Ireland, day 1

Haven't slept for more then an hour in over 24 hours... but I'm actually doing pretty well.

Details so far:
Heathrow is a maze... it reminds me of the hampster cages with all the tubes. And it's a b*tch to get through... took us over an hour to go from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1. But British Air is amazing. Great people, two meals on our flight, and pretty comfy.
Now we are in Dublin at our first hotel (Mespil) and soon we'll be leaving for our day one adventures including a tour of Dublin, a trip to the Guiness Brewery and a shindig evening at Jaimesons (sp?).

Okay, away I go!


boobs and byes

I'm leaving tomorrow night for Ireland, and I don't think I'll be able to get on to post tomorrow... I have so much to get done before leaving (really, I shouldn't even be here now, but...).
I can't wait to share all my pictures when I return (back here by the 8th?), and hopefully lots of great stories.

In the meantime, you get to stare at a boob!

Click the above link to head to the League of Maternal Justice site and find out how you can support a woman's right to breastfeed. And not just that, but breastfeed where ever her baby needs to eat. And to tell Facebook that they suck for allowing pro-ana (as in Pro-Anorexia) sites, half-clothed teens, and pedophiles.... but deleting womens' pictures of them breastfeeding their children. Seems like some priorities are skewed there.

In any case, click the boob!

And miss me while I'm gone.



It's officially fall... for a whole three days now. So why, why, why is it going to top out at 88* today?! Bah.



California was fabulous... we had a great time, although I'm a bit tired from it all now (I'm sure this is something I'll be feeling for the next two months...).
I'll let my mom describe it:

Hello All,
Megan and I returned to Philadelphia last night, and thanks to the heroic efforts on Travis' part in driving to the city at that late hour, we got back to their abode on B***** before the witching hour. We had a fabulous time, though much too short, celebrating with Jimmy, Christina, friends and family. We met Chris' wonderful parents (her Mom is a doll), her brother, Michael and a multitude of friends and family. It had not rained in 6 months in LA, but it was pouring as Meg, Ted and Lin and I drove those lunatic freeways at 11:30 pm on Friday. What are all those people doing on the highway at 11:30 pm, I would like to know. We made it to our hotel and happily were joined for breakfast on Saturday by Jimmy [my uncle], Chris [his now wife], Anthony [Chris' son], Josh [Jim's son] and Gloria (the friend who introduced the bride and groom to each other). Chris was holding it together very well despite the rain that continued to fall Saturday. It was still cold, rainy and nasty when we went back to our rooms to get ready for the wedding. But Chris prayed heavily and amazingly the rained stopped and the sky turned blue and dried the grass. It was suddenly a gorgeous Southern California day!
The wedding was at a very beautiful restored historical site. The ranch house was built in the 1800s. The grounds were incedible with huge exotic trees and fragrant shrubs. Chris is an amazing artist and made all the flower arrangements, corsages, boutineers in silk and dry flowers in shades of pink and brown. Josh and Anthony walked Chris down the aisle and gave her away. A multitude of incredibly cute kids strew flowers in the aisle. The minister was very thoughtful and earthy at the same time. The food was delicious. Jim and Christi's first dance was to Satchmo singing "What a Wonderful World." Chris danced with her father, Josh and Anthony. Then Jim danced with me, which was a treat for me. Then everyone, even Ted [another uncle], danced and danced. We had sooo much fun and we missed those of our clan who could not be there. Oh yeah, Jimmy and all the guys wore black tuxes with cream colored shirts and pale pink vests and ties ... very California :-)
L, M.
The whole weekend was wonderful, and it was great to see family that we don't often get to visit with. Some pictures:

Now I just have to make it through this week, and it's on to Ireland!! Right now, with how crazy work is, it looks like that might be harder then I hoped. D - 3 crazy days to go!! :-)



I love this quote:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure .It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciouslygive other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
-Marianne Williamson


i want this...

So... I started to write a post yesterday and just never got around to finishing and posting it. Here's what I started off with:

Super busy at work today... a bunch of special projects, in addition to my normal stuff. I'm tired just thinking about it. Plus, I have to make about a dozen phone calls (this morning) and my voice keeps cracking like a pubescent teenage boy's. It's really annoying and distracting, and it causes my voice to squeek on the first letter of whatever word I'm trying to say at such a high sharp tone that it makes me cringe. Loverly.

::le sigh::

And I read this post this morning, and it makes me wistful (there it is again)...

Meaningful family activities
Posted Sep 18th 2007 10:00AM by Christina Sbarro
Filed under: Family togetherness, Moms, Dads, Creative projects, Outings

Tonight we stacked wood as a family. All three of us out in the crisp early evening, the sunlight slanting golden across the trees and the air sweet with turning leaves and wild apples. And it was fun in that deep, joyous way that leaves everyone happy and content.

