Saturday, April 21, 2007

Back to the future...

Ok, my chronology is ALL outta whack, but that's ok! I'm now going to travel backwards in time, my friends. Observe and be amazed as I go from Easter... to an entire week BEFORE Easter!

Really quick, though... Double-you tee eff is up with photobucket? My pictures are starting to be less displayed, and more... implied. Oh well, I'll fix that later.

So, anyway, here we are, on April 1stish. We wake up bright, early, soon, and in the devilishly wee hours of the morning to head out to Orvieto. We get on the bus, I scream "17!!!" (Rome inside joke), and we're on our way. 1st stop: I don't remember the name, but it was the first church that St. Thomas Aquinas was assigned to. It even had the same Crucifix as it did then, though it was a little worse for the wear. Check the church:

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And it wasn't just brick facing, either!

So from there, we moved on to the Cathedral. I... don't remember what was PARTICULARLY special about the Cathedral, short of the fact that it was big and decorative, and all of the thing that Romans need to survive. Also, it looked really cool in the sunrise.

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Great picture, Joe!!

So we explored there, I stopped in a shop for a split... then we had lunch! But before we could have lunch, we needed one minor thing... see, Orvieto is known for it's white wine. It's true; you can ask anyone. So Liz, Megan, Bebop, Rock Steady and I all went to a quaint little shop for some quaint little alchohol. We got one (sigh) bottle, and started wandering around looking for a place to eat. We rounded a corner, and saw this:

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How's THAT for a view during a picnic?!

And actually, there was a little wall for us to sit on, so we set up.

Oh, by the way, Sarah Daley is Bebop and Sarah Berger is Rock Steady. I decided during that very picnic that those are their names. I'd be all "Hey, Sarah." And they'd both be all "Yeah?" and DUN DUN DUNN music would play in the background. I had to fix it.

I don't like dun dun dunn music.

Right, so we had a lunch of rice cakes, crackers, cheese, bread, salami and wine. It was quite quality! We finished our one (sigh) bottle of wine quickly, then Bebop and Rock Steady wandered away. But not before Bebop got a shot off:

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It's like I said on Facebook: What an incredible view!! And I don't mean the mountains... ;)

Nor do I mean the girls.

Actually, I can't backup my ego right now... I need a haircut so badly. I almost got Bobby to cut it, but Kyle talked me out of it. We're toughing through the entire semester without a single haircut. It's... rough. As you can see.

So then, we started walking... I was fascinated by some barred-off caves and was yelling into them until Liz quipped "Oh yeah, I remember them saying something about an underground sewer system..."

And then the smell came.

Needless to say, I cheesed it outta there as fast as my ankle would carry me! Which, it turns out, is pretty fast when faced with such an adversary! During our tactical retreat, we came apoun another scenic outlook, and Megan ran towards the dangerous ledge with a carelessness that would give the Easter bunny a heart attack.
I, having a slightly stronger heart than the Easter bunny, snapped a shot.

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I almost feel bad for pushing her.

Heh, just kidding. I don't feel bad.

As we continued our walk (during which I leapt over the cliff, as you all have seen), we searched for Liz's street. See, when we were waiting outside the church, we started looking at our maps, and realized that Liz has a street named after her in Orvieto! Viale Carducci. So we just HAD to find it, just HAD to. After talking to a crazy old Italian man, who APPERENTLY pointed us in the right direction, we found it!

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I had my suspicions that it wasn't REALLY named after her, but I kept them to myself.

Finally, it was time to go, so I went to another scenic outlook.
What? The Akers are ALWAYS late!

Actually, it was right by the station anyway, but looking at the opposite side of the valley. Also, it was a cool picture with the birds.
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I shot SO many birds.

Ok, so, that's the Orvieto trip. My next post will most likely be about Capri, unless I've forgotten another event in my life. We'll see. Oh, and yes, Mom, I made it to Capri!

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Old Italian guys talking on a park bench: Priceless. Especially when I photoshop it to make it look 70 years old. Isn't that just an instantly classic picture?


Monday, April 16, 2007

The great priority shift...

And so, here I am. My roommates slumber, and I type away on my laptop to a gentle tune as a single tear falls down my cheek.

Actually, it's not a tear. I just dribbled my drink... into my eye.

Ok, my Italian oral final is tomorrow, and I've read through this thing I'm supposed to read to her twice. Twice is not enough, but I'm at the stage where I've stopped stressing. Or, maybe it's a form of stressing... I don't think so, though, because it's not unpleasant. It's... a gentle numbness. Also, I'm kind of tired. Through all of these things, I was inspired to hit the Blogspot situation. Be all like "Hey, this is my life... observe!" So, I shall set the coffee heating up, crank up the Journey, and tell you all a few things before I settle in with the book of Mormon... I mean, the Italian text book.

