see where the needle is going. (I had no idea this was so complicated...really).
After about 5 minutes I see him laboring and pushing even though I feel nothing. Until
*SQUIRT!!!*

I gasp as a blob of goo lands on my right eye. Thanking the Lord that the body has reflexes and that mine are over-active already, I wonder if I am going to go blind or if this stuff is radio-active. (I know it's not..but I AM in the "nuclear medicine" wing.)

Doc freaks a bit. Asks me if I'm ok and pulls the needle out immediately. Flies around clanking instrument things and yelling STAT. (no not really). He does get a bit frantic and finally wipes me off. "You also have some of this stuff in your hair. It's harmless, but it could get sticky."

Free hair gel. Sweet.

He explains that my shoulder joint is really tight and he was having a hard time getting the needle in. The pressure he was putting on the fluid broke a tube connection leading to the needle and splattered me. So he re-drapes me. Re-iodines me and tries again. He got it in uneventfully this time and had a triumphant puff to himself after he finished. He said "You have the tightest shoulder joint I've ever tried to put a needle in. But we got it!" I wonder if they have an award for the tightest shoulder joint ever...a 'golden ball and socket' perhaps?

Nurse-man then gives me the cursory band-aid and plops me in a wheel chair to be transported to the "tube of uncomfortable vibrations" for the actual imaging. Speaking of images, get this one in your head: Me. My wheelchair. Hospital Gown. My mismatched socks. My three bags of belongings piled up on my lap. My hair that I had to free because of the metal in my hair clip. I looked like a homeless Micheal Bolton. Why am I in a wheelchair? I have no idea.

An hour later, I'm in the tube trying to convince myself that the fillings in my teeth are NOT heating up. (I later was informed that they actually, probably were heating up.)

An hour after that I was given the Coolest CD Ever of my shoulder.

Above are a few shots. I've been trying to self diagnose. I think a partial tear of the supraspinatus. Or just impingement. Or a labral tear. What do YOU think, Docs?



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Frozen Fam

No idea how this happened. Jodie and Kim got some AWESOME pics from the most horrible windy-blustery-eye-watering freezing conditions ever. Check us out!


http://freshartphotography.com/2009/12/merrill-family-the-very-blustery-day-st-louis-family-photographers/

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Slanketized in Lake Tahoe


That red thing on my arm is the delightful sleeve of my BRAND NEW SIAMESE SLANKET!!!! Oh yes. Four armholes to glory. I can wear one set, (the left set, the right set or the middle two!) I can also wrap it around and wear two arms at the same time. It makes me look like a red wined wizard. The santa hat helped.



Snowmobile Drifts... waist deep at least.

New ski boots + Better Ski Partners than me + Blizzardy Snow conditions = Grumpy Linz
Grumpy Linz + Thoughtful Bringer of Soft Street Boots and Complimentary Diet Cherry Coke = Swoony Linz.






Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Owls... they're beautiful.

Last night after coaching volleyball I showed up to my workout in jeans.  On accident.  I was already a bit late... I really really don't want to miss this workout, I get to kick things really hard.  And I needed to kick something.
 
So I go in to the little gym right across the street from my work that I frequent. (Fitness in Motion.. personal trainers, highly recommended) and trainer Matt tells me that he will not let me wear jeans to workout!  Ugh.  Really?  Why not?  He says "No. No way. With what we do, you will ruin them"  After driving all the way back from the city, I didn't want to scrap my time slot.  So we make a deal that he would wait while I try to figure out the best place to find shorts.
 
I sprint out of the gym to my car and start my mental robo-scan of the area.  Kohls?  Too far.  Walgreens? Maybe...
 
Wait a minute, sometimes gas stations have t-shirts and stuff.  I distinctly remember a DR trip where we found a 3XL t-shirt that said "If Mama Ain't Happy.  Nobody Happy" at a truck stop.  I think a few people got into that shirt and took pictures. 

Off to the QT I go.   Maybe they have shorts in addition to random trucker T-shirts.  To my chagrin, the QT on Lackland does NOT have trucker T-shirts, or shorts.  They DO, however, have sock caps and gloves if you ever need to know that information.  Say you need to rob the place and you didn't plan well.  Also, they DO look at you funny if you walk into a QT and buy nothing.
 
Next.  Hmm there is a La Quinta inn... maybe they have a lost and found?  Ew. No.  Next.
 
I decide that I am going to have to drive all the way to the nearest Walgreens when I pull out of the parking lot and notice the Hooters next door is hoppin. 
 
