later on 9/29/00
So I've stopped procrastinating, and started writing my book proposal. I'm basing it on an outline that my online friend Lee (Hi Lee!) wrote up for me, and it's off to a good start. One of the areas I want to include is, of course, reader feedback. So here's your chance to be really famous. Email me and let me know a few things - why you read this, what you like and don't like about the site, how long you've been reading, if we've met (I have a bad memory), and I don't know, anything else you want me to know. Oh, and if I can use your name or not. I have no idea if or when the book will ever get published, but I'm having a lot of fun writing up the proposal. I have a million amusing anecdotes to write about.
Dunno what it is, but I just haven't been in the mood to write here lately. It'll pass, I'm sure.
Last night, Trish, Jen and I had our Patrick Wilson video fest (nummy), and then went to hear Adam and Kenny play at 54. I'm glad we were comped in, since the set was just less than an hour and not really worth it. But I do love hearing Kenny play live - apart from his show, that is. The good part about it being less than an hour was that since it started at midnight, it was over by 1, and we were home relatively early.
Today was full of meetings at work, starting with one at 11 - scheduled at that time because it was offsite at a vendor whose office happens to be 5 minutes from my apartment, and convenient for Jen and David, too. That took longer than expected, but we got a lot done. We decided to splurge and eat lunch outside at the Seaport, since the weather was so beautiful, and I made it back to the office a few minutes late for my 2.30 meeting with a potential software vendor. Whew. Running like crazy today.
I joined a very cool company called Play By Play yesterday - for a $99 annual fee, you get access to their list of shows to which they have $3 tickets. They update their list daily, and you call the hotline and request tickets. Trish saw Music Man through them, and it seems like Fully Committed is up a lot, so we'll do that next week. Excellent deal.
Going out to NJ tomorrow to hang with Joe and play with his CD burner.
Still loving Napster.
Nope, I am just too busy with Napster to talk, sorry.
You can buy a fiberglass cow if you want. The Cow Parade auction starts tonight. Now, what would I do with a fiberglass cow, really. (and yes, I know the correct answer is "put it on the deck")
Oh, should have checked the link before I put it up - apparently the NY Cow Parade is not run by the folks at cowparade.com - the NY branch stole the idea and formed a competing company. So don't click that. Stop! Don't click it! You can view the cows over at Amazon.
Well, maybe it won't rain today after all, but man does my knee ache. It is, however, 56 degrees out and I love it. Fall is upon us.
I am very happy to admit that I joined the Napster family today. I'm spending some time finding old Tom Lehrer songs and *cough* rare performances that have not been *cough* legally recorded. This could be better than lugging CD's to work. Why didn't I realize this before?
We picked up our tickets for Juno and the Paycock at the Roundabout today. A friend of Jen's saw it in London, with Colm Meaney, and said it was terrific, so I'm excited to see it. I have to pick up tickets for Betrayal, too - more Liev Schreiber!
later on 9/26/00
I went out for drinks with Irene from Xceed and some of her friends tonight at O'Flaherty's - a nice Irish bar. Which was ideal, as they're going to Ireland next month and the entire point of the drinking jaunt (besides the consumption of cider in slight quantities) was so I could hand off the Lonely Planet Ireland book (which ruled my world, it's like Fodor's for people my age) and regale them with stories and pictures of our trip. I'm excited that they're excited about going, and it was fun to share Ireland stories with someone I wasn't on the actual trip with. Our waitress was from Dublin, too, so she was happy to see the Dublin pictures and told us about her upcoming trip home for the holidays. Coworker Evan is going to Dublin for Christmas, too, there's going to be a severe shortage of Irish accents around me this holiday season!
I'm finally spending a night at home - an evening, that is. I got home around 8 from seeing Irene, after deciding there wasn't any show I was dying to see tonight (or could stay awake through) - tho Contact and Fully Committed were both on TKTS. Anyway, hopped the C downtown and chilled on the couch with some videos, and now I'm ready to go to bed. I'm feeling a little congested and chilly with this weather, so I'm wrapped up in my bathrobe, getting sleepy. And my knee is killing me - I could barely walk to the subway station for the amount of pain it was giving me, so I can tell it's going to rain like mad tomorrow.
Oh! Also stopped by the Manhattan Theatre Club offices to say hi to new friend Steve (friend of Michelle's, really), who saved me a few Wild Party posters. Very sassy of him! And much appreciated. Steve wants to come see me conduct Music Man, too, so I'm really going to have to pick a good date, so everyone can come. I'm waiting for them to send me info in the mail, so I can organize it. I'd like to do it before mid-November if I can, because I'll be on crutches after that, and I don't really want to wait until Jan or so when I'm walking again.
Oh, baby. Trish and I saw The Full Monty last night, and let me assure you, the Full Patrick Wilson is worth waiting for. The show itself was campy fun, nothing memorable song-wise, but the book was great, and the actors were all really talented. And Patrick Wilson, what else can I say but "wow"? It was really a good time, I'm glad we went - ran up to the box office at the last minute and got two box seats. But at intermission, we jetted downstairs and down the aisle into the front row, dead center. Oh, baby. Much better. Saw many bway celebs (including Stokes, cheering during the "Big Black Man" song). Anyway, go see it, you won't be disappointed. I told Trish I have to dig out my Carousel tapes with the Patrick interviews on them (thanks to my friends in LA), as he is one sexy bitch, in a non-threatening way ;-)
Rain today. I feel like I haven't had a moment to calm down since we got back - I'm still running and trying to catch up. Really tired today and all I want to do is go back to bed. But no, I have this 9am meeting - which means I hit major rush hour this morning and it made me cranky. Ugh.
The Really Useful Group redesigned their site - one of the nicest flash sites I've seen in a while.
RCN is really screwy - their connections constantly drop, especially when I'm uploading files, so my files tend to mysteriously disappear. And of course, they don't back files up so that they can be recovered for users.
Anyway. I wrote a long blurb last night about the shows that Mom and I saw this weekend, and the BC/EFA flea market (I won the conduct-Music Man package in the auction, yay), but since the server ate the file, I'm not retyping it all in right now. Hate RCN. Hate.
