Thursday, March 31, 2011


I know that I promised to post these LAST week but I've been busy at the beach and I suck. But these are some of my favorite pictures from spring break! :D

City Centre in Dublin during the parade. So. Many. People.

Beer :D

"This just in: Hellman's has gone global!"

River in Westport, Ireland
Bridge to Achill Island
This is the house that my great-grandfather, Bryan Kilbane, grew up in.

My fourth cousin, Sarah, and her daughter, my fifth cousin, Selina.
Ignore how sick I look...this is Annie, my third cousin.
'Ello Ben!
The London Eye

Westminster Abbey
Inside the Abbey

Had to.... :D

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ellen in Wonderland

Hey hey everyone! I have been gone WAY too long! I have missed blogging a bit but at the same time I've just had wayyy too much fun exploring :D

I kicked off my spring break like any smart person would do who is travelling in Europe: Dublin for St. Patrick's day. Oh. My. God. Best day!!! We landed in Ireland just before noon on the day of green and let me tell you, a swift punch to the jaw probably couldn't have taken the gigantic smile off of my face. I was SO happy. To be honest, happy probably isn't an accurate word. Ecstatic? jumping for joy? None seem to do my level of happy any justice. We dropped our stuff off at the hotel we were staying in and hit the city where anywhere you looked you saw a mass of green moving. I loved how many people we everywhere. It made it that much more fun.

The bars we stuffed with people. I tried my first Belfast Bomber (aka-Irish Car Bomb), which was quite tasty to be honest. And I think I may have drank an entire keg of Guinness by the end of the day...So good! I also met a bunch of really cool Irish people that I got to hang with for the majority of the day and they took me to the most exclusive club in Europe (apparently-I'm not positive on this information) called Coppers. It was so much fun! What a great day of my People! lol!

While in Dublin my group hit up the Guinness Storehouse where we learned how Guinness is made and I bought a t-shirt. I'm still trying to figure out what color it is...I think I've finally narrowed it down to black or really really really dark green.

Just a side note on the food...DELICIOUS. Holy cow! is it good! And there is so so much of it I think I about died. I had stew and tried a couple different pies. OH! And I ate some lamb liver...that was...interesting. I would probably never in my life eat lamb liver again, but hey, had to try it once.

Saturday a group of seven of us rented a car to drive to the western part of Ireland. This is the thing, and let me tell you, there was MUCH laughing in the situation probably to keep from crying to be quite honest. We were supposed to get a seven seater van that our sokindfriend Terence would drive seeing as he's twenty-seven oldest and could rent the car there. BUT the car company neglected to inform us that the age to rent that car was 30. REALLY?! instead we got a Savoy. For seven of us. And all of our crap. :D So Alyssa and I sat in the trunk yes there were seats AND seatbelts...not that we would have gone anywhere if we had crashed anyway... with the giganto suitcase. It was sooo fun...

We made it to Galway though. A little smushed but in one piece. We walked around in the rainy Irish weather and just hung out. Laughs were had. It was all good. But the super cool part happened the next day. I met my Irish family!!!!!! EEEE!!!! :D

I took the train to Westport and they picked me up. It was so nice to meet them! They are such sweet people and they took good care of me. I especially fell in love with my fifth cousin Selina. She's nine and adorable and reminds me of my cousin Maura. They even look a little bit alike which is supah cool!

Note: Gigantic meal of Achill Island, Ireland: 7 regular sized pieces of roast beef, a small mound of somekindof fried potato, bread pudding, a mound of mashed potatoes, a large side of garlic mashed potatoes with cheese on top, AND a large salad. I almost exploded.

I left for London on Monday from the Dublin airport to go and see the city and a friend who is studying there at St. Mary's in Twikenham (about 30 minutes outside the city). It was great to have a tour guide! I even got to be on his radio show that he co-hosts! I loved the city, but since I was sick at this point I didn't have as much energy to do and see as many things as I normally would....which is totally unfortunate! But I still had a blast! I loved seeing this city that has been the center of many of the stories (Harry Potter, what?!) I have read over the years.

It was a great break! (Minus the sick part) I'm really looking forward to my beach vacation this coming weekend. Oh what a life I live... ;)

Monday, March 14, 2011

To quote my non-existent Jewish grandmother..."Oi, vey!!!"

I like to think that I have a lot of patience with people. Like, a lot. Longest fuse ever. Do something to piss me off and it will take a lot for me to explode. For real.

For example, on this little trip of mine, I have the most disgusting house mates ever. Most people don't do their own dishes regardless of the fact that we a) have a dishwasher, b)it's empty and c) it's OPEN. I mean, how PATHETIC is that?! They don't even have to open the flipping door to the dishwasher. They just have to put their dishes in and then walk away... It's been just about two and a half months and I clean the kitchen at least once a day. And no, I don't do this to clean up after them, I do it so that I don't have to cook in their cesspool of disgustingness.