HOOTERS?!  Yes....
 
They sell shirts.  I know it.  Maybe they sell shorts too.  You should have seen the look on the little hot-pants girl's face when I asked her if she had shorts for sale.  She was probably thinkin that I wasn't the "hot pants" type.  Well she was right about that, but she did point me to some hooters boxers on the shelf.   Crotch sewed up.  Perfect.
 
Sprinted back to the car and got back to the gym.  I burst through the door and shouted a triumphant "HOOTERS BABY!!"  Everyone cheered. 
 
Pure Genius.  Only lost about 10 extra minutes on the errand and 10 bucks for the shorts. 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I didn't LOSE my retainer!

Nope. I still have it.

But this time I stepped on it in the dark and broke it.

And FYI, superglue does not fix everything.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wondering if Northwest Airlines needs Pilots

The day I almost died was a blurry gray day in October. The rain had been consistently inconsistent for what seemed like weeks, lulling all of St. Louis into the doldrums. I was leaving work a little bit early to get my shoulder worked on by my massage therapist Mister Tom “Magic Hands” Burr. As I drove, I was checking in with my mom and dad who were golfing in Vegas as I pulled out of work. So while chuckling at my mom tell me to “whisper” while my dad was swinging his golf club five or so states away… (Really?...is the iPhone that loud from my end?)… I was momentarily transported to another place in time. A warmer place. A drier place.

Maybe that dry place stayed with me well after my phone was off, when my hands were firmly at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel, and my eyes were fixed directly on the road in front of me as I rounded the bend from Page onto 270S. I must have been going too fast, but it was in super slow-mo, I began to realize that I was out of control. I instinctively knew that when you are out of control in a car you are not supposed to touch the steering wheel definitively and you are supposed to slam on the gas.

So naturally I jerked the wheel to the right and slammed on the brake.

As my life slid before my eyes I realized that I had a good life and I wondered also if I was going to do a 360, then when I realized I wasn’t going to do a 360, I took a few additional neuron fires to decide what level of spin in terms of degrees was worth re-telling if I got out of this alive. I think I did a decisive 90, twice, back AND forth.. so does that count as terrible and grand 180? No. I think perhaps not. I was still thinking of the things people would say about me at my funeral when my car came to a muddy anti-climactic rocking on the edge of the ramp. My rear-wheel drive Lincoln was a see-saw on a fulcrum of asphalt. I was fine.

Or was I? I was quite shaken. I then realized I didn’t have my seat belt on AND that I so forgot to sing the Carrie Underwood song. God was waking me up or something. I dunno. Anyway, I sat there glad to be still thinking thoughts and no cars came after me and I wasn’t in the way. I sat for many moments doing that thing I do in Target sometimes … “spinning”. Ohh lets uhm.. call this person.. or these people or no.. that’s dumb… uh ooh should I move? Wha…. Er… Uh? Ooh…Sparkly…and on SALE”

I realized then that death may not have come yet but still very much could if that faint smell I smelled was gas, and if it was indeed pouring out in a puddle beneath me, maybe I would soon be barbecued. Er. Uhm. No. That’s not gas, silly, and it’s wet outside anyway, just try to drive out, the car is fine. So I tried, but no wheels were touching anything else, problematic. I also then realized that if an 18 wheeler decided to do the same thing and go around that curve, it could jackknife into me. I deeply disappointed myself at my lack of snappy ideas. For a brief moment I thought that this was my wilderness test. That I could probably survive the wilderness on my resourcefulness, but at the on ramp to 270 in the middle of civilization, with my cell phone and the world-wide web at my fingertips, I was utterly useless.

Except I tucked my work pants into my boots so they wouldn’t get muddy. Good work, Linz.

I thought to stand way behind my car in case something big pushed it toward me. Wondering how I get a tow truck.. did I NEED a tow truck? Was my car beyond repair? Was it even broken? Who makes these assessments anyway? Good thing I’m not a Triage Nurse. (“Ooo.. Sparkly”) I thought to call my parents who I’d JUST been on the phone with… but no answer. Golf is happening. Why don’t I have triple A? Well my dad had the reason why once, maybe I call him again... he’s not answering. Er.. can’t I just drive the car away?? How hard can it be? Get back in the car, it’s raining. My undercarriage is sitting on asphalt, can’t be good. I get back out of the car. A guy drives by and asks me if I’m ok and I shrug over-dramatically. He pulls over and was trying to be helpful, but told me I was hung up. Thanks. He asked if I was going to be ok and I said yeah I have a phone. I eventually called someone near a computer who could flag me a tow truck. This isn’t hard.

