Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So a few recipes of the same thing

Well so remember how I said that I had a drunken boast of American meatloaf one night?

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.
Brown sugar
mustard- american style
Bread cumbs. Plain. If you don't have them then get about two or three pieces of bread and crumble them.
1 egg

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
mixed herbs
garlic salt
1 egg
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
1 egg

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!

Random Tuesday Thoughts- Its actually not tuesday here, but in the States it is so HURRAY!!


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 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!)

Friday, September 24, 2010

When boobs go bad

I ran across this disgusting little internet tidbit today.

How is that sexy?

She looks deformed. I wonder if she can even get hugs anymore.

Do men actually find that sexy? I would be afraid of being smothered. Or seen in public with this woman.

and what about medical ethics? I guess if your willing to pay enough money....

What do you think? Sexy or horrifying?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dropping The Bomb: Part Duex

Telling my mom that I was not only getting married but was moving overseas was a tough job, but it was nothing compared to telling my dad.

Now my dad and I have- to put it simply- a strained relationship. We have always butted heads and I harbor a lot of grudges and resentments towards him. He on the other hand has poor boundaries and control issues. Its a bad mix. I feel like we tolerate each other more than actually enjoy one another. I know he loves me and I love him, but there is a big difference between love and like.

Well my dad and I lived two states apart and I really didn't want to tell my dad that I was going to marry some guy he never even MET and then leave the country over the phone. I had to try and find a time to either go and see him or him come up to virginia. It just so happened that He and his wife were coming up through the state to go to some boat show and on their way back decided to stop in town for a while and have lunch with me. I knew that I had limited options here so it was the only good time to tell them.

Oh yeah- and it was about a week and a half before the wedding date. eep.

Well so I met them up and we were having a great lunch. They were telling me all about the boating show and some other things. (my memory is hazy of all that- probably because I was FREAKING OUT) Then we began talking about my sister and how she was doing in brazil and what we were going to send them for christmas (you have to plan early to send stuff to brazil haha). Then my Dad asks me how my boyfriend was (couldn't even remember his name. doh.) and I said he was doing fine. Then he said well thats good that your dating- as long as you don't up and move to Ireland I'm happy haha all smiles. (Oh irony, you cruel, cruel mistress)

So then at this point I realize I can't say yeah thats right and laugh along. So instead I say- "Well about that.....So I am moving to Ireland."

(crickets. My heart stopped beating for about 30 seconds I think. seriously you could hear a pin drop. Thank GOD we were in public.)

Dad- "what?"
Me-" so yeah, I'm moving to Ireland. and Um, Also We are getting a week and a half. "

(I think my dad aged about 15 years in that moment- the look on his face- I think he might have been more cheerful if I told him I was having a sex change)

At this point my stepmom kicked into overdrive. She and my dad kinda had opposite reactions. He was completely silent (totally out of character for him) and she was asking a million questions. How, when, why, where. My dad just sat there and tried to not upchuck his lunch. My stepmom then starting giving out to me about why I had never talked to them about me wanting to move to Ireland or marry this guy. That I needed to have more respect for them than that. How it wasn't fair to them to drop this big piece of news on them in such a way. After saying her piece and quite a few tears from me she starting acting so happy and saying thing like "Lets have a huge party!" and "You have to celebrate this huge occasion!" "If you don't you'll regret it and life gets away from you and even though you say you will have a big wedding in Ireland you probably won't" and BLAH BLAH BLAH. This was all white noise to everyone at that table. I think talking for her was a nervous reaction since we were all expecting my dad to erupt like a volcano at any moment.

After about 20 minutes of silence my dad finally asked if we could go sit in my car. (I was public you can only make so much of a scene) So we go and sit there in more silence. Then he finally started asking a few questions.

Dad- So who is this guy- what does he do, what kind of family does he have?
What religion is he (huge question for my dad- imagine his disappointment when I told him he was atheist. It was just salt in the wound at that point.)
Does he treat you good?
Why are you getting married so fast?
Why can't you live in the states.

