Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Dear Friends,

Halloween 2010 was a huge success! Andrew was a devil, and I was poison ivy (from batman). We had a great time! Our friend Tina even brought American candy treats to the party, so I was able to feast on some Reeses Peanut Butter Cups... what a year!

Now I am enjoying some days off, as school reopens for business on November 9th! So, I'll be drinking lots of cappuccinos, and drawing lots of pictures! I hope that all of your Novembers are off to a great start!

Friday, October 30, 2009

No, the Cats I Was Hanging Out With Did Not Abduct Me!

Hello friends! Well, okay, the teacher disappeared for a bit, but I'm back and in full effect! Just look at this picture of Andrew and I in a crazed karate fight at Circus Maximus- or wait- is he getting an eyelash out of my eye...

Teaching has been absolutely amazing! This year has already been filled with many wonderful adventures and challenges, and it is only November! And, while busily teaching the little ones, Andrew and I have also been taking advantage of this most incredible city that we live in!

During a recent visit with our friend Chad, I finally made it to that creepy Cappucchin-monk-grave-bone-mosaic church! Yikes! I said I would never do it, and then there I was. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, this is a church filled with the graves of 4000 monks, of which only about 5 (completely unfounded estimate) are actually underground! the rest had their bones used for mosaics on the walls of the crypt! And OF COURSE they are piping creepy organ music into the space as well. Really.

A most fantastic bakery just opened across the street, so if I'm not looking too bedraggled tomorrow morning, I'll blog a picture of my Saturday morning cappuccino and pastry routine!

Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 10 - Off to Work

Today was my first day reporting to school! I saw my classroom, which is totally beautiful ( I will send pictures as soon as it is in some kind of order), met the other first grade teacher (absolutely wonderful), and had my first necessary 3:00pm cappuccino since June! I love earning those mid-day ones...

Since I didn't bring my camera to school yet, I've added a couple pictures of the cats that I've been hanging out with. They belong to my friend here. While these pictures may not encapsulate the Roman experience, it is important to note that these cats are ROMAN! They were adopted from one of those filled-with-cats-monument-areas, so it's the real thing.

When I got home this evening I went for a run, including up a big set of stairs in trastevere. There were some youths hanging out on them, and as I ran past they cheered me on. I felt like Totti, just for a moment.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

To the Market

Today I spent some time at the fresh market that is a couple of blocks away from the apartment. The guys at the seafood table were getting a real kick out of my photographic interests... The truth is, I had secret motives! While I was in NYC, I went to see "Michaelangelo's First Painting" (using quotes because everyone knows that your 'first' painting is hardly ever considered relevant enough to land in a museum, even though it should be. How fun would it be to see Michaelangelo's REAL first painting?). ANYWAY! Did I go there? The painting that does happen to be on display at the Met was a huge inspiration to me, and I decided to do a version of my own based on the same allegory. They mentioned in the exhibit that Michaelangelo did research for his painting at the fish markets, so, how could I resist?

Then, after a year with my favorite, perfect bag that my sister made me last year before my departure for Rome, I decided, I was going to have to get a new bag. So, it was off to Campo De Fiori. On my way, I spotted (what I think was) a white Egret standing on the rocks in the Tiber. I used my extra special National Geographic quality zoom lens to capture this blurry photo of it to share with you!

As soon as I saw the bag, I thought, "This would be great camouflage if I wanted to hide in an explosion of christmas ornaments," so I figured it would go with the rest of my attire. Look closely at the car photo- there I am with it!

Tomorrow is my last day before I report to duty at school! I am getting so excited!


Friday, August 21, 2009

If Life Gives You Oranges... And Unquenchable Thirst...

I went running in Villa Pamphilij again today, but tomorrow, I'm finding a new course that's in my neighborhood, so I really enjoyed every minute. Well, almost every minute- - all except for the one where there was a man in the park using one of the drinking fountains as a bidet... I mean, come on.