Why do I explain this is such great detail? Because it could be on You Tube and I wanted to give you the mental script.

Because I finally got out when the Maryland Heights Police Car and the MoDot truck showed up almost simultaneously, and informed me that they “saw me on the video cameras”. The what?

They have cameras set up to look at dumb people I guess.

They were kind and not condescending. They stopped traffic so MoDot could pull me out backwards. I didn’t need a tow after all. Just stand around with your pants tucked into your boots and wander like an escaped mental patient and the authorities WILL show up.

And that’s how Lindsey does it on a Monday.

Peace

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Slanket Rules. So does Bruce.

I have made no secret of my love for the Slanket. I also have an intense like for mister Bruce Willis and his lack of hair. Imagine my delight when I ran into THIS video.

I am not sure if I ever chose this venue to vehemently deny the usefulness of the Snuggie, versus the far superior Slanket. I will do this now.

Some points for your consideration:

1. The Slanket was the first. The snuggie is like generic product.

2. The Slanket is luxurious and thick like your favorite velour blanket. The snuggie is reminiscent of those airplane fuzzy things that almost look like a piece of felt.

3. The Slanket comes in colors with names like "Royale with Sleeves"

4. The Slanket would never have a TV commercial. Let alone a TV commercial that shows models wearing them in public.

5. The Slanket now comes in a "Siamese" version. Four joyous arm-holes for two people to enjoy. WHOA. Take that snuggie! Slanket-ness times TWO.

6. The original Slanket does cost more than the snuggie, but filet mignon costs more than a cheeseburger.

7. The Slanket recognized the need for a smaller version and came out with the Travel Slanket, which is the only time they would suggest wearing one outside the comfort of your own home, and I think on an airplane is indeed the only acceptable time to use a Slanket. Kudos, Slanket, Kudos.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Greer Quotes:

The Lippert kids kill me.
"Lindsey, in real life.... in REAL life... are there babies named Tarzan?"

"When I grow up and have a baby I'm going to name it 'Gallop' "

"Even though you don't live with us, I love you"

Monday, October 19, 2009

Some Ladies Fightin' Some Stuff


I had the blessed opportunity to speak last night at a class my dear friend Debbie is teaching about the pieces of our minds. I decided to post my talk here. I think I referred to this in more vague terms before on this venue, so some of this is repeat...but i thought it was worth saying again. (Especially since some of you asked to see my blog and I couldn't have the first post about bees be the first thing you saw).

The background is that this class is about the things and voices that rattle around in our minds that ursurp our freedom in Christ. My week (and my struggle) was on the "I am" statements. The women were asked to write out the things they hear in their minds to dicern and divide them and throw some of the stuff away:

"I am overjoyed to be speaking with you today about the journey I went on to get free from myself. In fact, I am even more thrilled that as I tried to recall the awful things I used to think and say about myself I couldn't remember them. I wrote them all out once in an exercise much like you have done, except mine was on a giant neon yellow poster in Debbies kitchen and Tom must have seen it behind the frige and thought "whoa, Lindsey has issues" I had two solid pages of "junk in my drawer" and I couldn't recall any of it. I mean it was a LOOOONG list. So in fear of pulling the garbage back in off the curb and going thru it again and being tempted to take some of it back...(ooh i like that one... i don't want to throw IT out...) I didn't try to hard to recall them, but I did eventually remember the gist of my trauma. And it centered around these themes:

1. Perfectionism. "If I'm not perfect, 'just me' isn't enough."
2. Body Image. "Enough said."
3. Self-Depreciating humor. "If I'm my own worst enemy AND it's funny, no one can hurt me, or have reason not to love me."

Certainly these things sometimes worked for me. Number three probably got me through junior high. Certaintly there are strands of truth woven into our lies. Certainly after I laid these things down... I began to notice these patterns in other people and I could finally see how ugly they really were. I started to think "I wonder if THEY know they don't have to put themselves down, and I wonder if they know how deeply insecure it makes them sound?"

Why did I keep saying this stuff? And it's not even stuff that came out of my mouth very often, but it was the foundation of the things I really believed to be true about myself and the reasons that I wasn't happy. The reasons God wasn't blessing me. The reasons I was single. It soon became clear to me that this was an addiction. I had a conversation once (it was actually Debbie) and she asked me what would happen if I just didn't degrade myself anymore even with humor? What if I just didn't do it anymore? I blurted out quickly (which was such an indicator of my heart...) "If I let this go, I'll be lonlier than I already am" My over-extreme humility (which is actually a twisted form of pride) was my drink and I didnt even know it.

