Saturday, June 28, 2008

So this is how it is for people who don't blog?

Is anyone still there.....?

It's finally happened. Real life has taken all my attention and I've almost forgotten how to blog. I'm tired of stressing about my lack of writing and blogging time and given in.
I'm here now, and that's gotta count for something, right?

So what, you may ask, has been keeping me so very busy that I've deserted my cyberfriends?

Well my bestest shopping buddy in the world came to visit a few weekends back and we shopped for 3 days solid (or was it 4? Felt like 4!). And we went to the movies and saw the ultimate chick flick: Sex in the City. And it was great!

Last weekend Hubby's sister & her brood came up and we adults went to go see Eric Clapton at Malahide Castle.
I've never been a huge Clapton fan, but Hubby really wanted to go so I bought some gumboots and went along for the ride.
... the gumboots? Oh, that's because it was p*ssing with rain. Again. Still. Eric even thanked us for not, y'know, leaving.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the concert. It wasn't one of those scream-and-shout-and-throw-your-undies-on-the-stage sort of concerts or anything; the music was just really good - high praise considering I had never heard most of it before. Except for Layla, of course. And we only got half of that 'cos the power went out. (Probably short-circuited something in the rain!)
Yep, I really enjoyed it.

This weekend I've been studying and will continue to do so - I have an exam scheduled for the 14th and I figured it was time I actually opened a book. I should be studying now but it's late and I need a break. It is weekend, after all, and I've been working really hard lately, at work. You may have noticed this in the lack of blogging I've been doing.

It's been an emotional couple of weeks, too. The one and only person I could actually call Friend at work has left the company... and the country, for that matter. We had a great old Leaving Drinks evening for her, which was fun. And then she left, and I was quite sad about the whole thing. Then again, email makes the world a smaller place and we're still in touch so it's not all bad.

What is all bad is that one of our mates here in Ireland passed away last week. We went to the Removal on Monday evening, followed by drinks till very late that night (was that the Wake? We're a little hazy on the intricacies of dying in Ireland - it seems very complicated!) and then the funeral on Tuesday morning.
That was just so, so sad. He was one of the most fun-loving people I ever met and his laugh is unforgettable. The church was packed to overflowing - there were literally people standing outside during the Mass. When it was finished, and they started to carry the coffin out, the singer sang "Fly me to the moon..." It was the saddest moment in a very long time and I'm not afraid to say I sobbed my eyes out.
Hm, I thought it was all gone but here I am, tears in my eyes again.
We do miss you, Mickey.

But sure, death is part of life and perhaps with each loss I'm finding it easier to cope with.
(What I'm trying to say is yes, I'm sad, but I'm not falling apart so any family members reading this please don't panic; I'm not on the verge of a breakdown!)

Meanwhile, I have actually started writing something about our trip to Greece. I REALLY WAS THERE! SEE, PHONE CAMERA PROVES IT!

Four times I've started writing, in fact. The last draft is about halfway through. I have yet to do anything about the photographs. It'll come, eventually, and you guys will be the first to see it.
Just, you know, don't hold your breath.

'Cos right now there's just a little bit too much going on and although the writer in me wants to fight it, real life sort of has to take precedence.

And now: Chapter 3 awaits me. "Database Storage and Schema Objects"
Betcha wish you were me now...!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Who says life in the 'burbs is dull?

I went to bed later than usual last Thursday night - around 11:45pm - because I wanted to finish the book I was reading. It was hot and a bit stuffy in the bedroom and Hubby was hogging the bed. I had an involuntary muscle twitch in my eyelid and I could almost hear my Mom's voice saying, "You shouldn't be reading so late, it's what gives you eye strain."
I tossed and turned. My pillow felt too flat. A car drove past slowly, as they do outside our place. It's a cul-de-sac and there's not much space to turn or maneouvre. I didn't recognise the sound of it and almost went to peek out the window, but then decided against it.
Instead, I retrieved a second pillow from the floor and tried to find a good sleeping pose.
Was that a noise I heard, or my over-active imagination?
I breathed slowly, quietly, cursing the constant ringing I seem to have in my ears these days. How could I hear anything over that racket?
There it was again. I didn't imagine it, and I knew what it was - the chain my neighbour uses to secure his motorcycle outside his house.
I launched myself off the bed, scaring the bejezez outta my sleeping husband, and dashed to the window. Through the slats in the blinds I could see three men in hooded tops outside, two of them bent over the padlock on my neighbour's motorcycle with a bolt-cutter almost as long as I am tall, and the third having a go at the ignition with a screwdriver.

