Monday, December 23, 2013

awkward and hideous sweaters

I have an obsession with ugly and weird sweaters. I spent a lot of time at the thrift store looking for the perfect gross sweater to compliment my daily wintery groove. Albiet non-wool, since i am allergic to wool. Damn sheep!

I think we should forgo the "ugly sweater party" and have an "ugly sweater season". Anyone with me?



Monday, December 16, 2013

10 things that I say on a regular basis that make other people take a second look.

1.) When I am startled, I rarely scream. Most often, I say loudly. "AIYA!!!". Like the old Asian man that I am.
2.) When I am frustrated with something, I rarely curse. If I do I say, "Scheiße!". Which is the German vernacular of shit.
3.) When I have to use the restroom I tell people I have to, "Shishi." Which is a slang both in Hawaiian Pidgin and Japanese for taking a piss.
4.) When I try to say the word, "Roof" it always ends up sounding like a cartoon dog bark, Example: Ruf Ruf
5.) When I mail something or check my mailbox I always refer to it as the, "Post". Example: "We got the post in today."
6.) For the life of me I cannot seem to pronounce any words that start with the sound, "Ire-" without an Irish accent. Examples: Iron, Irish, Ireland, 
7.) When I see a cat, I either refer to the cat as, "Meow Box" or "Silly Billy".Note to the reader: Billi means cat in most Hindi based languages. 
8.) I say "Scusi." instead of excuse me when I am trying to get passed someone. This is the Italian word for excuse me. However it is used more like, "Excuse me, I need your attention."
9.) For some unexplained reason instead of saying across i say, "Acrossed". I hate that I do this with a passion. Every time it comes out of me, I flinch and spent a few minutes silently berating myself.
10.) When I think something is really cool I say, "Fantastisch". Which is the German word for fantastic. Who would have guessed?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

winter ice storm

So, we had a semi impressive ice storm.

I say semi impressive because the storm was not that bad, however the local response was terrible. Roads remained nearly impassable for three days because no one considered plowing or salting.

Not only that, but you would think the locals were preparing for doomsday. Was it the end of the world? Zombies? Nope. Just some ice. Texas. 

Here are some pictures from my trip to the local grocery store before the storm came.

This was almost as surreal as the time Andy and I were driving through a rain in Florida and the interstate was littered with cars that were stranded on the side of the road.

After grocery shopping and after the storm was over, I decided to take some pictures of the local fauna as well. I always try to take advantage of a photo op. I got some great shots and then tragedy struck.

Did I slip on some ice? No. Did I get frostbite maybe? No. Did my camera break because of the cold? No.

I somehow managed to find a mud pit hidden under the snow and sunk knee deep into the earth. In the struggle to remove myself (and the suction of the wet ground) I lost my shoe. After, five minutes of digging and cursing, I gave up. My shoe was now one with the Earth.

Yes, my shoe is still buried out there and this winter will always be remembered at the winter I lost my shoe.







Sunday, December 1, 2013

james murphy

I rarely go to clubs or shows anymore. I think there is some sort of rebellion happening in my body that I resist any interest in the music scene. Example: Every year a good friend of mine offers industry passes to SXSW. Every year I simply don't go. 

That being said, sometimes I still go out. So, I arrived at It'll DO in Dallas. James Murphy was scheduled to play. Why did I find this relevant and worth my time? The answer arrives in two parts.

Part I:

James Murphy is DFA records. I like DFA records. You may know him as being a the maestro of LCD Soundsystem or a part of The Juan Maclean. He has had an interesting life and he fascinates me. I will share two interviews with him that I think outline the reasons why he intrigues me.

In the first interview, he talks about how he wants to create a turn-style generated subway music experience. Which to me, would be a gift to the minds of any worth while New Yorker.



The second interview is about what he went through in his personal evolution.


Part II:

I wanted to dance and I knew that James Murphy came from a similar background that I did. I too was involved in the electronic music scene. I knew he wouldn't disappoint me by playing crap. 

...

What were my thoughts on the event? My thoughts were mixed. (Ignore the pun.)

The show started with the house DJ, DJ Red Eye. He played for a while and I felt his set was weak at best. Although he had some excellent track choices and even played LNR's Work it to the Bone. (Which I haven't heard at an event since 1996.) His transitions were horrific.