Luckily, even though I had a hard time recalling this old junk, I have this blog. I went back to some of my writings and found a little bit of a reminder about what life was like back then. This was ONLY a year ago for me. Which I hope is an encouragement of how far away this stuff can get rather quickly. This strong hold in my life made up of the mean and destructive things that I used to think about myself and the mis-truths about the world became burdensome to me after I had them identified. I had collectively named this burden and still refer to it as "the sock monkey". This security thing that I needed to survive. I wrote about the war in my mind:

What if I just let it go? This thing that I am carrying. It's no work to carry it really, I mean I can barely exist without it. The crusty old thing I drag around, this little sock monkey with it's mouth all made of zig-zaggy threads and covered in germs that my body has grown immune
to. I have eaten with it, slept with it, showered with it lived with it, vomited on it, cried when people have tried to take it. I have refused to hand it to God when he has asked me to lay it down. It's who I am, it's what makes me "me" and "interesting", right? It's that part of "crazy" that makes good art. It's the extreme humility that forces people to adore you.
If you take my monkey, you are asking me to redefine my very "me" that some people happen to like just fine. Self degradation, CAN be funny. I mean c'mon really funny. I am a hilarious specimen of person. I have stories to last a lifetime about what a freak I am. Why ask me to give that up?? If I get screwed over with this spacious cathedral of a body, with the ridiculously solid size 13 feet, at LEAST let me have fun with it the only way I know how?

If I let this go. What can I trust to fill it's place?
What if it's not filled right away, how do I deal with that perhaps boring hole? I am not brave enough to deal with that gaping hole. Who wants to trade this in for a "cross" to bear anyway...I'll keep my musty monkey.

This seems somehow like the fight of my life.

I am starting to not want to drag the monkey around. I think, much like my hair styles, that it's
time for me to change. Just see what it would be like, to finally not have it. I imagine it might feel like a person who has been wearing a fanny pack for 29 years and then once it's removed keeps
trying to stick gum wrappers and chap stick in it. It might be time. At twenty-nine, this is the first birthday that I have physically felt, like a clock struck midnight and then it struck me in the face. Struck me physically. I have a shoulder falling out of socket and a two knees that crunch like breakfast cereal when I walk, and maybe it's time not to depend on my athletic ability, my outward appearance, or my debilitating matted sock monkey, to be attractive and worthwhile.

Maybe it wasn't working anyway.

Maybe it's time to trust, REALLY TRUST that my identity in Jesus is REALLY enough.

So...for all the people who love me and desire me to finally see things as they really are. I am attempting to lay my cold weapons down. The ones I have taken up long ago against me. The weapons that I would never wield against anyone else.

So be praying. I don't know how this works. It's been with me longer than
Jesus has."

___

So....I wrote it out. I was honest. It was ugly. Really ugly. Once on paper the sock monkey stared back up at me, caught in the act of trying to own me and I got angry at it. I prayed through it, I gave it to God and I decided that my sock monkey was not fun to be with anymore and infested with lies and harmful satan bacteria and I gave it up.

I'm not trying to sell you a product here, an infomercial where I am giving you the magical before and after shots, it was a process, there were many other failed attempts at leaving these chains behind.

Once I recognized it as the right thing to do, I wasn't even convinced that it was necessary to leave it. It required some trust in God. I wrote about what it was like after the fact:
_________

"Thus, when my heart opened up so very big, and gulped some fresh air.. some emptiness followed... as it often does when you stop running from yourself so hard. So I'm sitting here now, in a little bit of expectancy, hope, and oddly enough some peace.

Just peace.

It's quiet, it's purposeful, and pregnant with possibility, it's as if I've made room for something in my soul by taking out some garbage. The crap out on the curb is rather rotten and... as I see now, not inconsequential.

It's now like I am a beautiful empty apartment waiting to be furnished... or like a canvas that has a beautiful fresh base-coat just waiting for color.

I am reminded that God only wiped the slate clean once with the flood. After that, he said no matter how grave it gets, I will chase you. I will woo you back to me. No matter where you go, what you do, if you are mine and intended for me, I will find you and keep you and redeem you. No matter how broken your bones are, my breath is sufficient to make them dance again."

____

I am happy to tell you that I am a completely different person. I still have things that struggle with now and again and I was very recently made aware of one of the next big ones and I'm intending to tackle that next. I have the success from this "Phase 1" of Lindsey's Redemption to look back on and know that God is to be trusted with my junk.

