Saturday, November 23, 2013

- Rock Me Mama

Did you know the song "Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show is co-written in by Bob Dylan? The chorus is something he wrote but never quite developed into a full song and it wouldn't have seen the light of day if the right person hadn't picked it up at the right time to turn it into an anthem of the 2010's.  I didn't know any of this until tonight when Kelsey and I talked about the song because we heard it played not once, but twice, in two different pubs in Killarney. I never thought in a million years that I would go to Ireland and hear the lyrics "and I'm thumbin' my way into North Caroline".  It was a little bit bittersweet to realize that even here, on the vacation of my dreams, it's so clear where home is.

Anyways, today has been a whirlwind and I'm guessing it's a testament to jet lag and Smithwicks that I'm even still awake enough to coherently tell you about it.  I keep forgetting to capture the sights on my cell phone but here are a few animal centric moments from today...

First there were the horses that we found in the fog during our morning jaunt through the Gap of Dunloe:
Then there were the sheep that we saw on every hillside but it was still surprising to find them so close at hand on Valentia Island. The Skelligs in the background weren't so bad either. 
(Skelligs are those tall rocks sticking out of the ocean. One time some monks looked at those rocks and said "hmmm that looks like as good as place as any to call home" and then they lived there until the 12th century. Trading seal meat with passing ship crews for grain and writing out historical records on vellum. Congratulations, you just learned something. Side note over.)

But mostly today the coastline stole the show. Ireland is beautiful in a way that I've never seen before. End of story. No "buts" or explanations needed. 
I can't wait to see more.

If you don't get the song reference then watch this link. And if it ever comes up it's probably best that you lie to me and just act like you knew what I was talking about all along. And for the love of Jebus, if you didn't know about this song until Hootie covered it, it's probably best if we never talk again.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

- Bon Voyage

The past three days have been so stressful because as it turns out there's a lot to do to prepare to leave the country for 9 days. You know, ridiculously essential things like sewing sequins to a sweatshirt or dealing with your first world problems. I wasn't prepared for all of the hullabaloo (side note: that is one of the best words EVER) because sadly, I haven't done this as an adult. Okay I guess I was 18 (or nearly? I can't remember that far back) when I went to London and Paris with my highschool class but that just doesn't count. 

It is a little bit embarassing to have this kind of first happen so far into my adult life. And a little bit scary; because once this can of international travel worms is opened, it can't be closed. And I may never have money again. But I feel like its worth it to find out just how much better Guinness can be. 
The American control. Because you hav to set a baseline. And I lost those 5 lbs jut so I can gain them back in Guinness consumption.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

- Winter is Coming

This song is one of those that you hear and just instantly love.  It's this years Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Home.  Or a newer Magic by Rabbit.  It's totally a Send Me on My Way by Rusted Root.  It instantly feels like your favorite pair of leggings.
If you don't have a favorite pair of leggings then it's like I don't even know you anymore.

If you can listen to that song and not smile then I definitely don't know you anymore.

I spent so much of this past summer under "the big hot sun" that I actually got a tan for the first time in years despite all of the sunscreen I wear.  Summer took forever to get here but when it did show up, it put on a perfect performance.  With encores into October.  OCTOBER!  This song feels like summer did.  If it's played on just the right day, even after summer is over, it brings back a memory so vivid of spectacular weather that you fan feel it.  The day feels a little bit warmer.  Things look a little bit brighter.

But October also skipped right over Fall and moved to "Early Winter" all too quickly.  All of the sudden we had a good 2.5 weeks straight with highs only in the 30's.  The sun was no where to be found and I had a really hard time liking anything about my life with that sadness outside.  But every Friday, miraculously, the sun would come out.  (It was a literal "Here Comes the Sun" type of moment).  And the temperature's would rise to 50!  The perfect weather would last all weekend.  Each time, for those three days I would do as much as I could to soak up the rays.  It was like trying to bank time in the light so I could get through another gloomy week if necessary.

If ever I forget about how great it was to have the sun stick around for so long (by Minnesota standards), I remember on days like today.  Today was the first day of winter.  The first time there were winter weather advisories and lots of different kinds of precipitation falling from the sky.  It was the first day that Emma and I had to walk in "The Weather".  I tried to psyche myself up for our walk by picturing in my head this idyllic scene: Emma and I strolling along the sidewalk while big white flakes floated effortlessly to the ground all around us.  The wind was still and it was comfortably cold.  Instead it was a new version of hell.  Little ice chunks were pelted at our faces leaving our skin stinging in the blistering wind.  We haven't walked that fast in a long time and the only thing that kept me moving forward was this song and the memories it contains.

I will carry this song with me through the next 5 months of winter (That's right Old Man, you can stay until March but then it's time to make room for Lady Spring) because as soon as that uke kicks in the happiness is palpable.  And that's the kind of thing I'll need to feel when there's a -15 windchill and my snot is freezing in my nose as I walk to my car after work.