Thursday, April 30, 2009

My "feminist agenda"

I went out to dinner with Sarah the other night. It was a very nice dinner, we had a beer and split a bison burger at the pub. After dinner, her friend Patrick came to join us.  Now, I do not get along with Pat's roommate Davis very well, because of my so-called "feminist agenda." And apparently I do not get along wit Pat for the same reasons.  Pat started in on the fact that I'm single.  He kept telling me I needed to lighten up, stop being so uptight about dating, just go out with someone.  He basically told me to stop being so "feminist" and "girl-up" my actions so that I "fit" what a "man" was looking for. (Did I mention Pat was 22??)  

If you haven't gathered a few things about me from reading/knowing me, I am these things:
1- a woman
2- a woman who believes in gender equality
3- a woman who does not think that she should "dumb herself down" so that a man is not intimidated. 
4- an independent woman

Now, it has taken A LONG TIME and a LOT of heart break, misery, pain and confusion to come to this conclusion:
I can wait on the perfect person.

I have had to learn how to be alone these past few months and, you know what, it's awesome! I can take care of my own needs and not have to worry about anyone else (except Elu).  If I'm not happy about something, I can fix it. I  am the sole person responsible for my happiness.  
I will not change who I am so that I can be liked, or even loved.  I will sit here patiently and wait until I find that person who likes and eventually loves me for who I am not in spite of who I am.  In the mean time I will be the token single girl at all the parties, I will go home alone (to my dog) and I may be a tad grumpy from time to time, but who isn't!?!? 

Now, on to some other points I would like to make on my "feminist agenda"
1- I think it is HORRIBLE to hear men call other men "bitch" or "vagina" when inferring the other man is a wimp. By calling a man a vagina as an insult, they are implying that women are lesser, weaker, worthy of insult.  I will call a man on this EVERY TIME!
2- Men are not "in charge" of "their women." In fact I do not like the idea that when dating someone, you become "their woman." Women are NOT PROPERTY. 
3- When men say they are intimidated by certain women (like myself) it is either a- a bull shit excuse for not making a move or b- a red flag saying that he wants someone he can control and would rather not have to deal with the challenge of "taming the shrew"

Okay, I'll get off my soap box now.  I just wanted to share some things that have been grating at my nerves. I feel better now, thanks for listening!!! 

By the way: says


1.the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2.(sometimes initial capital letteran organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
3.feminine character.

Doesn't sound like a bad thing to me, does it to you?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

For your viewing pleasure...

All of these prints are available for purchase through Larry's Website.  
And if you're interested in a teaching safari with Larry, he does them about every other year and you can read more about his safaris here. He does both South American and African Image Expeditions.  contact him at Tell him I sent you.  

Now without further ado... some of Larry's amazing artwork.

This is the painting my grandfather commissioned.  It was too large to hang in any home Choo-Choo owned, so he donated it to the Annistion Museum of Natural history (link can be found in previous post). 

"Steel and Velvet Leopard"

"Savannah Royalty"

"Center of the Circle" 


Now, obviously I am not a painter, and as far as I know none of my cousins are either- so this is a photography trip.  We will be learning composition so maybe at least my photos will be on par with Larry's amazing artwork.

In other news, it's 60 degrees and SUNNY here in Jackson! I could not be happier!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I've been asked for further explination...

I guess I haven't really told ya'll about my trip to Africa.  I mentioned it in passing in a previous blog, but I haven't really explained the whole story.  

I'll start about a year ago...
Daddy was invited on a Father-Son fishing trip to Mexico... Since Daddy doesn't have any sons (and was not granted an exception), he took my step-brother Mark.  I'm not the biggest fisher-woman, so I didn't really care... but the feminist-girls-can-hang-with-the-boys kinda girl I am, I was pissed! I threw a little mini fit because I felt that the "boys club" -that half my cousins got to belong to and the other half of us don't - is a totally bogus.  So mini-fit happens, passes and I get on with my life.  Fast forward two months later.  ring ring it's my sister.  She's at my grandparent's house.  "Fay Baby wants to know," Kelly says in this totally giddy voice, "if you would like to join Lesley and Kitty and possibly Laura and Mary and I on a photography safari to Africa?" 

REALLY?!?!?! I'm totally taking an all-expense paid trip to KENYA.  MY (sorry Mom) FUCKING DREAM TRIP!!!!!  as long as I can remember I've wanted to travel to Africa.  Probably because my dad went when I was in 3rd grade or so and I remember seeing all his pictures and thinking they were the greatest things I had ever seen.  All my friends wanted to go to Europe and Australia- ya know? Fancy places- I have always wanted to go to Africa. 

"Well, I think I can maybe get off work, hell I'll even quit if I have to." 

Now keep in mind, I recently threw a mini-fit over my male counterparts going to Mexico.  MEXICO-AFRICA... (imagine me with my palms in the air like a scale...) mmmmmm.... Glad I'm a girl at this point!!!! 

