factual, friendly, fabulous!

If I Can Do It, You Can Do It!


What did I do today that you should do too?

VOTE! (obvs this is for those of you who are from the USA)

I voted in the USA primary today, in persona and as Irish tradition dictates, at a pub!

For those of you who are American Expats here are some links:

Democrats Abroad - The Democratic National Convention considers those of us living outside the USA their own state and will get their own delegates. If you are one of the many of us in Ireland, you can vote in person until 10pm tonight at O’Niell’s Pub on Suffolk Street (at the far end of Grafton across from the Dublin Visitor Centre). You don’t have to be registered, just bring your passport and proof of foreign residency.

Republicans Abroad - Republican expats get the shaft from their party. There is an organization, but no delegates are allotted for the primary; consequently, if you wanted to vote in the primary, you had to file an absentee ballot by January 31.

And if you are one of those Ron Paul supporters, I don’t know what to tell ya, shine on, you crazy diamonds! (yes, I am calling you crazy. In the nicest way possible.)

Product Reccomendations


You know I love products and use the nearly every day! From my Biolage hair conditioner to my Oyster Bay Savignon Blanc, I know what is delicious or fabulous or lovely. Well today you are so lucky because I am going to bestow some reccomendations to you! In no order:


Tripit.com - you can forward all your confirmation emails from airlines, hotels, tours and restaurants and they build you a single elegant itinerary. Still in beta but I send you there knowing its good stuff. Try it!

 To Wear:

Secret Platinum Vanilla Chai Scent - OMG I want to eat my armpits! Ew! Mmmmmmmm. Ew! Mmmmmmm.

To Elect:

Barak Obama - You might call him a dangerous hope-monger, I call him a brilliant orator, a classic statesman, and a leader who could make the USA respected again. Plus he’s cute.

To Eat:

Tesco Strawberry Crisp - They are out of it a lot of the time because everyone loves it so much. Thats why I buy 4 boxes at a time.

I still hate Dr Pepper in all its evil forms.

I’m Unleashing the Power of my Blog!



The above blog suggested I unleash the power of my blog and even gave me some ideas to start.

If this blog really did have power I would want to  do so much stuff.  Feed hungry people. Encourage people who deserve it. You know - be a do-gooder!

Why can’t it? Why can’t my blog help someone? I bet it could! Now…who should I help with my blog…

Dang its so hard to pick someone. And then what? Do I have a fund- raiser and donate the cash to a charity? Do I host some kinda meetup where we build a house for someone?

Ugh, all that thinking made me tired. If you have a blog, won’t you join me to brainstorm how we can unleash the power of our blogs to help people!

Now I have to go. Its poker o’clock! Bye for now platipusses!

Today Was the Day


Today was the day that I was glad have complimentary hobbies. When its rainy I play poker. When it’s not too rainy I hike around finding Tupperware in trees. Today it was rainy.

Tomorrow it will probs be rainy too, which is super sad, because Mercury will be visible to the naked eye AND Astronomy Ireland is setting up telescopes all over Dublin to see Mars, which is closer to Earth than it will be until 2018. Dayum! OMG I may be the biggest geek in Europe! See ya at the convention, Wil!

Today I tried to sort out the TV/PS2/Wii/Cable cables. Here in Ireland they use SCART plugs to connect these devices to each other rather than the cute little yellow=video/red & green= audio. Let me say one thing about SCART: not as sturdy as one would hope. I was lucky enough not to permanently damage any electronics (for once!) but they still arent all working properly.

Today I also made some kick ass soup. It had vegetables and salmon and cayenne pepper. It kicked ass like Rowdy Roddy Piper from 1985. Yes, it was that good. It was almost Bruce Lee from 1977 good, but lost points for needing more salt and me accidentally leaving the boquet garni in the pot.

I have to go launder my pocket protector so Ill catch ya tomorrow!

Birthday Girl!


brother and sister

Little Hellcat Birdy is nine years old today

How could my four years of high school dragged by so slowly and these nine years have gone by so fast?

I wrote this six years ago, just to give you a glimpse of the little miss growing up:

Baby Bird

So my daughter is three. and stubborn. and not potty trained.

