Ireland

Friday, Nov 2:

Arrived in Dublin early, around 7:30am. Called the bank. Got some cash and breakfast. Got the bus to Belfast at 9:20. Texted G on the bus. Arrived in Belfast around 11:45 (a bit late) and G was there waiting. We went for a coffee right away at Costas, sat at a low table near the wall in round leather(ish) chairs. Chatted easily for a good while, then went to the Travelodge to drop off my luggage. Wandered around a bit, then met his family (dad, mom, and sister) for the bus tour of Belfast. Made the mistake of sitting on the open top, and holy crap it was cold! The bus tour took us past the place where Titanic was built, into Shankill and Falls Roads to see the murals, past Queen’s U. After the bus tour we were all freezing so we went into a pub, called Whites I think, that supposedly dates from 1630.  We had dinner there and then went to the Crown pub, very old Victorian pub that has a bunch of tiny rooms. Later that night another pub, McHugh’s, which is situated in the oldest building in Belfast, coincidentally right across the street from where G’s brother  lives. G was staying there, while his brother was away in Prague. After his family headed home, G walked me back to the Travelodge and then walked back to the apartment.

Saturday, Nov 3:

G met me at the hotel in the morning and we went to Costas again, sat at the same table for coffee and breakfast. Then we met the rest of the family and headed out to tour the North Coast. Saw the ruin of Dunluce castle, Bushmills distillery  (tour, whiskey taste, and lunch) and then the Giant’s Causeway. His family took care of all my tickets and food. I felt bad but they wouldn’t let me pay for anything. And after awhile, trying to insist just seemed awkward, so I didn’t. That evening we went for coffee at a tiny place along the seaside where supposedly they had filmed parts of Game of Thrones, drove around the area a bit, through Ballymoney where they live, through Portrush where G works, and then to Coleraine for dinner. Then the family drove G and me back to Belfast (about an hour drive). We had a nightcap at McHugh’s and then G escorted me in a taxi back to Travelodge. I had a hell of a time sleeping Saturday night because the bar across the street was very noisy, and also I think jet lag got me a bit, so I decided to check to see if I could get Roswell on Netflix over there. And I could! So I watched an ep of that and finally slept, probably around 2.


Dunluce Castle


Bushmills Distillery! Interesting tour and whiskey sample at the end!


Giant’s Causeway

G at Giant’s Causeway

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Maid of Honor Toast

It’s my best friend’s wedding reception tonight, and I have been procrastinating on writing my wedding toast for her. I finally wrote it this morning at work. I hope it’s good. I think it is.

K and I have known each other for twenty-five years, and have been best friends for nearly that long. Growing up, we sent countless hours together doing art, playing Barbies, going to Camp Coffee after school, talking about boys (and later girls), writing in notebooks to each other, traveling together, and even being roommates for awhile. In fact, during our time as roommates, we discovered the term “hetero life mate,” which Urban Dictionary defines as “best friends who are so close they know they will never part” or “someone of the same sex who you hang out with enough to consider your life mate…but not in a gay way.” We decided it described our relationship perfectly. It makes no matter that my hetero life mate turned out not to be hetero.

But as many of us know, friendships evolve as we grow older, and jobs, spouses, families, and other such adult obligations can make it difficult to spend as much time with our friends as we did when we were younger. There have been times that I have not been able to be there for K when she needed someone, but during the last couple of years, I’ve watched D help K through some difficult times, and I know that she’s well cared for.

So D, thank you for being such a wonderful partner to my best friend. K, I am so happy that you’ve found your true love. You’ll always be my best friend and hetero life mate, but I’m very happy to share you with your non-hetero life mate and lovely new wife. I wish you an eternity of love and happiness together. Congratulations.

Tired

Last week one of my husband’s friends passed away very suddenly from a stroke. He was 45. My husband, obviously, is quite upset, although he’s doing better this week. Since it was Easter weekend, they had the wake last night and the funeral was today. I went to the wake with him, and it was nice—of course it was sad, but people shared a lot of fun memories about him. But it was still very emotionally exhausting (not just the wake, but all of last week). I wasn’t able to go to the funeral today because I had work obligations I couldn’t get out of—a visitor from the French consulate. Luckily, another of my husband’s friends who lives just down the street from us was also going, so they went to the funeral together.

My visit today was quite enjoyable—the visitor was quite young, only 22, and really sweet. It was fun talking to her. (I was afraid she’d be old and cranky and we’d have nothing to say!) I am glad to know her, and although I sometimes (okay, always…) dread these visits, I am also thankful for them because I do get to meet a lot of really great people through my work.

