Tuesday, December 27, 2005

post-christmas malaise

i awoke yesterday morning in a malaise...yes, a malaise. read on, dear reader.

unfortunately, i'm not a kid anymore (well, at least not in literal form), so the excitement of going to bed early on christmas eve, leaving cookies and milk out for santa, awaking christmas morning to discover that santa had come and left ALL these presents under our christmas tree, and then ripping open my presents with such excitement and anticipation is gone.

now, i'm on the cusp of being 23, i stay up late on christmas eve wrapping presents and arranging them nicely under the tree, i eat the cookies but, alas, not the milk left for "santa", the little bro turtle has to drag me out of bed christmas morning at 7am to open presents because santa, a.k.a, my parents & me, had indeed come, and i then open the few presents my mom had managed to get for me without me knowing and/or picking out.

so, in conclusion, that christmas excitement that i felt as a child in anticipation of what barbie i would be getting this year is totally gone. so, sunday was spent sleeping and eating all day, and the week proceeding christmas, which was usually spent with so much excitement that i was bursting at the seams by christmas, visiting santa at the mall, etc, was spent working at borders trying to find some obscure book for somebody's mom they heard about once somewhere. the upside to that was that christmas shoppers seemed less biting and demanding this year, and just generally worn out, but kind and jolly. unless you count that shopper who called the store at 8am on christmas eve wondering if we had any x-boxes.

so yesterday was spent attempting to recover from all that had transpired the week before, and food, the sleep, and all the time spent with the family (love them all! really do, but i reached my breaking point waaaay early this year with a few family members), which has now left me in a malaise. tired, headachey, and just generally blah-feeling. blah.

a side-note: it's currently 72 degrees here. oh blessed texas! how i missed your not-cold weather!

Saturday, December 17, 2005


the fall 2005 semester has died.

and although it had its ups and downs, joys and heartaches, it lived a full 3 1/2 month life and passed on december 16th.
it taught me things about the human body i'm not sure i wanted to know, like how urine is made. it gave me many a cadaver and assorted specimens to learn from. oh how i enjoyed that class.
it taught me all about the evils of capitalism, nationalism, pharmaceutical companies, and western health/prevention programs in africa. and i finally got to read guns, germs, and steel.
it buried me in loads of papers, research projects on marine shells from jordan, a few all-nighters, and a not-so-great disposition towards love.
it showered me with great friends, lots of chocolate, great spiritual awakenings, and a published paper.
it was good to me, it was horrible to me.
it will be somewhat missed, but mostly forgotten.

the fall 2005 semester is survived by 8 new books on my bookshelf, $75 i got for my anatomy textbook, about 5 less pounds, pure, unadulterated apathy, a new affinity for spinach wrap sandwiches from the cougar eat, and an overall giddiness that THIS SEMESTER HAS DIED!

may it rest in peace.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

where do people find these things?

i had no idea mr. 't' was so pro-mothers.

"mother - there is no other, like mother - so treat her right!"

Monday, December 05, 2005

i'm cold and sick and it's all your fault

dear winter,

i know you think you're pretty and all, but you also suck. i don't care what your mom (presumably mother nature) says...cut it out! contrary to popular belief, i like having feeling in my hands, nose, ears, and cheeks. sure i'm a fan of winter fashion, but here's where you'd be misguided.
I HATE THE COLD!! and you can't blame this one on me! sure i moved here from texas, where its currently 70 degrees, to spent the winter months in utah, your stomping grounds, but you knew i was coming! you could have stopped. i guess you thought i would like it, seeing as "winter" in texas translates to what is known as "fall" here with the occasionally snow/ice show you like to put on for kicks, but doesn't result in anything except for everything, from schools to businesses to the space program, being shut down for fear this little know white substance that you're ever so fond of here in utah.
but no, you were wrong. soooo very wrong. walking to school in 20 degree weather isn't fun. neither is the fact that my lungs hurt right now from breathing in your cold air.
you make me sick. literally. *cough*hack*whine*zzzzzzzz* sure, blame ritz and her filthy kids for giving me the flu, but it all goes back to you, my friend. so if i die, it's your conscious that will be racked with guilt. and if i fail this semester due to the fact that i can't do anything but sleep and whine right now, it's all on your head.

in conclusion, i hate you.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

World AIDS Day

is today. do your part.

Support World AIDS Day
UPDATE: go here, listen and read the story of Nkosi Johnson, and be touched and inspired.
"do all you can in the time you have with what you have in the place you are."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


i was just sitting in the commons area on the first floor of the library by the stairs engrossed in reading about the problems of population growth when a small piece of paper came flying at me. i quickly looked around to see if someone i knew was trying to get my attention, but i didn't see anyone, so i went back to my reading. then a guy who was sitting close by told me that a guy, whom we will call "stupid", 1 floor up was trying to get my attention. i looked up and stupid was calling to me over the railing to read the piece of paper he'd thrown at me. hmmm...okay? i open it up and it says, "i think you're cute. look up!"

are you kidding me?! because as much as i wanted to be flattered by your compliment and attention, who throws paper wads at girls to get their attention to tell them that they're cute except for 12 year old boys?! i looked back up at stupid with a confused and irritated look to see him with a huge smile on his face apparently waiting for a response. uh-huh. let me check "yes" or "no" and throw the piece of paper back up to you...just give me a second...

wow. boys are stupid.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


saw rent yesterday. never got to see the stage version, but absolutely loved it. it made me laugh, cry, and despite the awful last scene where mimi dies and then comes back to life saying that she was sent back by angel, the drag queen who died from AIDS, i absolutely loved it.
apparently, however, a lot of people disagreed, and walked out before the first act was over. did you people not know the premise of rent? what did you expect from a modern musical version of "la boheme" with 4 characters suffering from AIDS, 4 homosexual characters (one of them a flaming drag queen), and 1 exotic dancer/heroin addict living in lower east manhatten in the late 80s? songs about rainbows and bunnies? i think not. i laughed about it afterwards, but something about it upset me. i laughed at people walking out until i saw people walking out during "i'll cover you", a scene in which two of the gay characters sing their love for each other. why did this upset me a bit? well, let me tell you...

