This past week has found me a bit home sick.  I’ve been craving food and restaurants from home, envisioning moving back to LA, thinking about the future house we intend to purchase, where we are going to live, etc.  I’ve even been parousing real estate websites to get a sense of what might be out there for us when we arrive all bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to buy.  Ultimately I’ve been thinking about what my life will look like when we leave this adventure, and I’ve been yearning for it to begin sooner rather than later. 

With this in the back of my mind, I set out to run some errands.  The weather lately in Ireland has been absolutely amazing.  Sunny, warm-ish, and really lovely.  Today the weather started turning more Irish, the sun was peaking through large patches of clouds, the temperature was a bit cooler than late, and it was windy, Irish windy.  It’s the kind of weather that those of us who live here know means, “bring an umbrella, just in case.”  While running my errands, I had a craving for some prepared foods from Marks & Spencers and after buying out their frozen food section, it was finally my turn at the checkout counter.  The checkout cashier was cheerful and chatty, and as I paid and packed up to leave, she looked me straight in the eye, signaled to the outside, and said with a smile, “Enjoy the sunshine!”  What Sunshine?, I thought to myself.  It was overcast and windy today, with small patches of sun.  This of course was the remnants of homesickness surfacing from the Ireland SUCKS compartment in my mind, so in response, rather than saying “thank you!”…I said, “yeah, and the WIND too!”  The checkout lady didn’t miss a beat!  She could’ve smirked at me and called me a sourpuss, she could’ve said anything, but what she did say in her perfect Irish accent, was this…”AH, it’ll help get ya to where you’re goin faster!”  

HOLY CRAP! She was the wisest checkout lady in the world!  My own personal Buddha behind the checkout counter.  What an awesome slap in the face and a complete jolt to the crevices of my mind that had been carrying the stored disdain I had today for all that was Irish.  She was absolutely right!  Immediately I thought to myself, TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN STACIE!  With my newly inspired revelation, I wished her good day, and headed out into the sunshine…feeling a whole lot better about my surroundings, appreciative that I had my own personal “buddha behind the counter encounter” and I was ready to welcome the wind, allowing it to lovingly guide me to my next destination. 

George Michael & MJB –

This song rocks the party, that rocks the PAR-TAY!  Sadly they don’t have the song available on iTunes, just the video, so I can’t jam to it at the gym yet.  I’ve added it for your viewing pleasure. So…Get down, boogie and take in the rhythmic stylings of George and MJB.  Because as I always say, you can never have too many George Michaels in one room! 

I do!  I always say that!

Over the weekend I was reading an article in the NY Times about some shady guy who has become a billionaire through processing internet fees.  Something about Porn, some sort of Bible site, and scamming people out of money meant for the ASPCA.  I’m a whiz with facts and details!

Anyway, in the article a website was mentioned that I had never heard of before.  Being the curious internet surfer that I am, now that I’m an unemployed lady of leisure, I immediately went to check it out.  HOLY TECNO-REHAB, check me in now I’m hooked!  It’s a site called www.stickam.com.  It’s an online community with live feeds from ANYONE!  What’s that you say?  Live feeds?  Isn’t that only for seedy pornography websites?  Well, yes it is… but this is a free live feed that allows you to watch anyone who is a member of this site, and I haven’t caught any porn yet thankfully.  You don’t even have to join!! It’s totally creepy, weird and and wrong, but I can’t stop watching.  It’s like a trainwreck, it’s absolutely disgusting, but I can’t take my eyes off of it.  To date I’ve watched several weird Emo guys with face piercings chatting online and just hanging out, several provocative looking “hopefully” twenty-somethings flirting and IMing with one another, some hypnotherapist spewing her hypno-knowledge and taking questions and responses from community members, several wanna be DJ’s spinning their Musak, and I’ve even viewed the DJ booths at radio stations around the world.  It’s a voyeur’s description of Heaven.

In my twenties, probably in some sort of shall we say…”self induced haze” I had this notion that it would be absolutely fascinating to begin my own public access show.  I even sent away for the information and application needed to get things started.   I don’t know exactly what I thought I’d do, but in my mind there were some definites that I knew were in my favor, I thought I was funny andI thought my friends were funny.  SOLD!  I’ve got a show.  I’d just sit around a be funny with my high pitched voice and I’d get this huge following.  In the end, there was a lot of paperwork and planning involved, and really, I’m a voyeur…not meant to be in front of the camera so this notion of a huge following never came to fruition.  As far as I can remember the paperwork was thrown out or used as scratch paper for a grocery list, but the fact still remains that the notion was there.  Now 15 or so years later, there is a whole website full of people who for all intense and purposes could have their own public access show!  How cool is that!?  I know that YouTube provided this, but the difference is these feeds are LIVE, no editing, no replay, in your face live access.  Danny Bonaduce even has a show with a slotted time on this website.  I know, he’s hip to any medium that will get his narcissitic gob out there, but still…I swear Stickam is going to become all the rage, you wait and see.  Again, I wont be rubbing elbows with Bonaduce anytime soon.  I’m the voyeur type, that public access show idea died with my Doc Marten’s and ripped jeans. 

