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[04 Sep 2007|12:07pm]
I think I'm going to let this journal die, now.  It's been nice talking to you all!  Maybe I'll resurrect it if I go on another big trip.  Ciao for now! -Moi
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[29 Jun 2007|02:48pm]
[ mood | rushed ]

    Hello, all!  One week left in Italy!!  I'm just writing to let you know that, because Francy's internet isn't working, I might not get ahold of you all before I get back.  In case you didn't know, I'm going to live with Francy!  Just about everyone in my current family is going to different places out of town next week, so there will be essentially no one at home.  Hence, the Francy move.  Apparently I'm going to be doing the oratorio with her, which means that I'll be running around after a bunch of little kids for the next week.  Italian kids.  Oh, dear.

    Anyhow, it's all been relatively calm here.  I went to Como with Teo and Grace yesterday, and have been hanging out with Georgia's (the lady from Penny Bead's) British friend, Nick.  I hauled him around the market and showed him the booth with the squirrels (which are apparently kept as pets here), and introduced him to the Piadineria, where they sell really good wraps.  I've been tying up loose ends here; clearing out my room, recycling all the paper that I've accumulated, deleting all my stuff off of the computer, saying goodbye to everyone.  I'm planning on going out and buying some flowers for them this afternoon, but that will be cutting it pretty close with the time that Francy is supposed to pick me up.  Whatever.  I'm sure that I can make it.

    So that's your Italy update for today, and probably the last one if I can't get ahold of a computer with internet access.  Ciao for now.

Il Santuario, the swankiest church in town.



I think that this building is abandoned, but there are so many plants dripping over the walls that I'm wondering if there's some kind of secret garden inside.  I'm too short to see through the windows, though.



That's all for now.  Francy's coming soon, so I'd better run out and grab those flowers.  Ciao for now!

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[23 Jun 2007|07:22pm]
The other day I was listening to a song on the radio and thought "Gee!  My Italian must be getting really good!  I can understand everything that they're saying!"  And then I realized that the song was in English.  Oy.
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[19 Jun 2007|11:43am]
[ mood | relaxed ]

    Woooooo!  Summertime!  School is out, so I've been doing lots of summertime stuff.  The AFS End of Stay retreat was last weekend, and now I have friends from ALL over.  China, New Zealand, Germany, Norway, Korea, and a few more from America.  Much fun!  The last few AFS camps have been a serious pain in the arse, but this one was actually fun.  It was held at a small hotel in Aprica (a tiny little town in the mountains), and that was probably the first time I've been able to see a smog-less skyin months.  Such clean air!  Not to mention that the town was adorable, too.  So we played all our little goofy AFS games, and I even got Theresa to play a few times.  She's not really a game-playing person, but she was actually a lot better at most of them than I was.  

    We all came back on the train this Sunday, and I spent most of the rest of the day reading.  I've been reading a lot lately.  There's really not a whole lot to do in Saronno (and, from what I've heard from the other AFSers, in Italy in general).  I've finished Tokyo Soup and Roald Dahl's The Witches, so now I went back to the bookstore and bought something that has to do with Merlin.  I probably should have waited until I had a clear idea of what I wanted before going, because I milled around the bookstore for about half an hour going "um, uh...I don't know!"  But at the very least, the library back home will get a nice addition to its Italian section.

    I went on a HUGE shopping trip the other day, and got presents for just about all of you.  There are a few people that have been very difficult to find presents for (Richard Meyn, Nathan, Dana, etc.), but I'm doing my best!!  I must have spent over €200 (sorry, Mom and Dad), but I hope you all are happy with the things that I got you.  I have been getting less and less creative as far as it comes to gifts, but at least you'll all get something...  It's like having to do Christmas shopping in June...

    So, let's see...  Next week I'll be going to the beach, which should be nice.  I will be trying very hard to protect my pallor, but with this crazy sun and sunscreen that is only water-resistant instead of proof, I guess all we can do is hope for the best.  Speaking of next week, I'll be going to my friend Grace's house for a party, which (I have a sneaking suspicion) might be my goodbye party.  Yay!  It will be nice to have an opportunity to say goodbye to everyone all at once, instead of having to track them down one by one to say goodbye. 

