Wednesday 31 March 2010

Wordless Wednesday 7


PARADE OF CHARACTERS

















For more Wordless good stuff, go here for mine or here for everybody else's.


Monday 29 March 2010

Dublin St. Patrick's Festival


Ahhh!  It's been a long couple of weeks, but I am finally ready to post some of the photos I took during Dublin's 15th Annual St. Patrick's Festival.  That's right, it's more than just a parade;  it's a whole week of fun!  We only participated in a few of the official activities (and maybe a couple of unofficial ones), but I shot more than 1400 photos during those events alone.  Whew!  My shutter finger felt like it was about to fall off!  Okay, not really, but I wouldn't have been too surprised if it had done.

Our fun began with the St. Patrick's Festival Treasure Hunt.  LoML, The Girl and I set out early on a Saturday morning to join in the fun of a treasure hunt.  We first signed in at Dublin City Hall where we were given a map and a list of destinations.  Each spot was in a different building around town, and held the answer to a clue or question on our list.  The objective was to visit each location, get the clue we were looking for, get a stamp to prove we'd been there (and hadn't just googled the answer), and move on to the next place until we had all the answers we needed and could return to City Hall.  Teams could be groups of no more than four people, which I found odd.  The event was publicized as family event, but surely there are TONS of families with more than four members--particularly in Ireland!  Anyway, the other rules were that participating teams were not allowed to use vehicles to visit the Treasure Hunt locations, and all answer sheets had to be returned to City Hall by 5pm to qualify for one of the great prizes they were offering.


So off we went!   As we made our way to the first stop on our hunt, we saw many interesting old buildings that line the streets in Dublin.  I'm not at all into architecture, but even I can appreciate a beautiful old church or other eye-catching structures.




We saw a few other fantastic sights too.  There were musicians, face painters, street performers and buskers.



We visited the Irish Museum of Modern Art, which is housed in the old Royal Hospital.  It's a beautiful building with a stunning cobblestone courtyard, and is one of my favorite places in the city.



We checked out a bit of art at the museum, then had a little artwork done on our faces...













...and bonded as a family. 





We headed to Heuston Station for our next stop...





 ...crossed the James Joyce Bridge...



...and headed for Smithfield.



From there we went to Parnell Square, and to the National Gallery at Merrion Square before heading back toward the center of town.



Are you exhausted yet?  We sure were!   We wandered around for a while longer, trying to complete our mission, but we had already been walking for six hours (!!), so we called it a day.  We didn't complete the treasure hunt, but we did enjoy a street fair near Merrion Square that evening.  I have to say, while the Treasure Hunt itself was a great idea, and we did have fun, I was surprised at the lack of wheelchair accessibility in all but a few of the locations we were required to visit.  I had to wait out on the street at most of our stops.  I do wish the organizers of this event had taken that into consideration, and while they may not have been able to make all the locations accessible, perhaps they could have at least included a notice in their publicity for the event.  I hope to see this aspect of the event changed for next year. 

I'll post more throughout the week, including some shots from the street fair.  Stay tuned because I have some GREAT shots from the St. Patrick's Day Parade!  You won't want to miss them, so please check back later this week! 

Thursday 25 March 2010

Ms. CrankyPants in a Skirt

CrankyPants


 Just a teaser...pics and post coming soon! ;)

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Wordless Wednesday 6

Um...Untitled?




For more Wordless good stuff, go here for mine or here for everybody else's.

Sunday 21 March 2010

Putumayo Presents Rhythm & Blues Review and Giveaway


Here's something you probably don't know about me:  I used to work for one of the world's largest sellers of books, music and coffee.  I really loved working there, and for many reasons, but one of them was the fact that I got to hear new music as soon as it hit the shelves.  Every Tuesday we'd get a new lineup of that week's new releases, and we would listen to those CDs for the next week throughout the store.  Sometimes that wasn't fully appreciated.  I love Norah Jones, for example, but if I had to hear the opening chords to "Sunrise" again, I think I'd scream.  No...I know I would.  Anyway, more often, it was great to get to hear stuff that I wouldn't ordinarily think to buy for myself.  This is how my love affair with Putumayo World Music began.

One amazing perk of working for one of the world's largest sellers of books, music and coffee (come on...surely you know who I'm talking about by now, right?!)  was that, as employees, we had first dibs at a lot of promotional items.  Often these included items that nobody really wanted, and they sat unclaimed for weeks.  Putumayo CDs were NOT included in that group!  They were ALWAYS one of the most popular employee side benefits any time they became available.  I became especially skilled at determining when they would go up for grabs, and would arrive for work early so I could snag them before somebody beat me to it.  I loved them so much that I also bought several of the great compilations, and I now boast a fair collection of Putumayo music, most of which I still listen to a LOT.  I have African Party, African Groove, Asian Lounge, Samba Bossa Nova, Christmas Around the World, Latin Groove, A Family Christmas, Cafe Cubano, Dreamland, African Dreamland, Latin Playground, and World Playground.  Oh yeah.  I love Putumayo, and there are still several other collections I would love to have.
 
