Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The Jellybean of Death is my car.
Its a 96 Opel Corsa. I think they are made by GM. Either way its definitely a crappy little car.
Don't get my wrong, it does its job. I get from point A to point B, but not without its own share of issues.
First and foremost- It has NO AIRBAGS. Hello?? Didn't they know how important airbags were in 1996. seriously. I would HATE to get into a fender bender in this car much less anything else. Also it has no power steering. Parking this car takes some serious arm strength. I think my biceps are definitely a lot stronger than they were 4 months ago!
I bought my car off a friend of mine for 400 euro. He had bought himself a new car and sold it to me cheaply. I think it used to be cherry red, now its more dark pink. As you can see the steering wheel is on the passenger side of the car. I'm mostly used to that by now. There are still times though that all the years of driving on the left takes over.
For instance I was leaving a friends house late the other night- it was freezing outside so I ran and jumped into my car and put on my seat belt. I go to start the car and realize I'm sitting on the passenger side of the car. HAH. I then jumped out and prayed that no one noticed and hopped in the right side of the car.
Also driving on the roads here- it has made me a better driver. Some of these roads are insanely small and curvy and people FLY down them.
This is NOT a driveway people. This is a proper road. I took this picture driving down to my friends house. Its a two way road. When someone else comes along the other way its a game of chicken. Who will pull over first? Now not all of the road outside of the cities are this small, but its not much bigger. Huge difference than to the states. Even in some of the cities the roads are impossible. Like cork-
I don't know who took this picture- but its the city center in cork and its one of the larger roads in Cork. Its a very old city and the way it was built the roads can't be made any wider. Most of the time only one car at a time can fit down the street so that means that the cars in the other direction have to pull on the sidewalk in between parked cars so traffic can get through. Talk about a tight squeeze. I was freaking out in the passenger seat. My poor friend Aoife.
End of story is that while I'm thankful for my car I can't wait for the day that I can afford something a little newer and nicer. and with some safety features. But its kind of fun having a clunker again, it adds to that whole starting over in a new country experience.
We are finally getting a Thaw here in Ireland. After nearly a month of record low temperatures the weather is actually warm enough to go outside without freezing your eyelids open. Unfortunately most everyone still has no water due to busted water pipes (not us though hehehe).
So my landlords son was just over- he actually owns the house we live in. (he got run over by a truck or something and got a ton of insurance money) And I was not expecting him to be so young, like my age. or so cute. I don't think James likes that either haha. (like I would ever even entertain the thought now people!)
So the banks here are closed for an entire week after Christmas. Does anyone else think that is F*%&$ing ridiculous. I do. Seriously an entire week??? People need to be able to have access to the bank. I think i wouldn't be so pissed if I could make deposits into the atms- here you can only withdrawal. Or the fact that I drove to BOTH of my banks today and they were both closed. seriously? an entire week? GRR. I also have a funny feeling the post office is doing the same thing. We haven't had any mail since the day before Christmas- we should have gotten junk mail at the very least. This country is damn ridiculous sometimes.
Christmas here was interesting. The entire holiday is completely centered around the Christmas dinner and drinking. no big surprises here. Christmas eve the pubs are PACKED full of people. Everyone else is going to all the shops that are still open and buying whatever they can like Armageddon is coming. Do you seriously need 10 packs of cigarettes for one day? no. People are insane. It also made working Christmas eve REALLY SUCK. Christmas was great though. Dinner was fantastic (they have really fancy Christmas dinners since its their only really big meal of the year- I'm talking several courses people!) and then the rest of the night was spent playing games, talking and of course, drinking. we drank until 6am. my liver was not my best friend the next day that's for sure. And the day after Christmas? that's also a holiday here- St. Stephan's day. I'm not sure what its all about, but I know people go drinking. that's pretty much all i know about it haha.
My husband did good for Christmas- minus the Danielle steel novel in my stocking. But you can't blame him for trying haha. I think some of my favorite things include:
And a paint by Number:This was such a great off the beaten path present for me. I usually get clothes or books or dvds, but I love this present. I have great memories of my sister and I sitting at the kitchen table across from each other doing paint by number of kittens or ponies or whatever we would do. I always enjoyed them. And it suits my type- A perfectionist personality to a T. I can be as obsessive as I want to be. and no one can do anything about it- nah nah nah nah na nah!
I'm hungry but nothing sounds good to me. Theres hummus in the fridge but I want wheat thins with them. They don't have wheat thins here. hurmph.
I had the strangest dream the other night- I kept on being tracked down by crazy I'm going to kill you random mafia guys. I got shot 16 times but i was still alive just playing possum. And then they left high fiving each other and I got up and turned into Bart Simpson to hid from these mafia men, but it just so happened that Bart was next on the hit list and so we were involved in a game of hide and seek in the middle of Paris.
Now that you all think I'm sufficiently crazy.
In Ireland they have TV tax. if they haven't found you yet, then you don't have to pay, but if they find you and find that you haven't been paying yet- you have to pay. The key to this game is avoidance. If you know the TV taxman is at the door you turn off the lights and don't answer the door. If they cant come in to check that you have a TV they can't tax you. We haven't been found out and some people haven't been found out in years. I'm sure it will happen, but until that day I'm happily ducking this tax. I think its ridiculous that we have to pay tax for channels that we don't even watch. (the TV tax supports RTE which is Ireland's version of BBC and is not all that great.)
Well I should probably root around in my kitchen to see if that is anything remotely worth cooking. what the hell am i spending all of my money in the grocery store on?
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Hubby and I just finished opening our presents and eating our breakfast cassarole (YUUMMMM) and now we are in a wrapping paper induced coma surrounded by the carnage of christmas.
And here is a little tidbit to make sure that your Christmas goes as smoothly as mine!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
In My Humble Opinion (or my ignorant judgements of what I think things should be like. Cause ya know We all know when we know best) Ramblings.
Now don't get me wrong, there are some relationships that need to end. There are some people that are just toxic together, some people are in abusive situations, some people are manipulative, etc. so forth and so on.