So.  In 17 days I will be embarking on the trip of a life time.  I fly from Salt Lake City to New York, where I will meet up with my older cousin Laura.  From New York, we fly to Amsterdam where will meet up with the other four Ireland gals and Uncle John (I will take just a quick second to publicly announce my disappointment that Daddy (the only one sans sons) doesn't get to go on this trip.  From Amsterdam we all fly to Nairobi, Kenya.  From there I have 10 pages worth of an itinerary that I will not subject you with now. I assure you, you will get the play-by-play with tons of pictures when I return from the trip.  I will be keeping a travel journal (the old-fashioned-composition-notebook kind) so that I don't forget any details of my 14 day trip.  

We are going with my grandfather's friend and artist, Larry Martin.  I had the pleasure of meeting Larry a few years back with Daddy.  We went and saw a painting Choo-Choo (my grandfather... remind me to tell you the story why I called him that later) had commissioned at the Anniston Museum of Natural History.  He's a very cool fella.  I remember talking about his trips to Kenya and buying one of his prints (the one at the top of this page).  He signed it.  I thought it was pretty rad.  Now I'm going with him to the very spot he painted that picture. 

Needless to say, I'm STOKED!!!!!!

Now, to address the bitter-sweetness of the trip... 
The Man that made this entire trip possible wanted so badly to accompany his granddaughters on this trip of a life time.  He will, instead, be watching over us on our experience from Above.  Thank you Choo-Choo for being the most unselfish, loving, caring, positive, gracious and amazing man I've ever known.  I miss you immensely.  

So there ya have it.  KENYA!!! I'll for sure report back upon my return!! 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hey Guys!!!

I have had some serious blogger's block! I have several unposted "drafts" on my posting list.  All existential l crap.  I've been "woe is me," and "what am I doing with my life?" and stuff.  The Blogs may or may not get posted... we'll see if I can muddle through the stream of consciousness mumbo jumbo and make something meaningful and interesting.  

ANY WHO!  Here's some goings on...

I got my hair cut.  I have been thinking about it for a while now and FINALLY decided that identity crisis number one is SOLVED... for now. 

Just for shits and giggles, let's explore a couple of years of Hair Do's.
 there's the long and straight circa December 2005

there's the really long and straight December 2008

the brief "hippie" stint of last summer/fall....

then back to the long and straight.... 

:::I would like to comment on the fact 3 out of 4 pictures I am drinking- I do not really drink that much it just so happens that the only time I am ever on the receiving end of a picture is when my friends are drunk. The rest are all self portraits; most are less than flattering.  I only post pictures of myself where I look good.  I am vain like that. I do not want the public to see me with four to eight chins... which happens. so. in conclusion, don't judge me. Thank you::::

AND, now ladies and gentlemen, without further ado....  I give you the new and improved Patricia Ann Ireland. 

It's funny how I move to the biggest bum town in the country (where, by the way, women apparently find it acceptable to go the the bar in sweatpants) and discover that I am, in fact, a girly girl. 

GASP!!!!!!!!!! I totally hear ya.  I NEVER thought it would happen either. Part of me is ashamed that I have become the girl I used to make fun of. BUT, I have discovered, that I am a lot happier when I look pretty.  It's not a vanity thing (well maybe a little), but when I get all dressed up and made up, I feel better. I'm sure there is a psychology on it somewhere, I'll look it up for you later. Regardless.  I am a bona-fide girly girl. And I'm totally fine with it. I am still me, and I will still get dirty and play in the woods, climb rocks and throw snowballs at people.   However I am making a point when I am not in the woods to look nice. It makes every experience more fun.  I am even putting makeup on before the 6am shifts. Woa!

In other news, my favorite little husky pup is doing well.  She's been running alongside Mommy taking bike rides almost every day.  She has played ball in the park.  We have been on Puppy Rides to see Aunt Lola.  Elu loves Jackson very much, and really doesn't want to leave. She has made neighborhood friends, even snuck out in the middle of the night to be a rebellious teenager with the 'hood.  She's brought friends home. Here's a picture of my little pre-teen in what is likely to be the last year I can dress her like a little girl for Easter.... 

Elu says I love you and I hope you had a Happy Easter!!! 

Well, more to come later... I'll let you absorb these things for a day or two.  Smooches!! 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Climbing Season hurry up!!!

Out here there's a running joke that we have all four seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter and Summer. 
Well we are in Still Winter- but at least we are having a break from the snow! In fact, the forecast calls for 55 degrees today! It's 11:30 and about 30, so we'll see if it actually gets that warm or not.  It's a different world living out here, weather wise, that's for sure. 

