Friday, April 30, 2010

Pictures

You want to see a few Rome pictures? Sure you do.  Nothing is more fun than looking at other people's vacation photos.


Roma!

I'm going to some place outside Florence this weekend.  I don't even officially know what the place is called yet, and I probably couldn't tell you even if I did.  It's a secret location.  Let's just say a friend of a friend is hooking us up with some sweet accommodations in the Tuscany countryside.  For free.  As Orel said recently in the comments section, sometimes life really is good.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Roma (continued)

NOTE:  This is the second part of the previous post, which was written on Monday evening Venice time.

When we got to the line for the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, we were told it was at least a three-hour wait to get in (Christine heard five hours), and that the place was closing in two hours.  That math didn't work for us, so we listened to one of the hucksters selling us a guided tour that would bypass the line, and paid her our 25 Euros each.  We were told the company did tours in English, Italian and Spanish.  We were told that the guide would have a little microphone, and all the tourists would have little earpieces through which the guide's voice would broadcast.

We were not told that it would be one guide doing the tour in all three languages, so that after she finished with one language, the people who didn't speak the other two just had to stand there and wait for it to end.  We were also not told that the guide would spend the first half hour standing outside the walls of the Vatican, waiting for more people to show up and pay, and repeating over and over again (in all three languages) that this was the wall of the Vatican, which is a nation unto itself.  This was one of three things we learned (even though I guess it doesn't count because we already knew it) from the guide that day.

We were also not told that the guide's English would be essentially indecipherable.  I appreciate anyone who can speak more than one language, but if you're advertising yourself as being able to guide a tour in English, then the English speakers in the group should not have to guess when you've switched from a foreign language to our own.  

We were not told our guide was crazy.  She spent a lot of time arguing with several people in the group who spoke Spanish, and who apparently wanted their money back because they were tired of standing and there and waiting for the tour to actually start.  After these arguments ended, no one knew why we were still waiting at all, and eventually it came out that we were waiting for some other employee of the company to bring the disgruntled tourists their refunds.  Yes, the entire group had to wait for that.  

To make a long story only a little bit shorter, eventually we got into the museum.  After Christine confirmed with one of the gift shop employees that we could get into the Sistine Chapel easily from where we were, we turned in our headsets to the guide, got our deposit back, and raced for the chapel.  I don't think it's a coincidence that the other three people who turned in their headsets at the same time were all English speakers.

And now just an aside to the rant from above.  Walking through the endless corridors one has to traverse to get from the entrance to the museum over to the Sistine Chapel (seriously, it's insane; we must have walked a mile, indoors, through extravagant hallways and rooms, just to get to the Vatican's most famous room), I was struck again by the sheer audacity of the Catholic church.  They put all this on display, some of which has to be the spoils of a war fought long ago (why else does the Vatican have a super impressive collection of Egyptian relics?), and everyone comes to see it (and pay a pretty penny to get in most days), but we're still talking about a church.  A church that believes in Christ and the ideas that he embodied, most of which were about helping your fellow man.  It doesn't help anyone to know that the Vatican has billions of dollars worth of history inside its walls, and that's just the part they let the public see.  Can you imagine what the Vatican storage room must look like?  There's a reason the church has been able to pay off many, many victims of sexual abuse over the years, and yet not really take a hit financially.  And it's all kind of gross, if you ask me.

There was so much to see in there, but we were worried we wouldn't make it to the Sistine Chapel before everything closed, so we rushed.  We stopped in the Egyptian room because that stuff was awesome, and for some reason the Vatican has a mummy, as well as other artifacts from those non-Christian heathens we calls the Egyptians.  We looked up at the ceilings and over at the walls as we walked through as quickly as the crowds would allow.  We spotted a Dali in the "modern religious art" section, so we stopped for a second to look at that one.  But our singular goal was the Sistine Chapel.  And we eventually got there, and the place is as awesome as one would think.  It was super crowded, of course, and you weren't allowed to take pictures (though Christine surreptitiously did anyway, and I'll post it later), and there is no way I saw every detail of everything thing that's in there.  But I can now say that I've seen the Sistine Chapel.  And perhaps I'm a better person for it.

