Party tonight

I've been working hard all week, and now I am all set. We're good to go. I am even going to cook tonight: Colcannon, a traditional Irish dish. It seems really easy, so I'm hoping even I can get it right. I bought the ingredients at the greengrocer on my way home from college. I love that guy. So we had the following conversation:

Buddy says to me: "So do you have something planned for Hallow'een?"

"Sure," I say, "I'm having a little party tonight and going out tomorrow."

"Well, you might as well enjoy your youth while you can, it'll be gone soon enough."

"That's kinda gloomy!"

"Well, it's the season that's in it. I've been in here all week ponderin' me mortality and contemplatin' the certain doom that awaits."

"What certain doom?"

"Sure we all have to die sometime."

You don't just get vegetables from that guy; you get philosophy too!

There seems to be loads on this weekend so it will be hard to choose. If I go the easy route and stay close to home, there's a chocolate festival on in Temple Bar. But chocolate? I love it, obviously, but. Well, I'm pretty tall so if I gained much weight I'd just look huge. So... well... OK... alright, just one!



So, Bepe and I decided to hold our Hallow'een party on Friday instead of Saturday, because we both want to go out (separately of course) on Saturday. Because our place is so small, we can only invite a maximum of 20. With us, his girlfriend, and the neighbours on either side so's they don't get too annoyed by the noise, that's already 8 people! You can get up to 20 pretty fast.

As he's a chef, I passed him on the recipe for Barn Brack (again, how do you spell that thing? I keep forgetting. I got from the lady in Fresh Cafe. She said it was her mom's and that it was really easy and sure enough Bepe seems to have done a good job. He made it this evening. I sneaked a taste. A bit more bread-y than cake-y, I should say. Not bad. I never cease to be amazed by people who can cook. Are they born with an extra gene of some sort? There I was on Monday feeling pretty good about myself for having added some fresh vegetables to a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup, and there's Bepe knocking out cakes. Well, he's a chef I suppose. So that's all the food we're offering. As there'll be a good mixture of Italians, Irish and miscellaneous foreign students and other people, I'm hoping we'll come up with some fun. I bought the drinks and, guess what, my sister sent me some Screech in the post and it actually made it on time.

Now I'm saying I don't appreciate Jameson but Screech is special. Not only is it rum, which I love, but it is Newfoundland rum and while I don't drink it that often back home, it does the trick when I am having a moment of homesickness.

I got a call from Dublin Tourism today. They wanted to know if I would go to the wax museum and write about it if she gave me free tickets.

"If it's free, I'll do it," I said.

"Be honest," she said, "but only if you like it." Ha, ha.

I have never been to a wax museum before, although I have a feeling I might've read an Edgar Allan Poe story about one. Or was that someone else? Sheesh. I may be striving to become World's Greatest Expert on Nineteenth Century Gothic Literature but I do tend to get my ghost stories mixed up.

I rang my new pal, the former beautiful PhD student, who is still beautiful but has been officially demoted since he told me that he's too busy being a single dad to want to Get Involved with anyone [sigh]. So I am going with him and his kid and some friend of the kid's from Kindergarten. If anyone had told me as recently as a few weeks ago that I would spending one of my precious weekend afternoons with a kid or two, I'd have laughed. Could I be mellowing? What does it mean?

Well it's late. Late for dinner that is. I'm gonna crack open a couple of cans (of spaghettios, while Bepe sneers at my bad eating habits and inability to cook) and have an early night.


Could I be a ukelele lady?

Yesterday evening, I'd made soup for Bepe to have after running the marathon (home made with just a little help from Campbell's). But we'll-call-her-Fabia, the girlfriend [insert random misogynistic term from HipHop anthem here] was all over him, giving him a MASSAGE in the LIVING ROOM that I couldn't stand it any longer. After texting a few people, I decided, what the heck, I'd go out for a quiet drink on my own with my book. I mean, why not? It was either that or stay and watch that [expletive] all over Bepe while my soup went cold in the kitchen.

So I went to this joint called "Shebeen Chic" which I've walked past before but not gone into because it doesn't look like much on the outside.

What a place! Not only was one of the barman seriously hot, there were two separate music events ongoing. A traditional "session" upstairs, and--wait for it--an open mike UKELELE session downstairs! Ukelele! Who knew there was a ukelele fan club in Dublin? I hung around downstairs on the edges of the uke-fest and it was really fun. This cute young guy played a version of Britney's "Hit me baby one more time", two older gents played fantastically well and there were lots of group performances, including some Japanese guys doing Bluegrass or something. Totally surreal, totally fun. Made me wish I played the ukelele too, though I don't have a musical bone in my body. Only in Dublin will you find a bunch of people playing the Ukelele in a dark basement and doing it well, too.

As for the bar, well, I really liked it. It's kind of thrown together, and I'd swear there's a few bits and pieces there they've taken from my Nana's house, but there's a great vibe. There's even a shelf full of books, so it is actually the kind of place a gal could go on her own -- although quiet it certainly wasn't, last night! Because I was mostly listening to the music I had just one drink, a really expensive cocktail (note to self: quality better than quantity? consider).

Also--and I realise that this is beginning to sound like an infomercial--they run a FREE club called the Recession Club which is free! Obviously, I haven't been yet, but as I really like this place so far, and it's 5 minutes away from my place, I'll be checking it out.

When I got home, Fabia was still there and a prebed shower was out of the question 'cause the bathroom was, once again, full of her teeny tiny underwear which she has to wash my hand -- in my place, for some reason.

[insert expletive here]

Running for their lives

Dublin should have marathons more often!

It's not just that there's a great buzz about the city with all the 1000's of people taking to the streets; loads of the city centre has been closed to traffic and it feels strange and great being able to wander about the middle of the roads and look at the buildings from a new angle. Loving it! I'm sorry now I didn't train to take part but I kind of got caught up in Bepe's excitement. He went off this morning all kitted out and I told him I'd make soup this evening. (note to self: either learn how to make soup or preopen and dispose of cans so that I can at least pretend to have made soup.

Bizarrely, when I was out earlier, I saw George, from the National Library. I darted off in case he recognised me. I can't believe I left him a note that time. I don't know what I saw in him! Plus, he had a large spot on his nose. Too many health drinks training for the marathon, perhaps. Pah.

Hallow'een is closing in fast! Can't wait. As well as the party, some of the bars are having "best costume" competitions which might be fun. I seriously can't afford to buy something so if anyone's got any ideas for something home made and impressive (and cheap) please let me know!