Saturday, June 30, 2007

Thanks for the comment JR. I am no scholar and I am still just begining to try to get things straight. I have come quite a ways in my veiws on abortion. I am glad that someone actually agreed with at least with part of anything I say. Usually it is not that way. Just something for you to consider and know that I have read and will continue to reflect on your comment. I think there is a lot of truth in it, but consider this.

You say taking a gradual approach "forgets the inestimable value of one human life". But later in your comment you write "backlash be damned ... some women, through their own fault, hurt themselves ... that's a price we must be willing to pay". Inocent or not, isn't human life human life. Why is a woman hurting herself because she thinks that is her only way and possibly endangering her life more valuable than the life of the baby you are trying to save by stopping abortion.

If quantiy is your answer, which I have heard being used as the difference between why abortion is bad and the death penalty is ok, then your argument is slightly flawed by basing your position on "the inestimable value of one human life".

Thank You for commenting. I like your idea of the constant convert. I will link your blog to mine if I can remember how that is done.


Monday, June 30, 2003

Well that just beats all. Jenn tells me today that she wants to go to Spain and watch the running of the bulls. I am all for spontaneous changes of heart, but give me a break. I did not come here to spend a week in Spain watching bulls run over people, no matter how exciting that may sound. She also said that she has no interest in going to Italy. Which means that she will want to do northern mainland when we leave Prague? I am just assuming that. She may want to go to Russia for all I know. So, not only did she already get tickets to Brussels, but also if I want to see Italy, which I must, I have to do it alone and waste a day on the train going south.

It would have been so easy to just do north and not spend so much time on the train, but no. And the only benefit of being with Jenn is the fact that she has been around most of the mainland before and not to be alone, but now those reasons are shot. I cannot believe she would do this. And some of the other law kids are going, so she will not be alone. I cannot think of one time on this trip where she has done anything to try to aid me in anyway. The bike thing, maybe, but she let me know how much I ruined her day. But, I guess I will not have to put up with her anymore. Hope she has fun.

June 30, 2007

Well, I least I wasn't bitter.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Went to a lovely mass this morning. They had a great choir singing and a large organ and sang a lot of Latin. It was a nice mass. I was thinking the whole time about yesterday and what causes conflicts like that. Really, what seem to be behind it are politicians using different religions to gain power through fighting. It seems that a lot of the strife in the world is caused by this. A person wants some power, so he gets a group of people that have something different about them, usually religion, then tells them they can live better if they fight those that are different. I guess the U.S. was different because we used a "no religion" method to kick out the Brits.

I think the hardest part of getting into politics, if that is what I am going to do, is to, not religion in that way, but not abandon what I believe. I will never be elected on a Catholic platform, that is a given, but how do I balance the two when I am never suppose to let anything get in the way of my religion. Can I try and balance and be honest with myself or am I doomed to fail at this journey. It makes me think that I am not suppose to head in that direction, but I know that is just lazy Matt telling me it will be to hard. Nothing worth having is easy.

Went to the Guinness Storehouse today. I never imagined what it actually takes to make a barrel. They had old film of a professional barrel, cog, maker and it looked like it was an all day project for one barrel. We got to go up in the Gravity bar. You see the whole city from up there. It was neat. And I had to deal with some high spots and managed pretty well.

June 29, 2007

My way of thinking, I believe, is starting to change, maybe, a little. For some reason or another, religion has become a huge part of politics. I don't remember it being that way with Bush Sr, or Clinton. Being a Democrat and Catholic and a Law Student, I have really struggled with some of the big issues that people talk about all the time. I still believe abortion is awful, which I always have, but I have always struggled with the right to choose and forcing my belief on others. I have never agreed that it is such a simple answer as pro life or pro death, as I have heard it referred.

I still don't think the problem would be solved by banning abortion completely. I think a grassroots strategy, much like ads against tobacco, would work better, take longer, yes, but with better results. You can't stop people from getting an abortion. Either they will go somewhere else or they will hurt themselves or they will go to some shadowy alley doctor. Some might say if that is what happens, so be it, they deserve the consequences of those choices. That doesn't sound very Christian to me.

People have to not want to have an abortion. That may not sound right because I don't think anybody goes through life thinking they want an abortion. A better way, people have to see it as not an option, not because its against the law, but because it is horrible. We are trying to stop smoking without making it illegal, why hasn't somebody tried to use their roadmap for abortion. Why is it an all or nothing thing. Americans like to be eased into or out of something. Never force an American to do anything, even if it is good for them, because they will hate it. Prohibition doesn't work. You have to slowly wean Americans, cold turkey is a bad strategy.

But now that I have that tangent, religion being in politics. I really hope that the religious groups did not waste all their credibility backing Bush and whatever he blindly led them into. I also hope that they will not blindly follow any Republican based on party alone. I am religious and a Democrat, and I don't feel bad about it. I worry about what direction this country is headed and I find it hard to blame liberals when they have been in control half a year. The religious right led Republicans were in charge for 6 years. Where were they leading us. I think any religious person blindly following the Republicans based on the fact that they are Republicans should take a long and honest look back and try to honestly answer that question.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Saturday, June 28, 2003

I feel like being back in bed. Last night was fun. Did some dancing, did some drinking, a lot of drinking. It was great fun.
Heading up to Belfast. In class, it sounds like this is the most controversial time. Abbey from Eastern is on the bus. How weird is that. She says to tell Michelle and M & M hi. Jenn said it is a small world, I said it is a small island. She is here helping with the Special Olympics.