    I have new photos, but I'm not sure that I can upload them because I'm trying to get all of my crap off my host family's computer instead of on to it.  You will see pictures of Aprica and my friends from New Zealand and China eventually, though.  There's a really cute one of my friend Nicola riding a duck!

The sky was sad that day!



Extremely beautiful town near Varese, where Theresa lives.



MOST FREAKING AWESOM MOTORBIKE I HAVE SEEN IN MY LIFE!  Found while out and about in Milan with Diana and Matteo.



So that's your Italy update for today!  Ciao for now.

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[04 Jun 2007|03:36pm]
[ mood | tired ]

    LOTS of stuff has been happening recently.  I've been  too busy/lazy to update, but we're taking care of that today.

    The concert went fine, and I actually ended up playing better than I play when I practice.  Huh.  Go figure.  But while I was turning pages for my friend Grace and her sister, who were playing this really intense piano duet, I kind of screwed up and turned the page a bit early.  I got it back on the right page fast enough, but not before poor Grace threw me this pancked look.  Ack!  But they didn't screw up or anything.  There was this one guy, Gabrielle, who played HORRIBLY.  It was really sad, because everyone else was actually pretty good.  Apparently, he insists on playing every concert, whether he's prepared or otherwise.  I personally think that it would be better to play just a few concerts really well rather than all the concerts horribly.  Another weird thing was that the Prof. Tardani was RAVING about Gabrielle's music teacher, but any teacher that let's their student go on stage as poorly prepared as poor Gabrielle was, is probably not that great of a teacher.  You never know.  Maybe he'll do really well next time...

    I went to Milan this Saturday, probably for the last time.  I took the train by myself to Milano Nord station and met up with Diana and Matteo (their pictures are lower on the page).  We went to an art museum and saw "Il Bacio" (the Kiss), a very famous painting, the painter of which I forget at this moment.  We tromped around Milan, went to a music store and picked up some new sheet music for Grace (who couldn't come because she had something else going on that day), bought a few CDs, went to the Duomo, and in general just had a grand old time.  Diana ended up leaving Matteo and I so that she could catch an earlier train, and we ended up going to the castle to see, in theory, the manuscipts of Dante's Inferno.  We didn't actually end up seeing the manuscripts for Dante's Inferno, but we say a bunch of old textbooks (really old, here), and a few of the first books that were printed using the printing press.  We did get rather soggy during this adventure, seeing as it was raining.  AGAIN.  Poor Matteo always forgets his umbrella and has to buy one from one of the people who sell them on the street.  He said that I look like a wet cat when I've been rained on, so I shook my head and got him all soggy too.  

    On the way home, I ended up missing my intended train and taking a different one home.  It turned out to be okay, seeing as this was an express train and I got home in about half the time I usually do.

    Later that night, Raffi (Rafaelle, Francy's brother) picked me up and we went to a festival at Uboldo.  Francy was working, but I spent a lot of time talking to Samu, who is a friend of Raffi and Francy, which was fun.  He's studying something like languages and tourism at the university.  Samu is blind, so whenever we go through crowded places or places with lots of obstacles, he'll link arms with Raffi and they'll go charging off together.  It's really pretty cute.

The camera is working, so have lots of pictures today! 

Il Duomo.  Pretty, isn't it?  It took over five hundred years to construct, and well worth the time, in my opinion.

 

Matteo with a cow. (Katie, this is what Italian boys look like.  What were you expecting, Orlando Bloom?)



Diana with a cow.  I think that there's about thirty of these cows out and about Milan.  What their significance is, I have no idea.



Cow.



Cow.



My favorite cow.



I have been on the computer for a while now, so I think I'll leave it at that.  There are plenty more photos and plenty more cows.  Wish me luck on my sociology and music interrogations!  

P.S.  Katie, I got your e-mail, but my e-mails bounced every time I sent them.   You look so cute in your prom dress!

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[29 May 2007|02:20pm]
[ mood | tired ]

    I passed the audition thing, so tomorrow I'll be playing at a town called Uboldo, where Francy lives.  I've practiced reasonably hard, so I think I'll be okay.