More than anything in the whole wide world she loves ballet and dancers and tutus.

This is not my doing, I played with dump trucks as a young girl; and certainly not her father’s, he specialized in playing chess with himself and tracing the lines on graph paper in his youth. It’s just that we somehow made this little girlie-girl-princess-head and we are amused and enchanted and slightly aghast as she prances around in my pink babydoll nightie from the beginning of our marriage when I still wore such things.

Last Christmas I turned on PBS just in time to catch Julie Andrews introducing the London Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker and I called her over “Hellcat! Come see the ballet!” I thought she’d enjoy the opening scene and I’d be able to turn on Law and Order in time to see Jerry Orbach sum up the plot twist with a glib remark. but no.

An hour and a half later I awakened to the closing strains of Tchaikovsky and an outline of my little daughter sitting about 4 inches from the screen, mouth open, eyes wide. Julie Andrews came back “For many of you this was your first Nutcracker, I do hope it was a magical experience.”

Oh believe me, Julie… it was.

Ok, so I have this little miss in diapers who loves the ballet. What better motivation for potty training is there than lessons for she who keeps her pink princess Barbie panties dry all day? None I tell you, none.

But in appealing to my daughter’s girly and artistic tendencies to achieve underpant dryness, what price will we pay? Will she enter into the Madame Strict’s Ballet Academy at $18,000 per year tuition? Will she wreck her feet and have lifelong back pain? Will she rehearse 18 hours a day, leaving no social life and less academic success? Will she become anorexic and bulimic and pop Mini-thins and Correctol like a cheese-loving-interstate-truckdriver, only to stop menstruating at 14 and smoke Marlborough Lights like a chimney until she is finally told at 22 that she is washed up and should just quit and have babies and tell bitter stories about what she could have been? Will she never learn to count to five???

She chats to me from her car seat in back as we drive. “Mommy, I’m gonna do ballet. And I’m gonna dance in a special skirt called a tutu. And I’m gonna have a hamburger and french fries and a soda for lunch.”

You sure are honey…

So far today she has discovered a birthday-decorated dining room, made chocolate chip pancakes, opened presents (2 new outfits, a new coat, some PC games and My Sims for her DS), put on make up, and tried on all the new clothes (fashion show dahling!). Now we are off to have a family day at the museum and have dinner at her favorite restaurant. I’d say this should kick of age nine perfectly!


The Damned Gym


 I belong to the gym down the street. Now, when I first got to Ireland and took a look around and saw beautiful Georgian architecture and gated gardens, I thought that the gym would be full of medicine balls, Indian clubs and electric tummy wigglers.

But no! My gym is on FIRE! Seriously, there are flames everywhere - from the moment you walk down the tea-lit glass staircase to get into the gym, to the flaming torches that adorn the walls of the weight room. It looks like the sixth circle of hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy (that is the circle reserved for heretics, where they are trapped in flaming tombs).

Only the swimming pool is spared the tea light treatment. Ok, yes, it is surrounded by tea lights on all sides, but until the day that a tea light can burn underwater whilst ladies bounce through their Aquafit routine in their beskirted speedos, the pool itself remains tea light free. But don’t think the interior design team didn’t do their literary homework! This room looks like a combination of Plato’s Cave and Dante’s fifth circle of hell (thats the one on the river Styx where the wrathful fight each other on the surface of the water and the slothful gurgle restlessly below). The room has a blue hue created both by the blue tile of the pool and the blue lighting above. Its very dark, but only to draw attention to the projection that takes up the entire far wall with a continuous showing of The Blue Ocean. Its like The Cave - but for fish! There are also four inexplicable monitors on the side wall that show Jaques Cousteau specials, Gladiator, some other fish documentary and Gone With the Wind. Because swimming laps is the perfect time to get your movie on!

So a few weeks ago I was at the Damned Gym and I was on one of the weight machines when a woman walked past me and gave me a look like “I know what you did, and I don’t approve”. I smiled at her, ’cause thats how I roll, when suddenly it hit me: the powerful stench of stinkyness. It smelled like… poop.