i had a conversation with a friend the other day, in which we discussed individuals who were born and raised in utah and their general naivety of "the world" - now i say this and the following without trying to completely generalize utahans, as this specific friend is one, and as i know many who do not fall into this category - i grew up in dallas, a big flaming liberal city, and, needless to say, was exposed to the world from a young age. not only was i one of the few members of the church in school, work, etc, but i came to know a lot of different people with different beliefs, life styles, religions, races, political stances, etc. the diversity that is missing in most of utah was alive and well in dallas, and because i had wonderful parents who were not only converts, but one who grew up in LA surrounded by diversity, they taught be the value of respect and acceptance. never did i take any of the persecution i received at school personally, and never was i so quick to judge others who were different from me that i was led to impose by beliefs on them and deem them sinners/bad people/un-human. that is not what the gospel teaches. i respected them for their beliefs, accepted that, and loved them.
when i moved to utah, i was thoroughly disappointed and upset that many people i encountered in one way or another were so close-minded, disrespectful, and so unaccepting of anybody who didn't fit the "mormon culture" mold. i thought that surely, a high concentrated group of people who were taught the gospel would live it, and be more loving and accepting as a whole. how disappointed was to find out that this wasn't the case. having just seen rent, i consider homosexuality, and some of the blatant and hateful way i have seen some (not all) utahans treat and judge those who choose that lifestyle. having been on the acting scene in dallas as a teenager, and just living in dallas, i have had numerous contacts with people who choose this lifestyle and are quite proud of it. i even knew one who was dying of AIDS and is probably no longer with us. they are all wonderful people with kind hearts who are just like you and me. is i ironic that most of the gay people i know are more kind, compassionate, accepting, and respectful than many "good" members that i have met in utah?
when it comes right down to it, if we strip away all of our "labels" we and others place on ourselves, such as "mormon", "gay", "texan", "vegetarian", "utahan", "republican", or "american", we are all simply human beings. do you realize what huge implications that has? we are all god's children, and he loves everybody equally, even those who sin. and are we not all sinners? christ taught that he who without sin should cast the first stone. i think that is one of the most poignant moments in the life of christ, for he, the only one without sin, did not cast a stone at the sinner. we should see others as christ sees them, and that alone would demand that we respect, love, and accept all of god's children, not just the ones who shares our beliefs. there is a separation and a difference between loving someone unconditionally and not agreeing with their beliefs. it's called respect.

in conclusion, i loved rent, the characters and ideals found in it, because i have known and do know these characters in my life, and love them.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

no turkey for me

is it really time for thanksgiving again?

why do i have to spend it alone this year? i mean, texas isn't that far away.
i haven't spent thanksgiving with my family in 3 years. and it seems everyone around me has family somewhere close by (that or money to buy a $500 plane ticket home) and i'm jealous.
i miss my entire family, the smell of my dad cooking breakfast, the excited look on turtle's face whenever he sees me, and the way my mother mothers me.
i remember a time during my angst teenage years when i was jealous of my good friend catherine, because she seemed to have the perfect family. whenever i was at her house, i wanted to stay, and be a part of her family because mine wasn't perfect. only now do i realize how imperfect all of our families are. and how ungrateful i was to not realize how important my family was to me, how truly wonderful they are, and how much i love and cannot live without them. it was only when i moved to utah, so very far away from my family, that i began to be truly grateful for them.
i'm still jealous of others around this time of year. while my family is a 2 and a half hour $500 flight/23 hour drive away, their family is a hop, skip, and a jump away.

what am i grateful for? my wonderful, imperfect, weird family. for those of you spending thanksgiving with your families, be grateful, and never take them for granted.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

the moment

artist of the moment: josh groban
cd of the moment: barenaked ladies, stunt
song of the moment: cold, cold heart, norah jones
books of the moment: dress your family in corduroy and denim, david sedaris; hegemony or survival, noam chomsky; managing motherhood, managing risk, denise allen
tv show of the moment: will & grace
food of the moment: spinach
chocolate of the moment: 8th continent chocolate soy milk
bedtime of the moment: 1am
throat drop of the moment: ricola lemon mint
vitamin of the moment: vitamin e
yoga pose of the moment: half-lotus
anatomical term of the moment: epiploic appendages
shoes of the moment: red flats
accessory of the moment: scarf
blog of the moment: kay richardson's malaise
news of the moment: the dalai lama & neuroscience
comic of the moment:

picture of the moment: my nephew on halloween

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

reason(s) #529 why i love the internet

they didn't teach me how to make THAT in enrichment.

and is it so wrong that i find std's funny? (hehe...)

Thursday, November 03, 2005


dear kat,

NASA called.
they found your mom.

you're my new best friend call me every five minutes,

Monday, October 31, 2005

happy halloween!

brought to you by the cutest kid in the whole world, my little bro turtle dressed as rollie pollie ollie.
and here are some other cute pictures of him, just to make you smile! he's just so lovable! and cute! can't you tell we're related...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

who needs chocolate?

yesterday was tragic, today was terrible, and i have a feeling that tomorrow will be ugly.

i was thinking of posting a plea for somebody, somewhere, to make me laugh. shoot, just making me smile would make my day(s) better.

and then a good friend came over. with pizza. and we girl-talked. and we laughed. a lot. and even though i ate pizza until i was at the bursting point (and it wasn't even that good), i felt better. the only thing missing was chocolate. and i bought chocolate soy milk later to remedy that.

pizza + a really good friend who makes you laugh at life = a better day

yeah, friends are SO MUCH better than chocolate sometimes...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


what does it mean to be human? how do you perceive yourself as human and all the implications that come with it? what do you do to show your humanity?

do you know that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach, a feeling of helplessness, of ingratitude, and of being so small in this world? if you are human, you should feel this way when you see these faces.

a 7.6 earthquake hit pakistan, kashmir, and india on october 8th. have you heard the stories or seen the pictures? shame on you, american media. remember hurricane katrina? the stories, the pictures, the talk shows, the concerts and benefits, the continued coverage? hurricane katrina was nothing compared to the devastation, the loss of life, the lack of aid, and the overall tragedy of this earthquake. why do we not care? they are humans, too. God loves them as much as He loves us. why does the media shove this story into the "international" news and pay very little attention to it compared to other "top news stories"? we are all humans, we all matter. these people are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, children, and friends, just like us. they smile, laugh, cry, frown, and hurt, just like us.

