27 June 2007

all the pretty wishes.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

That time of year has once again returned where we mark the occasion of my birth. Sometime very early on the morning of July 7th I will have been on this planet for 26 years. I like presents and Cadbury, such a jealous rabbit, does not like to be left out.

When visiting the Amazon wish list don't forget about the nicely organized lists on the side!

Categories on the side of the main Wish List

Fig. 1: List of More Specific Lists

Anche: My birthday this year is 07/07/07. I want to do something incredibly awesome but I'm far too boring to come up with anything. Help me out. How can I spend this glorious Saturday? Tell me please. I'm open to anything (at the very least I'll hear you out). Audrey suggested an orgy. I'm not sure she was actually suggesting it but that's what I took from the conversation. The point is that no idea is too crazy.

PS: On an unrelated topic, how | about | Jessica Biel?

18 June 2007

how was my trip.

Dear Everyone:

Less than a week ago I was finishing a stay in Italy lasting nearly six weeks. I posted nothing here because my plan was to create a cohesive narrative, different from most of my other stories which are not so much tales as they are weakly-connected highlights. I'm having a lot of trouble doing that. I'm not sure if it's because of my usual memory loss or if it's because I'm having trouble distilling what my trip was.

I kept a journal although toward the end of the trip you could tell I was less interested in keeping track of day-to-day stuff. But at first I was committed to writing down as much as possible, so committed Ugo told me a couple times, "Hey, if you try to write everything down you'll miss the actual stuff going on." Something like that. I paraphrase so that's why it sounds a little like Ferris Bueller.

What I'm getting at is that I don't really have a reliable written document of my trip, just scribbling of things I found important that I swore I would flesh out later that night but never did and now my ailing memory is trying to reconstruct these things. People that have seen me since my return have all asked me, "How was your trip?" Where do I even start?

I've wanted to go to Italy ever since I was 15 when I started reading Dante, a writer that, even when I re-read the same text year after year still puts me in a humbled state of wonder. Ten years later I was there, standing in the same church he prayed in and spied on the woman that impressed him so much he wove her into one of the most important pieces of literature ever written. To be in his city, to see the same sites and to see the city's dedication (possibly remorse and guilt for his exile) to the man -- and I was only in Firenze for three days of my 34ish-day trip.

How was my trip? I don't have words that can accurately sum things up. Any time someone has asked I've struggled with my usual go to words like "awesome" and "amazing." How do you describe my view of Assisi from my bedroom window or being in the presence of thousands of years of history? How can you convey Piazza IV Novembre at night or the throngs at Gubbio during Festa dei Ceri? So far, I've compared the latter to being up front at the biggest concert festival you've ever been to but tighter by a hundred. When I'm asked in passing what Italy was like I don't have enough time to tell them how it really was -- just that, you know, it was pleasant to me.

I saw so many things, spoke (a lot of the time) a different language, made a lot of friends (one of which, sadly, will not translate over into the States -- we had fun while it lasted, Culp), and relaxed. I know that's completely cliché for an American to go to Italy and "finally relax" like I'm Diane Lane and I just spent some time under the Tuscan sun. But I wasn't in Tuscany. I was in Umbria (I'm still working on the map a little bit).

So my trip is a string of superlatives I won't even attempt to write since it'll just make everything sound like a Gene Shallot review. Although it was, in fact, a tour de force.

I can post pictures, some video, maybe even some scans of my notebook but I don't know that I can properly show you how my trip to Italy was. But I'll try real hard.