We just found out there is an Orange Man march in Belfast today. From what we learned in class, it may get interesting. I figure they would not be giving a tour if it was dangerous, but the real bad things happen when you are not expecting them. So we will see. This driver has been telling us about the "Troubles" and it just sounds horrible. He let us hold a "rubber bullet" which is not what you might think. They are about four or five inches long and one to two inches round and a very hard rubber. The driver said the point is to break a leg but it has killed a number of people and children.

We also road through a British barracks and there was this boy, could not have been more than ten, in fatigues and with an automatic weapon. It almost looked like "bring your son to work" day, but the driver said it was normal to have kids that young in the army. It just shows what two different civilized people find acceptable.

Words cannot really describe what I am feeling right now. Disturbed, sick, in an almost pain. I always just thought it was a political nonsense thing as most wars are., but the driver told us it organized over the Catholics wanting a fair vote. The right to be a part of government. Not unlike the Civil Rights movement in the states. It has turned into something else, but that is where this particular conflict started. Being Catholic definitely gives me a different feeling than others may have at a large parade. It went by in maybe three minutes, but it was loud, and intense. It did not feel like a parade as we know it, but a protest as we know it. I did not think they were celebrating as much as trying to say something.

The feeling I had watching the parade was very similar to the feeling I have when I am in high places. Just an uncomfortable feeling that I do not want to be here. I have never had such a fear for just being somewhere. It was the intensity of the Washington march, but a different feel and I placed myself in the Washington position. Here, I was just standing there.
June 28, 2007
That picture at the top is like the Jesus picture where his eyes follow you. The barrel of the gun follows you wherever you go. Click on the picture to enlarge it and see. Now imagine it is on the side of the house next door or try walking down the sidewalk while it follows you. Belfast was a completely strange and scary experience I haven't had the likes of since and don't know if I will again. After going to the Civil Rights museum, I more or less relate the two situations. The tension between two groups and the hatred.
It was something you can't describe.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Friday, June 27, 2003

Well, got pretty lit. Other than that, another day. Off to Belfast tomorrow.

June 27, 2007

Well that was a pretty short entry. I am surprising it took this long for an entry like that. I will tell you, it took a while to get used to the long days when in Ireland. It was light out until midnight almost. You hang out a couple hours after it gets dark, you look at a clock and it is 3 in the morning. It made for some early mornings the first couple times we went out.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thursday, June 26, 2003

If it were not so late, I would probable write quite a bit, but we went to a play tonight that really made me think. First, I went and seen Dumb and Dumberer and it was, but it made me laugh and it made me feel at home, especially since I went by myself. But if you could call that entertainment, and then, try to compare it to what we saw tonight, you would be laughed at. This performance was incredible. I think it was better if not way better, than the Oxford play. Or maybe I just really enjoy real life plays. I need to start looking into that more. But the acting, although brilliant, was not the greatest part. The story was heart wrenching.

It really made you think about how we look at things and how we might see things differently if given the chance. It was about a Protestant and the hatred towards Catholics and the Republic. It made me think about whether I was a racist, if only for the fact that I have never really been given the opportunity to prove I am not. When I see a black person, this is what I see because they are. I try not to treat them any differently and try not to think about them differently, but what more can a person do.

I am not color blind, but if that is what it takes to not be a racist, then it is an idealistic and impossible task. We are talking in class about freedoms and how we pick and choose whom to give freedom. I kind of wonder if the whole system is shot. We have freedom of speech, but it is limited, but nobody can write a statute that properly limits it so there is no limits but you still cannot say everything because, who knows. It gets to the point where there is no law, people just make it up as they go and change their minds, at random and it does not make any sense, and everyone knows it, but accepts it as the way we work.

Dennis Miller is not far off on his lawyers rant. I really do not see how lawyers can live with such a false sense of reality at the foundation of all they do. And our system is no different. Ours may seem more complicated, but everyone else has the same issues with law and what is really right and wrong.

Two other points about tonight. There is just no way to relate to some people that have gone on in the world. I really do not see how some people make it through and I really do not see how people that have not, but act as if they have, can sleep at night. And during the intermission, like right away, these Cal girls, and one guy that I think wants to be one of the girls (wink), were talking about shopping. That does not seem so bad, but we had just been through a very emotional part of the play and it just made me sick. I had to get up because they have no consideration for others and I was wondering if they had ever had a true emotion or felt a real feeling about to them either.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Went to Malahide Castle today. It was interesting. They were telling the story of how fourteen of the Talbot's, owners of the castle, ate breakfast one morning before a battle and none came back. I walked around the woods outside the castle too. I found the postcard I have been looking for, one of Trinity with my window in it. Going to send it to the family. Tomorrow I start my Property class. Guess we will see how that goes. It was the clearest sky I have seen since we have gotten here. People around here do not know what to think of it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Nothing spectacular happened today. Went to the park. I had a real Spanish diner. I guess I always thought Mexican food was Spanish food, and maybe it is, but I was told what I had tonight was pretty authentic. I am beginning, not really beginning because I rather figured it out earlier, but everyone here has done stuff like this before. I do not think anyone here is as sheltered as I am or was. I think some of my "friends" are realizing this and trying to let me experience it. I do not think it has been that way so far, because England and Ireland were first for Jenn too. But as much as Jenn thinks she knows, almost everyone here is by far more experienced. I sent Michelle's postcard so it is out of my hands and up to the Big Guy how this all plays out.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Monday, June 23, 2003

Well, it was back to life as usual today. The plague that I got yesterday has all but left completely. If you look hard, you can still see some red splotches. Overall, I think I would have gone through all of yesterday again if given the choice between it and never seeing what we saw. I may think differently after, I will see, but I doubt I will ever have the experience of doing what few do. I spent the night in the Gap of Dunloe.

