Favorite Irish Sayings, St Paddy’s Day Traditions & Corned Beef

Happy St. Paddy’s Day everybody. I love this day because I love green, I love fun, I really love beer and it’s also my birthday. But in case you aren’t Irish, then I have a quick crash-course, that Faith and Begorrah, will convince everybody you are.

Irish phrases you should know

Kiss my ass!

Spelled: Póg mo thóin!

Pronounced: pogue muh ho-in

Cheers!

Spelled: Sláinte

Pronounced: slaan-cheh

Ireland Forever

Spelled: Éirinn go Brách

Pronounced: Air-in guh braack

May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat

Spelled: Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat

Pronounced: guh nee-ha on cat hoo iss go nee-ha on jeowel on cat

Saint Patrick’s Day

Spelled: Lá ‘le Pádraig

Pronounced: laa-AY-la pawd-rik/

A pint of Guinness, please.

Spelled: Pionta Guinness, le do thoil

Pronounced:  pyunta Guinness leh duh hull/

Kiss me, I’m Irish!

Spelled: Tabhair póg dom, táim Éireannach

Pronounced: TOO-irr pogue dum, toyme AY-ron-ock

Are you drunk yet?

Spelled: An bhfuil tú ar meisce fós?

Pronounced: on will too air mesh-ka fowss?/

St. Patrick’s Day blessing upon you

Spelled: Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

Pronounced: ban-ock-tee na fay-lah paw-rig ur-iv/

Common Traditions on St. Paddy’s Day

The wearing of the green. On St. Paddy’s Day you better wear something green if you want to avoid being pinched. In Ireland people wear a small bunch of Shamrocks on their right breast to signify their Irishness. The Shamrocks are blessed at Church ceremonies and known as Blessing of the Shamrock. If you don’t have access to blessed shamrocks, a green hat will do.

Green Beer and Shamrock Shakes. If  you were to spend St. Paddy’s Day in Ireland you’d be hardput to find a mug of green beer or a Shamrock Shake. This is a rookie mistake and started as a tradition in America. However, if you can eat 10 pickled eggs, you could be mistaken for a real Irisher.

Parades and Festivals. The very first St Patrick’s Day parade occurred in New York City in 1766. And though there were many parades to follow all over the world, it wasn’t until 1995 that the Irish government decided to start holding a parade in Dublin—it’s known as St Patrick’s festival and takes place over 5 days with events including art shows, plays, concerts, fun fairs and the main parade.

Have you worked up an appetite yet?

No St. Patrick’s Day would be complete without partaking in some scrumptious corned beef and cabbage. And though traditionally, Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage is a boiled dish, I prefer mine slow roasted.

Try this simple recipe and tell me I’m wrong. And don’t forget to save me some.

Ingredients:

1 (5 1/2 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet

2 whole head of green cabbage, each quartered

7 large red potatoes, peeled and diced

8 carrots, peeled and diced

2 medium onion, quartered

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place the brisket in the center of a roasting pan. Arrange the cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions around the sides. Empty the seasoning packet over the roast, and pour enough water into the pan to about ½ inch high. Cover with a lid or heavy aluminum foil. Roast for 5 to 6 hours in the preheated oven, until the roast is fork tender.

Have a great day and may the green be with you.

15 Weird Things About Me

When I was a kid I was horrified at the idea of being weird. The weird kid was the one who was bullied and lost their lunch money all the time. Nope, I wanted to fit in. Not so easy, since I am weird. These days, I’m letting my weirdness hang out.   It takes off the pressure and helluva lot more fun.

  1. I don’t remember learning how to read, but I do remember I was reading before I started kindergarten.

2. In my alternate reality I am a homicide detective and I solve crimes constantly.

3. I wrote my first novel, The Addict, when I was 10. It was 30 pages long and it sucked. But my dad read every word. Bless his heart.

4. I talk to myself. In public. In private. I always have, since I was a kid. Nobody knows why.

5. I love to garden and though I’m not very good at it, my biggest tomato weighed almost 3 pounds. Oh and I talk to my plants – is that weird?

6. My favorite family pet was Rusty, a gorgeous collie who showed up on our porch one summer night and scratched on the screen door. He looked exactly like Lassie and I believed he was my soul mate.

7. My guilty pleasure is binge watching mystery shows (usually British) online. If I watch too many I start talking in a British accent.

8. Motown music will always inspire me to  get my freak on.

9. I had two nicknames when I was a kid; Neener and Rodg. I preferred Rodg

10. I’ve had many jobs in my life but the weirdest one was bus buffing. Hard on the back but definitely builds the pecs.

11. My first car was a VW Bug and it had temperamental brakes – meaning, I never knew when or if they would work. Usually, the back wall of the garage stopped the car before the brakes. My nickname for it was  “Death Trap.” I nearly gave my dad a stroke when I took him for a spin and ended up in somebody’s front yard. After that, I refused to drive a stick shift ever again.