One moment, please.

There. So, where to begin? I know, I said I'd give you a series of short posts... well... it didn't happen. But you knew that. Yes, I simply don't have the motivation to tell you the things in my life. I say "motivation" as opposed to "time", because, in all reality, I waste most of my time here doing next to nothin'. So, without further adieau, let's shoot for... Easter.

On good Friday, I went to vespers at the Old Rite church with Rob, where we go every week... except it wasn't at the church, they re-located for the time to a different church a few blocks away. But no matter... anyway, we went to that place. It was quite cool, actually... they chanted the passion in Latin. ...Shoot, that WAS friday, right? It all sorta mixes together... much like I'm sure this semester will once I'm back in da States. Anyway, it was cool, 'cause the Priest wore black vestaments. Neat looking.

On Holy Saturday, we slept some, preparing ourselves for the long night ahead. At Game Time, we(Rob, Liz, and myself) went to the Easter Vigil.
It was quite cool, as always. I was disappointed that they turned the lights on so early in the Mass, considering we were each armed with a candle. Speaking of the candles...

So, Liz and I are in the back of the church, standing there with our candles. Well, about an hour and a half in, I happened to notice that her candle was getting rather small... she was starting to have trouble gripping it properly. So I offered a trade. I took the small candle, melted the bottom of it with MY candle, handed my big candle to Liz, and stuck the small candle onto my thumbnai where it stuck happily for another good ten or fifteen minutes. The thing was the size of a shirt button before I blew it out, and I only did THAT because I was afraid of it falling off my thumbnail and lighting a pew on fire, effectively ruining Mass for everyone and possibliy resulting in my excommunication on grounds of arson, or the like. So, to avoid arson, I blew it out... I was proud of my own ingenuity, though, and thought I'd toot my own horn(this being my blog, and thus allowing me to say whatever I bloddy-well like).

So, yeah, we had candles, but they turned the lights on. Too bad. Anyway, after a quality two and a half hour Mass, we left with some fella named Joe to wander around Rome a bit. THEN, at long last, we went back to Candia to Trena's party.

Trena had told us ahead of time that she was having an all-night party after vigil Mass, and everyone was invited... w00t! Also, everyone was bringing food.
I discovered, at this party, that apperently I make the best devilled eggs in all the land. Go me.
Rob and I stopped by the room briefly to unwind, and pick up our contributions. Our contributions included the devilled eggs and this:

OMYGOSH!!! I haven't talked about Orvieto yet!! Ok... crap... I'll just have to talk about it later. Stupid my life continuing without letting my blog have time to catch up! Before, I could sum up a month's worth of my life in a five-minute post... NOW I'm up to something every WEEK! *Sigh* Ok, yeah, next post will be Orvieto, though it comes earlier chronologically.

Right, so, our contributions for Easter were eggs and this bad boy:

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*Heavenly choir*

This is just magically delicious Scotch that I hadn't had in a good, long while. I was pretty excited about cracking it open, as was Rob. See, we had plans of celebrating all of Easter week with that baby. They fell through. How? Because C-Dom surprised me with its ability to drink when faced with QUALITY alchohol. Soon as I cracked that open at the party (to which we were fashionably late, and notably missed... woo!), people were EVERYWHERE asked for a bit! Students, yes, but it was truly when I walked passed Mr. Akers and Alfonz that I took the biggest hit.
Mr. Akers: Hey Joe, what'cha got there?
Me: Chivas Regal.
And suddenly, though I didn't notice before hand they were holding cups, they were all handing out their cups like a gypsy holding his collection cup under my nose begging for a handout. Alfonz quipped that he hadn't had any in YEARS, and Mr. Akers was soon asking for seconds. Everyone liked it, to say the least... everyone that tried it, anyhow.

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Me with Chivas Bottle, April 7th, 2007... R.I.P.

Chivas Regal

You will be missed.

*sigh* He truly will. Oh, that reminds me, I need to get my dishes back from Trena... she still has my egg plate, and M&M bowl, and Chivas Bottle I hope.

So, yeah, I made it 'till about 6 AM... then I went back to the room "to get a coat" and promptly crashed in front of the computer for a half hour, during which time the sun rose, and I officially "lost" Easter. Oh, well.

Look at this picture that I took!
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Rob is pimpin' the Chivas.

Ok, I should get to studying... I'm feeling the sleep creeping up on me. I still think of that childrens story about the town that thought Sleep was an invisible monster that attacked you when you least expected it. I wonder in recent times if they weren't far off... But that's neither here, nor there.

Wish me luck, and for cryin' out loud, pray for me!! PLEASE!!!


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

And now, a word from our sponser...

