Thursday, September 30, 2004

take me away from the ball games....

After football, my favourite spectator sport is baseball. It's pretty much the only All-American thing I actually heartily endorse!!!! And after Tottenham Hotspur, my favourite sporting club is the Oakland Athletics. Going into the final 3 games of the regular season, the Athletics (or A's) are tied for first place with the Anaheim Angels, and those final three games happen to be between the two teams in question. It just quite simply don't get better than that. I have paid up fully for the MLB.TV service and thus could watch all 3 games live on broadband internet. Instead I will be in Galway (hopefully) celebrating with my fianceƩ. Hmm....where would I rather be....(the Galway thing, in case you're wondering! But GO A'S anyway!!!!) By the way, my ex-wife no longer has a meeting (calling into question its ever having existed) so we can now hit the road early.

going the extra mile

Ok, maybe it wasn't quite a mile, but the fact is I feel very good about myself that I was able to run about twice as far this morning for my jog. It dawned on me as I set off that if I got up at 6am tomorrow morning as has been my wont over the past few weeks, it may leave me unnecessarily knackered in the evening once we made it to Galway, which would not look good considering it is meant to be a romantic weekend!!!! So in mid stride I decided to adopt a new route, which instead of taking me to the tree stump outside the Radisson hotel and back, I continued up the hill to the Stillorgan dual-carriageway then back down via the short cut at the top of Booterstown Avenue. Sure enough when on the SDC I experience a Paula Radcliffe style burn-out and has to walk for a little bit, but the adrenaline soon kicked in and I was able to finish the run spurred on by the feel-good factor. Throughout all this running my weight, which I measure every morning after I get up, has held steady at about 116kg, about 18st3, something I really have to get down. I am primarily concerned with my waistline, however, as my weight may be up because I have broad shoulders on account of my weight training. BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME AND MY VANITY FOR NOW.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Sandra and myself the last time we went to Galway.

oh god it's friday!!!!

This could only happen to me. I thought I had it all set up. Sandra's birthday was back on September 1st, but as her present I paid for a weekend in Galway, on which we will be setting off this coming Friday. We have been to Galway a few times before and it is our favourite Irish destination. So for the past couple of weeks I have been bugging Sandra to ask for a half day this Friday so we could set off early. Finally on Monday she asked and sure enough she has been let off at 12:30 on Firday. great. All set!!! Off we go!!!! She has me all to herself for a few days, no work, no kids, no grandparents, great stuff, all sorted. OR SO I THOUGHT. For reasons only known to the inner reaches of my brain, I didn't factor in the fact that this year I am now expected to collect the kids from school on Friday afternoons. I have even done it for the past few weeks, but never copped on that the same arrangement would be expected this week. It only dawned on me last night, so in a panic at 10:30pm I had to text my ex-wife Ruth to ask, beg, PLEAD that either she or her mother could collect the kids and let me head west at lunchtime as planned. Too late. Ruth has a meeting at 2 and can only make it home around 3:30, and her mum is away to Mallorca this week of ALL weeks. So today I had to meet sandra for lunch and tell her that because of the kids we won;t be leaving as planned. Negative brownie points!!!! The only silver lining in this dark cloud is the fact that I now have the engagement ring wich she herself picked out a while ago, and this fiasco has only served to answer my questions about what stage of the weekend would be best to present it to her. AS SOON AS FUCKING POSSIBLE!!!!! Wish me luck.............
Made the difficult phone call to my grandparent's lawyer this morning, but she was very helpful. Turns out my grandfather didn't have a will after all, which is very strange indeed. Anyway, Mrs O'Boyle will come here to the house to discuss matters with my grandmother, which is good because I do NOT want to be involved in the discussions at all. She will also help me out with the next stage of my divorce proceedings.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

i'll give her a ring at the weekend

I'm picking up the engagement ring tomorrow, and I plan to give it to Sandra when we are on holiday in Galway this weekend. I let her pick it, but told her I couldn't afford it until after Christmas, so hopefully she will be surprised on Friday evening! And pleasantly so! I hope she realises that I don't want the wedding to take place before summer 2006. We can discuss that during the course of the weekend. I think this is the right decision for me. Many would say "For God's sake man you will be a bachelor get out there and sow yer oats", but considering how well we get along, plus the stability in my life the relationship brings for the kids, I am sure I am doing the right thing.

Speaking of relationships, I have to take the next step in my divorce proceedings today by contacting my grandparent's solicitor with a view to having my papers notarized. I also have to enquire about the situation after my grandfather's death. Not a phone call I am looking forward to! I can't wait until the divorce is finally through, though.

