buy cialis once daily

Archive for January, 2012

lobby

The lobby of my old LA apartment building

I was at a shopping centre the other day when I witnessed a little girl – probably about 10 years old – throw herself at a pile of fuzzy, stuffed animals for sale while simultaneously begging her mother to buy one. “Pleeeeeease, I need one!” she squealed, clinging for dear life to one particularly pink panda.

Unconvinced, the mother firmly tugged her daughter away from the cuddly temptation and I could hear the whine slowly fade in the distance as the pair disappeared in a sea of shoppers. Though I can’t say for certain, I’m guessing that the little panda was likely forgotten by the end of that day. Out of sight, out of mind.

When I lived in Los Angeles, I was surrounded by shiny toys. Of course they were of the adult variety: high-end cars, expensive footwear, designer clothes and opulent restaurants with over-the-top menu offerings (and prices to match!). The more I was exposed to these things, the more I felt I needed them.

pool

Every time I’d get a lift in a friend’s wood grain interior-ed Mercedes Benz, my Honda Accord started to feel like a hunk of junk. Whenever I’d dine among the privileged elite at a Hollywood hot spot, I’d long for the freedom that an inflated salary afforded them; instead of dining there once every blue moon, I could go as often as I’d want. Even the gym wasn’t safe; working out next to the ladies-who-gym in all their designer workout gear would make my ratty t-shirt/tracksuit bottoms combo look like something from a charity shop reject pile.

(more…)

newspaper boy

I got my first job when I was 12 years old as a paper girl for the local newspaper, the [now defunct] Temple City Times. Every week the company would drop off 75 newspapers and I’d have to roll each one, secure it with a rubber band and if it was raining, put it into a plastic sleeve. Once they were ready to go I’d put them neatly into my canvas bag and hop on my bicycle to make the deliveries.

The rest of the delivery crew was all boys and they’d sling their big canvas bags casually over the handlebars of their bikes. But I found this too awkward; the weight of 75 papers was just too much for me to be able to balance it on my handlebars. So I had to wear the bag – which was essentially a big parka with a large pouch on each side to hold the papers. Even though the bag was designed to be worn exactly this way, it wasn’t the most stylish accessory and I looked like a complete spaz wearing this potato-sack parka/ bag thing.

One day when I was at the Temple City Times office to pick up my [paltry] paycheck, one the paperboys asked me why I always delivered all my papers. “You know that out of those 75 papers, only 15 are subscribers. The rest are just free papers you have to give out so people will sign up for a subscription.” He then went on to tell me that he only delivered the subscription papers and threw the rest away, because “no one would know.”

(more…)

Pho Beach

Took this during my shed time yesterday, which involved a long walk on the beach with my friend Ela.

When I first moved to Ireland, I observed a noticeable divide between men and women when it came to socalising. Every time I’d go to the pub with my friends (back when I used to live in Drogheda), the men would separate from the women seconds after walking into the bar. For the first hour or so, it was guy talk on one side of the room and girl talk on the other. Once all the catching-up was done, everyone mingled.

On the surface, I suppose this scene would seem a bit antiquated. And if I’m honest, I found it slightly jarring at first. But lately I’m beginning to appreciate this understanding that guys need their designated guy time and girls need theirs – I’m not sure why but the Irish seem to get this better than most Americans I know. There’s no offence taken or need to make excuses or apologise, which is refreshing.

easter cupcakes

Mountaineering Man’s dad meets up with a couple of his buddies at a café every weekday morning. He explains it as a time to just talk shop with the fellas. MM’s mother has a regular weekly card game with the ladies. My dad has lunch twice a week with a couple of his friends, and my mother has dinner with her Zumba class friends after a workout once or twice a week. I like that they don’t feel the need to make their plans opposite each other’s; there’s none of this “Well since you’re having a guys’ night I’ll go out with my friends” tit-for-tat style competitiveness; they understand that each person having his/her own time makes them better as a couple.

(more…)

DSC_0220

I remember back in the early days of living in Ireland – Drogheda, Co. Louth to be specific -  I often felt helpless. There were so many unfamiliar things and places and people; from laser cards (don’t have ‘em in the U.S.) to bagging your own groceries at the shop, everything was a learning experience.

As time went on, I started to figure it out and things got easier. But much like a videogame, there are many, many levels of adjustment and understanding that don’t end after mastering the basics. Sure I figured out the rules of the road and that the post office doesn’t deliver on Saturdays and how a storage heater works. But it’s those little, only-locals-know type things like the quickest route from SuperValu to the dry cleaners or what park is good for a Sunday stroll that takes a while to learn.

Fish n Chips

Then there’s the food-related stuff: Where can I buy fresh bay leaves? Does anyone in Dublin serve authentic tacos? Is there a shop that sells that super light airy French roll for Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches? These are things that I’ve had to dig for, and only recently do I feel I’ve gotten a good understanding of where to get what I’m looking for. It’s taken a lot of research – Twitter, Facebook, Google and just plain ol’ going around Dublin personally trying bits and bobs here and there and talking to shop clerks and asking my food blogging friends for advice. But it’s all worth the effort when I find what I need.

(more…)