Thursday, June 30, 2011

Home for a visit

I'm headed stateside again this Saturday and I'm super excited.  I'm hoping for some really HOT sunshine and keeping my fingers crossed for no rain.  Please God, no rain...I can't take anymore rain.  I'm hoping to return to a few favorite summer hot spots.  Including the wave pool where I will go down these slides even though they give me supreme wedgies.
Then, I will dine on what can only be described as heaven...Taco Bell and their Nacho Bell Grande.  Yo Quiero Taco Bell.

Then, I'll chase it with some cool Iced Tea.

And, hopefully, I'll make it up to the lake.

Before eating some Pizza Hut.

Then, before I come home I'll have to call the airline and purchase another seat since I will probably eat so much my ass will expand.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Oh Happy Day

Last week I placed an order with American Soda for some American food I'd been missing.  Some of it I didn't even know I was missing until I saw it there on the website...calling to me...making my taste buds remember how scrumptious they are.

Rewind about four months ago, and imagine me shopping at Walmart for groceries...half of the crap I ordered from American Soda I wouldn't have picked up and put in my shopping cart, but now, for some reason, I just couldn't last another day on this earth without them...go figure.

Here is a photo of my order.
Since it isn't a super clear photograph, here is a list of the heavenly goods delivered to my door today:

 Kosher dill pickles, Mott's applesauce, Nestle Toll House chocolate chips, Mug root beer, Life Savers Gummy Savers, Hershey's chocolate syrup, Hershey's kisses, Crisco shortening, Aunt Jemima corn bread mix, Kraft macaroni and cheese and the cherry on top was the box of Lucky Charms!

The macaroni and cheese, a couple of cans of root beer and gummy savers have already disappeared.  Um, I'm not quite sure what happened to them. I think maybe they accidentally fell into the garbage.  Yes, the garbage.  That's what it was...I most certainly didn't sit down and eat and drink them all at once as if I'd been a starving that's not what happened at all.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Will you wash my clothes?

I'm a slave to dirty clothes. It seems I spend the majority of the week either washing clothes, pulling clothes out of the washer to dry (oh how I miss a tumble dryer) or folding clothes and putting them away. Dear God. It is only me and Barry here...I can't imagine when we have kids. I won't have time to eat for the laundry then!

Of course, I know the biggest part of the problem with the monstrous amount of laundry is my constant Zumba-ing. Because, well, I sweat like a whore in church when I'm teaching Zumba...and, I have about nine classes a week now...all of which require a change of clothes.

So, I'm sick of laundry. This week, instead of doing the laundry I said, "screw it." I was going to wait as long as possible before tackling the beast. And I did...I waited. I waited over a week before doing a load of laundry. Then, yesterday arrived and it had been one week and a day since I washed clothes. I was feeling quite proud of myself even though there was no room in the hamper for anymore articles of clothing...what was in there had already piled out of the side and onto the bathroom floor. But, I didn't care...I was proud...that was until I walked into the bathroom yesterday morning and noticed the hamper was missing. I looked around the bathroom confused. I knew I certainly didn't move it. I wandered around the apartment looking for the pile of stinky clothes and there it was...sitting in the kitchen in front of the washer (the washers are usually in the kitchens here for my American friends)! Gasp! "What the...?" I muttered.

Right on cue, Barry popped upstairs from the shop. He was whistling. "Um, is this your subtle way of telling me to do the laundry?" I ask in a sarcastic tone.

"Here we go...I knew this was goin' to turn in ti a whole handlin'." He returns the sarcasm.

"Well, it must moved it from the bathroom to the kitchen." Of course, I know these clothes need to be washed...I know I've been a lazy laundry doer. And, since Barry doesn't really have time to do it working seven days a week I've usually just done it...but jeez...make it stop sometime, seriously.

"Naw! I was jist bein' nice. It was heavy and I didn't want ye ti have ti carry it up the stairs here." I believe him. "Believe me," he continues, "if ye wanna have a contest ti see who could go the longest without clean clothes I'm all fir it. I have more than enough to last me. I don't care if ye do a wash or not, sure."