So anyway, highlights of the weekend included:
I picked up my bridesmaid dress from the tailor this morning. It's snazzy. I can't wait for the wedding - I hope it isn't too cold that weekend, since it's an outdoor ceremony. Brr. Anyway, now I won't trip over the hem when I try to navigate stairs.
I haven't watched any of the Olympics this year - are we winning?
From the Times:
In something of a rarity, the cast of "Copenhagen" — with no songs and even less dance — will record its original cast recording on Thursday. The producer is Bruce Kimmel.That makes me very happy, as Copenhagen is the 2nd play I've ever bootlegged (the first was Art). Love that play. Love Bruce - go check out Fynsworth Alley if you haven't already.
Invest-o-rama! I'm going to play the market. So I need ideas on what stocks (not mutual funds) to go for. Any ideas... let me know. And no, I am not buying back into Xceed, as they've just hit their 52-week low of $2.50. Heh.
I don't know what's wrong with me - I'm really enjoying the cast recording of Whistle Down the Wind. The music is really good (mostly), and moving. I can't believe I'm changing my mind on this one - it really was the worst thing I'd seen as of 1998. I'm sure this too will pass. Help me.
Have I mentioned lately that I love my job? Our North Adams office is in the old Tripod space, which is funny, as Bo founded Tripod and Village Ventures. We had a super set of meetings, and I'm loving it. During the meeting today, I had a deja vu moment for a second there - as if I had dreamed being in that meeting, in that room, hearing that speech before, and it all felt really really right. I'm so happy to be working there with such a great group of people.
And I do love New England - per coworker Judith's suggestion, I'm going to ask my boss if I can work from the North Adams office (if they've fully moved into the new space) while I recuperate from surgery. I think the fresh air would be terrific, and it'd be easier for me to stay with Jen's parents (if they'll have me) and drive up from Pittsfield than to try and get around on the subway etc. Much much easier.
Oh! We got our 'NSync tickets! Yay Jen! Can't wait!
I am feeling much more settled - going up to MA was a really nice trip, and it was nice to bond with coworkers again, I really work with a fabulous group. We've reorganized the services group, and I'm going to be doing a lot of work with strategic partnerships across the country. That's cool - I'll get to work with Kristin, who is a very cool person, and get to branch out from technology a bit, which will only help me grow. I can't wait to get started there - have some notes and docs from Kristin to look over tomorrow, and we can plan our attack.
Well, off to Williamstown for this company meeting... should be nice to catch up on some project work and see my other coworkers again. I should be back tomorrow night sometime.
I think ten days was a long time to be away. I haven't clicked back into any sort of routine here. I feel uninterested in the things I cared about before I went away, and I feel like I'm constantly rushing and still overwhelmed. I don't like this feeling. I don't like being apathetic, and I don't know how to snap out of this feeling.
Ah, back in the swing of things.
Started off the morning with a trip to the orthopedist. I had to wait an hour there, as my primary care doc hadn't sent over my bone scan results, so those had to be found and faxed over. Anyway, since the scan results conflicted with the MRI, my orthopedist decided that the best thing to do is do a reconstructive surgery, which will entail: cleaning up the suspected tendon infection, re-doing the bone spur removal, and doing something with the tendon/muscle in my left calf (!) to lessen the stress on my heel. He did some exercises with my foot and leg to see what was going on with my calf, and decided that I would look stunning with a scar there.
So anyway, we're scheduling the surgery for November, trying to get Blue Cross to cover a 2-day hospital stay ("So I can give you all the morphine you want"), and I'll be on crutches for a few weeks again. Bleh, but this should take care of it. Have to call the orthopedist's office in the first week of October to schedule the actual date for the surgery and the pre-surgery bloodwork etc.
Back to work, too, today. Very quiet office, which is nice, as I have a lot of email and notes to catch up on. Tomorrow we're going up to MA (company rented a van to drive us up, which was nice), and it'll be nice to see the North Adams contingent of Village Ventures again. I think I'm going to make it an early day so I can go back downtown and pick up my film before seeing Copenhagen tonight.
Gladiator is available to pre-order on DVD! Yeah baby!
later on 9/18/00
I'm so glad I stayed at home today. I am overwhelmed by the city today and needed a break. I did all of my unpacking and errands today - laundry, shopping, film dropped off, video converted, email read, coworkers called, bridesmaid dress altered... you name it, I did it.
I can't even express how happy I am that I'm back in touch with my friend Josh. Josh used to live in SF, and we visited back and forth a few times, emailled constantly and talked on the phone nearly every night. But that was all 5 years ago, and we lost touch when he moved to Salt Lake City. And I miss him dearly. I was upset a few months ago when I tried to email him at his old address and it bounced back, so I was excited to hear from him a few weeks ago, and now we're back in regular touch. I love Josh dearly - in an over-idealized way, I'm sure, and considering we haven't spoken on the phone in 4 years, or seen each other in 5, who knows how it'll turn out? I'm going to visit over Halloween, and hope it clicks as well as it did in the past, and figure out what's going to happen from there.
I'm tired - it's only 8pm but it feels like 1am to me, still. Jen drove up to her parents as she has no work for a while, so it's quiet at home. I feel like diving through old photo albums, and taking a long bath. I do NOT feel like figuring out what clothes to bring to this work meeting up in MA on Wednesday. I'm going out with Kenny tomorrow night after the show, it'll be nice to see him, but it means I have to think ahead a few days since we're supposed to leave for this work thing sometime on Wed.
I am not that pleased to be back in the city.
I am home! And working from home for now, as I am really tired... what's new here... Xceed fired 30% of the staff on Friday, so Jen is now unemployed. They also canned most of the original Mercury Seven staffers. Amazing. But Jen isn't too upset about it. She had been planning to look around for a new job at the end of the year, so it isn't too bad. This did not come as a surprise.
