Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Commoner is Hungry

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Have you missed me?  Did you think I forgot about you?  Not a chance. I've been thinking about  writing every day for a week.  The problem is that I've been sidetracked.  By what you wonder?  Is it shoes, or the latest Today's Special Value on QVC?  Is it my new favorite show Southie Rules? Or perhaps my obsession with the 49ers going to the Super Bowl.

Nope none of these.  This week I have been insatiably hungry.  All the time.  No matter what I eat.  Hungry, hungry, hungry.  This is a problem for me because I'm never hungry.  I have a personal quote that I live by.  If you've ever spent anytime with me you know it.  Eating has nothing to do with being hungry.  Because I'm NEVER hungry. Hence, I'm never hungry and always eating.

It could be the fact that half marathon training is in full swing, it could be the cold weather, it could be stress...who knows.  I'm hungry all the time.  

Nothing is working either, not the increase in protein or fiber rich filler foods, not the increase in liquids to fill up my stomach, not the feed bag of Hawain potato chips from Costco -nothing.

I even had McDonalds for lunch one day.  Not the happy meal I occasionally allow myself-No sire Bob.  Full on Number 6-Quarter pounder no cheese and large fries.  Nothing.

I often stand in front of the pantry and I stare-my eyes searching form something magical that can satisfy this longing.  I know it's chocolate and it has sugar.  

But-it's not the Cadbury from Ireland that's still lingering (Flakes aren't that good and are really messy).  It's not the emergency Oreos with chocolate filling that I carry for Hesta meetings.  It's not chocolate chips, hot cocoa or leftover Christmas candy.

I think I know what it is.  Today I really though about it.  I pictured what it was and I visualized like Michael Phelps before an Olympic swim.  There's only one thing that can make this hunger go away.

donuts_w2You know I can't have this.  I'm not even going to New York this year.  Gosh I'm so hungry.  Maybe I'll go to a donut shop and buy a poor substitute, or book a trip.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Commoner Goes to the Jameson's Museum

As I told you, on this trip to Dublin, I was determined to sight see.  My Trip Advisor App, told me that I had to go to the Jameson's factory.  Great I said, Jameson's is my favorite drink.

Don't be shocked, but I'm a Jameson's champ.  There's nothing like it, a quick shot and it warms your whole body.  Unlike tequila which goes straight to your head-Jamesons takes the long way there.  

Well first of all It's not a factory.  The factory is somewhere else in Ireland-I can't remember where -you can google it.  Maybe in Cork?  Yes I think Cork.  Regardless-they had free wi-fi there and it's friggin Jamesons!

Jamesons was one of the few places that I actually ran into some Americans.  How do I know?  We were chastised for our style of drinking Jamesons.  Yes we were scolded and demeaned.  More on that later.

I learned alot about Jamesons.  I learned that there were a lot of mice in the factory so Jameson had a lot of cats.  His original master cat was stuffed right there for all to see.

I learned other things, like it's triple distilled, which takes a long time.  Scotch whiskey and our hometown favorite Jack are double and single distilled.  Isn't that just like the Scotts and Americans.

Next I learned that they imported their barrels from America, and a few other places I can't remember.  They wanted barrels from places where the barrels were used for vanilla something and honey something and some other something.  (Does it really matter).  The funny Irish tour leader told us this gives Jamesons it's smooth taste.  Taste?  I thought?  Who tastes Jamesons?

We continued on our tour, looking at mashers and all kinds of machines that are used to make this wonderful whiskey when we finally got to the very pretty tasting room/bar.  

Now earlier in the tour we were asked if we wanted to do a whiskey tasting.  Everyone in the family looked at me and my response was I don't actually taste the whiskey.  So I declined.

We were also given an opportunity to choose Jameson's straight or Jameson's with ginger ale and lime.    I took the ginger ale one Rob chose straight which meant I would get both -and all at 11:30AM!!!! So cool.

So I watched the taste test from afar, which was of course rigged since they knew what they were tasting -but before it began the contestants were given one final warning-"Americans this is not a shot contest, you should not drink Jamesons as a shot you should sip it!"  Wait -WHAT?  Who would do that?  Who could do that?  Apparently the whole nation of Ireland.

So I drank my gingerale/whiskey which was really delicious.    Then I reached for the straight up whiskey and chugged it down.  Every one at the table, my whole Irish family, said to the ugly American  "DON'T DO THAT!!!!".

I had to tell the people back home, my cousin the bar owner, my friend the Whiskey drinker no one could believe it.  But I've learned and won't make that mistake again.