And, I know he's right. I need my clean clothes so I can put them on to go and get all sweaty again, so I don't take him up on the contest. Instead, I washed clothes, dammit. And, Friday night...they are still being washed and dried.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Take That take this

Take That at Croke Park, Dublin.  June 2011.

This weekend, even though I felt as if I was at death's door with a stomach virus, I ventured down to Dublin to see the band, Take That.  A lot of Americans wouldn't know this group very well, so for you guys, it's the group that Robbie Williams got his start in.   Opening for Take That was the Pet Shop Boys.  When I figured out the Pet Shop Boys were going to be there, I was excited since I remember I used to really like the Pet Shop Boys and their songs like West End Girls and What Have I Done To Deserve This.  Of course, in comparison, Take That blew the Pet Shop Boys out of the water.  Anyway, since this has the potential to be a lengthy post, I'm going to do a list of the highlights and lowlights of the weekend, some of which are not entirely Dublin or concert related.  As tradition goes...we'll do lowlights first. Here goes.


  • The lack of cable in the hotel.
  • The general expensiveness of Dublin...seriously?  20 Euro for breakfast?
  • Being molested by the Greek gentlemen at a club, before I kindly told him to stop F&$£^&@ touching me!  Yes, I used those exact words, which only seemed to encourage him to keep rubbing on me.  He eventually left. 
  • Finding out that Barry had trapped one of our cats inside our sofa bed while I was away.  Yes, he's alright. I still think he's trying to kill them, if you remember this post.
  • Watching a girl puke up what could only be described as chunky pink pate right in front of me and nearly on my feet. 
  • The two lady lovers who decided to block our view of the concert with their own version of So You Think You Can Dance? and a little kissin' and a gropin'.

  • The Mexican salad I had for dinner Saturday night at Elephants and Castle right down from Temple Bar.
  • Being told by a drunken bar patron at Temple Bar once he heard we were going to see Take That that he had something better than Take was called Take This (as he motions towards his crotch of course).
  • The comfy beds at the hotel.
  • The good weather.
  • Seeing a taxi man run over a keg of beer in the middle of a street.  Yes, a keg of beer in the middle of the street.
  • Seeing the aforementioned lady lovers being scolded by security for blocking the view of other concert goers.
  • The fact that the aforementioned puking girl was not me.
  • Being at Croke Park, which holds 80,000 people.  And, it was sold out, folks.  
Now, enjoy some music.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Since I will be in Dublin this weekend for Father's Day, I won't have time to post this then, so I'm doing it now.  This weekend, I'm going to see Take That and do my best to remember their one song that was popular in the U.S., which I think I really liked I remember.  Back for Good it was called.  Nice wee tune.

Anyway, this post is for my Dad  since it is Father's Day on Sunday, June 18th.  So, Happy Father's Day, Da (that's how we say it here in Ireland).

There we are at my first book signing this past January.
Here we are at my wedding.

And of course, I couldn't forget my grandfather who passed away in February 2008.  That's him down below there.

Unfortunately, this is the only photograph I have on my computer of him.  That's him there in the middle.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A future Mr. and Mrs.

I received a phone call last week at approximately 3am.  Normally, a phone call in the middle of the night would scare the freakin' bejaysus outta me, but since my friends and family are living five hours behind me (which technically means that I live in the future), I wasn't too extremely startled.  I run to answer the phone.  It's my best friend Kimberly.  She starts with a quick, "I'm engaged!"  I wasn't too surprised by the statement as we've all (including her) been expecting it.  Of course, I was very happy for her and her fella (he's a good un).  

Now, this means, I get to be in a wedding.  I haven't been in a wedding (not including my own) since I was a two time five year old flower girl (which by the way, I rocked that role).  So, here's to the happy couple.  I'm going to post a picture of them even though I know the bride-to-be will not be super thrilled about it, but hey, its on here and once its on here I can't delete it.  Um, its not possible :)

I should have been a graphic artist.  Look at the talent in that photo there...the immaculate detail of the veil and top hat?  See it?  No?  Just me?  