But there are some people who seem to have it all together, or to seem to have a lot of good things going on, but then they hit one molehill and call it quits. I hate to see that happen. Recently I had a friend who broke up with her partner. They had a child together and were living together and trying to make it work as a couple. She decided to end things with him since he never said I love you to her or the baby, he never really spent a lot of time with either of them. But there were no huge fights, there was no infidelity, none of the problems I would associate with a "deal breaker". It just seemed such a shame to me. It was not only the end of a relationship, but the breaking up of a family. I wondered why she couldn't have addressed the issue and tried to work it out together as a partnership instead of saying oh well- it was good while it lasted. Every couple goes through ups and downs, its the natural progression of a relationship. I felt very sad for her and for him and mostly for thier child.
Now don't get me wrong- i KNOW i sound presumptious. I KNOW that I will never understand exactly how my friend felt and what was going on inside of herself that made her decide that ending things was the best option. No one ever understands the inner workings of a relationship except those involved. At the same time though, I couldnt seem to help myself from thinking these thoughts. (or course I kept my opinion to myself since its none of my business and the only thing i can do as a friend is be supportive which I have been doing).
I feel like relationships are viewed as so much more fluid now than in the past. I'm not just talking about marriage here, I'm talking about long term relationships that people are invested in. I dont think that just because someone never got married that it doesn't mean that thier relationship can't be just as involved and mean the same. Or be as devastating when it ends.
I think a lot of this is a result of how the media portrays relationships in popular culture. Its cool to sleep around, its not worth sticking things out for the long run. People are supposed to put themselves first, take care of what thier needs require. While that is important sometimes sacrifice is more important. Thats why I get so annoyed when I see things end between people sometimes. Things aren't always easy, sometimes goodness and happiness require work on the part of both people. I just feel like i see so many people that don't want to put that work in, that don't want to sacrifice thier needs, youth, time, whatever.
Of course i know that I cant stereotype every relationship I come across. There are some that will never work. My parents are a great example. They were married for 22 years and they SHOULD have divorced long before they did. They were not good for each other and it was not good for my sister and I to have to go through thier explosive marriage. They are much happier, fulfilled people divorced than they ever were married. But with divorce rates hovering somewhere around 50% how many times is that the exception instead of the rule?
Anyways I'm getting off of my soapbox now but I wonder what you guys think out there in the blogosphere...have you seen relationships that should have never ended or do you think that there are way too many people that stick it out for the wrong reasons?
Its cold, really cold. Lucky me it just so happens to be one of the coldest winters, if not the coldest in Irish history. I mean, don't get me wrong- I know it gets a lot colder in other places, but MAN its cold. In Celsius it has been minus 15 and today it didn't get above minus 4. So in real temperatures its in the 20s and high teens. The thing is here in Ireland they aren't used to these temperatures. The houses aren't really insulated enough for them. Our new place has large rooms and only one radiator in each. So mainly the house stays fairly cold. We have barricaded ourselves in the living room/Kitchen and I have been stuck on the sofa like a barnacle on a ship.
James has been going through a lot of TV viewing phases. He hasn't had much or any work to do on his co-op and school isn't until the end of January. First over the summer it was Frasier, no complaints there. Then I got him hooked on Dog the Bounty Hunter. (Don't judge, its just trashy enough to enjoy and not irritate. and besides I LOVE watching this show with my grandma- she just cannot get over the size of Beths Tits.)
And they don't even look that large in that picture. I mean, whoa. She must not be able to sleep on her back. But I have to say I love Beth- she is just so....Beth. I get a kick out of her.
Anyways so we were on a Dog kick- I was pretty happy about that. Well it seems while I was at work James has been cheating on Dog with the Documentary channels. He discovered the crime network (it shows all those investigative reports that they show on cable in the states) and has since then been obsessed. I'm ok with watching these, but the problem is in the wee hours of the morning when I am trying to sleep I hear EVERY LITTLE NOISE. Every bump and creak and car alarm going off is a crazed killer who will burst into our bedroom any second to kill us and chop our bodies into little pieces, bury them in the backyard and build a patio over top of the shallow graves.
anyways so I haven't been sleeping so well as of late.
So you know that job I have? I HATE IT. but its a job and it pays the bills. but I hate it. and I hate so many people knowing who I am and I have no clue who they are. There aren't that many americans here in Limerick (Dublin is a completely different story) and so for many people I am the only american they see or interact with and it sticks in their minds. I hear back from friends about people they meet who know me as the American who works in the shop. Its kinda creepy. I've run into people on nights out on the town that come up to me and talk to me like they know me. It was really confusing at first, and still is unsettling to me most times. I just like to blend in- be a normal sized fish in a moderate sized pond ya know what i mean?
Important lesson learned this year- Go home for thanksgiving. It is a normal day here, no one mentions it. It sucked- I was so homesick for moms mashed potatoes and stuffing. Christmas is actually ok since its such a huge deal here. Its not really that different from back home. But no one here in Ireland even understands WHY we have Thanksgiving. They don't understand what a big deal it is or how important it is to americans. and you cant find canned pumpkin in this country if your life depended on it.
You need to check out this video.
Its by these two local Limerick guys called the rubberbandits. One of my good friends is a cousin to the skinny one called Blindboy. They started off doing prank phone calls years ago and then it moved to making music videos and doing local gigs. They are all about taking the piss out of Limerick and the Scumbags or Knackers that live here. They are playing as two scumbags and are talking with scumbag accents (yes these people DO sound like that and it is HILARIOUS. just try and not laugh when you hear them because they are liable to kick the shit out of you.)
Anyways every year in the UK and Ireland there is this huge competition for the number 1 song of the year, which usually the X-factor winner gets the spot. Last year Rage Against the Machine won. This year Ireland is trying to get this to the number one spot. It could happen, we all hope it happens. It would be great for Limerick. These guys have had more press in the past two weeks than the past 5 years that they have been kicking around Limerick.
And besides its pretty damn funny. and a little true.
I would also be really impressed if most people understand what they are saying. There is a lot of local slang and the accents are pretty thick. Irish accents are WAY different than the ones you hear on TV. Those only exist on TV.
I seem to be picking up some of the accent here. I promised myself this wouldn't happen- but despite all of my best efforts to say Y'all and other americanisms I am failing. I have a lot of people ask me where my accent is from and recently I have had a lot of genuine surprise from people that I am from the states. I have been asked if I am from south Africa, Australia, Canada and even Northern Ireland. Nope. I haven't even been to ANY of those places. Stupid accent.
