Monday, March 31, 2008

White Folks Like Horses

In honor of the fabulously accurate blog Stuff White People Like, I have another one to add: Horse Racing. Yesterday my work sponsored a tent at a local (name withheld to protect the innocent) Point-to-Point. I have never been to this type of event before so I was really looking forward to it. Plus it was such a great day to be outside. A point-to-point (for those who may not know) is a horse race on a course around a large country field. It originally began in Ireland in the 1700s. The horses are thoroughbred fox hunting horses and are agile on grass terrain as well as jumping fences and other obstacles. It is a very expensive and dangerous sport. So I guess that's why white people like it.

Regardless, it was a blast. We tailgated like it was our job (oh yeah, I was there with my company so I guess it was my job). And the horses were just stunning. Lots of danger and action. I LOVED IT! And best of all, no fox were injured in the making of the race. So here are some pictures so you too can experience what it's like to be white. Click on the pictures to get the full effect.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Homeland Part 3.

After our trip up the coast we reached the destination where we spent the most amount of consecutive days: Gortahork in the county Donegal. This spot was recommended by a friend because her friend actually owned the pub. It was right across the street from the ocean and had rooms upstairs. We were so excited that I called weeks in advance for reservations. Just so you know, I called like 8 times because no one called me back and each call to Ireland was like $30! Anyway, I guess they work on a different schedule than we do. Turns out that the owner was having some type of family reunion that weekend so we were lucky to actually get a room. And this was probably the only negative thing about our trip: the walls in our room were THIN AS ICE and the family staying in the room next to us had a baby who cried ALL NIGHT! It was hell. But we weren't going to let it ruin our stay.

So we spent a lot of time just traveling around the county, seeing the sites, walking the beautiful beaches, taking the ferry to the Aran Islands, drinking tons of Guinness and eating oysters and mussels until we could eat no more. The food in Ireland was just great. Tons of fresh salmon and seafood, hearty meat dishes and of course fish & chips. It was a delight!

But the pub itself was great. There's something to be said about living above one. You can drink all you want and then go upstairs and pass out. We also felt strangely out of place in this part of the country because everyone speaks Gaelic as their first language. It was very cool but I had no idea what anyone was saying. And when they did speak English, it wasn't much better. I would just raise my glass and smile.

One family we spoke with asked me what MY accent was. I have NEVER been asked that. I said we were from the suburbs of Philadelphia and suggested they visit. The wife's response to me was "I would never go to the US." and I said "Why?" and she said "Because it's too dangerous, everyone gets shot there." I'm serious, she said that. That is her impression of the US. I just laughed and assured her that not EVERYONE carries a gun and that I did not even own a gun and more importantly, I had never been shot. Good times.

So after our 4 day stay in Gortahork. We made our trip back to the airport in Shannon stopping for the sites along the way and staying in Athlone, a modern town in the center of the country along the River Shannon.

It was sad to leave the homeland but we had tons of photos and memories to share.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief trip to the homeland and that you get to visit Ireland sometime so you can experience it all yourself.

But most importantly, have a FAB St. Patricks Day!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Homeland Part 2.

So after our star-sighting and ferry ride, Beeps and I got back into our car and proceeded up the coast of Ireland. We actually purchased one of those road maps at a local shop that tell you not just the main roads but the little dirt roads that go to who-knows-where. We weren't worried about getting lost though, after all, it's an island, where the heck could we go? There are actually very few highways in Ireland. And the secondary roads are basically 2 small lanes with NO shoulders. And most of those are lined with stone walls or hedges. So picture an oncoming tourist bus. Where do you go? Well you just slow down and move as far over to the left as possible and try not to hit the wall. Needless to say, our poor rental car ended up with some attractive scratches down the side. But don't tell Avis.

But overall the trip was fine and we actually took the dirt roads just to see where they ended up. It was during those times that we discovered out-of-the-way castles, beautiful vistas, and sheep in the middle of the road being herded by black and white collies.

Our next stop was in Westport. A cute, almost European version of West Chester, complete with tons of pubs and shops. It was also near Westport that we went to Croagh Patrick. It is said that this is the site where St. Patrick himself climbed the mountain, fasted for 40 days, and then at the end of his fast, he threw a bell down the mountain banishing the serpents from the land. Thousands of people make the pilgrimage here every July 31st to climb the mountain, many barefoot. We did not climb the mountain ourselves, but we did get far enough up to see some amazing views.