I totally expected him to ask why I was doing this to him. He didn't have to it was all over his face. He told me he expected at the least for James to ask him formally for his permission to marry him. If there is one thing I know about James, I knew he wouldn't do that. He just isn't that kind of person, especially for someone that he has never met. Its not a disrespect thing, its just how he is. I knew that was out of the window. It sucked having to tell my dad that too.

Needless to say- it was not a happy occasion. I think my dad was in shock for a couple of days. I think he felt sorry for me and sorry for himself. He kept asking what he did to deserve both of his daughters moving so far away from him. It honestly was no more than I expected- he never really was the champion of support.

But I will give credit where credit is due. Its never hard to know that your daughter is getting married to someone who is a total stranger to you. Its never easy to hear that your child is moving out of the country. The day I got married he came and he was on his best behavior and I'm happy that he was able to be there.

It has been frustrating dealing with him and the issue of me living overseas. He just can't seem to accept that I am able to make good decisions for myself. From that day until the day I left for Ireland he continued to question my judgement and always tell me that it was never to late and that I can just stay home. In fact even after I moved to Ireland he continued to say these things to me. Telling me I could fix all of my problems by coming home and that it was only an option. That really is hard to hear especially when you are so far away from home. I finally put an end to it (for now) by telling him I didn't want to hear one more bad thing about Ireland, that it did no good, that coming home didn't help a single thing and if he wanted to talk to me anymore that he needs to accept my decisions and shut up.

I know my sister has had these exact same conversations with him as I did just exchange Ireland for Brazil.

Its this kind of stuff that got me thinking the other day about family relationships and being overseas. Making such a big change in my life really polarized my relationships with my parents. I became closer in a way to my mother and was finally able to put up some much needed space with my father. I think for my sister and I it has put us on equal playing ground and I think it made us begin our adult relationship as siblings. It would just be nice to be in the same side of the world!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Its flannel season!

I can tell winter is coming. The days are shorter, the air has a heavy yet crisp feeling. Its colder- I can definitely tell the change in temperature. Ireland isn't known for its heavily insulated walls and thick windows. More like single glazed, old, drafty. And the street I live on happens to be one of the oldest- time can only tell how old this building is. So cold- yes, cold.

But the change of season is exciting for me this time- it means I get to bring out my winter clothes! I love my winter clothes (maybe cause it covers my fat ass more? haha)- they are always cuter and more dressy than my summer clothing. I felt so classy last Saturday for a christening/ birthday celebration but alas no pictures. Thanks camera- hoarding- no-picture-taking-husband.

I got flannel sheets. they are blue and oh so soft. I love them. They were so worth the 24 euros. (which isn't much but for el cheapo ((i.e. me)) its a lot!). We only had one set of sheets before (gross I know but I washed often!) and so I said damnit- its time. Went and saw them and couldn't resist. So warm and fluffy and perfect for winter!

This post is taking me forever because I'm watching sex and the city. I love this show a little too much. My husband is on the computer pretending to read some wikipedia page about some somebody but i know he is really watching SATC. I see those sneaky glances.

Speaking of hubs- he is super sneaky. He ordered me some American goodies....

That would be a huge package jam packed full of easy mac (YUM) and squeezable grape jelly. I remember the days when I thought grape jelly was a universal thing. oh how naive I was. Grape flavored things don't exist here. They just don't do it. They think its weird or something. Instead everything is blackcurrant. Anything and everything purple that is supposed to be grape flavored- nope. blackcurrant. Seriously who cares about blackcurrants? ugh. Not even any grape juice here! jerks. But now I can have a true PB&J. So thanks hubby- I love being spoiled by you!