    Other than that, there's really not that much going on.  These are the last few weeks of school, so all the teachers are panicking and trying to get all their tests finished and stuff.  It's somehow yo-yo-ed back to winter weather, and we've been getting thunderstorms like mad over here.  I decided to go out this Sunday to see some festival that was going on down town and go absolutely SOAKED.  Maybe even a rival for Oregon rain, but the rain here doesn't smell nearly as good.

    We went to see Pirates of the Carribean yesterday, which was fun but also VERY long.  That film probably had the most liberal use of browny-yellowish sclera contact lenses that I've ever seen.  Was there anyone who wasn't wearing them?  I also think that Keira Knightly's Chinese pirate outfit was one of the most awesome things that I've ever seen.  I'd like to make a new Ren outfit based off of it, but the Ren fairs are already overflowing with pirates, so I might have to take a pass just for the sake of originality.   Peccato... It would have been really fun to make.

    BREAKING BATTERY NEWS!!  I found the batteries that my camera needs, and now it's up and running!  Now if only I had something to take a photo of...  I've been toting it around just in case that the opportunity presents itself, but so far there's really nothing worth posting.  Maybe if Francy and I go to her town's festival thingy, or if I got to Varese to visit Theresa I'll have something new to post.  Until then, here are some other photos.

This is Theresa, my AFS buddy, from back when we were doing the orientations together in Rome.  I wonder if she looks any different now...



More Saronno.  I walk past this on the way home from school sometimes, unless I take a different route.



Wish me luck on the concert.  I have to study now, so you can wish me luck on that too.  Ciao for now!


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[22 May 2007|05:17pm]
[ mood | studious ]

    Lum tum tum, not much going on right now, but I thought that I'd post just to let you all know that I'm alive an everything.  The sickness is pretty much gone, but I still have a rather stubborn stuffy nose and cough, but they're going away.  They're just kind of taking their own sweet time about doing it.

    So the end of the year is coming up, and you know what that means:  Studying!  I've been reading and re-reading and memorizing like mad over here.  The Italian method of studying pretty much consists of hilighting every line in your book and then memorizing it.  This wouldn't be so much of a problem if I ACTUALLY HAD A FREAKING BOOK TO STUDY FROM.  Francy and I have been making photocopies of some of her textbooks, but that means that I kind of have to be one step ahead of the teachers as far as knowing what to study goes, and if Francy forgets her book at home I'm pretty much up a creek.  But there's only a few more weeks left of school, so that won't be a problem for too much longer.  Yay!

    That's really all that's going on over here, except for the massive mosquito invasion.  I got four new bites just last night, which makes for a grand total of seven, I think.  And those are just the current bites.  I've probably had over eleven, overall.  At least there are some bats outside that eat a lot of them.

    I'm reading "Tokyo Soup" in Italian, which is surprisingly more easy to read than the Stephan King book I had for a while.  It's not exactly a happy book, but I forgot how happy having a new book can make me.  It was either this or Isabella Allende's "Zorro", and I felt the need for a book that makes you think.  (No offense, Isabella)

    I'm practicing hard for the next "prova" (audition) for piano, but the teacher is kind of an elitist, so that makes it a little bit hard to keep motivated.  My host family has been very kind in not killing me for repeating the same song over and over again, but I still have a little ways to go.  Crack your knuckles, girls!  We've got practicing to do!

And here's some pictures.  Some roses....



...and the schifo hedgehog, just for contrast.



Mmm, feel like picking him up?   No, I didn't think so.  Wish me luck on my piano audition!  Ciao for now.

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[15 May 2007|04:13pm]
[ mood | sick ]

    Ugh.  I am super sick right now.  I feel better than I did last night, so at least that's something.  It really would have been a better idea to stay at home yesterday before it got this  bad, but I didn't.  And now I'm sick.

    I spent a great portion of the day sleeping.  I swear I must have taken six or seven naps by now, but that's probably the only reason why I'm feeling at all better.  I should study, or practice my piano, or do something useful, but I'm just not feeling up to it.  Getting better takes the time it takes, I guess.

