Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Story and a Hint in Run-On Sentence Form


Don't you love it when you enter a long hallway at work, and a quick glance reveals that no one else is in the hallway, so you take the opportunity to adjust the underwire bra that's been driving you crazy- a maneuver that can only be accomplished with some full-on self-groping- and then you realize that you've been walking straight towards the security camera the entire time?

Hope you enjoyed the show, boys.


Let's say, hypothetically, that you are visiting the library. Let's say, hypothetically, that there is only one librarian on duty, and she is sitting at the end of the very long reference desk. If you position yourself quiet-like-a-mouse at the opposite end of the very long desk, so that the librarian's back is to you, this can be problematic from a "getting help" standpoint.

You may want to:

1) Walk toward the librarian so as to enter her field of vision

2) Clear your throat so as to attract attention

3) Politely call, "Excuse me!" or, "Hello!"

4) Make use of the bell provided on the counter. When activated, the bell makes a pleasant ping! sound that is specially designed to indicate, "Hi! I need some assistance, please!"

If you choose not to employ any of these strategies or otherwise speak up, please do not be offended if the librarian DOESN'T NOTICE YOU.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

You know.

Sometimes I wish that I had a secret, password-protected blog where I could write freely about work. I like my job a lot, and I'm happy there, but sometimes I'd like to get some things off my chest, ya know?

Alas, that is all I'll say, as this is a very public, non-password protected blog and I do appreciate getting a paycheck. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage appreciates it, too!

And I would appreciate a tummy scratch, please.

No one here loves me. Never mind the fact that two weeks
at my beautiful countryside kennel costs nearly as much as a
round-trip plane ticket to Europe. I am completely neglected.

This is the saddest expression I can muster.

Things are obviously dire here in my house. So, let's see how the animals of Ireland are faring!

(I hate to say this, but please remember that any photos on my blog are my creative works, all rights reserved. Please don't steal.)

A dapper young Beagle mix welcomes us to the town of Kinvara.
He gave us a friendly bark at we walked past his house.


This sassy boy seems to rule the waterfront
portion of Ballyvaughan (overlooking Galway Bay).

The cows? They're fine, though slightly
perturbed by the presence of our car.

Officially in charge of monitoring the
hikers in the Gap of Dunloe.

The groundskeeper at the Muckross House,
Killarney National Park.

Horse #1: Pssssst! Guess what, stupid?
You have horses in the United States, too!

Horse #2: Yeah, I hear they also have dogs.

Sunbathing in Kinsale.

Woooooo! Just try to guess what bad
luck you'll have on your flight home!

Answer: a little red-headed Irish boy who kicked my seat continuously from Shannon to DC. I really, really wanted to reenact that plane scene from Kindergarten Cop*, but I didn't have a pencil handy. Damn.

I never kick seats, and still no one loves me. Woe.

*Detective John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger): Hey, kid! Come here.

[beckons to kid in seat behind him, holding pencil in other hand. Boy leans forward.]

Detective John Kimble: If you don't stop screwing around back there, this is what I'm gonna do to you. (snaps pencil in half)

[boy sits down and shuts up.]

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Signs and Messages of Ireland

The signs at the Cliffs of Moher deserve their own special section. Here are just a few, with my own interpretations:

The Cliffs

Ye who bowls on the cliffs be dying soon.

Beware of UFOs.

No bird-watching in Hell.
How many times do we have to tell you?
It's hell, after all. Burning is your only activity choice.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Back! Did not drive off cliff!

Just got back last night! Have been up since 4 a.m.! No Guinness in the house, WTF?

More talk about the trip to come, but here are a few pictures to tide you over. As you can see, I wasn't lying when I raved about the incredibly gorgeous weather, and it lasted the entire two weeks. It drizzled on the day we arrived, and the day we left. That's it. It's hard to get much luckier than that.

I actually had to buy a couple of t-shirts while we were there, as it was so much warmer than we'd expected! My waterproof windbreaker went mostly unworn, while the hiking shoes took a beating.

Mike and I at the Cliffs of Moher.

Hiking Mount Brandon on the Dingle Peninsula.

Hiking Torc Mountain in Killarney National Park.

Seven miles through the Gap of Dunloe. You can
see the twisty path through the gap up ahead.

Hiking on the cliffs of Dunquin, the most westerly tip of the Dingle
The Blasket Islands are visible in the distance.