Bean trundled after me, pushing his red wheel barrow full of kindling. My husband split logs. I stacked. We were a team, content to be near each other, working together, sometimes chatting or laughing and sometimes lost in our own respective thoughts.

When Bean tired of helping, he settled down with his tiny (real) hammer and a handful of finishing nails, and drove one after another into a soft piece of pine. He learned to use a hammer, the same way he learned to climb a ladder or water the garden: by watching us. In the midst of the action as we work, but not at the center. We've renovated our entire house and built a chicken coop with him underfoot, and he's grown quite capable of playing along side us.

I think there is something to be said for this. For time spent as a family where everyone is contributing towards the accomplishment of something. For good old fashioned work, as opposed to family time always being "entertaining."

It's easy to become preoccupied with making family time "fun time:" trips to the park, to the fair, to the local museum or book store. Family time often gets crammed into the precious hours of the weekend, and the sentiment is that of wanting every second to count. But sometimes it counts more when we're simply doing things around the house. Making a pie. Reorganizing the basement. Building shelves. Eating an impromptu meal on the lawn.

Does your family spend time together doing things that are meaningful and engaging, but are not explicitly "fun?" Not chores per-se. Or running errands. But activities. Projects. How do you spend time together as a family?

I want this. I want to have a big backyard with lots of trees... I want family time to involve just being together out there - raking leaves, toasting mashmellows, the smell of apples. I want the family!! Patience, I know...

Anyway, that was as far as I got yesterday. I'm realizing that most of my morose/wistful posts are written from work. I think this place is getting to me.

On a nicer note, it's almost CA time!! I'm really looking forward to the whole weekend... but it should be especially great to get to hang out with my mama. We have always been very close, but lately life has just been so busy that it's hard to keep up. So I'm looking forward to getting all the new scoop from her.

And this weekend will start the crazy run of trips:
- Just two days until CA!
- Then a week until Ireland!
- Three weeks until Pittsburgh
- Four weeks until Ocean City
- Five weeks until NYC to see Lauren
- Six weeks until Indiana to see Babs

The weekend after that Trav will be going to see the Steelers play with his best friend, Pat. Then Lehigh/Lafayette, then Thanksgiving already!! Only 9 weeks until Thanksgiving. :-)

And since this weekend marks the official beginning of Fall... I changed my computer background today, to this:

Isn't it fabulous?! It makes me happy just to look at it!

Okay, back to work for me. I probably won't get to post again until I get back from Cali... but check back then for pictures! Ciao!



Just a quick post (with pictures!) to say "New furniture... hurray!"
It looks great and it is super comfy:

What do you think? I love it all...

Now I just have to do something about those ugly curtains... and wallpaper... and carpet... and...

Back to the football game, then to bed. I don't want to go to work tomorrow!!


prep work

L'Shana Tovah to all of my Jewish friends...
So, it's felt like friday for most of this busy week... but today, it doesn't. Go figure. Monday I finally got to the dentist, and luckily it went pretty well. I'll stay on track now. We had three events on Tuesday (6 years, can you believe it). I told my boss, never again. It was insane, overwhelming. Ro & Pat are in Italy right now too, so I'm periodically checking on the kittie. Travis was in the city Wednesday (and Tuesday)... my smarty pants was taking an Excel class... he rocks at that stuff. I took him to try out his first Indian food.

I've started laying out things for my/our upcoming trips. Passport on the guest bed next to the big suitcase, the (finally found) plug converter thing... both for Ireland. My black dress (which still fits, yippee... and incidentally, I think looks better with my shorter hair) and new black shoes next to the small suitcase... for California. I think I'll add some popping red accessories to the black dress this time (nails, lips, earrings and a pin at the scrunching outta do it) for something different. Yes?
Now I just have to find someone with read earrings and a pin I can borrow!! Not a color I normally wear, but I'm excited to try it.

This weekend we are picking up some furniture and I can't wait. I hope to have some awesome pictures for you monday.

Two weeks until Ireland.

Some exciting news on the financial front, but don't want to talk about it at the moment, lest it fall through. Nothing so huge as winning the lottery, but enough to give us a little extra breathing room. More on that later, I hope.

Okay, time for me to finish up my day. Ciao.


pictures etc!

I just booked my flight to Indiana to visit my best friend Babs. I am so excited beyond words. The doll is going to split the bill with me, just to get my ass out there and I couldn't be happier about it! I miss my girlie so much. Add another state to my list. :-D

Plus, I finally downloaded all the pictures from my camera. All 168 of them! Yipes. I haven't found a way to get the program on our comp yet, but just stuck the memory card into my old camera and did it that way. Hey, it worked!

From our day in Philly with my bro:
Horse-drawn carriage tour.

At the Franklin Institute

Our "new" door!

Finally some shots with the new camera... I've mostly played with the macro so far. I LOVE it!!

For some reason, I love this shot of tomatoes... so pretty.