    Speaking of piano, I've decided to enter the school's concert that is held on May 30.  I'll be playing Fauré's "Sicilienne", if I get it together in time.  The first third goes just swimmingly, but it's that darned middle part that gets me.  Practice practice practice!   The teacher who's holding the concert knows absolutely NOTHING about music, which kind of worked in my favor during the audition.  I'm due to try again on the 25th, seeing as I kind of botched the middle bit during the audition, but it should be okay.   Assuming that I get off my arse and start studying, that is.  Maybe tomorrow... (slacker)

    This Saturday I went out with Francy (I've been spelling her name wrong until now), which was really fun.  We went to an icecream parlour, where I got some lemon icecream that, I'm pretty sure, didn't have any sugar added to it.  Mmm, sour.  It was kind of like a mini birthday party for Francy, seeing as she didn't have a party this year.  We sang happy birthday and made her blow out the flame of a lighter, seeing as we didn't have any candles.  We wandered around Ubouldo (that's the way the name of the town sounds, anyways), and I ended up giving Francy a back rub.  I don't think I've ever seen anyone so happy!  I'm kind of getting a reputation as a jack-of-all-trades, seeing as I know how to do "un saco di cose" (a lot of stuff).  There are worse reputations I could have.

    So, that's pretty much it for your uber exciting update for today.  I'll try to get better so I can walk down to GBC electronics and look for camera batteries.  At the very least, I'll start toting around a ton of the rechargeable kind.  CIao for now!  Have some pictures.

Another rose.



Travel buddy Sid and me, both of us wearing the earrings that we bought eachother as goodbye presents.  The picture was taken outside of a piadineria, where we went and ate Nutella wraps a lot of the time.  You could always tell how bad Sid's day had been by the size of the Coke she ordered.  I miss Sid!



Yum yum, fungus!  Don't ask me why, but I find this stuff hilariously funny.   Maybe I really have gone insane...


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[08 May 2007|05:34pm]
    I'm feeling too lazy to make an actual post, so here's some more random stuff and the cast from my Italian adventure

    Cast:

Host Family, in order of decreasing age.

Piero (Pierangelo) Dellarole:  Host father, husband of Marta.  Absolutely adores both the mountains and Marta, works in Milan.

Marta Bonizzoni:  Wife of Piero.  Loves the mountains just as much as he does.  Teaches English at an elementary school two times a week and gives private English lessons.  Dislikes disorganization.

Rico:  Eldest son, lives in the mountains with his girlfriend.  Haven't had much contact with him.

Anna:  Host sister and my former AFS liason.  Goes to school in Milan and studies constantly.  Likes music and razzing her boyfriend Marco.

Luigi (Gigi):  College student currently studying architecture.  Likes basketball and playing around with Stefano, dislikes formal clothing.

Paola:  Host sister with whom I share a room.  Goes to the same school as me and likes crossword puzzles, making necklaces, Grey's Anatomy and volleyball.

Stefano:  The youngest child, nine years old and addicted to TV.  Loves Dragon Ball Z like nothing else in the world and eats more than I do.

Classmates

Franci: Classmate.  You've already heard a lot about her.

Max:  Guy I met at my picnic and who I consider to be the male version of Fra.  They eat the same type of icecream, talk alike, have the same hobbies and spend a lot of time together.  Is is possible for one person to have two bodies?

Matteo:  Classmate.  A nice guy, but is also the stereotypical teacher's pet.  Enjoys studying and learning dead languages.  His idol is the Pope.

Paolo:  The only other boy in the class.  Considers himself a rapper, has a chunk of eyebrow missing.  (I think he shaves it to try and look cool)

Grace:  Classmate.  Piano genius.  Whips out Chopin from memory, and reminds me a bit of Alice personality-wise.  Would like to go to Jiuliard but thinks it costs too much.

Dia, Ale, Pig, Federica, Diste, Daniela: The nice people in the class.  Usually play cards during the break.

Non-school people

Sydney:  My good Canadian buddy who returned to Canada just last weekend.

Anna Maria:  Anna's best friend.  Comes over to our house a lot to study or do AFS type things with Anna.

Fra:  My friend and ex-Italian teacher.  Loves running and exercise in general.  We see eachother every once and a while.

Francesca (New Francesca):  Girl that I met at a birthday party and who is allergic to grass.  We plan on going to Rocky Horror Picture Show together sometime soon.