I am not in the mood to go back to work. This morning I took care of post-vacation stuff (laundry, dropped off film, am copying our videos to VHS - we overcompensated for the bad Paris video by taking 3 hours of video in Ireland, most of which is not too exciting to anyone but us). It's weird being home, but good at the same time. I typed up the journal entries I wrote while I was there, and here they go... of course, they're in the reverse order of what I usually write:
Airbus 340 - BigAssPlane. Much better than the Fisher Price plane we flew to Canada last year. We're enjoying our delusions of running off into the sunset with 'NSync, and I am embarrassed to admit this, by reading teeny bopper magazines in the airport bookstore before we get on board.
Took off at 9.20am - the last time I was in a plane, I jumped out of it. Very impressed with Virgin Atlantic!
Movie - U-571. There are 14 movie channels and something like 40 music channels. I love it. Virgin also gives you swanky plastic backpack-style bags full of goodies including, yes, a rubber ducky to keep you company should you need to brush your teeth. Very cute. I took a few extra bags for the folks at home.
The SkyMap (at 5.45pm GMT) says we have another 6.5 hours to go in the air. That's weird. Maybe we aren't going to London after all, but somewhere farther away. I hope it isn't somewhere warm, wherever it is, as I didn't bring anything to wear.
Midnight. Highly recommend Virgin! Highly do NOT recommend the scuzzy hotel we are at. Tho it's close to the 24 hour internet cafe (aptly called The Internet Cafe), so we checked our email tonight. And although it's been a relatively short day, I'm beat. Sleep!
On the train to Rochester for the Dickens walking tour. Our guide, Allen, is a blast - very funny, and he has lost of good stories about the Globe, Sam Wanamaker, the Dome, the Wheel, etc. I love London Walks, and with this one, we should be back in the city by 4.30, plenty of time to go to the scuzzy hotel to pick up the BBQ sauce I brought over for Tim. Distressed that we can't find the results of the MTV awards anywhere ;-)
Not that this is related, but Sam Wanamaker is in one of my favorite movies, The Competition, with Richard Dreyfuss - he plays the conductor.
Big old stuff! Cathedral and castle! However, now I feel like I've been walking all day (hrm). My new sneakers are very comfy, I must say. I like the main street in Rochester - about a dozen pubs and as many bookstores. Very "quaint". We're on the way back to London now...
It's a bit hard to travel like this, the way we are - because we're only in London for 2 nights and then off to Ireland, and staying one night in each place. So we can't really unpack at all. I'm sure I have clothes in this bag that will never see the light of day.
Midnight. Note to self - do not check email when there's a chance you'll see that Ngoc and Trish went to the VMA's and sat right behind 'NSync. Bye bye bye indeed. It sounds silly, but I'm actually jealous that they went. If we had been home, we would have been there, too. There's some consolation that you know, we're in London, but it seems like I'm missing out on a lot of very cool stuff at home this week - bad timing.
Off to Dublin in the morning - 10am flight, which means an early start to get out to Gatwick.
Witches of Eastwick was good again. Cider after was good, too. But in my pop culture world, I'd really rather have been in NYC with the rest of my friends tonight. And my heel, and my foot, where I dropped the computer on it last week, are hurting. Wah.
I can't believe I'm sad about all of this!
6.30am - too early for words.
7.45am - on the tube, still too early for words.
Woke up this morning and did some stretching to try and wake up. Tried to do a few plies to stretch my heel but no such luck - ow. So I am wearing sandals today as I think sneakers or boots (yes, I brought 3 pairs of shoes) would really hurt. Not too happy about that.
VMA-inspired fit of jealousy seems to have disapeared overnight. Maybe it's because it's too early, but I'm not totally stoked about getting on a plane. I'm glad we have a car in Ireland, as it's hard to pack light for 10 days, and my bag is heavy. And only going to get heavier as we drive around. I actually packed one bag inside the other, since we're planning to do mucho Christmas shopping while we're here.
On the Gatwick Express to, where else, Gatwick. Relaxing with the Gladiator soundtrack, which reminds me that we saw a man who could have been the younger, less-sober Russell Crowe on the tube last night.
Still tired. Must find breakfast at the airport as we missed it this morning (left too early). I'll be more excited when we there there. I'd better be! Big old stuff with irish accents!
If Heathrow is the O'Hare of British airports, then Gatwick is the Delta Marine Terminal at LGA. Tiny and cute, except of course for the walk to our gate, which is at the end of the longest walk ever. For Gatwick. I am amused that our little bitty plane has an ad for beer ("Kilkenny - the cream of Irish beer!") on the side. That does not exactly inspire confidence!
later on 9/9/00
So far, Dublin gets the big thumbs-up. We balked a bit about the rental car insurance rates, but then I realized that 99% of the world drives on the right side of the road. I'd charge and arm and a leg, too. I got the first driving pleasure, from the airport into the city, and it wasn't bad at all! The weirdest things for me were putting the car in gear on the left-hand side, and looking into the mirror on the left as well. But I did good, and it was actually fun after a while. Got lost trying to find Trinity College, circled it about 4 times trying to find the parking entrance. Finally found it and pulled in, checked into our swanky (relatively) room and breathed deep.
Walked around the campus, checked out the Book of Kells and the old library (200,000 books! I want!) Beautiful building, all those books... then we walked out the front and down Dame Street to pick up our tickets to Rent tonight, first row - by chance. It seems that American culture is seeping in somewhat, so we ate at Eddie Rocket's, which must be a variation of the Johnny Rocket's that're all over LA. Bacon and cheese fries - yum! If the brits can put bacon on something, they will. I'm not complaining.
Since we had some time to kill, we jumped on the city tour bus, drove all over Dublin. I wanted to go inside St. Patrick's, but there was a service on. We did go over to Christ Church Cathedral, which has a splendid crypt (much like what the Pantheon on Paris should have looked like), and went into St. Stephen's Green to try and find the Oscar Wilde statue for Missy (we failed). Did some see some very outgoing people canoodling tho.
6.30pm - pub to kill an hour. Mmm. Cider. Mmm. Cute irish boys who couldn't have been more than 22 challenged us to the computer version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which we lost, as there were too many questions about cricket for me.