79,000 have lost their lives, 3.3 million have been left homeless, and thousands more in the remote mountain regions of pakistan have not yet received any aid and are now left, homeless and completely exposed to the elements. UN secretary-general kofi annan pledged today for the desperate need for more aid, saying the amount given thus far falls short by 90%. much more will be needed to save these people. "there are no excuses," annan said. "if we are to show ourselves worthy of calling ourselves members of humankind, we must rise to this challenge. our response will be no less than a measure of our humanity."

be human. care enough to at least keep these millions of survivors in your prayers, and please give monetarily if you can. never let disasters such as this go unwatched simply because it didn't happen in america.
just a few ways to give:
american red cross
concern worldwide
habitat for humanity
islamic relief
network for good
president's earthquake relief fund

Saturday, October 15, 2005

and now for something completely different...

a man with a tape recorder up his nose...*applause*

top 13 things i learned this week:

  1. life can be tough, but it could be worse. i could be dying from pink eye. ew.
  2. my new favorite anatomical term: medulla oblongata...5 points to anyone who knows what that is!
  3. the new Dasani raspberry flavored water is quite delightful. but the lemon flavored one is better.
  4. my watch has nickel in it, i'm ballergic, and icky rashes aren't very fun.
  5. the hot chocolate at chevron has milk in it. i don't think you want to know how i found that one out.
  6. somebody loves me...according to some guy who yelled "i love you!" from his car when i crossed the freedom/8th north intersection...special...
  7. i can take a shower, shave my legs, dry my hair, put on makeup, iron a skirt, and get dressed in less than an hour. woot.
  8. jay has an unnatural obsession with women's footware...aaaand it disturbs me a little bit.
  9. my best friend's birthday was yesterday, which means i'll be turning 23 soon...and i don't know how i feel about that...
  10. marie osmond called, and she wants her creepy mormon perkiness back.
  11. em's mom called, and she's fat.
  12. a pituitary gland called, and it wants its growth hormones back from kat.
  13. jon's doctor called to remind him of his lobotomy today.

and now for something completely different...a man with a tape recorder up his brother's nose. *cue monty python's theme music*

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

i wish i had a river i could skate away on
i wish i had a river so long i would teach my feet to fly

why am i so scared? why am i putting myself under so much pressure? why can i not let the bygones of my past become bygones? why am i lactose intolerant? this isn't suppose to be hard. why am i making it so? my reason and emotions are stuck in an eternal battle of wits, and it's driving me crazy. in this corner, we have my white personality! *CHEERS* and in this corner...my blue personality! *BOOOS*

i find myself in an interesting position, one which frightens me, confuses me, and stresses me out. for so long now, i've only had school and inconsequential nonsense to worry and stress me out. i seriously thought to myself over the summer, well don't i have it good.

i have been so incredibly blessed this past year, and i think in some weird, masochistic way, i expected certain aspects of my life that were stable to suddenly come unraveled. do you ever pray for trails? well, it seems like a good idea at the time.

i feel lost and uncertain, yet calm and collected. i feel ready and open, yet apprehensive and insecure. i don't even know how to handle this, how to get past all the junk that's obstructing me from being myself and letting go of just a little part of me.

i don't know where to go, which side to choose. i'm stuck, searching for those wildflowers. someone once told me that i will always feel peace when i follow the Lord's will. i want that peace, so desperately. i want to come home, come back into His arms, and have His hand continually stretched out for me. i'm walking into that dark unknown, knowing His hand is there, knowing he will never lead me astray. that is where i belong.

you belong among the wildflowers
you belong in a boat out at sea
sail away, kill off the hours
you belong somewhere you feel free
run away, let your heart be your guide
you deserve the deepest of cover
you belong in that home by and by
you belong among the wildflowers
far away from your trouble and worry
you belong somewhere you feel free

Saturday, October 08, 2005

it never rains when you want it to

i'm exhausted, beyond sleep. my professors apparently decided to gang up on my this week and make my life a living you-know-what. 3 midterms, 2 papers, and extra meetings, on top of my normal homework load led to sleepless nights, not having time to eat, and a sore throat.

i'm drained, mentally and physically. i want to be happy now that my week's over, but i'm not. i have dry sockets, wanting those tears to come, but i find myself sitting here emotionless and barely having the energy to get out of bed.

you know, my life is really not that hard. i've always been able to handle anything the Lord throws at me. why not now? why do i feel so weak and broken right now? i'm thirsty, yet cannot find water to quinch my dry throat. i'm hungry, but nothing satisfies. i'm lonely, yet within reach of support. my barriers are up, but there is not rain to break them down.

went out on a limb, gone too far
broken down on the side of the road
stranded on the outskirts and the sun's creepin up
i don't want to call you but you're all i have to turn to
what do you say when it's all gone away?
truth spoken whispers will tear you apart, no matter how hard you resist it
it never rains when you want it to
you humble me, Lord
i'm on my knees empty
humble me, Lord
Please, please, please forgive me
you humble me

i know that brighter days lie ahead. the rain will come, my thirst will be quenched, my hunger will be satisfied, and the rain will come. i will overcome, i will be happy, and He will come to take away these burdens, hold me in His arms, and quiet all my fears.

sunset doesn't last all evening, a mind can blow those things away
it's not always going to be this grey
all things must pass away
none of life's strings could last
so, i must be on my way, face another day
darkness only stays the night time
in the morning it will fade away
daylight is good at arriving at the right time
its not always going to be this grey
all things must pass
all things must pass away

Saturday, October 01, 2005

i'm sorry

sometimes, i'm a spaz. and i don't know why. one minute, i'm fine and calm and focused and completely bareable. and then...my mind decides to take a vacation (jealous!) and i become a spaz.

and i'm sorry. really sorry.

my high school theater director told me that he couldn't stand me my freshman and sophomore year because, quote, "you were a spaz". but seriously, who wasn't at that age?! i then matured, somewhat, and grew out of my spazy past. or at least i thought i did. because time and time again, i all of a sudden realize that i'm acting like a spaz.

and then i cry (not really) and hate myself for the rest of the day (just a little bit).

but i really am sorry. please smack my over the head when i become evil-spaz-girl. and maybe, just maybe, i will one day, with your help, FINALLY not be a complete spaz (sometimes).