Well, just wrote a postcard to Michelle telling her what I discovered yesterday. Cannot take it back now, not that I want too. I do not know if this is the best way to do, but I could not contain it and I probable would not talk to her and you, my trusty journal, can only hear it so many times before you lose your power to contain me. I did it in the usual corny Matt style. I wrote it and then put masking tape over it so she will not see it right away. I imagine the tape will fall off in the shipping and all the surprise and romance, if it can be called that, will be spoiled. But I tried.

I am not to keen on those sorts of things and wish they had a class I could take for credit. But it is the thought that counts, and I think Michelle knows I know nothing about doing this sort of thing. Oh well. I just hope she is further along than I am in her thinking, which I think she is, or does not freak out when she sees it. You always see it in shows when one says it and it is not immediately returned, then there is and awkwardness. I think I have eluded this problem and caused another. I do not know when she will receive my postcard, so the next time I talk to her it could go a few different ways.

Either she has not got it and I do not say what I am thinking, which could be dishonest in a way, or she has got it and she is not ready and freaks out, as stated earlier, and it is a very ugly phone call. She gets it, likes it, but does not say it cause she wants it to be in person, not a likely situation, but possible, or she was on the fence and it pushed her one way or the other and she decides to end it or she says it back.

Now that I wrote down all that could happen, I only seem to have a one in five chance things are 100% ok and am rethinking the whole deal. But it is too late, the postcard is written and will be sent accordingly and the Lord's will be done. Speaking of the Big Guy, while I was having my miserable part of the day, I was thinking a lot about suffering and what not, and saying the rosary and just wishing something would end it. I just thought that after Michelle was called and my family and I had a long shower and food and I was better, I never thanked Him. Well THANK YOU. Wrote it big so He can see. Just goes to prove how even us that know it is true that "when we suffer we ask for help and when it is given we do not thank Him", and try not to do it, still do. Why are we so ignorant and yet He loves us so.

June 23, 2007

Well, it worked, kinda. She did get it with the tape on, but she didn't see it before the next time we talked. But is all worked out in the end.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Well today, sucked and it is only 12:30 P.M. Started off from our "bed" at 4:00 A.M. because the bugs were eating us alive. Started on the down slope of the gap, which was awesome because we probable went five minutes without pedaling. When we got to the bottom, things went a rye. The maps that the woman gave us did not really help, so we ended up at a dead end for the river rides. So we went back and took another way and ended up in someone's pasture that was nothing but mud. After getting up to my shins, we decided to turn around and find another way. When we found it, my tire blew, so much so that I could not longer push the bike, so I started carrying it. I tried to make a sling with my sweatshirt and that worked for a while, but Jenn finally came up with the idea to carry the back tire on her bike and push both. This proved to be out best option and lasted until we got the bikes back.

While all this is happening, daylight is starting to break and Jenn notices that I am covered in red splotches. We are not sure if it is from the bugs or the weeds, but it is starting to fade now, so no harm except the feeling something could have been wrong. The bugs, a form of gnat, haunted our every step. When we tried to eat anything or stop, they were as thick as the air itself. I suppose they were just annoying, but at the time, I thought they might be doing the red splotch damage, so I thought they may be dangerous. So we dealt with them all day. The journey ended up being about 5 miles on bike, probable close to 5 miles over rugged terrain with these 2 bikes hooked and the 10 miles up the main road. In the process my watch broke, had very little to drink, and the bugs. I mention them again on purpose to represent how bad they were. Being on a farm and all, I have never really been bothered by bugs, but these were ridiculous.

We are at the train station now and Jenn is sleeping on the floor. It has been a bad day so I feel I have the right to bitch. All day long, all she did was guide the bikes while I pushed both. I understand that it was my bike that blew the tire, so it was not her problem, but man was she bitchy today. And guess what, there was only one person for her to take it out on. She really gives me hell when we get lost, but come on. If you give a person a shitty map and put them in the middle of nowhere in a mountain range in a county he does not know, I really do not know what would make her happy. She was just saying the other day that she was glad I came because I did not really care what we did and was up for anything. But if anything goes wrong, boy, she lets me know how it was my fault and how she will have to double check everything because I will always be getting us lost. She does not want to lead, does not want to follow and it is never her fault.

I just figured out that the shells collected from Inch Beach survived the ordeal. I only know because Jenn asked to borrow a pairs of socks. She fell in the water last night. I should have told her to stick it because just today she was yelling at me for bringing too many cloths. Oh well, she is just a women and they are allowed to be that way I guess.

Maybe it is because I am delirious with sleep deprivation, or the rash, which has gone, seeped in and is making me koo-koo, but I was taking my shower and thinking about love. I have not really gone into too much depth so far in this journal, but I figure this is the place to do it. I love my family, as all people do somewhere deep inside. But they are that, and that is a different kind of love than my Dad's love for my Mom. And another kind of love from a father to a son, and the Lord to his sheep. Then there is the kind that is creeping up to engulf me with Michelle. I just talked to her today and had to cut it short because I was almost in tears. I could blame it on the lack of sleep or the bad day, but I do not think that is right. We are learning in class that most judges and people in general, find the answer they want and then set out to prove its right instead of the other way around. If I were to go about it that way, I could say that Michelle is the one for me, my feelings overwhelm me and the fact that I will not see her breaks me apart. I do not know why it is so hard for me to except what I think I am feeling.

A person questions his faith, but then that is the point. You cannot have faith without doubt. I never thought true love was that way. I thought you would meet the one and you click and there would be no doubt. Sure, you have troubles and trials, but you would not doubt your choice. In a way, I thought that true love was a more powerful then faith. But is it all just the same question and should I just except that I will never have the answer I am looking for. Or is the answer right in front of me, so easily clear to all others and I am blind to it.

