Monthly Archives: April 2008

Venice, Florence and Sienna

In belated honor of Earth Day, I thought I’d show you some of my favorite parts of the planet. First up: Venice. This is without a doubt the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. It will probably be underneath melted glaciers by the time you are ready for retirement, so I would book your tickets soon. Happy Earth Day!

Note to Boys: Despite all my mixed feelings about marriage, I would say yes to anyone if they proposed to me here. Compulsive gambler? Alcoholic? Deadbeat? Yes, yes and yes. Doesn’t matter. I do. Venice just does it for me.

A city without cars is so weird and yet so right. Sure, they have moving trucks and a few other helpful vehicles, but even the taxis and ambulances are boats. The streets are all narrow and windy and it makes you feel like you’re on another planet.

You can’t tell from this picture, but I’m wearing my “I Survived Catholic School” T-Shirt. I actually went to public school and I just thought the shirt was funny. However, I forgot how many Catholics would be running around Italy. I only got the stinkeye once, to my knowledge.

This was the view from our hotel room. When we went to the hotel, the lady took one look at us and rolled her eyes.

“You are American.”

The boys nodded and asked for a room. One room. For five people. She gave the boys a once-over and flashed a “hussy” glare at me and Jen.

“Here is key,” she sighed, clearly expecting the worst. “No drink-ay; no ba ba ba.”

We are still trying to figure out what exactly “ba ba ba” means, though this quickly became our favorite go-to joke.

Nothing sets the mood for ba ba ba like a romantic 5-person gondola ride!

The most fascinating part of our hotel room was the toilet/shower combination. Or as my old roommate called it, “common f*cking sense.”

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the gelato (Italian ice cream) was so delicious that we ended up buying peanut butter, jelly and bread. This way we could spend our entire food budget on gelato. Teamwork at its finest!

And oh yes, there was more gelato in Florence:

In Florence, we took an amazing walking tour. Props to Jen for finding the flyer and demanding that we go because it was reccommended by Rick Steves. This tour totally made up for Paolo’s appalling tour of Rome, which I will explain some other day.

In Florence, we saw amazing art and gorgeous buildings. I wrote all of the names down somewhere but hey, you can google them. You’re on the Internet right now, after all. So here’s a crazy church:

A god going pee-pee in a fountain:

The one about rape:

And of course, Michelangelo’s David. We weren’t supposed to take pictures of it but everyone totally was. They had one poor guy running from tourist to tourist, clapping his hands and crying “Hey hey hey! No!” I just waited until he was on the other side of the room.

I never thought art would take away my breath the way David did. I can’t describe what it feels like to see it in person, so you should just go. But for now, enjoy this picture. I like the angle I shot here; it makes it look like he has his finger in his mouth, all “Hee hee, I’m naked.”

Jen turned out to be the Italy MVP. She suggested that while in Florence, we take a day trip to Sienna which was supposedly “really pretty”. It totally was and it was worth the train ride. Steve ditched us that day to go to Pisa and stare at a tower for six hours.

One of the best things about Europe is that it is full of gorgeous parks and historical hotspots where hundreds of people come to just lay around and chill out. You don’t see that much in the states but I am convinced it’s the way to go.

Once we were relaxed to the max, we had a flash of insanity and decided to climb the tower. THIS tower:


Oh yes we did. On these stairs:

Once we got to the top, however, I was blown away. It was truly the most amazing view I’ve ever had, and probably will ever have.

We took pictures of each other high-fiving and stuff, but we were so sweaty and gross after that climb. I need permission before I post pictures of my friends like that, especially if I plan on cropping myself out of them. So here is the view:

Up next: Rome!

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Filed under Adventures, London, Picture Pages

France! Too Much Booty In The Pants!

All those Bs from The Hills running around Paris made me nostalgic, and I’ve been babysitting a scanner so I had some time to digitize all these pictures.

(And by “some time” I mean a lot. Scanning is exhausting and feels so much more ancient than it should. So I will spare you my usual long-winded yackity yack.)

I went to Paris with these three dudes in 2001:

I roomed with Crystal, who sat next to me on that first flight to London, and some other girl. Lauren? She looks like a Lauren. We’ll call her Lauren.

This is probably my favorite picture ever:

NSFW OMG!

The biggest surprise about the Mona Lisa is that it’s tiny. Actual size, below:

Okay, I lied. THIS is my favorite picture ever. Poor Lauren:

“Are you looking for Jeeem?”

If you’ve ever seen National Lampoon’s European Vacation, then you know the Arc de Triomphe is surrounded by a circular road with no crosswalks. The Jersey boys straight up threw me into oncoming traffic to get to the other side. It was like Frogger – oop, is that racist? I’m French, I can say it. I have to tell you, for all those rumors about French people having an attitude, we didn’t get honked at once. Everyone just stopped for us politely. On the way home, we realized there were underground tunnels.

I loved these stairs:

This is the night Nosferatu showed me his fish skeleton:

The front of the Eiffel tower is a fun place to hang. And I lied again; every picture with Frank is my favorite picture.

The last morning we were totally over Paris and wanted to go home, but they wouldn’t let us switch our tickets. We debated just sitting at the station and napping, but then I got all mom on them and forced them to go to church.

And see Ray? Wasn’t it worth it just to meet a new friend? Do you and that pigeon still keep in touch?

Later this week I will try to do Italy. Not the Lindsey Lohan way. Just picture-wise. Oh, someone in the room just suggested I do the Amsterdam pics tomorrow since, you know, and I just dislocated my eyeball from rolling it so hard. I am so French.

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Filed under Adventures, London, Picture Pages

Hey Steph, 1994 Called

YOU GUYS YOU GUYS YOU GUYS.

Guess who I just saw???