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Now for the responsible disclaimer andmy “adult/therapist” reflections…I completely recognize that this site is just plain old creepy.  Deep down I have guilt that I find this site so fascinating, but it definitely peaks my sociological and psychological interests of human behavior. Ever since I have discovered the wonders of the internet, I am often fascinated at how much people are willing to and want to reveal in their blogs, on YouTube, their MySpace pages and Facebook accounts, but this “Live Feed voyeurism” takes it to a whole nother level.  It seems seedier, more dangerous and more accessible. My “people watching” fascination aside…I recognize that this site is like taking MySpace and spoon feeding it to the pedophiles.  Many of the “girls” on the site have incredibly provocative pictures of themselves accompanied with nasty, stripper-pole pin-names.  When clicked on, they often look much younger than their pictures, and are your typical girl sitting at their computer like any average teen/twentysomething typing away and IMing to their hearts content.  The sad thing is that 1st) they feel they have to put up provocative pictures to lure people to come and chat with them, and 2nd) our society dictates that this kind of behavior is okay.  Even here in Ireland, where the weather is less than temperate, you often find teenagers dressing provocatively, beyond their age, showing more skin than necessary and doing their best to “vamp up” their look.  With this in mind, this site, with it’s free entree into these poor young girls lives leaves them sitting ducks for predators.  The problem is, that rational thinking amongst the masses is such a difficult thing to manage in a society that emulates Paris Hilton for being nothing but a drunk heiress. 

Ultimately the responsibility lies with the parents and within the family unit.  As I have said in my previous posts, I hope to be a parent that will bring up a child with better judgement, a child with brains and opinions, and the ability to adapt to the norm, but not “BE” the norm.  I hope to have a child that takes risks with her mind and intellect rather than with her body.  I hope.  With the world going in the topsy turvy way that it’s going, I know I will have my work cut out for me.  I pray that the numerous girls that are on this website have informed their parents of their accounts, or at least their parents monitor their web use.  I pray. 

Today, I am a fairly level headed woman in her mid-30’s with a Master’s Degree and what I consider some pretty good core values.  I definitely took some seriously stupid risks in my youth, but as a teenager/twentysomething I never had the opportunity to put my life out there for the world to see with the same ease that the youth of today have.  The fact of the matter is…I had the desire and I was certain it would be DAMN funny!  Which brings me to the reality that, I really wasn’t that much different than the kids of today, It’s just that I’m old and back then… there was just too much damn paperwork. 

 

 

Hey You GUYS!!!!!

May 17, 2008

I can’t tell you how excited I was to learn that the Electric Company was coming back to television!  When I was a kid back in the 70’s I loved my psychedelic dose of Electric Company almost as much as I loved my hour spent with Charlie and those sassy Angels.  It was a show that had a formidable impact on my life, and let me just explain why…

When I was in High School, my father decided to dabble in producing plays on and off Broadway.  The play that he was producing off Broadway won an award called an OBIE, which is like a Tony Award for off Broadway plays.  Well, it was such an honor for me to accompany him to this awards ceremony, but I was still a teenager and still completely embarassed by my father and his assertive antics around famous people.  For some reason, ever since I was a wee one, if I noticed a famous person in the room, my father would go out of his way to embarssingly bring attention to my oggling of this random “star”.  He would typically approach this person, I would turn the color of a pomegranate and do my best to pretend that I was attached to another family.  “That crazy man making a spectacle of himself was in no way related to me, uh uh!”  I would do my best to try and be “cool” acting like seeing a movie star wasn’t the absolute highlight of my year.  I would attempt to be nonchalant and avoid the advances that my father was clearly making on my behalf.  Most of the time he didn’t even know who he was approaching, which made the whole altercation that much more embarassing especially when he misprounounced the name of the said “star” he was stalking just for me.

So, lead in to the OBIE awards.  I can’t remember the whole experience,  but I do remember standing around during some sort of cocktail hour, and there he was…Morgan Freeman.  I was in awe.  All of those psychedelic memories of his Afro and soul patch came rushing back and I guess a smile of excitement streamed across my face because my Dad suddenly became aware that it was time to stalk and embarrass.  He asked me who that was, and I said, “Dad, he’s the guy from the Electric Company!”  Needless to say, Morgan Freeman had just finished a Tony award winning performance in a play called FENCES and I think he had already starred in his comeback film, Driving Miss Daisy, but all I remembered him for was the HUGE and GIANT impact he made on me playing a wacky and memorable character on my beloved Electric Company.  My father walked over and interrupted Morgan Freeman and told him that, “his daughter was a huge fan!”  Well, with this, Morgan Freeman was thrilled and looked up to see me, an embarrassed teenager who was doing her best to pretend that she was the adopted daughter of the Asian couple standing in the corner.  My Dad signaled for me to come over and reluctantly, I finally gave in.  I came over and shook Morgan Freeman’s hand and said, “I loved you in Electric Company.”  Apparently, unbeknownst to me, that was a very dark period in Morgan Freeman’s life filled with drugs, booze and I think, a failed marriage.  He doesn’t look back on that period of his life fondly, and once I said this, his face contorted with what I can only describe as absolute and complete disgust.  He shook my hand kindly and said, “have you seen any of my other work?”  I sadly had to inform him that, no I hadn’t.  He then said, “well that was a very dark time in my life and I don’t remember much of it.”  Then, SILENCE.  Now, what is a teenage girl supposed to do at a moment like this?  I was mortified beyond understanding, and had no idea that my love of his zany antics on a 70’s kid show would create such an uncomfortable moment.  I thought maybe a tap dance to clear the air?  A joke, “knock, knock?”  Maybe, I could break out into my rendition of “The Sun will come out Tomorrow?”  I had to do something!  Instead, I just thanked him and walked away.  I spent the rest of the evening avoiding eye contact with Morgan Freeman and sat like a shrinking violet, without speaking to my father for the rest of the night.

