Saturday, September 26, 2009

Feeling Creative

Busted out the 'ol watercolors for the first time, in oh... a year or so.

Celebrating Guinness

The past week or so has been a week of Guinness for me, and on Thursday, it was a night for Guinness lovers everywhere. As I'm sure most of you know, Thursday marked the 250th anniversary of Guinness, so here is my tribute to Arthur.

Last weekend I went to Dublin and got to check out the Guinness Storehouse (i.e. the Guinness Museum.) It is located near the river in the heart of the city and you actually start smelling it before you see it.

The outside looks like an old factory, all made of brick and the streets are cobble.

The interior of the museum is designed like a giant pint glass. It actually holds the world record for the largest pint glass, very clever.

There are 7 stories of the museum, taking you through how they brew Guinness, old and new, the time-line, advertising, and of course, taste-testing. You can even pull your own pint if you want! Which I, of course, did. They even gave me a piece of paper signed and dated saying I am a certified Guinness server, ha.

At the very top of the museum is a bar with a 360 degree of Dublin. It was jammed-packed in there by the time we got to the top, but we stayed long enough to get a few good looks (and a few photos too.)

For the 250th anniversary, I went to a local pub, Macy's, with my boss of all people. He had organized the making of a make-shift coffin with a skeleton of Arthur Guinness inside so that at 17:59 everyone could come outside with a pint of Guinness and get their photo taken together. I was in charge of the photo-taking portion. (Hopefully we'll get to put a little tid-bit in this upcoming issue of the messenger.)

The rest of the night was spent, well, drinking Guinness. ha. Also, later in the evening, a guitar was brought out and passed around to those who could play while the rest of the pub joined in singing. I think that is so awesome. Is that possible for that to happen in the states? What do you think they'd do if you brought a guitar into the C.C. Club (in Minneapolis) and tried to get everyone singing along? haha, they'd think you're nuts and kick you out, I'm sure. Which is really too bad. Watching everyone singing, having a blast - absolutely no inhibitions or lack of confidence, made me wish I could play guitar (or sing in tune for that matter.)

Well that's all for now, and I think I may be laying off the Guinness for awhile.. ha.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Abandoned Graveyard

As promised, I have photos of the abandoned graveyard that I discovered the other day. I went back on Wednesday to take photos so that I could share.

I also tried taking a few photos of myself (per request of many friends) but it just was not working out. Even though the previous day I had absolutely no problems wandering/laying around the graveyard, this time I kept tripping on hidden head-stones and putting various limbs right into thorny bushes and what I believe to be stinging nettles. I put my thumb right into one, and instantaneously felt a sharp pain, and within seconds 3 white bumps appeared =(

They didn't go away for a good hour after that. Also, the spot where I chose to lay down (the exact spot I laid down on the other day, mind you) was crawling with ants. So, needless to stay, I felt somewhat un-wanted, and chose to depart much earlier than I had anticipated. Perhaps the ghosts didn’t want me taking their photo, who knows?

I walked back to where I’m staying from there, which was about 2 miles. I stopped along the way to check out the beach (finally!) because I found the road that leads down to it. When I arrived, however, I realized why no one ever goes there. It’s not much of a beach really; more like a small cliff. The rocks were littered with old beer bottles and covered in cobwebs; not really the ideal beach hangout unless you’re a gang of bored 16 year-olds with nowhere else to go.

I only stayed at the “beach” for about 15 minutes, then continued on my journey home, which took probably another hour and 1/2 or so. Even though I do want to explore the town some more, I didn’t want to stray too far off of the streets that I know so that I don’t get lost. Also, I’ve realized that most of the streets that I haven’t seen are just full of houses, as any typical suburb would be. But I did take a few more photos.

After arriving home, my boss called to let me know that he had picked me up a device so that I can have the internet at my place (yay!) which he dropped off shortly after. (It’s just a little usb drive, it kind of looks like something Apple would make) It requires a SIM card, and I thought the packaging for the SIM card was awesome, so I wanted to share. (I enjoy blocks of color, what can I say?) Even though I now have the internet at my place, it takes forever to upload photos with blogger, so I think I'll just have to stick with posting during my lunch breaks.

I’m sure I’ll have more photos and stories soon.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weekend Fun

Sorry it’s been awhile, but I still have yet to get internet in my place, and we’ve been really busy at work, but anyway, I have time now so I’ll fill you in on the past couple of days. (with photos, of course!)

This weekend was really fun. It was super nice out, sunny and like 70
degrees. My co-worker, took me to a town called Wexford, which is about an hour away, to take photos of certain things in the town. (The Messenger has a Wexford edition, so we were taking pics for that.) We met up with one of the editors, a guy named Hugh, who took us around to various places, pointing out what he wanted us to photograph. Hugh was very nice, and extremely informative about the history of Wexford. Here are some of the photos:

We stayed in Wexford for about 2 1/2 hours, then we drove down to another town, Enniscorthy so that we could hand out copies of the Messenger to try and get more ads. (They are paid for entirely by ads.) We didn't stay long because we found out that another guy who works here had already done it just a couple of days ago.

We were going to take more photos in another town, Gorey, but by the time we got there, the buildings she wanted to shoot were all in shade, so we went back to Arklow.

I had been planning on taking a nap, because were going to go out all
night, but I only had time to change into something warmer before S.B.
came and picked me up again. I got to meet her husband, Robin, and the
3 of us drove up into the Wicklow mountains to a hotel that their friend owns
for dinner/drinks. It’s really pretty up there, it actually kind of reminded me of Colorado, only the mountains aren’t as high.