I ran into an old friend I worked with at Jack Dennis (the outdoor shop) at the grocery store yesterday, we've decided it is time to get in shape for climbing! I know all my friends back home are about to start winding down from climbing season as it's getting too warm there, but as soon as the ice melts, it's ON!  I went on a run today (a little run) and then worked out my arms and core with free weights in the privacy of my living room.  Tomorrow I'll be out of commission, as I am getting shots for the Africa trip. But I have the day off Thursday and I think I'll hit the gym for a couple of hours then TC and I are going to do some gym climbing Friday before I have to go to work.  I'm ready to have my climbing body back.  Never mind the fact that I love climbing.  But (to be a tad narcissistic) when I think back on how my arms and back looked... sigh... I'll get there again!! 

So when I think of spring cleaning, it's going to be cleaning up my act.  I've been a little too lazy all winter long and a little grumpy (understatement) so it's time to get up, get out, get climbing again, get in SHAPE! and get happy!! 

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Few of my favorite things...

I have NOT been watching Sound of Music, QUITE the opposite in fact. Quite the opposite.  

I have become a big fan of this new television show, it's pretty much consuming my life at home.  I'm not changing my life to watch this show, rather I have it on DVD and watch hours and hours when I have nothing to do, like today.  This blog is not about that TV show...

It is, however about an interesting new direction my life has taken. Like, within the last ten minutes.

I have been researching....


Okay, branching out into a new music world is not an easy adventure.  Especially at my age.  I'm pretty set in my ways, musically.  But I'm so bored with it.  I was looking through my iTunes library and discovered that I have very few female artists.  SHAME ON ME!!! 

So, I'm on a mission to find women who rock! And rock hard! I'm not interested in singer songwriter whiny chick artists and I'm not looking for a mediocre singer with a spectacular ass.... I'm looking for hard core women with real musical talent.  

On my search I have enlisted the help of several of my electronic and virtual friends. aka "a few of my favorite things" 

1-my iPhone
 I haven't even discussed the fact that I got an iPhone, because I didn't want to be braggy and turn this blog into techy bore.  However, I must state that my iPhone is pretty much super rad.  She keeps up with everything for me, and allows me to listen to my second favorite thing in the car....

If you have not started an account, stop reading immediately, and start one.  It is a personalized radio.  You can have multiple stations.  When creating a new station, you simply type in a favorite song or artist.  Pandora then takes that artist and other artists similar and mixes your station.  Along the way if you do not like a song, or don't think it fits with the station you're trying to create, you can "thumbs down" a particular song.  Pandora exposes you to new artists, or old artists you've forgotten about all while giving you the freedom to say "nah, not that direction.." While listening to the radio, you can flag music you like and would like to download, which leads me to...

3- iTunes on  my iPhone (and at home on the laptop)
when I pick out a song I like on Pandora, I simply select that I want to purchase it and I am directed to iTunes with the "buy" button right there. or if I want to listen to it just one time in the car...

4- YouTube App on the iPhone
I can just pull up the music video on YouTube and listen to a particular song whenever I feel like it. However, if I'm going to to listen the same song more than twice, I just just purchase it

sigh... it's going to be a long process.  I'll have to listen to a lot of music.  I'm also taking suggestions. Who's your favorite female rocker? 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I have just fallen in love! With Jackson, that is.  I mean, I was always in love with this town, but now I'm totally enamored. 

Today, was Gaper Fool's Day.  A Gaper is essentially a tourist, it's a rather condescending term (actually I am kinda a gaper because I'm a beginner too... but in order to be a true gaper you have to be on vacation).  So, Gaper Day is a (non-sanctioned) event at the Village.  Everyone skiis and snowboards dressed up like a gaper in brightly colored goofy outfits, or jeans, or sumo wrestler costumes, etc.  I saw a lot of onesies and high pony tails with ear-bands.  In laymen's terms: it's make fun of the tourists day.  

I had to work until 2, so I just threw on my snow pants and grabbed my dog and headed out to the village to meet up with my friends who were just finishing up their last run.  There were a ton of people at the bottom of the hill, just drinking, hanging out, listening to live music, playing with their dogs, socializing, and wearing ridiculous costumes.  Now, if you will refer to one of my other posts, (Fat Tire's Tour De Fat), you will recall that I really like events where people get silly and have a good time.  This was no exception.  

The area in question is at the base of the mountain.  The Tram tower is the center of excitement with people gathered to toss snowballs at the tram car as it pulls out of the station.  People hoot and holler at the people riding to the top of the mountain, dressed a fool.  
Those that were done skiing for the day simply drank and acted a fool. 

I indulged in two of the finest PBR's while chatting with friends and smiling at cute boys and enjoying the sunshine.  

And Elu had a pretty good time chasing other dog's tennis balls, running wide open with 15 other dogs and sniffing dogs/people/beer cans.

And we wrapped it all up with a nice home cooked meal with a few friends...

Today is pretty much my favorite day
Perfect Cure for Cabin Fever. 

Happy Gaper Day/April Fools
Happy Spring and Sunshine to you ALL!!!!