That's just a gross example. Sorry to diverge from the reason of this post... :D

I'm saying Oi, vey to people that are condescending and rude. Who are you to speak to me like I'm nothing?! I hate that!

Why do people think that they're better than others?! I don't understand....I really don't. Yes, some people are as annoying as hell and need to be cloistered so as to get the HECK away from me, but come on. If someone asks a simple, yet important question, you don't need to look at them like they just asked you why breathing is important.

Anyway, on a better and more exciting note, my break starts this week and I'm heading to wait for it, wait for it... IRELAND!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D I can't even tell you how excited I am. Ahhhhh!!!! :) After that I'll be heading to London and Paris. It's going to be the best thing of my life!

Oh! And another exciting development. I'm going on a date on Wednesday. I know no one but me and Denise cares, but hey, I think it's cool! He's from Scotland. I'll just call him Scottie. Or maybe Macaroni because yesterday the Scotland rugby team lost to England and he was upset so he said he was changing his nationality to Italian and his new last name was Macaroni. Makes sense right? More like, makes sense to as why you would like him, Ellen...because obviously the crazy people all hang out together.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mama Mia!!!

I think I want to move to Rome. It's so gorgeous there. I can't even describe it...and as of right now I can't even should it because I haven't been on the ball enough to actually upload pictures onto my computer, but it's not like those pictures would do any sort of justice to just how gorgeous it was there.

We arrived Thursday night at nine and found our hotel. And by that I mean the WRONG hotel because we got incorrect directions, but it was ok because the nice little Italian man there apparently loved me because he showed us to the correct place by saying to me, "Ok, bab-ay! Let's go!" And as we walked out of the hotel he stops to yell at this guy for not wearing pants. He had boxers on, don't worry... But he proceeded to follow me down the stairs going, "Mama, mia! Who is that guy!? No pants?! Mama, mia!!" It basically made my life.

When we found our real hotel, the lady there was real mean. We wanted our Italian man back!!! But we stayed and it was a beautiful place. In the morning we left and went to find out apartment. It took to find. Along the way we stopped and got the most epic pizza of my life and that made the day a bit better. Once we found the cutest apartment I've ever seen which was right near the Vatican and we could see the dome through the window we went to pick up another girl from the train station. The rest of the evening was a waste of my life and I was annoyed because we didn't do ANYTHING or see ANYTHING. We got a great dinner, but what about the sights!? I don't like being a tourist but that's what I am, damnit! So while they were getting ready to go out and party-hardy, I got ready to go e'splorin'! Which I did. And it was just splendid!

I saw sooo many things! I walked by the river, saw a bazillion piazzas, AND the Trevi Fountain! I LOVE the fountain! Omg....Just. Omg.

I made some poor, unsuspecting tourist take my photo for me...but I don't care! And I made a wish! Great, greatness!

I went back and basically passed out from walking half the city. But, it was TOTALLY worth it.

Oh! Another cool thing that happened was that I called my mom when I was standing in Vatican square on the way back to my apartment and the bells starting ringing for her! Perfecto!!

Saturday the group of sixteen that went met up at the Vatican for a tour. Though only fourteen got in because that is how many signed up and the other two were trying to sneak in..., we saw the Catacombs underneath the Vatican, which was eerily awesome, and then the Grottos, where the Popes are all buried. After looking through the Basilica, Elliot and I went up to the Cupola, which is the very top of the huge Dome of the Basilica. Apparently he and I enjoy climbing large amounts of spirally staircases together to see really awesome views from the top of churches... It was a looooong way up, but it was totally worth the five euros and the walk. Omg, so great! :D

After a nap, Elliot and I got ready, couldn't find ANYONE from our group* and headed to this restaurant called "Le Fate." It was delicious! For only ten euro, we both got a glass of wine, an appetizer (bruschetta), pasta (ratatoullie), and tiramisu! Ooo...sooo good! During dinner we met a bunch of American students who were eating there as well and we went out with one of them. Her name was Raina and she was sooo cute!!! It was SUCH a good night!

*We all have these stupid little baby phones here and they're pay-as-you-go phones, like most phones in Europe apparently. Anyway, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE was out of minutes by Saturday afternoon. I came home with a negative balance. It was SO stupid...

I woke up a little later than I wanted to on Sunday, but it's ok because I still got to see most of what I wanted to see. Luckily I'm planning on going back at the end of April!! I saw the Pope speak, which was something that, as a notveryreligious Catholic, I never thought I would EVER see. I walked what I believe that OTHER half of Rome that I didn't quite get to on Friday night. I saw all the ancient ruins and saw was I really wanted to see....THE COLOSSEUM. dundundun!!!