It's so much better without that sock monkey. People didn't shy away, they came closer.

I no longer required that they fix me, or appease me or tell me my "I" statements weren't true. They recognize me as calmer and more peaceful, less needy to be the center of attention. Way more content with who i am. (At least I think so). They don't even have to laugh anymore.

And. That. Is. Freeing.

God truly, through the power of prayer, redeemed me and let me get my head above water long enough to let life happen to "just me".


Thanks for listening, and PS don't go image searching for sock monkey pictures on the internet. There are life sized anatomically correct ones. Ew. Is there nothing pure left in the world??

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Addendum

That bee thing was crazy. Final tally of bees I have found...dead already. 205.

I received another book about writing. I think I need to write more. (Finished a book too, leaving the unfinished book tally at 9).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

By the numbers...

13 = Number of dead Bees found in my bathroom… at once.
1 = Number of dead bats created in front yard.
1 = Number of destroyed cookie sheets as a result of previous line item

30 = Number of years I have been on the earth
1 = Number of birthday paper shredders now in my possession.
Endless = hours spent enjoying said paper shredder, and quantities of junk mail chomped by its hungry teeth.
1= Times that I almost cried at work because my boss referred to me as a “Cougar” since I am now 30. (I am not a Cougar, for the record).

9= Number of books I am currently reading.
0= Number of books I effectively took with me on my most recent plane flight to Denver.

1/5 = Level in the cereal box that my brother consumes down to before buying a new box. Seriously... to the grain.
3 = Number of times that he has done this to rice krispies alone since my last pantry clean out.
8 = Number of other non discriminate cereals he has also deemed "finished"
0 = Number of boxes he thought to throw away after they were "finished"
225 = Number of pounds, in kettlebell weights, that I cannot move that sits in my living room year round.
Endlessly = How much I love my idiot bro.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Portland Rose GardenTillamook Bay
Road thru the mountains to the Coast

A Bacon Maple Doughnut, which was promptly sent to Anne Ritland Williams upon it's procurement. It effectively combines her number 1 and number 2 favorite foods.



Me eating a super juicy pluot. (Plum + Apricot) on the beach.





Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Galway. A long story. (But a good one).

In Galway, I stopped into a shop on my way down to the coast and was startled by this little kid mannequin. I always jump at things like this, if you know me at all.

This little androgynous thing seemed to want to tell me something. A silent plea if you will... "Please ma'am take me with you...

"Or else I'll end up like that headless kid over there! She just dropped her backpack right where it was!
"Sorry, Irish Cousin of Chucky. I have to leave you here. Keep your head on straight."

I took this day trip to Galway, Ireland because Heidi suggested I go there. So I went. I have to kinda force myself to travel alone because it's a little bit weird, but i always seem to like it once I do it. I'm not the best planner beacause I don't take the time to research. I figure if you plan too much and it doesn't work out, you can get dissapointed. So I often prefer to let the wind take me where it will go on days like this. I just like wandering and shopping and looking at beautiful stuff absorbing in culture and being surprised instead of scheduled.
...And meeting random awesome people. How did I take this picture ? Not some auto-timer. It was seemingly ordained, that I met a rockin' Canadian companion. A girl on my train was traveling alone through Ireland after being in the Ukraine with her mom and sister. She befriended me after I scarfed a sandwich while sitting on a bench in the pedestrian area of Galway. She remembered my red coat when she stood in line at the train station behind me. We happened to be headed to the same place down the coast so we journeyed together to check it out.

She is a small animal vet who grew up playing hockey with the boys (we clicked immediately) and she told me all about dog breeds to not get as a pet (Terriers on the top of the list of NO's). I told her all about threaputic protein drug manufacturing. She was actually interested because she was an end user of injectible drugs we help produce. It was a really nice walk with a new Canadian awesome nerd pal. Here last name is Matenchuk!! Is that not a great hockey last name?
On the way home on the train, I met the most ridiculously beautiful Italian family. Mom and Dad and 21 year old Alex. I am not gonna lie, he was yummy and he needed English lessons. I felt like that lady in "Eat Pray Love" as I tried not to make out with him infront of his parents.