On a side note- I can't eat any of this right now due to being on weight watchers. I mean- i totally could but is it worth 12 points for a pb&j? le sigh. no. but maybe i'll have a screw it i'll starve for mac & cheese and pb&j kinda day. James also bought me a ton of mt. Dew today. that's 3 points a can. why he couldn't do this before the diet? oh well. mt. dew is worth it haha!

so yeah I love my job. well no, I don't love my job. I love having A job. I work in a gas station. Its not glamorous at all in the least. but its work that gives me money and the opportunity to do things. it would be more awesome if I didn't have a boss with horrible people skills that everyone ever dislikes. who also is a micro manager and has a serious case of nepotism. he has been breathing down my neck the past two shifts. Can't do anything right for this guy. No matter that I have 10 years of retail experience, was managing 250 people in my last job and have not one but two college degrees. This is what I tell myself as I'm on my hands and knees scrubbing down shelves in a gas station. I know i know i know- this is all part of being an expat. you have to start from the bottom. again. its like being 15 all over again. that's ok- I'm starting over and I have a clue this time around. So you better believe I'm going blow it out of the water this time. I have a champagne taste- and while right now I'm on a beer budget you better put that don perignon on ice!! (ok sassy self talk over.)

Yeah so while we are happy (well kinda) with our apartment we are SO ready to move. We found a great place right near my work and the university for only 100 euro more a month. its 3 bedrooms and 2 baths (an en suite in the master! check!)- its modern, has a washer AND a dryer. AND a dishwasher. fully furnished with internet and cable. AND has an alarm system. with a garden. It is EVERYTHING that is on our new place check list and then some. Its not a semi-detached house but it has more perks than most of the ones we looked at and its about 100-150 euro cheaper. And honestly- yes a house would be fun but it may be a little overwhelming for us so newly starting out. We are looking at it Friday and I'm super excited. It's available on the first and if we like it we are taking it! We will probably lose our security deposit on this place, but its worth it to be out of a one bedroom, everything half falling apart place in the middle of a very very noisy and somewhat dangerous area of the city.

oh yes and I can get my little white dog if we move into this place. I'm dying for one of these...

ok I promise to post that part duex post if not later tonight then tomorrow. I'm having a causal dinner party tomorrow based on a drunken bet that I can make the best American style meatloaf that has ever been tasted. ugh stupid drunken confidence. here's to hoping I can pull an amazing meatloaf outta my sober ass.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dropping The Bomb

I'm sorry I've been slacking on the blog front recently- It was a busy week with working and two big birthdays and a christening. Major difference from my long days of unemployment and the Frasier addiction haha.

I've been thinking alot about family dynamics for expats. I read some expat blogs and it appears that they still have great family relationships and they call home every week and there are frequent trips home and they feel life isn't complete without their family right by their side. There are also some expats that are very aloof about their family and it doesn't seem to bother them to be so far away. I think I fall somewhere in the middle of the two. I'm definitely not calling home every week, but I still miss my family and think of them often. But at the same time I'm not heart broken to be so far away. I think out of all of them I miss hanging out with my sister the most- but its been years since we lived in the same state much less hemisphere so unfortunately I'm even getting used to that!

Anyways I was thinking today about the fear I had telling my parents I was moving out of the country and how it really polarized my relationship with my parents. I think this involves a little back story.

First and foremost if you havn't found me through my sister's blog then I would check it out here. Her story is much too lengthy and complicated for me to even put into words. Needless to say she moved to Brazil to live with her husband and it was a hard and stressful thing for everyone in our family (her the most obviously).

Well ok side tracked a little bit- James and I started dating early 2009 after years of friendship. We went on an amazing trip through Europe and James spent the month of August with me in the states. After all that time together and countless hours talking and emailing and putting time and effort into our relationship we realized this distance thing wasn't working for us. We loved being together too much and having the Atlantic Ocean between us sucked.

One day we were sitting down chatting about options for us- which basically was what kind of visa could I get, how much it would cost, how long it would take etc. Then marriage was casually mentioned in the "that's free and fast" kind of way. As soon as that word was mentioned we both knew. We had both known for a while that our relationship was only headed in one direction. At that point though we both agreed that while marriage was an option, it needed some serious thought. This was about 3 days before James left to go back to Ireland and we had no clue when the next time we would be able to see each other. By the end of those three days, even though the topic was never mentioned again- it was decided. The next time we talked after James got home we started planning a time line of when we would get married and when I would potentially move over. It was exciting, scary, overwhelming and thrilling all at the same time. We finally picked a date and purchased his ticket to the states for us to get married. The big plunge. I even went down to the court house and got our forms for the license and picked out a Justice of the Peace.