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

good, then icky, then good again

somedays are good.

but then, somedays are just plain icky. and you're sitting in your room, feeling icky, all alone, and then a good friend with good instincts comes over and makes you're icky day all better.

and now you can smile again and go back to having good days again.

thanks, friend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

why must I be surrounded by FRICKIN' IDIOTS!

As Em read me Heather's blog about the girl who thought that she was "taking in calories all the time when I breath and stuff", I thought, surely this anorexic-probably-bleach-blonde-I-want-to-be-Paris-Hilton-twenty-something-I-sleep-in-a-tanning-bed chick is the most disturbingly stupid individual out there.

Then I met her match.

Here is a partial phone converstation I overheard at school the other day...

"...so, I think that the humidity makes the air thicker...so that the UV rays can't get through..."

Wow...wow...so, all those people living in humid Miami Beach are WHITER THAN WHITE due to all that thick air blocking those pesky UV rays...riiiiight...

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Lost &...

Everyone has their moments or fear, of frustration, and then of outright shock, panic, and dread.

And I used to laugh at those people. Until yesterday...

I mean, you always think, "that would never happen to me", and "wow! that must suck for that person". You frolic around in your daydreamy life, thinking your safe, and smart, and kind of OCD to a good point; i.e., you know at all times where you're wallet lives because you aren't the type of person to lose a wallet! That's just crazy talk.

And then it happens. You LOSE you wallet! It isn't there, its tiny home in your purse or backpack where you left it. Credit cards, gone. All forms of ID, bu-bye.

Now that's definitely NOT funny. And it could happen to YOU!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Headlines of the Day

Inventor fuels car with dead cats

"Can you really make fuel out of cats? We're going to keep an eye on this case," Apel said.

Report: Rat Catchers 0-For-Decade

"Rats are not hard to find in New Delhi...However, the officials couldn't recall when or where they had last set up a trap, the newspaper said."

Elf Finger Found In Box Of Keebler Cookies

"An average Keebler elf is about as tall as a Chips Deluxe cookie. The finger in question is far too big to be that of an elf."

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Art of Falling

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005; Location: Mount Somma, Pollena Trocchia, Italy
While climbing the mountain, we reached a very steep part where we had to grab at stalks of wheatgrass to pull ourselves up to a somewhat flatter part. I successfully pulled myself up by the stalks, only to find myself walking on an incline of old volcanic matrix. My journal tells the rest of the story:

"I was walking on a slanted side of the volcanic matrix and slowly I felt myself tip over until I fell completely into the brush! I never thought you could actually fall over in slow motion, but you can! I laughed hysterically at myself, and the vulcanologist and his wife helped me up."

Friday, September 9, 2005; Location: Brigham Young University, south side
As I was in my PDBIO 205 class, the sky decided to open up and a torrential downfall ensued. I had to get down to the Museum of Peoples and Cultures just south of campus, but decided to wait until the weather calmed down. About 10 minutes later, I left the MARB and headed south, only to realize that I should have listened to that little voice inside my head this morning that sounded something like this:

"It sure does look like rain today. Those rubber flip-flops will be quite treacherous in the rain. You'll probably slip and fall if you put those things on."

I had ignored the voice, and now, as I was trying to walk on wet cement, I had to do so very delicately so I wouldn't slip and fall. I was doing fine, until I reached stairs. I had a premonition that trying to walk down slippery stairs in rubber flip-flops would end in disaster. And it did. I hadn't even taken 2 steps when I slipped and fell on my behind. Ouch.

In Conclusion:
I fall a lot.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Things that annoyed me this week: Part 1

You know that feeling you get when you're climbing that first hill on the roller coaster, and you realize that you REALLY didn't want to go on the ride. Click, click, click, click... But you can't do a dang thing about it. Just sit there, and wait to die.

This is how I felt this week. Click, click, click, click...

First, my classes are absurd and demanding. Sure I get to study human cadavers, but the book required to do this cost $125. I'm quite excited that I'll have a paper published at the end of the year in a book, but my professor wants it by the middle of the month and JUST handed my MORE information he wants me to look over and incorporate into my paper. Hooray for learing more about political and economc anthropology and medical plualism in Africa, but I have to read HOW many books and write HOW many papers? "It's gonna be rough."

Second, all the coverage of thte aftermath of Hurrican Katrina is starting to cross that line between NPR-trusted-objective-esque coverage to Fox-ridiculous-absurd-biased coverage. A reporter yesterday stated that these poor,stranded people in New Orleans were in such dire condition that they "couldn't even buy cigarettes". Hmmm...let's see...babies are dying, people are living in squalid and unhealthly condtions, help is coming very slowly, and we should be concerned with GETTING THESE PEOPLE CIGARETTS?! Please. My favorite is a commentary I watched on CNN this morning comparing the conditions at the Superdome to a "modern-day genocide". Alright, what lowly fact checker isn't being paid here? First of all, this is a natural disaster, and isn't even close to the UN definition of genocide. I can't even comprehend who would have the gaul to put this disaster into the same category of the Holocaust, the Rawandan genocide, the Armenian genocide, and countless other horrible instances of actual genocide. And calling it "modern-day" shocked me, too! So that whole Pol Pot thing, and that Rawandan stuff, guess that's not "modern"? Please, genocide has occured in recent times and continues to occur. If this bothers you as much as it does, please write to CNN and tell them to get their facts straight and to stop grossly overexaggerated this disaster by terming it a "genocide". And don't even get me started on the constant comparisons to the Tsunami.

Third, my overloaded memory that is not remembering the third thing that annoyed me this week. Doh!

Monday, August 22, 2005

The new Nama! (sort of...)

I think I've had my most exciting weekend since...well, since Italy!

FIRST, I got a new phone! It's red, it's tiny, it's cute, AND it takes pictures! But the best part is that I only paid $25 for it after instant rebates. That, my friends, is called a good deal that kicks butt. Oh yeah.

SECOND, I got my hair chopped! And it's so unbelievably cute! And this is what it looks like. And with those 4-8 inches that came off, the old Nama fell on the floor and a new Nama emerged. I am a beautiful butterfly!