Tomorrow I have a bit quieter day, just an orientation, and Friday I have my advising shift and then an all-afternoon orientation for my students going to France. Another exhausting day that I’m not looking forward to.

The weekend will be busy too—I’m speaking at an event on Saturday morning for my masters program, then it’s off to “Easter” dinner with my spouse’s family right away, then Sunday I have practice with my Fest group. No downtime, basically, over the weekend.

My BFF and her fiancée want me to come out and meet them on Thursday night for drinks, and I feel like I should go because I am the matron of honor, and I am planning the wedding shower and bachelorette party, along with their other friend. The planning is basically all done and they didn’t say that the meeting was for planning. But I feel like I should go.

I am just so exhausted already, and I was looking forward to alone time on Thursday night (my spouse is hanging out with his friends). So I really don’t want to go out. I probably won’t go…

Sometimes being an introvert makes me feel like a bad friend.

Fest 2011: Fourth Weekend

Fourth weekend, really? That means the season is more than halfway over! When did that happen? Hooo boy, the Fest Withdrawal is going to be bad this year… watch this space for morose musings and moping in about a month!

I had to leave early on Saturday (3pm instead of after 7) because one of my closest friends is pregnant and it was her baby shower. I was actually glad to leave because it was really hot on Saturday (though nowhere near as hot as we had the first 3 weekends last year), but let me tell you, I fricking hate baby showers! I don’t know why, exactly. Right now it’s partly because we’re trying to get pregnant, unsuccessfully so far, but I’ve always hated them. But it was nice to see my friends, and there was good food (ice cream sundaes for dessert!!) so it was okay.

Sunday was a very fun day out at Fest. The Queen Mum came to dance with us! She’s so crotchety and funny (and actually played by a man). The other highlight of my day was singing (and drumming) random songs with Tom the guitarist outside of Front Gate at closing time. There was a Cabriolet team listening to us, and the guy told us he felt like he was at a Flogging Molly concert. Ha! We were nowhere near that good (especially me– Tom’s an accomplished guitarist, but I am NOT an accomplished drummer!), but still it was a nice compliment.

This Is Your Introvert On Alcohol

I had a funny experience a few weeks ago. A friend(-ish… more of a friendly acquaintance, I guess) of mine from Ren Fest has a band outside of Fest, and I’d never gone to any of his shows. Finally there was one I could make it to, and I convinced my (ESTJ, I think) friend, Sarah, to go with me. So we got to the bar, found some seats at the bar, and ordered some drinks. Shortly thereafter, my friend, R, from Fest saw me and came over to say hello. He’s an INFP (self-proclaimed), and we said sort of an awkward hello and had a sort of awkward, brief conversation. It was probably made even more awkward than usual, due to the fact that I had a slight crush on him at the time, but it would have definitely been awkward anyway.  Presently, R announced that he had to make the rounds (an exit strategy!) and moved on. Sarah and I proceeded to chat (we’re close friends, so not awkwardly!) and consume our drinks.

After his first set, R came back over to talk to us again. He had a can of PBR in his hand, and by that time, I’d had at least one glass of wine. I wasn’t drunk, but I was definitely disinhibited. We then proceeded to have a very animated, not-at-all-awkward, and even (gasp!) personal conversation about Fest, while Sarah looked on, a somewhat astonished expression on her face.  It must have looked strange to her, as an E, but I knew exactly what was going on. Get a little alcohol into an introvert, especially two INFs, and we start spewing out all the feelings we don’t know how to express when we’re sober.

We’re not technically supposed to drink at Fest, since we’re part of the cast, but I think I might have to imbibe just a little each day next season, for communication purposes and entertainment value.

She Knows Me Well!

Woaaahhhh, something totally weird just happened!

I’ve been thinking on and off all afternoon about going to get a coffee at the Starbucks on campus. I had pretty much decided against it, when one of my coworkers told me she was thinking of going, and asked if I wanted to go. So then I decided that yes, I would go. But then we remembered that the Starbucks closes at 2, and it was like 2:02. Bummer. So, obviously, we decided not to go.

Well, literally about 5 minutes later, someone came back to my cubicle to tell me I had a visitor who had brought me coffee!!! It was my friend M, who goes to grad school at the private college that’s just down the road from my office. She’d brought me an iced mocha!!  Soooo sweet, and total strange coincidence! And I love that she knows what my Starbucks beverage of choice is.