Thursday, October 30, 2008

Che Bella!

We still seem to be off by a few hours - meaning I'm dead-tired by 9:30 and wake up at the relatively early hour of 7am somewhat ready to face the day (in contrast to the "normal" 8:00, when I have to force myself to work in about the span of 1/2 an hour). Because of that I haven't gotten a lot done since I've been home and there's TONS to do - laundry, unpacking, putting up Halloween decorations, putting together costumes, cleaning entire house, and downloading pictures from trip!

Well, at least I was able to download the pics this morning and here are a few:

Monday, October 27, 2008

We are Returned

Whew! Got home from our trip yesterday evening after a looooong day of travel. Both of us went crazy over Kaya, who we missed very much, and spent an hour or so online reading emails and blogs trying to satisfy a pretty nasty case of Internet Withdraw Syndrome.

Despite a bad cold and even an earache (thank God for wonderful European health care system where simply waltzed into Pharmacia, described symptoms [approx. translation: "I am bad for two days. And today, my ear-shaped pasta is *pop* *pop* *pop* all the time."] was delivered drugs for which I paid less than 7 Euro!) we had a wonderful time. It was pretty much a Renaissance art extravaganza - I'll post some pics soon.

Scored a bottle of 22 Euro Absinthe yesterday - when it became legal in the US, had terrific idea to throw 19th Century party and drink it - but a bottle costs something like 70 bucks in the US. Thanks to the tanking of both the US and the European markets, the Euro cost only a little more than a dollar in contrast to the almost 2 dollar exchange several months ago. Assuming we still have our jobs when we go to work today, that's one good thing. (: Otherwise we might be burning the contents and all other purchases on a street corner to stay warm through cold, winter months. Wouldn't that be ironic?

Last night slept approx. 12 hours then woke up at unusually early hour. Now slightly bleary-eyed at thought of work, but looking forward to seeing friends. Well, I'd better go - Ciao!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Buona Sera dal'Italia

Buona Sera! M and I are having a terrific time over here in the Italy. We've been to like, a million churches, the Uffizi, the Accademia (that's where the David is). Even for me, it's been a lot of art! If I see one more deposition from the cross... We're staying in a really nice hotel (a 16th c. palazzo!) with frescos on the walls and even a bidet! Yesterday I got a little cold, so that's been a drag, but one soldiers on.

Things have changed a lot since the last time I was in Italy (about 10 years ago!) I'm no longer a senorina, but a senora, and, you can get ice in your coke. Both of us bought shoes. We're eating excellent food and eating more gelato than you may think judicious.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Eek - I really oughta finish up my packing right now, but I can't resist one more blog post before I hit the road (or the skies, rather)!

First off - a certain, alert husband notes that the beat to Stayin' Alive is perfect for performing CPR - don't forget! And, get certified, why don't you?

Secondly, can't wait for the election to be over (with Obama as winner, naturally!) Couldn't bare to watch the complete debate Wed. night but certainly did get my feathers ruffled by McCain and his statement about "women's 'health'." I've written about the so-called partial-birth abortion before - it's a rare proceedure, usually performed on wanted pregnancies because the fetus has abnormalities incompatible with life, is already dead or dying, or because the pregnancy is threatening the life of the woman. It's disgusting that McCain belittles this. Nobody wants a partial-birth abortion, but to deny a woman access to one is extremely dangerous and beyond heartless.

And, on that note, I've got a plane to catch! Arrividerchi, tutti!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stendhal Syndrome

A certain husband alerted me to the fact that some people suffer from something called "Stendhal Syndrome" when they go to Florence. He was unclear on the details but said they get overwhelmed by too much art. Isn't that amazing? I found an 1989 article in the NYT that reads:
Some faint, Some soar suddenly, in the presence of provocative paintings, sculptures or architecture, certain people fall apart. Some start to perspire heavily. Others experience rapid heart beat and stomach pains. A few even faint. Still others fall into depression, or soar in euphoria, or feel omnipotent, or feel persecuted, or go through all of the above.
(You've really got to read the whole article!)

I am rather confident that I will not suffer from this affliction (although it sounds kinda fun), being, as I am, a trained Art Historian. Lately I have even imagined that I will see someone staggering around, and I'll fling out my arms and say, "I'll handle this, people! I'm an Art Historian!"

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My friend?

Am watching the debates. McCain is creeping me out with his weird whispering and calling us "My friends."

Sunday, October 05, 2008


This weekend M & I have been working on our coat cubby inside the front door. We had had a little rack with hooks on it which fell out of the wall, ironically, from the weight of everyone's coats at our luau party earlier this year. Now we're putting in a full wood wall, with bench, shelf, and hooks. I think it's going to be ab fab after we finish it. Will post before-and-after extravaganza when we're done.

Other than that, had a lovely weekend sleeping in, breakfast in bed, listening to Everyday Italian on podcast to prepare for upcoming trip!

You know what drives me crazy? On design shows, you hear the hosts all the time talking about "repurposing", and they obviously have no idea what it means. It usually goes something like this, "We repurposed your coffee table by putting a mosaic on top, and now it's a much cooler coffeetable!" That, of course, is merely purposing. Repurposing, as everyone knows, is when you take something intended for one use, and use it for another. For example, I didn't have an ipod cover, so I cut the foot off a sock, sewed a button on, and then sewed a little ribbon loop on the other side: ta da! Repurposed sock! If I had it to make over again, I suppose I wouldn't use a button, but maybe little piece of velcro. Actually, I inevitably will need to make a new one soon, because I lose it all the time. Luckily there's also no shortage of single socks... Ciao!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I don't know if I can take it...

I'm trying to watch the debates, but Palin is killing me with her folksy, bullshitty garbage. Oh god, now she's talking about drilling in Alaska...

I have a theory that one of the worst downfalls of this country is that Americans are under the mistaken impression that they are rich. To me, it's completely illogical to vote for McCain (or Bush, the last few times), for like, a hundred reasons (She just called him Senator O'Biden!), not least of which is taxes. I mean, the only people who are going to be taxed more by Obama will make over $250,000 a year. If you're making that much, god love ya, I think you can spare a little. For the rest of us schmucks who aren't pulling that much down, we're going to see some bigger breaks. Meanwhile, McCain gives the biggest breaks to the highest earners.

And his healthcare plan! Don't get me started on his health care "plan"! Listen, I've been in the very, very unlucky position of not having employer-sponsored health care, and I've tried to buy private coverage for myself. First of all, if you've so much as been to the doctor in the last year for a hangnail, forget about it - you won't get approved for coverage. Secondly, a "$5000 rebate", to use a colloquial term, ain't shit. I got a quote, 5 years ago, mind you, for health coverage at $2000 a MONTH. Seriously. His plan's a total joke. It'll make an already horrendous system a thousand times worse.

Anyway, I don't think I can take this much longer, but I do think Biden (O'Biden! ha!) is killing. He's a bright guy (and clean and articulate), he's compassionate, and he doesn't appear to have learned how to pronounce the word "nuclear" properly within the last 24 hours.