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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

blarney and … guinness and stuff

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Hey guess what I’m totally Irish now.

I realize that sounds like baloney.

(Hold on, googling the Irish version of ‘baloney’.)

I realize that sounds like bullocks.

(You know what, actual Irish people, I’m super sorry about all of this. I mean, I’m leaving it, but I am super sorry.)

So let’s recap. I don’t know how to use Irish slang and I am a dual US/Irish citizen. Both of those things are the absolute truth.

My maternal Grandma, the ever-patient mother-of-twelve Joan, was born in County Cork. That’s where Dublin is. (Did you know that? I did not previously know that.) Ireland, for reasons I cannot begin to explain (I think ‘they were super broke’ mostly sums it up but come on, darlings, I’m almost to my sounding like an idiot threshold for this post already and I have quite a few more things to say), has the easiest citizenship process for people who weren’t born there of any EU country. As in, if your grandparent was born there and never renounced his or her citizenship, you can make it happen. Compared to that lil sprint, every other EU country’s process is apparently a triathlon.

I did it. I have an Irish birth certificate (complete with my very Italian last name) in my hot sweaty hands, and one of those nifty red EU passports will join it in eight to twelve weeks.

I’m going to tell you, super quick, what I did just in case you want to do it too. Then we can all be Irish together!!!

***For clarity, what I’m talking about is getting yourself onto the Irish Foreign Births Register. As far as I can tell, once you’re on it, you’re legally as Irish as anybody else. The birth certificate they mailed me that was covered with words like ‘CLÁR NA mBREITHEANNA COIGRÍCHE’ and it’s getting me an EU passport, so, you know. Golden.***

First and very important: I think this was clear, but have an Irish grandparent. Otherwise, find out where your grandparents were from and try to get citizenship there instead. If it was America, try to join the DAR. It’ll be fun. Red white and blue rosette brooches, probably?

Then, you need to be able to prove that a) it is your grandparent, and b) that he or she is actually Irish. Here’s what I sent:

  • My grandma’s original birth certificate. It was bonkers, you guys. Like, of of those old docs that was busting at the edges and had (probably!) been written with a fountain pen. It was 1920. All pens were fountain pens. Astronaut pens (which is what we all use now in this futuristic year of 2015, right, guys?) weren’t invented until 1965. The name of the hospital she was born in had an appropriate number of vowels and consonants, but they’re in an order that makes no sense to my American English brain.
  • My grandma’s marriage certificate. Same deal, although somewhat newer, obviously. Old. Crackly. Originals only.
  • My grandma’s death certificate. Sad and also don’t know why, cause Ireland didn’t know she died and I could have applied while she was still alive. However, I sent it and was successful so … ymmv.
  • My mother’s birth certificate. I hadn’t really thought this through before, but obviously this was to prove the link between me and grandma. Duh. One of those fancy copies you get from the hospital. I don’t know if that counts as an original? When you say original birth certificate, I think the ones with the footprint on them. Is that a thing? Did I learn that from movies and it doesn’t even really exist? What IS EVEN REAL ANYMORE?
  • My mom’s marriage certificate.
  • MY birth certificate. Same deal as mom’s, originality wise.
  • A certified copy of my mom’s passport (Irish, because she had already gone through a simpler version of this process. However, nothing in any of the application documents stated that that was necessary. I could have done this with her American passport, theoretically.)
  • A certified copy of my American passport. With both of these, nothing made it clear that a copy was ok. All the info actually sort of implied that I should send the originals. However, I had to go to Mexico and mom didn’t want to hand over her shiny new passport, so I took a leap of faith.
  • A bunch of pain in the ass passport photos that I had to get taken at a specialty shop in Boulder. Around here, the normal places (FedEx, etc) couldn’t do the Irish ones, because they’re a very slightly different size.
  • A filled out application.
  • A buttload of money. (270 Euros. The application I filled out had a spot for debit card info so I filled that in, but in looking at the website I actually messed that up. The site itself says certified check or money order, and requests almost $50 more than I ended up paying. Whoops. Thanks for letting that slide, Dublin Embassy of Ireland! I DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING THAT, FOLKS. Send them a check.)

Did that wear you out, just reading it? It wore me out collecting it, and that’s after my family had done the hard work of getting all of my grandma’s stuff!

This is long, and there’s a twist coming. So.

Stay tuned for part two of Emma and the leprechauns! Coming soon to a theater near you.




Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

When things are going badly for me (as they are right now in school), I have dreams about going to Europe.

Not daydreams of walking through Parisian streets – actual dreams in which I’m part of some group that has a trip planned.

In these dreams, I never even make it on the plane, much less all the way to Europe.

In last night’s version, I packed a bag but forgot pants, and then followed a GPS thing to the airport and ended up in Colorado Springs – more than 100 miles from DIA.

Sometimes I arrive at the airport and can’t find a place to park. Sometimes the airport is a maze.

Sometimes, I have an out of body experience where I watch everyone else milling around the gate, getting on the plane (which is always luxurious), and generally not caring where I am.

I can’t imagine what these dreams might mean.

