Friday, May 29, 2009

Real Life

So maybe Matt's a little panicked, and maybe I should be, but right now, I'm just so thrilled to be only two days away from finishing work and only sixteen days away from flying out! His research about the walking is fantastic, but I'd like it all a little more solidified. That's fine though, I'm being brave, right? Also, we're going to STA Travel on Monday, my first day off, and probably we're just going to through ourselves at their mercy and hope they have something helpful.

There are a lot of Irish folk staying at the hotel right now, and I almost wanted to jump up and down and tell them I'm coming to visit them soon. Even better is that my coworker cannot for the life of her catch what they're saying the first time, so she'll kind of stare and say something polite (but irritated) like, "I'm sorry?" And then when she finally catches, she says, "Oohhh, the ZOO. Here's a map."

I'm thrilled about Europeans making me repeat myself. I hope it happens, I hope my Chicago accent is so exotic that I have to ask how to get to the beach or the tourist bureau or the closest Italian restaurant at least twice. But I'm terrified that I'll have to speak French and instead of impressing Matt with my skills, some flat-eyed, snotty Parisian will answer my "Bonjour, j'ai besoin de deux billets aller-simple a Nice, s'il vous plait," with, "That's nice. Second class at eleven-twenty?"

I am worried about carrying all this stuff, though. I kind of want to make Matt carry all of the extra stuff, because I know I can pack so, so little if I don't have to bring a stove and stuff to fry up. But that would be evil, or selfish.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Footsteps towards the Emerald Isle

We begin our trek on June 14th, flying from O'Hare in Chicago into Dublin, arriving in Dublin at 8:30am the 15th. The plan for the first day? Well...both the Guiness Brewery and Jameson Distillery are in Dublin, and within walking distance of each other. So my plan is to enjoy the finest beverages Dublin City has to offer, wander through Phoenix Park and soak it all in.

From there, we head to Galway to begin our walk along the Connemara Coast, through the Maumturk Mountains and the Twelve Bens, and to Crough Patrick until we reach Westport. From Westport we're trying to find a way to Derry in Northern Ireland, up to Bushmill's and Castle Dunluce. The theory after that is to hike about 80km from Bushmill's along the Causeway Coast to the Giant's Causeway and down through the Glens of Antrim until we reach Belfast. That's the entirety of our trip to Ireland so far, which will be about three weeks.

After that, its off to London, Amsterdam and beyond...

In the meantime, we've begun packing and hashing out the final details of the plan, that Zoe and I. Pairing down how much gear we're going to need for the hiking/camping parts, getting ourselves psyched up to go, and Zoe is finishing out her last week of work.

Extremely bloody exciting, this whole travel thing, and yet slightly nerve-wracking and maybe I've been panicking a little.

Ta for now.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Virgin Post

So here is my virgin post at the Cat & Coyote. I don't know that anyone reading will find proof of me being cunning, but I'll attempt to be anything but bland. The two of us have been dreaming about this first trip--three months in Europe, unless something money-burning or money-accumulating should befall us--for a really long time. Of course, we didn't make the decision to actually do it and pick a time frame until after I got back from my trip last May to Europe with a friend of mine... and until we got engaged. And I don't know that we've really plan-planned yet. Although we have tickets and we've signed up for an eight-day self-guided walking tour of Connemara, in western Ireland.

I apologize if Matt's already covered this, but I haven't read anything but his first miniature post yet.

We have a vague plan for the rest of the trip. And me, being me, made a little strange timeline to try to figure out how long we might stay in each place and what the longest or shortest trip we could do, and so on. So I have options and choices, and Matt's going to do some research while I finish up my last days of work.

I have to add that I'm well aware that this sounds fun but crazy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tonight was the night, when I officially quit working at the restaurant/food-court. This is the true sign of forward progression, when I have no further hindrances and there can be only momentum. Which means its also most likely the time in which I should get my act together and not procrastinate things. But I think I've got a handle on it.

In roughly 27 days, Zoe and I will be stepping on a plane bound for Ireland, and we're still hammering out the details of what will happen after that, but oh will things happen. Adventures await the daring couple, watch as they triumph over all obstacles through sheer wit and aplomb. The Unflappable Duo will chronicle their hazards, perils and strange foreign people encounters here, and through photo and song! Maybe not song, actually, but you follow, right?


I had a dream that I became a vampire, which would only make sense seeing as how I'm trying to write a novel filled with the buggers. So in this dream, I was turned into a vampire and all sorts of new, glorious vampire friends and vampire tricks. It was interesting, the way my subconscious mind rendered the vampire mythos. I was undead, but could eat and drink, could teleport limited distances in line-of-sight, probably had some other nifty powers that I didn't get to find out about. My flesh was ice to the touch, and I had no breath or heartbeat, but if I concentrated, then I could revive those things, if only for a little while.

The catch was that I was 'dead' to everyone else. But bugger that, I had a wife. And I hadn't realized just how long I'd been gone, until I discovered that she had been mourning me for nearly half a year. I also found out that my grandmother was quite literally a witch and had me kicked out of the house, which was conveniently the time my alarm went off and woke me from bizarre slumber.

Never one to really read into dreams beyond ideas for stories, I think this presents some interesting concepts for a story. Alternating perspectives, the husband and wife...the mourning process for both of them, do they co-exist as vampire and human, or does he bring her across?

I'll have to talk to Zoe about that one....

Sunday, May 3, 2009

And then there was blog

And other such horribly tacky lines.

In essence, an effort to distinguish between two writers, between their words. Two souls intrinsically entwined, choosing to spend their lives together, so the lines get crossed. Two writers, with two different voices, so how do we differentiate? Can't just say "Oh, Matt here." or "Zoe's turn!" I mean, I suppose we could, but that's kind of tacky don't you think? We attempt to stray from those unfashionable grey areas as often as possible.

So our choices are limited.

And not suitably varied, for that matter.

Some classic.

Some repetitive and easy on the eyes.

The astonishingly difficult philosophical dilemma of fonts on a shared blog, oh who knew?