So at 7.45 we went over to the Olympia Theatre for Rent. And we were really apprehensive - I mean, this is our show. And... it was not horrible! There were some scenes that were more beautiful than in NY - great directorial ideas - but there were 2 or three "what were they thinking" scenes. Overall, I liked it. It was refreshing, the first non-Michael-Greif production I'd seen. And a very young cast - they all played 19 and it really worked. My tape recorder didn't work. Bleh. The plan is to try and make it back to Dublin on Thurs to see it again, with tape recorder and camcorder (shh) in hand, and also to see the rest of the Dublin things we missed before flying back to London on Friday PM.
Trinity College is beautiful. I'm so glad we're staying here. There was a wedding at the Chapel this afternoon - lots of big hats. And were able to park our pregnant-rollerskate of a car right outside the building we're staying it.
Stopped at the same pub post-Rent for another pint of cider, encountered a table of lesbians and more cute Irish boys. I swear, the city is crawling with them. The boys, not the lesbians. Yum.
And back through the rain to Trinity to sleeeep. We're meeting my email friend Marie and her new husband Jimmy tomorrow for breakfast at 10.30 and have to load the car, check out, and make a reservation for Thursday night before we meet them. And a check of the weather will decide where to next - Newgrange if it isn't raining, more Dublin if it is. And then down to somewhere near Waterford by tomorrow night - must call to make B&B reservation, too. Night.
Met Marie for breakfast, and made our Thursday night reservation at the college. Walked up and down Grafton Street, stopped at HMV where Jen picked up 2 'NSync singles (we're too much) that would be "imports" at home. hee.
I drove us through Dublin to Newgrange - right through a mob of people in colored shirts, all headed for pubs. Was it a rugby game or some strange church service? Once we got out of the city the traffic cleared up, and we made it up the N1 to Drogheda and over to Newgrange, being careful not to run over any cows. Got tickets for the 3.15 tour, and used the hour of free time to get lunch at make a B&B reservation in Waterford for tonight.
Newgrange is a 5000 year old passage tomb burial ground - older than the pyramids and Stonehenge. Bigger than I thought, we walked all around it, and toured the inside tomb (which is smaller than I thought, considering the size of the entire mound). Very small inside, not for the faint of heart. Very cool. Found out from the bus driver that the fuss nationwide is due to the national hurling championship, not some kind of Guinness-related illness, but a game that has rules too arcane for me to understand. Kilkenny was ahead 2-1 when we left Newgrange.
Jen's driving now (on the N2, which is more of a 2-lane road than a highway), and we're heading south, skirting Dublin, and going down to Waterford. And we're also trying to avoid Kilkenny, which I'm sure is full of hurling hurling fans. Ireland is smaller than it looks on the map, and we're zipping right along.
OK, we were zipping along until Lucan, a town that doesn't believe in marking their streets. But by trial and error (and error and error) we found the R121 again, and are almost to the N7. Beautiful countryside. Lots of cows. And somewhere along the line, the sun came out :-)
6.30pm - Driving down the M8 (M9? Can't read my own writing) to Waterford, just passed Moone and abandoned stone church right on the side of the street! I want that at home!
10pm - Waterford. What a pain in the ass to drive around here. We found the city OK, but had a hell of a time finding the B&B. Our little map is badly drawn and the streets don't go where we expected them to. Jen = cranky. Me = thirsty. Finally found it, have a lovely room, and we are plotting tomorrow's attack, tho Waterford isn't one of the places I'm psyched about. Just not that exciting to me. I'm really looking forward to kissing the Blarney Stone when we get there, tho. To top it all off tonight, I went to put my hair up in a ponytail, and found a slug on my neck! Ick! Very nasty, very slimy, and very alive. We flushed it. This is not my favorite part of the trip.
Grabbed a bite to eat at the 24-hour burger place around the corner. The B&B is nicely located, just a pain to find. It'll be nice to walk around in the morning for a bit, but I think the best part of Waterford will be leaving it. We tentatively planned the rest of Ireland, and it looks like we'll be able to make it back to Dublin on Thursday.
Morning in Waterford. The B&B's bed might be the comfiest thing I have ever slept in. I do not want to get up at all. I cound sink into this feathery mattress and thick comforter forever. Or at least for another 5 minutes. The other B in B&B is breakfast, and it's 9am now. Must rise, shine and wash face.
7pm - well, apart from the B&B, Waterford was a bust. Nice big irish breakfast this morning. The cathedral was closed for repair, so we decided to hightail it out of town. My day to drive - headed out to the Waterford Crystal factory, got on the 10.10 tour. This was fantastic! A guided walk through the factory where we saw how they cut and make the crystal. The average wineglass takes 8 hours to make, and passes through 40 different people. The sun came out around 11am, which was nice. We took the scenic coastal route down to Ardmore. The best thing around Ardmore is the stone round tower and ruined church. The second best thing about Ardmore is that it isn't Waterford. Absolutely beautiful little village and the church/tower did not disappoint. We were going to do the cliff walk, but ran into a swarm of killer bees, so we turned back.
On to Cork! On the way, we took a wrong turn (OK, *I* took a wrong turn), and on the way back, turned around in someone's driveway, where this woman's crazed dog decided to attack the car. So now we have muddy puppy prints all over the windows. Hee.
Stopped in Cobh, the port where the Titanic docked for the last time before heading across the Atlantic. Or attempting to cross the Atlantic. We made a few more wrong turns trying to get to Blarney, but eventually made it to the Castle. And no line at all to kiss the stone! I kissed a rock! Great castle, in really good condistion, and you can climb everywhere in it! So we were ducking in and out of all of the rooms. We've decided to lay siege to the castle and take it over. And it's stunningly gorgeous out now - the sun is out and blue and everything is green and the clouds are fluffy and you can see for miles. We did our touristy shopping in the Woollen Mill behind the Castle, and called a B&B in Killarney for the night. On the way there now... Jen's driving, so my writing is almost illegible with the bumpy roads. Coworker Evan was right - the major roads go from highway quality to crap and back in the blink of an eye. I love driving here, it's great.