    There are plenty more, but that's all that I feel like posting for now.  I might keep adding to this post, so come back and use it as a reference if you need to.  And why is it that nobody comments?  I only write if you comment, people!  Let me know you're reading! 
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[08 May 2007|05:34pm]
    The last post accidentally got posted twice, so go ahead and ignore this entry.  Has anyone else ever realized that there must be someone who folds teabags for a living?
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[06 May 2007|02:20pm]
I got my camera to work for about half an hour, so here's a big picture post! 

The roses are going crazy over here.  Everyone has these red climbing roses, and they've gotten perkier since it rained a few days ago.  We were heading for a serious drought for a while.



The ceiling of part of a monastery in Pavia, where we went on a school trip.  It was absolutely POURING the entire time, which normally wouldn't bother me, but I was wearing converse shoes and my feet were soaked for most of the day.  My friends later took shelter in a McDonalds, but I decided to stick it out in the rain.  McDonalds.  Schifo.



What Saronno looks like.  It's one of the most industrialized cities in Italy, but you can find pretty bits occasionally.  Everyone has these huge automatic gates around their houses, and usually there's a light that goes off when they open.  Cute little balcony up above.

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[02 May 2007|08:17pm]
[ mood | tired ]

    Other Random Stuff

-"Italian salad dressing" is and oxymoron.  There is no salad dressing in this country.  Not even at McDonalds.  They eat everything with olive oil and vinegar, or just olive oil alone.  I'm sorry, Italy, but olive oil by itself tastes a bit like shampoo.

-There is a flavor of gelato called "Puffo", which literally means "smurf."  Yes, there is smurf-flavored icecream here.

-I got a nine in my P.E. class, which is pretty darn good seeing as the highest you can get is a ten.  The gym teacher then asked if I'm any good at volleyball, but I'm afraid that the answer to that is still "no."

-I had a chemistry test (about chemical charges and the table of elements), and I did really well because all the things on the test were things I'd studied in America.  Now I think that the teacher thinks that I'm smarter than I am, which could be a problem in the future.

-I saw my first Italian slug, but it wasn't red.  It was black.  I didn't stick around long enough to see if it spits poison at people's eyes. 

    That's all I can post for now, people.  But breaking news!  My camera is almost working.  It turns out that it really wasn't lying, and it really was out of batteries, and had a problem with the lense besides that.  It can crunch through a pair of ordinary alkaline batteries in under twenty minutes, so now we're looking for Lithium batteries, which have proven to be rather hard to find.  But I could turn on the camera!  I have a few new pictures, but I didn't have time to upload them today.  Most of my upcoming free time will probably be used hanging out with Sydney, seeing as she leaves for Rome this Sunday, and from there to Paris and then home to Canada.  We'll miss you, Sydney!  Come and visit me some time!    Ciao for now.

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[30 Apr 2007|10:10am]
    Life has been good the past couple of days.  This Friday, I went tromping around the piazza with Sydney and we ended up going to Penny Beads, a shop that sells jewelry and, well, beads.  We ended up getting into a long conversation with the ladies who work there.  They all spoke English so Sydney wasn't excluded from the conversation, and they said that if I'm ever lonely once Sydney goes home I can come and hang out at the shop with them.  How nice is that?!  One of the ladies is half Swiss, but spoke with a heavy English accent.  She said that it was because she's been watching too much Harry Potter.  Some of you will be recieving presents from the forementioned shop, just so you know.  It's named after a dog named Penny who just kind of hangs out there.

    After school on Saturday (yes, I have school on Saturday), I came home for lunch and Anna ended up dousing her boyfriend Marco with a pitcher of water, and I got doused in turn by Marco because I knew that Anna was coming with the pitcher and didn't tell him.  But if a person keeps looking over your shoulder, shaking their head and laughing, don't you think it'd be a good idea to look around and see what they're looking at?  Cheers to Captain Oblivious!  But it's all in good fun.  

    Later that day we went to a Mexican restaurant, which was interesting.  It's more what I'd call "Mexican-esque" than Mexican, seeing as the nachos were made with mozzerella cheese and the salsa tasted a lot like spaghetti sauce.  While reading the menu, I misinterpreted the description of on dish to be "made with small socks" instead of  "made in the shape of small calzones."  Whoopsies.  I ordered it just out of curiosity, and it ended up being some ultra-cheesy mozzerella quesadilla thingies with jalapeno peppers inside.  It was good, but I guess I'll never take Sr. Oscar's Taco Loco for granted again. 