James Murphy's set was well thought out and definitely worth the time. I have one complaint Mr. Murphy. You played a version of, "You make me feel mighty real". It wasn't the Sylvester original or the Byron Stingily house cut. It was however torture -- because the lyrics were cut out. SHAME ON YOU!

Friday, November 29, 2013

thanksgiving duck

So, Andy wanted me to make quail or pheasant this year for Thanksgiving dinner. I appreciated his passion, However, it was a little too much effort to find a butcher with game meat. Yeah, I am lazy. Deal with it. As a compromise, I agreed to make duck.

I chose two recipes and made two different flavors to appease him. Andy liked them both but one was ultimately better.




Duck Cavity
5 clove garlic
2 sprigs sage
Half onion cut in two pieces

Duck Rub

3 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon fresh minced sage
Orange zest


Monday, November 25, 2013

the message

I have a thing for classic hip hop. This is a classic remix of one of my favorites. Thank you Grandmaster Flash!

 


Monday, November 11, 2013

i found a book

One of the benefits of living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is that I live close to the half price books flagship store. This store is about the same size as a large Barnes & Noble. It is complete with a coffee shop might, I add.

Every time I go in there, I end up losing control. There are too many wonderful tomes that wish to accompany me home. This time I focused on replenishing my more spiritual texts. I won't list all the goodies I rescued. I will only share one book that stands out.


This particular edition was printed in 1939 and in great condition. I thought about writing a review of the book and the author, instead I will will quote the review of it I found at Weiser Antiquarian Books.

"...Chicago, IL: The de Laurence Company, Inc., 1939 [c. 1960?]. "Fourteenth Edition" Hardcover, Large Quarto. (8 x 11 inches) 636 pp. Maroon faux leather with gilt title, etc. to cover and spine, frontis photo portrait of L. W. de Laurence. Illustrated. A massive book 'by' Lauron William de Laurence (1868 - 1936), renowned book pirate, plagiarist, and publisher of occult literature. De Laurence was notorious for taking other people's works and reissuing them under his own name (sometimes re-titling them in the process). Despite his roguish eccentricities de Laurence played an important part in the occult history of the USA: he was a pioneer in selling occult books and supplies by mail order, and the cheap "Pow Wow" books and other books of simple magic which he published were surprisingly well received, and he is quite revered in some quarters. The title of this particular volume says 'Hindu' and 'East Indian' but in fact it is largely a grimoire of Western ritual magic, taken from a variety of sources including Francis Barrett's Magus, the works of Agrippa et al. It's odd title and genesis aside, it was probably one of the most widely used for actual magical practice in the USA in the middle years of the twentieth century...."

Oh, de Laurance....you crazy fella!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

local beer

I found this local beer today. It is called Dallas Blonde by the Deep Ellum Brewing Company in Dallas. I am a fan of blonde and hefeweizen style beers. So, it was natural to be drawn to this product. I also thought the art was fun.

It has a light smooth flavor with notes of citrus and a slightly bitter end. Pretty good, but not the best... After doing some research about the company I found out that the beer has some controversy surrounding it.

They say that the ad slogan "Goes Down Easy", is sexist and promotes rape culture. What the hell is rape culture? I find that in itself disturbing. 

The argument is that the can shows a blonde woman. WRONG!

That is a picture of a kewpie doll with cartoon hair. If you happen to be a kewpie doll with cartoon hair, watch out...you may get raped? Honestly, if anything this would promote some sort of, "Children of the Corn" thing that I am missing.

Here is the news reel on the sexist story.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

romanian food festival

I went to the Romanian Food Festival this weekend in Colleyville, Texas. It is a small event held at a local Romanian Orthodox Church. They have food, little booths, historical information, and a stage where they do traditional dances and things.

Although they had A LOT of food, the food that I was drawn to was the Mămăligă (Romanian Polenta). They serve it in a pile with shredded goat cheese and sour cream. This was my dish of choice and I enjoyed EVERY minute of it.

Picture stolen from: Vipnyc

Later, I stumbled on a booth that sold Dracula book purses from NovelCreations. I couldn't contain myself and purchased one immediately. 

I have a feeling I will be back next year, and I might have to buy more book purses as well.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

aurora light festival

I had plans to go to the Aurora Light Festival. Then I got sick. I REALLY wish I would have put my big girl pants on and went. After looking at tons of videos and pictures I realize that I missed something beautiful. Oh well. There is always next year...