12. When I was a kid I wanted to be a fireman or a ballerina but was forced to become a writer because I couldn’t stop making stuff up

13. I love dollar stores. It’s an addiction. I will buy anything if it costs a dollar. I’m their ideal customer.

14. If you want to make me cry show me a Hallmark commercial.

15. I really do work in my pajamas. In fact, I pretty much do everything in my pajamas. But you know, I live in California, so it’s allowed.

How about it, are you a weirdie too? Have you given in to your inner weirdness and let it shine in the light of day? Tell me all about your weirdiness in the comments, so we can revel in it together.

Who poisoned Red Redington?

red-and-dembeOver the last several episodes Red has been on the hunt to discover who betrayed him and was single-handedly trying to take down his business. He’s gone through a long list of possible contenders, only to find he was at yet another dead end.

If you watched Thursday night’s episode of the Blacklist, you probably experienced some serious shock when they exposed Dembe as the likely attempted killer. Even I gasped at the thought. Of all the possible suspects there could be I’d never has guessed him.

So I started thinking, why would Dembe would do such a thing? After all, he has been the recipient of Red’s largesse since he was a young boy. If not for Red, then Dembe surely would’ve died years ago. He literally owes the man his life.

Then it hit me

Where has Mr. Kaplan been since we last saw her hitch hiking out those fateful woods where she was shot and nearly died?

Yes, yes, I do think that all this business with Red’s business deals collapsing, his money being stolen and now the attempt on his life originates with Mr. Kaplan. The once faithful employee that Red believes he killed is coming back to haunt him.

Killing Mr. Kaplan was the one thing that Red did, that Dembe could not abide. So it makes sense, doesn’t it?

Predictions

In future episodes we will discover that

  • At some point Dembe discovered that Mr. Kaplan was still alive
  • He met with her and she told him her story of captivity and all the pain she went through to heal from her injuries
  • Perhaps she even has a permanent disability now or permanet disfigurement from her injuries
  • This enraged Dembe and he agreed to help Kaplan take down Red
  • Or at least teach him a lesson
  • But he’ll have regrets and uncertainties about it – for as much as he believes Red was wrong to shoot Kaplan, he still views him as a father figure
  • He’ll be very conflicted and either reluctantly expose Kaplan or…
  • Somehow get Red and Kaplan to reconcile

What about you? Do you have a theory about who’s really behind the attempted coup and murder of Red? Or why Dembe would betray him? Feel free to spell it out in the comments.

Writer Chick Predicts 2017

2017-predictions

Every year, I take a shot at predicting what the new year will bring. I’m usually wrong, though that doesn’t stop me. Here are my best guesses of what will happen in the coming year.

1. Amazon will fold CreateSpace and Audible into its KDP platform by the end of the year. Since they own both outlets it makes sense for them and will probably make it easier for authors to track sales of various publishing platforms. However, I fear the scammers that tend to descend on Amazon will cook up some new scam to hurt indie authors if this comes to pass. Look for something weird on this front.

2. Democrats will make impeaching Trump a priority with the new incoming Congress and possibly make it their first order of business. They may even try to overturn the results from the electoral college. I predict they will be unsuccessful if they try this and will probably make things worse.

3. Serious steps will be taken to distance the U.S. from the UN. Perhaps we will cut ties altogether. But whatever happens, count on protest both for and against on the city streets, with some kind of bizarre tragedy that results.

4. Anti-Trump protests will continue and major colleges will officially create Trump-free zones. These zones will come with their own specified rules of behavior, safe words, calming sports drinks and new age therapy.

5. Mickey Dees will be the first major retailer to employ robots to man their order windows. Once their first cost effective report hits the news other fast food establishments will follow suit. Think it can’t happen, read this.

6. Fox News will change its name to Faux News (Fake News)

7. Hillary Clinton will become the major spokesperson for a new email security software retailer.

8. With its recent success of rebooting old series, Netflix will pull out all the stops and do reboots of: The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, All in the Family, Maude, My Favorite Martian, Starsky & Hutch, and the Courtship of Eddie’s Father.

9. The new iPhone8 will be unveiled in early spring and be the size of a 4-slice toaster but not to worry, it will come with a complimentary backpack to carry it in.

10. Amazon will launch a new beta program for indie authors to make movies of their books.

11. A new haircut called “The Trump” will become popular with middle aged, hair challenged men and women.

12. California will distinguish itself as the first state to drive smokers into total apathy and become a ‘smoke free’ state. Authorities will be very proud of themselves until they realize they have billions of dollars in lost tax revenue to make up. Look to the dubie tax to come next.