THIRD, I spent the evening on swanky lower Greenville in Dallas. I ate dinner at the Blue Goose and sat at the bar in Terilli's sipping non-alcoholic water and listen to a piano/saxophone jazz duet. I felt so cool and, well, swanky! I love you, Dallas. Here's to the good times. *clink*

FOURTH, well, I guess this doesn't apply to the weekend, but I'M COMING BACK TOMORROW!! That's right, my dear friends. You will all have the privilege of seeing the new and improved Nama in her new and improved condo tomorrow evening. Be sure to book your appointment now before I'm booked for the evening. Leave your name and time in which you wish to visit in the comments section, first come, first serve, no shoes, no shirt, no business, and be sure to tip your waitress.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I love those paperclip holder-box-things with the metal top to keep the paper clips in and the hole in the middle of the top to put the paper clips in.

We have them at work all over the place.

I like to shake it upside down to see if any of the paper clips escape.

A few do, therefore rendering this product imperfect and fallable.

But I still like playing with it.

Because I'm BORED.

So very bored.

Work, smerk.

When do I get to leave and go back to Utah, now?

Soon, hopefully.

VERY soon...

Friday, August 12, 2005

My week in review

Realization of the Week
I LOVE living at home, but...
Sunday I nearly had an uncontrollable angry-tears breakdown when my Mom forgot to take the cardboard off the bottom of my California Pizza Kitchen pizza when she put it in the oven, causing the top to burn and the bottom to stay doughy.

Conclusion: I think I'm ready to come back to Utah.

Conversation of the Week
Ring Ring Ring
Me: Thank for calling Borders Books in Mesquite. This is Amanda speaking. How may I help you?
"Cronk": Yeah, somebody just called me from this number to tell me that a book I ordered was in.
Me: Okay...
Long-ish Pause
"Cronk": Hello?
Me: I'm still here, sir. So...how can I help you?
"Cronk": Yeah, somebody called me from this number, I guess we ordered a book from you. Hey (shouts indistinguisable woman's name), did you order the book? (continues conversation with nameless woman)
Me: Okay, sir...well...how can I help you with that today?
"Cronk": Yeah, somebody called from this number to tell us that the book we ordered was in...
Me: (politely interupting, trying to keep my cool) I understand that sir. What do you need for me to do?
"Cronk": Well, I guess I need to talk to the person who just called...because they called me to tell me the order was in (starting to digress again)...
Me: Well, sir, they just called to tell you that your order was in...and that you have 2 weeks to pick it up...
"Cronk": Oh...well...(the hamster starts turning) okay, then. Bye.
Me: Bye. (Hangs up phone, confused, tries to figure what just happened here)

Highlight of the week
Monday night, I went up to North Dallas with my bestest oldest friend in the worldand another really good friend I haven't seen in a while to have Marble Slab ice cream, in a waffle bowl. We sat outside to enjoy our tasty treats, and even though the palm tree I was sitting under was out to get me, the night was splendid, and made me realize how much I love being in Dallas on a warm summer night.

Lowlight of the Week
I have been violated!
Friday, I got to remember why I hate being a girl.
And my doctor trying to make conversation during the process didn't really seem to help much.
In attempt to save the day from being horrible, I bought myself an oatmeal sandwich with cream in the center.
I didn't help.

Overall Evaluation of Week
Not the best week ever, nor the worst week ever.
Eh, I guess it was a'it.

Monday, August 08, 2005


That sure is a funny word.

from the Latin cambiare, to exchange
1. to make
radically different
2. to give a different course, or direction to
3. to undergo modification
4. to undergo transformation, transistion, or substitution
5. to pass from one phase to another

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, it doesn't sound so bad. So why does it seem so hard? Why does it scare me? Where is my little bubble of comfort that I'd always thought I could count on? (I think Em's mom sat on it...)

I've made some modifications, some transformations, if you will, in my life. I've freed myself from the Villa and can now safely blow my nose at them and refer to their "mothers" as "hamsters" and their "fathers' smell" as the "essense of elderberries". I moving into a grown-up condo with 2 girls I love like crazy. Bu-bye Villa, hello master bedroom! So long rolls of quarters, say hello to Mr. Washer & Dryer. See ya 2nd ward...aw. Goodbye most wonderful Bishopric EVER. Farewell comfort zone. Hi there new unknown ward that's probably not going to be as good as the good ole' 2nd ward. Yeah, this IS pretty radical. And I'm okay with it...sort of...more like, getting used to it. But it's okay, right?

Yeah, 'chAnj is looking alright now. I think he's a keeper! Bu-bye dooldrums, hello new phase!

P.S. I'm also cutting my hair. And no, I don't care what you think. Blame this on my good buddy change, okay.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

THIS is where I can from?

I love 4-day weekends. When you get so busy with work/school/taking over the world, you get to a point where you need a break. And along comes a gloriously long weekend, like mana from heaven, awaiting to relax and rejuvinate you. Now you can spend Friday through Monday sipping pina coladas and ordering cabana boys around without a care in the world! Awe...

Sadly, this was NOT the case of this past weekend for me. I was in Tennesse, with bugs, and trailer parks, and tractors, and kudzu, and a whole lotta WASPs who still use the "n" word for black people. There I was, visiting my relatives for the weekend. This visit generated much reflection on my part and caused me to ask a question that really needs some Freudian/couch-laying/Dr.-Philian/sedative-induced reconciling:

Did half of my genetic makeup REALLY come from this? I had to spend all weekend biting my tongue and intellectually stooping down to their "level" just to keep me sane. It's almost like time just flat out stopped there. Literally. My relatives still think I'm 10 and, therefore, still treat me like a child! Saturday, we took my nephews to the Children's Museum of Memphis about an hour away. It was one of those interative/learing/keeping-kids-entertained/ADD-heaven places with different "stations" of "learning". We get back to Millington, where my genepool rests, and they ask my parents, "Did Mandy have a good time?" Yes, *shudder*, they call me Mandy. Da! I seriously have a physically painful reaction whenI hear that "name" spoken in reference to me. I just hate it. They try to get me to eat the barbacue turkey they just made for dinner. When I tell them that I'm a vegetarian, they look at me with a blank stare and I can see the wheels trying their hardest to turn to process what I just said. They then respond with, "Well, we have some chicken and some cheese." When I tell them that I spent the spring in Italy, they ask me questions like "Are people different over there?"

