Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ugh, you people and your demands!!

Man... here I am, all set to relax after a long day of classes, and wouldn't you know it? The internet has to be working. Now, you think I'd be happy about this. But working internet means respond to ALL the people who wanna hear about ALL my days... *sigh*. It is SO DIFFICULT being popular!! But, I endure. For you, the reader, I endure.

Virtue is, after all, its own reward.

So, here I am, back from Assisi/Florence/Siena. Leah, this post is about to look suspiciously like the e-mail I just sent you, but THIS will have pictures! Yes, this post will be all about...

7... 7.... 7....

That, uh... that was supposed to be an echo... I think the effect is lost in typing. ANYway.

So, we get to Assisi, right? That was fine, whatever, we did stuff. The GREAT part was the bar that was ten feet away. It was wonderful. Plus, the waitress kept pouring me shots of rum, for some reason. That's ok, though, it was good rum. Anyway, the seconde to the last night we were there, the Akers asked the bar owners to keep it open extra late, just for us. THAT was grand... everyone was there, being all chummy, even though a lot of us don't normally hang out.

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Silly, silly girls, with thier alchohol.

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Oh, Rob and Kyle. Just oh.

After that, I realized that I didn't have much time to take pictures of Assisi proper, so the last evening I ran outside with my camera and took a few pics.

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Alleys = cool

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The town of Assisi, if nothing else, is pretty F'in beautiful.

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"Hey, what's that castle doing up there?" "Oh well, fire cameras!!"

Then, after that, it was off to Florence! That was about a two hour bus ride. Some people don't like bus rides. I, however, thrive on them. Thus, I bugged people with my camera. A lot. I won't post a bunch from that.

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Anna's coolness just flows out from her, drowning the rest of us.

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Zach and John forced the bus driver to stop, just so they could pick flowers for the girls.

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Florence was pretty, blah blah blah.

It didn't take us long to find a bar in Florence. Not long at all.

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That's right, God Bless the Drinkers.

Then we went to Siena. THAT place was sweet! I've posted too many pictures already, so I'll go through this fast. We had an AWESOME hotel with a pretty sweet bar in it. Yes, more bar-age. Then we went to the museums... they were depressing. Why? Because they were *supposed* to be churches. Instead, they were either churches that were full of tourists, or museums full of the church's belongings(Relics, chalices... it was absolutely disgusting). Like it or not, however, they did have some beautiful church belongings. So, we wandered for a while.

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Imagine my surprise when we went to the museum where Han Solo is on display!

Outside, it was awesome too. The campo was cool - like a beach, but without sand or water.

*cough* Yeah.

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I have better shots of it than this, but I've made my choice.

So blah blah blah, yadda yadda it was time to leave. But, we had one detour to make...

Apperently, the original story of the Sword in the Stone came from Italy. St. Galgano was a crusader in his day, but one day he decided that he wanted to be a monk. So he promised his servitude to God through prayer, not battle, and went to break his sword upon a rock. However, when he struck at the rock, the sword entered! It has remained in that stone to this very day, and the legend goes that anyone who attempted to pull the sword from that stone would have his arms ripped off. In fact, they DID have a couple of arms dating back to that time period which were found by the sword... ripped off by wolves, or some such. Ouch. Anyway, here it is:

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Yeah, TRY it, Aurthur.

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Here's everyone, with a few exceptions, myself included.

On the bus ride back, we all got food. I got gummy-cokes!

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Ahh... that was refreshing.

So, there you have it. Sorry for the load of pictures, unless that's what you wanted, in which case, you're welcome! Ok, I'ma let Rob use the 'net for a bit. I owe it to him, after posting so many this-is-Rob-drinking pictures. It IS tradition, after all.

Miss you fools!! Peace out!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I am the Roman, I am the Roman, coo-coo-cachu.


I am tired beyond all belief. I have been up WAY too late the past few nights. Would you believe I still got to bed before 3 AM? It's new, improved me! I get to bed earlier, but I don't feel any more rested for it.

Wait... that doesn't sound improved at all.

I was up 'till about 2:30 just chillin' on sunday night. Last night, I was up late studying. Yes, studying. You heard me. Studying.


What? I don't lose face for this! I wouldn't have been up late studying if I had done my homework earlier, when I should have!! So there. Anyway, I was up late tonight, just talking to people, and planning things for tomorrow, I guess. Someone's doing something... I wasn't really paying attention 'till they said "Guys should bring alchohol." What I heard was "You've been drafted." Mmmm.... cold draft beer.
Anyway, so, yeah... tired. BUT, I have pictures, so without further aideau, which is French, I present you with pictures! I skipped pictures of the Roman forum because I'm trying to give you my most interesting, if not glamorous, pictures, and keep it short. Yes, the Roman forum is boring after a while. Deal with it.

