Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Congratulations to Fairfield Stags runners Ben Heslin and Steve Flanagan on both being named MAAC runner of the week so far this season. GO STAGS.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Belgium and Luxembourg

A better title for this article would probably be "Delirium Cafe", but I'll get to that in a bit. My first journey outside of the Emerald Isle began at 3 a.m. early Friday, as I got up in the middle of the night to walk across Galway to the bus station. I refuse to pay 8 euros for a 4 minute drive. Thursday night was the 250th anniversary of Guinness, so needless to say it was a jubilant night in the streets of Galway. I left around 11 pm to go home and pack and get a couple hours of sleep. When I made my unheralded (and sober) return to Shop Street around 3:15 on my way to catch the bus, the party was still in full-bloom. I love Irish people, not only do they live up to their reputation of constant drinking, they may actually surpass it.

My flight was at 8 a.m. Friday morning from Dublin to Brussels. This was my first trip on RyanAir, Europe's top low-cost airline. They devliered a solid and on-time flight and when I touched down I was taking my first career steps on Belgian soil. Cheers erupted at the site of this from all around. That is a lie. Anyway, I met up with my high school buddy Andy and his friend Matt and we got on the train to Bruges. Ever since I saw "In Bruges" with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleason, I knew this was a place that I had to visit at least once in my life. By the way, if anyone is looking for a solid movie to watch, go for that one. Spectacular...and Mad-Eye Moody is in it. Bruges definitely lived up to my expectations, except for the fact that there were no American midgets filming a movie as there were when I watched the movie. I realize that was a confusing sentence but I swear it made sense. Bruges was a very cool medieval city and the two highlights were climbing the 366 foot Belfry and having an amazing Belgian waffle with melted chocolate on it. As my friend Drew Colon says about a certain daily chore, it was life affirming to say the least. That night we went back to Leuven where Andy was staying at enjoyed some fine Belgian brews at a few cool spots.

Saturday was an early start as we set out for Luxembourg City, one of the richest cities in the world. I really didn't know what to expect because I had never heard of anyone going there, and I was a little apprehensive at the thought of a 6-hour round trip to get there. As the day went on, however, I became increasingly happy that I made the trip. Luxembourg has a lot of military history and has some great panoramic views. A history museum may or may not sound lame, but it was very cool to see some of the trials and tribulations Luxembourg had as a fledgling city. I got some very nice pictures and on the way out grabbed my first fast-food meal in Europe at the Quick U. Saturday night I was lucky enough to try out some more Belgian beers and even more lucky to sleep in the following morning.

Sunday was my last day in Belgium before my 10 pm flight that night. We got a late start and headed into Brussels to see the E.U. buildings. They were futuristic looking, but cool nonetheless. Imposing is another word. After this we made moves toward the city centre and state house which was very similar to the one in Leuven. Thinking about how these buildings were constructed really blows my mind. I got some Belgian frites which were delicious. I was a happy man at this point....little did I know that my life would be reaffirmed at my last stop in Belgium before I headed back to Ireland.

This place deserves it's own paragraph, if not more. The name of the bar was Cafe Delirium, and it was hidden at the end of this very narrow streeet lined with numerous restaurants and a few bars. Andy and Matt had been building this place up in my mind all weekend, so I was hoping it would live up to the big expectations I had in my head. To say it exceeded them would be a gross understatement. It would be similar to saying George Clooney has beautiful facial hair, Bruce Springsteen is a god, and Jennifer Aniston is attractive. I'm fired up just writing about it and I want anyone who reads this and enjoys beer to find a way to get there once in your life. The upstairs had 49 different taps of beer, which under ordinary circumstances would be fantastic. But compare it with the rustic-looking, dimly lit basement and it fails to inspire. Andy went to get the menu for us, and it turned out to be a 70-page booklet featuring the bar's 2004 beers to choose from. Each had a picture and a paragraph description. Combine that with an American vibe and Creedence Clearwater Revival being played twice in my hour there over the stereo and I believe what you get is heaven on earth. It won't be the last time I grace my life with a visit to Cafe Delirium, and moreover - Belgium.

For any beer connosseurs, these are the 9 new ones I tried over the weekend. (in no particular order)

2.)Satan Gold
3.) Hopus
4.) Westmalle Tripel - favorite
5.) Tripel Karmeliet
6.) Brugge Tripel
7.) Rochefort 10
8.) St. Bernardus Tripel
9.) Lucifer

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My First Created Sporcle Quiz

Check out my first ever created Sporcle Quiz....Bruce Springsteen Studio Songs

Baseball? What is baseball?

