I'm caught up for the most part with work projects. This is a good thing. I really need to squeeze more time out of my schedule to pick up some more consulting clients but right now I'm just not motivated. We shall see what summer brings.
Recap for March/early April travels:
Jon and I went to Dublin, Ireland the last weekend in March with a few members of my travel meetup. Overall it was a lovely time, although I did have some personality conflicts with one of the attendees who was a bit subversive. Ireland is so very green and beautiful, even in winter. We spent two days touring Dublin proper and one day in the country seaside town of Howthe. I think we managed to see almost every key point of interest in Dublin sparing the Goal (prison) and Guinness Factory. We did try a pint of Guinness at one of the pubs and the stuff is rubbish. Sort of tastes like bitter water with cigarette droppings inside. Absolutely hideous. We managed to make it to a flyertalk dinner for mile runners in Dublin Sat night and that was great fun. I met one of the guys who will be heading to Barcelona in October for the Halloween party. At least I will know one person there if nothing else now. Of course we got in all of the requisite Irish cuisine and while a bit bland, I found it to be perfectly acceptable. (Fish and chips were better in London though). The more former British colonies or occupied territories I visit the more dim my view of the Britain government becomes based on the way they treated their subjects. And to think that Ireland did not gain their independence back until the early part of the 20th century! It's unthinkable. One of the best attractions in Dublin was the National Museum's exhibit on the bog people. These are ancient mummified bodies recovered from bogs (mummified by the conditions of the bog) that still have the skin on and everything. Very cool and creepy all at once. Most of them died quiet violently too. We toured a lot of historic buildings, including the Dublin castle and moat. And we stayed in a castle- can't forget to mention that. Clontarf Castle was our base of operations for the trip and it was such a beautiful place to stay. I can solidly recommend Dublin as a great weekend getaway or mile run. I still need to upload my pictures from Ireland to share with everyone and I'll do so later this week. Watch for a link to appear in my next post.
The first weekend in April I went on a solitary mile run to San Francisco. It was just what I needed to relax and refresh after dealing with an entire week of server hell after we got home from Ireland. Basically the very evening we returned from Ireland one of my servers crashed at work and I spent 3 nights up all night long at the office rebuilding it. Nightmare! I was so tired. When I left for SFO I had not really slept in 4 days. 4 days! I spent the first day in SFO sleeping. The rest of my days there I made time for work remotely and then enjoyed my spare time by wandering around the city (quite possibly my favorite city in the world) and doing whatever I pleased. One day I encountered six different street musicians (all very good, I bought 2 cds) performing each and every one in a different musical genre. I walked from Union Square down to the wharf and back, up and over and down the mighty hills and loved the views. I spent an afternoon and evening with my college friend Asher. I watched the sea lions frolic. I ate fresh crab. I worshipped God at the base of the mighty redwoods. I was blissfully happy during my stay.
I flew out to meet my sister last week in Detroit to fly back with her to VA. I am so happy she is here. I hope she falls in love with the Metro DC area as much as we have and decides to stay here permanently. Jobs are plentiful and housing is affordable. To have her living close by again would be a dream come true. I think it would be good for her and it would be wonderful for me. She's the only sibling that I have a relationship with really. The only one that treats me like a sister. We have a lot of fun together and I know she loves me and I love her very much. It is also nice to have someone else around to help out with Mom and Dad and she's really stepped up to the plate to do so. We went over to see them together a few times already and she helped with the routine cleaning tasks and other things. It was nice not to have the burden all on myself for a change.
Not sure what's really going on with the rest of the siblings. My sister Annette has been calling Daddy and pressuring him and my mother to let her come and stay with them for a bit of time. The senior apartments they live in frown on guests staying more than a weekend, but more importantly my parents really can't handle guests easily. They have a small 2 bedroom apartment with no guest room and the stress of being made to play hostess and feeling obligated to prepare meals, keep on their best "we have guests over" behavior (you know when guests come over how you feel you have to be neater than usual, you can't spend 20 minutes in the bathroom and you can't run round naked- stuff like that), and deal with family drama is too much for them. But apparently being told that she keeps pushing anyway. Mom and Dad asked me to call her and try to politely let her know that's not going to work for them - that's she's welcome to come visit but she needs to make arrangements to stay in a hotel. I planned to eventually work that into normal conversation but I never got the chance. As soon as I called and said who I was she started talking to me really nasty- telling me she doesn't want to talk to me, that I'm a bad daughter and that her visiting is between her and "her" father [as if he's not mine too?]. She sort of shot herself in the foot though because I had her on speakerphone and everyone in the room at my parents apartment heard her crazy rantings and got upset at the way she was talking to me and don't have a very kind opinion of her at this point. I found it particularly ironic that she was accusing me of neglecting Daddy (mind you I am at his house with him while she is saying all of this) meanwhile she doesn't really even visit her own mother who lives about an hour from her home. I know with her though and the rest of the siblings I just need to focus on the fact that I can't change people or their opinions of me, I can just either accept them as they are or let the relationship, if any, dissolve. Those are the basic options- take it or leave it.
In other family news my Uncle Lucien is in town this week visiting Mom and Dad. So it's been a great run of family coming through the area to spend time with Mom and Dad and that's really good.
I've in the middle of my two week breather between my last trip (SFO) and my next trip (Hawaii) at the end of April. It's nice to wind down a bit.