Lastly, I think being in Tennesse this past weekend has led to to make an important decision in my life, perhaps the most imporant one I'll ever make: Somebody needs shoot me now, please. I'm serious. I'm like a rabid dog or a lame horse. For the sake of the human race, these hidden genes of mine need to stay hidden so they don't pop up in my offspring and later generations.

Mandy?! *shudder*

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

An apology, and then desert!

Jon, baby, I know I've been giving you a hard time lately. But just know it's because I love you. Sure we have our differences, our quarrels, over such nonsensical things as Harry Potter or glue. You're tall, I'm short. You're smart, I'm smarter. I say we resolve to resolve. Who cares if your mom is fat, let's just put the past week or so of blogs behind us and look toward future blogs with kindness and love. I hope you feel the same way, and I hope that we can blog for years without arguing or insulting each other's moms. I would so hate to lose such a good blog-friend as you, for you complete my blog. You had me at "1 comment".

Check yes or no if you accept and give it to my comment section so she can tell me your answer.

[_] yes [_] no

With blogging love,


Friday, July 22, 2005

today = pay day

I have money again! Woo-hoo!!

But, like Erika, I'm still living at home, my mom's still buying my deodorant & food, and, like Kat, I still can't drive a stick-shift. And even though the money came rolling in today, most of it went directly to savings so I won't touch it. *sigh* I was tempted yesterday when I saw a Rainbow Bright Sticker Fun Book for $4.99.

Did I want it?


Did I buy it?

Not yet.

So much for saving $.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Italy (or Italia if you're Italian) sure was fun!

Courtesy of the Wal-Mart in Lubbock, TX, I would not like to present to you more tantalizing pictures to make you jealous and/or make your boring day. Brought to you today by the letter N and the number 9 and from financial support from Viewers like you.

Some more from Herculaneum (or Ercolano)

That's Rebecca, me, & Rachel. You see us? Waaaay down at the bottom? That's us! Behind us: 60 feet of pyroclastic flow that the city was/is buried under. Now, unlike Jon most of the time, THAT'S deep.

Oh man! That's the inside of the Villa of the Papyri!! Drool, Jon, drool on now. P.S. Towards the back of this room is where they found some of the papyri, which I also saw, but could not photograph.

Pompeii (or Pompei)

Inside the Fullery of Stephanus, where Stephanus and his friends would charge people to let them soak/clean(?) their clothes in this vat and many like it. The catch: they were actually tubs full of pee-pee! Mmmm, I bet everyone in Pompeii smelled good. O'de Toilete, maybe?

Plaster casts. When they were excavating, they would come across these hollow spaces, which turned out to be a space that the body of said person would leave after it deteriorated. So they began to fill in these hollow spaces with plaster, and viola! The last moments of some poor soul's life. At least their pee-pee smelling togas were incinerated in the volcanic blasts.

A little slice of Rome (or Roma)

The famed Coliseum in all its glory (time has washed the blood away). See the cross? That's where the emperor sat when he came to see a good ole' game o' gore and where he, I'm sure, got splattered many times with blood and other forms of entrails. Serves him right.

A bust of a Flavian woman with some crazy/weird hair and some hot chick with a killer profile and beautifully long eyelashes.

Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. Hi-ho Silver!!! AWWWAAAYYY!!!!!!

More of Rome (you get the idea)

Arch of Constantine. Funny story: If you've ever seen Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor, when she and her entourage march into Rome, they parade through this Arch. Can somebody see something historically wrong with this picture?

The Pantheon!!! This was one of my favorite sites in Rome. I nearly wept when I had to say goodbye to it...but then I had some gelato, and I was fine. Hey Jon, do you know what the Latin inscription says? M AGRIPPA F COS TERTIUM FECIT

Michelagelo's Moses. Stunning, a beautiful masterpiece. It's part of a huge tomb of a Pope that hounded Michelagelo into doing works for the church, including the Sistine Chapel. Michelagelo, seeing himself as a sculpture, not a painter, complained and whined often about all those annoying paint jobs the Pope was making him do, so the Pope would take away one sculputer from his tomb everytime Michelangelo complained to get him to stop. Wah.

And one for fun. This is me with the "Mouth of Truth". Legend has it that if a liar sticks his hand into the Mouth of Truth's mouth, it will bite his hand off. If the an honest man does the same, however, his hand will be safe. I tried, and, well, I guess all those years of pretending to tolerate Jon finally caught up with me.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Thursday, July 07, 2005

My Case

Why must my life suck? Why must I be so stupid?

Don't answer that last question.

But seriously, here's a little rundown of my life:

  1. My Dad put in vacation time to come up to Utah next month to see me walk in the graduation ceremony. Yeah, that's important. And his jerk-boss DENIED it! He's been fighting him for weeks now, but now it's looking like my family will only get to come to see me walk if, I don't know, he dies or by some other miracle. I'm upset. REALLY upset. And I really want to get ahold of his email address and send him sad pictures of puppies crying. But I guess that won't work on someone who DOESN'T HAVE A HEART!!!!!
  2. I'm back working at Borders. Love it. BUT, corporate decided to cut hours for the store. Therefore, I'm only working around 20-or-so hours a week. I bet they don't care that I have to make money to EAT next semester. Seriously, maybe the stinkin' hot weather is roasting the hearts out of these people.
  3. On the 16th, my "missionary-who-still-thinks-I-love-him" is coming home. Akward. Thankfully, that's the day "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is coming out (hey! that's something exciting and fulfilling in my life!!) and, oh darn, I'm working ALL DAY. Thank you J.K. Rowling.
  4. Due to the excess weight I put on in Italy, none of my clothes fit me so well anymore. I'm starting to work it off, but, yeah, that takes time. Patience. Zip. Fatness. Too Much.
  5. Nobody's in Dallas anymore. My only friend, Jessica, now lives in Ft. Worth and has a boyfriend. I'm lonely, and my nights are spent watching the Discovery Health Channel, the National Geographic Channel, or Will & Grace. Party on.
  6. I'm sunburn. Again. I went swimming yesterday in my cute, new bathing suit and where I hadn't gotten sun before, I burned to a crisp. Luckily, my Mom keeps the Aloe Vera in the refrigerator and I think me & good ole' Aloe can make it through this one unscathed.

