Friday, December 29, 2006

The Guinness Storehouse

Did you know that the Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease when starting his brewery? He was so confident that his business would be a success, and alas, he was right. Did you also know that they keep some of the original yeast from the time of Arthur Guinness in a secure vault and it's believed that it's this special blend of yeast created by Arthur himself that gives Guinness it's special flavor unlike any other stout?

I really wish I liked drinking. The smell of roasted barley and fresh hops are completely intoxicating and it's a smell that surrounds you around the Guinness Brewery. I tasted roasted barley and I smelled some hops and they were amazing, but it's somewhere between that and fermentation that things go wrong for me. Guinness tastes bitter and makes my stomach turn sour. In fact, I hate all alcohol. I can't even drink in that sexy social way you have to when the occasion calls for it. I'm usually sending a poor friend to the bar for me to order a Shirley Temple. (You know who you are. I'm so sorry.)

In my alternate universe, beer tastes like ginger ale, Guinness tastes like caramel, and Scotch tastes like butterscotch. And in my alternate universe, I'm an alcoholic.

Little Bastards

I'm not sure if I'm more fed up with the rain or with little Irish children. They're all off from school this week and they're all little effing terrors! I've been searching high and low for one quiet and respectful kid and I've come up empty handed so far. What makes them talk very loudly throughout an entire movie and run up and down the steps of a stadium theater? Why do they push, shove, and bump every person standing in their way without an excuse me, pardon, or sorry? I know it's wrong to think this, but when a kid was running down the steps in the theater while we were watching "Stranger than Fiction" and fell on her face, I laughed out loud. Shit, I nearly gave her a standing ovation and my middle finger.

Words like hooligans, ruffians, and ragamuffins were invented to describe little shits like these. Girls AND boys alike.


OMG. I have a new obsession and it comes in the form of a purple and white striped cat named, Bagpuss.

My sister has a hot water bottle cover of Bagpuss and attached to it's front right paw is a little mouse that sings this:

We will find it, we will bind it
We will stick with glue, glue, glue
We will stickle it, every little bit of it
We will fix it like new, new, new

Apparently Bagpuss is a character that a lot children have grown up with over here. I don't care if I'm 25 years late to this craze, I'm here now. I have been searching every Boots in this city for my own Bagpuss hot water bottle cover with singing mouse and I've been humming this tune for days! I'll try and post a video of the singing mouse soon. It reminds me of The Decemberists "The Mariner's Revenge Song" when the boy's mother dies and whispers her haunting request.

Must find this purple puss!!

Rain, rain, rain

As our tour bus driver said today: "Sometimes it rains in Dublin only twice a week; once the first three days of the week and then again the last four days of the week." I'm officially sick of rain.

It's been a few days since I've been able to get to a computer. We shopped until we literally dropped on the 27th, ate lovely pub food of stuffed chicken and roasted ham with parsnip gravy at O'Neill's, took a tour around the city on the 28th and ate fish 'n chips from Leo Burdocks, and toured the city some more today and leisurely strolled through the Guiness Storehouse, where we ate Guiness soaked cod and Guiness soaked bacon. Mmmm. No, I didn't drink my free pint, but someone special was happy to take it off my hands. I'm starting to think that by the end of this trip, I'll have more to say about food than of culture.

Tomorrow we're going to try and get tickets to a day tour of County Wicklow's lakes and gardens. Should be a beautiful trip, unless it pours like hell again, then we'll just be a couple of soaked and slightly less happy tourists. Sunday is The Frames concert at Vicar Street (wooooo!!), but we plan to head to some museums earlier in the day.

As far as shopping goes, I'm delighted to say that I've found a beautiful green coat that I have dubbed, The Consolation Prize. (see The One That Got Away) It was my victory find from the Boxing Day sales. Pictures to come soon!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

God Bless Asians and Burger King

In what is quite possibly the stupidest thing we've done this whole trip, we ventured out into city center early this morning with hopes of taking part in some brutal deep discount post-holiday shopping. No one gave us stupid Americans the memo that the Boxing Day sales begin the day after Boxing Day (St. Stephen's Day) as they call it here. Yes, that'd be tomorrow.

I guess my (no joke) frozen shower I took this morning was completely meaningless. And the 40 minute ride on the Luas was for nothing. Also the hauling of luggage to carry our mounds of shopping goodies was pretty stupid too.

So here we are pulling luggage around like assholes and every shop is shuttered. I am not exaggerating. There is absolutely nothing open on Christmas and St. Stephen's Day. NOTHING. We were profoundly lucky to find a cafe open (run by a handful of Asians who are clearly not going to let a little Irish tradition stand in the way of commerce), otherwise we would have been starved popsicles. And thank goodness for a Burger King, otherwise we would have died of toxic poisoning from not having facilities available.

Well, we'll have to try this whole shopping thing again tomorrow. I did have a chance to drool outside the windows of Monsoon, Oasis, and H&M. EVERYTHING is at least 50% off tomorrow. Hopefully luggage is too because I may need an extra one to haul all my pirate's booty back home.

By the way, did I mention that it's effing cold here? Apparently, no one uses heat, I haven't found any hot water yet, and I may die of hypothermia. As someone said earlier today, Irish people are probably so white because they're partially frozen.

