I had to go back to Philadelphia yesterday evening to attend a last minute trade show promoting Ireland travel to local travel agents. It’s a bit of a hike to drive down and back in the same evening, so I was thankful Damir managed to head down there with me to provide company on the drive.

From Long Island to Philly is not a pretty drive.

Insane drivers cutting in and out on the Belt Parkway, the $9 toll crossing the Verrazano bridge, followed by suicidal truckers on the New Jersey turpike make is less than a pleasant trip.

The one bright spot during the whole drive is this road sign when exiting the city boundaries of Brooklyn:


Open Letter to Today’s Youth

Dear Youth,

I know how hard it is to look for a job out in this crazy world. Believe me, I’ve been there. I have been there rather recently in fact. As I am somewhat older and marginally wiser, let me offer you some advice when it comes to applying for a job.

1) Always provide a cover letter for your resume detailing why you are applying for the job and how you think you’d be a good fit for the position/organization. It is especially important that you do this when the job description actually asks you to. The following does not a cover letter make:

Dear Sirs [ehm, I am a madam! Why don’t people address letters ‘dear madams’? but I digress],

Here is my resume.



2) Did you know people used to have to actually buy a newspaper and send actual paper letters of application? Email and the Internet sure make applying for jobs a lot easier. But for the sweet love of Moses, Youth, do me a favor and please do not send your career hopes from or It’s like my mom always told me, You never get a second change to make a first impression and like it or not, for better or worse, your email address says more about you than you think.

3) DO NOT, under any circumstances, WEAR FLIPFLOPS to an interview. I don’t care if your water main broke and the only dry pair of shoes are your rubber pink thongs that just happen to match your pretty blouse. It’s NEVER OK to wear flippies to an interview.

OK Kids, that’s it for now. You can thank me later.


Mamma Interravision.

Getting Local

I am the newest member of the

There are lots of great areas to photograph here in Long Island, and I am eager to start meeting new friends and create a social circle here on the Island. Especially since my one and only girlfriend here is moving to Sydney! I have never been in a photoclub before, so I am not sure how it works to get together to shoot at a place or event. I see it more as a solitary activity, but who knows? You know me, I’ll try anything once.

Puppy Lust

I have a serious case of puppy lust going on here. The only thing that has kept me from getting a cute dog of my own, like the one below, has been rigid landlord rules prohibiting pets. Well, that and the fact that I am a tiny bit fearful of the pet-owner commitment. I see dogs on the street, big and small, cute and ugly, and I just think: I WANT ONE. NOW.

I guess that’s how some women feel about babies? I don’t know, I don’t get the same feeling when I see a cute baby.

I have started looking at apartments in the vicinity that allow pet options. It’s astonishing how few rentals allow cats and dogs; how much damage can one little doggie cause?

On Marriage.

The subject of marriage seems to keep popping up quite a lot lately. Sure, you already know I am eagerly anticipating my sister’s wedding this July, as well as the nuptials of good friend Penny in May. Two other close girlfriends have discreetly declared plans to wed sometime towards the end of this year or beginning of next. And lately I have booked a gaggle of honeymoons for couples wanting to celebrate in style at a variety of gorgeous Irish castles.

Then of course, it isn’t an uncommon question being posed to me these days, what are my own plans for marriage?

Damir and I talk about it quite often, both the wedding itself and the prospect of being actually married. We dream of an intimate wedding on a tropical beach in the Caribbean. But we are far from making any actual plans mostly due to circumstances and cash reserves. In some ways, this is a relief for me, as secretly (well, not anymore I suppose) I am a little terrified of being married. I mean, how does it work? Seriously folks, I want to know! What keeps people in it for the long haul?

When I come across couples that have been happily (well, mostly) married for years and years I always ask them their secret. Most of the time I get the standard answers like:

“Great communication is the key”
“It’s hard work, you have to keep at it no matter what”
“Keeping the romance alive is the only way to go”

Boring! I know all those avenues in a philosophical way, but not how they translate to the day in and day out…day after day…after day.

The granddaddy of all answers, however, came from a nice older couple from California I met last year at a convention in Prague. We ate dinner together and the strength of their bond was unmistakable. Over desert, I asked their secret of success. They first glanced at each other in a knowing way and then the wife turned to me and said:

“The key to our happy marriage is simple: his tongue and my money”.

Finally, an answer I can understand.

Fish and Flowers

Working the Philly Flower show was an exercise in endurance. Getting to the convention center by 7:15am and working the booth until 9:30pm was a bit grueling, especially when we lost the hour of sleep on Saturday night.
The worst part, however, was that the folks I was working with from the Irish Tourist Board would take off for the Pub at 7:30, leaving me and my ridiculous sense of work ethic, to finish out the show on my own. Sure, I was invited to go along for a pint, but I just couldn’t leave the stand when I could potentially make 10 or 100 more sales for the evening. Thanks Mom and Dad for making me a slave.
The best part of the show was having the chance to walk around the hall and see all the exhibits before the crowds came in. I got some pretty fun pictures out of it. I also got some nice shots at the Reading Market, where I would hang out for lunch each day. Sadly I didn’t get the picture I wanted, a pretty Amish girl texting on her hot pink Motorola cell phone.
Here are a few favorites, the rest are found in my flickr account:

Me and My Ethic Hard at Work

What is with today’s youth?

At the flower show yesterday I got the following question from a guy in his early 20s:

“Are Scotland, Ireland and Italy in the same country?”

Sadly, he was serious. When I replied that they were all separate countries in Europe, his reply was:

“Oh, they’re in Europe? I didn’t know. I feel kinda stupid.”

Posted in WTF

Off to smell the flowers

I am off tomorrow to the Philly Flower Show to work with the Irish National Tourism Board for 4 days promoting my company’s Ireland travel programs. Who knew that flower lovers want to travel to Ireland? Not me! I am going to have to take a crash course on Irish Vegetation and Horticulture.

If you are in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello.

On a related note, did you know that Globespan airlines is starting a new trans-Atlantic service from Boston and JFK to Knock Airport in Northwestern Ireland? It’s no frills (no meal!) but cheap!


As 60 pieces of wood and 200 nails, bolts, screws, holders, and knobs were assembled last night to make this Ikea beauty, I wondered 2 things:

1) How many relationships have disintegrated after arguments stemming from interpreting the 25 page assembly manual?

2) Since it’s founding in 1943, how many times has Ikea’s name been taken in vain, and in how many languages?