Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to Start Saving the World While You're Still in College

If anyone has ever told you, “Don’t be a hero", don’t listen to them. Today, you can be.


Go Trayless. Save your love, and save the world.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Batman's Thanksgiving

Think you have a psycho family? Batman is unimpressed.
*We're changing the ending. It'll be up next Tuesday.



You most likely don’t have a relative that’s literally trying to kill you. However, sometimes there’s that one family member who gets under your skin and makes you want to stomp around the house passive aggressively [luckily mine’s a second cousin I’ve only met once in my life]. At the very least, please refrain from “mistakenly” carving their throat instead of the turkey if you can’t muster up love for said person.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Stay Alive After College

Doors can be the gateway to a new and exciting environment, like the entrance leading to heaven. Or Wal-Mart. As we prepare to cross the threshold into the real world, filled with college knowledge, we must remember the simple tasks, like opening doors.  While IWU men tend to be very skilled at opening doors here, it seems this is a lost art outside of the collegiate realm. And, forgetting how to perform this crucial task can be fatal. According to the National Safety Council, 300,000 people go the emergency room each year due to door related injuries. But with these steps on how to properly open a door, you won’t be one of them.
The key to opening a door properly is awareness.
The first step is to locate the building’s entrance, the home of doors. Double check to make sure you have correctly identified the door. Does it have a handle, knob, or some sort of structure used for pulling? Are people using it to move from one environment to the next? These are common door characteristics. If there are immovable objects on the other side of the door structure, you are looking at a window, and need to try again. Although both open and close, windows should only be used for stealthy entrances.
Next, identify the type of door you’re about to enter and determine if you have the proper skills to open it. Sliding and automatic doors are recommended for beginners. If you’re feeling a bit risky, try the revolving door, and remember that timing is everything. Most people don’t realize they’ve come across a door that swings both ways until it’s too late. Luckily, most doors you’ll open are the fairly simple, one-way swing doors.
As you approach the door, look for signs posted on it, and follow them using your best judgment. “Do not enter” signs are open to interpretation. If it’s on the left-hand door at Meijer, go ahead and use it. If it’s on the cage of a vicious koala bear or on the door leading into Shatford, it’s best to leave that door shut. Also, look for push/pull signs. If you can’t find the push/pull label, remain calm. Because of fire codes, a door will need to be pulled when entering a building.
After the door has been thoroughly scrutinized, look for people around you using your neck, peripheral vision, or perhaps a reflective surface. Then, calculate how you’ll need to change your pace to do one of the following three things: open the door for someone, have the door opened for you, or avoid contact with another person at all costs.
After making your decision, continue to the door farthest to the right until it’s reached. Grab the handle with the hand you’re comfortable with. If you’re not opening the door for someone, you can use your non-dominant hand as a small exercise for strengthening it.
Now, open the door at a speed of no greater than 10 miles per hour. Make sure your face won’t interfere with the door because you’ll have to repeat this process all over.
If you are opening the door for someone, you have two options:
1)      You can move with the door as you open it so that you are perpendicular to the entrance.
                Or
2)      You can open the door and begin to walk inside. Hold your hand on the door and glance back to the person behind you to see their distance. If they’re about 10 meters or less from you, you can keep walking as your hand first moves across the door to the end, and then your arm extends as far as it can, while you’re still walking, until the person grabs it.
If you haven‘t crossed the threshold yet, you may now do so.  Congratulations! Check for any injuries.

The above steps were for men. If you’re a woman, opening a door can be done in three simple steps. Go up to the door. Stand at the door. Wait for the door to be opened for you.
If these steps are followed correctly, you will not become another statistic in door-related accidents.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Great. Now I can't 'Go cry about it' until next year.