Monday, September 27, 2004

rugger bugger

The weekend was eventful in that I got drunk Fri and Sat nights. Friday I met Sandra and some of her work crowd at a new place called "Karma" near Christchurch Cathedral. We got drunk very quickly and went back to her place before midnight. Saturday we did our own thing, with me meeting Ado Conway and his Mayo boyos in Tramco while she went to Cafe En Seine with the girls.
I was surprised to see rugby star Brian O'Driscoll in Tramco. Not that he's not entitled to a night out, I just would not have put him there especially when it was awash with culchies!!!I pointed him out to one of the Mayo lads and before I knew it the chap was bending BOD's ear about something or other!!! SCARLEH!!!! He stood there listening to him rant for a while, but did not look impressed. For my part, I had a laugh and a skinful of vodka and went home alone. Sunday was spent in Sandra's mum's recuperating.

Brought my grandmother to the "month's mind" mass for my grandfather, who naturally passed away exactly one month ago today. It was a brief mass given in The Royal Hospital, Donnybrook and was in front a congregation mainly consisting of elderly patients, many of whom snoozed through the whole thing. If anything it was a worthwhile exercise in that it got her out of the house for a while.

Sandra begins her "animal grooming" course tonight. I am going with her to the college so she gets used to getting there by DART as I am familiar with Killester. Since I have been doing writing and computer courses, it has inspired her to do something she enjoys. I think she would be great running her own animal grooming business. I hope the course goes well for her.

Friday, September 24, 2004

logging my jogging by blogging

15 days out of the last 18, I have gotten up at 6am, and gone for a short run. Big deal, I hear you say. Well I feel good about it. For the past two years I have been what amount to a lazy bollix and my decision to start jogging at an early hour is the first part of my plan to re-tune my biological clock to that of the regular 9-5 working public. I also was inspired by pictures of myself on our recent trip to the USA which finally revealed to me that I am grossly over weight and need to do something about it. The reason I need to watch my weight is very simple - my girlfriend Sandra looks hot and won't want to stay with a big fat fart!!!! As long as I look relatively good my baggage of two kids and ex wife and an elderly grandmother won't become too much of a factor!!! Besides that though I am proud of the 15 out of 18 figure in that I have tried several times over the past couple of years to adopt new regimes, all of which have fallen by the wayside. With this jogging one, it's a case of so far, so good, and long may it continue.
The kids (or "brats" as I affectionately call them) stayed with me last night, and now it's time to make them breakfast and get them ready for school.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

quiet morning

I got up at 6am, went for my short run, at which I am getting better [bloody well should I've been doing it 3 weeks now!!!]. Since then, however, I haven't achieved much. I finally put together my "daily memo" which is my challenge to myself in the form of a list of chores which if completed will make me feel like I have had a productive day. I am meeting Sandra for luch at 1, then from there I go to collect the kids from school as is usual for Thursdays and bring them back here.

This new blog thing has given me the idea for a writing project which I will start soon. I want to bring the blog up to speed on my life to date, and will do so by way of a series of passages which I will entitle "1000 Words On...". Already I have planned to write 1000 words on my grandparents, my mother, my marriage, and Sandra. As I complete each passage and am happy I will publish it. For the earlier stuff I will try to use excerpts from the diary I used to keep, which ranged from ages 13 to about 25.

Time to start doing things on my list!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

two week wait

The doctor's appointment went ok, though I have 2 weeks to wait for the results of blood tests. I also made an appointment yesterday to finally getting these lumps that are all over me checked out. I won't lie, I'm really very worried about them and what they may be. I've had them since I was young, but they have spread in the last ten years. I don't see the dermatologist until November, so I suppose results of any tests won't come through until the New Year.


Today is supposed to be "International Car Free Day". Although I don't have a "proper" job, I had to see the doctor, and go to the shopping centre to pay more off the engagement ring and to get a few things I forgot to get yesterday. I left the car at home and walked everywhere, and was faced by a scene of pure irony on the way to the doctor's at around 9am as I walked up Cross Avenue in the rain with car after car after car headed in the other direction. The car-free idea was to show people they don't have to be slaves to their cars, and it was I felt an honourable sentiment. Maybe I would have felt differently if I was actually in the rat race, but I couldn't help but despair at people's lack of regard for something that has been touted in the press for weeks now. And what's more, I feel like a fool for having actually tried to adhere to it. Who is it that needs the life here?


Should you be mad enough read this blog regularly you will notice I like to rant the odd time. Isn't that what blogs are for? For the past few years I have tried to discover where I stand on most issues, and I guess you can say I'm slightly left of centre. My dislike for the far left and the opportunistic actions of large unions is only outweighed by the pig-headed ignorance of the right. The only thing I can respect conservatives for is their decisiveness, though I disagree with most of what they decide! So it goes without saying I hope John Kerry can defeat George W Bush in the Presidential election in November!