His parents didn't speak any English at ALL and were trying to learn some from young, gorgeous Alex. So he had written some phrases in English on the page. "A Paint of Guiness" was my fave. We bonded through the shared experience of being completely annoyed by a little Irish-American girl who had to be mentally challenged, that was singing Italian opera while her headphones were in her ears while itermittently having loud conversations with strangers throughout the train. When she figured out that Alex was Italian, she pounced. Moved seats to play English/Italian charades. Painfully awkward. I shot knowing glances at the annoyed parents to hopefully let them know all Americans were not like this. She stuck her headphones in his ears and asked him to translate the opera she was singing, made him exchange phone numbers, and gave him an awkward I just met you good-bye hug from a train seat. I couldn't stop smiling. As she ran off the train she yelled out, begging her new friend to text her when he returned to Italy.
After she left, I found out thru my own lame attempts that Spanish is really not as close to Italiano as I would like it to be. Carla, the mom, and Salvatore, dad (are you kidding me?) live in a small villiage close to Austria in the Alps. Sigh. They ski every Sunday. No wonder they are both so tragically beautfiul. Carla was of course the epitome of Italian beauty and Salvatore is a cop. A "big high up important cop" is how Alex said it. Made me think that they were really in the mob. Then I remembered that it is impolite to ask what Europeans do. I'm on a need to know basis. After I found out that Alex didn't like skiing and his dad was in the mob, I went back to my book :)

A few more tidbits from the trip:

Another sight in the Galway Mall. This is the old city wall... they just attached a mall to it. Kudos, Galway.

What is "streaky bacon" anyway? Anne, Jesse? My resident bacon connesieurs? Anyone? After i posted this menu, I noticed the "Get Stuffed" sandwich. That is funny too. You can't make this stuff up.

I leave you free-radicals like me with the charge to GO! See pretty things and pretty people. See different things. Get off the couch! GO. (Or get out of the hotel bed! Whatever the case may be!).


Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Second Video Blog Ever.

I deleted the first video blog ever. This one was taken at a driving range in Galway, Ireland.

For my dad mostly...

video

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Things that made me chuckle


The folks I have been hanging around in Ireland have been the source of delicious quotable fodder.
Lindsey: "So I bet driving in the US was a bit of an adjustment, being on the right and all."
Cabbie#1: "Yer f#*$'in right it was an adjustment... they don letcha drive on the bloody left!"

Cabbie #2 trying to find an out-of-the-way restaurant...calls his dispatcher for more information and when he finds the restaurant location, she tells him about his next pickup. A woman needed a larger cab, like his, but only because she had a big black bag.
Cabbie #2: "A big black bag? I hope she hasn't chopped up 'er husband* in dere!"

(Husband pronounced...Hooose-band....and Cabbie#2 was named Patrick Murphy).

Scottish client has also been a priceless example of the grasp of the language.
Scottish client to a waitress: "Didja sue 'em?"
Waitress: "Excuse me?"
Scottish client: "Didja SUE 'em?"
Waitress: "Sue who?"
Scottish client: "The Charm School you went to"

Dublin Airline Security attendant: "Do you have any liquids or Umbrellas in there?"
Me: "No." He couldn't have just said 'umbrella' he must have said something else.
Second Dublin Airline Security person: "Is this your bag? Do you have an Umbrella in here?"
Me: "I THOUGHT that's what he asked me...." I did have one. A very menacing blue one about five inches tall.

A letter I'd like to write to the airline security personnel... if you ask us to declare different things at every stinkin checkpoint world-wide, you cannot get mad at us if we do not know that shoes are supposed to go directly on the belt or that I need to declare my umbrellas up front.
An English co-worker brought an interesting statistic to my attention: "One in every three Amercians weighs more than the other two."

I decided to come back with "Oh yeah? Two in every three Englishmen are drunker than the other one"

Not sure if either are true... but they are both funny.

Golfing Buddy: "Lindsey, you are up the arse of every tree on the course."

That was very much true.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Playa of the Month!

http://www.longdrivers.com/ldaplayer.php

Yay Dusty!!

He does the best when I am not there to watch!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Book of Lindsey's Head

This was me sitting on the lawn outside Trinity College Library where the Book of Kells is on display. It was right up my geeky-bible/love-of-turquoise alley. Go ahead and click on the links and stare slack-jawed and buggy-eyed, like I did.
I had a pilgrimage-y sort of day. It all seemed holy, from the too loud clicking of my boots through the quiet wooden halls as I drank in the books produced by a monastic lifestyle to the stuffy and grand Trinity Library upstairs to the schmaltzy gift shop below which was more hustly and bustly and alive than either of the the solemn halls.

And then I bought stuff.