13. In a weird pop culture salute to Trump’s election, red ball caps will dominate the fashion world and be seen in all the spring collections on the runways in 2017.

Not a pretty list, I’ll admit, but there you have it. What about you? What do you think will happen in the coming year? Will it be good or bad? Fun or a disaster? Could it possibly be worse than 2016? Feel free to let loose with your own predictions in the comments.

Happy New Year. 😀

Fall Finale Cliffhangers – Are we shocked?

mid-season-cliffhangers

Well, the holiday season is officially upon as signaled by the slew of mid-season finales we’ve had in the last few days.

The Blacklist. Yikes, Red is Elizabeth Keen’s father. My shocked face. Not really. I’ve thought so all along. But I was wondering…if Lizzie was smart enough to do a DNA test on the Russian dude to verify paternity, why has it not occurred to her to do the same to Red? She could easily get his DNA. For a woman so smart, I wonder why she hasn’t thought of doing that. The finale also opened a few questions for me:

  1. Red told Lizzie that she shot her father when she was a child – so did she actually shoot Red, or what that just a load of horse puckey?
  2. What is to become of Mr. Kaplan? Will she confront Red or assume a new identity, while staying secret touch with Lizzie?
  3. Will Aram and Samar get together?
  4. Will a new love interest surface for Restin?
  5. Once Lizzie knows Red is her dad will she switch sides and start working the wrong side of the law and help run his illegal empire?

Blindspot. This was not as much of a cliffhanger as the Blacklist IMHO but it was pretty good. Speaking for myself, I always thought there was something hinky about the in-house psychologist. Poor Patterson, so unlucky in love, I kind of hope she shot him. Though something tells me he’s not as much of a bad guy as we may think. Roman shot Shepard but only winged her, so we know she’ll be back to raise havoc. And I liked how Jane decided to give Roman a ‘new life.’ That was very clever and unexpected. Questions I hope will be answered when the series returns:

  1. Is Nas the shape-shifter I believe her to be? I truly believe she will surface as a mastermind behind Orion who’s real mission is to wipe out anyone who could expose her.
  2. Will Tasha and Reed get together?
  3. Will Allie really have Weller’s baby or will she lose it – they seem to keep teasing that scenario
  4. Will Weller and Jane finally acknowledge their feelings for each other?
  5. Will Jane keep the name Jane Doe or adopt a new identity?

Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t know about you but I screamed, “Well, it’s about time!” When Jo finally told Alex the truth. I’m hoping that somehow that translates into Alex not being sent to jail. Amelia leaving Owen was predictable, unfortunately, and I hope she grows up some. For the most part not too much of a cliffhanger, except as to what Alex will decide to do. Questions:

  1. Will Meredith get over herself and just tell Maggie that she likes gorgeous Aussie doctor?
  2. Will Webber keep his job and get that arrogant new doctor off his back?
  3. Is Callie coming back?
  4. Will April and Jackson realize they should get back together?
  5. Will Bailey quit the job as Chief and go back to the operating room?
  6. Will Jackson’s mother ever stay out of everybody’s business?
  7. Will Edwards just stop being so know besty and chill out a little?

How to get away with murder. I sometimes wonder why I watch this show, since most of the characters are so hard to like. Yet still, I’m addicted to it. Okay, did anybody see Wes as the dead victim, coming? I didn’t. I was sure it was Nate. My theory is that Frank the big bag of rocks that he is, wired the house with the bomb, in order to hide evidence, but of course ended up killing people. Not sure if he killed Wes though – but it could be over jealousy of Laurel. My assumption is that Annalise being on trial will take up the remainder of the season with the verdict about to be announced as the cliffhanger. Questions:

  1. Will Annalise get over her alcohol addiction while in prison?
  2. Will Annalise grow a heart while in prison?
  3. Is Laurel’s baby Wes’s or Frank’s?
  4. Will we ever find out what is really going on with Bonnie?
  5. What secrets does Michaela’s mother know that she will blackmail her with?
  6. And for that matter, is Wes really dead? I know they showed the dead and burned body but in TV land amazing resuscitations can happen.

So, that’s my roundup on the mid-season finales. What’s your take? What do you think will happen? What favorite shows are you watching and wondering about? Feel free to tell me in the comments.

Ten things the 2016 election cycle has ruined for me

election-2016

I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a political junkie but I try to keep my inner junkie inside most of the time. However, come election time she scratches her way out to join in all the fun. This year was especially something to look forward to because well, it wasn’t going to be the same old same old. Right? And just when I thought I might really enjoy this election cycle, not only did things go off the rails, there are no freaking rails.