Past advice: Clean your room! That laundry isn’t going to do itself!
Present reality:  You obviously don’t have Kayla Eash as a roommate.
After folding my clothes, she made me breakfast for the second time.
The first time she made eggs. I hate eggs.
This weekend, my church decided to put up a sign on the lawn that said, “Free Pancakes!” for anyone that was both driving to the James Dean Festival and hungry. This sounded like a nice idea in theory, but I was skeptical of its practicality.
Pastor: And, anyone who stops can stay for the service if they want.
                I’m pretty sure they’re going to go to the fair and get an elephant ear instead…
Mmm...heavenly
Plus, very few people are going to stop at a church and eat their food, even if it is free, because they probably think the only goal is to convert them.           
            Church: Would you like some pancakes?
Hungry man: Sure!
Church: Would you like some Jesus?
Hungry man: I will just take the maple syrup for today… To go.

At lunch, I overheard two little girls talking with their family.
Little girls:  “Raise your hand if you don’t want to be adopted!”
That must have been the most democratic family I’ve ever seen.

I have a crying quota of once per year maximum. The last time I cried was January 2009 when I told coach I wasn’t going to run anymore (they were tears of joy). Before that, it was after the Holly Invitational in September of 2005. I thought I had a good streak going. Maybe I can go the rest of my life without crying ever again. That prospect crashed and failed this week.
                I signed up to take one of my last required classes: Public Relations Project. I ended up being the last one to sign up for case study presentations, meaning I had the first slot and no partner. I had to talk about “campaigns”, “critical evaluation”, and “strategery”, all terms with which I was only vaguely familiar. I went up after class to ask the new professor, Dr. YoungAh Lee, what the deal was.
                Audrey: Could you explain this assignment to me please?
                Dr. Lee: [explains]. Do you have any idea what you’d like to do it on?
                Audrey: ……………I……HUH!...oh no....HUH!......ERGH!..ha…ha…
                Then the tears came. I do mean tears plural, but only two. I’m an awkward crier because I do it so infrequently. Basically, I try to talk as I choke on air and attempt to suck liquid back into my tear ducts by sheer willpower (so far, I’m pretty successful).
                Dr. Lee: What’s wrong?!
                How should I know?! I'm not in touch with my emotions!
                Apparently, I’m overwhelmed. She kindly reminded me I’m crying over a 0-credit class.
                Later, she said she felt she knew me better because I cried to her. My plan is to now sob to every professor I have so we can bond and I can get As.
                I did my project on the Akron Zoo’s public relations campaign of 2002. I started the presentation with a yeti call, so I was golden.
                Everyone thought Akron Zoo was only for children, so they decided to rebrand it by using the phrase, “You’ve never been this close!” It’s like how McDonald’s wants you to think “healthy food fast” instead of “obesity on demand” when you hear its name, or IWU hoping that you think “an open and diverse campus” when really we still feel like “I’m trapped in a bubble with a plethora of Caucasians!”
Too close! He's about to eat my future child!

If Suite 203 were an event, it would be a middle school dance, because it is awkward, like the awkward moment when:
1)      Someone you just met waves at you and you try to greet them normally, but then end up saluting. And then they never wave at you again.
2)      You laugh during the prayer of a memorial service.
3)      Someone thinks that you’re picking your nose when you’re actually just clearing a path for Vicks Vapo Rub.
4)      Shawn Howse says, “I don’t understand why we just don’t take people who die in car crashes, cook them up, and eat them.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The awkward moment when a twelve year old has his life figured out and you don't

I feel like I’ve been on an excruciatingly long vacation for nine months due to studying abroad. I could have gestated a baby in that time.  Instead of bringing a newborn to school, I showed off my cool scar I received over the summer. Here’s what went down:
I was treading in the ocean when a shark with its jaws barred hungrily swam toward me. I could tell this was a shark with an ego.
Audrey: Hey! I bet you can’t draw blood without biting me.
Shark: Wanna bet?
And he smugly dragged his snaggle tooth against my leg.
And then I ran into a dishwasher.

[Normally I wouldn't show this picture, but I'm pretty sure it's going to gross out my mom.]

