Trail of Crumbs

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“Um … you have something on your face.”

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I have some shocking news for you.

SHOCKING.

Are you sitting down? Have you cleared all breakable objects from your immediate proximity? (Because you are going to wail and fling about when you hear what I have to say. Seriously). Also, if you have a beverage, I sincerely suggest that you swallow your current sip before reading my news, unless you wish to do a spit-take all over your monitor.

Okay, all good? Here goes:

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I love the internet.

I suppose that’s not the most revelatory statement I’ve ever made. It’s probably up there with “I like cupcakes” and ” OMG TRAVEL IS NEAT-O.”

But cupcakes existed long before I did, and travel has been around since the day that a caveman went for a long walk and thought, “Grog grunga tok.” Which, in this little vignette I’ve created, roughly translates to: “OMG TRAVEL IS NEAT-O.”

But the internet? It hasn’t been around all that long. I clearly remember a time before it. I won’t call it the Dark Ages, mostly because that phrase is already used to describe the cultural and economic deterioration that supposedly occurred in Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire (source: THE INTERNET!) But things before its existence were indeed less enlightened than they are now.

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Sometimes, I take for granted how much my husband puts up with.

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Indeed, that might be the understatement of the year. If my beloved is reading this, he’s probably done a spit take all over his computer while sputtering, “YOU THINK?”

My poor, maligned love. He puts up with a lot. From me. And during the holidays, from his in-laws, too. Which I argue is his fault.

I mean, I was born into them. I had no choice. He walked right into this situation, mostly sober. THE FOOL.

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If you are just popping into my blog, welcome! I am currently in the midst of trying to recap Irish history from, oh, about the 1600s until modern day. It is making my head spin (seriously. I feel like the kid from The Exorcist, but with worse hair). I understand if you’d like to come back next week, when I talk Milwaukee beers and the Green Bay Packers. If you are inclined to stay (thanks, by the way) I suggest you read my posts about Irish history and how the country came to be and how the Troubles first began.

Political murals in Belfast.

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Can I tell you something about myself? I need to admit it, because I think it’s significant, especially as it pertains to the topic of Irish history.

When I was a teenager, in the mid to late 90s, I was petrified of the IRA.

Looking back, this fear seems kind of irrational. After all – Ireland was a long way off from Seattle. (Incidentally, I also had a huge fear of cholera. Just in general.)

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Stained glass window at Stormont.

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After my tome about Irish history, I’ve managed to avoid serious discussion or mention of Irish politics for two whole weeks (I consider this an achievement of sorts. Instead, I talked about Halloween costumes and candy). But the hour has arrived. It is time to talk about the Troubles.

Please note that all caveats expressed last time hold true for this post. Parts of it will be biased, and parts of it will be inaccurate. I am not a historian. I didn’t even do that well in history class in school. I’m struggling to understand most of this myself.

And with that disclaimer, here we go, once again …

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Sculpture at Castle Leslie, near the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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If my recent posts have seemed more pithy than usual, it is because I am skirting around an issue that I’m not sure I have the blogging chops to tackle, and talking about banal things like cryptic showers and trendy restaurants is far easier.

Hell, writing about how I turned my bathroom into a vomitorium (in one easy step!) is easier than tackling this.

But I really can’t keep avoiding it, since I can’t fully tell you about our visit to Ireland without addressing its history.

That’s right: today’s post will be an incredibly long, dull, and somewhat inaccurate history lesson. I’ll be discussing the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and I might touch on the issue of The Troubles, if my brain isn’t too scrambled.

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Why am I so obsessed with cake? BECAUSE CAKE.

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FAQ pages have always bothered me. They seem kind of lazy. Like, if someone goes through the trouble of sending you an email and asking you a question, the least you could do would be to answer them in kind, right?

That was before I started getting emails.

Holy cats. I can’t actually believe it, but after reading the unhinged and potentially litigious drivel on this site, people want to know more. They ask questions. Some of those questions are asked frequently.

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For once, they don’t charge you for the view.

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I’m a bargain-hunter. I’d like to think of this as one of my better qualities, instead of, as my husband puts it, “an acute kind of madness.” And granted, sometimes I do strange things to avoid spending money. Not unethical things, mind you. I’ve never shoplifted or stolen anything (okay, FINE, there was that one time), but I will go to ridiculous lengths to save a buck.

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