Who is me. I'M my own grandpa... I mean, sponser...

Two things. First, I just realized that my last post was #50!!! WOO!!! "And many more..." I feel ashamed that I didn't make any kind of fuss, but I feel equally enraged that none of you offered so much as a congratulations! You people disgust me! Why haven't you discussed me?!

...Is it 'cause you distrust me?

Ok, I've got to stop rhyming. I've been doing a lot of that lately... long story. What was my point? Ah, right, so that's point #1. #2 is the following:
So, instead of doing Italian for the past two hours like all of you are SURELY about to tell me I SHOULD'VE been, I was reading over my old posts, and I realized... my blog was a lot more entertaining back in the day, when A.) I didn't have pictures to post and ACTUAL THINGS to talk about, and B.) I hadn't technically told anyone about it. I dunno... I think my life is more interesting when I use my imaginations with it, instead of ACTUALLY talking about my day. Maybe my imagination's just broken since I came to Rome, what with there being things to do/study... I dunno. But this whole "more entertaining" thing is easily evidenced by the huge variety of commenters I had back then... keep in mind when you read the comments that most of those people I never hung out with, and some of them I didn't even know! This was back in the day when teachers read my blog! Could it be that it was more entertaining because I didn't spend entire posts complaining about my blog?!

Ohh.... crud.

Eww... I have a "blog". That's such a dorky, teen-ager thing to have. OOH! I know! If I'm right, and my blog was entertaining, but isn't anymore, I could present it as a TV show! That way, people can watch it, then talk about how "it's been going downhill since the end of sophomore year..." It's PERFECT!

Hmm... a blog TV show... ARG, FOCUS!
I STILL should be doing Italian... there's just so much of it that I don't wanna. Yup. Don't wanna. How's THAT for a mature attitude?

Ramble ramble. I continue to ramble.(and scarf down these Irish Whiskey-filled chocolates... only 1,55 Euro at Todis! Buy a package today!) ...If it WAS a TV show, could I pull off cliffhangers? Do people care enough to be pulled in...?

Man, I just can't get off this topic. Let's try again: Ok, after typing that, I just sat there and stared at the screen for five minutes. I think I should officially declare defeat before they take my blog away for good.

...Who's "they"?

Ok, it's almost 2. I gotta go do something. Good-BYE!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Ok, a lot has happened in recent times, and I've started to fall behind on my posting, so I'ma speed things up a bit.

On saturday, we went to the vatican museum, home of the Sistine chapel. It was a very nice museum, but at the time, my foot was still large and in charge, so it wasn't a pleasant experience all around. First, the Akers pulled the old "Leave at 6:15 for the museum but it won't open 'till 10 'cause we didn't get our facts straight" routine, which quite honestly gets me EVERY time... BUT, while we were in line, we saw a motorino accident. Guy was fine, but his scooter was on the recieving end of a low-speed SUV. It was strange... there was no damage to anything or anyone that I could tell, but he still left his scooter lying in the middle of the road for a good hour while waiting for the cops to show up. Had I been driving, I woulda run over the bloody thing, but that's just me. So, yeah, we were waiting in line.

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Kak read Bridget a bedtime story. Bridget liked the pictures!!

Then we got inside, where camera were more or less outlawed, and the laws were more or less ignored. Mostly more. When we got in the Sistine Chapel, the "no photography" sin was illuminated by the flash of a thousand cameras per second... would you believe that wasn't the most ironic thing? The most ironic thing, in my opinion, was the booming loudspeaker that went off every five minutes asking people to be quiet.

Italy is very confusing sometimes.

Anyway, we wandered a bit for a while. Then we went outside, and I looked at this:

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Rob and Kyle decided they want this in their back yards.

So, um... we wandered some more... I honestly didn't take many pictures. OH, I wanted to say something.

For every museum we've visited, or basilica, or whatever, as soon as we first enter the room, music would always play in my head. Y'know, that generic "English art museum" music? Dun dun dun DUH-NUH-NUHH, DUH-NUH-NUHH, nuh NUH nuh-nuh... Like that. Well, the second I walked into the Sistine Chapel and looked up, the music stopped. I've been playing that moment in my head over and over since we got here, but like in so many good things in life, it surpassed anything my imagination could conceive of. Being there, and seeing the work, was truly amazing... I think my favorite painting on the ceiling wasn't the creation of Adam, but the separation of light and darkness... very cool. Anyway, I won;t bore you guys with my new-found soft, emotional side... I try to repress it, but it comes out on this blog every now and again.

Then again, maybe I'm just losing it from staying up past 4 for 4 of the past 5 nights... it's been one of THOSE weeks. So, forgive my shortness, and strange attitude. Believe it or not, I'm actually planning on getting up at 5:30 tomorrow to go to the Holy Steps.

