Friday, November 4

Casual reasons to cry for joy!

YES: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Here are some comics I made (One, two, three), the first one is my favorite. Let me know what you think of them? I may be persuing them as a form of poetry next semester as my final creative writing thing. And then turning it into a web comic? I get ahead of myself. It's part of my plan to have a final product or two once I've graduated...

Music: Subterranean Homesick Alien (Radiohead).

So today was pretty good...went to a soup kitchen, and bought tickets for the Edward Scissorhands dance production. Yesterday was fun too, I went to see the elementary school where I'm going to be a teaching assistant a few hours a week. It's going to be really interesting...the school has crucifixes all over the wall, and the time I'm going to be coming in is partially during when they have hymn practice. I would care for some reason, but I think it's going to be fascinating. Plus I like kids, as many of your know. And I haven't been around so many short people in a while, so it was kind of endearing being a giant.

So! Down to business: Today I'm going to tell you about Rome. Next time, Florence, then Venice, then Milan. Here goes!

ROME: A bustling metropolis with cheap food and a lot of incredible relics that are falling apart. Really, I enjoyed it, there was cheap house wine and I saw a lot of things that just seem essential to understanding history, like the Collisseum, but it's kind of an unreal city. A giant tourist zone. Very dirty.

The night before the first day, Joseph and I flew in for 2 hours on Ryan Air on thursday the 21st (I met some nuns on the plane who taught me basic Italian which I soon forgot). Got in to Star Gate Hostel, the worst place we stayed on the trip. Wasn't terrible, we got what we paid for (18 euros), but definitely the place I most expected to wake up in the back of a truck under dead bodies the next morning.

Day 1: It rained most of the day, but we packed some raincoats, so it was cool! Saw a lot of things:
  • We walked first thing in the morning to the Collosseum, which it turns out was named for the Collossal statue of Nero made of Bronze outside of it when it was first built. The statue was named, you guessed it, The Collossus. Check out these pictures (Through an arch). Interestingly, although it's a rather ugly looking structure now, it used to be covered in marble. But when they built new buildings, they tore all the marble tiles off and used them on other stuff. That's why there are all those holes all over the outside of it, as there are on the back of this thing in Rome, which we saw on the second day and which I don't remember the name of. Hence: ugly (but fascinating) history!
  • We tried Gelato! (Italian for complex ice-cream? I never found out.) Regardless, delicious.
  • We went to the Palatine, a giant park of historical structures where a lot of old palaces and government buildings, including the roman forum, which is now about half a column in a field. (Fun game: Find the kitties a the Palatine!) Also: have you ever seen a tree like this? Look at this thing, it's on the pipe.
  • Went to the coolest building in Rome, the Emmanuel II memorial for WWI soldiers. There was an amazing. It was raining, but still amazing.
Day 2: Rained a little! But not much.
  • Went to the Vatican! It took an hour on line to get inside. But we made it! Here's me looking at some bust. Har. I left my UPS jacket in the museum (which takes up 40% of the country, and the entire museum is a beautiful series of halls in which you walk, waiting, to see the Sistine Chapel). After the Sistine Chapel, where we were not allowed to take pictures (the Pope traded photographic rights to a Japanese company who offered to clean it, as the P-dog couldn't foot the bill to have it cleaned himself). We went to the Basilica afterwards, which takes up another 30% of the country. There, Joseph looked pretty, and I found my man from the Exodus, who somehow snuck his big stony Jewish butt inside the throne of Catholicism. I tried to go back in to get my jacket after walking through the museum, but it took too long. The museum closed. I left it for dead :( Time to find more conversation peice clothing! Also: The Pope's tennis court. What EVER. T0tally exposed.
  • Saw the Tiber River, which runs through Rome. It's kind of dirty and surrounded by vagrants, so I didn't stop to paint a watercolor or anything, but still...the Tiber is like...famous, right? It was cool.
  • Saw the Spanish Steps, which were crowded and awful. But there they were....
  • We wandered a bunch and saw some fountains until the end of the day. We found a toy shop where Pinnochio and Joseph shared a quiet moment of true friendship.
  • Saw the Pantheon! Interesting, but sadly falling apart and turned into a cathedral.

Day 3: Sunny! We left mid day for Florence. I actually received a guide just for Florence from a really top notch guy I met in the hostel the night before. His name is James! Here he is, making an official presentation.
  • Went to the Museo Nazionale, which was unmemorable and small, but interesting!
  • Went to the Duomo, which was super-cool. Joseph found his favorite famous statue (Romulus and Remus suckling from the She-wolf, the original.) and proceeded to investigate, which was less awkward than it looks in this picture. Sweet.
I would like it to be known that at no time while in Rome were Joseph and I even tempted to go here. Those of you who know what the Danza Slap is...cry, cry for shame.

Oh my Lord, this blog is exhausting. Did I mention that when this was all finished about an hour ago, my computer shut down and deleted it? My face turned strange colo(u)rs.

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