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...

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!

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.


It's all downhill from here, folks.

I'm pretty sure.