Well as you know we've had three motorcycles stolen in the last year or so, and I was not going to let them get away with this! Flinging the window open I started yelling at them,
"What the hell do you think you're doing down there. Get away!" My voice was not that of a shrill woman, but deep and enraged. If I had had a gun I would have shot them on the spot. I was still yelling when a dazed and confused husband appeared at my side to see what his mad wife was on about; he took in the situation and started yelling too. This woke up the neighbour, who we could see looking through the blinds at his front door to where the thieves were, only a few feet away from him.
I started to head downstairs, then realised I should put some clothes on so dashed back to the room to grab my bathrobe, chucking Hubby's at him at the same time. I thundered downstairs, causing my stepson to come and see what the commotion was. He was still awake, fiddling on the computer and listening to music on his MP3 player. He didn't have a clue what was going on, nor why I was growling about calling the police. I grabbed the phone and shouted, "What's the number for the police?!"
It's funny how one forgets the simple things in an intense situation like that.

The intruders had, by this stage, started backing away from the bike. Two of them ran for a car I could see parked outside, a couple of houses away, but the third guy - the one with the bolt-cutters - was hanging around still. He threw the big lock they'd cut off the bike at our window, and charged a my neighbour's door to intimidate him into staying inside. I switched on every light I could find inside while Hubby looked for his "Hit Stick" - a pick-axe handle that normally lives by the front door but which had been moved in a fit of cleaning at some stage. All I could think of was that there was someone threatening our home, and I had a 17-year old daughter sleeping upstairs. I swear, I wanted to get out there and rip their heads off; only, I couldn't find my house keys to get the door open. I was still on the phone to the police when the third guy charged our front door, ramming the bolt-cutters into the glass pane. They were trying to scare us but I would not back down, looking hard at them so they knew I knew what they looked like. I was also cursing because I couldn't find my keys to open the front door... never mind that Hubby's were right there, LOL! Like I said, when you're that charged up it seems the mind doesn't think laterally very well - I went into Mommy Bear mode in a big way and was moving on pure instinct. Thought did not enter into the equation at all.

I'm pleased to report that the double-glazed windows are really tough, so the blow just glanced off it. Just as hubby got the front door open to go after them, they got the car started - obviously by hot-wiring it - and I watched as they tore off down the street and around the corner. It was too dim for me to see the license plate but I told the cops on the phone what kind of car it was.

By this time it wasn't just myself and Hubby outside; Two more neighbours had seen what was going on (no doubt alerted by my bellowing!) and there we were, all milling around and wanting to beat the living crap out of these bastards. We rallied around the neighbour whose bike had been the target until the cops arrived a few minutes later, and we saw a second patrol car pass by, on their way to try and find the thugs in the getaway car.
They took statements and I transformed from raging madwoman back into Terri, wishing I was wearing more than a fluffy white bathrobe in the presence of what were, after all, rather nice-looking men in uniform.
I can be SUCH a girl, sometimes!

I don't know if they found the guys; probably not. But I suspect they won't come back in a hurry. They picked the wrong neighbourhood this time and for all their bluster, they were quite eager to get the hell out of Dodge!

Mind you, if I hadn't stayed up late reading "Without Remorse" they may well have gotten away with it.
So thank you, Tom Clancy :-)

weird dream

I dreamt that Hubby told me this:

I was riding my motobike one day years ago with my girlfriend on the back, and I crashed it into a tree. We both stayed on and we stayed upright.
She said to me, "What do you mean?"
I was confused and said, "What are you talking about, I just tried to restart the bike."
And she said, "No, you sat there a moment, looked down at your tummy as you lifted your T-shirt and said, "I'm dead now. How d'you like my bum?"

I swear, I don't make this stuff up!!