Tuesday, January 30, 2007

REMINDER: our PW BookClub kicks off this weekend with a discussion of The Painted Bird, so finish those last hundred pages.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Ah Yes, The Midget Snare Drummer

A trip to the great Catholic North just wouldn't be orthodox without a lil visit to the Pope, so in keeping with tradition we all put on our scapulae and made the annual pilgrimage to Le Pape George. But first, feeling rather peckish, I directed the intrepid band not to the Tabard Inn for sustenance and story-telling, but to Cafe Du Monde, where we simultaneously worked on our French (or at least our French accents) and sated ourselves with roasted marrow, fois gras, steak tartar, and frites (served with mayonaise of course). I know it sounds hokie, but meals like that, in such a place with good converstaion just makes me feel that, for a few hours at least, and in such a place, all is well with the world. Rejuvenation began immediately.

"Quebec...is a place." - Claude Lapine
A couple hours and a short walk later, brought us to the edge of the sublime: le Pape George. Unfortunately for last years pilgrims the Pope was
undergoing some repairs, so those guys didn't get to experience the place in full swing. This year, however, the Pope did not disappoint; we settled down for an
evening of song and conviviality unparalleled this side of Galway. Though the midget drummer remained ellusive, Claude Lepine, local chantuer and Pop Bredie look-alike, more than made up for the percussive absence by playing guitar and leading the place in song throughout the evening, and into the wee hours of the morning. I can't recall ever hearing so many covers of Leonard Cohen over the course of an evening. What a hoot! The following statement from Claude about sums up the night: "We are happy here. Quebec is a good place, but when you are here, it is even better place." (Must be said with a heavy Quebecois accent after several bottles of wine to get the full effect.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Return From the Great White North

Ok, so I've been back in the Death Star now for a week but remained rather busy with semester turnover. I find mysef with a rare moment to share some advenure stories from theCanadian wilderness. Five stalwart conpanions joined me this year in traveling to northern Quebec to spend a few days sledding through the frozen forests of the Saguenay district near St. James Bay. Once again the trip helped energize me at the end of a particuarly degenerative period with regard to a number of professional and domestic issues. While WOP once managed to take me from Hogwarts to the airport in ten, yes ten, minutes, this time we ended up spending nearly 45 minutes on the 4 mile drive, detour to retrieve a passport and several scenic routes of the Imperial capital inclusive. Good thing this was one of the rare instances when I was actually ready to leave on time. We literally walked onto the plane a minute before they closed the door. After a brief layover in Montreal, where yours truly procured a precious piece of quiche and SK and OW sought out the most expensive sandwiches they coud find -- oh, and NS discovered the delights of putine -- we boarded the turbo-prop for the final leg northward. For those not inducted into the 'J'aime Quebec' club, I can barely hope to describe the warm, comfy feeling I get when I finally climb into that rental, dubbed the 'Liberty Expresse' for this pleasure cruise. and head of down Rt 440 into the centre ville to one off my favorite hotel in the world, Hotel Le Priori, filled with expectations of all the good things of life that Quebec offers: spacious yet cozy pad with working fireplace, an exceptionally tasty meal with good friends, and a chance to visit the Pope, a bulwark against all that I despise about life on the Death Star.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Evening mists, that never kissed the valley deep, where lost souls weep,
shroud maudlin hills, deserted mills, a woeful past that it Belfast.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Here Ya Go WOP - Eugene Debs


I don't own a TV so I'm not up on this Olbermann fellow, but I'm fast becoming a fan.

On The Twelfth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me

TWELVE pathetic options to choose from after the MAN closes down Nanny's (Biddy Mulligans, The Dubliner, Duffy's, Fado, Finn MacCool's, Four Green Fields, Irish Channel, Mackey's Pub -- this one sound's more Scottish than Irish -- Ireland's Four Courts, Auld Shebeen, Molly Malone's, and O'Malley's)

Ah well, it's been a good run while it lasted. Here's to the end of a grand old girl, the grandest.


now what the hell happened to the Eleventh Day?

Friday, January 05, 2007

PW Online Book Club

Ok, at the urging of one of our more literate contributers, we kick off the trial run here of the PW Book Club. The first selection has been made and is: The Painted Bird by Jerzy N. Kosinski. Beg, borrow, or steal a copy and read by the first week of February if you wish to contribute. Let's see how this bird flys.
What's even MORE WRONG: Bush decides to send more troops to Iraq.
And I can't say it better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_K8D3NnlEI&mode=related&search=
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIPyCyU4fJo&NR My only question is, where we're these commentators four years ago?
What's wrong with this scene: it's 5 Jan, 5pm, I just returned home and I'm sitting here with a Guinness with the air conditioner on. [hint: it's not the Guinness]

On The Tenth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me

TEN more shots from Matt
Nine toasts to another bowl loss,

Eight Chinese Trinkets,
Seven Irish Whiskys,

Six cups of coffee,


Four smoking goats,

Three beers strong,

Two working taps,

And a Nanny to take good care of me

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

ON The Ninth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me

NINE Toasts to another bowl loss by the Irish! (and yes there are nine of us; my big head is blocking one of our finest anarchists from Vermont)

Eight Chinese Trinkets
Seven Irish Whiskys
Six cups of coffeeF I V E MORE YEARS !
Four smoking goats,
Three beers strong,
Two working taps,
And a Nanny to take good care of me

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

On The Eighth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me

EIGHT Chinese Trinkets

Seven Irish Whiskys

Six cups of coffee

Four smoking goats,

Three beers strong,

Two working taps,

And a Nanny to take good care of me
Hmmm... the eighth day may presage rather ironic and super hypocritical summer plans for Paddy.

Another Christmas....

Italian gift giving day is coming on January 6th, 2007. Hopefully the President will receive the gift of wisdom and begin to bring the boys home. Maybe the Dems will receive some balls and force him to bring them home.

Edwards for President in 2008!!

Monday, January 01, 2007

On The Seventh Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me

SEVEN Irish whiskys

Six cups of coffee

Four smoking goats, Three beers strong,
Two working taps,
And a Nanny to take good care of me