If I say the first, how can a person be satisfied not knowing, especially when they are always thinking about abstract things like this and have a wild imagination. If it is the second, why isn't it easier to see. I like to think I find pleasure in the little things and see the happiness in them that some cannot. I guess when it comes to bigger issues in life; I expect them to be more complicated. Which begs the question that I been trying to skirt? Do I love Michelle in that true love way.

Yes. It took me a while to write that. I was trying to figure out a way to prove it logically and what not from the garble above. Yes, I do. There is some doubt in my heart. That what I am saying right now is being forced, but the more I think about what happened on the phone, the fact that it made me feel different than I had before, I think love, true love, is more like faith than I realized. I may doubt it some now and there may sometimes in the future when doubt will gain strength, but that is how faith and true love grow and strengthen. So, I love Michelle. How do I let her know in person when I am away for 7 weeks?

I am just now beginning to realize that this journey is not about Europe or Law but a test on me and who I am. Not all that isolation stuff Father Chris and I talked about for law school was for that purpose. Although I was alone there, it was for here. I do not imagine most people see turning points in their lives until after they see the effects, so I will not say this is, but we will see. I really want to call Michelle back and tell her, but I think I will dwell on it a little more. If it is as powerful as it is starting to feel, it will not be contained.

We are two weeks in and I have crossed one major hurdle. I think I just solved a problem. That is not the right term either, but I think that is this trip's and my isolation's purpose. To work things out in my head. Come back with a solid structure instead of the wishy-washy life I have lived. Now that I have crossed the line of tourist data into the realm of "my head", these journal entries may get pretty weird or intense. I think my next task should be to find what I really want to do.

June 22, 2007

There is a lot in there. I will type a little more here later.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Saturday, June 21, 2003
Our most adventurous plan is being planned for tonight and tomorrow. We are going to rent bikes and bike about 30 miles, stay outside over night and bike through the Gap of Dunloe. It is pretty high-risk of something going wrong, but then, what is not over here.

We just got on the bus to Dingle. I am looking forward to seeing the ocean for real this time. I really did not see it when in Boston and I saw it when we flew over it, but I should not count that. It sprinkled while we were getting on, but now the sun is shining. The driver forgot to put the brake on before we started and put a dent in the bus behind us. Not very reassuring when you figure we are going to be driving along cliffs and whatnot.

Oh my. the view is incredible. We stopped at Inch Beach. Saw the ocean for the first time. And still looking at it. Picked up three shells. Blue broken, black long, and a white round one. There is a dolphin in Dingle. Do not know what the chances of us seeing a dolphin on our trip were or the chances of the dolphin leaping out of the water when we were driving by, but he did and we saw him.

Ryan's Daughter was filmed here so I should watch it. In the words of Eric Klinner "WOW". Jenn said she has never seen water so blue. I would not know, so I will take her word for it. Most people that know me would not believe how close I am getting to the sides of cliffs.

We just ran into a funeral wake. Gets me a chance to write. Everything is so green. It almost hurts your eyes. It is as green as a wheat field is golden. I guess the whole town showed up for this person. What a mess. Every road is one-way in actuality, but meant for two and it is not like there is a shoulder. The shoulder on the right is a mountain and the shoulder on the left is a cliff into the ocean.

Much like when seeing Garden of the Gods, only this is more. It makes you feel insignificant to be in such a beautiful place. Makes you wonder why it is so beautiful, why where we live in not and what both places must have looked like before they were found. The mountains, the ocean, the small towns, it does not feel like we are tourist, more like visitors to a new world. I wonder how long it would take, if I moved here, to forget about its beauty and start complaining about the lack of material things. I would like to say that I would not do anything like that, but being a realist, I know I would, and I hate to say, it probable would not be too long and that makes me quite sad.

We were at Dine for one hour with nothing really to see, but nothing could tarnish the day, and it is only getting started. We have seen so much today that I am not sure I appreciate it all. Jenn said yesterday that she did not take pictures of the Alps because they were too beautiful to contain in a picture. Ireland is not too beautiful; there is just so much beauty. I think I could have used all the film I have and not done near the justice it deserves. We may think they are backwards or primitive, but they have every right to brag about their beautiful green country.

There is a huge concert going on in Killarney tonight, so I imagine it is going to be a madhouse. Well we got our bikes, started riding and here we are. In the middle of the Gap of Dunloe. No tent, no sleeping bags, nothing but nature. It will be a miserable night, but I do not know if you can count the number of people who have done this on two hands, and it is gorgeous and will be a beautiful morning when it comes.
June 21, 2007
I don't think Beautiful is the way I would describe the next morning. You'll see. The roads were similar to Hana Road in Hawaii.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Friday, June 20, 2003

On the train to Killarney. Last night was a long night. The few things I remember of importance are that some girl told me that I could do better than another girl. Not that I asked or was looking. The guys were just looking at a couple of girls, as guys will do, and I was told that I could do better.

Just figured out that I have taken around 130 pictures. It sounds like a lot, but it really is. I estimate I will have 500-550 pictures when it is all said and done. For perspective, I figure that is the amount of pictures my mom would take in 2 years.

I am going to be really upset when I have to start drinking American light beer again. I cannot imagine it is going to taste any better than monkey piss. I am really enjoying the fact that the beer here tastes so good. It flows like water and drinks the same.

Just saw a pasture shared by one horse, cows and sheep. They were just all standing together. Guess I always just assumed that they are always kept separate. Two realizations on this train ride. I cannot sleep on trains. maybe if I have not slept for like 3 days and I just pass out, maybe. Other than that, it is not even worth trying. Second, railroad crossings do not exist. I thought it was just that I had not been paying attention, but now I am looking for them and cannot find them.