My roommates and I decided to live in the lodges this year so we could be around other people. It’s like an apartment complex with a lobby for all residents to use. We chose this over the townhouses, which is a two story condo with three bathrooms, a full closet for each person, and is a half mile closer to campus than the lodges.  The closets are so small that a girl accidentally locked herself in one and had to call campus police to come save her. This is what happens when you don’t pray about where to live.

 If Suite 203 had an education, it would be homeschooled, because it is awkward, like the awkward moment when:
1) The people at Taste of Marion think you’re interested in their organization but you really just want their treats
I have a church. What I don't have is cookies.
2) You move to the lodges instead of a townhouse because you want community, and then remember you don’t have any friends outside your suite.
3) You ask someone, “How was your summer? Did you get engaged?!” only to receive the reply, “We broke up…It wasn’t my choice.”

Before this first week ended, I attended a church I haven’t been to before, Exit 59. The pastor told a story about how he lost a teenager on a youth group trip in 1985. The group was from a small town of 2,000 in Canada. They drove to Chicago, which is where they lost Hopkins. It wasn’t until Pennsylvania that they realized Hopkins was missing, and that was only because no one had recalled telling him to pipe down in the past nine hours. They were a bit scared out of their wits, seeing as how cells phones, ATMs, GPS, or anything remotely useful did not exist in 1985.
“Now I’m telling you this story,” he said, “to show you how freaked out Mary and Joseph were when they lost Jesus for two days in Jerusalem.”
Mary: Where’s Jesus?
Joseph: What do you mean? Isn’t he on your donkey?
Mary: No, he’s not on my donkey! Oh my lanta, God gave us the Savior of the world and we LOST HIM!
They found Jesus in the Temple two days later.
Mary: Son! Why've you treated us like this? Didn’t you know we were searching for you?
Jesus: Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house? (Luke 2:48-49). Boom. Roasted.
You see, at twelve years of age, Jesus knew who He was: the Son of God. When I was twelve, all I knew was that I played with imaginary horses all named after nuts. Except the first horse. His name was Dusty. Now as a senior, my personal and family finance professor has made it quite clear that I should have my life a bit more together than I do right now.
Professor: I want you look up a salary of a job that you’d like to have. If you’re a senior, this should be really easy. You should have some sort of idea figured out by now.
I’d like to be employed. That’s really as far as I’ve thought.
I hope that by the time I graduate at age twenty-one, I’ll be closer to the point where Jesus was at age twelve.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Drop it like it's hot, or a theatre class.

There’s a new professor on campus with a freshly printed doctorate teaching scriptwriting this semester. She sent us a brief email introducing herself prior to the beginning of the semester.
On the first day of class, she strode over to me.
Professor: Hi! I’m Dr. Katie. I don’t believe we’ve met yet.
Audrey: I wonder if she’s related to Dr. Laura. Hi, I’m Audrey.
Dr. Katie: What’s your major?
Audrey: Communications. What’s yours?
Dr. Katie: Well, I teach this class… My major was… (etc.)
I almost transferred out right then and there. If Dr. Katie can’t understand my sarcasm, how can I expect her to understand my soul?
Jim was just kidding, Leonard.
He knows you're solely a doctor.
I didn’t drop the class then. I thought I could move forward. Then I realized what the class was about.Dr. Katie: So who are your guys’ favorite playwrights and characters?
Oh no. This is a theatre course.
Student: Shakespeare!
I then tuned out, because he stole the only relevant word I knew in that discussion.
I figured I could keep quiet and she wouldn’t notice that I despise plays and nearly everything associated with theatre.
Dr. Katie: Audrey, who’s your favorite character?
Audrey: …Hermione.
Strike 2. One more, and I’m dropping this class.

Hey, look at me, I'm a moron!
Prof: What do you guys like to see in plays? What are you passionate about?
Animals. But I’m going to keep my mouth shut in case my opinion is wrong.