Worked all day in the apartment trading back and forth between trying to learn mandolin solos and trying to prepare for my first day of first grade!

Now for the finale: I made my first ever fresh squeezed orange juice! Now I feel a real kinship with the orange juicer. It's kind of like my "Wilson".

Good night all you friends n' fellows n' fellow fellows' fellows...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Off to Montemartini...

After peering creepily out the window with my coffee (housed in my favorite Croatian mug fully equipped with 3-D surfer), I decided to spend the hottest hours of the afternoon at the Capitoline Museum at Montemartini ( Last year, I was particularly interested in the machinery, but this year, I gravitated more towards the faces... here are some sketches from my sketchbook!

Missing you all,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

For the Joggers, Walkers, and Nature Lovers

Here is a view from my usual jog in Villa Pamphilij. I didn't think I would make it this morning, because the jet lag was setting in. During a less than tranquil dream that I was surfing on a crocodile through the grand canyon, I heard the church bells ringing, and thought for sure that I had heard about 15 rings... So the sheer curiosity of what time that would signify stirred me out of the scenic west, and it was 9:30. There was plenty of time to head to the park before the midday heat set in.

On my way I bought some batteries, and somehow it turns out I still haven't learned my lesson about buying batteries in Rome. That's why there is only one picture from this morning's jog... More to come - vi juro!

Yesterday I went for coffee with Francesca on Carini. On my way home, I found two Italian playing cards, both kings from different suits, and different decks (see image above). The first one I found right outside the Porta Portese market entrance, and the second on the street I live in in Testaccio. Rome is always leaving me clues!

Wishing you all well out there!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 2- Pictures of the New Place

Here are the pictures of me in my new apartment. Two out of my new windows, and one of the roof. I threw one in of the roof view without me, so if anyone wants to do some crafty photoshop work, we could hang out together on my roof.

For all you academy folks out there, you might notice the french academy far in the background. I haven't figured out the altitude yet, but there is a distinct chance that I am higher up. (Insert mental image of me and JP Morgan in a jumping double high five).

Let the Games Begin

Hello Everybody!

As you may recall, one year of Rome was NOT ENOUGH!! So, I'm back, and this time with my own apartment, and job! How will I survive in this world of privacy and functionality? Stay tuned, we'll find out!

This blog will be a little window into the continuation of the Roman Adventure, and I'm offering a special feature called:

Through this feature, you can send me a message of a place you want to go in Rome (vicariously), and every weekend, I'll go to one or more of the requested places, and send pics! So, if you have a hankering for your favorite cappuccino, or want to take your favorite stroll to the pantheon, I'll do it!! Just let me know!

Here are the highlights from day one back in the eternal city:

I got off the plane, onto the train, onto the bus, and sure enough (though I had
thought several times that I had dreampt the arrangement), the
apartment was waiting. Monica, the woman who we are renting the
apartment from was still on site finshing up final details, and she
gave me last minute advice and warnings. I wonder if I will remember
anything she said at all, as I was still in my blissful sleepwalk from

I took my exhaustion to the streets (where it belongs),
and managed to hike up to porta portese, where I met with a
rare scene of low attendance. August heat makes Rome a ghost
town. If there was tumbleweed here, it would be blowing around, and then
after not too long, someone would try to make a goal with it.
I picked up some paper products, some hygiene products (lofty aspirations to shower...),
and then I did the Campo, Navona, Pantheon Loop because I just couldn't resist!

I saw a boy with a long thin ponytail climbing to reach and straining
to touch to the long thin tail of bernini's elephant in front of Santa
Maria Sopra Minerva.

Spent the evening listening to church bells and a James Taylor record, which
gave me that unspecific nostalgia feeling that I love so much. For dinner
I finished my panino from campo, and then stepped out to the Sicilian gelateria
for a snack. A snack with sprinkles.

Fell asleep missing all you friends, family, fellows and fellow's fellows...