From here we continued up the coast to Donegal, stopping at many roadside attractions: castles, historical sites, ancient ruins, Yeast's grave, etc.

More good times to come.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Homeland Part 1.

As I mentioned yesterday, Beeps and I spent a couple weeks in Ireland back in 2006. Beeps was actually mad that I left the fact that he is indeed Irish out of my post. So my response to him was, "If you want to talk about you, then start your own blog." He didn't find that very funny. Luckily for me, Beeps did not inherit the stereotypical Irish temper. Instead he poured himself a Jamesons on the rocks and shrugged off my attack.

But I digress. Where was I? Oh yea, Ireland 2006. We had a blast and hope to go back some time soon. I would even live there if I thought that I could find some type of employment that did not entail sheering sheep or pouring pints. The landscape is so beautiful and the houses so quaint and sweet. We flew into Shannon and rented a car. I was scared to death about driving in Ireland: wrong side of the road, wrong side of the car, crazy locals, roads as wide as one lane and no shoulders edged by stone walls. I was sure that I was going to wreck the car. So Beeps did most of the driving. And he kicked ass at it. Round abouts? Who's scared of round abouts? I'll tell you who wasn't - Beeps that's who!

Anyway, we drove up the coast starting in Doolan a cute seaside town with the best pub of our trip. They also had a ferry to the Aran Islands, and a beautiful castle. It's amazing when you finally see your first castle. In the US our oldest man made structures are maybe 250 years old. In Ireland they can be in the thousands of years.

In Doolan is also where we ran into John Frances Daley of Freaks & Geeks fame. He's much older than his F&G character (probably in his early 20s). He was on vacation with his Mom & Dad and we ended up sharing a nice conversation with John and his Dad over a few glasses of 18 year old Jamesons. Whoda thought we'd have to leave the US to meet a famous person? Beeps made sure to tell John that he actually used Freaks in Geeks in some of his teaching lessons. We were too cool to ask him to take a picture with us, figuring he was on vacation and whatnot, so instead he accidentally ended up in the bottom corner of a picture I was taking of the castle on Inisheer. Behold.

We took the ferry to Inisheer (one of the Aran islands) and it was a beautiful place. There were pony carts waiting to take tourists around. Of course we grabbed one and had one of the best tours by a man named Michael. He spoke with the thickest Gaelic accent so it was hard to understand him at first. But once we got the hang of it I was asking him all sorts of stupid questions. He took us to see the shipwreck, the homes of some local artists, and the O'Brien castle.

On the way back in the ferry we could see the Cliff of Moher, which we drove to the next day.

A beautiful start to our Irish adventure.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Think I Can, I Think I Can

Heads up all you West Chester folks who hate driving the Schuylkill or 95 to get to Philly. There's a proposal in the works to open up the R-3 line to West Chester. If that becomes reality, we can count on the train instead of our designated drivers, to get us home after a night of debauchery in the city.

Simply go here to sign the petition!

To read more about the proposal, head over to WC Jim's site.

Tabhair póg dom, táim Éireannach

My sister, through the magic of the internets, has discovered that we are part Irish. My Grandmother's grandparents, on my Dad's side, are from Ireland. Why she never told us I have no idea. (However, it does explain my drinking.) She always talked about her Dad's side and how they were Pennsylvania Dutch. Anyway, I'm basically a giant mix of a lot of different white folks. Let me run them all down for you:

Dad's side:
German/ Pennsylvania Dutch

Mom's Side:

Beeps and I went to Ireland in the summer of 2006 and I kept saying that we were "returning to the homeland" as a joke, by hey, now it's actually real! So in honor of my new found history and this being Irish month, I plan on posting all things Irish this week.

To start things off, here's a great picture of my Grandmother's mom (seated in white hat), sister and her brothers looking very, well, Irish I guess:

Click on the pic for a great close up.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dub-C Is on The Map!

Guess what folks? If you ever wondered where the inspiration for Hometown Hangover came from, you can now feel the magic yourselves by taking a Google Maps Street View tour of your own. Just go to Google Maps and type in "West Chester, PA" then choose "Street View" and click on any of the blue areas. Then click on the arrows to do your own walking tour of the town. No need to worry about being hit by cars that run red lights or the homeless folks barking at you, this is as close as you can get to the real deal with out actually being there.