Anyway, in other news.  It snowed in parts of Ireland today.  WTF?  So not fair, especially since I'm hearing from everyone back in West by God Virginia that it is sooooooo hot and humid.  I would love some hot and humid right now.  That is all. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I feel like a sixteen year old again

But, not in a good way. Its amazing how moving to a new country can cause you to backtrack in age.  Let me explain.

Before I moved to Derry, I, of course, had a driver's license and a car and I had these things for a long time...about 16 years.  I also had a bank account with MY name on it and a debit card I could use anytime I wanted.  I was very independent.

Now, not so much.  I have no car OR driver's license here.  Which means I walk or take a taxi most places, which is fine.  But, oh how I miss driving a car with the music blaring and the sun shining in the summer time!
But, the kicker is, for me to be able to drive here, I have to RELEARN all the rules of the road and get lessons and take the test!  But, I already did this!  I did this when I was 16 years old!  Don't make me do it again!  Of course, if I had to do it again in the U.S., I wonder if I could pass again.  The only reason I passed the first time was because the guy giving me the exam had the same last name as me.  But, I mean, I wasn't a bad driver or anything (shut up Barry).

And, let me get started on the whole bank account thing.  Wow, the hoops I had to jump through to open a bank account were shocking!  I have to have my identification and proof of residence here like some sort of bill or invoice in my name.  I have my i.d., but no bill or invoice in my name.  I tried to get it worked out!  But, to get the electric bill or even my cell phone bill in my name they need two forms of i.d., one of which needs to be some type of bill!  Seriously?  I was going in circles. I finally found a way to work it out, but it took quite a long while. 

 Plus, I have no credit here. All the credit I've built in the U.S. doesn't transfer here.  I couldn't even get a cell phone in my own name because I have no background here.  Hmm...if I would have known that before I left the States, I could have went to town charging and not paying credit cards...hehe.  No, just kidding. Although, I coulda showed those credit cards who was boss!

So all the headache without the beauty of a sixteen year old. I certainly don't have the skin of a 16 year old!  Nope, my laugh lines are much more defined now.  And, what the hell happened to the pores on my face?  Wait, is that a skintag on my neck?  Where did that black hair come from?  When did that gray hair come in? No, my body is definitely not sixteen again, dammit.

So, anyway.  I wouldn't mind too awful much being 16 again, if it were the good parts of being know, like the, or the um....well.  Oh, I the foo..., no the hom... Wait, what are the good parts to being 16? It seems I can't really think of any.

Oh, I know!  A sweet sixteen party!  That is a good part!  I wonder if I could talk Barry in to throwing me a sweet sixteen party?  I'll work on that.  Look for it on MTV 'cause it'll be a bangin' super sweet sixteen!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The time Barry almost killed Charlie

Barry and I were sitting this evening talking about the first time he ever hung out around my cats.  Barry never really was a cat person, well, until he met my two lovelies, Charlie and Fox. I still don't think he's a cat person...he's just a Charlie and Fox person.  I have to say, he actually really likes my two cats and they like him.  But, this wasn't always the case.  Especially the time he tried to kill Charlie.

So, as Charlie curled up between us on the sofa, we reminisced about the first time he came to America to visit me and to meet my fur children for the first time. Let me take you back.  Picture it. Dunbar, West Virginia, about three years ago...

I was in my bedroom getting dressed.  We were getting ready to leave my fourth floor Three's Company style, cookie cutter apartment in the Roxalana Hills complex to meet a couple of my friends for dinner.  We were going to Hooter's.  Not my first choice mind you, but Barry had never been, so my friends and I agreed to go for his sake.  I think he was a bit disappointed, as he should have been...after all, they were West Virginia hooters, not South Beach hooters.  Anyway, I'm getting off track.

Back to getting dressed. As I was teasing my hair (just a little, not Peg Bundy style), Barry walked down the hallway and appeared in the doorway.  "Now, don't panic, but we have a situation here.  Can ye come here?" He says.  Since he was so calm and told me not to panic, the first thing I did was panic and nearly hyperventilate (when someone tells you not to panic the FIRST thing you always do is panic, right?).  I follow him down the hallway while freaking out, my hands covering my mouth and nose (the universal freak out sign).
Mrs. Shoe Salesman Al Bundy

Barry turns to face me.  "Stop it.  Calm down will ye.  Yer not going ti help the situation."  I stare at him and try to calm myself.  I have no idea what this so-called "situation" is, but I know its not good.  It couldn't be judging by the look on his face.

