Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A wee bit of rain and the town shuts down.

Last night, two of the professors at IBI (Joan and Steven) had a group of students to their house for dinner.  After class, one of my classmates and I rode the train out to Castleknock.  Did I mention it had been raining all day?  The 20 minute train ride was uneventful.  The walk from the train station to the Singleton's house, however, was a whole different story.  It wasn't so much a "walk" as a "wade" through the river of rain that had drowned the street.  By the time we got there, we were completely soaked.

Fast forward a couple of hours.  Dinner was gorgeous (that's the Irish way of saying "delicious"), and I was enjoying the dry sweat pants Joan loaned me.  She even offered to let me stay the night so I wouldn't have to go back out in the rain.  But I had a paper to finishing writing and figured it'd be better to go home.  A friend dropped me off at the train station around 9:15 PM.  The train was waiting at the platform.  Perfect timing.  Right after I sat down, the driver came in. 

Him: Train's aren't running.  The line is shut down.
Me: What?
Him: We've been sitting here 2 hours already.
Me: Uh, ok.
Him: You'll have to take the bus.
Me: Where do I get the bus.
Him: Blanchardstown.
Me: Where's that?

He gave me directions and finally found the right bus stop.  There were about 8 other people already waiting.  After 30 minutes, I took out my notebook and starting writing a rough draft for the remaining part of my paper.  After an hour, I trekked back to the Singleton's house.  It was about 10:20 or so by the time I made it back.  Joan was very kind to let me take her up on the offer to spend the night.  She even had a toothbrush for me.  Needless to say, I'd wasted precious paper-writing time. 

I figured things would be pretty much back to normal this morning.  I mean, this is Dublin.  What's a little rain?  The train ride back to town took over an hour.  Only 4 of us full-time students were able to make it for class.  Someone said that the average rain fall for October was around 40 mm.  We got almost 90 mm last night!  That's about 3.5 inches. 

I apologize for the long story.  It reflects the length of the past couple of days.  Oh, the pleasures of procrastination and catastrophe.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Rivalry Begins

Spending the night with Karnes tonight to watch Game 1 of the World Series with Scott.  The game doesn't come on until 1AM here... it's gonna be a late night!  Davis got the mattress ready for me, complete with Cardinals pillow case.  Boo!  I'll be sure to drool all over it.  Gross, but effective.

Pre-game, pre-feud photo shoot.  We'll see how long the smiles last.

At least we have #5 in common. 

There's really only one thing left to say: Go RANGERS! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cafe Thursday

Like I mentioned in this post, Amy and I meet for coffee (almost) every Thursday morning.  In an effort to prevent getting stuck-in-a-rut, we decided to seize the opportunity to find the best cafe in city centre (notice the Irish spelling?).  So we're trying out a new coffeehouse every week.

Yesterday, we went to Starbucks.  Boring, I know.  Not at all Irish.  Or unique.  But sometimes the comfort of something Familiar is just as satisfying as the adventure of something New.  The last four months have been a whirlwind of New.  New country.  New home.  New school.  New friends.  New streets.  New culture.  Not to mention all the things that aren't New, just Different.  Different weather.  Different money.  Different traffic.  Different English.

All the New and Different takes its toll.  Recently, I've been aching for Familiar.  Watching the baseball playoffs is almost Familiar.  But watching them alone is New.  Watching them from Ireland is New.  Being around people who don't-even-know-what-baseball-is is New.  All that makes celebrating with the Rangers less Familiar and more Different.  And leaves me wanting.

Until yesterday, when I found something completely Familiar.  Starbucks.  Once Amy and I were tucked away in the comfortable chairs in the corner, all the New and Different disappeared.  We were surrounded by all-things-Familiar.  Familiar smells.  Familiar music.  Familiar triple grande soy latte in my Familiar see-thru tumbler.  Even the comfortable chairs in the corner were Familiar.  It was the perfect allusion of Home.

Next week we'll go somewhere New... I promise.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I know, I've been Missing-In-Action the last couple of weeks.  Mainly because there's been a lot of action to get lost in... which is a nice (albeit difficult) change of pace from a month ago.

Mostly-Irish-Academics.  Just finished my 4th week of class at IBI.  I can't believe how fast the weeks are passing! My routine is becoming... well... routine.  Up at 8 AM (make that 8:15).  Dressed by 8:30.  Sit on couch and eat oatmeal with raisins and peanut butter.  Brush teeth and glance in mirror by 8:55.  Re-do ponytail (one last time).  Out the door by 8:58.  Cross the street and catch the bus by 9:03.  (Although this morning, the bus didn't come until after 9:10).  Arrive at IBI by 9:15.  Get coffee.  Settle in for a full day of class and fellowship.

 Making-Intricate-Accessories.  Denise, Juli, and I have rented a booth at a three-day craft fair the last weekend in November.  Apparently it's a really big deal (which is why we entered it, naturally).  Since quilts take way too long to make, I've been experimenting with some new "products."  Mug rugs.  Pillows.  Zipper pouches.  Surprisingly, I'm staying fairly organized and have managed to keep the inevitable creating-mess under control.

Major-"Intraleague"-Achievements.  Baseball playoffs are both exiting and stressful.  Mostly stressful.  And, unless it's an afternoon game, everything happens really late.  It's way too hard to put the game on hold until tomorrow.  Especially if the Rangers are losing.  Or winning.  Or have runners on base.  Etc.  By the time I'm finally done with the whole "just one more inning rigga-ma-roll", it's 2 AM and way past my bedtime.  Luckily, tonight's game will offer me a few days of reprieve from all the playoff mania, since the Rangers BEAT THE RAYS AND ARE HEADING TO THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!

Miscellaneous-Irish-Activities.  Including Friday night "block parties" at the Karnes, Sunday night worship, and Thursday morning coffee in city center with my new friend, Amy.  Not to mention all the time that gets sucked up into the Dublin-Time-Warp to/from everywhere that must be gone.  Also, I've joined a Crossfit gym to get me ready for this Tough Mudder race/obstacle course that I'm doing May 12 with Shay.  I thought it'd be a good way to get involved and meet some folks.  Now I'm thinking it's crazy and I must've been out of my mind.  Oh well, God can work through insanity... right?