Now that I have been all away across the pont for 3 1/2 weeks, I can regrettably say that I have fallen out of touch with baseball. Much of this is due to the fact that my New York Mets have been out of the playoff picture for a solid month. When I was thinking about how I would follow the game from afar, I wasn't sure what to do. I could buy for the month of september, but I didn't want to pay to watch meaningless Mets games, especially when at times the lineups they put out on the field would struggle to be in a AAA playoff race. I turned my hopes to the countless pubs in Galway, only to realize that all the games would be starting around midnight. Besides, I have only found one pub so far to show American sports. (Garvey's, in Eyre Square for any of you who may travel here in the future.)

It was at this time that I realized my interaction with the 2009 MLB season would be coming to an end on August 31st when I boarded the plane. Now a good portion of this is because of the two reasons I just discussed, but I think there may be more to it than just those two. Right now there is only one real race going on, and that is in the AL Central, where the Tigers are up by a few games on the Twins. Neither Wild-Card race is particular close, and most of the divisions are already comfortably wrapped up. There aren't any individual feats worth checking in on each day, either. How I miss the days of steroids, where the whole country would check in on Sosa and McGwire each day, regardless of whether they were a fan or not. (Side note: I'm really unsure whether I am kidding or not with that last sentence.)

Anyway, Peter Gammons recently brought up an interesting thought on whether to add an extra wild-card team from each league. Yes, it waters down the post-season race and potentially adds a very mediocre team undeserving of a spot in the playoffs. However, it keeps fans' hopes alive a little longer, gives them a little more incentive to go to the games and spend their money. In the economic situation America is in, wouldn't this be a good thing for all parties involved? I'm not saying I know for sure, but it is something worth discussing. One thing I am sure of is that this will be the first October I am not particularly interested in what happens in the MLB playoffs. To be honest, I'm actually pulling for the Yankees because my best friend just scored an internship with them this past season and I think it would be cool if they won while he worked there. That is a scary thought, I'm actually a little hesitant to put it down in writing. Screw it.

For the hell of it, my picks:

World Series: Yankees over Dodgers
AL MVP: Mark Teixeira
NL MVP: Albert Pujols
AL CY Young: Zach Greinke
NL CY Young: Adam Wainwright

Heading off to Belgium and Luxembourg this weekend, expect an update on that sometime next week........

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dublin cont'd (Pictures)

View from the Clubhouse looking out on the 18th at St. Margaret's.

Some badass car outside the hotel.

9th hole looking toward the clubhouse at Luttrellstown Castle Resort.

Another one.

Weekend in Dublin

Spent the last weekend in the Dublin area playing some golf and hanging out with some extended family. Friday we teed it up at St. Margaret's near the Dublin Airport ( and then Saturday we played at this beautiful course called Luttrellstown Castle (

- Both courses were very nice, but Luttrellstown in particular blew me away. It plays 7,300 yards from the tips and was in pristine condition. The fairways were cut beautifully, the greens were firm and had some insane tiers and slopes. I couldn't begin to estimate the amount of bunkers guarding the greens and while they may not have been St. Andrew's style pot bunkers in Scotland, they were usually several feet deep. The resort we stayed at was called Castlenock and tickled my fancies as far as accomodations go. I met some great people (most notably Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher's cousin, Dan.) and it was a weekend that I will not soon forget. Thank you to my uncle John Keenan for having me.

Here are a few pictures:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pictures from Galway

Just a few pictures from the first week in Ireland.


Sorry for the delay in between my last post and this one, I have been busy settling into a new country and (attempting) putting my life together on the fly. Ireland is a fantastic place, especially the small city of Galway. The air smells fresh, everyone greets you with a smile, and no one honks at me when I cross the street at the most inopportune times. The food is a lot better than I was expecting and there is always something to do.

The weather is ridiculous though - when I say it changes 20-30 times a day, I mean it changes more like 10-12 times a day - which is still a lot. One minute it will be sunny and then a cloud will pass by and bring down a heavy rain for about 3-5 minutes. This process repeats itself throughout the day, meaning if you ever leave your place without a rain jacket you will inevitably be screwed by mother nature at some point throughout your day.

The pubs are all great, especially the one's with live music. There are so many that I don't even know if I will be able to fulfill my goal of stopping in every one at least once this semester. All of the bands have been very good and played a lot of American music as well. Some that I remember are like a rolling stone (bob dylan), american girl (tom petty), save tonight (eagle eye cherry), and galway girl (steve earle). One band did an excellent rendition of buffalo soldier too.

Tonight is the crucial world cup qualifier for Ireland at Cyprus and I plan on posting up at Monroe's and enjoying the full game and the buzzing atmosphere.