We had dinner at the hotel. I had to go with something traditional, so I went with Bangers and Mash (yum!)

and washed it down with a pint of Smithwicks. It’s funny because the young people here all drink Budweiser. One of Robin’s friends (who I met later) looked at my Smithwicks and asked, “Wha’ are you drinkin’ tha’ horse-piss for?” Ha! Apparently most people around here aren’t fans of Smithwicks, and only older ‘gents drink Guinness.

Anyway, after dinner we went into the back of the bar, where there is another little
room with a pool table and jutbox. Apparently, that is one of their favorite spots, so we hungout back there, and played a few rounds of pool. Pool here is a bit different. The balls are smaller and are only yellow and red (instead of stripes and solids) and there aren’t any numbers on them, except for the 8 ball. Robin and I are about on par as far as skill goes, so it was fun playing with him. We were neck and neck for the most of it. But then I played a game with one of their friends, and he kicked my ass in about 5 minutes.. ha.

After about an hour or so of being there, we took a taxi back into town to this pub, Darcy's, where we've been going to the past few days. It's really new, so everyone loves it. The bar-tenders are really nice there. So we took a cab (everyone was past the point of being able to drive), which are all like mini-vans here, and met up with Robin's family/friends.

We stayed there forever, probably 4 hours or so. It was fun talking to everyone, but I really didn't drink much. I wasn't feeling that great I was just tired, and felt
kind of off. On the way up the mountain I felt pretty gross too, like motion sickness, so I wanted to take it kind of easy. Plus, they wanted to be out allll night, so I didn't want to get recked in the first few hours.

We left Darcy's around midnight, and stopped and got a hotdog off a street vendor on the way down to another bar/club called Chrisy's. I woke up (finally) on the way down because it was so cold. I dunno what temperature it was, but cold enough to see your breath. Christy's was much more happenin'. Apparently everyone had left Darcy's to go to Christy's. There was a band and everything. They were just a cover band, but they were pretty good. I asked Robin’s dad, who I had been talking with most of the night, if there are any traditional irish bands here, and he said not really. Which is really too bad, I guess I’ll just have to go back to the Burren to hear anything remotely traditional.

Anyway, There is also a club up above the bar called Cube. I went up there to check it out, the decor was pretty cool, like retro meets disco. (I got a few photos, but they're pretty dark) No one was there, I suppose it was kind of late by this point, but it was a bit surprising (considering how much the Irish like to prrrty) It turns out they were all at another bar across the street called Sally's.

Robin had been talking about Sally's all night, like “ooh man, we're gonna end up at Sally's…” Just dreading it, so it made me a little nervous, like, what the hell happens there to make everyone talk about Sally's in the same voice.. oh man, Sally's? So when they said around 2am that it was time for Sally's I was like, ok, here we go! (Let's do this thing!) ha. Everyone was there! The whole damn town was in this
bar. It's actually pretty big, it has like 5 main rooms, and then a smoking patio in the back. I guess everyone just dread's this place because you only end up there when your blasted. So everyone there was just fucking wasted, but they all looked like they were having a great time, just laughing, and dancing and having the time of their lives.

It was actually pretty cool, I thought. Everyone was dancing and just looked like they loved life. There was a huge range in age too, and no body cared. There were teenagers, and then there were guys in their 60's, and it wasn't weird. I think that is pretty cool. I actually spent most of the night talking with Robin's dad, because Robin and S.B. kept running off to smoke. His dad didn't smoke, and was super nice, so I chilled with him. (also I figured I'd be less likely to have to bat off drunk irish guys if I was with a dad-type, ha)

The lights came on around 2:30 or so and I was like, “oop, that means it's time to go right?” And Robin was like nah, we have another hour at least.. ha. He was right, we stayed, well not an hour, but a good 40 mins more before they started kicking people out. Right before we left, Robin introduced me to this huge guy, he was like 6.5",300lbs. I went to shake his hand and he like squeezed mine in half! It hurt so bad. You’re taught that if want to make a good impression, and give a firm hand shake, you know? Well apparently that rule doesn't apply when it comes to drunk-farmer types.
Then it's okay to give a 1/2 shake, or maybe just a wave, to be on the safe side. My hand hurt for like an hour after that, sheesh.

I ended up sleeping on their couch that night, b/c I didn't want to pay for a taxi, and they offered, so I did. We didn't go to bed until almost 5am.. ha. The next day, we got up around noon and they made breakfast. Bacon, sausage, eggs, beans and toast. It was delicious =) I went with them to go pick up the car, then they dropped me off at my place, in which I proceeded to pass out alllll day. I literally slept for 12 hours, ha! I must have really needed it.

Since then, I’ve just been working. We had to stay late on Monday because we got a last-minute rush project. I had to re-design a pizza menu, and my co-worker had to red-design a Chinese restaurant’s menu. Since we had to stay late then, today I’m taking off early. I just wanted to update my blog before I take off. I discovered this really cool abandoned graveyard just up the road from where we work, so my plan is to go back there and take some photos (because of course the day I found it was the one day I didn’t have my camera with me.) I have to take advantage of this beautiful weather we’ve been having, because it wont be long before it turns crappy and rainy out all the time.

Well, take care! I’ll try and post the photos of the graveyard soon. Until then, I'll leave you with some photos I took around Moneylands.