    This Sunday I decided to organize a picnic at Dellura Park (the biggest park in Saronno).  I started getting all the stuff together the day before and bought kebabs, which are sort of like pitas but the meat inside is shaved off this huge rotating meat skewer (hence the name "kebab"), and Francesca my Italian teacher Francesca picked me up.  The only thing was that no one wanted to eat!  I had bought eight kebabs, but one girl didn't like kebabs, one girl couldn't chew because of her braces, one girl had already eaten, and one girl didn't show up.  That left me with about seven uneaten kebabs.  I eventually managed to shuffle them off to other people, but I was a bit nervous for a while.   I don't want to eat seven kebabs all by myself!!

    Today, one of the people I met at the picnic is going to come by to drop off some amaretti, a speciality of Saronno, and to pick up my contact juggling DVD which I intend to lend him.  I was fussing with the balls at the park, and he's convinced that I  have some kind of strings imbedded in the palms of my hands or that I have magnets implanted somewhere in my arms.  I wonder what he'll think of the DVD.

    So that's pretty much all that's been going on around here.  We're on our Feste dei Lavoratori (Labor Day) break right now, and I don't have to go to school until Wednesday.  The family didn't take me with them because (different people, different ways) they didn't have room in the car for me.  I'm actually enjoying having the house mostly to myself (it can get pretty chaotic with seven people running around), and I'm hoping to go out and about with Franci sometime today or tomorrow.  Spiderman is going to come out pretty soon, so maybe we'll go see that.  Have some pictures!

    My favorite dome thingy again.  It was really spectacular from the front, but my camera died before I could take a picture of it.

 

This statue is on the Italian €0.50 coin.   Because my AFS friend Teresa and I spotted it first, one of the leaders bought us gelato.   Yay!


 
Just out of curiosity, how many people want to see the schifo hedgehog? I have a picture, but it's kind of gross so I don't know if I should post it.  I'm still working on the camera thing, seeing as the stupid Milan office is still holdin the new camera hostage.  I think I've found a place that repairs cameras, but the poor little thing isn't even making the "thp thp" noise anymore.  I'll see what I can do.  Wish me luck!
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[25 Apr 2007|03:57pm]
    Alright.  Let's do this shiznit.

    For those that don't know, there has been a lot of drama concerning my host family over here, and I thought I'd give you the update.  Apparently they were really mad at me because I wasn't "taking and interest" (I thought that by helping with the housework and listening to them I was taking an interest, but apparently I need to talk a lot, too).  So finally all their annoyedness kind of blew up, we met with the AFS liasons, and now that I know what's wrong things have been getting a lot better.  Their son Rico was also recently in a ski accident, and so that has been adding to the tension a bit.  He's perfectly okay now, but something about cascading down a mountain face-first has got to scare somebody pretty bad.  I'm just glad that he wasn't killed.

    But alrighty then.  Back to the fun stuff. 

    Today was the Italian independence day, and so we got the day off from school (even though it's the middle of the week).  I went out with Paola (host sister) to buy prociutto and cheese at the market, and we ended up looking at clothes and stuff.  She went home first, and I went to meet up with Sydney.  We tried to wander around the market a bit, but it was such a mob scene that we ended up going to the piazza and having a drink (nonalchoholic, for those who want to know). But here's the real drama: 

SYDNEY'S GOING HOME THE WEEK AFTER NEXT!!! 

    What am I going to do without her?  Granted, I did make a new friend at a party last Friday.  It's occured to me how all of my Italian friends are named Francesca and all come from the same town.  But New Francesca and I might be going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Milan!  It turns out that it's not a one-time thing, and that it's shown every Friday.  You still have to dress up to get in free, and I will still be skipping the garter straps.  But what fun!  The party where I met New Francesca was fun too, and I actually hit the winning shot in a game of Foozball.  (Anyone who has ever seen me play Foozball will know what a miracle that is).

    So, yes.  That's just about it.  Lots of other stuff has been going on, but nothing too dramatic.  It's Franci's (sits-next-to-me-in-school-Franci's) birthday tomorrow!  I bought her a book on drawing since I'm teaching her to draw, and I hope she likes it.  Have some pictures!