All right, I totally take blame for that last complaint, seeing as I was simply too lazy to come back in and put sunscreen on, but really. Can't my life just simmer down for a bit. SIMMA DOW NA!!

I'm gonna shut up now and go fill my bathtub with aloe.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Where? What? Why?!?!

Picture this:

You are driving through Locknye, Texas (not to be confused with LockNESS).
There's nothing, NOTHING, but dirt fields for miles around.
Your cell phone is roaming because you are in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!
A song from the musical "Hair" comes on the radio.
Your parents turn it up and start singing at the top of their lungs.
Your Dad proceeds to tell you that back in the day, Mommy and Daddy saw "Hair" in LA at the Polladium.
They continue singing and you don't know whether to laugh or be completely terrified.
Your nephew in the backseat says "Doydoydoydoydoydoy" while chewing on his sandal.

Welcome to my current life in Lubbock, Texas.

At least I have one thing keeping me sane here:
There he is, my Nephew Cade with his big smile!! Poor thing has been mistaking me for his mother (my sister) all week, though. Poor stupid, confused baby. That's why we love him so!! I mean seriously, how could you NOT love that face and those baby blue eyes!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Pictures from Italy!

I've slowly but surely started to develop the 9 rolls of pictures I took in Italy. I got the first 2 rolls back today in picture and digital form, so enjoy these few I posted!

Also, I miss all you guys like crazy!!! Don't get me wrong, I have loved hanging out with my Dad at cheap bookstores, taking my brother to the library and the swimming pool, and generally relaxing, but I have no friends left here. So, feel blessed to have friends around you and enjoy their company!

The bronze "Dancers"

Found in the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, here they are in the National Museum in Naples. Amazing! Posted by Hello


View from the top with the modern city of Ercolano in the background. Posted by Hello

Vesuvius and Naples

View from the top of Suor Orsola Benincasa in Naples. That's part of the Bay of Naples and the city of Naples. Stunning! Posted by Hello

The Farnese Hercules

His calfs. Yeah, they're huge. And that's my cute pregnant (at the time) friend Claire in the background. Posted by Hello


View from the approximate area of a site we surveyed in Pollena. So green and beautiful! Posted by Hello


The Bell Tower of the Duomo (huge Cathedral) where I atteneded Mass. Posted by Hello


Yep, that's the Villa of the Papyri down there! Posted by Hello


Nama, Rebecca, & Rachel in front of the Duomo. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 20, 2005

I be home!!!

Welcome to Texas, hot weather, family, and huge outlet malls!!

I'm here, back in good ole' Dallas with my wonderful family! I'm being fed by my Mommy, who has FINALLY, after 40-plus years, embraced her natural curl! When I met my parents outside the terminal, I noticed my Mom's curly hair, she asked me if I liked it, I said yes, and she said that it is all natural curl! Yeay for Mommy and her curly blonde hair! And another surprise: Turtle, the little bro, has gotten SO TALL!!!! He's Ann-Marie size now, coming up to my shoulder! And my Dad accidentally got his head buzzed, but its growing back, slowly but surely. I can't tell you how much I have missed Turtle and how happy I am to be home and around him all the time again. He's the kid who can ALWAYS bring a smile to your face, especially when you need to smile. So I'm home, I'm happy, I get to see my sister and nephew next week!!! Life is great right now! And tonight, I will do yoga and go to a jazzerize class with my parents. And THAT is mainly for entertainment, seeing as both my parents have absolutely NO rhythm. Teehee.

By the way, Friday night was awesome! I was SO HAPPY to see all that came and ate at Chuck's. I will miss everyone this summer while I work my butt off (heh, literally and figuritively) and I hope the weather becomes nicer and everyone has a wonderful summer! (Wow, that just felt like I was writing in somebody's yearbook.)

P.S. Will somebody please inform me when Liz has her baby. A phone call would be appreciated. Grazi!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A freak "jogging" accident

So last night I was watching "Untold Stories of the ER" on TLC, and an ER doctor told this story of a guy who was flown in after a "freak jogging accident" (Em, don't click on this link) with a tree...yes, a tree...in his neck! Emergency workers had cut down the tree to about 2 feet on either side so he could fit in the helicopter. And he was fully conscious and his vitals were fine. A tree!! Through his neck!!! He came in holding it in place! And because they couldn't take any X-rays or do a CT scan, they had to just take him into the OR and just cut it out! He survived. It ended happy.

I apologize if this conjures up gross images, but it fascinated me. And I just couldn't look away. Takes me back to when I wanted to be a pathologist and made me want to re-read "Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers" by Mary Roach. Great book and I seriously recommend it to anyone who can stomach these types of images. Written with such a great wit, it is, seriously, a delightful read, considering the topic. Kayla loved it, too.

Speaking of books, I've read 5 books in the past 7 weeks. I read "Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science" on the plane to Italy, "Pride and Prejudice" during the month of May, "Mere Christianity" the week I was in Pompei, "My Life and Hard Times" in Rome and part of the plane ride back, and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" the rest of the way. If you're summer is going to be long, as mine will, pick one of these up and give it a read! I'd recommend "My Life and Hard Times" by James Thurber. It's his 80-or-so-page autobiography of his life until the age of 22, and it is HILARIOUS! READ IT!!!

Uhhh...that is all.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

an understatement

i miss sitting on the Spanish steps after lunch reading James Thurber.
i miss Angella serving us the most wonderful Italian dinners at La Vigna every night.
i miss Pascuale, the internet cafe guy, who was one of my favorite Italians.
i miss Cappabianca, the quasi-crap-hole-domoritory-esque place we stayed in, its leaky showers and echoy halls.
i miss gelato. REALLY bad.
i miss walking out on our terrace and seeing beautifully green Vesuvius. and hoping it wouldn't erupt and mess up the beautiful day.
i miss riding trains everywhere! trains are by far the best way to travel.
i miss getting into museums, archaeological sites, etc for free AND getting the "special tour" the ordinary tourists don't get.
i miss trying to understand Italian, and only being able to repsond back with "Si!" if I understood.
i miss fresh balls of mozzarella. and fresh tomatoes. and fresh produce in general.
i miss hearing roosters crow at 3am.
i miss Neapolotian pizza.
i miss the Bay of Naples. and its non-existant beaches.
i miss the Euro coinage. 1 and 2 Euro coins rock!
i miss not caring about frivolous daily morning rituals, like showering or putting on makeup.
i miss 3 course, delicious dinners that always ended with a fabulous desert. hence the fatness that i came home with.
i miss the Pantheon. a lot.
i miss wearing skirts all the time.
i miss the gyspies begging for money in front of churches.
i miss the WARM weather.
i miss Italian bread...mmmmm...hard outer shell with a soft and fluffy center.
i miss Ferdi (Ferdinando), the crazy Italian professor we worked with and his bad English.
i miss Pollena Trocchia, such a beautiful and quiet small Italian town.
i mss being the lackey archaeologist at Pompei. "Hey Amanda, dig this hole! Hoe this ground! Clean this pottery!"

in conclusion...I MISS ITALY!

