Friday, November 25, 2005

Give Thanks

As it echoes my first toast at our party, I would like to give thanks to my family here in Rome, thousands of miles from home, but home nonetheless; countless blessings for being in one of the most beautiful places on earth and to have found new relationships and unforgettable experiences there.

Here’s to friendships forged here and a great big shoutout to our friends and families back home. And also for the fifteen Cornish game hens and one roast chicken Craig & Smyse baked up, and Helen’s bulgogi and rice, and Will’s deserts and mashed potatoes, and Amy’s apple crisp, and Cat’s pineapple casserole and green bean casserole and artichoke dip, and Selena’s mashed potatoes, bruschetta, banana bread and pumpkin pie, and Gloria’s lasagna, and Christina’s alfredo, Alex’s rice and countless other people’s contribution to a well-deserved American thanksgiving dinner, not to mention a fully stocked bar that finished before night’s end.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Italy's Finest: Venice & Florence

Venice & Florence were heaven…

A great Saturday night. : )

2) Getting lost in Venice on a beautiful night in the labyrinth of its streets.

3) Feeding (and getting attacked by) pigeons at Piazza San Marco’s.

4) Window shopping at antiques places, glass places, mask stores and food markets.

5) The gondolas parked along the canals.

6) The blue sky and the sparkling water.

7) Not paying for a hotel room and instead pay

ing for expensive but well-worth it Italian dinners.

8) Train rides from place to place.

9) The enormity of Florence and the busyness of its streets.

10) Il Duomo.

11) Drunk in Italy. Again.

12) Coming home to ROME.

I can’t even begin to describe these experiences in this way. Pictures tell thousands more words; but I guess you can never really understand [or care about] what happened here.

Its ok.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Things & Other Things

Craig’s birthday party was amazing; Selena put together the entire shindig and it was a surprise after all. I felt really bad pretending that his birthday was no big deal, but the payoff was amazing. We were able to cramp over 30 people into Selena’s apartment, and the food was absolutely amazing.

Money is vastly becoming very short, and there’s still so much of Rome I have yet to see, not including the upcoming trip to Venice and Florence I have yet in the cards for November.

Wednesday: Goa was absolutely great; we paid 15 euros again and got bused to and from the club, with entrance and a free drink. Cat got a little*** sick and went home early, but the night went fine. It was a pretty big group, as normal, but some of the people who didn’t normally go out were out that night. The next day, Kris and I went around on an impromptu excursion to the find the catacombs, but it worked out that we did everything but. It was amazing regardless, having seen San Giovanni and the Vatican Museum shops all over again.

Thursday/Friday: The second drink & draw event at Susannah’s was just ridiculous in that within the first five minutes (without having had a single drop to drink) I manage to spill RED wine all over the front of my WHITE shirt. After that came several rounds (and bottles) of wine and beer, a ton of drawings and drunken pictionary and mad libs on the wall, and finally Jim & I crashing at their place til morning because of the lucky combination of laziness to go and drunkenness to find our way home. The morning found us at the nearest bar that would serve coffee early in the morning, still a little tipsy but still having fun failing at functional Italian and pissing off the woman at the counter nonetheless.

Saturday: Viterbo & Villa Lante were absolutely beautiful. Just amazing. Lucy the Italian teacher was not there (though we kept making jokes that we would find her) but these little towns are perfect remnants of the Italian past. Medieval structures, old churches, run down buildings and streets and a population of unassuming people tired of reconciling the slow and mundane everyday with the constant bustle of the tourism made the experience interesting and ultimately satifsfying. Great pictures from here.

Sunday: Our awesome picnic at Borghese at Piazza di Sienna was a great Roman experience; Mike joined our group as we ate food everyone brought on a surprisingly gorgeous day in the middle of the field where we proceeded to throw around a tin lid that we tried to pass for a Frisbee because we had none (it worked for aw hile) and was quickly replaced by plastic plates adhered together by chocolate paste (fashioned by Mike). We then decided to buy a soccer ball and Calcio it up with some local kids around the age of five or so. They were hilarious. The one obviously had his Sunday clothes on and kept making his mom wait while he finished up our game. It was a pretty even match seeing as how it was the Asians [and Catherine] versus the rest of the group, with two of the Italian kids each on teams. That was a great Sunday afternoon, followed by a great time back at the studio, not before witnessing some of the late Sunday inline skaters at the bridge at the park as Jim & I headed back.

Fuck. I am going to miss Rome SO MUCH. This is ridiculous. And this is home.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

All Saints

Last weekend was hilarious. We went ot Botticelli’s where Cat’s friend went and they posted up a Penn State pennant in commemoration of their FAVORITE guests. Then, after a whole ordeal with Doug and Kristi actually getting hit by a car screeching to a halt, we arrive at the club which was alright, but we Temple people decided to claim the top floor for our own, which made it a lot better. A little afterwards, a slew of Filipinos came in and I got to meet some of the people our age who actually seemed really cool and eager to meet the Americans. Then we hit up Piazza Navona, where the girls rode Mike’s bike around the cobblestone streets while I tried to make conversation and practice my Italian with a whole bunch of willing and considerate [and drunk] Italian people. In Piazza Navona. At 3 in the morning. In Rome.
Mass was great again this week. Some of the most beautiful music came from that Tagalog choir, singing both in English and Tagalog. I think my faith is very slowly being restored through the celebration of mass by the Filipini di Roma at Santa Pudenzia, my new Catholic Church while I’m here. It is absolutely gorgeous and before and after masses they congregate in the main plaza while basketball happens at the courts. The sisters were really nice, and one of the girls came onto me, but decided I was too young. Problem one: I don’t speak tagalog very well, and Italian even less. Problem two: The younger ones speak one language: Italian. That’s right. So they don’t even speak tagalog, which I can understand. So there’s a standing discrepancy in communication with the people my own age, but talking to all the adults were easy because they know English thoroughly. Anyway, the church is beautiful and the people were really nice and it is a great place to call home here. No invitations to houses for food yet though.

This Halloween was absolutely ridiculous. Dressed up as a Raphael (the turtle, not the painter) because I didn’t have purple electrical tape to be Donny…we went out to the Supper Club, a multi-room club with hot music, but it was crowded as hell. Met Joe, yet another Filipino but he wanted to hang out some time and have me meet some others in the city while I’m here. I think it is an invitation for some good old flip food too. That would be amazing. Anyway, the festivities were done up American style by our crew, but when we approached the club, we found Italians who dressed with like upscale masks but were still all about looking slick and like they belonged there.

So we were a little out of place, especially me, the ninja turtle, with my ghetto-ass electrical tape bandana thing. Whatever, it was awesome. We Halloween’d it up Roma style…

Hmmm…after having read this again, I found out that I am a TERRIBLE writer. Ciao.