One of the few pictures of Venice I got before my camera died.  You can really tell that it's a sinking city.



I really like this picture, and I think it came out rather well for having been taken from inside a moving but.  Also from Rome, but I don't know it's name.



Our massive Jenga tower from a bar (cafè) in Como.  That's Luca in the background, a cousin of Anna and Paola and everyone.



So that's your Italy update for today!  I'll try to post an "Other Random Stuff" section pretty soon.  Ciao!
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[11 Apr 2007|02:27pm]
Sorry if anyone got offended about the post a few days ago.  It'll be all care-bears and fluffy marshmallows from here on out.





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[05 Apr 2007|10:03am]
[ mood | bouncy ]

    Hello, everybody.  I'm off to the beach for a week!  It's too cold to swim right now, but whatever.  We're going to a town called Bonasole ("good sun"), and we have neither phone nor internet over there, so don't expect to hear from me for about five days.  My camera still isn't working, but Dad's going to send me a new one.  Buying a camera here isn't an option because anything digital here costs a ton, but  I think I'll try to have someone look at it while in Bonasole.  Chances are that I won't get any pictures, but I'll be going back in the summer and I can get pictures then. 

    But anyhow, I'm going to the beach!  Ciao for now.

A falling down house.  You can see all the strings that keep the roof tiles together.  When a house gets knocked down, they all slide off and hang like strings of beads around the edges of the house.



Another picture of the most photographed building in the world.



Italian house key, with a quarter for size reference.  Sorry about that ugly background.

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[03 Apr 2007|03:43pm]
[ mood | blah ]

Lum tum tum.  Nothing to do today.  I went to the pool earlier (Go Kelsey!) and I'm going to go to the Market tomorrow with Sydney (and maybe Franci if she's feeling better), but until then I have nothing to do.   Have an Other Random Stuff section since I don't have anything else to write about. 

-Tony the Tiger from the cornflakes commercials doesn't say "They're grrrreat!!"  He says "Buonissimo!", which just doesn't have the same ring to it. 

-There's one particular scarf that I have seen EVERYbody wearing, and hence, I am doing a scarf count.  The scarf count stands at 77.

-When you order pizza, everyone gets their own individual pizza instead of one big communal one, although they can sometimes be just as big as an American pizza. 

-The pizzas are also thinner and crunchier, with toppings that can include corn, salad, fish, or eggplant.

-Cowboy boots are in fashion right now, so I kind of feel like I'm walking around in a spaghetti western.

Near the Coliseum, in Rome.  You can see my favorite domed building on the left, and the area where I found Dorothy's rock in the foreground.



Marta (the mother) needs the computer now, so I'll post later.  Ciao!

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[01 Apr 2007|07:14pm]
    Can you say "shopping spree"?  Oh, dear.  I spent a lot of cash.  But they had pants, which fit, and were cute, and DIDN'T MAKE ME LOOK LIKE A PEAR WALKING ON TIC TACS!!!   w00t!!    But anyhow, that kind of started it all.  I bought two pair of pants (score!), a pair of earrings, a bottle of lotion, and a shirt.  The shirt disobeyed my "Kelsey, you can buy Pucca crap when you get home" rule, but it was so...darn...cute!!  For those who don't know, Pucca is a brand kind of like Hello Kitty, but with more ninjas.  My Pucca obsession started when I saw the 5 minute long Pucca mini cartoon (also very cute), and things just kind of snowballed from there.

    Anyhow, we went into the mountains today, where my host family apparently has another house.  How many freakin' houses can one family have?!  This is the third one, to my knowledge.  It was pretty, and I was sad to not have my camera.  There was a little creek outside the house, which I tried to cross, and failed.  Not miserably, though, because I didn't actually fall in the water.  Almost, but not quite. 

    Lemon Gelato.  I think it must be one of the most delicious things in the world, maybe even rivaling Nutella.  So light and crisp...all lemony sunny goodness.  You can eat an entire cone without feeling fat, and after all, what good is good food if it makes you feel guilty?  Ooh, I love that stuff.  So....scrumptious. 

