Monday, October 22, 2007

Back from the Emerald Isle!

Ireland is fantastic! What a beautiful place - you can't swing a camera without finding a perfect scenic shot. We arrived on Saturday Oct. 13 at Killarney Country Club, a timeshare resort near Killarney in County Kerry (southwest Ireland). Our accommodations were comfortable, but there were few amenities and virtually no activities onsite. That was okay, though, because the wife and I intended this as a relaxing holiday for the two of us. Our cottage had a view of the nearby mountains out front and the rolling green hills out back. We went into Killarney, which borders on a huge national park, and explored both the town and the historic and natural sites of the park: St. Mary's Cathedral, Muckross House, Muckross Abbey, Torc Waterfall, Ross Castle, and Innnisfallen Abbey, just to name a few. We also took a bus tour out to the peninsula and the "Ring of Kerry" - splendid sights of the mountains, the Dingle Bay and the ocean, as well as some quaint towns along the way. We also took a day trip to Blarney Castle (my wife kissed the Blarney Stone). But some mornings we'd just sleep in - it was wonderful. (if you'd like to see some of our photos, click here.

Music: Got a good collection in Ireland called A Woman's Heart: Trilogy - it's a box set of three CD's from a series of Irish-based music by women artists like Mary Black, Sharon Shannon, Sinead O'Connor, Maura O'Connell, etc. Some of it gets a bit "poppy", but generally it's a nice series of anthologies - the singing is fine across the board, as are Shannon's instrumentals. It was somewhat of a bargain at 20 Euros.
Also got (from Strangers Alamanac by Whiskeytown, a 1997 release from the band fronted by Ryan Adams and featuring Caitlin Cary (this album also has guest artist Alejandro Escovedo). Really fine alt-country, some of the best I've heard in the genre.

WXPN finished their "885 Most Memorable Musical Moments". No big surprises (especially since the top 100 were pre-packaged, so to speak).
#1 - Woodstock
#2 - Beatles on Ed Sullivan
#3 - John Lennon shot

Poetry: Despite the wondrous landscapes of Ireland, I haven't been inspired to write more than one poem, and that's still a work in progress. I finally relented and sent Poetry magazine a followup letter about status of my submission. No response yet - I don't know what to make of their silence any more.

Poem of the Week: Since Halloween is coming, how about something fun? Here's a Halloween limerick:

A pumpkin from Kalamazoo,
wished to be Jack-O-Lantern, too,
but he looked like a squash,
so he got the ki-bosh,
now he's part of a vegetable stew!

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