I picked up stamps at the post office in Cobh, so I can mail out my postcards once I write them all out. We've driven 327 miles so far. Speed limit is in miles, but all the distances between places are listed in kilometers. Filled up the tank on the way to Blarney. Roughly translated, gas is $2.75/gallon.
8.30pm - Carriglea Farmhouse B&B = big thumbs up! Big beautiful house, and our bathroom is as big as the bedroom! We stopped to get directions at a gas station, and everyone here is so friendly! We're taking the opportunity of having a big room to repack our bags as we've been living out of the trunk. There're cows in the front yard, and we didn't hit any. Drove through Killarney and it looks lovely and small. Going for food and pub now.
12.30am - Love Killarney! We went to the movies and saw Snatch - and it had Brad Pitt and was very funny. Will probably never play in the States, but it was great. All about a diamond heist and un-regulated boxing matches. Then we walked up the street to a very cozy pub (Courtney's), where there was live music and cider and talk of travel, religion and sex. And it's very very comfortable here. I could spend lots of time here. Very nice. Jen drove back to the B&B very un-drunkenly and we are in our big lovely B&B room for the night with the cows outside. This might be the least stressful night we will have.
7pm - back in Killarney tonight for the 2nd night. We drove around the Ring of Kerry, which was beautiful but not something we need to do again. Had good luck with avoiding all of the coach trips on the road. That took a few hours - on the south part of the ring, we took a detour up the hill to Fort Staingue, which as Lonely Planet points out, is 4km up a narrow, twisty road that's full of potholes. They were right. Inside the fort, I found a 4-leaf clover, lucky me. We then drove up to Tralee and then to the Dingle Peninsula, which was rather pointless and the drive consisted of twisty hills that Jen doesn't feel comfortable driving, and I had a lack-of-caffeine headache so I didn't want to drive it either. Turned back at Dingle, and now we are back in Killarney, and I have no problem with that :-) Our B&B from last night was full, so we're staying closer to town at the Weir B&B. Reminds me of the play of the same name, during which I fell asleep, so that bodes well for a good night's sleep.
10pm - mmm, pub. Went back to Courtney's for cider, but were so tired (from what? driving all day?) that we only managed one pint. Checked email at the net cafe in town and had dinner beforehand. I bought a swanky autumn jacket, but upon arrival at the B&B discovered that they left the security tag on it, so we must return in the morning to the shop to get it taken off. I'm going to take advantage of the bathtub here and go soak... I'm tired and achy.
Had to take out my Palm Pilot to figure out what the date is. It's Tuesday. We've been having that problem here of losing track of time. But it's a beautiful, peaceful place to lose track of time in. Killarney may be my favorite place so far... small, friendly and easy to find our way around in (except for tonight when my sense of direction seemed to be off, but see point one about the city being small).
I could move here. Easily. Or at least come back and spend more time in the places we've visited. Except Waterford. I've been marking off the roads on the map as we drive... 600 miles so far, and we've looped across the southern part of the country over to the west.
- It's been misty every morning with some rain, but it seems to clear up by 11 or noon.
- Except for Waterford, everywhere here has been friendly.
- Saw 2 soldiers in uniform with machine guns in a town we drove through. And we aren't even in the north!
- More sheep and cows than I've ever seen. They just wander over to the side of the road and graze there.
- Ireland is inexpensive, especially compared to London. The irish pound = $1.14. Average B&B cost has been 20 pounds per person, including breakfast.
- We're shot 2 hours of video so far and I have no idea what most of it is. Probably scenery. Or sheep. I've had no problem recharging the camera batteries over here.
- I walked all over a stone fort, steep hilly roads and around lots of horse dung in my knee-high leather boots and I feel fine. I brought my boots, sneakers and sandals with me, and my heel feels fine. Weird. Going to the doc when I get home on Tuesday anyway to see what's up.
- I really like driving on the left, it's natural after the first terrifying and confusing 15 min or so.
Sometime around 11.30 last night, the power went out in the B&B. I went downstairs to see what was up, and discovered that the entire block was out! I think it came back around 4am, because I sort of remember getting up and turning off lights. Or else it was a vivid dream. Speaking of vivid dreams, I had a weird sex dream about James, which I am just not going to think about right now.
Drove up and past Limerick (the Newark, NJ of Ireland) and over to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, which was really cool. Wandered around the grounds and played with the animals (we also mocked the Germans who wouldn't share their food with the ducks, and wondered if we now had to check the "Yes, I've been on a farm" box on the customs forms). Like I said, I've made more animal noises on this trip than ever before...
We stopped in Ennis for lunch at a tea shop - toasty sandwiches and tea. Pouring rain out. I bought the whiskey that Kate asked me to pick up, and now we're driving out to the Cliffs of Moher. As we drove, it cleared up a bit, and hopefully it will stay clear so we don't miss the edge of the cliff and plummet to our watery graves.
Times we've refilled the car: 2
Lost hubcaps: 1 (oops)
Phone calls to parents last night to remind them to try and get 'NSync concert tickets on the 16th: 2
7pm - Cliffs of Moher. Probably the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Scenery-wise, that is. It's very windy here, and while we jumped down to the cliff edge to take pictures, we're now back up on terra firma so we do not blow away. "Just take a step back, I've almost got the picture framed!" We climbed all over where it was safe, and up to the little tower at the top of the hill. Stunning. We just stood there.
Drove back to Ennis and then to Galway and found our B&B OK. We're staying in a shared apartment, first time for everything, and there are some Italian motorcyclists here too! The women at the house said they didn't speak English so well. They had left their stuff all over the apartment, and had put some of their stuff in the room we were supposed to stay in by accident. So we moved it all into their bedroom, and I left them a note (starting with, "Il non parle Italiano, sono Americano."), using their Italian-English dictionary. Guess we'll meet them tonight when we're all back. Time to go explore!
9.30pm - Galway is really nice - at least the city center is. I like how most of the cities we've been to have clearly defined centers, very easy to find and navigate. And I'm finding the west of Ireland to be much more beautiful and friendly than the east. But love it all around. I could easily come back to visit or live - I can see how Nora Roberts' heroines do it ;-)
The Italians turned out to be an older couple, not two young men as we were hoping for (darn). But very nice, and they understood my note.