Student: Love.
What?  I thought we were talking about objects, like mullets and the color green. You can't see love. Student 2: Good conquering evil.
Wait. We could read Twilight based on these answers.
Strike 3.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Show me a day old sandwich, and I'll show you my delicious dinner for tonight.

              I’ve changed since I have come to Ireland, like I now put milk in my cereal. Sometimes. Here are a few mind boggling facts I learned here:

1)      You know how grilled cheese is awesome, but only for five minutes after it has been made? Take heart soldiers, it can be salvaged by taking it for a spin in the microwave then burning all of its impurities out in the toaster.
2)      Saint Patrick was a beast. He was captured by the Irish and made a slave, but eventually escaped. And then the feisty man came back! Maybe it was because if they tried to take him again, he could say, “I’m going because I want to, not because you told me to." This is basically how it went down:
Why the heck would you go back, Patrico?
I want them to love me and eventually throw me a parade. Jesting, jesting. For Jesus!
And then he went back, and everyone loved him because he was super loving and wasn’t afraid of the pagan gods.
Patty, how come the Dagda doesn’t make you shake in your bed each night?
Because I’m not afraid of nonexistent gods.  
Touché.  
Pat looks very dapper after 1500 years

3)      Grape fluid is unpalatable. We attended a service at Christ Church, and they served us the hard stuff. Holy mackerel, Jesus is tasting a little bitter today. I don’t mind the communion wine at Hillside as much. It’s kind of strong, but it’s only a baby shot, so I can deal with it. Then I found out it was grape juice. I still say it’s too strong.
4)      I can wash my face in five seconds flat. Not because I enjoy power washing, but because Ireland has implemented the two-faucet deal. You can choose from extreme hotness or extreme coldness, which usually leads to extreme pain.
5)      Ireland has these nifty metal boxes on most main streets that shoot out free money! Maybe that’s why they’re in a recession.
6)      The difference between a latte and a cappuccino is the amount of milk foam. Don’t pay more for air.
 
Happy to be ripping off customers
       7)      I can’t do an Irish accent because the Irish don’t sound very Irish. If I tried, I’d just end up sounding South African, and we all know how embarrassing that is.
8)      The sign “To Let” is never a typo for “Toilet”. Ireland has very few public toilets, but my bladder has been strengthened because of this.
I hate you.
Everyone knows that Ireland is green, has sheep, and it rains there more often than a king (except when we were here, thank goodness). But, there’s more to it than that. I like the small tidbits of Ireland because it makes the bigger picture make more sense. So, if you ask me “How was Ireland?” or “What did you learn there?”, expect a step-by-step instruction on how to salvage a sandwich. I like to focus on the important things.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gravy-smothered squid with a side of mushrooms and beets? I'll take it!

                If the west is where it was won, why didn’t I see any trophies?
                We ventured to the opposite side of Ireland at the end of April for our last trip. We stopped at a major tourist attraction: the Blarney Stone. The Irish say there’s a difference between blarney and BS. For example:
                BS: Telling a 50-year-old woman that she doesn’t look a day over 20.
                Blarney: Asking the age of an older woman so you know at what age girls become beautiful.
               Precious.
  One Taylor boy at the end of the queue may or may not have French kissed the stone. I hope he enjoyed my leftovers. 
Get a room
We took a boat to get to our hike in Dunloe. I thought it was going to be a ten minute ride. It was actually 100 minutes. I was not amused.
Natalie and I decided to run the hike, which was supposed to last about 3 hours.
                Lexi: You’re going to run seven miles?
                Audrey: Well you’re going to walk it.
Hell mountain awaited us. I know, because it made my quads burn.
We planned to run the whole thing. Then we realized we were running up a mountain. Ok, we can just run two miles at a time…1 mile…Five minute intervals, and no less! It didn’t help that we had just eaten lunch. The peak of the incline was a glorious moment indeed. We no longer stopped because of shortness of breath, but instead because we spotted sweet action bridges that looked like they belonged in China (because they were made out of chopsticks. Weird.) and adorable baby infant lambies.
People should really stop saying, "You're so cute, I could just eat you up!"
Because then they do.
                We visited Muckross House, a 65-room mansion built in the 1800s for Mr. and Mrs. Herbert . I suppose I don’t understand the purpose of ornateness.
                Henry: Mary, my dear, why did you purchase a 100 kilogram, 4 meter high, gold-plated mirror with squirrel detail that cost 2000 euro?
                Mary: So I can do my hair in the morning.
In addition, they had a bell system, which linked every room to the main hallway. For instance, if you’re in the boudoir, you can ring the bell, and then a corresponding bell in the main hallway labeled “boudoir” rings, prompting a servant to come to your stead. This is the equivalent of texting your mother from your room to bring you a sandwich.
            