Back in Venice, on my walk to the market today, I passed through a nearly empty square.  In the center, near a well that was covered up long ago, were two little boys,--one brunette, one blonde--who couldn't have been more than three years old.  Despite their age, they were having quite the profound disagreement, and I recognized it as one I've had many times over the years.  And it made me think of the way the Catholic church approaches the modern world.

Brunette:  Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Blonde:  Nooooooooo!

Hilarious.

Roma

NOTE:  I wrote this post more than 24 hours ago (in other words, on Monday evening in Venice), but my internet problems have continued, so it's only posting late Tuesday night in Venice.


We took 389 pictures in the roughly 30 hours that we spent in Rome over the weekend.  I have yet to put one of them on my computer, so you'll have to wait a bit to see photographic evidence of our shenanigans in the City of Seven Hills.

We crammed a lot in during our short stay (that's what she said), and we had a great time.  We saw the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and a bunch of other stuff I'm forgetting right now.  

Sunday morning we got up early and headed to the Vatican because we heard it was free on Sundays from 9:00-12:30, so we thought it would be crowded.  We could not have been more wrong.  We got there and almost had the place to ourselves.  The plaza in front of St. Peter's was mostly empty, and after we took a few shots, we walked right in through the security without having to wait in line.  More people started to show up as we walked around the basilica, and there was a bit of a line as we left to head toward the museum and Sistine Chapel, so we definitely lucked out there.

Here's what I have to say about St. Peter's: as I walked in, I was understandably impressed by the scale and detail of the place.  A lot of work went into making that building, not to mention a lot of money.  But let's mention the money, shall we?  Because while I can look at a mosaic tile rendering of some biblical story and think it is pretty, or see some statue carved out of marble and be impressed by the craftsmanship, the more I look at this stuff, the more I wonder what the point is.  How many paintings/statues/mosaic pieces of Jesus can you really have before it starts to be obscene?  How much of the money used for these purposes would have been better used in aiding the poor and/or diseased?  

I was raised Catholic.  I've been baptized and confirmed.  I've obviously gone astray in the last decade or so, but there is a part of me that still really misses the tradition.  I went to mass once in Los Angeles because, more than anything else, I missed the structure.  I like knowing that I will always have to kneel and sit and rise at exactly the same points during any given mass.  I like knowing the Lord's Prayer and the Nicene Creed, and I like reciting them with large groups of people.  This is still true about me, even if I find myself because more and more agnostic as the years go by.  So part of me felt kind of nostalgic in St. Peter's, even if the service that was going on was being recited in Italian.

And then I remembered.  Those priests that just walked by?  Yeah, they hate me.  The entire system of the Catholic church is based on the premise that there are certain ways of doing things, and if you veer off the path even a little bit, you're screwed.  So don't use a condom, don't have premarital sex, and above all, don't find yourself attracted to a member of your own gender.  Christine likes to say that the individual people within the church don't hate gay people, but that doesn't actually matter to me.  If you're part of a system that truly believes that gay people are going to hell, or that it's a sin to practice safe sex, even if you don't personally believes those things, you're just as guilty as those who do believe.  You're perpetuating the system.  And you're making life miserable for a lot of people in this world.

The point is, the longer I was in St. Peter's, the more I felt this oppressive weight on me.  I could actually feel the hate that this church (both the actual building, and the entirety of the religion) has supported and/or caused over the years.  It made me ill. 

Christine and I talked about the way the church clings to tradition, even when that tradition makes no sense in the present day.  Priests were originally forbidden to marry so that they would have no heirs or spouses, and the priests' assets could be returned to the church upon their deaths.  That system is more than a little screwed up.  Then there's the idea of women not being allowed to have a role in the church, or the belief that even married couples shouldn't practice safe sex.  If the church wants to be seen as relevant in today's age, it wouldn't hurt for it to be a little more flexible.  Enough with the secrets and the lies.  Come clean about the sex scandal, and maybe do something about it, other than lying to the public and paying off the victims.  Embrace a more accepting version of Christ and his teachings.  And consider getting rid of the Nazi pope.  Just some suggestions.

Bet you didn't think a post about my trip to Rome was going to turn out like this, huh?  Me neither.