Thursday, October 10, 2013

questions

I got these questions in an email the other day and have been ignoring it. After an angry follow up message Now, I am posting my answers. 
1. Do you have a middle name? Yes.
2. What was your favourite subject in school? Asian studies.
3. What’s your favourite drink? Water?
4. Favourite song at the moment? Under the sun - ghost society This will change in minutes I am sure.
5. What would you name your children? Genesis Maxx, Astoria Grey,  London Cash, Jayden Tobias. I have a list somewhere of badass names. Don't steal them!
6. Do you participate in any sports? Nope.
7. Favourite Book? A little princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
8. Favourite Colour? Purple.
9. Favourite Animal? Elephant.
10. Favourite perfume? Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf.
11. Favourite holiday? Wednesday.
12. Have you graduated High School? Yes.
13. Have you been out of the Country? Yes.
14. Do you speak any other Languages? Mostly.
15. Do you have any siblings? Nope.
16. What’s your favourite store? Thrift store.
17. Favourite Restaurant? Spiral Diner
18. Did you like school? Sure?
19. Favourite YouTubers? Flula.
20. Favourite Movie? Tron.
21. Favourite Tv show? Mary stayed out all night.
22. Pc or Mac? Both.
23. What phone do you have? iPhone.
24. How tall are you? 5’7.

PS - Stop nagging me. You know who you are!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

do you read?

I read a lot.

I mean, I read a book a night.

Fun Fact: I am a fast reader. It is my only superpower. Well, besides being awesome!

Recently, I found the website Goodreads.com. I know, I know, how did it take me THIS long to find the website? Not sure, but now that I did, I am on the damn site everyday.

How does it work? You read books. You rate them on the site. You store books you might want to read. Based on all of this, the site suggests books you might enjoy.

Also, here are two websites that might have that .epub you've been looking for for free.


Word. See what I did there? I am so punny!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

texas state fair

So, this was my second visit to the Texas State Fair. My mother in law came in from Virginia to partake in the massive excitement that is shopping and fried foods. Only problem is this year I didn't bring my camera. I was so busy arranging fair logistics that I forgot it at home.

DOH!

Lucky for you I brought it last year. Though, I do not have an image of the iconic "Big Tex". Why? Because he burned to a crisp last year. Now, onward to the fried foods.

Yes, fried foods. Yes, everything is fried at the Texas State Fair. No, I haven't tried everything. Although, I did go out of my way for fried oreos. But the thing is they fry EVERYTHING. I mentioned that right? Even butter. Yes, you heard me.

Fried Butter. You see it? Who would eat that?

The fair is located at Fair Park. Which has interesting Gotham City like architecture, gardens, and museums. It allows for quiet spaces, real bathrooms, and lots of parking.



One of the things that makes the fair interesting to me it has permanent features. Besides the giant animatronic cowboy, of course. They always have shopping tents, plenty of food, a carnival, arts & crafts, contests and the ubiquitous farm animals.

Hopefully next year I can manage to bring my camera.

OR

Convince the awesome police tower people to let me take a picture with them.

OR

Convince myself to buy a cowboy hat.


HAHAHA. That will never happen.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

more animation...

I find that I don't post a lot about people that I connect with. Perhaps, it's a fear that if all my different worlds came together I might explode in some event horizon....perhaps not. Regardless, I feel that my last post came at a cost. How cruel is it to post an old animation from the Soviet Union and not post something about a friend who is dear to my heart....and also half Russian....and a talented cartoonist.

Although this will open the door to post about other friends..(Not only in animation but other art forms.) I feel out of all the people I know, Jeaux deserves the most attention. He is the sweetest, kindest, most inspiring human. His inner child has control of his body and I respect everything about that.

Jeaux, I love you. (My hubby loves you too and can't wait to have that cool sweater party.)


Monday, September 9, 2013

dolphin love?

I found it interesting how this old Soviet animation and this abstract song went together. Something about the combination makes me feel both dreamy and uncomfortable. Although  I am not too sure what original message of the song is...

The possible beastiality inference concerns me....


Movie: "A girl and a dolphin" (1979) by Rosalie Zelma - A poetic Soviet sketch animation based on a friendship between a girl and a dolphin.
Music: Connan Mockasin - Forever Dolphin Love (Erol Alkan's Extended Rework 2) (Phantasy)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I was nominated for something???