Just saw one. But there are very few roads, which makes it very beautiful countryside. Just saw a farmer racking hay and it makes me wonder if Dad has made his Second cut. They may be baling that into bails and bucking and it makes me glad I am over here.

I never even thought about it before, but this is the first time I have seen any type of mountains. I should have when going to Washington D.C., but I must have slept through them. Out one window, it is flat and off in the distance, out the other window, there are these mountains that just tower above the land. I may be afraid of heights, but I have a feeling I would love to climb the mountain I see there. Probable because they are not to sheer. Speaking of my fear, I think it is starting to dwindle away. It is not gone, by any means, but I am doing things that I do not think I would have before.

June 20, 2007

Well, that was one of the more ADD entries. How many different topics can a person talk about in one sitting. I guess when you are bored on a train, it is easy for your mind to wander. I have since seen mountains, in Italy, Arizona and Hawaii. I don't think these "mountains" are even considered mountains. But I remember they looked pretty impressive to me.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thursday, June 19

Took an even longer walk yesterday. They have a monument just like Bunker Hill and Washington. That kind must be easy to make. It looks its going to rain today, so it may be a day to relax, figure out this weekend and get some reading done. The war memorial was awesome and the castle with the moat was neat. It is the only castle with a working moat in Ireland. That is what the old man walking around it said anyway. Suppose to take an open top bus tour, but I do not see that happening with the rain. Well, I am off to class.

Got laundry done for the first time. Six Euros, which I think is pretty good. They do colors and whites together which makes me wonder if I have not been wasting my time doing it as separate loads all the time. Now Jen wants to fly to the mainland. I do not care either way; I wish she would just make up her mind. She says she thinks it is cheaper, which means it is really anybody's guess. The ferry would take 18 hours, which is a lot of wasted time. But I do not care either way. Jenn said before we started that she did not really want to lead, but she is not much for following. Oh well, I'll go along and try not to complain too much.

And for Jenn saying this and that and trying to warn me about germs and talking to strangers and keeping my money close, guess who lost their key to their room. Ding, ding, ding. It really is not funny, but I have to relish in it because she would not remember and when we have to be around each other more, she will pick on what she thinks are my flaws once again. That is one thing that is nice about being here. I am by myself a lot, and not really by myself, but without Jenn. Do not get me wrong, it is nice to have her around, but too much is too much, and without the breaks between, I imagine we would have been burnt out eventually. I imagine she feels the same way. If she does not, it just shows what a great guy I am, but I imagine she appreciates the time apart as much as me.

Off to Killarney and the Dingle peninsula tomorrow. Suppose to be the prettiest place in the world. Jenn brought up the idea of flying to Barcelona. I kinda shut the door on that. I mean it would be neat and all, but it totally changes out directions and there is no place close to it. So I think Brussels is it.

June 19, 2007

I never went to Barcelona. Me and Jenn split up after Dublin. Dingle was great and beautiful, but I think Hawaii was prettier. They are both worth seeing. It is funny looking at these entries when you know what happens next. Things are about to get interesting and Matthew of 2003 has no idea what is coming.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Sitting down to eat lunch. Yesterday I went for a walk that lasted about 3 hours. I did not see anything really, until I got close to campus, but I saw a lot of the real Dublin, not the commercial stuff. It was interesting. The doors being colored seems to be a big thing. And I saw a palm tree so I took a picture of it for Michelle. I should mark it on the map in case people do not believe there was a palm tree in Dublin. Planning on another walk today. There is a memorial for World War I soldiers I want to see. I wanted to see it yesterday, but ran out of time to get back for the Trinity tour that they were charging 9 Euros for. Screw that, I see it everyday. So we went drinking. We ended up going to a casino and a real Irish bar where they had river dancing. I liked that and will probable frequent there.

June 18, 2007

I think I only went back to that bar one other time. The group seemed to nickel and dime us for everything. Can you believe they wanted to charge us for touring the campus we were living at and studying in. The computers were another thing they could never get figured out. I didn't do a whole lot of the organized stuff in Dublin. I did enjoy my walks. Just heading in a general direction with not much of an agenda. So were some of my favorite times in Dublin.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Well one problem solved. We did not have anything in the kitchen, so I wrote a letter for the house cleaners and now we have tea and coffee, so that will be nice. I think I am going to like my Comparative Constitution class. We have two teachers and they do not necessarily agree on everything, so it is interesting to watch them duke it out. The class has its normal law students that try to talk about more than is necessary to try to show off. We have a Southern Bell in the front of class who started throwing out LAP jargon just to show everyone how much she remembered from classes. Oh well. Most the people did not really volunteer so hopefully we just have to listen to the show offs and they do not start calling on people. All the classes are just pass-fail for everyone outside of USF, so I am not going to worry too much.

June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day. I had a slight oversight in that all my scanned pictures are at work, so none of my weekend entries will have pictures until I get to work. I think the Constitution class was my favorite. We had another class that was about the War tibunals and prisoner laws. It was a pretty current topic because of the Guantanamo Bay prison. I don't know if anybody but me used the coffee and tea once they started bringing it.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Monday, June 16, 2003

Well, I have my first class in 1/2 hour. We had an intro thing this morning where they told us we were not going to be getting breakfast. They said the University charged too much, but they expect us to buy it here any way, so their logic does not make any sense. Going grocery shopping after class. Hopefully it is not too expensive. Their organization is not too organized. They did not book enough rooms for everybody, there is no real structure, and many people have not been getting the accommodations they asked for. The laundry on campus is closed, so we will have to go off campus. I just figured they would be more "user friendly", but they seemed to have not organized at all. But I am here and the people seem friendly enough. Well off to class.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Happy Father's Day. It was an early morning this morning. We were out late last night, but we had a good time. We are on a Ferry, Cross the Mersey, like the song. It is not too bad. It is a huge ship. I think it is about twice the size of the Harbor boat me and Lucy were on. Well we are completing the first leg of our journey. So far, so good. No real snags yet and I have enjoyed everything we have done. Either cities had a lot to see or we found ways to stay occupied. Money wise, I do not really know how I am doing. Pretty good for me. After Monday, we started going to grocery stores and buying food to make instead of eating out. That has probable saved a bundle. The only money I have spent is on places to stay, transportations and a bag I bought from an army surplus vendor. The Central bag was not working for me. We are going to register and meet the teachers today, so I hope things go smoothly. I hope the other students are not, how should I say, unlikable. I am just starting to realize that they will be law students and most of them are assholes, so we will see. Here is hoping for a smooth day.

