University of Nottingham, UK
I got up to work on the Hypertext Guide program and finished it happily, very early. I'm done forever. It was OK, not much information, but photos and my notes from the show. I bought some tee-shirts at the Bell Inn, and then went to Sheffield for the day. I did a major pub-crawl there, after calling mom and Becca from a visa phone.
I returned early enough to meet Eva, Patricia and her male friend at The Bell Inn (accidentally) and go with them to the Irish. We walked to the Hand and Heart, the Running Horse, and one more across the street where Patricia found her wallet that she had lost earlier in the evening. Then we went to the Irish. John Floyd met us there. Anne Catherine was on the dance floor. It was wild and great fun. Eva, Patricia, Anne Catherine, John Floyd and I danced in the corner of the room. It was a very fun night. I didn't want it to end. John got picked up and taken to a party by a woman and her friend who had asked him to sit with him at Pizza Land earlier today. I walked home alone. He told the woman that I was going home with someone so that she would not ask me to come to with. I ran into a woman I had seen on the bus, Fiona, and confused her for someone I had known from the University. I talked to her a bit and met her friends. She gave me her address so I could write to her from America. I walked home.
St. Paul, MN
My waitress at the Uptowner on Grand came to my table and I ordered. She repeated what I said with an unplacible midwestern accent.
"Is that all?"
Yes. No. What are you doing tonight?
"Umm...Let me get your order in."
She walked quickly to the counter and around behind it to the cook. She whispered something about me in his ear, and the cook glanced at me and smiled. I think he said "go for it" and then turned back to the oven.
She came back with my food, I'd been reading David Mamet's play "Sexual Perversity in Chicago." The cover has a stockinged leg with high heels draped across it, with a bold orange title flashing across the restaurant. I'd noticed a young white-frocked woman with glasses looking at it over her breakfast suspiciously. I was planning to get my hair cut today, for the first time in over a year. It was June 3rd today, and it has therefore been two years since I last got a short hair cut. I was looking for jobs in Minneapolis, professional jobs, in editing or a theatre, and I thought it might help me to have a different hair style.
The waitress was in front of my table, set down my Cajun breakfast. I heard someone laugh behind me. I was positioned right at the door of the kitchen. I looked up into her eyes. She returned my eyes with "I"m sorry, but I work another job at night, and I can't make it, I mean, I can't do anything with you."
"Come back here some other time, and maybe I can do something."
She left, and I went back to my play. It was the first time I'd tried a come-on like that. I think I'll come back.
Galway City, Ireland
Martin was late next morning, so Sam and I felt like we had wasted our time. In 30 minutes he arrived, back at the Atlantic disco, apologized, and we were on our way, listening to Dylan with castles and cities passing, all places that I would have stopped to explore if the option was there, yet we drove on.
We arrived, a few long hours later in Galway. Martin dropped us off and assigned the place we'd meet him to go back to Killarney. We were famished, so we ate at Super-Macs, the first thing.in .view, It turn out to be the Irish national version of McDonald's. I had a strawberry malt, because I thought I needed something exactly like that, but the taste was not quite malty enough. Oh well.
‘Ready to get on our journey', we rented bikes next at the Raleigh rental.
Seven days/Thirty £s, plus a fiver for a pannier sack, which I strapped onto mine, making my bike, already a wide tube mountain bike with huge tires, quite heavier than Sam's.
The way out of Galway was so lovely to leave by Sandhill, the rich Irishman's beach area just to the west. It had carnival rides and such, with endless stretching beaches and piers. It felt like the California I've imagined. We took a few pictures, one of a wreck of a boat called "The Titanic."
I almost had an accident right off, trying to follow the sign. I hit the curb hard, jumped it, and luckily kept balance. I handled it far better than I could imagine if it ever happened again. Nice bike, and those big tyres really saved me. We kept on them a long way to Rossaveal, the ferry post far west in Connemara so we could get a return back to Connemara to start with our bikes. This is where my first pictures of Ireland started, because I found out that I had no film in my camera during our entire time in Kenmare. I found out on the ferry, and it was like a hot knife. I didn't feel it, but I knew it would kill me when I was not in such a shock.