Of course, this is not to say that I didn't enjoy myself in Rome, because I certainly did.  A lot of the stuff I liked the best was pre-Christianity, though, which probably goes without saying.  So don't worry; there will be another post with pictures and plenty of happy stories about Rome, without the ranting.

But next, the story of our trip to the Sistine Chapel (in a separate post).



Friday, April 23, 2010

Cut Off

Monday night, the internet went out in my apartment.  Tuesday, I wrote my last post, and since then I've barely had any access to the internet at all.  I only get online when I'm at Christine's office, and I don't like to hang out there for very long.  So I suffer.


And the internet has not yet been fixed in the apartment, despite many promises.  So, I'm at Christine's office once again, where I arrived after a two-mile run around Venice.  I started off having a general idea of where I wanted to go, and then I just changed my mind somewhere in the middle.  I tried to map it, but there's a good chance that in the middle there I took different little side streets or alleys.  But the distance is roughly the same, and the path is close to what I actually did.




At that little "2" I hopped on a traghetto and crossed the canal, then walked the few hundred feet to Christine's office.  I believe this will be considered my Venice adventure for the day, especially since I almost bonked my head on a boat as the traghetto backed out of its space.  I might be unconscious right now, if not for the quick reflexes of a man riding with me.


Yesterday's adventure was my attempt to get proof that I am sort of a local here in Venice.  I walked to Piazzale Roma, which is the bus station on the west side of town (you can see it on the top left of the map up there), in order to obtain my IMOB Venezia travel card.  You see, riding the vaporetto here can be an expensive proposition if you don't get one of these cards.  Each little ride costs €6.50, which is really annoying if you're only going one or two stops.  But if you get a card, which cost €40, you only have to pay €1 for each ride.  Or you can add another €28 and get unlimited rides for a month.  Obviously a much better deal.


So, I headed over to the ticket office (after first thinking that I had to get on another boat from Piazzale Roma, but realizing that I was standing in front of the place I needed to be), where a man sold me a form for €40.  It was all in Italian, and though I could get a general sense of what it wanted (name, address, etc.), I wasn't sure about all of it.  Also, I didn't have a pen.  And when I went to a different window to ask a guy if I could borrow a pen, he reacted in a not-so-pleasant manner.  So then I went looking for where I could buy a pen.  It's a tourist area, so surely a kiosk would have some stupid souvenir, right?


Wrong.  At least not that I could see.  So I went to a grocery story down the street and spent €3.24 on two erasable pens, which were the only ones I could find.  I had spoken to Christine to find out about translating the form and she had told me she knew of a site that would tell her everything I needed, so she would call back.  After I purchased the pens, I took the phone out of my pocket and stared at a blank screen.


The thing with this phone with a prepaid SIM card is that if it turns off, you have to re-enter the PIN to make it work again.  I could not for the life of me remember this number, and this is when I nearly cried. But I made a stiff upper lip, went back to the ticket office, sat down, and stared at the form.  I figured out name and address and date of birth (though I did it backward, American style, even though I knew they wanted it European style; it wasn't spiteful, just a mistake).  And I even figured out that something on there meant "city of birth," though for some reason I forgot to fill that in.  I was pretty damn proud of myself, even though I left several boxes empty.  I decided to chance it and walk up to the window, praying that they wouldn't yell at me in Italian and send me on my way.


Turns out I did a lot of worrying for nothing.  I handed a woman the form and my passport, and after she laughed at me for messing up my date of birth, she proceeded to put all the information in the computer.  She took the photo I had brought with me and used her little webcam to take a photo of that photo.  Then she handed it back to me.  I almost laughed. And then I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  She never said a word, but by glancing at the screen I could see that her computer was not doing what she wanted it to.  She printed out my card, but apparently needed to validate it or something, and it took her about twenty minutes to just take it over to her neighbor's computer and spend five seconds doing it there.  Then she handed me my card, and voila, Erin [surname redacted, even though most of you know it] had something that almost made it seem like she truly belongs in Italy.




In case you're wondering, that picture on the card is one of me in Scottsdale, holding up two adult beverages.  It's hard to tell, but it's a good picture.  And only makes me look like a bit of a drunk.