Even though we had to SPRINT to both of our trains* so we wouldn't miss them, it was a great, great weekend. I loved it! I cannot WAIT to go back...I love Italy.

*Our first train to the train station to go to Milan NEVER when the next one came, we had about ten minutes to get from the BACK AND UPSTAIRS tracks to the downstairs, front tracks. We barely made it. It sucked because I had to deal with annoying bitchy people who didn't want to walk through all the train cars, but GUESS WHAT?! You didn't miss the train so you can kiss my butt...Then that train decided to stop for twenty minutes for no good reason in a tunnel. A TUNNEL?! Then again for about ten minutes right outside the was annoying and made us almost miss out connecting train. We ran all over the place looking like idiots, but I don't care! I made it home and that's all that matters... :D

P.S.-Pictures to come!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Where were you..?

I always enjoy my classes more when they make me think about more than what we're talking about. I mean, more than just the facts about the subject matter but how things are and why they are the way they are and all that jazz...

Today I was sitting in my Human Rights class talking about terrorism and counter-terrorism and how they are intertwined with human rights. It's really interesting to think about how the effects of a person or small group of peoples actions just make things change so drastically.

Obviously we talked about September 11th. I mean, you can't talk about terrorism and not talk about that, especially if you're American. I mean, that was one of the most major events in our country's short history and so many things were changed because of it.

I mean, if that attack had been on anyone else, things would most likely not be the way they are. The United States just has too big of an impact on all things in the world that's what we get for thinking that everyone needs to kiss out white bums and do whatever we say. I mean, we are on the Security Council for the UN which basically means that, as a country, others have to follow what we say. I think that if this had happened to any one else, even to another country on the SC, all the effects would have been different. The world would be a completely different place. It's scary and weird to think about.

I'm sorry I'm getting all political, but it was just the reason I started thinking about where I was on the day the world changed forever.

It was that fateful Tuesday morning and I was in sixth grade, sitting in math class. The teacher I had, Mrs. Heinl, was the wife of the Assistant Principal. He came in and took her radio, which she thought was odd because he never did that. The air around me started to go tense as my teacher said, "Something must be wrong..."

The morning continued. Everyone was sitting in class, wondering what was going on outside the safe walls of out little private school. No one knew. No adult would tell us. We just sat in class, waiting. Two hours later I was sitting in my homeroom, watching as my teacher just fell to pieces. Still not knowing. Not understanding. Fearing that something terrible had happened-that something terrible would continue to happen.

When we finally were told that the two towers in New York City had been crashed into, no one knew what to do. My teacher, Mrs. Robinson, was sobbing. Apparently her daughter's boyfriend worked in one of the towers and he hadn't been reached yet (he got out, thank God). I'll never forget my friend Maria raising her hand, standing up, and looking at our mess of a teacher and tenderly saying, "It's ok, Mrs. Robinson, you can cry."

I remember sitting in silence the rest of the day. We weren't allowed outside for recess. I don't think anyone wanted to go out there anyway. When I got home my mom had the news on. We just watched the towers get smashed into for hours on end. I remember at one point asking if we could change the channel to something else and my mother looked at me saying, "No! This is too important, the world will never be the same." I think she thought I didn't care. That all I wanted to do was watch Sister Sister, or something. But really, I just wanted to not have that horrible image flashing before my eyes anymore. It was too hard to handle. The image, which is permanetly burned in my brain, was haunting. I didn't want to see people die or jump for their lives or listen to their bodies drop or watch the great towers crumble to nothing but dust. Even as an eleven year old, I knew. I knew that nothing would ever be the same.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Religion and Politics are two things that shouldn't be discussed at dinner-or so says Miss Manners

Which is too bad because they are really interesting but apparently just too controversial to talk about unless you like having pea soup in your hair...

Growing up and Irish Catholic and going to parochial school for thirteen years has an effect on a girls' view of religion. I mean, religion is hard enough to wrap your head around when you aren't having it shoved down your throat every single day in religion class.

Private schools are great for their small class sizes and their emphasis on God and all that jazz, but I also think that it can hinder a persons relationship with God. I mean, God knows that in the big battle of good versus evil I'll be carrying that banner for his team, but I'm not one for going to church every single Sunday like any good Catholic should (want to) do.

Growing up, my mom (and family) always emphasized the importance of organized religion, but I say, as long as you follow a good moral code and you try to be as good of a person as you can be, then God knows you're his homeboy/girl. I don't go to church, but I pray every day. I thank God for what I have been given in life and I appreciate it as much as possible. Some times it is hard to not take things for granted, but a little bit of grace and humility never hurt anyone.