One thing I hadn't done was tell my folks. For some reason we decided that maybe we shouldn't tell anyone. Now looking back on it I can honestly say I have no idea why we thought that was a good idea. Fear? Most likely, but I couldn't tell you. Well a few weeks (actually days) into this poorly planned idea I realized how shitty that was of me. How could I not tell my family I was getting married? no matter that it was the smallest ceremony in the history of weddings- it was me getting married. So I decided to "drop the bomb" the getting married moving to another country bomb. Not an easy conversation.

I was living in Virginia with my mom at the time so it made the most sense to tell her first. I just couldn't seem to find a good time to get her by herself to tell her my plans. One night she had to make a late night trip to the drugstore and even though it was strange of me to go I leapt at the chance. As we are sitting in the car (while she was driving- probably not the best time to tell your mom something like that haha) and I feel like I have to puke I had one of those now or never moments. I started- "So, uh...Mom."
Mom- "yeah?"
Me- "So- Uh- yeah. I have something I wanted to tell you."
Me- "So Uh- you know that Guy I've been dating James?"
Mom-- "yeah"
Me- "Well uh so yeah so I'm moving to Ireland"
Mom- Oh...OH alright.
Me-.....(trying not to puke)
Mom- "How?"
Me- Well here's the other thing. So uh, Yeah so. Yeah. So Uh yeah. You know. Yeah.
Mom- "???"
Me- So Yeah so we are getting married. " (as all the blood drains out of my face)
Mom- (long pause- still driving, very admirable) Wow- Well congratulations!
(ok so in reality I know I shocked the SHIT out of my mom. And I did it while she was operating heavy machinery. not cool i know.)

In the end I don't remember the rest of the car ride to the drug store. I remember babbling incoherently and Mom just kind of nodding along. I remember being nervous and upset and scared. I remember getting out of the car and Mom walking over to me and giving me a huge hug and telling me that she loved me and how happy she was for me. I know how hard that must have been for her to do and how grateful I am for her saying those words in that moment. It was one of the hardest things I had to do and it was nowhere near as hard as telling my dad. Which is a whole other blog post.

My mom and I have had our ups and downs- oh we still do. We drive each other insane. But all in all she has been very supportive of my move. Which means a lot. Its never easy being far away. I know its not easy for her to have both of her children living so far away- and so far away from each other. But it makes it so much better knowing that I can still call her and email her and cry and complain or tell her interesting stories and know there is no judgement. There is no sad voice on the other end of the phone, computer, letter saying I wish you were here. I know she misses me, but I also know shes happy for me. And that makes a world of difference.

Tomorrow I will try and post the second part of this way too long story on my mind!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts- The Bannana Man is Full of it


The hot water heater in our apartment is banjanxed (irish slang for broken)- it broke completely a couple of months ago and took our landlord about a week to get around to. So now it only has hot water in the morning and if we want hot water any other time of the day we have to put a two hour boost on. and wait. So my choice this morning- shower or dishes. Shower it is!

I'm going on a road trip today with a good friend from over here. She goes to college in Cork and is moving back for the semester and wanted me to come along so we could have a girls night. I have off the next two days from work so its perfect for me! It will be my first time going there and I hear the city is really nice. Another thing on my stuff do to in Ireland list crossed off. Also its going to be the first time since I moved over that we are apart for the night. We really are that stuck together kind of couple- just not in the mushy "I love you so much! No- I love you more!" Kind of way. We just enjoy each others company all the time. But I think a little time with friends will do me and him good!

