Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows from the inside out


Timoleague Abbey ruins was a study in windows. The windows are what first caught my eye when we stopped there. I’ve picked some of my favorites for this photo challenge, all looking from the inside out.

A long look through the ruined abbey to the triple lancet window.

Lancet window, Timoleauge Abbey (© Huffygirl 2011)

 Self-made window – looking from the inside out through a hole in the ruins.

Self-made window ( © Huffygirl 2011)

 Another look from the inside out – looking out onto Argideen estuary.

© Huffygirl 2011

© Huffygirl 2011

Straw vote


Straws, the opiate of the thirsty! © Huffygirl

I didn’t notice it at first. I’d go into a restaurant, order water, and the server comes back with a glass and a straw. At first I thought it was just a “bar” thing – servers are always carrying around a pocketful of straws and have plenty to give away. But then I noticed it was happening everywhere – not just bars but even nicer casual restaurants. When did we become a nation of people incapable of placing our lips against the edge of a glass and sipping?

Obviously there are some groups who NEED straws – children with kiddie cups, people slurping their gallon of soda from a travel cup, the elderly and debilitated, and hospital patients. I remember as a kid when straws were special – not everyday items. It was a treat to go someplace where your drink was served with a straw. My sister and I would blow off the wrapper, make slurpy noises – straws were fun. Sometimes we’d even bring the straw home and pop it in our drinks the next day, until we got all the mileage we could from it. 

But now I’m an adult, and except for in the very nicest restaurants, am given a straw for water, juice or soda, even though I’m perfectly capable of lifting a glass to my lips. Oddly enough, beer, the one drink that imbibers might wish did come with a straw, never does. 

So, what’s with the straws? My theory is that restaurants hope it will increase consumption. But hey, many restaurants give free refills on soda anyway, so why would they care if we slurp our drinks down quickly with a straw or not? After all, if you drink it all and you want more, you’ll get it without increasing the restaurant’s revenue. My guess – it has more to do about eating than drinking. People who are happily and quickly slurping down soda through a fun beverage accessory are probably accompanying this activity with more food – and that’s where the money is.

To this I say – Americans, don’t be sucked in. Stand up for yourselves and drink from a glass like a grownup. Use your muscles to lift that gallon glass (cmon, you can do it) to your lips, and sip like a man (or woman). No more lazy, slurpy, soda-sucking, food-guzzling  Americans. Vote with your lips. Save yourself. Boycott straws now!

Wine? Sure, I’ll have the child’s portion*.


Tempranillo varietal wine bottle and glass, sh...

(Photo by Mick Stephenson 2007, courtesy of Wikipedia)

Okay, I admit it. I have no tolerance for alcohol. I’d love to have an occasional glass of chardonnay, but I’m never able to drink a whole glass, or even half. Two sips are my limit. Literally. Maybe three, if I’m going to be in the restaurant for several hours and have plenty of food. There’s a name for people like me – although some would say it’s “cheap date” it’s actually alcohol intolerant.  Some people with alcohol intolerance lack alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), the  enzyme needed to break down alcohol. Maybe I don’t have it, but I’m not sure why. Lack of ADH is more common in Asians and I’m not even a little bit Asian. And the way I feel when I try to drink is not quite what’s been described as ADH deficiency.  

Meanwhile, I AM a cheap date. I rarely order alcohol in a restaurant because why pay for the $8 glass of wine if I can only drink two sips. I occasionally open a bottle of wine at home, and it lasts…well it lasts forever unless we have company come over and finish it off, after I’ve dispensed many a two-sip glass, which barely touches it. I’m probably the only person around who further ages their wine AFTER opening it.

Wine tasting? The idea is appealing, and I like to try different wine flavors, but in practice, it doesn’t really work. Try to tell the wine-tasting people that you really don’t want any more of their delightful wine repeatedly, without insulting them. Traveling through wine county, stopping at picturesque vineyards with artsy tasting rooms – not for me. 

So I’ll let others order the wine, swirl it around in the glass, sniff the cork and toast, while I stick to my semi-abstemious ways. Although it makes me socially awkward, it saves money and protects me from pesky legal entanglements such as driving after  drinking.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alcohol-intolerance/DS01172

http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/41593

http://cold-glass.com/

*Disclaimer:  This is a satire blog. There is no “child’s portion.”  Huffygirl does not advocate serving alcohol to children. (I really shouldn’t even have to mention this, but, sigh, just in case.)