LIES!! SHENANIGANS! What am I yelling about? What is all this nomination talk about?

Jess from http://jessicastaceyxo.blogspot.ca/ nominated me for the Liebster award. I wasn't sure what that was. However, after further inspection I realized it is more of a "tag" than an "award". Tricksy, Tricksy!

How it works?

Step 1: Answer the questions that you've been asked!
Step 2: Choose 11 more bloggers with under 200 followers!
Step 3: Ask those new 11 bloggers a set of 11 new questions!
Step 4: Contact those 11 bloggers and let them know that they have been tagged!

The questions Jess asked were:

1.Who is your favourite band/ music artist?
2.What is one thing you can't live without?
3. Dream job?
4. What is your usual Starbucks order?
5. What is a relationship deal-breaker?
6.What is your holy grail beauty product? (something you love and keep going back to)
7.Do you have tattoos? (if yes, what and where. if no, what would you get)
8.Celebrity crush?
9. Why did you start blogging?
10. Name one fashion trend you find weird.
11. Do you collect anything?


My answers:

1. This is an impossible question for me to answer. I have a habit of telling people that my favorite band is Tones on Tail. Why? Because, I like them a lot. I tend to always go back to their record, Everything. 
I enjoy that most people either never heard of them. This way, I am not immediately attached to a specific style of music. 
2. Joy? If I lost joy, I don't think I could live on. I suppose that is not a "thing". Lip balm. I would die if I lacked the ability to soothe my lips.
3. Artist. Oh wait...already am!
4. Venti Mocha Light Frappuccino. Although, I prefer most other coffee chains to Starbuck's (ie - Caribou Coffee, Gloria Jean's, etc)
5. Lack of trust.
6. Thayes Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera as my facial toner.
7. Yes, I have two. 
A black plus and minus sign on the inside of my right wrist. 
On the right side of my neck wrapping around to the back of my neck I have a tattoo in red Tibetan script. The word translates to "infinite light".
8. Anders Trentemøller.
9. I started blogging as a New Year's Resolution. Also, as a way to keep me focused.
10. I find most fashion trends weird. However, most "current" female fashion bothers me. I think the point is, "How can I make my body look as unattractive as possible?" Let, me put on a too-small-studded-vest with too-short-granny-shorts and add some boots. =(
11. I collect many things. Pins, instruments, rocks, ideas, memories......

My eleven questions for other bloggers are:

1. What are you afraid of?
2. What is your biggest pet peeve?
3. What is your favorite color?
4. What is your favorite food?
5. What would you grab if your house was about to burn down?
6. If you were a song, which would it be?
7. What is the nicest thing anyone ever said to you?
8. What makes you laugh?
9. What makes you cry?
10. What is your biggest dream?
11. If there is something you would want to share with me, what would it be?

Bloggers I have chosen (I only chose 5 because I am lazy):

sarahlibros.blogspot.co.uk/
catherinegacad.com/
amandify.com
6birds.net
tarte-aux-fraises.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 26, 2013

sleep disorder

I love sleep. I mean...I LOVE SLEEP! I love sleeping so much that it has become an unhealthy fetish. The only problem is that I am also terrible at sleeping. I often lack the talent to do normal everyday things that most people do easily.

First, I have terrible insomnia. I always have and probably always will. I remember just laying awake in my room as a child, wishing that sleep would come. My mother likes to tell me that she would get up for water at four in the morning and she would peak in my room to find me sitting in my room, in the dark, staring out the window. I was a creepy child.

My insomnia isn't just relegated to the inability to fall asleep. I also have problems staying asleep. Often I will fall asleep and wake up two hours later. In fact, typically when I nap it is ALWAYS in two hour intervals. Something about my mind is like, two hours...YOU HAVE SLEPT ENOUGH!

Then, there is the sleepwalking. I often wake up in different rooms. I wake up already sitting up in bed. I will wake up with mystery bruises all over my legs. I often like to retrieve beverages in my sleep. I once refolded laundry (albeit very badly) in my sleep. When I get over-heated in my sleep, I disrobe. Which has caused drama during innocent sleepovers. People can have entire conversations with me in my sleep and I will do everything to end the conversation. It's like sleep auto pilot.