Well the first night went well I think. There were very few people that mingled, everybody just hung out with who they came with, but I think I did a little better than that. I hung out with some people from DePaul and Minnesota and kinda fell in with some San Francisco kids, which is a bulk of the students. My roommate's name is Carl, which will be easy to remember cause of Karl from school. Going to bed mow. Big day tomorrow.
June 15, 2007
I think I still have that bag I bought. It was about the best purchase I made over there. That and my sandles, which I don't get for a while. Leaving England for Ireland. I don't know how the pictures will follow because there is a lot a time spent in Dublin and there are not that many pictures.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Well, we hit our first snag. Jenn is missing. It is 10:00 A.M. and she is not in the room and has not been. We went out last night and came back around two. Jenn was pretty much gone and I had anything she was carrying of value. We were in the lounge watching a movie with some people, she ask me for her room key and took off. I just figured she was going to the room, but she was not and is not here. She has no money and no shoes and if she is not back by 11:00, no key.

I have gone ahead and paid for another night here, which we were going to do anyway, so we do not have to worry about getting out. Pretty soon, we need to get ferry tickets for tomorrow morning. I really do not know what to do at the moment. I figure I will just stay in the room and wait for her. No matter what happened last night I cannot think she will be in a good mood and she told me yesterday that she was having cramps, so it should be an interesting day no matter what.

Just for the record, I think I did just about all I could do to stop her from doing anything too wrong up to a point. I did not carry her out or take her to her room kicking and screaming. She has put me in a very awkward position. I could not stop her last night or she would have gotten pissy or just left without giving me her valuables, then who knows where they would be. But if anything bad happens, I will be blamed for letting it happen.

On a lighter side, the dance bar last night had the same groups as any other dance bar I have been to. I do not know if I was expecting something different or we just went to the wrong place, but I really enjoyed just watching the groups an thinking how not so different we are.

Went to mass this morning for the first time since I got here. It was just a small service, but it was a nice refresher to have. I have to remember to call Dad tomorrow. (Father's Day)

Jenn is back. She does not remember the latter part of last night, but she is back and all in one piece, so I do not have to worry anymore. It is going to be a relaxing day today. Not really too much we can do in Liverpool that we have not already done. So I think we are just going to hang around and make sure we have everything settled.

Today has been my day of rest. I have not done anything and it feels great. Watched a movie, looked up my grades, which were good, and played some pool. The batteries feel recharged, which was my point for the day. I am ready to hit Dublin and be excited about it. I am wondering if the classes will be as easy as people said they will be. I hope so, not that I am that lazy, which I am, it is just that I do not want to have to push my brains too hard. We still have a long trip after these Dublin classes are over and I do not want them to burn me out. Well, I imagine that I will talk to you on the ferry tomorrow if I do not get too sick.
June 14, 2007
Well, this was my first real point where I really worried about how far I was away and how hard it would be to get help if anything happened. It was a really sick feeling that I still remember. It isn't a fun feeling. It won't be the last time on this trip that feeling will come up. Good luck to Phil in the US Open.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Friday, June 13, 2003

Friday the 13th. Cannot imagine we have any good luck, just as long as we do not have any bad luck. We are off to Liverpool today, home of the Beatles. I do not really know if there is much more about Liverpool that we will see. I am really enjoying the train rides.

We have not been to very many places, but we have been able to see a lot of the countryside. It does not seem that different than the U.S., just more green and a brighter green it seems. I really just want to get to Dublin and settle down for a bit. I do not really see how people do this hopping around for months at a time. Always running, in a different bed, different place, never the same people. It is ok and has been pretty fun, but I need some consistency every once in a while. Last night has to be the best night thus far. That play was the best, although I am going to have to watch the movie when I get back because there are a few parts I could not understand. And after that, we were playing pool at the hostel. For a pound, you got three marks and everybody just went in order, making whatever shot they could. If you made the eight, you got an extra mark. The person left standing took the pot. The best winner won 25 pounds. I did not do well at all, but it was fun to play and not just watch.

June 13, 2007

I can't believe I said I liked the trains. They are convienant, but I think I probably changed my mind by the end of the trip. The pool game they played, I wish I had remembered it better. It was the only way I have ever seen where 8 or 9 people can all play on hte same table. It was a riot.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thursday, June 12

What a great day. Oxford itself did not really have anything. It was gorgeous as most cities in England have been, but we went and saw a play at the Oxford Theatre. It was fantastic. Now we are sitting here in the hostel that has its own bar. The play was A Mid-Summer Nights Dream. It was hilarious. During the intermission, the actors were in the lobby singing songs and having a grand old time. I am drinking Victoria Bitter, which does not sound all that good, but taste pretty good right now.

We are heading to Liverpool tomorrow. Then we are planning on heading to Dublin to start classes. I am really enjoying myself, starting to get use to the schedule. But the schedule is about to change. I think I am doing pretty well with my money, for me anyway. Only bought two postcards and no trinkets yet.