And instead of all the fun I looked forward to, the cycle has simply ruined things for me. Following is my list:

The color orange. It’s not that orange was my favorite color but now I can’t look at it without seeing Trump’s orangey pink skin. You’d think that “one of the richest men in the world” could afford a better tanning bed, spray tan and make up artist. He probably should stop purchasing his products in CHYNAH.

Cheetos. And other favorite orange food—dreamsicles, tangerines, papaya, mangoes, orange lifesavers, orange Jell-O – and I can’t even look at raw chicken.

cheetos-crunchy-cheese

The word great. Likewise the words: terrific, fantastic, really, winning, best, hell even the word, word has lost all charm and appeal. And liar, loser and lying have virtually no meaning anymore either.

Election years. I have always enjoyed presidential election years because of the drama, surprises and unpredictable situations you never see coming. This year however, it is nothing but a flat out slug fest between candidates, supporters and media outlets. It’s ugly and keeps getting uglier. Even when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, somebody unearths a new bottom. And it’s about as much fun as root canal without anesthesia.  Although we got a little comic relief when the Libertarians added live stripping to their convention. What’s next? Lap dances by candidates?

The myth that most people have common sense. Seriously, can anybody believe that common sense is a live and well in America when the presumptive candidates are the two most reviled people in the country?

 

Taco salads. This picture: taco salad
Is he going to eat that thing or molest it? Either way, feeling pretty sorry for the salad, no matter its fate.

Hair. Whether it’s the old man comb-over, the grandma shellacked bullet head, or the Muppet style shag, all hairstyles are dead to me now.

candidate hair

Facebook. Social media always has political stuff but generally is easy to scroll right past. And I’ll get in there sometimes and bat things around myself. But this year it is wall to wall and there’s no scrolling past it. That’s all that is in my feed. From erroneous, crazy, gross, vile memes, to trolls swarming, name calling, to non-stop propaganda on every topic under the sun – it’s a jungle out there.

The Internet. I used to love the Internet. Each day when you logged on you never knew what you were gonna get. These days though you can’t swing a dead politician without hitting a story or meme on trump, trumpers, trumperism, trump tweets, trump train, anti-trump, nevertrump, alwaystrump, “what’s trump done this time?,” neverhillary, onlyhillary, who’s hillary?, indict hillary, feeling berns…. Where are those cute cat videos that used to be so popular?

Reality TV. It’s not that I’m a big fan of reality TV but I once found it somewhat amusing. But since reality TV is running for president, the spoofy goofy nature of the medium isn’t quite as funny. And definitely amusing. And I find myself constantly muttering, “Is this a joke?”

What about you? Are you sick of this already? Has this election business ruined stuff for you? Are you looking for good cat videos? Feel free to add to the list or voice your gripes in the comments. The election cycle isn’t even close to over yet folks, and we’ve got a long five months ahead of us – give us strength.

Elizabeth Keen is Alive – For Now

giphy liz keen

Well it appears that my question from my previous post, was answered.

Indeed, Lizzie Keen is alive. Her death was faked with the help of Mr. Kaplan and once again with reiteration of the theme of this show of ‘keeping Lizzie safe.’ I have to say I feel vindicated, at least a little. I just knew Liz wasn’t gone for good. Although, like many of you, I expected her to show up in the Fall season opener, rather than in the finale of this season.

A question of paternity

And naturally, as soon as they answered the ‘Is she really dead?’ question they laid another on us – ‘Is Alexander Kirk really Liz’s father? I, like many Blacklist fans, harbor the belief that Red is Lizzie’s real dad and will probably cling to that belief until the show’s writers prove otherwise. I don’t believe that Kirk is anything other than a red herring brought in to confuse us and Liz. What do you think?

Other cliffhanging questions

Also the show left us hanging as to the fate of Tom Keen and Mr. Kaplan, who was last scene with her face in a not too happy Red’s hands. Would he really dispose of his loyal and reliable cleaner? And what of Tom? Has he finally used up his last of nine lives? I think we’ll be seeing him again. Perhaps Mr. Kaplan will have to fake his death too.

In the meantime, I’ll have to comfort myself with reruns from this season, hunting for hidden clues that eluded me in the first viewing.

What about you? Do you think Mr. Kaplan is toast? What about Tom? Did they kill him or is he just stashed in a Russian prison, catching mice and cockroaches for dinner? Is Alexander Kirk Liz’s father, or is this another head fake from the writers? And will the rescue for Liz occur in the new season opener or are they going to make us work for it?  Feel free to share your opinions and theories in the comments.