Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Italy Picture of the Day


The Pantheon at Night (Taken by Hal)

The Pantheon is on a thriving little Piazza, surrounded by restaurants and gelaterias. We worried that we wouldn't actually get to see the inside of this fantastic building because both times we went to it during the day, there was mass going on (it's now a church, which was important for it to be, because had it not been a church years and years ago, it would probably have been destroyed). However, the second day we stayed until mass was over and were able to tour the inside. The Pantheon was very cool and wasn't a stressful/long tour at all.

The Pantheon is perhaps best known for its dome (the oldest large-scale dome in Rome), which was the inspiration for many modern domes. One of the most interesting things, I found, was that the oculus (the hole in the ceiling) is completely open -- there is no glass or shield protecting the church from the elements. The floor has holes in it that help drain the rain water. The floor also is covered in circles and squares for the decoration, and I heard a little kid ask his mother, "So you mean it only rains on this one circle?" The mother answered, "No, when the rain hits the ground it spreads out a bit."


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

People are Strange

Just a few things I saw on my trip that I thought were a little funny (I'm sure there were more, and I will update with anything that comes to mind):

1. Man in NYC airport has on a surgical mask (I'm assuming to protect him from swine flu). No biggie, there were several people wearing these things. However, as he walks through the airport, he stops, takes off his mask, and TAKES A DRINK OUT OF THE PUBLIC WATER FOUNTAIN. You've got to be kidding me.

2. While on the train to Venice, a family group from Miami (we know they were from Miami because they talked very loudly and I heard them say so) got on the train. They had the Biggest. Luggage. Ever. The train only had the capacity for carry on-sized luggage in the overhead compartments. The family proceeded to spend the next half hour trying to find places for all of their huge pieces of luggage (which most often meant taking up seats), while one of the older women in the group kept saying things (loudly) like, "You pay too much for a ticket for this to happen." Then, once settled down, the young men in the group were talking (loudly) and using a variety of expletives. Classiness all around.

3. Person trying to take pictures at night had a HUGE tripod and a little tiny point and shoot digital. I understand that those cameras can take pretty good pictures, but a tripod? I didn't have a tripod for my DSLR.

4. Pub crawl member (with a pub crawl shirt on) passes out in Venice train station. The rest of the group leaves him there. Poor kid.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'm Baa-aack!


Amazing, Amazing, Amazing. I have so much to tell!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


We are leaving for our trip tomorrow! I expect that I won't have blogging time while I'm gone.

However, I will be giving you a full report and mucho pictures when we get back! Talk to you all soon!

Saturday, May 9, 2009



I am either trying out my sister's birthday snuggie (given to her by my cousin) or I am being swallowed by some sort of muppet cousin of Jabba the Hut.

Your choice. :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A semester complete, and a moving man conundrum

I turned in my last final paper today, so this semester is officially over.

I can now relax for ... about 2 and a half weeks. I am taking two summer classes this year! I have never take a summer class, save for a film class I took at Xavier before my senior year of high school (I am SUCH a nerd).

Also going on is that tomorrow we have someone from a moving company coming out to give us an estimate. Hal and I are moving to a rental house in June, and we want someone to move our furniture for us, especially the CHINA CABINET OF DOOM. We bought said Doom from a little old lady. It's a beautiful piece, but it's huge. And heavy. And doesn't fit into our current dining room, so it shares the living room with us. Anyway, I'm considering putting a big sheet over the Doom so the moving man doesn't see it and gives us a lower estimate. ("Under the big sheet? Oh, now, that's an art project. We don't need that moved. What is it? Oh, um, well, it's a sculptural interpretation of DOOM.")

Regardless, I'm embarrassed for the moving man to come because our house is a disaster -- too much work for both of us lately, our cleaning is behind. It looks as though a research paper factory exploded in my living room -- the dregs of two final papers and a take home final. I will be picking research out of my carpet for weeks! I will do what I do best -- stack. I am a master of stacking. I can stack things with the best of them. I will stack all of these papers and put them in the office, where there are currently other stacks, stacks from previous semesters, stacks of books, stacks of church music (Hal's), stacks of pictures, stacks of all sorts of various and sundry things.