There is a girl that works here that has to be at least 6' 6'' and she is a beanpole. Well, good night.
June 12, 2007
I really don't have any spectacular pictures of Oxford, so I figured I would map out where I had been to this point. Most of South England was covered. Not counting the Airplane ride, we have covered about 550 miles. Quincy to London is right around 4450, counting a slight detour to St. Louis and New York. So our total is 5000 miles when we head to Dublin.
I still remember that play in Oxford. It was a all male group that did it. It was the first relaxing night we had there. Next, we head to the home of the Beatles.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Happy birthday Lucy. Well we are off to Stonehenge. Should be a less intense and more relaxing day than those in the past. We have the day planned out by others. It is guided and we already have the hostel and bags in the hostel. They are filming "Vanity Fair" here today, so that will be something to remember when it comes out.

Stonehenge was large, but they really did not know anything about them. but I guess that is why they are a wonder. It was more of a slow day, which was nice. Avebury is a huge circle of stones. Jenn said she could have done without them, but I thought it was very impressive. The two other places were little medieval looking towns, more like time capsules, which were neat looking, but really not too significant. It is off to Oxford tomorrow. Jenn has a list of things that are there, but I am not too excited about it.
June 11, 2007
Happy Birthday Lucy, soon to be Mommy. The thing I remember about Stonehenge is that it was really out in the middle of nowhere. These stones were huge, stacked like they were, and nothing for miles and miles. It takes a pretty strange thing to be as mysteries now as it was a 1000 years ago. This last picture is a pyramid that has been covered by grass over the years, but the guide said underneath it is white stone, built by some unknown people. The stuff in Europe is older than the US, and the stuff in Rome (yes I know that is still Europe) was even older. It really make you want to visit Cairo and see the pyramids and see things that have stood for ages and ages.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

It is 4:30 and we are sleepless and shelter-less. Did not get much sleep on the bus, but we are here. I am really sleepy. I could always use more sleep, but I am not that tired considering I have had about 7 hours of sleep in the last 4 days. I could really use a backrub. I think I did something to my calf muscle. That is the only part of my body that hurts all the time. We are staying in Bath today, have a look-see, heading for Salisbury tomorrow morning and Oxford on Thursday.

Of course, our plans seem to change all the time, which is fine with me. Mom just told me that Nick is on Denny's TEC. I should try to get him a letter somehow, but cannot even figure out how to get it to Denny and let him know it is for Nick. Probable very simple, I am just a little tired.

This was a long day. About 6 A.M., we decided to walk around. Well Bath is in a valley and up both sides. So we walked up and up and up. But it is a beautiful city. We got back to the hostel and Jenn slept and I stirred. Then we walked up the other side. Then, tonight, we took a walking tour where we walked this morning. We walked the same places but the tour guide was a resident since he was a kid so he knew a lot and it was really interesting. Next, it is off to Stonehenge and Avebury and it is a bus tour, so it should be very interesting. Hope to get a long nap. Night.

June 10, 2007

I am working on getting my pictures scanned. I will go back and throw them in, but when I look at these pictures online, mine aren't that different. Bath was a white town. Not the people, the buildings. There is a stone nearby that everything is built out of and everything is this off white color. you would think that would be bland, but I remeber really liking Bath.

John Wood is famous for the architeture in Bath and during the tour I kept wondering if there were anyway it was the John Wood of JWCC. It is not. Bath, I believe, was our first, no place to sleep at night, night. There are three of those if you don't count over night trains. This wasn't the worst. As of today I have switched all the pictures. They are the ones I have taken.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Monday, June 9th, 2003

Good morning. Finally got some sleep on this trip. Actually, Jenn and I both fell asleep in the quad in front of Westminster Abby, but that was like 10-15 minutes. This was a good 6 1/2 hours. Feet are sore, but I think they're better off than I thought they would be. Pop some Advil and be off. Not sure how mornings work yet. I guess just go with it. People are starting to get up now, so until later.

On the bus to Canterbury. First time I had to really write. We are leaving London. It is a lovely city. It is only the first city we have been to, but it is one I would like to come back to and spend some time. The Parliament building was gorgeous. We crossed the river to get a better look at it and it is quite a humungous building. The Globe Theatre was kinda disappointing. I am not sure what I was expecting but it was just an old building surrounded by a bunch of modern ones. That is one of the buildings I would have liked to spend more time in, along with all the museums that we did not go into.

The lanes for drivers are just suggestions. But everyone seems to be for more curtious while driving. There is no constant honking like there was in New York. Lord was that town loud. Just got one last look at Parliament as we crossed the river. Just trying to think of the real difference between London and a big city in the U.S. I guess it is that their old thing are older.

It has not hit me yet about the journey I have set out on. 9 1/2 weeks doing this. Just roaming around. I do not know if I will get home sick. I say if I ever do, it would be on this trip.

Lying down in a park made by the Franciscans. Went through the cathedral here. Said a prayer for Grandpa and they had everyone say the Our Father. It was a beautiful and huge place. We have decided to take the bus back to London, go to Salisbury in the morning and Bath on Tuesday night. Do Bath Wednesday and stay again Wednesday night.

Change of plans. We missed putting our bags in lockers by like 2 minutes. so we did not get to walk around London at night. So we decided to ride to Bath tonight and see Stonehenge Wednesday. Decided this like 10 minutes before the bus to Bath left. That is where I am now. Leaving London again. Canterbury was better tan I expected. Except for the fact that we had to carry our bags, it was a perfect day. The Norman Castle was interesting. I just wondered how many people had died inside those walls. Jenn walked slower today because we had to carry our bags, so that was nice. My feet are sore, but not like I expected. My shoulders will be tomorrow I imagine. Going to try to sleep now.