I hope everyone has a great christmas. I'm excited for my first Irish christmas. I have a huge box under the tree with James name on it and it is driving him INSANE. I think that is one of my favorite part of christmas. The torture of what could be under that pretty paper. My sister can vouch for this- ive tortured her for years.
Oh yeah- and my mom sent me a christmas package. Full of american goodies- Mac and cheese and coffee creamer and peanut butter crackers. And peanut butter M&Ms. Ive already eaten half the bag and have a little bit of a sugar overdose. Good thing Christmas comes only once a year!
Monday, December 20, 2010
I blame this all on my husband.
no, actually I blame this on Ireland and thier lack of consistant internet company providers. No wireless for 10 weeks. And I hate my husbands keyboard. its all UK style with buttons in weird places and no $ signs. no thanks.
But it was nice to whine and moan at James about it since he is supposed to be mr. Computer.
anyways i have wireless again and will be blogging.
Like how we had the best 1 year anniversary ever.
My "Irish Style" Thanksgiving.
My Horrible little red car which I like to call the Jellybean of DEATH.
Our new home which is so amazing I never want to leave it.
Our amazing friends who came out in force to celebrate James birthday.
And Christmas. It hasnt even happened yet and I feel a little celebrated out. Minus the opening presents bit.
Its all coming soon friends- i promise no more procrastination. I think. I mean- I KNOW.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
In fact I would say I've had more changes in the past 12 months than some people do in a life time.
One year ago I was living in Virginia.
I was working a job I equally hated and loved. (and was DAMN good at)
I had all the comforts I wanted and needed, minus James of course.
One year ago today I turned everything upside down by marrying my best friend.
It was one of the best decisions I ever made. There wasn't even a second thought about marrying this man.
Even though marrying him has taken me so far away from home and everything I know and living overseas has been a million times harder than I ever thought it would be- I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Happy Anniversary James and heres to hoping the next 50 years are just as wonderful!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
His parents went to Madrid for the weekend and so we are staying at their house watching his little sister who is thirteen. She doesn't require much care since she pretty much can do everything on her own, but definitely someone needs to be here with her.
Its no problem staying here, don't mind it one bit (besides the fact that we just got our new cable and i really wanted to use it. haha i kid, i kid. kinda)
except after last night I'm a little grumpy.
You see, Jame's dad turned James' old room into his new office. His dad is a pack rat- saves everything and has kept every book ever. (His Dad is actually a well known poet in Limerick and does tons of events around town and its actually pretty cool) He installed all of these new bookshelves to stick all of these books on and the room is covered wall to wall in books. This is all fine and dandy, and the fact that we are staying in said office is fine as well. We have an air mattress and its no problem for us.
Well last night we go upstairs to go to bed and the air mattress? flat. might as well have been lying on the floor. It just so happens to be the kind of air mattress that has to be blown up in a car. why would someone buy an air mattress that can only be blown up in the car? not sure, but irritated by it. So we took a duvet and laid it on top of the air mattress, some cushion from the wood floor. Fine, thats fine I can deal with that.
So then a few hours later around 5:45 in the morning while we are fast asleep, one of the book shelves that was hanging on the wall CHOCK FULL of books decided to fall off of said wall. It was so loud and so scary I sat right up out of a deep sleep and screamed! This I was not so happy with. We got up and cleaned up the mess (thankfully nothing was truly damaged) and went back to our floor...i mean, bed.
Then- the dogs started barking. I'm sure they heard the noise and thought something was awry or whatever dogs may think. Regardless- the dogs wouldn't. stop. barking. James sister forgot to put them up last night. I couldn't take the barking and I felt bad for the neighbors. James got up and said that he might as well stay up since sleeping seemed moot at this point.
I on the other other hand laid back down and tried to find the most squishy part of the floor. (while trying NOT to think of all the other book shelves hanging on the walls in the room....like the one over my head. eep.) A few hours later I got up and found poor james asleep on the couch in the living room. Now im sitting next to him while he is passed out like a corpse. I feel like I've been beaten with a baseball bat. We are definitely the wonder couple I'm telling you.
Now I'm off to go buy a new air mattress- you know, the kind with a pump?
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
James and I went to a fancy dress party a couple of weeks ago for our friends birthday. The theme was the 90's. All of the best pop culture icons from the decade. There were quite a few that I wasn't aware of since they were really popular over here and never made it to the states- like Boyzone, Take That, E 17, a few others that I cant even remember, or care to haha.
There were a few that we all know of course....
The spice girls!Marge Simpson and Madonna
...and a penguin. You couldn't see but Madonna had the gold bodysuit with the pointy boobs and all- it was fantastic!
There was Sinead O' Conner in all her glory....
He had pictures of the pope to burn and all...all for the sake of sticking to character of course. har har.
Of course I was told that I had to be a 90's Icon from the States. Since James had decided to be Kurt Cobain I figured there was no better choice than Courtney Love in all of her train wreck glory.
These are all horrible pictures of me and I looked a hot mess- but it was a good Courtney Love look for sure!Some TLC for Kurt....looks just like the real thing....haha
Rings pops....probably the closest thing to bling I'm going to get for a LONNNNGGG time.
The beginning of the end for Kurt.... drugs from morticia addams....(its actually vodka people)
Kurt near the end....to much from the needle (IE James spitting out the vodka...haha too funny)
True love at its finest
and...I'm never, ever wearing red lipstick ever again. or a blonde wig.
I'm so sorry I have been absent the last few weeks. I blame it on moving house and learning how to drive. but in reality we only were without internet for 3 or 4 days, so it was really just pure lazy.
you know what they say- procrastination is like masturbation- your only screwing yourself.
or maybe thats just me.
I actually dont have internet. well I do. but not really. We only have internet on my husband's PC. my laptop- nothing. no wireless. I HATE that I am paying 40 freaking euros a month and this stupid internet company doesn't provide a wireless router. WTF?? is it 2010 or is that just my imagination.