This weekend, we're going to Rome.  6:30 am train on Saturday morning, returning Sunday evening.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Making My Way

Sunday night, I got home from a not-so-busy day of visiting the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and hanging out with Christine and other friends, and I realized the Dodger game started relatively early (I think it was 10 pm here).  So I thought I would watch at least part of it. Great game, right?  Pitcher's duel the whole way, with only a combined three runs scored between the two teams. I saw Uribe's homer off Kershaw in the seventh, and decided I could probably make it until the end of the game, though I was seriously fading fast.

I was curled up in bed, lying on my side with my computer in front of me.  In the bottom of the eighth, I saw Reed Johnson fly out.  I saw Garret Anderson walk, and during that at-bat I saw Manny come on deck to pinch-hit.  And the next thing I know, it's 1:47 am, my computer screen is black, and I'm waking up from one of the most ill-timed naps ever.  I woke the computer up and discovered that, mere seconds after I had fallen asleep, Manny had hit the go-ahead home run that gave the Dodgers the win.  It was a four-pitch at-bat!  Why couldn't I keep my eyes open for five more minutes?

Oh well.  I'm choosing to focus on the fact that the Dodgers won the game.  And also that I'm in Italy.

Standing on a bridge on the island of Torcello.

Today I finished reading Moneyball, which I'm not going to review because you've probably already read it, and it's not like anything I say about it hasn't already been said a thousand times since the book's publication.  But I will say that I recommend it, and that even casual baseball fans should get enjoyment out of it.  I put down that book and immediately picked up another, 2666, by Roberto Bolano, which I love so much thus far that I can't even stand that I've stopped reading it to write this blog.  The book is 898 pages and I'm on page 114.  So there's always a chance it could take a drastic turn for the worse in the next 784 pages, but I'm hoping against it.

I took a break from the book earlier to walk to a part of town that I had never ventured into before.  Even armed with a map, I managed to get sort of lost, mostly because I was inept enough to continue to look at the map upside down.  So I didn't understand why the signs pointing me to the Rialto Bridge wanted me to go right, when clearly the bridge was to my left.  Yeah. I'm dumb.  I've got another map on which I've been marking all the streets I've already walked on, just so I can get an understanding of where I've yet to go in town.  Today when I get home to mark this afternoon's journey, I don't think I'm going to be able to figure out exactly where I was.  I have a good sense of direction, but that becomes compromised when I spend an hour thoroughly convinced I'm heading one way, when I've actually been going completely the opposite way.

Looking tough outside the police station on Murano.

That said, if you come to Venice, I can show you around.  I've learned some stuff in my nine days here, and I could show you some things.  There are many cities in the United States about which this is true, and last year I added San Juan, Puerto Rico, to that list.  I think I'm happiest about knowing Venice, though.  And since I still have about a month left here, I'll be a regular pro at this city when all is said and  done.

I'm still a little afraid of the traghettos, which are the gondolas that take (according to the sign) a maximum of fourteen people across the Grand Canal.  There are only four bridges crossing the Grand Canal, so the traghettos are necessary so you don't have to walk all over just to cross from one side to the other.  I'm not so afraid of them that I won't ride one, and in fact I did take one today, but there is still a bit of fear.  A lot of people stand up in them, which I'm not sure I can do yet.  There's just a general sort of unsteadiness about them, and there are a lot of boats traveling this waterway, so sometimes the path looks a little dicey.  But I'm willing to bet not too many of these things have capsized over the years, so the wariness is going away and I'm sure I'll be over it soon.

I've got upcoming trips to Rome and Florence and Milan, though I don't know exactly when those will happen.  More news as it breaks.

My "model" pose next to a sculpture at the Peggy Guggenheim.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day of Silence


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Opening Day Shenanigans

This video is definitely NSFW:



Note the following:

1) Security tries to stop the guy from recording at the beginning of the video ("don't have that recording, please"), as if that is in any way something a Dodger Stadium security guy armed with a walkie talkie and pencil can actually enforce.  Thankfully, the guy behind the camera knows his rights.