“Ew!” I thought to myself, “she should say excuse me!” and gave the woman the “I know what you did, and I don’t approve” look.

Then I realized that the woman thought that I was the stinker! When we had exchanged looks we both realized that neither of us was the culprit, so we simultaneously turned our gaze to the two gentlemen at the free weights who had the nerve to already be giving us the stink-eye!

Then someone said “look, its a leak!” and sure enough sewage was spilling through a crack in the ceiling, absolving all of us from suspicion. But for that bare few moments we were all in the sixth ditch of the eighth circle of hell at the Damned Gym. (thats the one where fraudulent accusers go, and listlessly wander around in lead cloaks. We didnt have lead cloaks but those weights were pretty heavy).

So if you move to Dublin, say your prayers, eat healthy, and save for lipo, or you too may end up at THE DAMNED GYM.


Meet the New Blog!



Did you just change your link?  Yay! Check my sidebar and make sure the link to YOUR site made it through the move unscathed.

So here it is, the new blog. I like this design because its swirly and fancy and orange.  Also, its now in Wordpress so its easy to change if I grow bored of it. I just couldn’t look at my old tired blog and get inspired to write.

I still have a few little things to change, locations of some stuff, cafe curtains, perhaps a flowerbox in the window… but for now I am moved and excited to fill this new bloggy blog with postings!

Thanks for sticking with me through the move and happy new year!

Where have I been - what do you mean where have I been???


Hi peepley poos! OK ok I guess I haven’t blogged in a while. I have an excuse. Here, read it:

Dear Peeps,

Please excuse facty from writing in her blog for the last little while. She has had a lot on her mind with all the sucking at poker and parenting she has been doing.

Facty’s Mom

There. happy? yay!On to the blogging.

First: POKER

Poker is a game that sucks and should die diE DIE! Or maybe I should start playing better. I dropped down in levels and am committed to playing with more discipline - but it feels like the game has gotten tougher.


My kids are ready for summer to start and ready for a visit home with their cousins. Thus, it is the time of year for struggles to get to school.

Yesterday my son was very mad at his teacher for making him write a story, so he wrote “I saw a mouse. I used poison on it. Now its dead. The End.” That’s my son, the writer!

Third: What am I up to?

I am trying to get into an art history program at one of the local universities. Hanging out with a few of the poker wives, trying to keep the house clean and book travel around Europe (and home! see you in July!).

Finally, seven random things about me:

1. I sort the silverware as I put it into the dishwasher, then I can grab it by type and throw it into the silverware tray. If someone else loads the dishwasher I will re-sort the cutlery.

2. I have a keen sense of smell - I have found gas leaks in two schools with my olfactory precision!

3. I am fascinated by carnies and travellers and ren faire folk. I realize if I ever go missing the FBI will find this post and look for me there, but I am much more likely to be kidnapped by pirates that run away with the circus.

4. One time a drunk guy who loved me tried throwing rocks at my window to wake me. When that didn’t work he started calling my name really really loud until my dad told him to knock it off and go home. And that drunk guys name was…. not fhwrdh!! *gasp*!

5. I’m a bit of a foodie, but wish I liked cooking more.

6. My wedding ring only cost fhwrdh one cent. (from his mother - I love my ring!)

7. My sister and I can cluck the soprano and alto parts of Halleluja Chorus from the Handel’s Messiah like chickens. We are looking for two gentleman who can hold up the bass and tenor parts as a bull and goat. Astoundingly, so far no takers. Speaker?

More blogging soon my peepley poops! I promise!

posted under weirdo me | 5 Comments »

Six Weird Things About Me


Here’s a little meme going around the internet. If nothing else its an excuse to get writing and I was tagged by my lovely friend Gracie. So here goes:

Six Weird Things about Me

1. My epilepsy was cured by my kids! I had epileptic seizures. They lessened with my first pregnancy and disappeared all together with my second. My neurologist said it happens sometimes, but I think its weird.

