August 24th, 2005
My friend Gail likes to straighten things up. When we have lunch out she’ll neatly arrange the napkins and cutlery on the table, and bring any other stray items into line. "Don’t mind this," she said once, years ago, "It’s my cosmic job. Nature’s Little Pruner."
I loved the idea of a cosmic job, a clear, simple task to which one was cosmically assigned, that makes use of one’s natural bent. I wanted a cosmic job. As it turns out, I have one. I am the Direction Giver.
Continue reading “My Cosmic Job”
August 23, 2005
Aside from the start it gives to the locals, the most striking difference between running in an American city and running in the rural west of Ireland is dealing with the various animals that may suddenly spring up between you and the road. Dogs, sheep and cows are the main impediments, although the occasional waddling family of ducks can halt forward progress as well.
Continue reading “Running with Sheep, Part II”
July 1, 2005
I am a runner. This was a perfectly normal thing to be when I lived in Washington, D.C. I’d make my way down East Capitol Street from Lincoln Park, and join the running hordes on the Mall, passing the softball games, soccer games, ultimate frisbee games and gangs of happy tourist families enjoying the Smithsonian museums. I was watcher and watched, part of the scenery, one of hundreds of runners going by, nothing special. When I moved to West Kerry, things changed a bit.
Continue reading “Running With Sheep, Part I”
March 6, 2005 (Washington, D.C.)
I’m never quite prepared for the culture shock of traveling from West Kerry to Washington, D.C. Because I know D.C. so well, arriving here and settling in feels automatic. I know where to go and what to do. I have friends here. I know the metro system, the neighborhoods, the museums, the movie theatres and the restaurants. But it’s not really possible to make a seamless transition from rural Ireland to big-city America with no mental hitches.
Continue reading “Stranger in a Familiar Land”
January 21, 2005
Yesterday Ireland went kilometric. This means that all road signs and speed limit signs are now in kilometers only (previously, the speed limits were in miles and road signs were in either kilometers or miles, depending on local whimsy). I’m a bit worried about this new national uniformity. Traveling in Ireland could become too easy.
The first time I traveled in Ireland was in a rental car with two friends, Jane and Larry. When we landed, at Shannon, at night, in December, Jane and I decided that Larry should handle the drive to our B&B in Ennistymon. He could be heard muttering about "so-called feminists" as we headed for the car.
Continue reading “Kilometric”
January 13, 2005
I start a blog.
Coincidentally, I’ve seen two news stories in the past several days about bloggers who resigned or were fired from their jobs over their blog content. One was a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who resigned after being suspended for using his blog to poke fun at various initiatives sponsored by his employer. These initiatives included a Christmas "100 Neediest Cases"project of which he noted that some of these cases could be prevented by a "well-placed prophylactic." The other was a Waterstone’s employee in the UK, who was fired after his employers read his blog and its allusions to "Bastardstone’s" and "Evil Boss."
Career Suicide (last item on page,Washington Post, January 10, 2005)
Waterstone’s Sacks Employee Over Blog
Continue reading “Into the Blogosphere”