In our old place we had Chorus (or UPC not sure what its called, maybe both). They provided our cable and internet for around 65 euros a month. freaking steal in my book and both services were great. One of the irritating things about ireland is that coverage for cable, telephone and internet is weird and spotty. The people across the street from you or even next door may be able to get different providers than you get. So even though we live in a very new housing estate on the newer part of town- cant get upc. But we could in our ancient apartment? very very stupid. and yes the people across the road get it.
So long story short we are paying about 25 euros more a month for cable and Internet and its not as good. assholes.
oh yeah, and the cherry on that cake? we don't even have the cable yet. Its been 3 weeks. seriously. pulling. my. hair. out. Thank god we recorded so much on the DVR. I think I have watched everything on there twice. even james's stupid documentaries. (not that all documentaries are stupid- but some of his choices border on insanely boring)
BUT- the new house. LOVELY. I love it so much. I have been too lazy to get pictures yet. also we still dont have everything just the way i want it. (perfectionism much?) Its freaking huge- 3 bedrooms, huge living/kitchen, garden. we turned one bedroom into an office. it even has a leather sofa. That has quickly become james's hidey hole much to my displeasure but whatever. gimme cable- i'll be a much happier girl. oh and the wireless.
So its halloween week. Halloween is definitely different here than in the states. I miss the over the top-ness of it all. I miss the huge costume mega stores and all the businesses being decorated. I miss the huge halloween sections in target and walmart. I miss all the horrible candy and cheesy decorations. I miss seeing people's yards decked out in stuffed scarecrows and skeletons and spiderwebs. I miss seeing jack-o-lanterns. UGH. First big holiday besides fourth of july (and that was a huge depression day for me- another time for that story) and it just makes me melancholy. I was never that huge into halloween back home, but I miss the familiarity of it all. The pumpkins here are tiny. 5 euro for a large pumpkin.....I saw the size of the large pumpkin and had to laugh. Seriously that little bitty thing wouldn't pass for even a medium sized one in the states. we are talking cantaloupe size here people. Maybe i'll pick up a few after halloween for table decorations for thanksgiving.
Speaking of I am doing thanksgiving. the sunday before at James's family's house and then that thursday I am doing my own at my house. I'm inviting friends and crossing my fingers. I'm new at this cooking game still and this is a huge undertaking for me. I'm getting all nervous already. I couldn't sleep the other night in bed, just laying there freaking out over turkey and green bean casserole. haha fingers crossed.
My sisters freshmen year of college me and her best friend (we were both seniors in high school at the time) flew out to have thanksgiving with her. We got a turkey and the sides thinking we were going to cook a wonderful feast. (BTW none of us had probably even cooked a freaking chicken before). Well we forgot to take the turkey neck out of the butt and didn't notice until it had just about finished. couldn't make mashed potatoes and forgot nilla wafers for the banana pudding cause banana pudding is easier to make than pumpkin pie. So long story short we ate mac and cheese and cinnamon toast crunch banana pudding for thanksgiving dinner. (because cinnamon toast crunch is a good substitute for nilla wafers? no. cinnamon and banana flavored pudding are NOT a good combo. don't try it. I promise. Ask my sister for confirmation.)
So lets hope this years Thanksgiving turns out slightly better than that one. hehe.
So I'm driving. hurrah. Its still a little scary but im getting better and better. Hills still terrify the crap out of me. I'm good at the little ones, but the big ones, eep. and When nice big cars get right up on my ass when I'm at a hill. Panic time! But its going ok. I'm sticking to the major roads still because Irish roads are so so so narrow. I'm still shocked that some of these roads are two way. or that they are even called roads and not alleys. or small paved paths. Country roads? forget about it. for the time being. Which locks me into driving solely in and around limerick since the road system in Ireland is still old fashioned. Hardly any major highways here, which I guess isn't as old fashioned as, it is the way it is.
I bought a car off a friend. Its a jelly bean. a red jelly bean, with four tires. Thats about it. No air bags, no power steering (I miss power steering), no radio. no a lot of things. the no air bags thing really bugs me though. I mean- could i get one? please? no? ok fine. asshole car. but it gets me from point a to b. and it was 400 euro. I can live with that for a few months. cause trust me I'm selling this POS ASAP.
I will be posting pictures soon of the jelly bean and the apartment. Jelly bean for humor and apartment for pride. Seriously loving the place.
speaking of pictures my header is of king johns castle- in limerick. Where I lived before was about a 5 minute walk from the castle. I personally think this shot is one of the prettiest views in the city. Its gorgeous night or day. That can't be said for most of the rest of Limerick city.
This weekend was a bank holiday weekend. I don't really get what a bank holiday is- but it is always the monday before halloween. I guess its just kind of a fall break before the holiday season for a lot of business and the kids get a week off school. Its thrown off a lot of routines which can be seen through out the city- traffic patterns are weird, times when people are out are off- its thrown me off cause when I expect it to be quiet it out its so freaking busy. I won't complain too much though cause i got double pay on the bank holiday monday. double pay. I never ever got that in the states for ANY holiday much less a little fake one. Double pay even sounds nicer than time and a half. double pay? why yes, i'll take some.
It was mom's birthday last week- I sent her a nice little package with a TON of candy in it. (the lady at tesco was so judging me.) I sent her some wine gums- they are like gummy candy- there is NO alcohol in them- its just what they call them. I don't know why, but I know they are popular. So i sent them off to mom. One of the first thing she asks me is why am I sending her alcoholic candy. HAHA- I had to explain to her its just a name, no alcohol, that small children eat these regularly. cross my heart, needle in my eye the whole bit. I told my MIL about the conversation and she about died laughing. She got some wine gums today and told me she was going to go on a drunken binge with her candy.
alright ramble ramble I'm done- and headed to bed. The cable man is supposed to come tomorrow. It will be like Christmas come early!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I'm thankful that I haven't been sick before now. Especially not being insured for about 4 months when I first got here.
Ok- revision. I did get sick right when I moved here. James and I both had horrible sore throats and I had the worst ear pain ever. But I just sucked it up and got over it since I had no money and no insurance. Not fun, I promise.
But now I have my first proper cold and it sucks.
The medicine here just isn't the same. I KNEW I should have loaded up on way my American meds than I did when I was moving over.
