Some pictures from Ireland

My cousin Timmy's cottage in Ennis.

Walking my Aunt Julia's dog, Rua, towards the sea.

Just some beautiful landscapes.

I think the boys are trying to show off their biceps.

Sio having a perfectly legal beer in the pub.

This used to be the landlord's home - back before my family owned the land. Now it's a ruin with trees for a roof.

No eggs, because Sio is allergic, but some lovely Irish bangers, bacon and black pudding, and toast and tea.

Sio worked on the bog with my cousin Michael.

She turned this pile of turf - she said it was hard work.

This is the village where my Aunt Mary lives, it's called Cloondahamper. That is a fun word to say.

Beautiful, eh? I think this is in Co. Kerry

Cliffs of Moher

This is the house built by my great-great grandfather, with some more recent additions.

This is the view from the backyard of the farm.


Everyone's Home

Sio's home from Ireland, Monkey's home from camp, and my mother-in-law and her husband are on their way home to California. We managed to avoid any fighting while they were here (although they did launch into Loki about Sio's plan to move to Ireland after she graduates from college - they tried to appeal to his nationalistic pride, which is actually deceased.)

It was exhausting just being around them, I felt the need to be in bed by 10pm every day they were here. It takes a lot of energy to avoid talking about anything of consequence!

Next weekend will also not belong to me, I'll be working at a local purchasing conference. I'm kind of pissed about that, too, but it will probably be not as bad as anticipated, just like the MIL.


Just the kind of thing you want to read

On the day your child is flying into JFK.

WASHINGTON - Airport security officers around the nation have been alerted by federal officials to look out for terrorists practicing to carry explosive components onto aircraft.

Of course, the Bush administration could just be talking this way because of Bush's approval ratings, and to distract attention from discussion of the Democratic candidates for president after the debate. But I also don't have any faith that they've made an iota of progress in diminishing al Qaeda's ability to attack us in the 6 years since 9/11. I'm going to not worry, but I'll be glad when I pick Sio up this afternoon and get her home again.


Talked to Sio

Sio called me this afternoon. She has a full-on Irish brogue now. Loki and I have agreed that we aren't going to say a single word about it. I sent Monkey a letter (still nothing back from her, the little brat) and told her not to say anything. I told my parents not to say anything.

I also told my sister-in-law not to say anything, and she is going to pass it on to my mother-in-law, who by happy (ha, ha, I'm laughing through my gritted teeth) coincidence is going to be here on the very days I took off from work so I could go to the beach and shop for college stuff.

So part of my vacation is going to be chewed up visiting with my right-wing religious fanatic mother-in-law and her even more right-wing controlling jerk of a husband. SIL and I have already agreed that we must do everything in our power to avoid getting into a car with him, because the Man. Cannot. Drive. He basically drives in two speeds: 50 mph and whiplash stop. And lord knows he would never be the passenger and let his wife drive, because men who sit in the passenger seat lose their penis - it just falls right off if you aren't behind the wheel.

And that's not even mentioning the politics. These people are firmly in Bush's base. So we all will avoid that topic, but if they start talking about how the gays are ruining America, I might have to cut a bitch.

They are coming in tomorrow evening, so we won't be seeing them tomorrow. Thursday, we'll have to visit my family to talk about Sio's visit with all our people back on the auld sod - but we'll probably see them in the evening/late afternoon. Friday will be spent with them, and I'm hoping like hell to make it to the Irish festival in the evening because I will need some alcohol to recover from spending the day with them. We have to pick Monkey up from camp (damn, that was a fast two weeks) Saturday morning, and they'll want an early evening on Saturday because they are driving to one of MILs husband's kid's houses for the remainder of their trip.

I need patience to survive this. MIL's husband has a myriad of annoying qualities that make me want to be incredibly rude to him - I have to live with snarking under my breath while he's here, so I don't start a big fight.


Is everyone still reading?

I swear, all my usual haunts are dead as a doornail.

Well, I'll talk to myself then.

The day after tomorrow (or, tomorrow by the time this is posted), Sio will be coming home from Ireland. I can't wait to see her, in no small part because I'm ready to start shopping for college stuff. I may be taking this whole going away to college thing way too vicariously, but I'm so excited for Sio! I actually couldn't wait for the shopping, so I already bought her a printer and an electric kettle - she drinks coffee, but she's primarily a tea drinker.

