Saturday, August 4, 2007

Newsletter, entitled 'Don't Stop Reading Me!'

I am passing another Saturday afternoon at the internet cafe known as here in Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland. I say "another" as if every weekend is spent typing on a brown-but-was-once-black keyboard checking to see if Nicole Richie really is pregnant, or if Madonna has an eating disorder, or opening my email five times to make sure nobody has sent me a message within the last few minutes, because Texas doesn't miss me as much as I miss Texas.
But I am getting over the initial 3 weeks of debilitating homesickness, and I have found some interesting ways to pass the time, especially since my host/tour guide, Edmund, has been at work every weekday making sure the world gets to keep its ability to talk on the phone.
The pile of books next to my bed has grown substantially since my arrival with 3 novels: American Gods, by Neil Gaiman; Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton; and The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck. I didn't finish American Gods on the plane ride from Dallas because it was too slow, and I had better things to do, like watch that new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, and better things to read, like the airline pamphlet telling me that I can use my seat cushion as a floatie. I also got a lot of mileage out of Skymall, trying to decide if I wanted a feline drinking fountain or a "Life Is a Journey" engraved bracelet. I did read Ethan Frome, though, followed by On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan, Harry Potter, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I have turned into an obsessive, buying books in bulk and marveling that I have nothing better to do during the days but to read them. In my less intellectual moments, there are always Australian soaps and pheasants.
A friend of Edmund's, David, raises pheasants and sells them to, among others, huge estates. Folks who already live in an honest-no-shit castle with Rolls Royces and a helipad, so. As I see it, it goes something like this: rich people sit around and say to themselves, "I have too much money. What can I spend it on? I suppose one can never have too many pheasants." So they order 4,000 pheasants to put on their property and David drives up to your castle to release all those birds. Well, one guy can't do that on his own, right? That's why David called Sean. But two guys delivering pheasants to a castle by themselves? That won't work unless they have an American girl who knows nothing about pheasants to stand in their way while they are trying to work, saying, "So, what exactly is a pheasant?"
That was my week.

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