2) The guy who gets shoved and kicked is not moving or in any way making a threatening gesture when the security guy shoves him through the door.  I don't care what the dude was saying at that point; the security guard has no standing here.  So he talked about your momma?  Suck it up, and escort him out.  The tendency to resort to physical violence because someone says something insulting should be a red flag for the Dodgers when it comes to hiring these guys.  It shouldn't be considered an asset in this line of work.


I don't like violence.  And I like it even less when it comes from those who are given some semblance of power, and then asked to use that power to protect the 56,000+ people at the stadium from the few bad eggs.  Maybe this guy in the video deserved to get thrown out of the game.  But based on what we see in the video, he didn't deserve to get shoved through the door.  And as far as I'm concerned, he was well within his rights to lift his arms and attempt to defend himself once he was physically attacked. 

Remember this?  Yeah, not exactly convincing me that we've worked on the problem here, Dodgers.  I realize that the fans tend to get violent, and if security is in the act of defending itself, that's one thing.  But people at baseball games, particularly drunk Dodger fans, are known for making some noise and hurling some insults.  If that's all they're doing, keep your hands to yourself.

So far, according to the LA Times, all we've gotten from Dodgers' spokesman (and friend of this blog) Josh Rawitch is that the Dodgers are aware of the video and are looking into it.  The evidence is pretty glaring, so I would think that the obvious course of action is to fire the main culprit in the video, and then perhaps to look into some more effective training for the security hired to patrol the stadium.

Lagging

It is truly weird to wake up at 7:45 and find that the Dodgers are still playing baseball on the other side of the world.  It is truly sad to lie in bed and watch the Dodgers tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, then leave the house while the game is still tied, only to confirm (while eating a croissant in a cafe) that they blew it and lost, 9-7.  It's even weirder that the Red Sox game was over by the time I went to sleep.  You might understand that I never really know what the hell day it is, or when any particular sporting event occurs.

The above paragraph might imply that I am sleeping at night while these games happen in my homeland.  But alas, this is just not so.  Because I can't sleep.  At least not at night.  Last night I was up until 3:00am, and though I did fall asleep then, I also probably woke up four times between then and the alarm at 7:45.  This is brutal, especially when you consider that yesterday I walked all over the damn place, and was ridiculously tired.  I couldn't help but fall asleep for an hour at 6pm, but it's absurd that a little nap like that might cost me an entire night's sleep.  And if it did, then I'm in trouble again tonight, because I couldn't keep my eyes open this afternoon and I just slept for two hours.

The point is, I'm tired.  Yesterday I visited Basilica di San Marco, the Rialto Bridge,  the Ponte dell'Accademia, Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute,  the Punte della Dogana, and probably more that I just can't think of right now.  I ate some delicious ravioli for lunch, and had gelato (again).  And I downloaded and watched the newest episode of Glee with Christine to cap off the day.  You might wonder if I took pictures.  Why, yes I did, but I am too lazy to deal with uploading right now, so that will be a treat for another day.

Today I went back to Piazza San Marco and visited the Palazzo Ducale di Venezia, which is a tour I just can't recommend.  The place is huge, and if you purchase the audio guide, you'll spend the first few minutes confused as to where you're supposed to go.  Then you'll finally find a room that matches up with what the guy on the guide is saying, and there will be no turning back.  It is a long tour.  And I don't know about you, but I can only handle craning my neck so many times to look at paintings of Neptune giving Venus the power over the Adriatic, or Jesus dying on the cross, or St. Mark doing something or other.  It was a dizzying morning trying to take all that in, so that by the time we (Christine's friend Deborah is in town visiting, so I've been doing all this touring with her while Christine works) finally got to something I'd heard of, the Bridge of Sighs, I didn't even really know I was there until it was over.

I also visited the Fortuny Museum today, which has quite the eclectic mix of exhibits.  There was a modern art exhibit, some sort of exhibit of old clothes and old paintings, and then a collection of samurai war garments.  I'd say the problem with this museum was the lack of explanation, particularly in the clothing part that apparently belonged to the Fortuny family or something.  I don't know, because there was barely a single placard explaining anything in the entire exhibit.  The samurai exhibition had a lot of explanation, but none that seemed to really answer the questions people would have (like, why does this guy have a crab as his ornamental headpiece, or why was this dude's hat so much bigger than anyone else's?).  I need a little more in my museum, if you please.  This was the same problem in a lot of the doge palace, though I won't complain about that because the damn thing already took so much time (I'd say we were in there for two hours or so) that the last thing I wanted was further explanation.