    We visited the Cliffs of Moher, but you can’t look over the edge, so nix that location on your “Must see in Ireland” list. Dun Angus on the Aran Islands was much more worthwhile. We army crawled out to the edge and stuck our necks over. There’s nothing quite like immanent death to wake you up in the morning. It’s slightly ridiculously looking over a cliff edge, screaming, and clinging to the ground for dear life when you realize that if you were hanging over your bedside, you wouldn’t be nearly as scared. Probably. I was just excited that if I did accidentally partake in the 100-meter plummet, it would be faster than any sprint I’ve done in my life. Maybe that’s how people in the west keep winning.
I wish I was as fearless as my water bottle.
                Hanna and I went out most nights for live music. Irish people have a habit of playing “Sweet Home Alabama”. I had no idea that they all lived there.
                I also realized I have a habit of ordering food I don’t like. In high school, I once ordered sausage and gravy before realizing that this meant there would be gravy smothering the deliciousness out of my food. In Galway, I asked for calamari. There’s nothing quite like having fried rubber for dinner.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Obsolete things: Overalls, Brett Favre, and my camera.

               My camera fell in the toilet this week. I retrieved it and have tried turning it on twice now. The first time it was black, probably because I forgot to put the battery back in. The second time the screen was whitish and shaky like it was taking ecstasy, and I know for a fact that it is way too young to be doing drugs.
                I know what you’re thinking. Did the camera fall in pre-flush or post-flush? Well there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that it was pre-flush. The good news is that I drank 4000mL of water that day and was more hydrated than a drowning camel. I wasn't even too upset about that. What really boomed my dynamite was that I didn't even drop my camera; it committed suicide. It wriggled its way out of my sweatshirt pocket and leapt to its death. Perhaps I’d pressed his buttons one too many times. Or maybe he was trying to go toward the light. I didn’t even get to tell him, That’s just the flash. RIP man, you will be easily replaced.
I was going to buy him floaties for his birthday
                                  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Don’t sprinkle my donut. I hate eating wet pastries.