I told myself no big deal, I'm sure they have similar stuff or even a lot of the same stuff and its too expensive right now to be buying all these meds.
Stupid move there.
The meds here are mostly different. And even if they have some of the same brands that we have, they have them in different formulas and quantities.
Like for instance tylenol and advil? Different. First of all they don't even have Tylenol here- its Panadol and its a different active ingredient. And the largest quantity that you can buy is 24. And its expensive. I can buy 500 generic, target brand Tylenol for 3 bucks. Also the milligrams are way lower. Extra strength in the states is 500, here its 200.
Yeah i know its better for my body and liver and whatever, but my body is used to the higher dosages, so the lower stuff doesn't really do the job for me.
Thankfully I received a package from a good friend in the states with some Tylonel and Tums. (hurray antacids!)
But cold meds- different story. I just want some dayquil. Doesn't exist. Damnit. And the cold medicene here- costly. I just paid 10 euros for 24 sudafed. Different dosage and milligrams.
Whine, whine, whine. I know.
But I've learned an important lesson.
And the next time I'm in the states you better believe I'm buying out the medicine aisle. And having my mom stock up on sudafed for me since its so controlled in the states. (no such controls here, but they have them on panadol. weird.)
Also on a side note- I bought a car yesterday, from a friend who gave me a great deal. I'm still scared to drive it on Irish roads. Hopefully within the next week I won't be so timid. Think grandma driver. I just got car insurance this month. Apparently since I still have my American license the insurance is through the roof- but its only 100 euros per month for 9 months. I get two months free. Is that through the roof? I don't feel like it is at all. I know when I get my Irish license it will be cut in half at least. So I can pay the higher amount for now- and I'm pretty happy that I know it will be a lot lower. That's a difference I like! I was paying a ton in the states!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
So now it seems that I have to tell you 7 things about myself...hmmmm.
1. I hate the cold. With a passion. Living in Utah 5 years only intensified my passion of all things cold. Including snow. I am not one of those people who get all excited when it snows. There are only two days where I want to see the white fluffy stuff- Christmas eve and Christmas day. Ireland was a good choice for nice hot sunny days right? right?!?
2. I was a total nerd in high school. awkward with a capital A. Just ask my sister. She was part of the "cool kids" so thankfully I was left alone more on that basis. But I definitely had my fair share of teasing though- and all of my friends were on the weird side of life. But now- I am so thankful for those awful, awkward years. They made me more open minded- more accepting and a much cooler person overall. And now I can look back at those people that made my life so miserable then and go ha-ha (think nelson from the simpsons).
3. My favorite food is biscuits and gravy. mmmmm. I could totally eat some now. Too bad they dont have biscuits here in Ireland. (and I'm not talking about cookies people)
4. I met my husband online. It wasn't in a totally creepy way- it was through a friend, who I also knew online. Who I knew through a friend in real life. Most people don't know how we actually know one another. We have agreed on a nice vague half-truth of telling people we met through a friend. I won't even tell you people how we REALLY know one another. Its not bad or creepy, just you have to know the group of friends to understand. But when I first met my husband, years ago- I had never even spoken to him on the phone. I went to a foreign country, strange city all through email correspondence. Thank god it all worked out- it could have been bad- I still don't ever recommend anyone to ever do that haha.
5. I think bodily functions/stories of bodily functions are hilarious. I wonder sometimes how mature I really am.
6. I freak out over finances- like all the time. I can have plenty of money in the bank, all the bills paid, a ton in savings and still get worried when we spend 40 euros in the grocery store. Thank god James and I always talk about them (or rather talk them to death). Thats one thing I never want to fight about and will do everything possible to avoid that. (we don't make any unnecessary purchases with out asking each other first. I know that would be stupid and weird for other people, but it works for us)
7. I am not in LOVE with living in Ireland. The US has such a romanticized view of this country. I'm not saying its bad- but its just different. And sometimes really hard. But little by little I'm getting used to being here and getting used to my new lifestyle. I'm hoping that one day I can stop comparing Ireland and the US and accept this place as home. Then maybe I can say that I love living here. :)
In addition to Whits award I also tagged in 8 questions by Lin over at Linnys Vault. She living and working in sunny SoCal and I have to say I'm having serious location envy!
1. If you could have any job, in any industry, what would it be?
Hmm I'm not sure really. There are so many things I kind of want to do. I would love to write some day. I would love to work within the criminal justice side of government. Honestly I think I would make a great lawyer. My husband thinks I should really start writing though. (I don't know if I have the self-confidence though!)
2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Well I know husband wants to move to England or Germany, but in all honesty I see us still living in Ireland, Hopefully with a better job, a house, a little white dog, a busy James. Simple things really. (I also better have my big rock by then! this little wedding band is looking sad all on its lonesome)
3. What's the best vacation you've ever been on?
Hands down our backpacking trip across Europe last summer. It was our first real trip together and a huge test of our relationship. We spent a month going by train through 5 cities and back home to Ireland to meet the family. (We started in Madrid and went from there to Paris, Berlin, Venice and Rome.) Best city?? split between Berlin and Venice- Worst city? ROME. I don't think we will ever go there again. ugh.
4. If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
I hate this question. Just saying. But I would be really excited to meet Thom Yorke. I think we are the same height or something- hes so short looking. Of all the choices lame, I know. But I like his music and hes got some really interesting ideas.
5. What is you're favorite movie & why?
Thats hard to choose- but I have to go with my old standby of the 10th kingdom. Remember that made for tv movie on NBC? I love that non-hardcore total nerd fantasy kind of stuff and I also love fairy tales. It incorporates a lot of that and I think its funny. Its super long, the only downside.
6. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?
Beer. Yeungling to be exact. But beer.
7. What's on your Christmas wish list?
Little white Dog. Multi-regional DVD player. A nice fire and a glass of wine with my husband while A Christmas Story is on repeat in the new multi-regional DVD player in the background.
Pay off my student debts, buy a house, a nice car- pay debts for my family. Stick the rest into savings. (so exciting right? James and I played this little game and I said exactly that. He laughed and said you were the most excited about the savings part weren't you? why yes, yes I was.)
Alright people I'm supposed to tag, but to be honest I'm a little lazy to be doing all of that at the moment, but I promise I will be back and tagging soon!