Tomorrow's plan is to get up, eat, go back into Galway to shop for a bit, then cut across to Dublin. We have our room booked at Trinity already, and have been batting .1000 with calling ahead on any given day to find a B&B for the night, mostly on the recommendations from the Lonely Planet book. And although it's early, we're tired and want to be awake for the drive back to Dublin.
10.30am - and on the road back to Dublin. We pumped our own gas, wiped the puppy prints off the car finally, and thought about stealing a hubcap to replace the one I knocked off when hitting a large pothole. Now all we have to do is drive due east for a few hours and we'll be back in the city.
2pm - 3.5 hours across the country, on a very monotonous highway. But we are back at the college now. Going to park the car and then wander around some more, pick up Rent tickets for tonight, etc.
Wowsers - student tickets for the show came to 11 pounds each - cheaper than ever. And we're up in the dress circle as requested, as we are planning to (shh) videotape the show. We walked around Dublin Castle, St Patrick's, and the Marsh Library, where two little old men talked to us about NY vs. Dublin police, Mayor Giuliani (or Guiliano as they called him), and the libary. And now we're back at the college, repacking our bags for the airport trek tomorrow, before we go to the show.
12.30am - want to stay in Dublin. Many cute boys. Must move here soon. Got caught videoing the show but got the first 30 min. Cider. Mmm. Jen is singing off-key in the bathroom with her own words. Must stay here forever. Don't want to leave. Picked up a few pint glasses. Had cider. Mmm. Don't want to go to London or NYC. Want to stay. Night.
All checked out of Trinity College and this is out last morning here. We're doing some museum hopping: Natural History (full of stuffed dead things in cabinets - creepy!), National Museum (much better, big old stuff), Art Museum (typical).
It was rough dragging our bags up 3 flights of stairs at Trinity (had to repack) and down again. I'm glad our London hotel has an elevator.
I do not want to leave Ireland. Seriously. I could move here. Sigh. But no... must eat and get car and go to the airport. Bleh. Sad. I've really had a great time here, and want to stay.
Total miles on the car: 904.5 (plus getting to the airport).
I really don't want to leave. But I do love London.
It's weird to think that we still have another 2 days in London, as this has been a long trip already. And we did a lot in the past week. The time seems, as always, to have flown by.
I'm scared to watch the luggage handlers - I worry for the pint glasses that Jen and I smuggled out of the pub, which are padded as well as they can be in my (overweight) bag. We'll see when we get to London what condition they're in.
So what else...
- Ireland is small. And green.
- I want to live here, but would miss NY too much. Maybe I just need a house here.
- We've spotted 2, maybe 3, unattractive men here. But I could listen to them talk all day long.
- Wonder if the 4-leaf clover I stuck in my notebook counts as exporting plants.
- Sad that we got snagged videotaping Rent in Dublin and that my tape recorder failed both times. Maybe it's a sign.
- Can't wait to see the new ALW show (The Beautiful Game) tonight, also Whistle Down the Wind tomorrow, even tho I think it's scheisse. I want to see Jerome Pradon. He'd better be in, as it's my only chance.
- Must check email at cheap net cafe near hotel tonight.
Our plane landed in London on time, but the train from Gatwick to Victoria took forever. We grabbed a cab to the hotel with all of our luggage, only to find out that our reservation had somehow been cancelled. Luckily they had another room, and it is much less skanky than before. Dumped our stuff at 6.45pm and ran back out the door. Grabbed food from the 24 hour gas station/shop, noting the "no petrol" available signs due to the shortage and hopped the tube to Leicester Square, where we met Tim for The Beautiful Game.
Post show... pros:
- rained on stage
- fire on stage
- they said, "canoodling"
- knocked down a wall, cool
- half-naked men, which is what musical theatre means to me
- dumb love-song. That was bad.
The show wasn't as bad as I was expecting. I liked it. I'm glad we witnessed the hurling championship phenomenon last week as we just do not have that kind of sports hysteria at home. And interesting story set against the beginning of the Catholic/Protestant troubles in Northern Ireland. There was so much interpretative dance, however, that Tim renamed the show "North Side Story."
Checked email tonight, nothing new at home. And now... sleep. Hoping to do Hampton Court tomorrow if it isn't pouring!
I have this weird sense of foreboding but can't put a finger on it. Maybe it's related to going back to work, which I am not in the mindset to deal with, or back home in general, which I also do not want to do. I don't know what it is. Most likely it has to do with our hotel room having a tub but no shower, which is going to make hair washing interesting for the next 2 days.
10.10am - I am very tired today and the last thing I want to do is walk around all day. I do want to go to Hampton Court, and it does look clear and sunny out (for now, anyway), so I guess we're on. We got caught up in a long line at the tube station and just made it to Waterloo in time to meet the London Walks guide. It's the same guide - Richard - who we went to Stonehenge with 2 years ago. I liked him a lot, so this bodes well!
Our hotel - you know, the one with no shower - is letting us lock up our luggage tomorrow and arranging a cab for us to go to Heathrow. That's 2 fewer things to worry about. I still have this sense of foreboding that something is going to go horribly wrong. Hrm.
Everywhere we go, there are Germans. It could be a tourist occupation or something.
We get back from Hampton Court around 5ish, so I should have some time to wander around Covent Garden before going to see WDTW tonight. Jen's meeting up with her friend Ric, whom she's never met, tonight, so there will be no one to taunt me about my weird attraction to Jerome Pradon. Heh. Must also check email to see if the folks at home have gotten 'NSync tickets. And my friend Rachel emailled me the other day to say she had seen the news clip in NC that I did about Heather and internet deception, so I want to see if she taped it.
6pm - Hampton Court. Really big, like a mini Versailles. We got lost in the hedge maze ala Blair Witch. But it was sunny and I'm glad we went overall. Lots of walking around - my feet are achy. We met up with a girl on the tour (Karen?), who's from Slovakia and going to school in Germany. She's in London for the summer working at an e-commerce B2B startup. I gave her my card so we can keep in touch, and possibly get together in Germany or NY, should we make it.