Now, let's move on to the lucid dreaming and nightmares. The first dream I ever remember having was a nightmare. I was maybe seven years old? In the dream, I was walking down a road on a foggy day. Eventually, I saw an old woman standing next to a cart and a cow. She had that, "ancient-scary-gypsy-witch" look to her. I approached her without fear. She asked me, "Do you want to see REAL magic?" Me being me, I nodded eagerly. She told me to look at the cow and when I did, I noticed that the cows eyes were sewn shut. Suddenly, my soul was trapped in the cows body and the cow's soul was walking around in my body.

This dream has stuck with me. It traumatized me as a child. It is baffling to me that I would have this dream and the litany of nightmares that followed. I never watched television. I rarely was allowed to go see a movie. So, why was my mind so disturbed at such a young age?

Here is where it gets really strange. By the time I was a teenager, I craved my nightmares. They were fascinating. They were different. They were interesting. Something about the fact that I enjoy nightmares still makes me feel, embarrassed.

Today, I don't really have nightmares anymore. Now, I just lucid dream. The strange thing is that; I cannot...NOT lucid dream. It is like I forgot how to be completely unconscious. Who does that?

I had a sleep study done and besides snoring, I was told everything is "normal". Clearly, not! I suspect that my mind was like, "Act normal, don't do anything weird, there are doctors afoot." This seems like the most logical explanation.

Right now? I need another nap, and some wicked dreams.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

never doubt your instincts, they are there for a reason


ombre hair

I am told ombre is over. My response....what's ombre?

Honestly, I know what ombre is. Who doesn't? It's just another term for something called a gradient. Will gradient go out of style? Doubtful. It's one of those things that is intricately ingrained in design, art, and nature. Regardless, feigning ignorance is my specialty.

As all great things I do, I have given myself ombre hair accidentally-on-purpose. I did a lazy retouch to my hair which involved me re-bleaching half of my hair from pink. I dried my hair and thought, holy stoly this looks almost "ombre". I should put a deeper pink on the bottom and call it a day.

I think I am going to keep doing this until it bores me, or it "comes back in style".





Friday, August 23, 2013

now for something completely different

I spend a lot of time on the computer. Not bragging. In fact, I hate that I am a technophile. Hate is a strong word....maybe I mean, dislike greatly? Everything that I do involves my computer. When my computer breaks, I have a nervous breakdown. 

Yet, sometimes I am reminded that perhaps stepping away from the computer is a good idea.

Today, I am working on a new project. Meanwhile, I have my email and messenger services loaded in the background. A friend sends me this link...


I open it to find the most pointless and bizarre thing. It is a website where you put dancing animated .gifs to crappy music loops. Here is a screen shot.


My reaction to this? Internal Marge Simpson grunts!

If you somehow live under a rock and haven't a clue what I am referencing here is an example.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Italy Part 2: Tuscany.

The first part of my Tuscany adventure began with the logistics of getting from Rome to a little town called, San Miniato.

There was some confusion at the train platform and it took about twenty minutes for us to find our seats. Eventually. we sat down and enjoyed the ride.

We arrived in Florence and took a taxi across town to the airport, where our rental car was waiting for us. After that, we piled in the car and hustled towards San Miniato. So we could make our check in time


I must admit when we first arrived at the Villa in San Miniato, my jaw dropped.


The Villa Contessa Marianna is nestled on top of a secluded hill down a dirt path, just on the edge of town. Here is a quote taken from their website about the property:

"Villa Contessa Marianna is part of a group of buildings and lands on the “Bonaparte knoll”. Its name is due to the fact that was an ancient property of the Bonaparte’s family in San Miniato. It was the family of the most famous Napoleone. 
In 1701 Maria Maddalena Bonaparte received it as a dowry going married in this year to a noble Bonaccorsi. In 1805 the country-house was given to the family of the present owners, maintaining the historical documentation and many furniture of the day. Nowadays the property has been completely restored and it is an exclusive residence for those looking for an historical and relaxing holiday."

Side note: San Miniato is known for growing truffles or tartufi. I spent a large portion of my trip purchasing truffle products or trying truffle dishes. It was amazing how ridiculously affordable it was, even in Euro.


I purchased a truffle oil vinegar mix that is about 50% truffle chunks and a whole large white truffle for 16 euro which converts to about 22 dollars. SCORE!








Drunken Family Bicycle Wine Tasting Tour:

I can't help laugh at this one. When it was first proposed to me, I laughed and then followed with a fist pump. Then, I realized it wasn't a joke. Yes, the whole family rented bicycles from I Bike Tuscany and followed their tour guides from vineyard to vineyard.