This internet cafe is weirding me out (and the sticky keyboard is pretty nasty too), so that's all for now from Dublin.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Jeremy Banks, Dollfucker

Man, I'm slipping! Earlier this week I was supposed to write about my experience of seeing a good friend perform in an off-off-off-off Broadway show, Stairway to Hell. Because I've been too effing busy at my job and trying to plan for this trip that I'm currently on, I never had a chance to regale you with my good little Catholic girl response to watching Satan tramp about a dingy biker bar with a three-foot long penis. Truly, the best performance of that show was from Jeremy Banks, dollfucker. Of course, no one could describe the performance better than the man himself here.

The boy is damn funny. Take my word for it and add his blog to your RSS feed so you can continue to read hilarious gems like this.

Forest in Dublin

Happy Christmas Eve to you all! We made it here to the Emerald Isle safe and sound, and now we're ready for food and sleep. I'm hoping to be able to post while over here, but my sister doesn't have internet access in her boonies apartment out in Dublin 24. Apparently, it takes 5 to 6 weeks to get your internet hooked up, after you've waited plenty long for your phone line to be set up first. So, basically, I guess if you call Eircom and ask them when the hell the series of interconnected tubes is going to make it to Dublin 24, they basically say, "we'll feckin' get to ya when we get to ya."

So, if the posts are few and far between, please forgive me.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The One that Got Away

Have you ever found a beautiful object (be it a coat, sweater, hard-to-find action figure) that you instantly knew you wanted to have, but managed to convince yourself not to buy because after hours, days, and weeks of indecision, you decided the cost outweighed the ownership? How much did it cost you emotionally when, after much hand-wringing, you became wedded to the idea of buying that thing only to discover that it's no longer available and you've got a snowball's chance in hell of finding it anywhere?

(If you're a person who is absolutely horrified by people who are tied to objects and ownership, I suggest you stop reading here because it's only going to get worse.)

For me, at the moment of clarity when I decide that I'm going to commit to a purchase, I'm already imagining how my life will incorporate this object. This object will change my outlook on life because it will make me feel better about myself. My new fangled self-assurance will help me be motivated at my job, which will help me get promoted, and then I'll make more money, thus justifying this purchase! It's a sad chain of logic, but so is the desire for needful things.

My 2006 list of things I coveted and didn't buy is--gasp--very long, but the prize of
The Thing that Got Away definitely goes to:

J. Crew Double-Cloth Grace Coat in Green

Sigh. I still mourn you, Grace Coat. You were already sold out before the first leaf fell here in the city. I frequently haunt eBay looking for someone selling you, but you continue to escape my ravenous clutches. You were meant to be paired with my Orla Kiely Alpine Forest Bag (in emerald), which someone very special bought me for Christmas (although, it was supposed to be a surprise). I've learned my lesson. Next year, I'm buying my winter coat very, very early.

If you have an object of desire that haunts you, please share it here and we'll mourn together.

My (Future) Wedding Cake

My interest in planning my wedding is officially renewed! Why, you ask? It's because I found this beauty and am determined to find a skilled baker/gamer who can make the Zelda version for me and the Bear.

The detail! The color! The cake toppers! I'm in love with this cake. See more detailed photos here.

Any baker/gamers out there willing to take on this artistic challenge and living in the New York tristate area, please feel free to woo me with your business.
Also, I'm really happy to hear any ideas anyone has for geeking out my wedding to the extreme.

[via Digg]

Kiss and make up

Dear Forest,

Baby, I'm so sorry that I left you. I know it's been almost two weeks since I wrote a real post, but I swear I'll be better. It's just that I've been working insane hours for the last week and a half and I haven't been able to write.

If you take me back, I promise I'll update you more frequently and I promise I'll find more purses for you.

In fact, I'd like to take this opportunity to add to my defense of unemployment:

1. Blogging at the Forest. I'd write multiple posts each day, touching upon all of my favorite obsessions. I always have a dozen things I want to write about here, but my damn job keeps getting in the way.

With inbound links and trackbacks,

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Party at my house this weekend! I've been promoted to the title of Stupid Effing Ass. Woooo! Or, as those of us in the biz know it as, Senior Editorial Assistant. So proud of myself.

New Year's Resolution: new effing job.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Aerie Tuesdays

For a long time Gilmore Girls was one of my favorite TV shows, so of course, when the news hit that Amy Sherman-Palladino was leaving, I was among the throngs of fans who collectively cried out into the ether.

No surprise, I hated the first episode of the season (I liked calling it the Fake Fendi), but I stuck around for the second. Hated that one too and I was gone for good. My DVD collection will simply have to stop at Season 6 and I can live with that. This is only because I'm a TV addict and have commitments elsewhere to help fill my time. Virginia Heffernan at the Times wrote a spot-on review, which I will link to here, because I'm no Virginia Heffernan.

In light of this, what on earth possessed me to plug into the CW tonight? I haven't a clue, but I do know that what I hate more than the Gilmore Girls is this Aerie Tuesday b.s. Aside from the fact that it's sponsored by American Eagle, sister to Abercrombie & Fitch, or as I like to call it, Only Whites Allowed, it's the perfect pairing for the Gilmore Girls. A bunch of girls (and the token Asian) sit around in their AE clothes and say things like, "Can you belive what Lorelai did?" "OMG, yeah!," which is their deep commentary to the current episode of Gilmore Girls. Although, now that every snarky comment and super smart and obscure reference has been drained from the show, the Aerie girls and Gilmore Girls deserve each other. They can enjoy the company of fellow empty vessels with their vacuous looks and dialogue death.

UPDATE 12/16/06:
I was just catching up with old issues of New York when I noticed the Aerie Girls appeared on The Approval Matrix in the 12/11 issue, in the lowbrow-despicable quadrant. Yes'm, I do flatter myself. I OUTSCOOPED NY Mag!