That’s right, this cool guy:

That is Mike from The Real World: London. I just saw him at Schnucks buying fancy meat from the “custom cuts” counter.

If you knew me in the 90’s, then you know I was absolutely obsessed with The Real World. It’s a nasty and depressing show now, but seasons 1-10 were high quality and totally fascinating. I have since given it up but I get so psyched when I see old, old school cast members on The Challenge or VH1 clip shows.

I didn’t say hi, because I know from reading all about The Real World that respectful cast members hate that. So I just walked by Mike ten times and gawked incessantly which I’m sure was much more appreciated. He looks exactly the same, minus the sweet Airborne haircut.

Whenever I start hanging out with a new guy, I’m not sure if I should reveal these weird stupid things that I get so excited about. But the new guy and I seriously JUST had a conversation about old school Real World last week. And we’ve also had this ongoing bacon theme with our conversations. People keep talking to us about bacon for no reason! And Bacon is kind of funny!

So anyway, after all of that, I saw a guy from The Real World BUYING bacon. A perfect full circle. So I had to make an urgent phone call from inside of Schnucks to tell him, and he thought it was as awesome as I did. He’s a keeper!

I know that it’s been a week and I should have more interesting things to talk about, but not really. It was a good week, though. I saw Ty and Adam for the first time in forever, checked out Warren and Sarah’s cutecute Dogtown house for the first time, watched The Darjeeling Limited with Pat, set a new personal record for running the mile and had a full Office Season 3 marathon with Jason. So, good times.

But if you know me, then you know the only thing I love more than old school Real World is a crazy cult media frenzy, so I am all up in this polygamist compound bust and I really have to get back to reading all the dirt. Later gators.

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Filed under Almost Famous, Pop Goes The Culture

Is My Touché On Straight?

I like how I wrote about negative people and how awful they are, and then two days later I wake up in the assiest of assy moods.

Have you ever had one of those days (and I promise I don’t mean this in a schizophrenic way) where you feel like everyone is out to get you? And everyone else is just plain dumb and annoying? And the whole world is conspiring against you to make your day as irritating and uncomfortable as possible? Yeah, I’m riding one of those.

I don’t know what is wrong with me. I thought I slept well. Nothing bad is going on. I haven’t fought with anyone and I don’t feel fat today. Hell, I can’t even blame this mood on what I usually blame it on.

To be fair, that last entry wasn’t about anything recent. I actually had a dream about something completely unrelated, but in the dream I was living in an older situation, one with a lot of negativity. I woke up with a weird form of post-traumatic stress and I couldn’t shake that anger, no matter how far I ran. At least I got six miles and a bitchy blog entry out if it. I wonder what this will get me.*

~~~*~~~

I’ll try to kill my cranky mood by telling you a horrifically embarrassing story. Are you ready?

The fact that a dream ruined my whole day reminds me of one I had a few years ago. I dreamt that I was at the doctor, and he was prescribing me medicine for something. (No, I don’t remember what; that’s not the embarrassing part.)

By the time he started listing the side effects of this medicine, I was half awake. But I kept listening. And he told me that I was going to get headaches, dry mouth and blurred vision from these pills. He said the side effects would kick in at some random moment during the day.

Also? I was supposed to get diarrhea. “Roaring diarrhea” was the exact medical term, I believe.

Somehow (probably because I was sort of awake), my brain processed this dream as an actual memory.

So I spent an entire day believing that I would get diarrhea AT ANY MOMENT.

Every time I got in the car. Every time my stomach growled. Every time I wandered far away from the bathroom. “Oh my god. This is it. It’s the diarrhea.” I actually canceled plans because of this.

Finally at some point in the evening, I got curious about when the pills would kick in, so I went looking for the bottle to investigate. That’s when I realized there were no pills and I was not sick, and most importantly I would not develop blurred vision. I have never been so stupidly relieved.

I feel a little better, but not much. I feel like these guys:

*Food of the month: Egg in a Basket. I’ve had 1-3 of these daily for the past two weeks. I can’t stop. SO DELICIOUS and fun to make. It’s healthier than my Magic Market gyro addiction, but if I get anything today it will be raging salmonella, is my point.

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It’s All In Your Head

I hate negative people more than anything – so much so that I can’t even rationally explain this to you guys. When I think about it too much, it makes me angry, and then I have to run like 5 miles to channel all of that bad energy, and then I’m all lightheaded with little angry leftovers.

Your life can only be as good as you think it can be. YOU are in control of your own happiness.

Do NOT take your shit out on other people. And above all else, do NOT be passive aggressive. Passive aggressive behavior is the most non-productive, irritating shit in the history of humanity. I have spent too much time with shitty people who produced enough negativity for the both of us and it almost completely destroyed me. Depression may be a chemical imbalance, but negativity is a contagious disease. I will never, ever let someone bring me down like that again.

People like that help me burn calories from angry running. But that is basically all they are good for. I am fucking serious; I practically hate them more than they hate themselves (and their job, and their dinner, and their neighbors and the weather and the temperature in the room and whatever the hell else they are complaining about today. PLEASE SHUT UP).

Negativity is like traffic – it’s a chain reaction that affects everyone in your path, building and building with every flip of the bird, every eye-roll and every exasperated sigh. You know those assholes who complain about everything under their breath but make sure you can hear them? I am thoroughly convinced this caused a war somewhere through the butterfly effect. At the very least it will get me arrested someday because that ess makes me so violently angry.

Here is how I overcame the negativity: Vitamin B, sunshine, lots of exercise, learning how to entertain myself and Mates of State. Yes, Mates of State cured me of depression and basically saved my life. I am 100% serious about this.

WATCH THIS AND CHEER THE HELL UP. Then please take your smile and pay it forward, because lord knows the world needs more of them.

(I am madly in love with G.J. Echternkamp.)

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Filed under Botheration