But enough about what I want.  Now it's YOUR turn to get what I want!  If you've already heard Putumayo's latest release, Putumayo Presents Rhythm & Blues, I'm sure you want to get your hands on a copy of it, and if you haven't heard it, you should enter to win it now!  (Really, I hope you'll enter either way.  This is some GREAT music!)  The Rhythm & Blues collection features several really amazing artists and absolutely irresistible songs.  A few of my favorites include "Put Me Down Easy" by Catherine Russell, "100 Days, 100 Nights" by Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, and "River is Waiting" by Irma Thomas with Henry Butler.  There's even a fantastic cover version of "Wang Dang Doodle" by Sam Moore, Keb' Mo' and Angie Stone!  Many of the tracks on this album are strikingly reminiscent of old soul standards by Otis Redding, The Four Tops and others.  And let me tell ya...this album will get you dancing!  It's one of those CDs that don't sound 'new' when you first hear it, but are more like your favorite comfy jeans.  It feels like you know this music already, and you can't help but try to sing along, even if you don't know the words.  Or maybe that's just me.

I am so excited to be able to offer a copy of Putumayo Presents Rhythm & Blues to one lucky reader as my Very First Giveaway!  Whoo-hoo...way to get it rollin'!  Big THANKS to Putumayo and Eric at E1 Music Canada for this opportunity! 

Now onto the good stuff....Here's how you can win a copy for yourself:

Mandatory Entry: 
Visit Putumayo World Music, then come back here and leave a comment telling me another great collection you would love to have! 
*The Mandatory Entry must be done before subsequent Bonus Entries.*

Bonus Entries:
(You can do as many or as few of the following as you like, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.)

~Follow I Digress. via Blogger or Google Friend Connect, and tell me in a comment that you are following.  (1 entry)

~Become a fan of Putumayo on Facebook, and tell me you are in a comment.  (1 entry)

~Follow Putumayo on Twitter, and tell me your Twitter id.  (1 entry)

~Tweet about this giveaway, and leave a link to that tweet.  (1 entry)
  (You can right click on the part under your tweet that says how long ago you tweeted, select 'Copy Link Location', then paste the link here in a comment.)

~Follow ME on Twitter, and tell me your Twitter id.  (1 entry)


~Suggest a new collection you'd love to see Putumayo release (genre or general music style).  Tell me about it in a comment.  (2 entries;  please leave 2 comments.)

~I love April Fool's Day!  Tell me about the best prank you ever pulled, or one in which YOU were the victim;  make me laugh!  (3 entries;  please leave 3 comments.  Second and third comments can simply refer to the first in which you describe the prank.)

Please make sure you leave separate comments for each entry, including separate comments for multiple-entry activities.  Please also make sure your email address is either included in your comment or easily accessed through your profile so I can let you know if you win!


Contest is open to U.S. and Canada only.  Ends April 4th, 2010 at 10:00pm GMT.   

Winner will be selected using Random.org (which was created here in Dublin...cool little fact for ya!) and will be contacted by email.  If prize is not claimed within 72 hours, a new winner will be drawn from other entries. 

Disclosure:  I was given a copy of this product for review purposes.  I received no monetary compensation, and the thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Wordless Wednesday 5


Wind in Her Hair


For more Wordless good stuff, go here for mine or here for everybody else's.


Tuesday 9 March 2010

Foot Notes...ba-da-bump.


Michael Foot died last week.  You probably don't care because, unless you live in the UK or follow EU politics, you probably haven't heard of him.  He was 96 when he died, so while news of  his death may be sad, it certainly isn't the tragic news of a life cut short.  So why do I care enough to even mention him here?  I'll tell ya.

I've heard Foot's name a few times on Sky News since I moved to Ireland, but I never knew much about him.  However, I *first* heard his name years ago in relation to a 'funny headlines' discussion somewhere online.  Some of the things I learned about Michael Foot last week in media coverage of his life helped give context to what is possibly the finest headline ever written.  He was a British Labour MP back in the 50s and became Leader of the Opposition in 1980.  Foot was also known to be a passionate supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and in the early '80s he became the Chair of a group whose mission was to 'ban the bomb'.  Thus came The Times' sheer headline brilliance:

FOOT HEADS ARMS BODY

Incidentally, Foot was also a journalist.  I should hope he appreciated the genius of some Times editor who had to brilliance to state the obvious in big bold letters.  

R.I.P., Michael Foot.  You may be gone, but your name will not be forgotten.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Wordless Wednesday 4


Something Told Us We Weren't 
Welcome in This Neighborhood



 

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