2. I went to a LOT of schools! One room school house, Fort Bridger, WY - Mountain View Elementary, Mountain View, WY - Cole Elementary, Boise, ID - Eagle Elementary, Eagle, ID - Campus Elementary, Boise, ID - East Jr. High, Boise ID - Orville Wright Jr. High, Westchester, CA - Lindero Canyon Middle School, Agoura, CA - Agoura High School, Agoura, CA - Pierce College, Winnetka, CA - Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA - Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA

3. I played Mae West in a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater production in Beverly Hills, CA. Its true. I shoved my poor torso into a crazy (and considerably padded) corset that made me about an inch taller than normal. The play was mediocre, I was horrible.

4. I crashed my car into a car pulled over on the side of the freeway - and I wasn’t even drunk! This is a bad way to find out you have epilepsy.

5. Found out I had an older sister when I was 14. Yup! Just like on TV. She is just like us and yet so different. Sisters rule!

6. One of the Beatles hit on me! I was working at a little shop in The Beverly Center. George Harrison came in with his son and I waited on them. George was very flirty and asked me to dinner - I politely declined citing my upcoming wedding, but I secretly felt bad for all the fanatic girls in black and white newsreels who would have screamed and fainted have George (the quiet one!) ask them out.

Hope these are weird enough!

Tag - you are next: Debbie, Jo, Christine, Green Birdy, Princess and Miss April

posted under weirdo me | 2 Comments »



If you’re like me, you have a spine. Spines are great! They hold up our skeletons, bend in many directions and even help define us as mammals. But sometimes a spine can turn into your worst NIGHTMARE!

Let’s start at the beginning. My family was very excited to be jetting off to spend a long weekend in Venice, Italy for Carnivale. I had packed Hellcat and Jellyface’s backpacks full of socks, undies, and Gameboys. My backpack was at the ready and we had clothes laid out - even the coffeemaker was ready to brew at the flick of a switch. Why all the super-readyness? Because we had a 6AM flight to catch. To check in on time our alarm was set for 3:30.

(cue alarm)

I sat up in bed (as you do) and a HUGE pain shot through my lower back. I thought, “If I just stand up, my back will relax and feel much better.” So I stood up. For a millisecond. Then I fell to the floor in a most dramatic fashion, and made very loud moaning sounds that alarmed my husband. He ran to rescue me, but there wasn’t much to be done. We managed to get me and my spine downstairs and on the couch but the pain was still as excruciating as it was when it first struck. Italy suddenly seemed very far away indeed.

“Should I call an ambulance?” fhwrdh asked worriedly. “Yes, I believe so” I replied moaningly.

The ambulance arrived twelve hours later. fhwrdh said it was only 10 minutes, but it pretty much felt like twelve hours. There were two attendants, they could have been brothers and through my vague recollection, reminded me of Wilford Brimley. Now a word from Wilford:

Disclaimer: I do not have the Beetis. Just a hurt back.

Ok so I am still writhing in pain on my couch. The Paramedic Brimley twins confer and decide that I could use some pain relief.

She doesn’t look like she’s feelin’ grand. Should we give her some morphine?

Morphine yes, but the laughing gas too.

First, they bring me a tank of nitrous with a mouthpiece that I get to breathe. While they are doing that, they start an IV and give me some milligrams of morphine. This is very different than in the USA:

Hello Rampart, This is 51, we have a female, mid thirties, with acute back pain.

Hey Johnny, Don’t forget to tell them she is pretty.

I heard that Roy. Let me get Dr. Brackett - he’s just out smoking.

Thanks Dixie. This is Dr Brackett. Give that pretty lady some Morphine.

Then I get loaded into the ambulance and taken to St Vincent’s Hospital - not the one in Boise, Idaho where my little sister was born, the one in Dublin where there a are whole lot of sinks but no one seems to wash their hands. (This is my ONE complaint with this hospital - otherwise the staff was friendly, caring and knowledgeable.)

Six or eight hours later, I was discharged with prescriptions to knock me out and my family came to get me. We missed our flight to Venice, and I spent four days on the couch.

The post script of all of this is, we were able to reschedule our trip to Venice for March. This turned out extra good because we have friends that will be on the same flight and staying at the same apartment so that is happy fun time!

Also I just received the bill for the ER visit: €60 - that is about $80. Thank you national health-care system!

posted under weirdo me | 2 Comments »
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