Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Gorilla Love

Has anyone seen the new Cadbury chocolate commercial? It's pretty much my favorite TV spot at the moment. Now, I'm not usually a gorilla lover (erm, gorilla joke lover), but not only is this gorilla suit the most realistic I've ever seen (either that or somebody's a heck of a good gorilla trainer), but the choreography to In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins is spot on.

Come on, tell me you've never flailed around air-drumming the build up to that great drum climax? LOVE IT!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Heart aches and hopes

In the last few days I've gotten the chance to have long chats with one of my best friends (a wonderful, ROFL hysterically funny woman), and my beloved, brave sister. I love Skype! Virtually free calls to the U.S. (2 cents!) and free video calls between computers so I can see my crazy niece and nephew and exchange kisses :-) Last week I also got the chance to talk at length to a long lost friend in Scotland and, again via Skype video, take a peek at his sweet-looking baby boy sleeping the sleep of the innocent.

I can't imagine what life would be like here in a new country (it's been less than 2 months) without being able to have easy contact with family and friends. It's lonely enough sometimes. In fact, this weekend was the first in which I really felt lonely and at loose ends. I think that's why last night, for the first time in a very long time, I dreamt of a dear friend who died almost 9 years ago now. I still feel the ache in my chest from seeing Anthony. I can't believe so much time has passed since he passed! I still miss him.

On the hopeful side, I'm looking forward to the upcoming weekend. I'll be popping over to London for a quick weekend trip to see my cousin and catch a taste of the big city :-) A little bit further afield, my ROFL friend and another member of the Friday Night Girls, the one living every 12 year old boy's dream :-), are planning to come over in January, and my sister and family have just made plans to come for a couple of weeks in June. Yesss! I can't wait. Now, who's next? The calendar's still pretty wide open.

P.S. Don, where's my calendar widget? Are you there? Helloooo?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Soft and Hard

I woke up this Sunday morning to a fine but steady rain, with the wind blowing through the trees and even some gusts at times.

The locals will probably hate me for saying this, but I'm glad! It's been quite strange being in Ireland and yet having dry, sunny weather for the past couple of weeks. It doesn't fit my picture of Ireland at all. Of course, everybody talks about the weather here, it seems to be the favorite way to start a conversation. The main topic has been what an unseemly summer it was because of excessive rain. Since the kids have gone back to school though, we've had sunny day after sunny day. Coming from Raleigh, with it's temps in the 90's and drought conditions, I have to say that, at least for right now, I quite like the rain. If nothing else, it lets me know I'm not at home :-)

I have to say though that I tend to snicker sometimes when I hear the complaints of how bad the rain here can be. People here would freak if Ireland got the kind of rain that I'm used to - thunderstorms and gullywashers, the occasional tornado, and scary rides down the interstate due to lack of visibility. Now that's adventure! :-)

Friday, September 7, 2007

The great and the downright scary

Here's an example of the kind of thing I like best about Ireland vs. my life in Raleigh and the Job From Hell. Today (Friday) at 3:30, I heard the dulcet tones of my coworker voice one of the most beautiful phrases ever - "Hey Jamaican in Cork, you want to get out of here and get a drink?" Now, have you ever heard such a beautiful invitation? And, best of all, we walked out of there with no guilt or worry about what anyone would think - half the office seemed to already have left for the day anyway - walked up the road to the bar/grill at the local golf course and proceeded to start our weekend early! Would this ever have happened quite this way at the JFH? Absolutely not. Would I have felt quite so entitled to enjoy myself without guilt in my life over yonder? Heck no!

Here's the not-so-good part, and one my caucasian friends probably won't get the inherent drama of. Last night I girded my loins and walked into a hair salon to get my hair done. (Here you'll have to close your eyes and imagine scary music playing in the background while the black character in the horror movie screams, "No! Don't go into the basement!", just before he buys it big time. The black guy also gets killed off first, right? Sort of like red shirt on Star Trek). Anyway, it was either take the plunge or give in to the incipient afro action that was taking place on the top of my head!

The good news is they didn't fry my hair and no major breakage has occurred in the last 24 hours. The bad news is that, despite my being assured by several other customers that this was "the best black hair salon in Cork", the owner went on to a) gush about how beautiful and unusually nice my hair is (mine?!), b) voice her hope that she can someday travel to the U.S. to learn how they do hair so well over there, and c) complain that black (African) women in Cork don't take care of their hair and so she's thinking of giving up stocking supplies for them altogether! What.....?! This does not bode well for my future hair health, I'm thinking. I might have to go back to the idea of doing a regular jaunt into Dublin after all. Surely the capital city of this country would have some hairdressers who are on par with the U.S. Surely?!