What I didn't know is that I would be bicycling all day...OR...that it would be through treacherous winding hillsides...OR...that each winery would give us four to six wines to taste...and bread...and cheese...oh my! Regardless, it was AWESOME!

Did I find any wines I liked? One winery stood out. Their wines had a quality that surpassed the rest. I also enjoyed their in-house balsamic vinegar and brought a bottle home. Thank you, Casa Emma.




Vinci:

I really HAD to see Leonardo da Vinci's home town. His name literally means, "Leonardo from the town of Vinci". I am fairly obsessed with him and couldn't pass up seeing the land that inspired his genius.

Vinci is a quiet little place surrounded by beautiful green Tuscan hills. In the center of Vinci is a small group of historical buildings that have been preserved since Leonardo's time. We visited the Museo Leonardiano di Vinci. Which was amazing...even more so when I figured out that there were pamphlets in English in each room. The museum is split into two buildings and they are surprisingly small. Regardless, I had a fantastic time and even purchased some souvenirs for myself.


Pisa:

I haven't mentioned this before, but the entire time I was in Italy it was uncomfortably hot. I should have been ready for this, since I live in Texas. However, a lot of Italy lacks air conditioning OR the air conditioning they have is CRAP! The good news? It was a beautiful over cast and windy day in Pisa. The bad news? This made for bad picture taking.

Honestly, I wish I would have been able to spend more time in Pisa. We drove in and parked for free near the tower. Helpful tip: There is free parking (for cars) at the Parcheggio Pietrasantina. Then we walked towards the the Tower and enjoyed the sites.

Honestly, Pisa is super touristy and in places somewhat ghetto. It is a somewhat cheesy scene, yet I found the merchants less pushy than in Rome. I also found the dirty sea side feel refreshing and found myself wanting to explore more. Alas, I just didn't have the time.


Florence:

First, parking in Florence was and is a nightmare. There are plenty of spots in Florence to park. However, the time when you can park in said spots and who can park in said spots; is SOOOO confusing. Also, if you go to a gated paid public parking facility, like we did...don't be surprised if the gate doesn't let you in. The lots fill up fast! If you have patience someone will leave and the gate will let you in.

Florence is another place I wish I could have spent more time. I didn't realize how much there was to see and do. I did go to the Galleria dell'Accademia to see Michalangelo's David. Did I get a picture? No. Why? Because, I didn't bring my camera. I read online that the museums don't let you take pictures and I left it up to Andy to take pictures (again). He choose not to get into a battle with any museum folk.

I also spent a day at the Uffizi Gallery. This museum could have taken a two day visit. It is massive museum, with a never ending supply of art. My one complaint? They didn't have air conditioning working in most of the rooms. The rooms that seemed to have the "working" air conditioning happened to be the rooms with the "attraction art works". These included; Birth of Venus and La Primavera (Spring) by: Sandro Filipepi (Botticelli),  The Baptism of Christ by: Andrea di Cione (Verrocchio) and Leonardo da Vinci, The Annunciation by: Leonardo da Vinci, and Tondo Doni (The Holy Family) by: Michelangelo Buonarroti. The rest of the art seemed doomed to the same fate as all the sweaty people marching through the halls.

Next time I travel to Florence I will try to set aside more time to really explore the city. There is an abundance of historical sites and more museums. Not to mention the boutiques and shopping available all over Florence. I did manage to have a little time to pick up a few more souvenirs but really didn't get the chance to "cut loose".

That concludes a basic walkthrough of my time in Italy. I have left out so much that I feel somewhat guilty. However, I don't want to bore anyone with by endless ramblings and emotional merry-go-rounds. It was an awesome trip, full of lifetime lasting memories. I hope to go back, soon.

Here is a link to the first part of my trip in case you missed it: Italy Part 1: My vacation is over and Rome

Monday, August 12, 2013

Italy Part 1: My vacation is over and Rome.

My vacation is over. Now, I will begin the tedious review of my trip to Italy. I am trying to condense everything as much as possible. So please be patient. I am fairly certain there will be too much information in here, regardless.


I will preface things by mentioning that crazy-plane-woman (the one that sat next to me on the plane), did every cliche obnoxious-passenger-sitting-next-to-you thing as possible. She even managed to spill her wine on me. This did not detour me from my initial enthusiasm of my travels. However, she did deserve mention.