I'm writing more details about today because it's fresher in my mind, but yesterday was definitely the more productive day, simply because I liked most of what I saw and wasn't really disappointed in anything.  And today my disappointment only comes as a result of extremely high expectations, so life isn't all that bad.  I mean, I'm lying on a couch and typing my blog as a guy sings and plays an accordion on a gondola passing by my window.  And the Red Sox game is starting in fifteen minutes, which means I'll be able to watch it before I go to sleep (fingers crossed) tonight.  So what do I have to complain about, really?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ciao

Um, I'm in Italy.  This is weird.  Perhaps you haven't noticed, but I am a bit of an American.  Not in all the ways that I consider that a bad thing (backwards conservative thinking, love of NASCAR, for instance), but in the sense that I am used to following the isolationist doctrine (which, actually, is also a bad thing, so forget it; I'm American in almost every sense of the word).  I like a lot of America.  I've seen a lot of America on various road trips.  But I've never left the country until now.  And, no, Puerto Rico doesn't count, since it is an American territory, and despite the Spanish speaking, it definitely feels American.

Venice does not feel American.  It feels Italian.  I've been here just over 24 hours, and I already feel Italian, for god's sake.  It's just strange to me that I'm even here.  It still feels like a dream.  I mean, I have Euros in my pocket and I'm typing this blog from my dock on the Grand Canal of Venice.  This is what I see when I look straight ahead:



And look at the view when I turn to the left:



My brain doesn't even know how to process those images yet.

I went to sleep last night at around 11pm (it was a struggle to stay awake that long), after watching the Red Sox win and the Dodgers blow a lead again.  I didn't wake up today until 2:45pm.  And I only woke up then because Christine came crashing through the front door, convinced I was dead because I hadn't responded to any of her emails (I didn't have an Italian phone yet) all day.  I haven't slept like that since I was teenager (if even then), but I guess that's what jet lag does to you.  So, I sort of wasted my first full day in town.  But I walked Christine back to work, all the while trying to pay attention to the landmarks so that I wouldn't get lost when I had to make it back to the apartment on my own.  And guess what?  I didn't get lost.  I walked back to the Piazza San Angelo, got some gelato, and took it back to the apartment.  No wrong turns, and no need to pull out the map.  Yes, I was proud of myself.

Tomorrow, I will wake up at a reasonable hour, and I will go for a jog.  I will bring a map with me, but I fully intend to get lost because that's what I think one should do in a new city.  I'll get lost, and then I'll find my way home again.  And after the jog, I'll watch the archived footage of the Red Sox game, since I can't bring myself to wake up in the middle of the night to watch it live.  At least not until I get used to the time change.

Right.  Did I mention that I'm in Italy?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Modern Technology

This is weird.  As I type, I am sitting in a Boeing 737, operated by Delta, that has just reached its cruising altitude.  And yet I am on the internet, talking to you people.  This is different from that time I "live blogged" my flight to Seattle, in that this is actually live.

The boys at Sons of Steve Garvey will be happy to know that I got to watch the video of "Deltalina" explaining the safety features of this particular plane.  However, since I have a pesky superstition that requires I never once look up during any safety demonstration on an airplane, I actually only really heard Deltalina give her spiel.  I looked up once to confirm it was her, then immediately went back to my pre-flight ritual of texting/making phone calls up until the last possible minute, making sure my seatbelt was fastened for about the tenth time, and in this case--a rarity indeed--attempting to stop myself from choking up and full-on bawling every few seconds.  If I spoke to Christine, I cried.  If I thought about getting on the airplane, I cried.  I cried before I left the house when I had to say goodbye to my dog, and I cried at the airport thinking about how I left her behind.  And, in case you're wondering, yes, I am a bit teary now.