So I got this great purse right before I left the States. Its an over the shoulder bag which are great to have when you are walking everywhere- doesn't fall off your shoulder. That can be so annoying when you have a thirty minute walk ahead of you and you are constantly pulling your bag up on your shoulder. Also it makes it harder for someone to grab my bag off my shoulder and run. (there is a lot of petty theft in the city). Well this purse that I love and have been using for four months solid is falling apart and I can't seem to find a reasonably priced bag to replace this one that has all the same features that I like about it...except for these:

These are all Orla Kiely bags. Shes an Irish designer that does all kinds of home decor and bags and wallets. She has a really simple, bright and distinctive design and I love her stuff! I've known about her for quite some time since Target had her do a collection for them a while back. Her bags don't come cheap though- Its about 160 Euros for one of these purses. Which when thinking about it, for designer isn't so bad. But still- if i got this purse the El Cheapo in me is saying "This purse better last me 10 years." But I really want one. I see people all the time walking around with their Orla Keily purses and I totally get bag envy.

The weather is really crappy outside. Just saying.

Limerick had a "50 Sexiest Men in Limerick" competition in one of the local papers. Apparently an Italian guy who own a pizza place beat out Mr. World- who happens to be from Limerick (?). But as I was looking at the names on the list for the rest of the 50 I happen to spot number 47. It was none other than Limericks own Willie O' Dea. Hilarity. Want to know why its hilarious?
This is number 47. He looks like an aging mario brother. And he is a total joke in these parts. He was minister of defense for the country and I'm not sure exactly what happened, but apparently he made some very stupid remarks and now he is no longer minister of defense. And hes back in Limerick. You get plenty of Willie O' Dea sightings- I saw him last week. And chuckle every time.

ok I guess I should go bathe now. People might appreciate that.

Monday, September 13, 2010

all the small and simple things

I have to say since moving overseas I've realized its the simple things that are the hardest. Giving up my car? It sucked- I loved that car. It was the show room car and I was so proud since it was the first car I bought all on my own. But now I don't even mind not having a car (unless its pouring rain and I have a long walk ahead of me). Its kind of nice actually. Giving up my job? It was hard, but also a relief- I was over worked, unpaid and while in a position I loved to have- I was expected to do way more than necessary and always on unrealistic deadlines. not opportune. Unemployment was miserable but bearable. Moving away from my family? well that's always going to be hard no matter what. But my family is so split up and so far away from each other already, even living in the states. So while hard, it wasn't as different as I thought it would be. (thank god for emails and skype!)

Whats really been hard for me is the simple things. The everyday stuff. The way people do small talk in the states, what you can expect walking into a store, good weather. (ha-ha) One thing I miss like crazy that I never thought I would-Ice- oh ice, I under appreciated you for so many years. Who ever realized the simple pleasure of being able to go into a shop and get a cup and fill it with ice. Not I. I crave ice some days. Its not that I can't fill some ice cube trays and stick them in the freezer or go to Tesco and buy a bag, but its just not the same. And iced coffee? I miss it so much sometimes I can almost taste some of Wawa's finest. (and you haven't lived if you haven't been to Wawa....le sigh.) Even James misses wawa- and hes about as Irish as you get!
Wawa- gotta get it!

I miss not sticking out- when I can get through an entire social outing and someone not mention something about America to me or some little joke about me being a yankee its a great thing. It's nice to be one of the crowd. I miss not having an accent or new people asking me why I'm living here. (now that I'm working in with the public I answer that question about 20 times a day) I miss understanding all the little odds and ends that everyone else seems to do naturally. And understanding everyone?? that's a whole other thing! The Irish not only talk fast, but the mumble and talk softly (unless they are drunk haha).

When it comes to shopping- I miss knowing where to go to get a good pair of jeans or a nice pair of shoes or even a sewing kit! I miss one stop shopping, I miss big grocery stores (not wal-mart!!) and sams club. I have no clue where to go here that isn't super cheap (Pennys- the Irish branch of the English primark stores. You can find really cute stuff there for super cheap, just don't ever plan on washing it and wearing it again lol) or super expensive like debenhams (kind of like nordstroms). I will never take Target and Kohls for granted again!

I know that none of this stuff matters at the end of the day- ice, shoes? pish posh. Its just more whining and moaning on my part. But this stuff is also the little bits and ends that make up a life style. My way of living has completely changed since moving here- as it should. Its helped me grow and learn a lot about myself and what I will and won't compromise on when it comes to change. Moving overseas has really humbled me- I have been knocked down many a peg, which isn't such a bad thing.

