Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week one of adult life...done!

Week 1 of work was a success. Though, to be fair, I did have an easier transition than may be expected... it was only a four day week and the head of my team was on vacation, so I was able to transition smoothly into the job. Things will definitely be picking up this week, but I'm looking forward to jumping right in. As long as I have time to head to the gym a few days a week, I'm happy.

I don't have much exciting news to post. Have been catching up with a few friends, meeting some friends for drinks, and grabbing coffee at work with colleagues I've missed. I think one of my favorite things to do is catch up with someone I haven't seen in a while. There's always that underlying vibe that the person you're talking to is just great... like, you wouldn't have bothered reconnecting with them unless they were really worth your time, and everything coming out of his/her mouth is confirmation of their impressiveness. I just love that. And it happens all the time at work.

This weekend has been super low key... just the way I like it. Met up with a few friends for a few drinks, went on 2 long runs since the weather was finally beautiful and warm, did some shopping, and that's about it. Tonight is Brothers and Sisters and frozen yogurt. Then back to the grind tomorrow. Yay!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

There's poetry in a pint of Guiness.

... so says one of the walls at the Guiness Storehouse. And although swallowing even one swig of a Guiness is still painful for me, I agree with the notion. Kaila and I spent a long-awaited weekend in Dublin and loved every magical minute of it. Coincidentally, we arrived at the start of Dublin's Traditional Music Festival and had the chance to listen to dozens of well known traditional Irish musicians (and even befriended a few ourselves!)

Though the lifestyle of Dublin was what I expected - pubs, live music, lots of beer, un-noteworthy food - the warmth and quality of the culture exceeded my expectations. Not only were the (many) people we met very friendly and happy to give us advice and directions, but everyone was happy to stay and chat with us and most people were genuine and have led really interesting lives. Just the kind of people to philosophize with over a few beers. And hopefully I made a few friends along the way.

I enjoyed the Guiness Storehouse (minus the Guiness), the Dublin Castle, and the James Joyce Monuments, but the most memorable moments of the trip for me were at the pubs (not because of the beer). It's impossible not to get the sense that you're experiencing what life is really about when you're singing along with 300 people to Lynard Skynard, David Gray, and U2 acoustic covers. It evokes that "this is what it's all about" feeling that I'll never forget.

Overall, my "hiatus from life," as I've dubbed it, was, of course, a positive one. Three weeks in London plus 5 days in Dublin makes for a relaxing, rich, cultural vacation... but most importantly, just a vacation. I've got about a week before I begin my real life, so I'm soaking up the laziness for as long as I can. Then it's back to the grind. Or rather, beginning a whole new grind. I'm excited about it, but also nervous about the demands. It won't be just a change for me. I will really need to step up my game, and I don't mean just at work. This whole working thing really changes a lot. Like, paying bills and loans, finding my own dentist, paying for a gym membership, etc. Who knew being an adult entailed so much responsibility?

Anyway, onto other matters. Had a fabulous time exploring St. Francis college yesterday with Jen. Not only do I think it is a perfect fit for Jen, but I'm so relieved/excited that the school is so safe, beautiful, and really fosters a sense of community and progress. As Aunt Joan (constantly) reminded us, St. Francis is "a small school with big dreams." And it couldn't be more true! Brooklyn Heights is absolutely gorgeous (way too rich for my blood) and it seems like there is tons of culture (and bars!). But the big city feel is balanced by the college, which is 8 floors in 1 building with lots of lounges and eateries to hang out and meet people. Seems like the perfect combination! I'm so happy that Jennifer really felt a connection to the school... I think the most important thing when selecting a college is really feeling comfortable on the campus so you have something to look forward to before shipping off. I did not feel nearly as strongly as Jen when I decided to attend NYU and it definitely hindered my pre-college months. And the BEST part is it's only a few subway stops from me! Now I have an excuse to get lunch/coffee in one of the most beautiful parts of the city.

This post is getting too long, so I'll just mention quickly... super excited for Grandpa's birthday lunch at Johnny McGorey's. And for Hoboken tonight with some friends! And obviously, superbowl tomorrow. I wonder who's playing?