But it's okay.  I'm heading back to New York for the first time since The Ellen DeGeneres Show took me to shoot some promos five years ago.  That was for 24 hours.  This will be for about four hours   (and of course I lived there for three years for college).  Doesn't leave much time for socialization.  But I have a friend who is flying from the states back to Berlin, and it turns out her flight takes off, on the same airline, ten minutes before mine.  So we will, in all likelihood, at least get to say hi for a few minutes before chasing each other across the Atlantic.

I've started "A Serious Man" on my own little TV screen here, so that should kill some time.  The next flight is twice as long as this one, so it should be interesting.  I'm still frightfully nervous, of course, but I'm making do.  The medication has definitely kicked in.  But if you feel the need to be sarcastic or mocking to a poor girl like me, save it for when I'm not several miles above terra firma.  I'm sensitive.

As long as the JFK terminal has wi-fi (and since I'm flying First Class and get access to the "Sky Club" or whatever, I think I'll be able to find a signal), I should be able to use MLB.tv to catch a few minutes of the Dodgers and Red Sox games.  That'll be nice.  I don't think the international portion of the flight will have wi-fi, which is rather unfortunate.

Anyway, I'll get back to you from JFK.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Paging Dr. Freud

I woke up this morning and realized that in my dream last night, both Curt Schilling and this douche called me, one right after the other.  And the conversations were pleasant.  And Schilling offered to link to me on his blog.  I think I was in a car driving with my parents, and they weren't nearly as excited as they should have been.  They didn't seem to understand that Curt Schilling gets many, many more readers than I do, so getting a link on his blog might really help me crack that elusive milestone of twenty hits a day.  The best part is that Schilling's name showed up on my phone, like I had his number saved in there and maybe this wasn't the first time he had called me.

In real life, I think we all know I would not answer the phone for either of those two men.  Yes, yes, I'm a Red Sox fan, and there's the bloody sock and all that.  But still.  I've made my feelings about Schilling pretty clear.

The question is, why now with that dream?  Some latent guilt over not posting even though the season is now three games old?  Well, I don't know exactly what I'm supposed to be writing about thus far.  The Dodgers have lost twice to the Pirates, and the Red Sox have lost two of three to the Yankees.  I'm trying not to get too worked up over the Red Sox, even though I really, really hate losing to the Yankees.  I can just hear Yankee bloggers getting themselves all worked up over the two wins, and it makes me want to scream.  Of course, I probably feel this way only because I know I would be the same way had the Red Sox won two of the three.  But that's me, and that makes it okay.  Double standards are allowed when it comes to fanaticism.

As for the Dodgers, who knows.  I need to get into it more, start reading SoSG more often, and become the obsessed person you've all come to know and love.  But I'm leaving for Italy in just over 48 hours, and my mind can't seem to stop dealing with that fact long enough for me to focus on much else.  The good news is that MLB.tv will work in Italy, and I've got my subscription set up and ready to go.  Once I get over the jet lag, I'm sure I'll be back to my old ranting, anxious self.

The flight is Denver to JFK, then nine hours from JFK direct to Venice, all in first class (or "business elite," as Delta calls it, since they only have two classes on international flights).  That's right, I'm living the dream.  I've got plenty of DVDs, my new Kindle (plus a couple of "real" books for good measure), some crosswords, my noise-canceling headphones, and my anxiety medication.  Ideally, I'd like to sleep most of the way, but I don't think this will be happening.  So, does the above list sound like enough to keep me occupied?  Anyone have any further suggestions?

Oh, and I want to point out a relatively new addition to the sidebar.  I joined a site called "Good Reads" (or perhaps "goodreads," though I can't really bring myself to write it that way, particularly since it's the name of a site devoted to reading), which allows me to keep track of books I've read, or want to read, or am currently reading.  It also allows me to "friend" people (like Facebook), and see what they're up to, literature wise.  Anyway, in the sidebar I've got a little widget showing you what I'm currently reading.  I do this not to brag about how much I read (but, really, you should feel inferior), but just to keep you informed and maybe even inspire you to join the site (it's free) and get motivated about reading.  Think of me like that "Book It!" program some of you may have done in elementary school (wow, and apparently it's still around), only without the incentive of a free Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut at the end.  All I can offer you is a virtual pat on the back.  I hope that's enough.