Archive for April, 2011

Reason 1 : I tucked Manson into his little doggy bed and placed him on The Husband’s desk next to his lap-top. I was very specific with the instructions, “keep an eye on him, he’s partially blind and you know how he likes to wander and I don’t want him bustin a hip falling off the desk”. The Husband shots me a Shinks, I know how to watch a dog, look, so I shot him the if he gets hurt, you get hurt, look and headed off to the gym to do some lifting.

Not 15 minutes later I see The Husband wander into the gym, phone stuck to his ear, doing his usual talking and walking in circles, like an ant who’d been dropped into the back of a TV and couldn’t find his way out. I stopped what I was doing and made a beeline for his office. As I passed The Husband I flashed him a face, a face complete with pursed lips and frown. I know you didn’t leave Manson alone and unsupervised on your desk, I thought, but he was deaf to my telepathy and just kept chatting and circling. I walked into his office and there was Manson, alone and on top of the desk. The Husband follows a few minutes later, “see, this is why we don’t have kids”, I say,  ”the phone rings and you forget everything. He could have died”.

Reason 2: A wood pile of some recently cleared trees and a Husband with a plan to handle said wood pile with a can of gasoline and a lighter. A wife who had no idea until she hears the distinct backdraft of combusting flames and a husband yelling out in shock and pain. Racing to the scene its discovered that The Husband had singed the hair on the right side of his face, his right arm and calf, but luckily nothing more serious, “see, this is why we don’t have kids, I say, “what if they ended up as smart as you??“.

Even Fintan investigates the smoldering pile and wonders what the hell he was thinking?

Sometimes in life, things do not go as planned. “Sh*t happens” as the old saying goes. But its how we handle ourselves in the face of flying sh*t that determines whether or not we come out the other side stronger and smarter with minimum poop damage, or do we get absolutely covered in the stuff? Its my personal belief that I’m the type of person who absolutely must get covered in the stuff if I’m to learn any type of lesson. “Why must you do everything the hard way?” my parents use to say, and the truth is, I don’t know. But if I had to guess, I would say its cos my genetic make-up is 50% my mother, who for those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting, has the energy of a teenager, is completely unpredictable and would be the very person to cannonball into a pool before checking to see if it was filled with water. Life with my mother is anything but boring, just ask my Dad and he will tell you without hesitation how he use to have a full head of hair.

But back to the poopy matter at hand.  2 weeks ago I was shooting a wedding with my good friend Tessa and everything about the day was great. The couple, the weather, the location, all of it. It was perfect and we were capturing some amazing photos. Nighttime arrives and with all the formalities of the day complete, everyone was free to let their hair down and really get the party started. This is preciously the moment my flash decided that it didn’t feel like working that night. No warning, nothing, it just stopped. Disaster. And in the face of such a disaster, here are a couple of things you should NOT do:

- Do not allow your mind to become panicked and irrational, otherwise you may start swearing at your flash, shaking your flash or threatening to launch if from the top of the highest surrounding mountain, all while working to retain the exterior of women who is smiling, happy and in absolute control.

- Do not make a frantic call to your husband asking him to figure out how to get a replacement flash to you, even though its almost 10pm on a Saturday night and oh yeah, he’s in Jamaica.

Its definitely more constructive if you take a deep breath, calm your inner panic and clear your head so you can:

- Use the opportunity to challenge yourself. To think outside the box and get creative.

- Stalk the videographer. Make him/her your new BFF. His video camera more than likely has a spotlight which he will periodically turn on and off to capture all of the dance floor action.

- Candle light is much more romantic than flash anyway.

So if we’ve learned anything from this almost disastrous experience, its that sh*t absolutely does happen, but if handled in a calm, rational and creative manner, it has the potential to be remolded into something much more special, something you would not have discovered had it not shown up in the first place.