June 9, 2007

While I was looking for pictures I discovered that orlando Bloom was born in Canterbury, England. It took me a long time to figure out that spelling. That was one of the surprising towns. There was a lot going on in the streets, it was one of the bigger cathedrals, and it was just a nice city. Once again I wrote that I wanted to go back to London. Michelle will never let me hear the end of it.

I was really surprised how sore my feet were not after how they felt the first day. After the first day, I didn't think i would be able to put any weight on them at all, but the next day, I think we walked more and with our bags on. If I ever find the person who told me that tennis shoes shouldn't be worn in Europe. Everyobdy wore tennis shoes. I think I should out because I didn't. Those boots, which I still have, might have been the worst planning of the trip.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Sunday, June 8th, 2003

The landing was fine. I like it better than takeoff. New York was rainy, but still new York. We walked up and down Broadway, around Time Square. The takeoff from New York was rough. Daredevil is on right now and I am sipping on a Roman-Coke. Jenn is asleep. I close my eyes and the place seems to spin, so I do not think I will be getting much sleep. They shut the lids on our windows, nothing really to see anyway. The light from the wings is right in my window. I see some stars but not as many as I thought I might, but oh well.

It is 6:18 in England. It will be sunrise soon. We are flying northeast so I should be able to see it when it does. I look forward to that. Well, I think I may have got 15 minutes of sleep on the flight. We are still above the ocean and about 40 minutes out. Well see if the landing last time was a fluke cause of the clouds. Kinda pissed that everyone is still asleep cause we cannot really raise the window to look out.

Clear skies while there was nothing but blue below us and now that we get to land we get clouds and fog. Spoke to soon, it is starting to break up.

Well, we walked all over London today. Blisters are bad, but you have to figure that would happen. it was quite a lot to see and I wish we could have stayed longer, but those are the breaks. Off to Canterbury tomorrow.

June 8, 2007

I still get a kick out of the fact I thought they were Roman Cokes. Rum and Coke makes more sense, but still think Roman Coke gives it more flare or something. We really rushed through London that day. Michelle wants to go and I would like to spend more time, but it was just another city. Traveling the rest of that summer and where I have been since, it was just a big city. There were history things there and some old buildings, but for the most part you just see tall modern buildings. If that is all you are going to see, go to Chicago or something.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Saturday, June 7th, 2003

Well we are off. Left St. Louis at 14:45 and I did not puke or freak out. Almost enjoyed it. Up above the clouds now. Everything seems so small, insignificant. Do not really enjoy the plane titter tottering, but oh well. All the little farms in all there little squares it is just like all the pictures you see but seeing it is different. We are still rising; do not really know what that means. It is not as loud as people made it out to be before. It is neat seeing the shadows of the clouds on the ground and to think how much I am actually seeing.
Up here Illinois, all looks the same, if we are still over that great state. Driving, there always seems to be variety, but up here, they are all the same. I could take a picture of the ground at any time and say there is our house and you would not be able to tell the difference. More titer tottering. I am glad I did not eat anything to soon before we left. Not going to sleep on this flight, but I cannot imagine I will have much luck on the longer flight either.
I know I should not be, but I cannot help thinking about what people are thinking when one of these starts a dive. I really cannot imagine I am going to like the landing. It will be like the Tidal Wave only longer. Kind of wish I had brought a US Atlas so I could identify some of the towns I am seeing. I have been so busy looking down that I have not noticed how dark the sky is above us. We are flying in the sky blue and the space, black/blue, is right above us. I am looking forward to the night flight tonight. We well see New York lit up and probable more stars than ever before.
I will have to get rid of the black and white film in New York. I can see why people would want to be flight attendants. 31,500 ft. going to 33,000. Clouds are getting thick. Cannot really see too much. The clouds look quite sturdy. I imagine they would hold Jenn up. Probable not my lard ass. Pilot said, "the last half will be pretty rough" (wonderful). I guess if you are going to have a first experience, it ought to be rough so you have something to look forward to.

Everybody says it really does not feel like your flying. I was just thinking about that and yes, it does. This is what flying feels like. Is it supposed to feel different? It is like when somebody says frog legs taste like chicken. But they also taste like frog legs. Except for the taking off, this feels just like the train to me. I was not paying attention, we flew into a cloud, and now all you can see is white, which sucks kinda. It is kinda eerie, which the pilot just said is on our left, cannot really see it.
Jenn said her stomach was giving her fits and I have to say that mine has been better. I would assume that the turbulence right now is bad. We are going up and down like Dusty driving down Paloma blacktop. It is like a thick fog but you cannot tell how thick because there is nothing to give a perspective. I see the edge of the wing, but that does not say much. My ears just popped so I guess we are on our dissent. Although the pilot did not say anything. We are still in the clouds, but the turbulence stopped. 30 minutes left, 150 miles, captain said. 300 mph, not bad.
Left New York at 11:30 P.M., but in England it was morning so we will make this…

June 7, 2007

I still don't mind flying. They do get kinda cramped and I never think the plane is going to slow down in time on the landing. 4 years. A lot has happened in that time. Graduated, married. Michelle and i had just started going out before I left. She wonders why I am doing this when it is already up. I was thinking about that. Besides the fact that it is the only journal I have ever kept, I was a country boy, plopped into Europe, basically on my own. Somethings I handled ok, some not so much, but I feel I learned a lot about myself and the world on this trip. I think it is interesting to look back and see if anything has changed. So, as they say in Star Wars, "Here we go again." I figure this time I will throw in some pictures to add a little to the story. No scanner, so pics are ones I find on the internet. The trip was before I had a digital camera.