I sat on the edge of a restricted lush green fairway-like lawn on the campus and wondered why they planted this beautiful perfect grass if we cannot walk on it? It turned my brain back to the monks. Were they doing what they were made for, really? Was a quiet and solemn life what God intended for these bodies? Did they feel cheated? Would I? Is what they gave the world...this book...these writings, was it the plan all along? I can look at this beautiful book all day, through an inch of glass, but i cannot flip through the pages, I cannot read Latin, and I do not think I know Jesus any more or less. Perhaps the knowledge that these people believed as strongly as they did to direct their whole lives and beings and purpose to Jesus is a great historical comfort to me.

I concluded that the monastic grass was rather appropriate here in this place, but I think I'd rather be playing golf on it. Leaving chunky wet divot-scars all over the ground while playing. Living life loudly.

And then I went all Brian Fellows on that bird. "Who does dat bird think he is? Why is he mocking me? White bird, can't you read? Brian Fellows will NOT be mocked, Bird! I'm Brian Fellows!" That bright green tree struck me. Because the rest of campus looks like Gotham City. Like this:
I got up and wandered around the city, afraid that if I got hit by a cab like that Just Jack song, that no one would know that today was a good day. Walking by myself in a large European city always makes me wary of my own funeral and of pick pockets. I eye every person with deep distrust and I try not to present my backpack zippers to anyone. It's a little different when you are not by yourself, I think. You do not seem such an easy target. Regardless no one did pick my pocket. I stuffed my money in my jeans where I can barely get my hand in there myself to fish out money. Other than that, Ireland is kinda like being at your cousin's house. A little different but still feels connected and homey.

Dinner for one. Dessert for me. Book suggested by Wayne. (THANK YOU, WAYNE!)

More on Golf to come. Yarp.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Best Thing Ever

I know it's an over used phrase. Very few things fall in the "ever" catergory. But trust that my words are true in this case.

So amazing was this thing, that I have fears that the high point of my life has now passed me. I always like to think that the best in life is ahead, but I do not know if I will be able to replicate the awesomeness that happened to me just two weeks ago.

I had just come down with a nasty sinus head cold, the very day I was to leave Ireland and come home. I was not looking forward to this voyage. Altitude plus stopped up brain sometimes equals holes in eardrums. (Right Deb?)

So sadly, I head to the airport praying fervently that this journey would be as painless and fast as possible.

I have platinum status on American Airlines, thanks to the good people at Novartis. This means that I SHOULD have gotten in the short line when checking in on my long flight, but I was steered to the wrong line of cattle and had to wait for ages, and ages and ages. Finally, my underweight bags were checked and I was on my way. A blessedly short security line later, I was meandering around the duty free shops and the little trinket stores waiting for my flight to board. My aforementioned Platinum status has been so boss, I get on the plane earlier, and I now have my pick of the exit rows on the long flights. Oh it's nice. But I had no clue what happiness was in store for me when I wandered up to the line to board.

I walking into the line and the nice lady at the boarding podium (which happened to be the same woman who informed me that I stood in the wrong line earlier) stopped me. Said "OH come with me" I didn't have a clue what was up. She hadn't scanned my ticket either, so how did she know something was up? Was she waiting for my name? Did they find something contraband in my luggage?

Then she wrote a new number on my boarding pass in beautiful blue ink. "You are now 4G. You have been upgraded."

Wha--? Double Take.

Wha--, Wha--?

What does that mean? I wonder as I skip down the jet way to my Trans-Atlantic First Class seat...head still full of fluids.

It means the best flying experience I have ever had. It means orange juice and champange before takeoff. It means crossing my legs freely. (WHAT?) It means noise-cancelling headphones, it means flight attendants who are so nice to you, you want to get up and let THEM sit down in your seat. It meant a little shoe-holder bag...with extra socks in it. A bag of toiletries including fresh-tingly hand lotion, and a moist towelette, toothpaste and toothbrush, a comb and an EYEMASK. It meant parmesean-encrusted salmon with wild rice and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies served on a TABLE CLOTH? It meant my own personal entertainment center. It meant a seat that nearly reclinded to horizontal with zero impact on passengers around you. It means an automated extentable foot rest. It meant big fluffy pillow and a giant gray comforter! Those tiny blankets that make you choose which part of your body is to freeze were a thing of the past. None of these napkin-sized red felt fuzz-generator snuggies. NO SIR.

I nearly cried when I saw the leg room. Almost bawled. My poor, giant, unflexible, poorly-circulated restless legs and my tired swollen aching monster feet have been crushed, crammed, reclined into, rolled over, and inadvertantly mistaken for under the seat luggage.