I'm going to go and read my damn book. There was no rest for the wicked this week.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Its Tuesday again. Man these weeks are flying by.
And when the hell did October get here? I feel like last October wasn't so long ago. Before you know it Christmas will be here. They are already putting Christmas cookies and candy out in the shops.
And James is doing his best to keep my eyes adverted. Oh blue tin cookies. I want you so badly.
Yuummmmmm. I wonder if they get these here? I think I've spied something similar in the German grocery stores here. If not I'm sending out a plea early!
Yeah so weight watchers? Its going ok. The leader is kinda...Tactless. That would be the best way to put it. The first meeting I get on the scale and she says "well we aren't going to see THAT weight again- are we?"
Wow. Talk about red faced me.
Then last week after two weeks- I hadn't lost as much as I wanted. That may be all the wine last week. sigh. But the leader says that she has never seen anyone NOT lose 6 pounds after the first week. (I lost 2.5). And then she looked at me. Judgement? Perhaps. Paranoia? YES.
So needless to say Ive stayed far away from wine this week- and been below points every day and fingers crossed for a better number this week. I really don't want any snippy comments this week.
So that post I posted yesterday. Remember how I said that things don't usually go this smoothly for us and that I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Well consider that shoe dropped. And chewed by a vicious dog.
I called my landlord this morning to give him notice that we were signing a contract with another person and that this would be our last month in the apartment. With our security deposit as the last months rent he had about 6 weeks notice. Well he wasn't having that. He wanted to know why the hell we would do that (I explained about the noise and that we were married and we needed more space. I said that the apartment was nice, but it wasn't large enough for us. And the noise was really too much for us.)
He proceeded to tell me that we had a contract and that it was binding and basically too bad you are stuck there until May. I told him that we were going to move and that as we are breaking the contract early he would keep the deposit. Standard for most tenency agreements. He told me that it wasn't how it worked in Ireland (BULLSHIT) and that He thought I was lying about the noise. He said I think your fucking telling me a story. Its not loud down there at all.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Its not loud on a street with 6 pubs and a night club?? Its a street party EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. I told him he had to just spend one night here to see how loud it was. Any night- take your pick. He told me tough cookies and that if we left early that he would have his solicitor after us.
He threatened law suit. Really? ??!? what an ASSHOLE.
I was sitting there FREAKING OUT. We were supposed to meet the new landlord in 30 minutes and give him a huge chunk of money. what are we supposed to do??
So I cried a little and then James came home and we went right to citizens information. They told us basically what our landlord said was bullshit. The most he could do was get the remainder of the rent from us, which was shaky since we gave him so much notice. So we said- ok fine. Its not worth staying in this apartment- especially after the treatment I received from the landlord.
So basically long story short- our landlord sucks. And we have a new place. And its pretty.
So im celebrating!! whoo hoo! And I'm also hoping that I either get someone to sublet or my landlord comes to his senses. Cause if not we are going to go all the way with this and get a solicitor ourselves.
Yeah so I applied for a new job today. I saw the local tesco was looking for a manager. I know that I have the qualifications for the job, so what the hell. It would be awesome if I got this job, but I have no expectations and I am DETERMINED not to get my hopes up. I'm leaving that on the back burner for now.
Yeah so I forget that my dad is on my facebook. I am so close to deleting him. How rude would that be though? He is just a snoop! I don't want him to see my business on there. Its so annoying. I know that deleting him would cause a lot of unnecessary arguments. ugh. Anytime he sees something on there that he thinks he should put his two cents in about he's calling me. GRRRR. freaking facebook. they should have a no-parents policy.
My husband was telling me about a bridezilla he saw the other day. (he would never ever admit to watching this to anyone else. but he will watch shit TV every so often. hehe.) Apparently this bride was completely psycho. She pulled all of her bridesmaid in another room and was criticizing all of them telling them to have their hair a certain way or don't do this or that. She pulled one girl aside in particular and said that she had noticed that she had been gaining weight over the last few months and that she had bought her a new dress in a bigger size. Needless to say not only did that particular girl drop out of the wedding but was no longer friends with this woman. I woulda done the same thing. Who does that woman think she is? Yeah shes getting married, but that doesn't give her total control over other peoples lives or to be a complete bitch. Thats not bridezilla- that's just bad person.
my husband makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches ever. why I can't do that? no clue. But seriously. Addicting. thank god for weight watchers bread.
Have you seen the new Ikea commerical?
I don't even like cats but I love this commercial. And I wonder who sings that song- I really like it. Also I just love Ikea. Oh simple swedish designs. Cheap prices. I wish there was one in Limerick.
Back to the future is in the theaters. I need to go. Yes this movie has been around for 25 years and I can buy it for 5 bucks, but i think its something that would be 1000 times cooler on the big screen.
Alright- everyone else go and random it up with the Un-mom.
Monday, October 4, 2010
First of all- the sookie stackhouse books. Strangely addicting- I find myself sometimes annoyed by them but I can't seem to stop. oh so good. And there are so many. I'm on book six right now. I want the whole story- like now. But I'm really enjoying the process of getting there. Also I'm getting annoyed by things like work, eating, showering, cleaning getting between me and these books. sigh. I need to stop time for a little while and sit in a room with no windows and these books. *stares off into space*
Well I'm off for the next three days. I had these great plans of sitting on my ass and doing nothing. Foiled again!
We have been looking for a new place to live. Not that we don't enjoy our apartment, but between the drunks, everything being half broken and that fact that we are being WAAYYY overcharged on rent, its time to go. We had an appointment this morning to look at a three bedroom house. We show up- the area is nice, the house-eh. It has three bedrooms but the garden was tiny, the bedrooms tiny, the furniture looked like it was from the set of the Brady bunch (and possibly used since the 70's) and the appliances were old and crappy. not exactly what I was expecting. The rental agent was a real jerk too. We said the house seemed nice and that we would contact him when we made a decision, but as soon as we left I told James that I wasn't happy with it. The next place we get we plan on staying there until James is done with school and then for some time after. This next place will probably be the last we rent before we buy so we want it to be something we love.