    In ogni modo, you might have noticed that I don't have too much to say today.  We're on our Easter break now, which lasts all this week and a bit into the next.  I was planning on using a not-very-meaty post like this one to talk about the teachers or pubblicità, but....I don't feel like it.  I was also planning to post a little video from Venice, but for some reason livejournal doesn't like the URL.  Have some photos instead.

I swear to god these statues are doing the YMCA dance, if unenthusiastically.




Is it just me, or does this tower look like it has a bunch of M&Ms sticking out of it?



That's all you get for now.  My photo stash is running a bit low, but if I cut it down to two pictures a post, I should be able to stretch them out for a while yet.  Sorry to everybody I haven't  called.  It turns out that the post office isn't open on Saturday or Sunday, so I'll have to wait until Monday to get my phone card recharged.  Ciao!
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[29 Mar 2007|06:52pm]
[ mood | chipper ]

    Went to Milan today, but since my camera is still being a snot, sadly I have no pictures to show you.  We saw this huge (and reallyfamousbuticantrememberitsnamerightnow) cathedral with pillars the size of giant redwoods inside.  Think that scene from Lord of the Rings, where everybody's in their little boats and there are those two huge statues of some ancient kings.  Really, really big.  Not to mention a crapload of stained glass, patterned marble floors and enough arches to make a rainbow envious.  I'll probably end up going back there (seeing as Milan is a grand total of twenty minutes away by train), so if my camera's behaving I'll try to take some photos. 

    I spent most of the day with Franci.  Although it's the middle of the week, we got the day off because there was an optional all-day assembly that we opted out of, and we took the opportunity to wander around Milan.  We didn't get too much wandering in. It was more of a little  day shopping trip than a grand Milano adventure, but at least I've finally been there.  Seriously, I've been here two months just a handsbreadth away from Milan, and today was the first time I'd been there!  Anyhoo, we went into a big shop called Renacemento ("Rennaissance" in Italian, but I think I misspelled it) to buy a present for one of Franci's friends.  She bought him this squishy blue doll thingy that apparently has a bit of a history behind it.  Turns out that Franci and I have almost completely opposite tastes in clothes.  Oh well.  We don't have to go clothes shopping together.

    After we were finished in Milan, we took the train, metro, and pullman to Franci's house where we watched some Hilary Duff movie in Italian (which I enjoyed in spite of myself), and ate a CRAPLOAD of food.  Seriously!  I kept on saying "no, no, I've had enough, really" and they kept saying "Eat!  Eat!"  Whoever formed the idea that Americans eat big portions has apparently never lived in Italy.  I thought I was going to explode, but still found room to eat a bunch of Nutella and a gelato later on.  Beh.  No wonder I'm getting fat.


The great wall of irons.  They iron like mad over here.  A lot of my shirts have a nice "distressed wear" look now because of all the ironing they've been put through.



Roman lamp post.


Lake Como at night.

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[28 Mar 2007|03:57pm]
[ mood | nerdy ]

w00t!  Good news:  I got all of my pictures uploaded onto the computer!  Yay!  Bad news:  I probably won't be able to take any more pictures from here on out, so I'll be rationing out the existing photos a little bit at a time (heh heh...)

    Anhow, I went to an Italian con this weekend (I can see Katie rolling her eyes as she reads this).  It was really more of a comic con, and the atrmosphere was very different.  There were also only a handful of cosplayers, which included Yaya Han, who I met and talked with.  Yaya apparently doesn't speak a whole lot of Italian, so we chatted away for a while.  My friend Franci didn't seem to follow a whole lot of the conversation, but she seemed rather fascinated by Yaya and the whole atmosphere.  She was also afraid of all the Storm Troopers wandering around, so we avoided them for most of the trip.

    I went with my friend Franci, my friend and Italian tutor Francesca, and two of Francesca's friends.  When we were in the Metro terminal going to Milan, one of Francesca's friends went off in the wrong direction without noticing it, so I called out "Signore!"  to let him know he was going the wrong way.  Both Franci and Francesca burst out laughing.  Apparently calling someone "signore" is kind of like calling them a polite version of "grandpa" or "person who is a lot older than me."  This guy was only 29, so maybe that's why they were laughing. (?) 

Franci.


Pillars of Rome.



Snooty house cat  (what a face...)



And why is it that hardly anybody posts?  Come on, people!  Let me know you're readin'!

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