My good friend Laura called, she was confused, she had a question that needed some answers. Laura and I have not been friends for long, we just met last summer but everything about or personalities seemed to mesh. She only really knows me as a photographer, so you can imagine her confusion when late the other night, as she’s reading an article in this months “Runner’s World” my name pops up. “That’s weird” she thought. “Another girl out there with the same name as my friend”. She reads on, the article then mentions the fact that I live in Atlanta. “Hmmm, weird again. Same name as my friend and lives in the same city”. Again she reads on and comes to the part where they talk about the fact that I’m from Ireland. “Ok wait, same name, lives in the same city and is Irish? What is going on here?” The next morning Laura calls and even though she’s 100% sure, she’s still not 100% sure, so she asks me ever so cautiously if I use to be a professional athlete. I tell her “Yes” and she begins to scream with excitement. She is s huge track fan, has been since she was an athlete herself back in college and high school. She doesn’t run much anymore, but she is still obsessed, still gets all the magazines and watches all the championships on TV. But now I’m confused, I have no idea how she found out. “Runner’s World” she tells me, “there’s an article about pace-making and your name is all over it.” I had completely forgotten. Back in January, right before I paced the women’s 1500m at Millrose Games, I’d done an interview with Jack McCallum on a feature he was writing for the magazine about pace-making. But somehow, the whole thing slipped my mind. Until yesterday. Seconds after I hung up the phone with Laura, I was in the car breaking speed limits and running amber lights in my efforts to get to the book store and check out my name and everything I had to say about all things pace-making. I know it’s really sad and its not like during my 10 year career as a professional athlete I didn’t do my fair share of interviews for both magazines and newspapers, I did, but they were all mostly Irish, this was my first appearance in a US magazine, ironically as a retired professional, but let’s not focus on the minor details. Unfortunately there are no photos of me to go along with the article, plenty of Matt Scherer who was rabbiting the men’s mile, but none of me, rude! Its a pretty good article and an education for those who are not really sure about the whole world of rabbits/pace-makers. So check it out if your curious.

P.S Mam and Dad, I know the pride your feeling towards your little rabbiting daughter is more than likely bringing a tiny tear to your eye right about now, but don’t worry, I bought 4 extra copies 1 extra copy to send to you both. I may even sign it, you know, it bein Daddy’s birthday and all this month.

Down Time

April 11, 2011

Down-time is not our strong point, it confuses things and throws off the dynamic we have established as a couple who each run their own businesses among other things. In the eye of the storm that is our day to day life, one or both of us is always busy, or traveling, or has their face stuck in a computer, or a phone stuck to their ear. From the outside looking in, it can appear a little crazy, but the funny thing is, we make it work. Its not easy, but we work hard to make it work. Or is it that I nag hard, he relents and thats how we make it work? I guess it depends on who you ask, but I’m gonna go with the “We” idea, its a little more fairytale’ish and a lot less reality.

This weekend however, we both found ourselves with a couple of days down-time on our hands. Both of us, at the same time, how crazy is that? Pretty crazy if you ask me, and we took full advantage by going buck wild all weekend long doing “normal” stuff like sitting together and not talking business. Reading, books and magazines instead of e-mails. Enjoying the fact that the hot weather has finally kicked in by taking The Husband’s motorbike to lunch both days and busting out the shorts in an effort to put a sun kissed glow on my pasty Irish legs. I would also recommend that I bust out the razor to help take care of some Fall/Winter neglect that may or may not have been happening to said legs. And of course there was the nap during The Masters (McIlroy, McIlroy, seriously, from one professional to another, I feel for ya dude) and finally there was the ever important choice of movie to fall asleep to in the evening. Yes, apparently in our moments of down-time, we are the equivalent to a couple in their 90’s. But I can’t say we didn’t enjoy it, we did, so much so that today I’m struggling to get my head back in the game of life. I have a feeling its going to be a very long week.

I’m sad Polaroid don’t make Polaroid’s anymore. There was nothing more fun than snapping photos, having them dispense straight out of the camera, then shaking them around waiting for the image to  finally revealed itself. Total instant gratification. Thankfully, Fuji have come up with their own version of all things instamatic, so we had a little fun with that early Sunday morning.


April 8, 2011

There are on occasion, times when I feel like I have nothing to share, like nothing. Today happens to be one of those days. My brain is completely fried and so sharing the fact that I have nothing to share, is about as creative as it gets for me today. So being that I am faced with a huge lack of inspiration, I decided to just throw out a few random pieces of information which might be of use to absolutely no-one.

1. Travelocity keeps resending me their “Roaming Gnome” e-mail newsletter thing. Stop it Travelocity, cos every time my phone beeps, my excitement peaks in anticipation of a message filled with love and fun from friends or family. Your toying with my emotions and honestly, the joke stopped being funny somewhere around the 5th send.

2. I need to dye my hair, f’real. The root situation going on right now is making me feel like 1 of 2 trailer-park girls going round the outside, round the outside (any Eminem fans out there??) so in an effort to practice being a little more frugal, am wondering if I go ahead and dye it myself or do I pay the big bucks to have the professionals do it right??

3. The Masters are on this weekend in Augusta, GA and I am super excited. Not cos I’m some sort of golf fanatic, but because of the golden opportunity it provides for a good nap. Something about the slow pace and soothing, civilized tone of the commentators. Oh yeah, and right now its looking like victory could go to an Irishman. Ooolá olá olá olá (you have to be Irish to get this).

4. Our change jar. The Husband and I have decided to go big or go home. No more pesky little whiskey bottles for us. No ma’am. Our dreams are bigger than that, big enough to justify upgrading to a 5 gallon water cooler thing.