Hmm.... oh, for those of you that are no one that I've mentionned this to... did that makes sense?... anyway, I finally have the music I want to make little music videos of pictures and movie clips from our trip here, so I might get to work on that tomorrow, or much more likely, saturday... might be fun. Crud, I have another picture from outside the museum. I'll leave you guys with it. G'night... have a blessed Good Friday, and a rockin' Easter.

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Pfft... I'd look impressive TOO if I took MY shirt off... and worked out regularly... and had a beard like that... and was a roman god, or whoever this dude is. Whatever.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Catching up with myself...

I believe I owe you all an explaination or two. You probably have some questions, like: "Why is the Pope bearing down on you?", or "Why did you jump off a cliff?", or (perhaps more importantly), "How did you survive?"

Well, my first response will be calm down, spazz. It's all good. If you take that attitude with me again, I'll never update again. Just sit back and let ol' Joe tell you aaalllllll about it.

So, we get up at an unholy hour... when was it... last wednesday? No, two wednesdays ago. Like, 5:30 AM or something. But that's the sorta sacrifice you have to make when you're going to SEE THE POPE!!! So, we got up bright and early (Liz earlier than all the rest... her discipline was rewarded with a sprained ankle.), and headed for St. Peters. And, believe it or not, we were the first ones in line, save for the crazy Pope-dancing lady, but... no one beats her...

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The girls, at least, seemed to be in good spirits.

So, yeah. We waited outside St. Peter's square for quite a while, planning our attack. The plan was that, once they opened the main gate, we'd split into five groups, each running for the front of a metal-detector line. This would maximize efficiency in getting through, since you couldn't buy tickets for particular seats. Fortunately, Mr. Akers gave us the run-down for where to sit, how to get there, and how to ensure no one could get through us. So we were pretty set. I actually have a pretty funny video of Micah demonstrating our plan of attack, but I won't post it here. Anyway, part I went off without a hitch(though not without a Hich) - we got to the front of each metal detector! My favorite part was when crazy Pope-dancing lady's line had to be shut down, since their metal detector wasn't working, and she tried to push her way to the front of OUR line. Fortunately for ALL of us, Noah is a rock when it comes to holding a spot in line. He didn't even FLINCH when she jabbered at him in Italian, and probably threatened him.

My respect for Noah grew that day.

Anywhooo... so, we got through the metal detectors, faded right, found a hole, and BOOKED IT to the outside. We entered our isle, ran to the front row of seats, and with Zac guarding the end of the line, letting only Christendomites through, we filed in.

Mission accomplished. All students were secured in rows 1 and 2.

At that point, we could relax, as long as we held on to our seat. See, when the Pope entered, a lot of people were going to stand up and charge forward. Let 'em. If they don't have a seat up there, the guard's will remove them. So, after the Pope DID enter (See "Viva Papa!" video), he cruised around in his Popemobile for a bit before sitting down.

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I'd love to see how that thing does in 4 wheel drive...

Once seated, they announced all the groups in the crowd that would like to welcome the Holy Father. Awesomely enough, we were one of those groups. So, over the loud speaker, they announced "Christendom College", then paused long enough for us to shout "AMAMUS TE!!!" At that, Benedict XVI grinned and gave us a little wave.

Has the Holy Father ever grinned and given YOU a little wave?! (Past semester students, don't answer that.)

Tim was in charge of synchronizing our shout, and he did a pretty good job, I gotta say. So, rock on.

Step 2: When the Pope finishes the Our Father, those in the front row(myself included) were to stand up, stand with a wide base, and cling a wide section of railing each. Meanwhile, those in the second row were to rise, move the chairs aside, and stand behind/between those of us on the railing. On the signal, those on the railing release with one hand and turn right, holding on to the railing with our left arm while allowing enough space between us to allow the second row to move in, holding the railing in the same fashion.

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Like so. As you can see, we managed quite well.

And so, we were positioned. All our pieces were in place. All that was left was for the Pope to drive by, touching our hands. We even knew the route he would drive in, so our seats truly were perfect.

Well, as fate would have it, I did NOT get to touch his hand... I wonder if perhaps I didn't try as hard as I could have. Maybe he was just trying to touch the hands of the girls on either side of me, I'm not sure. In all honesty, I'm ok with it... just seeing him so close was enough for me.

Maybe he just senses Liz's injury, and appreciated her great leap more. I tell you what, she friggin' LAUNCHED at him, and got him! So, that's cool. Anyway, that was that day. I'll have to fill you guys in regarding Friday and Saturday later... I've got work to do.

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Viva Papa!!!


Sunday, April 01, 2007

I leap to my death.

Viva Papa!!!