Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
No sooner had the nation put one birthing crisis behind it, than this pops up. The crime tape goes up more than a week ago. Investigators come and go without solving the one big question. This is a tough case.
Early one morning a personal trainer arrives for work and confronts this very suspicious goose blocking the entrance to the health club. Who is this goose? Why is he/her here? (Great crime alliteration, eh?)
Well it seems he/her is guarding a plant pot nest where yet another he/her goose is sitting on four eggs (eggs not legs).
Rumors begin flying around the club that the goose lays the eggs and the gander sits on them. The starter of that rumor, a reputable club manager, says the claim is based on extensive research. Well Phoebe and I aren't buying it.
And what classy feminine goose would possess such outlandish personal habits. No, this had to be the guy in this affair. This gander is just standing there on one leg saying in Gooselish, " See what I did, dude?"
He'll need to impress US, because she is a little busy right now. If I were him I wouldn't be standing around looking stupid when the eggs crack. There will be a lot of REAL work to do then.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
And doesn't know if she should fine them.
"Here she comes."
"Uh, oh, she's backin' up."
"Hey, I'm not jumping in the ocean. You think I'm some kind of IdJit?"
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Nevertheless, as Peggy and I made our way aboard a train from Killarney to Dublin, I ripped my hand away from the shutter as we passed Tipperary Junction. But Later?
" CLICK, CLICK, CLICK."
I can still remember the musical whimsy that came from Limericks in elementary school. So this little sign set me off. Earlier in the week we'd seen a brilliant local musical revue in Kilorglan. It was called THE THREE PIGS. As an Irish lass told us in New Jersey, "I doubt it will have much to do with the nursery rhyme." She was so right.
Anyway, after the final curtain, one of the main characters popped out and just made up Limericks off the top of his head for about 20 minutes.
So when we got back to Cheri's cottage, I kept Peggy up most of the night composing. Don't remember a single one of them.
But the time has come to see if I can get those juices flowing again...so here goes
"Who Am I," by Paul Reinertson
If in Ireland to find your life's roots,
Dear Peggy tracks down your "ol' coots,"
She'll fill ya with Blarney,
She says I'm related to NEWTS.
"Sexy Surfers," by Paul Reinertson
"Surf's up in Dingle Bay" the Irish say,
'Cause Gulf Stream waters come this way,
Yet no teeny bikinis,
for these hot Wahines,
You'll need to come back in May.
"Irish Hospitality," by Paul Reinertson
The Irish are a friendly bunch,
Most happy to treat you to lunch,
Need a place to sleep?
"Ocean's not so deep!
In the words of Woody Woodpecker, "....oh you know those words."
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Let's take this a tire tread further. You have all these great scientific and engineering minds on campus, and yet?
And then when we got to rural parts of Ireland? Most roads are just slightly wider than one lane.
They are starting to build some comfortable major highways, but still work in those pesky traffic circles whenever they can.
This all brings to mind an eerie (once again pun intended) parallel in my life. Where do a whole bunch of Irish people live in the U.S.?
Shortly after I'd settled into my apartment in Natick, I bought a car and drove into Downtown Boston. That is when I first saw something called a flashing green traffic light. I stopped only to have everyone honking at me. Someone later explained to me flashing green just meant "go for it."
But that was minor compared to what happened later in the day. On a short tour, the guide explained the unique street patterns in and around Boston. It turns out the engineers who designed the traffic flow in and around the city were COWS.
"I think I'll just take some of those cow paths back home to Natick."
You know how cow paths cross over each other? And when you cross over them, there are no road signs telling you which herd went where? Well those of you who know or live in Boston will enjoy this. I thought I was heading for Natick when I finally reached a sign that read Hyannis Port, 5 miles ahead. For those of you unfamiliar with Boston? Wrong direction, many, many, many miles apart. It was very, very late that evening before I settled into my apartment. "Charlie on the MTA" is fiction. This was real.
Oh, back to the election. For you students of Journalism this is a classic example of burying the lead.
As predicted, Enda Kenny of Fine Gael ( a kind of moderate Republican party) is the new prime minister. Not widely predicted, the Fine Gael party will be sharing power with the Labour party. Platform promises from both parties? Sound familiar? JOBs! I suggest engineering and highway construction jobs, tons of them.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I was 19 years old when James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" was assigned reading. I have to confess it wasn't the only time I went to Cliff Notes. Joyce can be a tough read, but my recent trip has me thinking I should revisit it.
I did do a little homework and found a reputable newspaper report that says, "wakes have become very rare since the mid 70's." Hmmm?
I don't know whether that was just inaccurate, or we stumbled on to a trend reversal.
Sitting in our friend Cheri's family room every morning listening to the radio? All normal programming would come to a halt for "THE DEATH REPORT."
It consists of announcements of all the people who've died over the past 24 hours. There are brief obits, and then times and locations for wakes, services (almost always Catholic), and burials.
It is perfectly clear the Irish take the key rights of passage very seriously, particularly in rural areas. It actually first came to my attention when I was in college. Someone in my family passed on a report from my Irish grandmother that my Dad had been born under the 'Caul'. The Caul is the amniotic birth sac. It happens only once in every 85 thousand births.
We quite often talk about those naughty little Fairies called Leprechauns? But in rural Ireland talk is just of Fairies. Irish folklore says an ancient race of angels came down to earth, some of them living just below Ringforts, or Raths you'll see all over Ireland.
Sometimes found near a sacred fairy fort, you'll find a 'Prayer Well' where both pagan and Christians worshiped. They are not typically found on tourist maps because they tend to be on private farm land, preserved and undisturbed. But you'll quite often find brand new prayer beads and crosses lying near the well.
Also out on some of these wide expanses you'll find small cemeteries with most of the headstone messages carved in Irish. So if you visit one, bring your translator with you.
There seems to be an indestructible respect for Irish ancestry. That's why you'll find these stone castles still erect. And they are one of the best ways to trace your roots. Most Irish names are connected back to these castles.
So if you're a Kelley, a Gleason, a Murphy, an O'shea, a Boyles, or a Dwyer you can most likely connect yourself to a castle or a county.
No doubt you've heard Catholics rule the Republic of Ireland. And you sure get that impression when in every town and city the tallest structure in town is a Catholic Cathedral. The one below is St. Mary's Cathedral in Killarney. And you might be tempted to think all this sense of spirit and tradition comes from Catholic doctrine. But that is not my impression.
It has certainly had it's influence. For instance it is only just recently that divorce was legalized in Ireland. But from what I've seen, heard and read the church has very little impact on the governance of Ireland these days. And while a typical conversation ends with "God's speed?" I think it also true that very few of the lively attachment's to spirits and tradition can be traced to the church.