Tears of joy would have come streaming down my cheeks except my head cold was having none of that. I just kept thanking whoever would hear me. As each wonderment was revealed I kept thinking...I am not worthy. And there SO is a GOD. A God who spoke my love language so ravenously. What more could I want? I am certain I am a much larger percentage less likey to get blood clots from poor circulation. So much more rested with the white noise of the engines cancelled out. And there are SO many buttons on the seat controller! And a vast array of boozes for the chooses. (I declined, since i'm all about hydration when travelling.)

This. Is. The. Way. To. Fly.

Just ask Garth Brook's Manager. I sat by him on the flight, he helped me with the buttons. Yeah.. .he was born in St. Louis. He's kind of a big deal.

"I'm in the music/entertainment business... I'm well.. maybe you've heard... I'm Garth Brooks Manager"

[Gaping Mouth] "Yeah, I've heard of him." I was cool for about twenty minutes before I finally blurted this out:

"You tell Garth I won a walkman karaoke contest singin' 'Friends in Low Places'. You tell him Lindsey in St. Louis says 'Thankyou very much'."

Wasn't I JUST SAYING that Garth Brooks is the greatest American Songwriter of ALL TIME?

I was. Look it up. Two or three posts ago.

Super.
Boom.

It's all downhill from here, folks.

I'm pretty sure.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Look out, World's Fair!

New Irish Golfer Friend:  "Lindsey, is it?"
Lindsey:  "Yes."
NIGF:  "Ah, lovely.  Where in the states are you from?"
Lindsey: "St. Louis, Missouri"
HIGF:  "Oh, like the 'Sex and the City', right?"
Lilndsey:  "No. Um.. I think that is New York"
NIGF:  "No no... you know the girl...from St. Louie?"
Lindsey:  Lightbulb turning on.  "OH yeah!... her Assistant LOUISE, who is from St. Louis, yes, yes, that is right."
 
Who knew that the Sex in the City movie has put St. Louis on the international map again?
 
 

Thursday, July 23, 2009

10 Things I learned in Ireland.

Story of the picture below. I took a picture of this window because first time Jack and I passed by this particular box window, which is about four stories above a busy intersection, there was a little boy about 9 or 10 standing in this window buck naked. He was drumming his chest and just staring out ...presenting himself to the world. Jack said all the kid needed was a bow and arrow to be a cherub or something. It was so very strange. Cool little video about barrel making on the Guiness tour. Hazing for barrel makers included being shoved into one of these barrels filled with poo and getting rolled down the street. That is how they knew they were worthy to be 'one' of the gang.








I like to track things that are quirky about cultures because they interest me. I do this often. See here, here, and here. Here we go.

1. Crosswalks are deadly. In Switzerland, the pedestrian, and even moreso, the cyclist were king. In Ireland, you better look the other other way. You can't see the drivers menacing "i'm gonna nail you" glare because you aren't looking for it in that side of the car window.

2. Pudding, I think, means sausage. Hmm.

3. In the grocery stores, the ones in shopping malls, they charge you for plastic bags and discourage the use of plastic bags entirely. This may be a good idea. Jack had a better idea, he stole the produce bags in the back of the store and stuff them in his pockets. That's why they pay him the big bucks.

4. The weather man in Ireland has the easiest gig ever. "Cloudy with a chance of rain...everyday. It will be either 64 or 65 degrees today... we are all on pins and needles."
5. At an Indian restaurant I got a Diet Coke with a mint sprig in it. Lovely.
6. Even the toilet water in Ireland is Green.
7. No offense to the Irish at all, they have been very warm and kind people, but I think people in places take on the identity of the weather where they live... that kinda makes sense. The Swiss were Cold, the Irish are kinda dreary yet mild (see note 4), the people from St. Louis are one extreme after another.
8. Ireland is pretty far north. Read: in July, sun streams in at 5 am, and until 10:20pm (i timed it).
9. Guiness apparently tastes better in Ireland because the Irish are the only ones who know how to serve it. They CIP the pipes regularly, so that the stout doesn't sour. I think Guiness is still horrid, but it is now bearable with the tip that a shot of black currant can sweeten it right up.

10 This has nothing to do with Ireland. I just learned a useful tip...drink bitter beers with the bitter part of your toungue. Sweet Sippin' Sally over here coulda used that information years ago. It makes all the difference in the world to throw it to the back of the throat, avoiding the sweet area of the tongue. It does help choke down a guiness. Wish I had that information when 17 natives were watching me drink my first pint.