When they said that a ‘doctor baker’ was coming to teach a class, I hoped we were going to learn how to treat a cake with a muscle strain (I think it just needs to be iced). Then I realized it was Dr. Baker.
Dr. Beulah Baker is a lively lady. If we would have met her at the airport, I’m certain she would have started lecturing right then. Instead, she kindly waited until she arrived at the YWCA and then began class promptly, even though her biological clock told her it was 4am. She nods a lot, perhaps because she agrees with what she’s saying. I nodded a lot too, mostly off. [Just kidding; she’s a fascinating American.]
We learned quite a bit that week in our Irish literature class. I remember thinking I have no free time. Do I really not have any free time or am I just not using my time wisely? I worked out at the leisure center one day, and consequently stayed up one hour later to finish my homework.
 Conclusion: We really didn’t have any free time.
The reading was intense for the week and a half Dr. Baker was here. Some of the stories were grand. Others were more like the slogan “The greatest fair on earth” on the Hillsdale Grandstand: not true, but it’s painted on there, so let’s believe it anyway. One common theme that coursed through the works we read was awesome quotes. One of my favorites is:
“She took a tick out of his neck and touched the spot where the tick had drawn one pin-prick of blood; it was then they danced.”- Irish Revel
I’m not sure why they were dancing or how they were dancing. Perhaps it was a melancholy party boy, seeing as how the man only had a short time left to live since he probably just contracted Lyme disease.
We ventured to Sligo, Donegal, and Derry to experience the historical and literary significance of the cities. One special bonus to the trip was that we received free dinner from the hotel restaurant every night.  They served bread and three dips on the table at one dinner. I spread what looked like garlic dip on my bread, and it was quite tasty.
Audrey: What is this dip?
Waitress: Tartar sauce.
Mmm, there’s nothing like a hunk of mayonnaise to make a smooth trip for the bread sliding down my gullet.
Unlike man, God saw it was good for bread to be alone.
They gave us a menu of three choices for the main dish at each dinner. One night was lamb, fish and chips, or ham and turkey. I couldn’t bear to eat a cute baby lamb after seeing them frolic in the pastures. I didn’t want anyone yelling, “Ewe murderer!” at me. I’ve decided not to have fish until I can douse it in so much salt it’ll shrivel up. I ordered the ham and turkey; the pig died in vain.
In the times that we weren’t dining, we traveled to the locations mentioned in our books. I wish we would have read from CS Lewis so we could have visited Narnia. Instead, we stood on the street mentioned in the novel Reading in the Dark. We were standing at the very corner Larry had stood on page 52! Well, he totally would have stood there if he had existed. I’ve never followed in the footsteps of a fictional person before; they’re just as hard to see as I expected.
Fog messes everything up. Now I can't see Larry.
We were asked to journal about the different places we visited. Mine consisted of four pages of Sudoku, except for the actual words written about the epic woods in Sligo, because that place was more magical than markers, a young girl’s heart, and unicorns combined.

I'm just scared of how happy I am.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Debating is really fun. But that's debatable.

You know what really grinds my gears? They don’t have Lucky Charms here. You know what other place doesn’t have Lucky Charms? Europe. You know what else poisons my water hole? The movie Leprechaun wasn’t even filmed in Ireland. You know where it was filmed? Outer space. But seriously guys... Green? Does anyone know what the national color of Ireland is? Blue. And what’s the color of the European Union flag? Blue. Connection? I think so; and more than Irish would like to admit.
                This was my teammate Dan’s intro to our debate question: Should Ireland’s identity be viewed in the context of Europe or independently as a solitary nation? The team I joined was in favor of the former.