I've been checking her WPI mail, just to make sure no deadlines passed while she was gone, so we already know where she's going to be living - and she's not happy about it, but what can you do? I also googled her new roomates (yes, it's a triple) and they both seem interesting in a positive way.

And we still haven't gotten any mail from Monkey yet. Last year at least we got a token "send me more Mad Libs" note.


The internets are awfully quiet

Or at least my familiar internet haunts are quiet. Is everyone reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? (I picked it up at 2:30 yesterday afternoon and finished it a little after 11:00 p.m., including a time-out to prepare dinner and then another one to eat dinner - we had a pork roast marinated in jerk sauce and curried lentil salad - yum).


Life's a show, and we all play our part

I am unreasonably excited about two things in the Whedonverse right now.

1.) Tickets haven't gone on sale yet, but when they do, I'm going to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical (Once More, With Feeling) Sing-a-Long at the IFC Center in New York this August.

2.) James Marsters, who played Spike on Buffy and Angel, is joining the cast of Torchwood, the Doctor Who spinoff. Truly, this is a geek marriage made in heaven. My pervy little heart is hoping for some Captain Jack/Spike snogging.


I can't put a title in for some reason, but I wanted to share that today, on our way to and from the beach, we saw "Impeach Bush" signs on people's front lawns. True, it was in the least Republican state in the nation (Rhode Island), but there are signs!


Shorter Tim Noah

I'm an idiot who doesn't understand the difference between a partisan witch hunt and an actual criminal investigation. Bully for me!

It's 12:15 a.m., do you know where your pets are?

I do. Right now the big cat is sleeping on my bed, the little cat is curled up on the loveseat, and the basset hound is a flat basset in the driveway. He doesn't want to come inside. He's having some kind of teenage rebellion or early mid-life crisis or something, and he just won't listen to me today. I believe he's trying to force me to take him for a car ride, but it ain't gonna happen. Well, maybe this weekend, we can go to the dog park, but until then, he's homebound.

In a couple of minutes, I'll force the stinker to come back inside, no matter how forlorn he looks.


Day In The Life

Me first thing in the morning. Even the camera is a little bleary-eyed. Note that my bedhead looks kind of fabulous. Also: bodacious tatas.

One of my favorite places to be, although I do try to limit my driving.

Not one of my favorite places to be, but I have to lose weight before I can get my hip replaced.

Healthy breakfast of green tea.

My backyard.

I got my first ever pedicure a week or so ago.

Stinky in typical position - I call this the flat basset.

An uncharacteristic action shot of the furry beast.


Had to pick up Monkey at SIL's house, this is a notable building in my town, Cheney Hall. It used to be a kind of Lyceum for the employees of the Cheney Mills, but fell into a state of disrepair when the mills closed down. One woman single-handedly raised a million dollars to save this building, and now it's restored to full glory. It's used as a performance space and wedding reception hall now.

Going over the Connecticut River to get to my SILs house - you can kind of see Hartford. I really shouldn't take pictures while I'm driving, though.

Still motivated by my Weight Watchers meeting, I have a healthy lunch.

I met SIL at Chuck E. Cheese, where the kids were eating lunch. This is my niece Sarah.

My nephew Ryan.

My niece Molly.

Monkey at Chuck E. Cheese.

After lunch, SIL had to return something to the evil empire. Monkey was trying to look pathetic, telling me that if the owners of the store saw her looking so pathetic and sick, they would open up the claw machine and let her pick out a stuffed animal.

Monkey tried to get her cousin Lauren in on the act, but Lauren was too giggly.

I went shopping for refrigerators....

...while SIL and the kids went to see Ratatouille.

After the movie, the kids had dinner at the park, and Molly did her imitation of Macauley Culkin in Home Alone.

Yes, a healthy dinner of chicken nuggets and a root beer float. I abstained.

They played on the playground for a while.

Then we went back to SIL's house, where the kids played on what has quite literally become a jungle gym.

My SIL's cute gingerbread Victorian.

Back home, I clean up. This picture would look a lot more impressive if you had seen the before, but I do have some shame.

I settle in to watch something recorded by the Tifaux - this time, it's Kathy Griffin: My Life On the D-List. I love her.

The husband, snuggled up with his outer space blanket, made by yours truly. In a few minutes, I'll have to wake him up for work, but we'll let him sleep a little bit longer.