Well done woman....well done indeed.

Rome:

While in Rome, we stayed at the Hotel Scalinata Di Spagna.  This happens to be right next to the Spanish Steps. My room was clean and cozy and I was impressed by the intriguing light fixtures which can only be described as crazy-glass-octopus-flowers. I looked out the window and decided that it was time to start my first Roman adventure.


Andy wanted to see the Spanish Steps so we decided to start there. Then, we would find our way to some gelato.....

After, being accosted by five or six gypsies trying to sell us luck bracelets, we decided to avoid the steps.

We did end up finding good gelato at the famous Il gelato di San Crispino. I wish I had taken pictures of the gelato. Unfortunately, by this point I completely abandoned using my camera. From this point on, I left all picture taking up to Andy and his trusty cell phone. All I have is my memories of the BEST GELATO EVER! That is good enough for me.

We did get this beautiful image at the corner before the gelato place, if you are feeling left out.

I must admit my time in Rome starts to blur together. After the gelato, is a wine induced haze. Let's say, we didn't take long to start drinking copious amounts of wine...

For my sanity, I will start outlining Rome by the places we went instead of trying to do things in chronological order.

Colosseo (The Colosseum) and Monti:

I must admit there was a lot of Rome that I had little interest in seeing. One of these places was the Colosseum. Something about...going to a monument dedicated to torture concerned me. However, my interest in history won and I went.

My first tip? If you plan on seeing the Colosseum, please order tickets to pass the queue beforehand. We passed a line and ended up waiting zero minutes to walk through the upper region of the Colosseum. It was impressive and crowded.



After walking around the Colosseum, we wandered around the nearby historical sites. The decision was to forgo such sited as, the Forums and the Arch of Constantine and make our way to the Monti area.

Monti is a short walk from the Colosseum and this is where the local college kids hang out. There are tons of little thrift stores and vintage shops. I also found boutiques, art dealers, bars, music stores and other fun places to visit.

Was there something that stood out in this area? Why yes, I am glad you asked.

The street art.

Everywhere I turned, there was something new and interesting to look at.




We did some shopping there. By this point, I was so sick of all the bag peddlers on the streets. They would try to place bags in your hands. You would say no, only to be harassed by another man with the same selection of designer knock offs. Initially, I had plans to buy a bag in Italy....BUT I quickly lost interest.

The thrift stores had tons of fairly priced vintage designer brands. So what did I find myself? Plastic earrings. Yup, handmade plastic earrings from a local artist. I have only two items I brought back from Rome, those earrings and a stone from the Roman street.

The Midnight Dance Party:

This is, as good time as any, to bring up the random dance party. After a night of drunken debauchery, I stumbled my way home. Eventually, the group and I came across a clearing which turned out to be the Piazza del Popolo. This is what we saw. Please excuse the poor quality, again this was taken from Andy's cell phone.


Parco delgi Aquodotti (The Aqueduct Park):

The only thing that Andy DEMANDED we do while in Rome was; visit the Aqueduct park. We braved the Italian Metro train system and took it to the edge of Rome. We grabbed some refreshments and some beer. Then found our way to the park

This was my favorite part of Rome. It was quiet. We laid in the grass. We climbed rocks. We picked some plums with locals. It was exactly the Italy I was wanting to experience.

Pantheon and Fontana di Trevi (The Trevi Fountain):

So, I saw both of these sites multiple times during my trip to Rome. The Pantheon was a refreshing change of pace. I was surprised that the Pantheon free to enter AND it was relatively peaceful inside. I must make a confession here; when I first saw the Pantheon I was almost moved to tears. I am not sure why this moved me. But, it did. I was also surprised by the fact the Pantheon was even prettier at night.

I have mixed feelings about the Trevi fountain. Honestly, I think the Trevi fountain holds some of the best statue work in Italy. On the other hand, I felt the romance of the place was voided by the hoards of tourists and Italian men asking lonely woman out on dates. Also, I was the only one of the group that thought the Trevi fountain was more beautiful during the day than at night. 

One last thought about Rome: We avoided visiting the Vatican and any tombs all together. I really have no regrets about this decision...BUT maybe in the future I will visit just for kicks.

Now stay tuned for Italy Part 2: Tuscany...