Well so we come home and I said ok back to square one. We looked at another house we found earlier in the week and said lets give this one a shot. I called the landlord and agreed to meet up with him this evening. Well we struck gold with this place. Its a corner apartment, three bedrooms and has a garden. It hits all of the points on our check list and even has all of our optional wish list items. On top of all that the apartment was HUGE. The en suite bathroom in the master is larger than the bathroom in our current apartment. The hall bathroom is larger than my bedroom. We have an open green space in the back of the apartment, close parking in the front and a good sized garden to the side. Its everything we wanted and more. As soon as we walked around and taken a good look at everything we looked at each other and said "We must have this place." We talked to the landlord and lo and behold, we have a new home.
We are giving him the deposit and first months rent tomorrow (the part I don't like since its a big chunk of money) and getting our keys. I'm also really happy with the landlord. The apartment is actually owned by his son, who moved to England. So I'm happy that its family owned and not through a rental agency. It makes me feel better that the landlord has a personal investment in the property. It makes me feel like if something is wrong or broken that it WILL get fixed, unlike in my current place. Also if we need anything the landlord just said tell him and he will provide. That's a great thing to hear. I cannot express how much I love that rental properties come fully furnished in this country.
The only catch about the new place is the location. Its actually one of the best parts of the new house. Its on the other side of town in an area called Dooradoyle which is one of the newer developed part of the city. Its in a nicer housing estate, surrounded by newer housing estates. There are good shops close by and a large shopping center with a nice and big grocery store about a 10 minute walk away. Its close to everything we want and need. I will miss living across the street from the grocery store, but that might actually lead to smarter grocery shopping on my part! The problem is my work and James' university is on the other side of the city. It is do-able transportation wise with the buses, but a pain in the ass since we would have to take two buses to get to where we need to be. so basically leave over an hour before we need to be anywhere. Also life will be much much easier with a car. So we told ourselves that if we moved to this area the next step is buying a car. Thankfully I have been doing driving lessons with my MIL and have progressed to the point of driving on the road. (Driving on the wrong side of the road/car?? weird. doing that while driving stick shift?? difficult. plenty of concentration needed haha)
So that being said I think I will be buying a car this week as well. A friend of mine recently bought a new car and is selling his. We have been talking here and there about me buying it. I told him I couldn't give him any definite answers until we find a place. So I'll be looking at the car Wednesday. I know that this car isn't new or nice or anything close. In fact I know this car is a clunker. But honestly I'm ok with that. I don't plan on driving long distances with this car or even taking it out of limerick. I just want to get from home to work or to the grocery store. As long as that car can do it for a year I'm satisfied.
Its a lot of big changes that are coming up fast. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. It all seems too good to be true right now. I don't usually have things fall into place so easily so I guess I'm waiting for something to go wrong. I think I'm more worried about getting the car situation and the money situation. I know we have enough money to do all of this but I hate not having that savings cushion. Even at our most broke we had a nice egg nest in savings. I guess that is what savings is for- a rainy day, a new opportunity. And thankfully with this job we will be able to build our savings up quickly enough.
Also I feel like I waited for months for something- anything to happen. In the past month I've gotten a job, learned a HELL of a lot more than I knew before, learned to drive stick, and now I'm moving. I feel like I'm starting to really get my feet wet now. Its good and scary all at the same time. Its cutting more ties with the states. Getting further along in my life in Ireland. Almost in a way admitting to myself that I really am here for good (Which I really haven't done in my own way).
So onwards and upwards! And hopefully pictures of this new place to follow soon!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Maybe I didn't blog too much about it, but despite that- I had made a promise of meatloaf and was held to it.
Also my sister wanted my recipe. Which isn't so much of a recipe as it is an experiment.
So I'm sticking three recipes on here. Keep in mind I don't do any measurements, more just what I think is enough, so please adjust to suit tastes.
American Meat Loaf (or my moms version)
1 pound meat loaf (or more- I buy 285 grams here in Ireland)
Crushed tomatoes (or Passeta as it is called here.) one box or one can.
mustard- american style
Bread cumbs. Plain. If you don't have them then get about two or three pieces of bread and crumble them.
Put the hamburger meat into a bowl. put the egg in. put bread crumbs in.
Mix together one box (or can) crushed tomatoes, half a cup (or to satisfaction) mustard, two tablespoons brown sugar, in a separate bowl.
Mix half of that sauce into the hamburger, egg and bread.
Shape into loaf and make a dent in the top.
Pour a part of remaining mixture on top.
Bake in oven for 60 minutes or however long until cooked through at about 375 f or 230 c.
about 20 minutes before done pour remaining tomato mustard sugar concoction on top.
Second recipe. (or the James version)
285 gram hamburger (one pound hamburger)
tablespoon and a half whorchesthiere (spelling-ugh) sauce
bread crumbs (or two to three slices bread)
Shape into loaf with a dent
Bake at about 375 f or 230 c for about 45 minutes or until satisfied. (cut through with knife in middle to ensure its done)
After baked, pour meat flavored gravy on top.
Thanksgiving meat loaf
1 pound ground turkey
1 box stove top turkey stuffing
mix all three ingredients together
shape into loaf with dent on top
bake for 60 minutes at 375 f or about 200 c.
make turkey flavored gravy (from packet y'all- i'm no martha stewart here).
15 minutes before done pour about a cup to 1 1/2 cup gravy on top.
serve with mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.
Thanksgiving whenever you want. Yum yum!
I know meat loaf is super easy to do, but it is a complete mystery in Ireland. (weird I know!) and my super simple recipes have gone over big time here!
enjoy and I hope they don't turn out terrible for you since I don't measure!
Well another tuesday come and gone.
I had to work all weekend. I'm so so so happy to have a job, but its a soul-crushing job. I did this stuff at 15. Why am I doing the same shit at 25? Starting all over NOT for the win. (and YES YES i KNOW im young, i got it, but still, sigh. )
Ok- so im starting to lose my accent. I know I am. I've kinda been dreading this. I'm using more phrases and slang here. I can tell my voice is raising up more. I can feel the changes when I'm talking and I cant seem to stop it. Its annoying but also a relief. I am so sick of being different. Don't get me wrong, I am proud of being an american and where I'm from. I miss home like crazy, and I am constantly comparing Ireland and the US.