We heard wonderful music, dranks lots of Guinness, ate some delicious seafood, and put not a single dent in the rental car. I developed an alter ego named Mary McCork who liked to provide running commentary as Mike was trying to drive. The only time she shut up was when we were trying to squeeze around a narrow bend on Connor Pass and she looked out the window, straight down a cliff, and her life flashed before her eyes.
Then she shut up. But only for a minute.
Here she is being obnoxious as we drive through Killarney National Park.

Mary McCork Calls the Shots from Liz on Vimeo.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hello from Ireland!

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick note. We're here on the Dingle peninsula and can I just say that I want to move here immediately? It's just completely beautiful. We've gotten very lucky weather-wise. It rained a bit on our first day (in Galway City), but we've had nothing but bright sunshine and gorgeous blue skies ever since. The natives are thrilled because apparently it rained constantly all summer long.

We have not driven our car off a cliff, or even dinged it, although we have had some white-knuckle moments on some of these cliffside roads. I'll try to post some pictures that will do them justice after we get home. The hiking has been great and we even got stopped by a herd of cows as we were driving down from the Cliffs of Moher a couple of days ago- you can imagine how delighted I was. Unfortunately, the farmer gave some sharp commands and they quickly moved off the road to let us through. It was over much too soon.

The only downer is that I managed to contract a head cold and I've been fighting it with various potions and powders from the local chemists. But it's not ruining anything for me- I just have to leave room for the Kleenex in my backpack.

We're off to Kenmare tomorrow- type to you later!


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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Slainte! My Lengthy Farewell Post

We're heading for Ireland pretty soon, so this will be my farewell post.

Good News Bulletins:

1) That numb spot on my leg has all but disappeared. I ignored your good advice and did not go to a doctor, not because I didn't think it was a good idea, but because I was so busy. Which is not a good excuse for not seeing a doctor, I know. But still! My leg has not fallen off, and we may rejoice.

2) On Friday I went in to work at 8:30 in the morning, and I left work only thirty minutes later than planned. Excellent.

Lengthy Bad News Bulletin:

I'm taking a graduate course online this Fall, both for my personal growth and so I can get promoted again down the road. My employer is paying the bulk of the tuition, but I'm still paying a nice chunk out of my own pocket.

As some of you probably know, Virginia has no Master of Library & Information Science (MLIS) programs, which means that I had to go out-of-state, which is naturally more expensive. Plus I get stuck paying fees for things I will never use, such as the new student union building. I'm sure it will be very nice thanks to my $30 mandatory contribution. Rock on, students. Keep the bathrooms clean in case I ever come for a visit.

Anyhow, I emailed the professor back in July, before applying to the college, just to make sure that my two-week absence (Ireland trip) in September would not be a problem. She said no, no problem, you can just work ahead in the course. But when I emailed her last week to remind her of the trip, she urged me to get online as often as possible during my travels to keep my participation points up. Argh! The point of this vacation was to AVOID COMPUTERS ENTIRELY.

But, okay. I'll do my best. And as long as I'm online doing SCHOOL WORK on my VACATION, I might drop in here to say hello.

Things I am Anxious About:

1) My new carry-on bag. I have this fear that it will not fit under the seat in front of me on the plane, even though the measurements indicate that it will. Why? These are just the kinds of things that I worry about.

Mike and I never sit on the aisle because I like to be next to the window. If the bag doesn't fit under the seat, I'll have to put it in an overhead bin, which means that every time I want something from my bag I'll have to crawl over the person in the aisle seat. And I am a Certified Frequent Bag-Digger. I always need something: my Burt's Bees, my hand lotion, a Kleenex, my book, gum, etc. I cannot be separated from my bag.

I bought this bag because 1) it's supposed to fit under the seat, 2) it has lots of compartments to help you stay organized, and 3) it has wheels. Our trip to Italy two years ago left me dreaming of a bag with wheels. Our plane arrived late in Germany, and we had less than an hour to go through customs and make it to our connecting flight to Venice, clear on the other side of the huge airport. Result: We ended up running Amazing Race-style for a good quarter of a mile through the airport, our shoes and belts in our hands and our bags hanging from our necks. It was great.

2) Getting on the plane. I have no fear of flying whatsoever. It's the airports that make me break out in a cold sweat lately. Crowds, lines, and lost luggage. Please just let us get to Ireland as scheduled, and let all our bags be waiting for us. Please do not let airport security force me to throw out everything in my carry-on. Amen.

And finally:

3) Driving in Ireland

Eeek... from Liz and Vimeo.