I would also hope the opposition parties here in Ireland can get together and put forward a viable alternative to the Construction-industry backed Fianna Fail government which seems to have been in power for ever. When I first heard Enda Kenny speak I thought he came across as a promising statesman, even though he went on to lose to Michael Noonan, who went on the lead Fine Gael to its worst election result of all time. Now he is leader and has spent the last couple of years in the shadows quietly re-organizing theparty from within. I wait with quiet optimism to see how he, The Labour Party and The Green Party can work together and challenge this government, which has gotten away with murder for years without so much as being challenged.

An example of the murder? The Minister for the Environment spending €50million on machines to count the election results, then not using them, thus wasting the money. Everybody knew about it, it was all over the papers. He did not so much as even offer to resign, nor did anyone really push him to do so. Eventually, public attention turned elsewhere.

Another example? On Saturday February 4, 2004 in the afternoon, a bus came up onto the pavement downtown and killed about 5 people. The Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahearn was nearby at a function at the time, came over to the scene, had a look, and took off. I feel he should have said to the people there "I will make sure we find out what exactly happened and we will have an answer by Monday" He then should have gotten his people to ensure they worked morning noon and night to have an explanation for the incident. Instead a "report" was due for May and then Dublin Bus said on their website that the "publication of the report of the investigation into the cause of the Wellington Quay tragedy on the 21st February 2004 be deferred until his office has concluded its deliberations. We consider that we must accede to that request, and accordingly the report will not become available until a later date." I read this to mean that the people accountable need time to cover their tracks. People died due to an accident. Their families deserve an explanation. They will most likely sit down to the Christmas dinners without their loved ones and still waiting.

Rant over (for now)

I love football, most of all because it's the world's game. It's also a soap opera for men! When we watch a match, it's not just to see who wins, but also to explore all the sub-plots. How will the new signing play? Will the manager be sacked if they lose? Will the referee react to the crowd if challenged on a penalty decision?
When we moved to Ireland in 1977 I knew nothing about football, besides I was only 8. I didn't know the difference between the different divisions - in those days what is now known as The Premiership was simply called "Division 1". Tottenham Hotspur were in Division 2 at the time, but actually made the news one weekend when they won a game 9-0, with a player called Colin LEE scoring 4 goals. I was drawn to this news, and adopted Spurs from that day as my favourite team. And as any true supporter will tell you, once you choose you can't go back. The were promoted to the top division that year and have thankfully been there ever since. There has been a bit of success, with FA Cup wins in '81, '82 and '91, a UEFA Cup win in '84, and a League Cup in '99.
The League has been a different story, though, as we have never really challenged. A new regime this year, however, shows promise, with Frank Arnesen as Director of Football (He is best known as they guy who discovered Ronaldo) and Jacques Santini (who has won French Championships with Lyon) taking over as coach. In our five premiership games to date, we have only conceded 2 goals, an amazing record for us. Long may it continue!
Tonight we have a banana-skin cup match at Oldham, two divisions below us. It's live on Sky so you can be sure I will be watching.

gotta start somewhere....

Well, here it is, my first post on my first blog. My news and views are about to be cast out into the vast murky waters of the internet! I'm not doing much tonight, just watching a football match on Sky between Yeovil and Bolton, and I have a fiver each way on Yeovil which should keep my interest going. I have a doctor's appointment in the morning, where he will be checking my cholesterol levels as I finally decide to do something about my weight.
I just did a spell check on that first paragraph and was very surprised not to see the word "blog" in a blog's dictionary!!!! It suggested I use "bloc" instead!!!!


My name is Jeff Lee and I was born in Walnut Creek, California, USA on March 21, 1969. I am an only child who was brought up by my grandparents. We emigrated to Dublin, Ireland in 1977 and I have pretty much lived here ever since. My grandfather passed away in his sleep less than a month ago, and at the moment I am pretty much full-time looking after my grandmother who is 95, but in pretty good physical and excellent mental shape.
I am separated from my first wife Ruth, but had two wonderful children with her, RA and CJ [I will try and hide their names for security reasons....RA is a 9 yr old girl, CJ a 7 yr old boy]. We are in the midst of divorce proceedings which take a long time here in Ireland; I suppose I should be glad they can happen at all considering the country's predominantly Catholic legal ethos!
I consider myself extremely lucky to have since met Sandra, a tall beautiful 30 year old who has agreed to be my fiancee with a view to us possibly getting married in 2006, once our career futures are somewhat certain. At the moment I am a full-time carer for an elderly lady as well as an aspiring writer, while she pulls her hair out on a daily basis dealing with patient's appointments at a hospital downtown.

For the first few weeks of this blog I will attempt to go over my life to date, then obviously I will tend to editorialize more. This will give me a good chance to keep my writing skills sharp, by only worry is that I may lack the discipline to post regularly, I suppose only time will tell. Ok, now time to kick back and watch the match.