Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Voted!

Have you?

If you're living abroad, send in your absentee ballot today so it gets there on time! If you're living at home, vote early! (In some states you can even register on the same day as early voting).

Avoid the madness on Election Day and the temptation not to stand in line thinking your candidate doesn't need you. No excuses if you want the right to complain, or gloat, afterwards.

It's mine, mine, mine!

OK, it's done. I held out as long as I could, but I finally HAD to give in to its seductive powers. I'm totally in love and like any new relationship we're spending as much time together as we can. A few frustrations - including the 6 hours I spent last night into the (not so) early morning fighting with it and trying to smooth out the relationship between another big part of my life, before finally figuring out how to make things work between them.

We're all happy together now, my new iPhone, home wifi, and me. Long may we hold this menage a trois! (And if I never have to read another Mac or iPhone help forum, I'll be a very happy camper!)

I do take the fact that I held out for so many months as a good sign of my impulse control. Although everyone who heard me salivating about it on and on for months may have wished I'd given in sooner :-)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Generous Heart

Despite having been here for 14 months now, I still get surprised more than every once in awhile by the difference in cultures between Ireland and the U.S.

The most recent event happened just 3 days ago. I was on my way to a work conference in Dublin, driving up with a coworker. We stopped off in Midleton (a place where I do not live and hardly ever go) in part so I could load up on chocolatey, high calorie yumminess to tide me over for the drive. We all know that calories you take in on a roadtrip don't count, right?

I stopped in at a small greengrocer, one of those places that are just so Irish . . . a few shelves of fruit and veg, with the small selection of candy and sweets kept behind the counter because there just wasn't enough space otherwise. A stranger to the proprietress, the high-spirited Angela, I immediately got drawn into a conversation with her. That is until everything drew to a screeching halt for me when I realized that I hadn't gone to the ATM and was flat out of cash. No cards taken of course, so I was prepared to leave everything behind and go and find a cash machine when Angela pooh-poohed my plan, insisting that I just take the bag of goodies because "I'm sure you'll be coming back through" and "I trust you, no problem!" No disagreement on my part was allowed and I walked out of there with a bagful of candy and my mouth literally hanging open.

I want to say "Only in Ireland", but maybe it's more like "Never in America" or just something about this one person I lucked into meeting. Whatever the case, is it any wonder I love living here?!

Note: I did give my friend the money to repay the wonderful Angela for me. Anybody that generous deserves to be met with trustworthiness.

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

I would have voted for him as President if his wife had let him run, despite his being a Republican and making the mistake of serving under George W. as Secretary of State.  But Colin Powell has now raised himself even higher in my eyes by ENDORSING BARACK OBAMA for President on today's Meet The Press!

Take that, George Bush!!  I'm dancing in my seat :-)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's official, my sappiness is incurable

I'm currently helplessly engrossed in watching that pinnacle of horrible TV countdown shows, 100 Greatest Tearjerkers (in British TV and international movie history). And yet, despite knowing that it's designed from the ground up to yank mercilessly at the heart strings by showing the most climactic clips possible from some of the best and worst films and TV shows of the last century, and even with Jimmy Carr's insufferable smirk and snarky comments interjected, I'm still finding it impossible not to react.

Remains of the Day
Mr. Holland's Opus ("the ultimate in manipulative and phony tearjerkers")
Love Story
Truly, Madly Deeply
I, Spartacus
Ordinary People
The Color Purple
The Green Mile
Sophie's Choice
The Pianist
Four Weddings & a Funeral
Cinema Paradiso
Life is Beautiful
The Killing Fields
Stand By Me
E.T. (#1. The first movie I ever saw and still one of the most moving)

Like a puppet I've sat here for the last 3 1/2 hours welling up over and over again. Ridiculous! But, I defy anyone else to not do the same.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sign #523 that I am a sap

Tears in the eyes after catching a 15 minute RTE1 TV segment on JFK's visit to Ireland in June 1963, six months before he was assassinated.

The unaffected warmth, enthusiasm, excitement and genuine welcome evident on everyone's face in those old films. It reminds me why I love the people here and makes me sad for the loss his death was to the world. I have loads of images in my head of the grief his death caused in the States, but I never thought before about how people elsewhere must have reacted.

If the world could vote?

Ever wanted to see how the rest of the world would vote if given the chance? Now you can. Click on the link below, cast your vote, and then see how McCain and Obama are ranked country by country. Fascinating.

If the world could vote?

A little aggression goes a long way

Today I came home quite late. The rain was doing its Irish thing of misting in all directions so umbrellas are useless and it was hard to see. As usual lately, as I pulled into the apartment parking lot, I felt a burst of anxiety as I craned my neck to see if anyone was parked in my assigned spot.

Ever since the next door neighbors moved in with their 4-6 cars (not counting guests), it's been a crap shoot as to whether someone will decide that my empty spot is fair game. I've come home at all hours of the day and night to find some inconsiderate jerk sitting in the spot I pay for. Apparently the bright red sign perched 2 feet in front of my spot saying that illegally parked cars will be clamped was viewed as a suggestion rather than a warning. Such was also true of the numerous notes (progressing from polite to sharp) I placed on windshield after windshield.

The only thing that seemed to make anything of a difference was the handwritten sign I finally gave in and tacked to the official sign: "The next car that parks here illegally WILL BE CLAMPED!!" That got me some relief. Until the day a week later when I came home at 7:30 pm to find somebody's truck again in my space. I'd had enough! I took pictures, then called the management company, again, this time demanding that they come and clamp the car.

Apparently all it took was me finally giving in and acting like a hardass for people to decide that they needed to obey the rules and respect my space. Not a problem since. Tonight when I came home there were cars parked literally in every free space that could be seen, or created. The only empty space left was mine, blessedly free of interlopers. Hah!

But why did you have to make me act like a b---h?!