This first set of pictures is just a fault of mine... I can't begin to describe how amazing this church was. And the pictures don't do it a LICK of justice - I was feeling rather shaky that day. It's all the crack-cocain here in Rome... gets to a person.

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They had so many chandeliers...

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And it was just... just so COOL looking...

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That I couldn't stop! Still, be thankful, I took WAY more pictures than these of the place!

Hmm... I thought I had more pictures than these... oh well, at least you don't know what you're missing! 'Sides, you'll see 'm all eventually. Check these.

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This was... uh... like, some temple... or something... I dunno. Faustinius and Antonius' temple? Maybe?

So THEN, we stopped by some building.... what was it called?

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If you can believe it, I've been less impressed by this than most places... it's been turned into a bit of a tourist attraction, whereas everything else is untouched history. Does that make sense?

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Still... doesn't change what it is. Pretty amazing.

OK, just a few more sceneic shots for those of you out there who have seen it all before. I need to start taking pictures of people, I know, but I don't wanna seem like I'm playing favorites.

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Temple of Saturn, biotch! You KNOW he woulda laid the smite down on anyone who didn't recognise! ...that is, he would have, had he existed...

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He's a better shot of St. Peter's square.

Wait, this isn't a blog! It's a depository of my pictures! What's going on lately? We're going to assissi on thursday, which means no updates for another while. I'm kinda angry, too - they're making us pack up EVERYTHING. And I just went grocery shopping! So I've been eating like mad. That, and... drinking.

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Translation: Strongest light beer in the world. At 12% alchohol, it BETTER be. I've found a new favorite beer!

Oh, did I tell you guys I didn't make it to the super bowl?! Or rather, didn't get to watch? I went with a buncha people to the scholars lounge, and the Abby theater, and both were PACKED!!! We couldn't get in! So we were dejected and reject, so we stumbled into the Shamrock, a quaint little place with no TV, which meant no people. We drank ourselves happy again (Kyle was upset at first, but I don't care.... he gets REALLY funny when he's been drinking. Oh. My. Gosh.), and stumbled back to the hotel at about 2:30 AM.
Oh, before I forget - beware bus 87. There's always a really smelly guy sitting at the back. Same guy, same bus, same stench. Creepy.

Anyway, Rob, Liz, Megan and I were sick of local food, so we left for the Hard Rock Cafe recently.

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Go Rob... Go Rob... Go Rob...
(Just kidding Joe, Jane, and Ed... they didn't drink THAT much. In fact, I drank WELL more than any of them with my hurricane, which I took a picture of but chose not to post.)

So, after that, and more photo-ing, we wondered the streets. And lemme tell ya something... this City puts on a hell of a show at night.

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Yeah. Pretty amazing.

Maybe, MAYBE, I'll post tomorrow and tell you all what I've ACTUALLY been up to. Sorry, I don't multi-task. Either you get the regular me-report, or you get pictures. And a picture is worth a thousand words. I'm not THAT word wealthy, leave me alone!
In case you're wondering, it's the Jameson whiskey talking right now. No, I'm not an alchoholic. I ALWAYS drink on Tuesday nights.

...That... didn't help my argument, did it?

Alright, I'm done here. I just have a couple of peolpe I need to contact, then It's bedtime for bonzo. Weird to think it's only 7 o'clock for you saps in Virginia (6 for you, sweetheart). Well, anyway, g'night friends. And for crying out loud, if you stop by, comment! I'm not here for you! I wanna hear about how great I am!


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Covering the second day of Romage...

At least, I THINK it was the second day. Or the third. Anyway, I'm POSITIVE it wasn't the thirty-forth, so... there ya go.

First day of touring. There ya go.

It all started with the flight to Rome. It was long, but not too terrible. After all, I had my laptop for a couple of hours, so I watched Final Sacrifice. Good times. We landed in Paris and got very, VERY lost. That place is WRETCHED!! You know they don't even speak English there?! Idiots... even I can speak English. Anyway, we flew out from Paris for Rome. I started dozing on the plan, but then just happened to glance a window, getting a look at this:
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I don't know if you guys have ever heard of the SWISS ALPS, but yeah... holy CRAP! Anyway, I took more pictures than those I'm showing you, but I'm trying to keep it short. So, the tours eventually started. The first day involved seeing the four major basilicas. First stop, St. Mary Major.
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And we even went inside!
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What I DIDN'T take a picture of was the giftshop, where I bought a holy bottle opener, or "Popener", as John Archer called it. Ha!! It's swell.

In case your wondering yet, no, I didn't take many pictures of actual PEOPLE. I will, if y'all want. And I have somewhere between zero and one pictures of myself. Anyway, next stop was St. John Lataran.

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That's a long way up!

I know, I'm going fast, but I gotta go to lunch... I'll post more if you guys want. And speaking of lunch, after those two, we had to stop for lunch.

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Rob sure was thirsty after all that walking!

