Shenanigans of a Sort

St. Patrick’s Day 2020… mark it up as yet another year that I’m still not living in a cottage somewhere off the beautiful coastlines of Ireland. So, what is Saint Patrick’s Day like where you are? Here in the U.S., it’s a drinking day, a day to go bar hopping, a time where frat boys and sorority girls party all day (and then all night) long. Big whimsical hats, flamboyant over-sized sunglasses, “Kiss me, I’m Irish” buttons, and quirky borderline not so borderline offensive t-shirts with oh-so-catchy slogans on them, like, “I like my whiskey twice my age, but I like my women half my age.” Or “My mother said I could be anything when I grew up, so I became an alcoholic.”

Oh, and if you haven’t noticed, everything turns green this time of year. Hell, in the year 1962, the city of Chicago started their annual tradition of dying an entire river green. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event – and so many others, has been canceled this year.

With the state of the world right now, and everything pretty much closed, it looks like I’ll stay safe with a bottle of Bailey’s curled up on the couch with some Netflix. Will no doubt watch Leap Year again (yeah I know, not exactly a film chock full of Irish history), and while there’s no one for me to chase clear across the ocean just so I can meet someone else and fall in love, I’d sure like to have the wherewithal to make that leap on my own.

Movies like Under the Tuscan Sun (one of my favorites) are inspiring, but they all seem to have the same caveat. The person making the leap has the financial stability to just up and move without even having their wallets feel the least bit underweight. Or, if you’re more into Hallmark movies, the woman in question snags a primo nanny job in some far-off land and then goes on to snag the stupidly rich hot dad/family member/neighbor/inn keeper. I love kids (my own, anyway), but I just don’t have that kind of patience.

If you’re into a bit of the ol’ action genre for the holiday, since everyone should be considering staying in, The Boondock Saints is a great movie to check out. The sequel is, well…meh. Although catching a glimpse of a wet and naked Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flannery is always a plus. It’s a foul-mouthed action-packed movie series with heavy Irish overtones that would do well to simulate the drunken brawls and loudness that a lot of bargoers would experience at the pub this time of year. In other words, my kind of movie.

Since this has apparently turned into a recommendation for movies, you can’t go wrong with The Commitments. The soundtrack alone makes it worth it, but the story is pretty damn good too.  If you want some family fare… Darby O’Gill and the Little People, with a young Sean Connery, is just the thing!

There’s a friend of mine who makes it a point to watch as many of the old cheesy Leprechaun horror movies as he can on this holiday. I think he said there were 8 of them out there. I’ve only seen a few of them myself, so I have some catching up to do. In the wake of being under lockdown for most, binging these Saint Patrick’s Day inspired horror movies would take up somewhere around 13 hours of your day. Couple that with some hearty Irish whiskey, and you have yourself a Quarantine Saint Patrick’s Day starter kit.

Above all else though, no matter what you decide to do, remember to stay safe, drink responsibly, and for the love of all that’s holy, wash your hands. As for me? I guess for now, I’ll just grab another glass of Bailey’s and my TV remote and pay my respects with a drink in honor of Ireland.

Out of Time and Place – Revisited

Okay, so I’m a little late for Saint Patrick’s Day as the day is almost over. And I have no valid reason for being behind because I’m re-posting an entry I wrote from February 2014.  So I didn’t even need to write something from scratch. My only excuse is I’ve been under the weather and not really on my game.  Still, I hope you enjoy it and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

** originally posted 2/7/14:  Out of Time and Place **

Have you ever had a feeling of déjà vu and known it was something you can’t possibly have experienced in your own lifetime? I get this feeling often, a heartfelt pining for a time period I’ve never lived through and a place that I’ve never even visited.  Many of these feelings are tied directly to Ireland in the early 20th century and onward. I’ve never been to Ireland and although I’m not about to disclose my age, suffice it to say that while I may not be a spring chicken anymore I certainly wasn’t alive that long ago.  So where does this pull come from? I know that I have Irish ancestry so maybe it’s some sort of engrained memory in my genes; some attachment that’s been passed down from generation to generation, gently calling me back to the homeland.  Maybe the memories of a past life are bubbling subtly to the surface of my consciousness.

Since I can’t time travel or teleport, the best I can do to ease this unnerving feeling of living out-of-place and out-of-time is to read as much as possible about this beautiful and bewitching Ireland. History books, news articles, and authors specializing in the place and era. I read and read and read some more, stoking this connection and hoping to quell this unexplained feeling of homesickness….a strange yet compelling homesickness for a place I’ve never even been. The reading does help, but it doesn’t answer the burning question lying underneath the feelings. Are the ghosts of my past whispering to me or am I just a nutcase?

Galway