I am so SICK of being asked where are you from, why are you here, and hearing that YOU ARE TOO YOUNG TO BE MARRIED. Yes, Damnit. I am 25. But I am NOT too young to be married. (in Ireland the average age of marriage is in the early 30's where in the states its early to mid 20's.) and Seriously, i just want to fit in. I just want to be part of the crowd. Its hard for me sometimes cause America doesn't have the best reputation overseas. American tourists are seen as loud, over the top and generally obnoxious. People here see america as gluttonous, greedy, assholeish, and intrusive. It's hard some days to be an American here. And everyone has an opinion. Its hard to be neutral sometimes. Its hard to be defensive. And everyone has a million questions. I'm getting very tired of it. I just want to have a night out where no one thinks of me as "the American" and instead as part of the crowd. Its really been wearing on me lately. And its not me wanting to be not who I am at all, its just I want to be on equal playing ground. I know its never really going to happen and I know over time it will lessen, but still- I just want one day where I don't have to explain or reason or justify something that I have NOTHING to do with.
So today I got a free Brazilian wax. My friend Lisa texted me about it. Her friend works at the most exclusive beauty salon in town and they are training several waxers in bikini, Brazilian and "hollywood" waxing. (in the states Brazilian is everything hairless- here Brazilian is with a landing strip and "hollywood" is no hair) So I thought hell yeah that waxing is about 90 euro I'll squeeze that in! I went and man oh man it was painful. Ive had that kind of waxing before, but it was a different kind of wax they used and a different method and it was much less painful. This was kind of an old school method. Basically regular wax and linen strips. And jesus it hurt. I am bruised and I bled almost everywhere they took hair off. owie. Yes I know, this is probably TMI, but I'm going to type it out anyways. Sorry for any offense. Anyways, the weirdest part of it all was that my waxer, who was lovely, was still in training. So while im there on the table, with my knees up to my chest and my backside out to the world, her manager walks in and they are pulling and prodding me at all of the most awkward angles ever talking about how this looks and how to stretch my skin the best way and ect. It was a unique experience to say the least, but hey it was free. And the el cheapo in me was happy about that.
I got my first blogging award ever. I have my friend Whitney to thank for that. Go read her blog: Let the good times roll. She is hilarious. I've known her since we have both been about twelve years old and she has always been an amazing girl. She now has a super cute baby and is figuring out how in the world to get around NYC. And being from southern virginia?? Talk about culture shock!! I'm so flattered to get this award but I have no clue how to put it on this blog.....so um help!! Thanks :)
I have been having driving lessons. With my mother-in-law. We decided to test the boundaries of the mother in law- daughter in law relationship. Now I know how to drive, but I dont know how to drive stick shift. We have been doing lessons every single day for about a week and I'm getting pretty good. And Ive only freaked her out once. Score for me! the hardest part is going from a complete stop to balancing the clutch and going into gear. We spent the entire hour today just going from stop to start. I actually was getting it every single time and shifting gears completely smoothly! thats a huge advance for me! You should have seen me before- i was freaking myself out. The gas petals on stick shifts cars are so much more sensitive than on automatic cars and I was so timid with the gas before. It led to a lot of lurching and car stalling. James was with us one day and I actually made him a little sick and he had to sit out of the car the rest of the lesson haha! But now the next task is learning how to drive on the wrong side of the road. Talk about screwing with your mind mentally. I keep on wanting to take a "soft right" which is taking the right into the flow of traffic. Here its a "soft left" and intersections and round-a-bouts are still confusing. fingers crossed I don't drive head on into traffic. (eep!)
So last week after work my boss and I, who are good friends took a taxi into town together. It was another good friends birthday. The bar that they were all in was on my street ( of course!! they are all on my street. ugh) and so we went right there after work and I said I would go in for a drink and go home and collapse. I got out of the car and was introduced to some people I hadn't met. My friend, Murph, introduced me and then said this is James' wife. Then there was this huge reaction- these guys happened to be old school friends with my husband. They had no clue he was married. (ok see the thing about Limerick is- its a city, but really a small town and everyone knows everyone else somehow or they are related somehow) One of these guys- they call him Forde (pronounced 4-D) is actually James' cousin- so by proxy my cousin. Had no clue (his family is HUGE) and he was nice to me. to my face. and another guy Choc (short for chocolate- no clue why) was a complete ass. Automatically starting talking crap about james and me to my face! I couldn't believe it. It was so uncalled for and rude and very "un-irish". totally out of social norms. I was immediately enraged. I am pretty laid back in social settings, but you offend me and mine the "momma bear" in me comes out. I was going to stay for one pint, but after that I knew that it would be no good if I did. So instead I confronted these guys, said my piece and went home. I know that I don't understand all of the history they have as school mates or growing up in the same town, but still. I think I still have a lot to learn about this city and these people. But these guys, at least one in particular, is on my bad list. I havn't finished with him- he will hear exactly what I think and why and when I'm done I know I won't have to worry about him anymore. There is one thing about me- I'm nice as can be, but when angry Rachael comes out its something that you never want to see twice. My sister can definitely vouch for that.
I'm having a few glasses of wine as I write this- probably as you can tell. Drinking really brings the conversational whiny part of myself. I am always second guessing myself after a night of drinking. I feel like I've annoyed everyone and embarrassed myself somehow. Sigh. Its unavoidable here though. Everything centers around drinking- baby is born- lets have drinks, someone graduates-drink! Someone gets a job, moves house,runs a marathon, has a birthday, there is a made up holiday- drink, drink drink!! there is no dating here- they meet up at pubs instead. This is a total pub culture. And I have to say if you don't drink it will be a lot harder to integrate into the society here. Its just the way it is. And thats not good or bad, its just how it is. Somewhat weird to me, but normal here.
I have to work tomorrow on my day off, and even though I don't want to go in, its more money! so yay- boo, but yay.
Weight watchers is going good, but I didn't lose as much as I wanted to when I weighed in last week. I'm hoping this week is better. I do enjoy basically eating what I want to though.
Alright this post may have not been that random, possibly very rambling though. I'm headed to bed though. I will be better at blogging next week-no empty promises! (I think!)