Maybe I should just go to Paris.

come visit!

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Did you hear that my town is the best small town in America, according to CNN Money, for the FOURTH year in a row?

I’m sure you did.

I mean, why wouldn’t you all regularly read CNN for news of the place that I live?

Anyway, here at home it feels like both a victory and sort of a joke. It was fantastic the first year, cool the second, awesome the third, and now sort of feels like it’s rigged. We are a good town, but better than every other place? Really?

Last night some of Crockett’s old friends came up to hang out, and we went to down to Main Street.

We were greeted by name in both restaurants we visited, despite having been MIA for nearly six weeks. One of the owners at our second stop called me out for not ordering my favorite dish (calamari salad for the win). The drink special was a cocktail named after the mayor’s wife. There were folks sitting on the street sipping local beers. There was a line of families and couples standing outside the ice cream shop.

I grew up in Boulder County. You know those things you say all the time to people who have never heard you say them before? The things that your friends and lovers get tired of and roll their eyes at? One of my things is ‘I’ve never lived more than 20 miles from where I live now’. (I think Crockett wants to mime gagging himself with a spoon when he hears me say it, and we’ve only been together two and a half years. I take pride in being a local, y’all.) So yeah, I grew up here. I love it here, but I don’t have a lot of experience with other places.

Maybe this is the best place in America. I can’t say for sure.

I can say it’s a pretty good place.

That’s probably all I can ask for.

welcome to the beach

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

I’m not really a ‘water person’.

I mean, it’s pretty and all. Especially when it’s way over there. Where it can’t touch me.

I just don’t like to be wet.

You get kind of sticky. Your hair gets messy. You have to keep your clothes somewhere else so they stay dry, so you can put them back on. You have to deal with your swimsuit.

If you’re at a beach, it’s all of the above plus sand (and/or dirt) sticking to your wet self and water animals. Fishes. Leeches. Sharks. Monsters. Little crabs that bite your toes.

But a beach vacation is not, it turns out, about the water. It’s about the sand and the beer and the games and the kids chasing each other with sticks. It’s about endless cups of coffee and only getting a cell phone signal in one 10 square foot area (and a shoddy signal at that). It’s about a hotel room that was decorated so long ago that the decor has come into vogue again. (Think orange shag and avocado green accessories.) Shorts and tank tops and buffet spaghetti dinners?

The beach vacation, I can get into.

As long as no one makes me get into the water.

P.S. Crockett wanted me to remind anyone that is considering breaking into our house of two things. First, we have a housesitter. Second, you don’t know our address. Foiled again.


summer camp

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Ahh, the joys of summer.

When I was in middle school, my friend Lacey and I were listening to the radio this one time. (We listened to the radio more than one time, but you know what I mean. Right? One specific time we were listening to the radio and that’s when this story happened. Yeah.)

On the radio, that one time, there was an ad for Trojan condoms, followed immediately by an ad that started out with some dude saying ‘ahhh, the sounds of summer’. His ‘ahhh’ was…. well, let’s just say it – orgasmic.

We, being like 14, thought that was the funniest thing we’d ever heard.

AHAHAHAHAH, we thought. Did the people who scheduled ads not have any idea how full of hilarity that was?

Now, of course, there are entire Tumblrs devoted to things like unfortunately adjacent billboards*.

Anyway – I was at summer camp in western New York last week. Adult summer camp. (Really Crockett and I were just visiting his family and friends, but there was a definite summer camp air to the whole thing.)

  • Social hour – did you know bars around Buffalo stay open until 4? 4 am? AM AS IN IN-THE-MORNING? (Interestingly, the trade off here seems to be that you can drink later but your beer choices are limited to Labatt and your wine choices are limited to things that come in single serving screw top bottles.)
  • Sightseeing – I’ve decided the Great Lakes are some kind of gigantic practical joke. After seeing Erie (from the road), Superior (from a plane), and Ontario (from shore and from a catamaran), I now believe that ‘great’ was someone being funny. Like calling Iceland … well, Iceland. Someone thought to themselves, “what should we call these motherfucking enormous mini-oceans? How about the North American Freshwater Seas? Nah… let’s just call ‘em ‘great’. That’ll be hilarious. Silly girls from Colorado will stare like open-mouth yokels when they see how big these things are.”
  • Arts and crafts – I made a purse with Crockett’s mom.
  • Games – Crockett’s childhood friends kicked my ass at Foosball. And Cornhole. Oh, and Flip Cup. And life, basically. I blame it on the humidity. And the beer.
  • Food – 17 barbecues. A cupcake competition (which I didn’t enter, due to …. lameness on my part, I suppose.)

Ice cream cones the size of my head.

Now I’m back home, and I’m distinctly lacking in scheduled fun. I do have a lot of laundry to do. And a lot of work to do.

Is ‘adult-summer-camp counselor’ a job?

No, really.

* I could have sworn this was true, but now I can’t find a single one. The one I’m thinking of has someone doing yoga next to something that looks like a fart. I know, sounds hilarious. I bet you’re really sad I can’t find it. Also, who knew you could see a fart?