Now, this embarrassing story might make you think that I’d turn my back on Electric Company forever, but NO!  To this day, I still hold the show in the “70’s compartment” of my brain with sheer and utter fondness.  It was part of my childhood and an angry Morgan Freeman can’t change that.  So kick up your heels in celebration, the show of my youth wil be back on PBS to entertain millions of children and Morgan Freeman can go SUCK IT!

 

 

 

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous, fabulous, sunny, LA type day in Dublin!  It was wonderful.  It was actually like that on Sunday as well, but my “Main Man” and I were a tad lazy and didn’t quite take advantage of this wonderful May weather.  So, on our Monday Bank Holiday, we decided to wake up early and get out of the house with the purpose of lazing in the sun.  We packed up a backpack with blankets and plenty of reading and headed off.  We did forget our sunscreen, and let me just say this…my right side is crispy and Ouchy!

Initially we thought we’d grab a picnic lunch in Blackrock and head out to Howth, but as we began driving there, a haze/fog like layering came over Dublin Bay and we literally couldn’t even see Howth from Blackrock.  Even on the darkest, gloomiest day in Ireland I can always see Howth.  So, we decided to head South and over to Powerscourt.  My “Main Man” was interested in seeing the Powerscourt Waterfalls, but we decided to grab a sandwich in Eniskerry and laze around the grounds of Powerscourt first.  Feeding our faces is always paramount and trumps hiking in nature any day!

What an amazing day!  We didn’t exactly make it into the grounds of Powerscourt, (no picnic lunches allowed in), but there is a huge patch of grass outside of the grounds that is perfect for picnic-ing and lazing around.  Plus, not making it into the grounds saved us 18 Euro, SNAP!  As it was, we were one of many who chose to do this, but thankfully we got there before the rush and found a perfect patch of grass that allowed us to people watch with a passion.  Our patch of grass was in the middle of a few Irish families, and one particular family that had a gathering of children, dogs and friends.  They were a bounty of people watching goodness!  Dogs that weren’t minding their owners, children that weren’t minding their parents, and parents that were enjoying the sun, some champagne and friends, and weren’t minding their children.  We watched in awe as one debacle unfolded after another and there were several times that we felt we might call the parent’s attention to the chaos that was going on around them, but we refrained fearing we would be considered nosey Americans.  So instead we just watched in amazement waiting for the parents to comment about what had just transpired, usually about 5 minutes too late. 

We sat there discussing our future children and how we intended to raise them.  How we’d do it differently.  How we would know better because of our accumulated experience working with children.  But, really when it all came down to it, we looked at eachother and thought…we might end up being just the same as the families we were standing in judgement of.  I’d like to say that I hope not, but after a long holiday weekend with the kids nipping at your heels, I’m sure a well deserved glass of champagne and some grown up time is just the ticket.  It’s the ticket that allows you to turn your head when you know that something just might happen because really what’s the worst that can happen on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday, on a flat patch of grass surrounded by hundreds of other families?  I say this trying to reconcile some empathy for those parents and to explain away behavior that both my “Main Man” and I found somewhat appalling. 

Really, we have no idea what a weekend day will look like for us in the future and we are still in the waiting game as far as the children are concerned.  We’re just hoping and praying that we can be so lucky to have a gaggle of children to ignore on a Sunny Day in Dublin, so really who are we to judge? We hope that we’ll behave differently, we hope that we’ll engage our kids in conversation and sport, and keep a close eye to make sure that they don’t trample someone else’s picnic area, but until we’ve reached that point…we really can’t say.  I know all young parents have this notion that they are going to do it differently, or better, and often compare and contrast their child rearing styles to one another, but when it comes to being a parent…you have no idea until you’ve been there yourself.  So in the end, what we walked away with was a sense of hope, a desire to try our best and we gave thanks to that family for the AWESOME people watching and allowing us to reflect so whole heartedly on what we’d like our future to look like and the kind of parents we can’t wait to become.