Some points of interest:

Be sure to click on the corner of S.Wayne and Gay st. to gander at Rex's Bar. Where many nights of magic and dirty martinis materialized.

Click on Market and Church and peer up to the 3rd. floor of the Manito Title Insurance building to reminisce about parties with JDizz and Beeps. Where Jeff and I spent a long night on the rooftop with the laser widow, and where Turkey flashed her goodies to the neighbor boys.

Hit the corner of High and Gay to gaze at Iron Hill and remember good times past at The Restaurant & Bar.

Be sure to stop by Everhart Park and take the dogs for a walk.

and finally,

Visit Rosedale and Church to do a couple of long overdue keg stands.

It's Bring Back Time!

How funny was last night's episode of BB9? I was right in my prediction of the partners splitting (which was what was expected) although I wasn't sure how they were going to handle it during evictions. It was kinda cruel for BB to make the sound happen right as Ryan and Allison were walking out the door with their bags only to hit them with the news that one of them is still being voted out. Allison's freak out was absolutely incredible when she thought for a brief moment that she was saved, only to be tossed out by a 6 - 0 vote! Now that was good television. And from all the crying she did, we finally got to see her without spider legs for eyelashes.

But I digress. Ok, so what I didn't see coming was that one person from sequester gets to be voted back INTO the house. I'm stoked because there's a chance that my boy Parker could make a triumphant reemergence. So I will be casting my vote on and you should too!

As much as I liked Jen on the show, I'm not sure I could stomach another sexy rendezvous with Ryan in the bathroom. So I need your help. Please go and vote for Parker to come back in the house.

And how will Ryan handle HOH? I'm thinking Josh will be in his sights!

Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What's That Sound?

I hope you all watched BB9 last night. Although it was just the veto competition, I think you would agree that we are starting to see the devilish side of our house guests emerge. As much as Josh is a total hot head, I do like him and Sharon together. And I like them as HOH. It is really entertaining when the pack kills off the most hated (Amanda) and then turns its sights to the second most hated: Allison. Josh really dislikes her and no matter what she says, he will never like her. And the rest of the house is perfectly happy that the heat is not on them.

My other favorite person in the house right now is Matt. At least he's making things interesting by playing all sides and trying to befriend everyone. he even goes so far as to make out with Sharon, um what? I love his advice to Allison about her predicament with Josh. He said something like "Gay guys are just like girls so just talk to him like he's your girlfriend." Umm what??? hahahah. That' your advice? The funny thing is that Allison took it! And Josh just hates her even more.

Also, how great is the love-hate relationship between Matt and Natalie? He's actually taken to hiding from her to keep her away. She's like a lost puppy, just following him around and trying to give him massages and cuddle in bed. And he just blatantly tells her to not touch him and "shut up." And she thinks he's just being coy. I love it! I did feel bad for her when she finally told him that her feelings were hurt by his meanness. I just hope they keep it together enough to win the game. I'm on team Matt & Natalie now.

So what about that sound? And the Hudson Virus? What do you think it means? I don't blame the house guests for being nervous. I think they are going to make them either switch partners OR start playing the game individually. If they don't split the pairs up soon, this game could be over in like 3 weeks.

One more thing. I don't think BB is telling us everything that goes on in the house. I was on Perez the other day and watched a clip of Josh talking about his sex life. (I don't subscribe to the online thing or have BB Afterdark so I miss a whole lot of action) and James was chiming in about his experience with, how do I put this gently, his pleasure in the back door area, which makes me think that Chelsia knows about his dabble in gay porn. So why didn't BB tell us that she knows? Unless they are saving that for another episode.

We'll have to see. I hope we say good bye to Allison and Ryan tonight. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 3, 2008


So my work helped the Chester County Historical Society create materials for their annual antiques show which was held at QVC. The Honorary Chair was Mrs. TOVA spell my first name in all caps Borgnine (wife of Earnest who is still alive BTW). I was excited because I'm such a fan of her clips on The Soup. I did not get to meet her, but my friend Josh (and Cultural Center Manager) did. I LOVE IT! Here he is with Miss TOVA! I'm so jealous. Apparently she was spritzing everyone with her perfume. Good Times.

And here's TOVA in a fun clip from The Soup.

MacGyver Hairdresser

Smoochies just sent me this and I have no idea whether it's real or not. But I'd like to think so. I am totally going there. I wonder if you get some chewing gum, a bit of duct tape, and a secret map with each cut?