Okay, off to relax with my boy. Have a great weekend!!

Ps. Still looking for insight on the job stuff (et al.) from my last post... please feel free to comment!


grumblings and rumblings

Okay, so when blogger was working, my internet was down... when internet was working, blogger was giving me trouble! Also, I'm so damn busy at work that I could scream, and it's all stuff that I really hate to do. **I know, bitch bitch bitch.** In fact, I really only have about 10 minutes to pound this out... so lets see what we can do.

Welcome to September.

This past weekend was great! Ethan put off the Locks of Love thing... to grow it out a little more, plus pick a time when his friends are available to come... but we did do dinner with my parents and some family friends on Saturday, a picnic Sunday, and so much relaxing in between. We also hit up the King of Prussia mall and I got some of those new clothes I wanted (thanks to a gift certificate from my bro for my birthday). I got a pair of cute grey pants, like these, but with a nice tab front waist closure... plus a pair of these, and a really cute top. I also got a new bra from Victoria's Secret, which is a real treat because those bastards are expensive!! Yippee!

I also cleaned my closet and got rid of half a bag of stuff already. Clothes that I just don't wear anymore, or that don't fit me. Next is my dresser, and I expect to fill at least another bag with that! So no guilt about the new clothes.
AND Trav patched a big broken up chunk of our sidewalk/walkway to our front porch, which had been there since we moved in.

It was a good long weekend, although returning to work after that always sucks.

I've been taking lots of pictures with my new camera... and they have been turning out pretty damn nicely, although I have none to show you right now because of a small problem with software. There is a program you are supposed to download onto your computer before downloading your pictures from your camera... it's on a CD. The CD drive on our laptop is broken! I attempted to copy the CD info onto my jumpdrive, too big. So... no pictures at the moment. I'm going to call Fuji and see if I can't get the program another way. Worst-case scenario, I download the program onto my work comp and download my pictures there... then send to myself. Not fun, a lot of extra work (not to mention that I really shouldn't be downloading programs onto my work computer), but if it's the only way, it's the only way.

Speaking of annoying technological issues: I temporarily got my banner back, though it is slightly smaller then before and not exactly right. It appears the loverly lady that designed this site look has absconded from the internet, and took my background (which was hosted on her site) with her. I'm hoping one of the emails I have for her still works (anyone know how to reach Tamara of cybervassals?) and she can send me the file, so I can host it myself. In the meantime, I put together the above version from some lower res files she sent me as examples during the creation of the look. If I don't hear from her soon, I'll probably attempt to create a new banner for myself... we'll see how that works. Anyone have any creative ideas?

I'm running out of time here... what else?
Well, lately I've been very frustrated with my job and have been craving a serious change. I've always been up and down about my job. It has never brought me the satisfaction I had hoped for (especially from something that I spend the majority of my awake time doing or traveling to/from). I had always "known" that I would do something people related and semi-"give back like". That made no sense... well I wanted to be a vet when I was a kid, then for a large number of years I was thinking of being a PT, off and on being a nurse has crossed my mind. But for some reason, when I went to college I focused on International Relations. I've always love China and everything Oriental, but honestly politics is not my bag. So how did I end up with IR? I swear, sometimes I just don't know. I love some of it, I hate some of it... and this job, not what I pictured when I imagined a post-IR degree job. If I could make enough money being a researcher on China/Asia stuff for a crotchety old professor... I would be thrilled. But that just isn't reasonable because 1) that kind of research just doesn't make good money (it's normally reserved for grad students and they would get some tiny stipend), and 2) the kind of research that would make me some decent money would require at least a Masters, if not a PhD, plus a lot of years and working up to.
Lately when I've been thinking about jobs that would make me happy/satisfied, I've been off in a completely different direction. Conservation, working outdoors in a state park, with animals, or with people towards a more natural/wholesome lifestyle vein. Obviously I haven't been focusing on one specific job type, but these are all things I love and can see myself feeling great doing. The problem... my degree is in IR and I can't go back to school right now. Unless we won the damn lotto.
Have you been there? Felt this way? Overcome it? Suggestions, comments, ideas welcome.

Okay, I really have to get back to work and get some food in me. But I will leave you with one picture (not my own).
This amazing shot is from this website, and is described as such:
When Hurricane Gudrun thundered across southern Sweden in January 2005, it left around 100,000 people isolated and without electricity. Deep snow, fallen trees and severe temperatures meant several people died before help could reach them. Flying over SmÃ¥land photographing the devastation, Jocke – who specializes in aerial photography – saw this ‘remarkable oak tree print’. It formed partly by the storm brush of nature and partly by the impact on the soil of the forestry machines retrieving logs. ‘It’s as if the heavens had sent a message to the forest industry reminding them that, in this area, deciduous trees would have withstood the winds much better than pine.


Okay, I'm off. Sorry this is so long!!