Thursday, March 13, 2014

La Dolce Vita



Last October, B and I spent the better part of October traipsing through Italy.  We flew into Rome, stayed for a week, moved onto Siena, then Florence, then Venice, then back home.  It was an amazing way to celebrate our ten-year-wedding anniversary, and gave us a chance to REALLY get away from it all-- no kids, no dogs, no jobs, etc.  I kept a journal of the entire trip-- actually, WE kept a journal of the entire trip as we took turns writing in it--and I considered going back through it and writing a blog about each city we encountered.  Then I thought, "Hmm... I kind of have a headache and it's already 3:30 on Wine Wednesday, and 75 degrees outside, so do I REALLY want to put that much effort into blogging about Italy?  Nah.  That's what travel bloggers are for."  So instead I compiled you this really awesome list of my favorite memories from Italy.  Enjoy.



MY FAVORITE (NONSEXUAL, BECAUSE THE SEXUAL ONES ARE NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS) MEMORIES FROM MY AND B'S TRIP TO ITALY, PROBABLY COMPLETE WITH PHOTOS, IF I DECIDE I'M IN THE MOOD TO PERUSE THE OVER TWO THOUSAND PHOTOGRAPHS (NOT KIDDING) THAT WE TOOK AND POST A FEW ON MY BLOG.  OH, LOOK.  I DID.  YOU'RE WELCOME.

1.  Giving Diabetes The Finger~  October 17, 2013, was my 25th anniversary of having Type I Diabetes. Though I am an extremely healthy diabetic who has excellent control over the disease, I can't even begin to tell you the number of times in my life that diabetes has FUCKED ME OVER.  All the birthday parties with no cake because my sugar was high, all the headaches I've gotten because my sugar was low, all the frustrating attempts to learn how much insulin to take for Chinese food or pizza or, well, ANYTHING.  So, as a way to say, "FUCK YOU, PANCREAS, FOR GIVING UP ON ME AND LEAVING ME STRANDED WITH THIS FUCKING DISEASE," on my diabetes anniversary, B and I got directions from our innkeeper to the best gelato in Rome, at a lovely little place the locals visit called Portofino.  It was my first experience with gelato (of  course, my diabetes had only allowed me to have diet soda while all my friends ate gelato the last time I was in Italy) and it was HEAVENLY.  I had white chocolate and biscotti flavored gelato, with real whipped creme on top and ate EVERY SINGLE BITE.  And, by using my handy dandy insulin pump, I didn't even screw over my blood sugar.  HIGH FIVE, ME.



2.  The Time We Interrupted The Funeral~  One evening in Rome, B and I were wandering around looking for something new to see when we decided to go back to the Pantheon.  The first time we had visited, we had gotten there right at closing and hadn't been able to go inside.  This time when we arrived we saw that it was open, and people were going in, so we walked right in with them.  There was a sign taped to the  door written in Italian, but in Italy EVERY SIGN IS WRITTEN IN ITALIAN (go figure) and neither of us speak fluent Italian, so a lot of damn good THAT did us.  Once we got inside the church, we marveled at the beauty of it all-- the dome, the hole in the center top, and were being very, very quiet because, as it appeared to us, Mass was taking place.  But as we began to look closer, we realized that this wasn't just any mass.  THIS WAS SOMEBODY'S FUNERAL MASS-- made obvious by the ginormous portrait of the dead guy on an easel in the front of the church--AND WE WERE CRASHING IT.  Those other people in there with us?  Those were the dead guy's friends and families.  OOPS. We left.

3.  The best thing about Italy is that there are no open container laws and they sell wine EVERYWHERE, so you can walk into one of their little supermarkets, buy a bottle of local, delicious wine for 2 Euro (slightly less than three American dollars), pop the cork out (if you happen to be carrying a corkscrew-- which we always were because we're GENIUSES), and drink it while you're walking down the street.  If you were so inclined, they even had WINE JUICEBOXES (we never partook of these, seeing as how we're too classy for that, but see the photo I took below.)  ANYWAY.  So you can drink wine while walking down the sidewalk.  Or crashing a funeral.  Or, say, at the laundromat at 9pm on a Sunday night in Siena, the most intact medieval walled-city in the world, after you've been hiking for two solid hours straight up and down the streets of the city carrying all of your laundry in your backpack, searching for somewhere open to wash your clothes.  (Yes, this DID happen, and, while I did appreciate the opportunity to drink wine unencumbered in the laundromat, I would rather have skipped the hiking-around-carrying-all-my-shit part.  And yes, drinking at the laundromat is what I'm doing in the photo.)  I would write my favorite memory here of our wine-capades, but there is no one favorite memory.  We drank SO MUCH WINE.  Holy Hell.