I do believe in the power of prayer. This past year was a nightmare, but I feel like it was made a little bit easier because I knew that, when I felt entirely alone, all I had to do was pray and ask for God to be with me, and I felt better. Prayer is comforting. It's nice knowing that there is someone there to always lean on and to help make things be alright, even when you feel like you're drowning in a pit of sorrow.

Another thing I love is politics. I mean, I should, seeing as I'm an International Relations major. It would only makes sense, right?

Politics are interesting. People who don't think so are ridiculous. Politics encompass more than just liberal or conservative, communist or fascist, or smart or dumb. It basically contains everything that regulates daily life in a government, which is what affects daily life.

I mean, every one uses currency, right? So the government controls that, yet (at least in America and other democracies) we give them the power...I just think that the tangled web is fascinating and trying to figure out how every things works together in a somewhat intricate fashion is just the coolest...

Yes, I know I'm a nerd. I like it so get off my back.

I love to get into a great discussion about politics. (Well, really anything for that matter) I enjoy having a conversation about why someone believes something and why I believe something else. (And I italicized conversation to make sure that you know that it's talking and not arguing/yelling because I HATE yelling and arguing. Can't we all just get along?!) I do NOT, however, enjoy talking to someone when they don't know what they're talking about. I recognize that I don't know everything about every thing, but I really really really hate when people just tell me I'm stupid and have no true facts to back their position up. And I also truly hate it when people tell me I'm stupid because I don't believe what they believe AND they can't tell me why they believe the way they do, other that "Just because..." Well kiss my white ass because you're a moron!

This is just an example of why people suck at life when it comes to talking about politics...

So I'm a freshman in high school when Bush and Kerry were running against each other in 2004. Let me just put it out there that I hate George Bush. I think he's stupid and that all of his decisions while in office were HORRIBLE. But that's a different discussion for a different time... My religion teacher had us watch one of the debates one night so we could talk about it in class. It just so happened that a couple of the debate questions were on abortion. She asked our thoughts on it and which candidate we thought was better, and blah blah blah...well, I'm pro-choice. She looked at me with the GREATEST disgust ever when I told her that...I thought she was literally going to eat my soul...She just looked at me and told me something along the lines of, "How dare you think that pro-choice is an option! You're a baby killer." My mom told me the same thing.

Let me just state that I am NOT a baby killer thankyouverymuch. I would never personally get an abortion if I were to ever get prego in the eggo. But what right do I have to tell another woman what she can and cannot do. Hello, free will, welcome to the party.

Well that post took an interesting turn...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm a worthless worker

Isn't that sad?

I've been sitting at work now for almost two hours and I've done a total of maybe twenty minutes of work. I know you're jealous...

Well don't be because I'm bored out of my skull so I started reading about Senate Bill 5 and watching Hoops & Yoyo videos on youtube. How pathetic is that?

I don't even feel like I have anything worthy to talk about because I feel like my life in Geneva is boring compared to my life when I'm travelling to other places.

I'm super duper looking forward to Thursday at 1:42 p.m. when I'll be on a train to Roma! A big group of us are going there to take a tour of the Vatican on Saturday afternoon. We'll get to see the Cathedral and the catacombs. Eww bones... So excited!! :D

Life right now is so stressful in a way because I have a lot to do. Damn school is just getting in the way of my fun on the weekends and I am not OK with that. Just saying.

Like this week for instance. Yesterday I had a midterm in my Human Rights class. Today I'm working all day because if I don't I'll be judged for eternity by my boss (who is incidentally not here but I know the moment that I decide I'll just leave at my normal leaving time will stroll on in. This is how my life works.) Tomorrow I have to go to the Center for Demining for some sort of simulation game of a conference for different people talking about why they want to use landmines of why they thing that people who use them have no soul and will be sharing the inner most ring of hell with Hitler and that guy who gave everyone Kool-aid.

Guess which group I get to represent?

The Movement for the Liberation of Minelandia... basically I'm a rebel group that thinks it's ok to use landmines and I want to overthrow the current government to establish a socialist government. This would all be ok if I believed in any of that...

Then next Monday I have an in depth outline due for my Human Rights paper on Child Soldiers, which I haven't started researching because I'm obviously a procrastinator and I obviously like to torture myself. Oh, and then I have this super awesome paper due for my economics class that I just sort of started reading about yesterday and today even though I have no idea what I'm really writing about and I have no understanding of basic economics.

So basically what I'm saying is that I'm screwed and I kind of sort of don't care because in sixteen days I'll be in Ireland where I'll get to see big green hills of awesome beauty and who the hell would care about a paper on the labor of the European Union when you could be researching much more fun things like Galway.

Does someone want to do all my work for me so I can just have awesome adventures?! Because that would be great. Thanks. Apply below.