We make it to the living room where I notice the sliding glass door that leads to my balcony is open.  I find this strange as I would never leave that door open.  I have two cats that have never been outside and I live on the fourth floor.  If one of them were to get out on the balcony, they would fall to their death.  My eyes immediately lock in on what the "situation" is (and no, its not that Jersey Shore douchebag, either): My Charlie is on the balcony and he's on the edge of the balcony!  Holy shit!  Not only is he on the edge of the balcony, he's partly hanging off the balcony!  His two front paws extended down past the ledge.  Luckily, his slightly overweight lower body was still on the balcony.

The aforementioned douche bag.
"OH MY GOD!" I scream over and over.  I can't catch my breath as I pace the floor in a fit all while mumbling things (I tend to pace when I'm freaking out).  I can't remember what things they were but I'm sure they made no sense...I'm pretty sure I was speaking in Tongues at one point. I didn't know what to do.  If I ran out there and tried to grab him there was a chance I would scare him and he would fall off the balcony.  Suddenly, I realized what I had to do. It all made perfect sense.

I ran out of my apartment, halfway dressed mind you, and down the stairs until I made it the bottom.  I rushed out the back door of the building and out into the common yard area.  I looked up and spotted my balcony and my poor baby hanging off the side.  I was going to catch him!  If he fell, I'd be there arms stretched ready to snap him up and save him.  What else could I do?  Hey, it made sense at the time.  I hadn't considered how heavy a sixteen pound cat plummeting from four stories up would have been.  He would have probably broken my arms.  I waited for him to fall and tried to line myself up perfectly with where I thought he would fall.  I thought about wind speed and direction.  Thinking if I stood slightly to the left of where he was dangling then he would fall right into my arms.  I had no idea how I came to that conclusion, but that's how it was.

Suddenly, I noticed Barry had appeared on the balcony.  He was on his hands and knees, slowly approaching Charlie...speaking very softly to him.  This is it, he's going to jump, I thought.  Then in one swift movement, Barry reached over and scooped Charlie up in his arms and they both disappeared inside the apartment.  The incident was over.

I ran back upstairs and flew through the front door, I picked Charlie up and of course showered him with kisses.  I tried to find out what happened, but Barry said it happened so fast he couldn't recall really (uh huh).  He said that he was outside smoking (which he quit about a year and a half ago by the way...very good!) and when he opened the door to come back in, Charlie had darted out.  First of all, I find this a little odd, since Charlie hasn't darted anywhere in a very long time.  It didn't matter, though.  At the moment, Charlie was safe and sound, although I did keep an eye on Charlie and Barry for the rest of his visit...I was a little suspect he tried to kill Charlie in a fit of jealous rage :).  Now, since this post is a little long, I won't go into the time he almost killed my other cat, Fox, just days before our wedding in September.  I'll save that story for another time.  Luckily, as you can see, Charlie is back to doing what he does best...just chillaxin'.
This photo was not doctored.  For reals.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Le mew, le purrrrrrrrr

Holy Moses!  I have no idea what he's saying, but I hope he keeps saying it just like that.  Don't worry, Bradley Cooper (along with Vince Vaughan and of course Brad Pitt) is on "my list," so Barry is A-okay with it.  You know what list I'm talking about, right?  The marital list of freebies a.k.a. celebrities we are allowed to ummm..."hang" with and it is okay. I'm not alone here...Bradley also happens to make the cut over at Narragansett No. 7. although, I've not watched the video quite as much as she has. Barry has a list, too.  Rihanna is on his.

Take a look at Bradley Cooper speaking fluent if he needed to be any hotter?  Hey Mr. Frenchy French...I've got a response for you:  Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?  Hehe. (I'm just kidding Mom...:)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shape of this

Funny story. 