4.  The first night we were in Siena, we were sitting in Il Campo (this is like the center of town-- it's this HUGE, gorgeous, medieval, scallop-shell-shaped courtyard surrounded by old stone buildings).  This seems to be where people just go and hang out--study, dance, read, drink.  The sky was an inky blue-black and the moon was full over Il Campo.  It was AMAZING.  And then this scruffy little dog walked by and sniffed my foot, so I started petting him.  His owner, whose name was Francesca, turned out to be a very nice lady who spoke not a word of English, so communicating with her was pretty difficult.  We finally (with lots of miming and B's newly acquired Italian) figured out that the dog's name was Hugo.  So I loved on Huge (I was missing my Mims a lot) and then they went on their way.  A few days later, we were sitting at a table on the edge of Il Campo (drinking wine, of course) when I saw a little dog go walking by.  IT WAS HUGO!  So I started yelling for him and Francesca, who seemed a little mind-boggled as she had obviously forgotten me and had no idea how I knew her dog, brought him over.  It was awesome.




5.  SO, our plan was to take the train from Siena into Florence as there was no way in hell I was getting into a little European car with B behind the wheel.  Seriously, I have to Xanax-up and pray before we drive from our house to the grocery store (a mile away) because he scares the ever-loving fuck outta me.  Everything had gone smoothly with this plan thus far.  We had gotten from Rome TO Siena by train, and now we were back at the station to catch the train to Florence.  It was raining pretty hard, and the train was late, but it was no big deal.  We were under a covered platform and had two bottles of wine with us for the ride, so it was all good.  About an hour after we were supposed to depart, the train guys finally let us board the train.  We got settled in and sat there for a half-hour or so.  Then they told us we all had to get off because flooding had canceled the train.  It was explained to us all (in Italian and very, very broken English) that buses would be coming to pick us all up and we could use our train passes for the buses.  This wasn't such a big deal because Florence was only about fifty miles away, so a bus was fine.  Except the buses never came.  B and I met a chick named Marissa from NYC who was traveling around the country and the three of us hiked BACK UP another giant hill (carrying all of our luggage) to get to a bus station.  Once there, we bought bus tickets and waited for a very long time until our bus finally arrived.  There were tons of people waiting by now, and the bus filled up quickly, so we were stuck without a seat.  Once again, we were in ITALY, SO WHAT if we have to stand on a bus for fifty miles.  IT WAS A GOOD.  We were tired and a little irritated at everything we had gone through, but we were excited to get to Florence.  Only we didn't GET to Florence-- we got about five miles down the road before the bus pulled over to the side of the street in the middle of nowhere and KICKED EVERYONE WHO WAS STANDING UP HOLDING THE HANDRAILS OUT.  Yep, that's right.  They put us out in the side of the road with our suitcases, no explanation, and just left.





Wanna find out what happened next?

TO BE CONTINUED....



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

And Now It's.....March....

After January, March is my least favorite month of the year.  It's gray, it's cold, it's windy.
IT BLOWS.  (Note that that is not a pun on March being windy.  It's just how I feel about March, in general.)  I hate March.

I realize that nobody who is born in March can help it, so I'm not going to bash those guys, but I will say that I rarely get along with those who are Pisces (Meredith and Janine, you are my two exceptions).  March babies (at least the first-half-of-the-month ones) are usually flaky and flighty and I don't trust them.  And I've never understood people who get married in March.  "Hey, let's get married in a mediocre month and have a mediocre marriage because WE'RE MEDIOCRE," is what a March anniversary screams.  Seriously.  I don't care what your reason is, that's what everybody is thinking about you.

So why have March at all?