On to the Aran Islands. After scanning the coast line on approach, the island of Inishmore looked very able to be enjoyed by two boys with two bikes. We immediately biked over halfway across the island to the Dun Aengus hostel, stopping along the way for a race at the beach nearby. I said, "we must go walk in sand, leapt from my bike and placed a stick in the rear spokes, hidden, so that if someone hopped on, they would soon fall off. I jumped down the cement barrier; took my boots off and made toey prints; Sam wound down the path with his bike to the beach, and we raced. He gave me a huge head start, but I was dying in the end and as always, was laughably out raced by Sam. It was so much fun. We saw our first jellyfish, beached. Sam lifted its carcass with little hope out to the sea, and I put my drying off sandy feet into socks and my brown leather travelling boots.
After settling into the Dun Aengus hostel and ditching our loads, we skipped off on our bikes to the hill fort of the same name. That was one of the best sites of the whole trip, in retrospect. I could tell it would be then, so I had my tape recorder and our cameras ready to capture the cliffs (of insanity) off to the side.
I imagined a honeymoon, here on the Aran Islands, immediately. I'll surprise whomever I marry with it. Also, I wish to conceive the first child from my loins near a small pool formed by the crashing Atlantic. I imagined all of this amidst small pink puffs of rock flowers and lichen. I was in splendor. After more ramblings and “oohs and ahhs”, we left for dinner at the beckoning of our stomachs equally audible exhaultations. We were not soon enough to catch the restaurants where we intended to eat. We were famished by then, near 2200 hours. We caught one woman near my age from New York just closing her register, and she kindly unwrapped some scones and muffins and pastry for us. We tried to eat these with some soda, in a pub, so as to get some beer in us. But they would not let us, leaving a bad taste in our mouths for that establishment. Forced to eat all these pastries outside in the chilled Atlantic air, and with none of their ale, let me tell you. All our fantasies squelched, for some reason. We decided it was an awful day and headed through the darkness across the island and to bed.
That night, after we got ready for deserved rest, I went down to grab some of our stash of food. By marmalade, I spoke to a friendly man from Dublin about Woody Allen. I was pretty delirious at the time, bingeing on food, so I didn't really get to know him until the next day. I'll describe then in more detail.
Inishmoor should be the setting for King Lear, with the castles as the homes of these three sisters. The cliffs of course would be very incredible for the filming of this great adventure. The shore's tidal pools where you can still here the crash of waves against the walls and the echoes in the caves would be enchanting. The soldiers Lear keeps with him, fifty knights, would be ludicrous on this small island. The fool could live in a small stone hut out on the tide pools. Then it would make a great deal of sense. Visitors from all these other lands, and battles would all take place at sea of course. Or along the beaches and in the grassy fields dipping low along the sea.
We had our first Musical rehearsal at the barn, which was mostly the chorus learning their hardest songs for nearly 3 hours. We took the piano down there in the '57 Chevy beforehand, and Mark came with us, though he didn't have to be there fore another 2 hours. I had a good time cleaning up and arranging things at the barn, and about 20 minutes of working with some of the leads on a scene from the Shakespeare. We came up with some good ideas. The barn really feels great to be in.
I stopped by to see my nieces and nephew Katie, Christina, and Andrew at their house on the BMW K75 today after work. Weckworth was there too, and they let me do a taste test of ice creams from a Waukon dairy for the wedding. I voted for Purple Cow, which was incredible and beat out the Vanilla in my estimation in many ways. We talked while Christina and Weckworth went for a run, and then I headed off home to sort shoes and clean more in our new house. I made some chili for when Rachel came home after 21:30, and we watched three more episodes of Arrested Development Season 4 on Netflix.
I took the BMW F800st to the BMW Motorally at Money Creek, MN and camped out with 200 other bikers and whomever was already there in campers. I ended the evening before I crawled into my tent and wrapped myself in a wool army blanket and kept my helmet on because of the cold, with a travel movie projected on a big sheet in the pavillion. It was one of my fellow biker's solo trip to Alaska's northern-most reaches, and then throughout much of the Northwest Territories. It was a fantastic video with great local music from Winona area and just a little Nick Drake. It rained in the morning, but I can talk about that tomorrow.