But! I have to take the moving man into the office! He has to see the two desks he will need to move. Crud.

Well, I guess I'll beg forgiveness. I will tell him that we are sorting things for packing preparation (which should be true, but isn't quite true yet).

Perhaps he won't be able to see the China Cabinet of Doom because of the mess. Maybe this will work for me after all.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

6 things that make me happy

I was tagged by Children of the 90s for a meme! (In addition, the Children of the 90s blog is very very funny!)

1. Mention the person who nominated you (above).
2. List six unimportant things that make you happy
3. Tag six blogs, state the rules & notify them with a teeny comment on their blog.

So without further ado, I present to you 6 UNIMPORTANT things that make moi happy:

1. Surprise people in movies or TV shows. For example, Eric Camden from "7th Heaven" played Melissa Joan Hart's bad dad in Drive Me Crazy. I had forgotten this. When we watched it again, I was filled with glee. I immediately sent a text to my sister that said "Eric Camden is in Drive Me Crazy!" She replied, "Is he her dad?!" We apparently think alike. ("7th Heaven" in general also gets kudos because my brother relayed one of his greatest lines about it. The show, if you haven't seen it, follows the train wreck trials and tribulations of a minister and his family. My brother said, "I think the pope watches this show and that's why he won't let priests get married.") Similarly, The Famous Jett Jackson was in Akeelah and the Bee. Extra points for when Dawson Leery appears in anything.

2. Breaking the hard sugar top on a Creme Brulee. I can't imagine how I would embellish this particular entry. I liked this long before Amelie mentioned the same thing.

3. Layla (my dog) doing silly things. Like getting tangled in the blanket on the bed. Or sitting on the window ledge (it's big) and staring out the window like a cat when we leave.

4. Chocolate milkshakes from UDF. I can't help it. They're the best chocolate milkshakes around. (Yes, I realize this is my second food-oriented mention in this short list, meaning that, as of right now, 50% of the things that make me happy are fattening candy-ish substances. And, honestly, if I'm excited about Dawson Leery, it's kind of like being excited by some sugary fluff. Candy for the MIND. So I suppose by that logic, 75% of this list thus far is about junk food. Awesome.)

5. Getting the mail. I was an avid pen pal when I was a kid, and I remember sitting out by our mailbox waiting for the mailman to come. When I was in this phase, my family lived at a house that was on a flag lot, so our driveway was more than 200 feet long. So if the mail wasn't there yet, I often just sat at the end of the driveway rather than make the walk back to the house and, eventually, back to the mailbox. These days, I can check my email about 10,000 times a day, and that is also happy.

6. Fall days that have perfect soccer weather. For either playing or watching. There's something about a crisp fall day -- the feeling of it, the light, even the smell of the day -- to make me think of bundling up in jeans and a sweater and watching high school soccer at (the now demolished) Fox Field. Sitting in the stands with all my classmates, watching our friends, so many dramas. My parents would be down the field a little way with other parents. There's still something about those particular fall days that make me smile and think about those times. (Note for new readers: my high school didn't have a football team, so soccer was the big fall sport when I was in high school.)

Now, I tag 6 people....(of course, please don't do this if you don't want to!)


Dibbly Fresh

Monday, May 4, 2009

New shoes and finals galore

It was like I had gotten to my 200th post and so I never needed to write again! :)

This is not the case. The truth is, it is finals week, and while I have only one final, I also have two final papers. I've been working a lot on these. The bulk will be done tomorrow (one paper due and one final takes place), and the final paper is due on Friday.

I did something out of character this weekend. I spent a lot of money on shoes. Usually I try to buy cheap shoes. However, since I am heading to Italy here in one week, I decided I should probably grab some new shoes so my feet don't hurt as much as they did when I was in London in March. I also wanted some brown shoes to hide my American-ness a little more. (Because the clothes, the blondish hair, the accent, and the fat won't give me away!) ;) Women's comfortable brown shoes are not easy to find.

I wound up at Dick's and bought a pair of Merrell's. These, in fact. I've been breaking them in all weekend. They're pretty nice! Hopefully they work for the cobblestone adventure we have ahead of us.