So I've been here four months now, which is nothing in the end, but its been quite a summer. I'm hoping that the small things won't be so noticeable soon. And on a very exciting side note- I found mountain dew- one more small thing I can cross off my list.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Its a learning curve people

Well I started the new job and I have to say its been exhausting. Not because its anything harder than I've done before, but I have to CONCENTRATE like I've never had to before.

I feel like every 5 minutes something happens or I encounter something different than I ever dealt with. Dealing the with general public is something I've done for years- in the states. Its a little different here. There are different social norms, different ways of saying the same things. Different expectations. Its hard for me, mentally at the least. But I'm really enjoying it- I'm learning so much. I havn't learned this much in two days since who knows when. It is going to be so helpful in integrating me into the culture here.

I have to say one of the hardest things for me that I've been doing is counting change. Who knew that counting out change is such a hard thing? I'm so used to quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies. Here you have one and two euro which is fine, but then you have the 50,20,10,5,2,and penny. its mostly fine except the 20 cent piece. it just throws me off. I have to think of counting change in a different way and I never realized it would be hard for me! I feel a little stupid about having a hard time with it but its just different. By the end of today I was wiped out- my brain was fuzzy and not the good fuzzy the I'm going to miss my bus stop fuzzy. I know that every day is going to get better and better and I'm really looking forward to it.

anyways enough about that...on to something way more exciting! for me at least...

James found this little Internet wonderland this afternoon. It houses some of the things that I want most in this world right about now...

oh sweet Golden nectar....They even have the even better diet version....oh its so close I can taste it....

and mac and cheese goodness- I miss the blue box! People here in Ireland think mac and cheese is disgusting. I think it's just cause they havn't given a good go!

oh I could sit here and post pictures and dream but I'll stop with those two. Its pretty exciting stuff knowing I can have my favorite products delivered to my door without waiting for a trip back home, but its definitely pretty pricey. 11 pounds for 12 cans of mountain dew? 3 pounds for cookies? plus shipping? its not cheap....but on the plus side they have an entire thanksgiving section!!! Pumpkin pie will happen in the Taylor household this November!! woo woo!

(yes, yes I know weight watchers kinda negates all of this, but a girl can dream!)

well I'm off to soak in a hot bath and off to bed- working all weekend and I have to say this is the first time in a long time I don't mind it at all!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts- a day late but not a dollar short


well so it has been quite the week. Lots of ups and lots of downs.

Lots of drinking as well. Had a friend over last night for "coffee". Every time I plan on meeting up with a girlfriend for coffee it turns into drinks. We had three bottles of wine and I had a hangover at 9:30 at night haha.

So I heard about the job this morning. I got a letter in the mail. A rejection letter. Talk about depression. I was feeling a little too sure about getting this job and i set myself up for disappointment. I called the company today to talk to the person I interviewed with. I want to know exactly why they didn't feel like I was good enough for the position. I'm not saying they made a mistake, I just want to know. I don't think there is anything wrong with that right?

Well so you know that old saying when one door shuts another one opens? I was having such a depressed day. Beating myself up, sad because I wanted a job so badly. Thinking of everything that we are going to have to put on hold while I start this entire process over of finding a job. Around 9pm James gets a phone call from a good friend of ours. He is a manager of a 24 hour service station and he offered me a job. No strings attached and I start tomorrow!!! I don't know all of the details, like what shift I'll be working and how many hours and the pay etc. But this is good friend, trustworthy and honestly I don't really care. I'm just so happy to have a job and a place to go and work! Another good friend of mine also got a job at this same place and is starting tomorrow too! We called each other and gushed (he is a 28 years old about 6'4- not at all the gushing type but we were excited). I'm so happy- this was out of the blue and there is rumours that it might be full time!! Finding a job in a country with 13.8% unemployment is pretty damn tough so I consider myself lucky!