This is Dan. It's ok to judge him by his looks.
Here’s the point I wrote:
If you're an Irishman when you enter the restroom, then what are you while you're inside the stall? European! Ireland is best viewed in terms of Europe as a whole because Ireland’s history is heavily tied to other European nations. Ireland was invaded so much, if it were a food, it would be a seizure salad.  Ireland cannot be viewed solely as an isolated nation or culture because it has been heavily influenced by the groups who have invaded it. We have the Vikings, the English, the Spanish hopped over here for a while too.  The Irish were getting beat up by everything from the Viking’s horns to England’s tea cups. Plus, there are immigrants from other nations currently living here as well. Ireland is not quite a melting pot, but more like a casserole: it’s mainly pasta with a few other things thrown in.
Yes, they did some important things in history that made them distinct, but so have other countries, such as Italy’s Roman Catholic Church and how Spain is well-known for the style of its cathedrals. But, they’ve all merged together. The Catholicism of Rome has spread throughout Europe. The Spanish have influenced other cultures, as in how their architecture can be seen throughout Europe and how they declare “Naps aren’t just for kindergartners!” The unique contribution that Ireland has made and its distinguishing characteristics doesn’t detract from it as a separate nation but it also doesn’t mean that Ireland is not a part of the greater European context, influencing other countries and being influenced by other nations.
The Protestant-Catholic conflict may seem very distinct, but it was also a prevalent issue in England and many other European countries were choosing their fav. denominations at the point as well. While it was a climax in Ireland, this conflict was also occurring elsewhere in Europe.
In the words of Dan, you know what else grinds my gears and Brads my Kellyn? How Saint Patrick is viewed as a classic Irish hero when he was born in Wales, gained an education from England, and brought influences to Ireland from England and France. The Christianity he brought was very European. He emphasized the distinct values of the Irish, but those values were not unique to the Irish. A lot of the values the Irish had were influenced by other European nations. For instance, one reason they valued courage so much was because they were frequently invaded, and they really liked it when any lads put up their knives and angrily told them to “Stop it!” However, Ireland was not alone in its invasions. Countries in Eastern Europe were suffering from invasions as well. So, while a value such as courage was emphasized in Ireland, this value was not unique from other European countries who endured similar experiences to the Irish. Each European culture has different emphases, but as in the example of both the Irish and Eastern valuing courage, there are overlaps between cultures.
[Verdict: Debating is fun.]
While we’re not debating, we like to do this:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I wish the light at the end of the tunnel would try to run me over so I could get to Greystones faster

               A good way to start an adventure is to give four girls a destination without a map. Not that the map would help.
                Four of us chicks embarked on a journey to the town of Kilcoole in search of fish and chips. It’s a five minute Dart ride, so I was envisioning a one mile walk. Oh how wrong I was. We walked, and walked, stopped, walked, stared at the sun, hoping it would blind us so we wouldn’t have to see how far we had to walk, strutted and strolled to change things up a bit, and laid down on the train tracks, aspiring to use Murphy’s Law to our advantage by catching the train that would inevitably come to run us over.  
This is actually kind of resembles Kilcoole's train platform
                 After more than an hour of trekking, I realized that we were either very slow walkers or Kilcoole didn’t exist. I was very nearly right on the latter. When we finally arrived at the train platform, it was deserted. There wasn’t a ticket booth or even people around. There was a sign that said something like, “Hey, don’t get hit by the train; no one will come save you, no matter how loud you yell.”  
DART bait oo-ha-ha
                We moseyed up the hill in search of the town. Instead, we stumbled upon a very classy gift shop. It was filled with candles in saran wrap and even a hedgehog holding a graduated cylinder, which I’ve been searching for for years. The owner of the shop actually was nice. We told her we were lost and looking for the town, and she offered us a lift so we could skip out on the mile walk. She was a stranger, but then I thought, What if she has candy too? So we hopped in.  
                  
Hedgehogs want foliage And rain water?
Greedy monsters.

Reese's Cups, my favorite!
         



                 The town was about as much of a town as the DART platform was a train station. We asked several people for directions to a pub, and we received the same response: Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day early, are we? It was 2pm on a Wednesday, and we weren’t even going to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day that way on Saint Patrick’s Day. They also were flabbergasted that we walked from Greystones. Don’t you know there’s a bus? I should have paid attention to the word “bus”.
                We wandered around the main street, even getting so desperate as to try a Chinese pub. It was closed, probably for the best.  I love mini corn, but not on that day.
In the distance, I saw a van.  It looked like it could have been parked outside of a restaurant.
                Audrey: Guys, that van says “Fruits and Vegetables” on it.
                Ladies: What? How can you read that?
It seems that just thinking about carrots gives me improved vision.
                The van was parked outside of a restaurant indeed. I’ve never screamed joyfully at a building before, but I’m sure it was flattered.
I could suckle on that bad boy all day
                After our delectable lunch of fish and chips, the time to catch the train back to Greystones was upon us. At the platform, we waited for our 3:15 train. At 3:05, we spotted a train in the distance.
                Natalie: Good thing we came here early, guys!
Then the train blazed past us.
                Our hopes were quickly dashing.
                3:14: Man, I hope the train comes.
    3:15: No train.
                3:18: Are those lights in the distance?
                3:19: The lights are definitely moving!
                3:20: The train is here!
                3:20:10: Why is the train still moving??
                At approximately 3:20:15, the train halted. After we boarded it and made our way back home, we realized that the train most likely wasn’t supposed to stop at that station. There wasn’t even a ticket to buy.  This is probably why the townspeople kept suggesting that we take a bus, because the train thinks it’s too cool to stop in Kilcoole. But, it was all fine and dandy because the conductor presumably felt sorry for us and let us on out of the goodness in his heart.  I will always remember him for as long as I’m in Greystones.
[This quest from March 16]