Yesterday I went to see the movie Broken City with Marky Mark Wahlberg.  There's a scene where he's in a bar and orders Jamesons.  You know what he did with it?  He shot it down (is that what you say? No clue).  I was like WAIT Marky Mark don't do that! 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Commoner Roams Around Dublin

Are you still wondering about that temper tantrum throwing child sitting behind me on the 7 1/2 hour flight to Chicago?  I'll get to that next time, but I have to tell you about some great things about my trip.

I've been to Ireland a half a dozen times or so, but most trips involve visits with relatives, trips to Pennys for deals, and sometimes a trip to the pub.  This time I was determined things would be different.

Before we left, I googled 'Things to do In Dublin'.  My initial list included Guiness, Book of Kells, James Joyce Cultural Center, Jameson s, and my favorite Food, Folklore, and Fairies.  I became obsessed with that one.  What I found out was that Trip Adviser let me download an app with tons of things to do based on where I was.

Trinity College?  Loved it.  Why did I never go there?  Book of Kells?  Closed.  How are the Book of Kells closed?  I don't get it.  Okay we'll come back on Wednesday for that.

We went to Kilkenny wool shops, St. Theresa's church, Brazenhead Pub  (although not the Fairy part), Brewley's Tea Shop, Guinness, and Jameson's to name a few.

The best part about the Trip Advisor App, you could hit the button that said near me.  Then this green arrow will lead you where you want to go.  LOVE THAT.

Seeing how I had no data plan in Ireland and no Wi-Fi at Anne's house-I became the Free Wi-Fi professional of Dublin.  I could smell out the free Wi-Fi places-(Tons of them really) log on and check in with everyone on Facebook, and nag my kids with text messages. 

Walking up O'ConnellGrafton, and Henry's Street I had some observations.

First of all-Dublin's usually full of Americans.  Not true this time, hardly any within in sight or hearing (you have to listen for the accent), secondly-Dubliners are rude.  They will push you around they will cut in front of you, they won't hold the door for you, and they wont make eye contact (which I also love because I hate making eye contact-but in Hollister, you have to).

I was told by the relatives that the rude Dubliners were not Dubliners but if fact from Poland, Russia, or Romania.

Next I'll tell you about Jamesons.  I loved it there. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Commoner Goes to Europe

That's right The Commoner went to Europe.  Well I went to Ireland to visit our family but it's so much cooler to say Europe and have you think I cruised The Mediterranean

Ireland pretty much is a commoner's place to visit.  It's the closest European country, they speak English, and almost everyone has family living there and that means no need for a hotel.  Okay maybe not everyone, but we do!

I was very apprehensive about making it all the way to Ireland especially since we had to go through Chicago, and especially since we've done this before with limited success.  Also, I'm still battle scarred from my ill attempt to get to NY this summer that I don't trust any airline to get me anywhere.

I was glad in San Francisco to meet up with a High School Rugby team along with coaches and parents who were on their way from California to get demolished in some games in Ireland.  If they were playing in Dublin I might have watched them play.

  But still it was nice to have company through the whole process all the way to Dublin.  Last time we flew with the family that own an Irish restaurant in Gilroy-they were rude, and I've never returned to The Claddagh   since that trip.

So we made it to Chicago no problem.  We had a 4 hour layover which I didn't mind because it meant no stress.  We waited at the Aer Lingus counter because Rob is not an American and needed to get his bording pass from the Irish airline. I'm always glad to be an American.

So we made it through to the security line when we were lucky enough to be advised get your food out here from the crappy food court before you go through because there is no food on the other side.  Thank God for that guy.

There we found the rugby team and I ate McDonalds french fries and a sandwich-seriously it's the international terminal-it's great that they serve such healthy-whole food options to sit in your stomach for at least 7 hours!  Brilliant!

The thing about going to Ireland is that a lot of families with young children are also always going to Ireland.  We did it a bunch of times when they were little.  Children under 2 fly free and there's always someone to stay with.  Hence the plane looks like it's going to Orlando. 

Waiting, starving, and thirsty with the rest of the refugees -I mean terminal-things hummed along nicely.  The rugby team ran around and all of the kids were good-except-this one screaming toddler-screaming bloody murder (what does that mean) for 2 hours.  Red faced, screaming.

We all stared at each other and were thinking the same thing-please don't let that kid sit near me.  I heard all kinds of threats, dirty looks, and lots of compliments to parents of 'good kids'.

Finally we board the plane when Rob says to me, "Behind you, the kid who was having the temper tantrum."   Folks this is a three part blog, I'll talk about that little treasure, as well as the wonderful Australian family we met on our trip home.