Next stop was St. Paul outside the walls. Check out his statue:

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Looks like he's ready to do some damage with that sword! I dodged, however.

All these ceilings, by the way - AMAZING!! I took video, just to show the whole thing... it's just crazy. You'll see eventually.

Last stop was St. Peter's. You might recognise this. I can take better pictures later, since we PASS THIS PLACE EVERY DAY ON OUR WAY TO CLASS!!!!

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Beware the pigeons.

After all that, we were ready for our first dinner at this restaurant where we usually eat. Good food, but they tend to take a while.

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Kyle was ready for dinner after all that, and was NOT enjoying the wait!

Ok guys, sorry - I gotta go again. Pray the internet stays up, and I'll post more later!!


Sunday, February 04, 2007

As per your request, please find enclosed... Rome.

And so, it begins.

Spring is apon us, ladies and gents, and brings with it warmer days, flowers, a young man's fancy turning to love, and... oh yeah... ROME!!! Yes, we've finally arrived, and learned much. Oh, not from classes, rest assured - they start tomorrow. No, I've learned a lot about walking until your feet fall off. I've learned a lot about what it means when a hotel says "Free wi-fi internet in rooms!". It means "There's some kinda signal floating around here, but hell if WE know what it is or how to work it!"
Hence why I've just walked a couple of blocks from my warm bed to an internet cafe to pay 2 euro an hour to post for you people. Of course, none of this would be a problem, but for one thing... I can't post pictures!!! I had a whole story planned out with my pictures, and now I can't share them!! It's very... VERY frustrating. I think, to ease my pain, I'll walk to some random bar and drink my sorrows away. And why?

Because I CAN.

That is, actually, the plan tonight. They only feed us monday - thursday, but give us 50 euro a week to pay for food the other days. All I can say to that is, thank GOODNESS for bank cards!!!

So, I will hold off telling y'all about how I've been spending my time, and instead give some insight as to the atmosphere.

1. Meals.
I will admit they are an improvement over Christendom food. Before you yell at me, Rand, they're feeding us at a different place than they were last semester. They start with a bitter salad, and at the risk of this turning into an editorial, WHERE is the ranch dressing in Italy?! Honestly, people, there's nothing wrong with a little FLAVOR in your healthy food!!!
Anyway, once you get past that, you get the main course, which of course changes from day to day. We're eating at a restaurant, so I guess it's the chef's special. So far, we've seen pasta and pizza... Oh, don't worry. Not Christendom pizza. GOOD pizza. CRUNCHY pizza. WHOLE pizzas! It makes my stomache smile... somehow...
THEN they serve desert. And I think they actually have it every night!! First, we had tiramisu, or however it's spelled. It's that coffee-rum-chococake thing. Anyway, it's swell. The next day we had chocolate moose, which was a little gamey.

*Pause for laughter*

Right, well, anyway, they also give us wine. It's pretty good... I'm not complaining, it's free. Only sometimes do I miss my suicides..
Did I just lose any of you? A suicide is a mix of all the sodas at a particular fountain.

2. Accomodations.
I believe I've already explained about my internet troubles... Power is a bit of a nuisance too, since the power converter I brought is supposedly just powerful enough to turn on a hair drier. I plugged my surge protector into it, and all the lights in my room turned off. And I smelled electricity.


Not to be outdone by a piss-ant plug, I tried again. With similar results.
After watching electricity shoot through the surge protector, I moped. A lot. Then, realizing that having a laptop without being able to use it is worse than having no laptop at all. So I closed my eyes, crossed my fingers, and went to plug in my computer directly.
I missed, so then I opened my eyes and tried again.


And so, I have my computer, which means I can store all my pictures and keep my camera charged. So yes, I HAVE pictures, just no way to SHOW you yet. They say they're working on getting the internet back up, but... well... we'll see.

As for the rooms themselves, they're pretty nice. Like a smaller Guardian Angel. All the beds are in one room, with closets, dressers, and desks. Then we have a bathroom with a shower just big enough for me to fit in without moving my arms at ALL. It makes things difficult somewhat, but I'll live. We also get a dining room and full kitchenette. And a mini-fridge! You could fit a whole six pack of be... soda in there! Which brings me to my next chapter...

3. Alchohol.
Ah... what can be said? I already told you about wine at meals... but believe it or not, that makes the provided meals LESS desirable. Why? Because I could go to the pizzeria down the street and get myself a beer! I already found the greatest beer in the world (Not just because it's 12% alchohol by volume, but because it's called "Du Demon"), and have many more to choose from! Like the former chapter, pictures can tell you much more on this subject, and will, once this option is available.

But this, like many good things, must be waited for. So, sit tight, my American friends! I'll be in touch!!


P.S. Crap... do I "Salva come bozza", or "Pubblica post"? I would think I should pubblica post, but I seem to recall the BLUE button on the left being the one to press... OK, I'm trying it. If my post is deleted, I may scream. Here's hoping.