Heading back to Tottenham Court now to check email etc. And then I am off with trepidation to see WDTW.
Checked email, we are so pathetic. On finding that the 'NSync concerts were all sold out, we hopped on ebay to see if people were selling tickets. And we bid. We are so lame. Bad Catherine. Bad Jen.
Over at the Aldwych Theatre for WDTW, ran into Joe Gillis - I forgot he was going to be in London this week! He's also going to the show, we'll compare notes over a pint later. Jerome Pradon was out at the matinee, but in tonight. He's really the only reason I'm seeing this again. Well, and to see if it's as bad as I remember.
Well. I'm really glad I went again, as it wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered. I feel I should eat my words. I really enjoyed it, which means that Martin Guerre moves up in my world as the worst thing I've seen. Glad that I saw Jerome Pradon, too, as I think he's sexy in a very very very weird kind of way.
Best part! Joe and I went to the pub around the corner from the theatre for cider after the show... and as we're sitting there drinking, guess who walks in? Jerome Pradon! !!! Joe was all confused, but I recognized him and got all flustered, trying to get out my program and a pen, but JP just looked around for someone, walked past again, and walked out. I was distressed! Maybe I'll be all cheesy and write a fan letter or something - and I never (ok, rarely) do that.
On the elevator out of the tube stop, I hear my name, turn around, and there's Jen - we had perfect timing in catching the same train back, wacky. She had a fantastic time with her friend Ric, so the night was all good :-)
No idea what tomorrow's plans are, but our car to the airport is at 5, and then it's back across the pond home to NYC.
Last day in London. Got to sleep in a little later this morning, which was nice. I didn't chance washing my hair in the tub, so I am wearing my "are you Amish?" do-rag today. We went down to Westminster Abbey, which is closed to visitors, being Sunday, and saw a crowd of people outside. Prince Charles and Prince Phillip were attending mass today, it's the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. We didn't wait to see them. Went up to Covent Garden, where I did indeed write a note to Jerome Pradon - but couldn't drop it off as the theatre was locked up, being Sunday. So I bought stamps and will drop it in the mail later today. Wandered around a bit, and had a late lunch at Wagamama's - yummy noodles. And now we're back near the hotel, where our luggage is locked up, doing a last email check before heading to the airport.
Although it was a great trip, it's time to go home. 10 days is a long time to be away and I'm tired from walking so much. I'm not really in the mood to go back to work, feeling very unmotivated, and not looking forward to the stress of being back in NYC. Plus, we have a company meeting up in MA on Wed/Thurs, so that's more travel. Bleh. Can't wait to sleep in my own bed and see Pixel and Mimi. It's just sad leaving at the same time that I want to go home.
I think I may try to work from home tomorrow as I know I'll be exhausted and want to sleep in. Also need to take care of things like laundry, film, video, unpacking etc. Lots to get done at home. Tuesday is foot doctor and Copenhagen at night, Wed and Thurs I'm in MA, Fri and Sat are theatre days with mom, and Sunday is the flea market that I'm supposed to work at. Right back in the swing of things. I just need a vacation where I do nothing.
10 days vacation
9 hundred miles
8 kilos of overweight baggage
7 hours flying
6 rolls of film
5 shows seen
4 bulging bags packed
3 hours of video
2 tired people
1 hour til the car comes
We amuse ourselves.
7.45pm - from "wait in lounge" to "last call - gate 30" on the monitor, and we run run run to the gate to get on the plane. Lovely seats right behind business class. Good movies on the way home. Had to quickly repack our carryon bags as I am bringing home 1000 cigarettes from duty free, about 800 more than I legally can. Must remember to pick up a Virgin blanket to add to my colletion, if I have room. Movies on the way home include Chicken Run and Keeping the Faith - Ed Norton, yummy. Ben Stiller, yummy. There's Blink182 on the radio, which means we are truly on our way.
11pm EST - descent into JFK! Almost home! We'll be on the groun in 30 min, and then luggage, customs and cab home. I napped on the plane but am still tired... all ready to go home now.
6.15am... off to the airport - I'll be back on the 17th. Yay!
And another day of beautiful cool weather! I love it. So we went to Cats last night, which was entertaining... It was the first show I ever saw on bway, so it was nice to go back and see it again - I had seen it last about 10 years ago, but oddly, still knew all the music. Hrm. Can't say that I'll miss the floating tire, but it's going to be weird not having Cats running. I'm intrigued to see what's going into the Winter Garden next, as I've never seen the theatre not looking like a junk heap.
Almost ready to go to Ireland... gotta finish packing, clean out my shoulder bag, pack my cd's (just remembered to put them in my bag to bring home from work), find my passport and the plane tickets, and get some sleep. Oh, and we're seeing Ain't Nothin' But the Blues tonight, about which I've heard nothing good.
Had to prepare mentally for the 'NSync concert tickets going on sale by looking up the Age of Consent in NY (it's 17). We have everyone we know (well, 2 people) trying to get tix on the 16th, since we'll be at Hampton Court. We do not love 'NSync so much that we will pass up the chance to see big old stuff to buy tickets. I think we are insane.
How cool! I found a doc reader for the Palm Pilot, and they have a library of converted texts, including Hamlet, which is what I was looking for. I don't think I could read entire books on the Palm (eyestrain, anyone?) but for looking up quotes, it's pretty cool. I did find Les Miserables, too, which is the book I packed for the trip, but maybe I will just bring the text on my Palm and see how bad it is. The batteries will probably die first.
I am all excited to fly on Virgin with their 6 movie channels and built in video screens on every seat. And I am more excited because we pricelined the tickets so we're flying like kings. Er, queens.
It is so beautiful out - the temperature dropped 20 degrees overnight, and it's really feeling like the end of summer. Gorgeous. I hope Ireland is like this. Fall has that starting-over, fresh feeling to it, maybe it's back-to-school associations, or just that it's so different from summer. The fresh air gives me a lot of energy and I feel like I want to get up and DO something. I know, I'll go on vacation. That's DO-ing something.
w00 cool - our friend Dona is in this US Open picture! How cool!