After teaching a Zumba class, I'm covered in sweat.  I don't  mean just tiny little beads of sweat gently trickling down my face...oh no.  I mean, I look like I just jumped into a swimming pool kind of sweat.  Not one piece of me is dry.  Here's a photo to give you an idea...well kind of...I look slightly more human than this, but just to make the story a little more dramatic.

So anyway, since we don't have a car here, I have to walk home after class.  Its not far, maybe a 6 or 7 minute walk, but when you're soaking wet, it doesn't make for a lovely stroll. I know I look ridiculous, but I always just hope that when people pass me while walking they assume I've just finished exercise (which is true) and that I don't always look like that (which I don't) and move on.  I think that is usually the case...until this past Thursday. 

You see, I finished my morning Zumba class on Thursday and began my walk home.  It was a beautiful, perfect and warm day here in Derry, so there were a lot more people out and about than usual.  As I was walking, I saw these two girls, approximately in their mid-twenties ahead of me.  They were dressed beautifully...perfect makeup, jewelry and clothes and they were coming towards me.

As we got closer, I saw them looking at me. One of them leaned over to the other and said, "Look at the shape of this."  Of course, they were talking about me and post-Zumba wet look.  I wanted to say something snarky in response, but I didn't I just kept walking and laughed quietly to myself.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't offended.  I knew the shape of me was quite disastrous looking.  In fact, I was quite amused.  Amused because I probably would have said the same thing and I probably have said the same thing.  I know I certainly have been around when Barry points out the state of people.  I've heard him say, "Look at the shape of this," several times. And, usually when he does, I turn around to see what poor soul is coming towards us and believe me...the shape of them isn't good.  The difference is that Barry and I would have waited until we were out of the badly "shaped" person's hearing before saying anything.  That's what amused me about the incident the other day.  Perhaps the lovely girls thought I didn't speak English, or perhaps they thought I was deaf.  Anyway, doesn't matter.  It gave me a funny story to tell Barry once I got home...and after I showered, of course. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dry wet clothes

Last night I put a load of laundry in the washer, but I didn't start the machine.  I decided to wait until the morning to start it so I could add a few more items.  I went to bed.  When I woke up this morning, I noticed that all the clothes that I put in the machine the night before were now lying on the drying rack.  They appeared to have been washed.  I was pleased!  My first thought was "how sweet, Barry started the washer AND hung the clothes up to dry before work!"  

Excited about Barry's thoughtfulness, I took a shower while humming a happy tune (not really, but we'll pretend I live in a Disney movie for the moment.  Yes, we'll go with that, and the tune I was humming was Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Da).  In between my rinse and repeat cycle, I realized that Barry couldn't have had time to do the laundry before work.  First of all, a wash cycle takes about an hour and he wouldn't have been out of bed long enough before work to start one, wait for it to finish and then take them all out.  Second of all, the washer is so loud, I would have heard it running.  Then, it came to me.  Barry thought the load in the washer had already been washed when in fact it hadn't.  He was certainly being helpful, he just didn't realize he was taking dirty, smelly clothes out of the washer.  He thought they were clean (we won't mention how dry the clothes were since that certainly should have been a hint they hadn't been washed yet.  We'll just say it was really early in the morning so anyone would have missed that, right?  I mean, not everyone's freshly washed clothes come out of the washer wet, right?  No?).

Anywho, after I realized what happened, I called Barry.

Me:  Aww, baby, you washed the laundry today?
Barry: Aye.  Uh, well, I took the clothes out of the washer ti dry.
Me:  Um, well, those clothes were dirty.  I didn't wash them yet.
Barry: (Silence) Yer jokin', right?
Me:  Um, no.  They were dirty.
Barry:  Awk, jeez, I was tryin' ti be helpful.  Ye f&*%"^ serious?
Me:  Um, yeah.  They were dirty.  Did you not notice how dry they were?
Barry: Aye, I thought they were really dry, I just thought they dried that fast overnight.
Me: (Can't stop laughing as I hang up the phone to put the clothes back in the washer.)

Bless his little Irish heart...he was being helpful. It's all good now though...the clothes have been washed properly and they came out of the washer wet, too.