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I felt sheepish instead of sheep

I’ll go on any adventure that ends with ponies. This one ended in heartbreak.
Four of us voyaged to a pet farm yesterday. Our first order of business was to attain the cycles. Unfortunately, the seats were too high for our lady legs. We enlisted the help of our fellow American, Ryan.
                Ryan: You need an Alan wrench.
                Audrey: I don’t even know Alan.
                Ryan: You don’t know what an Alan wrench is?
Ohhh an Alan wrench. Yes, of course, I was just using that to patch up my submarine, right after I used a jackhammer to install some concrete.
We were clearly baffled, so Ryan adjusted our seats for us. If Jesus were a cycle repairman, he would look like Ryan. Ryan was the strength to our weakness, just like holding hands.
He probably has a license to steer a screwdriver too
                We began our journey to the farm. The directions to Glenroe were ‘follow the signs’, which is kind of like telling someone that all you need to do to skydive is jump out of a plane.  It was a perilous journey, filled with roundabouts and two casualties. The first hill claimed Hanna, and she turned back to do her homework’s bidding. About two minutes away from our destination (unbeknownst to us), Paige jumped ship.  It was down to the two of us. “You won’t leave me, will you Natalie?” There was silence. I feared that she had abandoned me as well. Luckily, she was just breathing, and soon yelled back an acceptable response.
                We wondered why our journey was taking so long. Then we realized we were biking uphill the entire time. I just thought I had poor posture. As we finally approached the farm, my worst fears were confirmed. It was closed. Hanna and Paige weren’t so silly for turning back after all. I had checked the website four times to make sure it was open, but I must have wanted it to be open so badly I didn’t really pay attention. The sheep were so close I could see the joy in their eyes at the prospect of being pet. The animals at Glenroe Open Farm are enclosed by a fence. First they’re closed, and then they lie. An old man saw us from the Glenroe building and stared us down. I wanted to befriend him.
                Audrey: I thought you were open today!
                Man: Nope.
                Friendship terminated.
Natalie and I made the most of the closed farm. We drank water, saw some ornery dogs, and took a picture of a sign with a horse painted on it. It wasn’t very cuddly.
Our disappointment poses look a lot like our awkward poses
                Undeterred by our failed farm experience, Natalie and I embarked on a new adventure with fanatical positivity. We ditched the bikes (after responsibly putting them away and locking them up) and ventured into town in search of frappes. We stopped into the coffee shop where I’ve been working on Saturdays. I must not be doing so badly, because they gave us free drinks. My favorite manager Alan was there, whom I’ve sadly never worked with because he doesn’t work on Saturdays if he can help it. I bet he knew how to use a wrench.

We were sad we missed out on sheep, but we sucked it up
                 Nat and I boarded the DART in search of adventure. I still had 3.5 slices of white bread meant for precious animals (.5 slices went to an ornery dog who, in retrospect, didn’t deserve it). Unfortunately, the bread was eventually returned to the cafeteria after failing to find even a measly pigeon. We also missed the DART on the way back by 30 seconds because it left early. It is faster than I realized. We built our own train instead. It was filled with massages and happiness. No tools were involved, because we don’t know how to use those manly contraptions.
Conducting a train is easy