Happy Labor Day. I'm celebrating this day of work by watching TNT's ER marathon, and a slew of episodes of Whose Line is it Anyway? on Comedy Central. I have to say it, I find Tony Slattery oddly attractive. Ooh baby.
Gotta go change money etc tomorrow for the trip, and then I'm seeing Cats with Mom.
Today would have started out a lot better if I hadn't dropped my laptop this morning.
On my foot.
But I did, and I'm sporting a nice, egg-shaped lump. I think I'll just cut off my left foot and save myself the trouble of limping for the rest of my life. So I limped up to 43rd for the JCS closing. It was loud. It was crowded. And it was a very good performance. It's a shame that the Ford Center is going to sit dark for a while, since Oklahoma was postponed. Anyway, yeah, the show was really good and energetic, including the couple ahead of us that decided to stand every time they clapped. I tapped the guy on the shoulder and mimed that I could not see through his fat ass, but he didn't get the hint. A woman got escorted out for videotaping the show at the curtain call - that made me happy, in a hypocritical kind of way. Schadenfreude or something. Pleasure at her misfortune.
I love having nothing to do. Star Wars is on TV, and TNT is running an ER marathon tomorrow. Nice.
I got my bridesmaid dress from Eve today - it's more gorgeous than I remembered, and fits like a glove. A very long glove tho, I have to get it taken up an inch. I tried it on with the shoes I'm going to wear and promptly tripped up the stairs, definitely a bit too long. But it's a gorgeous dress, must take pictures, and re-wearable. Floor-length, black, silky, princess seams, inch-wide straps, matching wrap. Beautiful.
RCN is screwing up my account again - the rest of this page will be back on Tuesday, when I can recover it from my work machine. I am not amused with their connectivity - I keep getting dropped in the middle of file saves, so my text gets cut off in the middle. I am very annoyed.
I'm starting my vacation packing now - doing the trick of packing one suitcase/bag and putting it inside the larger one, because I plan to do some xmas shopping while I'm over there. I haven't done the video camera (since I plan to carry that in my padded gym bag, which is at work with my sneakers, which I haven't packed yet either) or makeup/bathroom stuff, that can wait for Wednesday night. 10 days is the longest trip Jen and I have taken together, and the longest I've taken in a long time, so my bag is a little heavier than usual. We're also carrying over some BBQ sauce (don't ask) for Tim, which isn't that light (Hey Tim, bring a bag or something on Friday so you can take this sauce off my hands).
I am no longer blonde. I'm dark brownish-red now. I feel much better. It's very sassy.
Speaking of all things sassy, a woman on the subway recognized me (or rather, the Seurat tattoo), from the MSNBC program that Anil was featured on! Very cool.
Kenny called from Cape May to see how I was doing and to ask if I thought everything was alright between us. I think it's a little clingy the way he calls me more than I call him (how weird is that?), but I chalk that up to the stuff he and Lisa are going through. And I think we're both concerned because (cover your eyes, Mom&Dad) my sex drive is practically nonexistant these days. How weird is that? Anyway, most ponder.
I love doing nothing on Saturdays - slept on the couch, signed a building petition to the landlord - they fired one of the doormen with no reason, no notice and no severance - went to get my hair cut and colored, went shopping for batteries and blank tapes for the tape recorder and the camcorder, and made a list of things to pack for Ireland. Now I have to figure out when to do the actual packing, as I'm seeing shows Tues and Wed nights, and we leave really early on Thurs morning.
My leather sandals are stinky. What's the best way to clean them?
later on 9/1/00
Music Man on TKTS - $40! Nice. I ran around like nuts tonight - dropped off something on 43rd street, than ran up to Copenhagen to see if they had stage seats for tonight (nope) or tomorrow night (nope), so I bought one for the 19th. Went up to Music Man to see if they had SRO (nope) than down to Aida to see if they did (nope). Ran by TKTS, and lo and behold - I got a ticket up in the mezzanine for $40 at 7.45pm. So I saw that instead.
And now, on the subway platform... the barge of death. You know what I mean. You've been waiting for 20 minutes for the train. You see headlamps down the tracks... you get up, get ready, and it's... the barge of death. That yellow and black work train, lurching, belching, crawling into the station. And it cries its loud, honking squawk of a mating call. And it sits in the station for another 20 minutes, blocking the way of any real trains that might want to come by. Ugh. Too sweaty to deal with the barge of death.
Bonus of the day - when I went to pick up my posters from Kinko's, they pointed out a barely noticible flaw that I hadn't noticed. And because of this lamination flaw, they couldn't charge me for the job. Which is nice, because it would have been $127 otherwise. I'll put that money towards some good cider drinking in Ireland.
Happy September! And happy 4th birthday to Mimi, the over-affectionate cat. At least, her birthday is somewhere around here - since she was a stray, it's hard to tell. But she came to my life end-of-september-ish, 4 years ago, and she was around 3 weeks old, so this is a good guess. Speaking of September things, this month marks my 7th anniversary of living in the city. I should celebrate or something.
All the theatre-lovers out there need to check out Fynsworth Alley's website - Bruce Kimmel's new label. Very cool site, and I stocked up on the Lost in Boston series for $7.99 each by joining the (free) record club. Go Bruce! All theatre lovers may now shoot me, too, as Mom and I are going to see Cats on Tuesday. Although the telecharge site crashed as I was confirming the transaction, so I had to call them to see if it went through (it hadn't), and they redid it over the phone. They said they've been having a lot of problems with that very same problem happening - I wonder why - Xceed built the site, after all.
It's supposed to be hot and humid, maybe rainy, all weekend. Perfect weather for holing up inside with April, my hairdresser, tomorrow to get my hair cut. Jen's heading home for the weekend, and Kenny's down in Cape May with Anil, so it should be a quiet weekend around the apartment.
I love Kipling bags. I have the "hacker" luggage - I thought that fitting. I'm on the hunt for a matching backpack, as I don't have one and it might be useful for the trip. I'm doing all sorts of errands etc today - mailed out some stuff to Paul at Merrill Lynch, checked out Kinko's pricing to dry-mount these posters, etc. Yay.
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