A LIST OF REASONS WHY THE WORLD SHOULD CANCEL MARCH PERMANENTLY, EXCEPT FOR THE 30TH AS IT IS MY DARLING HUSBAND'S BIRTHDAY (DON'T WORRY, HE'S AN ARIES, NOT A PISCES) AND SINCE HE REALLY LIKES HIS BIRTHDAY HE WOULD BE REALLY, REALLY SAD IF IT WAS PERMANENTLY CANCELED BY OBAMA OR JESUS OR, WELL, ANYBODY, MYSELF INCLUDED, THEREFORE THIS IS ACTUALLY JUST A LIST OF REASONS WHY MARCH SHOULD ONLY CONSIST OF ONE DAY-- MARCH 30

1.  Nobody needs St. Patrick's Day.~  WHY DO IRISH PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE SO SPECIAL?  They aren't.  I like Scottish people.  SCOTS ARE SPECIAL.  (Except for kilts.  Kilts are ridiculously stupid.)  The only good part about St. Patrick's Day is the Post Family's annual Wearin' of the Green party, but they are moving to Rhode Island this summer, after which I will likely never acknowledge St. Patrick's Day again.  Although now that I think about it, I do support a holiday celebrated mainly by drinking beer, AND Sutt was conceived one frisky St. Patrick's Day evening, proving that it's an EXCELLENT day to make a baby.  However, as of next year I believe I shall choose to think of the holiday as BEER AND SUTT DAY, represented by Sutt's favorite color, Carolina Blue.  Feel welcome to join me.

2.  March Easters suck. ~Easter, and spring break, rarely ever fall in March and when they do it's cold and gray and windy, as I pointed out earlier.  It's really freakin' hard to focus on Jesus busting out of his tomb or the Easter Bunny delivering his baskets when it's 40 degrees outside and everything is still muddy from the FREAK MARCH SNOWSTORMS YOU KEEP HAVING.  Beach Week isn't so great if you have to wear a a coat and boots--trust me, I've been there.  Nobody wants spring break in March.

3.  Bad things happen on the Ides of March.~  Now, for those of you who are very poorly read (or are surgeons), the Ides of March falls on March 15 and is a legendarily cursed day.  It first became infamous in Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar" when a soothsayer told Caesar to watch his back on the Ides of March.  Caesar didn't, and he got stabbed.  BAD SHIT.  Also falling on the Ides of March, the US has faced a horrendous blizzard (1941) that killed over 150 people, Hitler took away the Jews' right to vote (1938), SARS was announced (2003), and the movie "Titanic" took away the title from "Star Wars" as the highest grossing film in US history (1998).  I loved me some Jack Dawson, but, seriously-- STAR WARS IS LEGENDARY.  Just ask my son-- he'll tell you that he's never even heard of "Titanic," but he's seen "Star Wars" approximately 731 times since he turned 4 and became obsessed with it in 2009.  Anyway, get rid of March, get rid of the Ides.  It only makes sense.

4.  March is full of absolutely useless "days."~  For example:  "Save A Spider Day" (March 14)-- really?  We need to save them?  Because I'm all about squishing those sons of bitches.  "Hexagonal Awareness Month"-- WHAT THE FUCK?  "Self Injury Awareness Day" (Marcy 1)-- if you are self-injuring, do you REALLY need a specific day during which to become aware?  If so, you've got more problems than a "day" is going to solve.  "Bisexual Health Awareness Month"-- I have no problem with bisexuals.  As a matter of fact, B keeps encouraging me to BECOME one (hasn't happened yet, but he's still trying).  Do bisexuals really need their own MONTH for health awareness though?  A month seems a little excessive to me.  Take a day off and go in for a physical, whether you are bisexual or not.  PROBLEM SOLVED.  Because I guarantee you that if you take a few days off in March and pin it on "Bisexual Health Awareness," your employer isn't falling for that shit, and if he is, it's because he wants to come over and video you with your bisexual partner.

5.  What starts in March doesn't end well.~  My first date with my ex-husband was on March 27.  Note that HE IS MY EX-HUSBAND.  My first tattoo, obtained on a whim, after I had just rolled out of bed after a terrible break-up with a boyfriend who had broken my heart, roused by a girlfriend who said, "Hey, let's go get tattoos!" ended up being an African violet on my hip.  THANK GOD I DIDN'T GET A DAGGER WITH HIS NAME ON IT OR SOMETHING EQUALLY STUPID.  March is a month of bad decisions.  If you make a decision in March, let's hope it's not something you have to live with forever (like a tattoo).

Learn from this.  And HAPPY EARLY BEER AND SUTT DAY.