Monday, June 06, 2005

When in Rome...

...don't use this stupid cliche. But do wear sunscreen, watch for pickpocketers, and, above all, enjoy yourself!!! You're in ROME!!!!

Yes, folks, I am in Rome, and will be until I leave. Wow! It's been so unbelievably amazing! I love it here more and more. Yesterday, I spent about an hour on the Spanish Steps reading a book. Today I ate dinner under the Pantheon in hopes that it would rain. Tomorrow I will have the best pizza in Italy and the best gelato in Italy to say goodbye to this wonderous place. Sigh.

And I will be back in good ole' Provo on Wednesday. Not that I don't love you guys or anything, but man oh man will I miss being here! The food! The sites! The gypsies! Oh!! Italy has truly drawn me in and has become home for the time being.

And now for something completely different...a desparate cry for help:

  • So, once upon a time, I HAD ride from the airport Wednesday night at 5:54pm.
  • Now, I DO NOT have a right from the airport on Wednesday night at 5:54pm. That's when my plane arrives in Salt Lake.

Thank you for your attention during this breif interuption. If you have any comments or concerns regarding this interuption, please email Nama, for she would greatly appreciate some feedback.

Aaaaaaaaand scene. But really, please email me if you can pick little ole' Nama up. She's got plenty of stories to tell about kissing, and digging in dirt, and wandering Rome, and climbing to the crater of Vesuvius, etc, etc...plus, you'll be the first to see Tan Nama. Let me know, please!!!

For the rest of you guys, I hope to see all of you, well, most of you, when I come back Wednesday night! (Ritz, I hope I'm still staying with you until I leave for home.) Love you guys!!


Tuesday, May 31, 2005

...currently to be found digging in dirt


Wow. I apologize for the lack of blogs since I've been here. You guys just aren't as important to me. Well, that AND the internet access isn't so...accessable. But here's a quick one just to say hi, I'm alive, I'm tan, and I'm officially an archaeologist now.

I left the rest of my group Sunday, and have been, for the past two days digging in Pompei with REAL Italian archaeologists! I've gotten dirty, found worms as well as pottery sherds, and have so far survived under the blazing Italian afternoon sun. I'll be here for the rest if the week, then I'm off to spend my remaining four days in Rome! Woohoo!

Erika, I'm sorry Yoga isn't the same! Just so you feel better, I've become Fatty McFat over here due to the enormous amount of food they feed me and LACK of yoga! No time for yoga here. Don't be surprised if you mistake me for your mom when I get back.

My favorite moment thus far of the trip: Herculanuem. For those of you know anything about Herculanuem, we got special access to go see the recently excavated Villa of the Papyri!! WOW! I was amazed and felt special, all at the same time! We also go to later see some of the papyri in Naples. Then there's that whole Florence trip, Rome trip, etc etc. This whole trip has pretty much rocked.

Do you ever have those moments where you seriously think, Wow! I'm cool! That pretty much sums up my days spend here thus far in Italy!

p.s. For those of you with transportation, I get back in Salt Lake the night of the 9th (Thursday) around 6pm. If anyone is willing to pick me up, email me and let me know, because I would serioulsy appreciate it! Love you guys!


Saturday, May 07, 2005

I am REALLY not in Kansas anymore...

Guess what? I on a computer. With internet access. For more than 30 minutes. So...I CAN FINALLY POST SOMETHING!!

As many of you might have guessed, I am in Italy now and have been for a week. It, is, so, much, FUN!!! Man, fun would not even BEGIN to describe this place and all that I have seen and done just in the past week! I would love to tell you guys everything, but I am paying right now for the use of the Internet, therefore, only a short blog will do for now.

So, I am staying in a little, cute, quaint town called Pollena. No one speaks English, everyone is super nice to us Americans, and the food it GREAT!!! We are about a half hour out of Naples, so we go there frequently. We ride trains A LOT! But let me tell you, as far as public transportation goes, trains are by far the way to go! Especially with all the graffeti on them. I am going to have to get some pictures of the elaborate graffeti I have some across here. It is simply hilarious.

Quick run down of all the places I have been in the past week: Naples, Ischia, Puzzoli, Baia, Cuma, and, currently, Florence. 3 of us girls traveled very early this morning to be here in Florence where we will spend the weekend. It is simply gorgeous here! The Duomo is jaw-dropping amazing, and the Uzzoli museum was INCREDIBLE! We will go to see the David at the Accademia tomorrow, and the inside of the Duomo. We will also attend (part of) mass there. Wow, that sounds so cool.

Quick note about the food, because that is seriously one of the best things out here and the most enjoyable. We eat breakfast and dinner every weekday at La Vigna, a cute little farm/resturant thing that makes and grows its own food. Wow. I dont thing Ill EVER get used to regular good AGAIN. Homemade pasta, smothered in fresh olive oil, topped with fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and a side of homemade bread. Tasty! Yummy! Overwhelmingly amazing! We get fed so dang much, too. There are 3 courses everynight, and sometimes we dont thing we can make it. Mmmmm. Words can not do this food justice. And the gelato! Oooooooohh man. So. Good.

Enough about me. And my wondeful life here in Italy. I know you want to here more, but I must be off to my little hotel to get some rest. I love you guys so much, and I miss you like crazy, though the great view of Vesuvius on my terrace, the nice Italian people, the INCREDIBLE food, and all the amazing things Im seeing makes up for it! ;-) Love you!