And I'm starting to get nervous! What If I don't understand a lot of people? the accent can be hard for me to get! What if I screw up a lot? What if- What if? Well I know I've had a lot of challenging jobs in the past and have always succeeded. I just haven't had a first day of work in four years and in a new country. JITTERS!!

ok so maybe this post isn't as random as I thought it would be.

So husband and I are battling an addiction. Its become all consuming. In fact we didn't even budge on Sunday because we were overdosing....on Frasier

We are most of the way through season 9. Its all we have been doing for about 6 weeks now. We are total Fraiser addicts. James is forever singing the theme song- or he might sing a line and look and me and I finish it. Its embarrassing but it needed to be put out there. I think we are going to have major withdrawal after we finish. We cut ourselves off for half a day and it was too much for us. I think we lasted until about 8pm.

Yeah me getting out of the house is a good thing.

I got this in the mail this week. I haven't started reading them yet but I'm excited. I haven't watched a bit of true blood and I don't care too but I've been eyeing the books for a while now and I'm excited to see what all the fuss is about.

Thank all of you for your comments on my last post. It's a hard thing for me to talk about and admit to myself. I'm going to my first Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow. Its going to be a big day of firsts for me. I'm excited to get working on myself! I talked to a good friend about it last night who did WW and she looks amazing- she lost 2 1/2 stone (ummm like 28 pounds!) and she was skinner than me starting out so I'm hoping for good results if I stick to it like I should be doing!

I'm going to go and get ready for my big day tomorrow! Woo Hoo!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

oh thunder thighs why must you mock me so?

I have never been one to be known for my amazing self confidence but since I've moved to Ireland it seems I left my esteem back in the states. Must have been one of those things that I couldn't fit in one of my oversized suitcases.

I honestly feel like most of the problem stems from me being unemployed. A lot of my identity comes from work- I've always been a hard worker and have always found a lot of satisfaction in being busy and feeling like I have a purpose. Not that being unemployed doesn't mean I don't have a purpose, its just a real adjustment. There is also something that has come with my unemployment. About 10 pounds on my ass.

Now seriously, I know 10 pounds is not a lot, but when I felt like I already had 20 too much- I was not a happy camper. We were at a friends house all day yesterday and he happened to have a scale in his bathroom. I got on it and after converting the weight from stones to pounds I was a bitter Betsy. This is why I don't own a scale!!

I knew I had gained some weight, I've been in denial about it though! You know when you just don't feel as comfortable in your skin? That's me all the time! I hate how everything looks on me- I just "settle" on an outfit when we are going somewhere and I never feel sexy, or confident, or happy at the reflection in the mirror. And pants shopping in Ireland? Having to go up 2 sizes?? UGH. Lets just say I have made a solemn vow never, ever to pants shop in this country ever again. It's worth the price of a plane ticket back to the states.

Then, while all of these thoughts are swirling around my mind- my ex-boyfriend posts this on facebook (not on my page, but it was still unfortunate timing all the same). And to put salt in the wound, there is an ad for Dublin doughnuts on the side of the page. This article puts my swirling thoughts into hyperdrive. sigh. I tried a no-carb diet for a while- but between my monthly friend, vacation and drinks with friends it was not a success. So now I'm considering weight watchers. I may die of mortification going- Its almost like an announcement of "hey world I have a weight problem look at me look at me!" but obviously I do since I'm not happy with the number on that evil evil scale.

(I totally wanted to do the HCG Diet, which involves hormone drops and only eating 500 calories a day with some AMAZING results but my husband has put his foot down firmly on the fact that he will never, ever let me do that. probably for his sanity and mine.)

I think that I do need to do something drastic besides my usual half-hearted attempts at dieting, or stopping eating all together (my standard lose weight fall back, which obviously is not smart). Maybe doing it in a structured way will actually have some results and give me a much needed boost of self esteem- Which I need to do for not only me, but James as well because I don't think he can handle much more of me whining about being fat, ugly or whatever my current gripe is.

Also posting this on my blog is my way of outing myself so I don't say "OK that's it- I'm going to do something about this, and then shove back in my empty promises closet." Normally I keep anything like this completely private. So here's hoping that I don't wuss out and maybe I lose those 10 unemployment pounds!