Monday, January 26, 2009

Twilight Becomes Night

On Saturday night, I went to see this movie.

It is a really interesting film about things that I hate happening to this city that I love. If you're like me, you may even get a tear in your eye.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Daily Show -- post Inauguration

How many more of these great Cheney jokes do we get, now that he will (hopefully) be leaving the limelight?

30 Rock quote of the week 1/22

This was a hilarious episode and I was laughing out loud the whole time. What is more ridiculous than a company retreat? I wouldn't know personally, but yes, a bunch of drunk people talking about synergy? Sounds like a nightmare.

I think this one takes it for the week. From Jack to Liz: This is part of our problem. I give you a simple managerial suggestion in a professional context and I get back the second half of a Judy Blume novel.

The Office quote of the week 1/22

I have two this week. One is from Jim, which he said kind of in the background when Michael and Dwight were walking into the office after their mission to destroy the family paper company. I laughed out loud...

"Kevin is not necessarily a feminist, is all I'm saying."

The second one is from Dwight, after Michael starts to have guilt about destroying the family paper company and says he does not have the heart to do it, or something like that.

"Your heart is a wonderful thing, Michael, but it makes some terrible decisions."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cakes done right

Today we had a going-away party for one of my co-workers. I volunteered to take charge of ordering the cake, so I went to Amy's Bread. I have tried several of their cakes/cupcakes and think they are one of the best, if not the best, in the city. Today, I decided to try a new flavor: the Lemon Mousseline. Wow, was it was delish!! It almost makes up for the fact that this co-worker is leaving the agency. Not really, but I'll pretend it does.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Roma continued.... Rip-offs

On the flight over to Rome, I was reading through my Rick Steves guidebook and came across several lines about pickpockets in Rome. here are some samples...

"With sweet-talking con artists at the station, well dressed pick-pockets on buses and thieving gangs of children at the ancient sites, Rome is a gauntlet of rip-offs."

"Buses are havens for thieves and pick-pockets. If one bus is packed, there's a second one with fewer crowds and thieves."

I thought it was so funny that I read a few of them aloud to Kathy. When we arrived in Rome, we went to the taxi stand and, while we waited for our driver that was in the bathroom, talked to the dispatcher for a few minutes. He began the conversation by telling us to be careful of pick-pockets, but told us that we would be safe if we kept our bags in front of us. He proceeded to rip us off, as he drove with us in the cab, guided the driver totally out of the way and charged us 25 euro for a ride that cost us only 6.90 on the way back! Trevor's driver tried to get him for 50 euro, but Trevor was a little more prepared than we were. He argued with the driver, threw a 10 at him and stormed off. And so, five minutes into our trip, we were already the victims of the thievery that Rick Steves warned us about, albeit not quite the same way he warned it would happen.

Although we were frustrated, we were in Italy! So we did not dwell on it and besides, it's just play money, isn't it? Thereafter, any time we saw a sign that said "Beware of pick-pockets" that were abundant throughout the city, we had a good laugh. Even when we went to a place called the Sacred Steps, there was a sign on the door that warned us of pick-pockets, and of course, we chuckled to ourselves.

We went to this pilgrim's destination for one major reason. We had heard about the Scala Santa from our friend, Allison, who was lucky enough to spend 18 months in beautiful Italy as a missionary. When she told us about this site, we put it on the list of options. Then the evening before we were to leave, Kathy checked her passport and discovered that it had expired two months prior. I reassured her that I have known people that have gotten a passport in the same day. You just have to shell out a little more money and appear in person. Apparently she made promises that if she was able to get her passport in time for our 5:00 pm flight, she would ascend the stairs on her knees, as per the custom. She almost had to go to Philadelphia to do it, but eventually was able to secure her passport about 4 hours before our flight.

And so on our last day in Rome, we went (minus Trevor who was on his way to London). I was self-conscious about taking a photo of Kathy on the stairs because it seemed pretty sacrilegious. (That's Kathy at the bottom of the staircase.) I told her I wasn't going to do the stairs, but then decided I might as well, since we were there. After about the third step, however, I regretted this decision as my knees were already hurting from kneeling on the uneven wooden steps. The people ahead of us (you can see that there were a few nuns there) were taking this ritual very seriously, saying a prayer on each step, and thus holding us tourists back who would have preferred to get it overwith quickly.

Suddenly a group of boys descended upon us and surrounded me. My first thought was, "why are these teen-agers here?" My second thought was, "I can't believe I was worried about a flash going off when these kids are laughing and being obnoxious." My third thought was, "Why are they all up in my grill??" My fourth thought was, "Why can't these people hurry up so I can get off of these steps and get away from these kids?" My fifth thought was, "Oh my gosh, they are totally trying to pick-pocket me!" as I heard the velcro on my messenger bag rip! I almost fell off the step, as I yelled out and rolled over. I looked around and the kids suddenly looked pious as they unconvincingly began to pray on each step with the other pilgrims. I then kept my bag in front of me, as did the other women on the steps, but I was still stuck in the middle of this gang of thieves because there was no where to go. I guess I could have just walked back down the steps, because it seemed the spirit of worship was ruined by my screaming, but people continued to pray and go slowly up the steps and thus I continued as well.

So, in my list of favorite things, obviously one of my favorite things was my bag with super-duper velcro that was so loud, it saved me from getting ripped-off (again).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Office quote of the week 1/15

Another fight between Andy and Dwight!

Andy: You're like a sasquatch.

Dwight: A sasquatch is the strongest animal on the planet, so fine, call me a sasquatch.

30 rock quote of the week 1/15

Jack and Elisa talking and she says that she is Puerto Rican.

Jack: I know that's what you call yourself, but what do I call you?

Elisa: A Puerto Rican.

Jack: Wow, that does not sound right.

And how does Tina Fey do this with a straight face?

Oh yeah, and I saw Pete on Greenwich St. last week.

Friday, January 16, 2009

One last plea

I love Friday Night Lights. Very few people watch it. It might get cancelled. Tonight is the first night of season three on NBC. It's good. You should watch. Or if not, turn your TV to NBC and go to bed. I don't care. I just want a fourth season.

You can watch past seasons here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

30 Rock quote of the week 1/8

Blond actress to Jack: Do we at least have the music rights?
Jack: Yes and no. Yes, I'm talking, and no, we do not have the music, but I'm on it.

Congratulations to Tina Fey on her Golden Globe and on this great speech! Who could possibly hate her?

Speaking of the Golden Globes...
"30 Rock" and "Mad Men" are the best shows of the year and Ann Hathaway did NOT win for her overrated performance in Rachel Getting Boring. Whoops, I mean Rachel Getting Married. Plus Bruce Springsteen won for his amazing song from The Wrestler. All was right at the Golden Globes this year! Except for the snub for January Jones from "Mad Men."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Our favorite things

We all like to make lists. Here are our lists of our favorite Roman things. I'll start with my faves.

1. Going up into the dome in St. Peter's Basilica. See those windows? That's about where we were standing.
This is the view from the outside.

After that, we took the 300+ steps up to the top, where we had a nice view of the city. There were some tight spaces in the staircase and I started to panic a bit, but I'm pretty good at talking myself out of it. I'm glad I did because it was a great view from the top. Besides, there is nothing I could have done. It's not like you can start walking down when there are 100 people behind you and the staircase is so narrow.

2. Walking around Rome, where every time you turn a corner, there's some new beautiful scene that feels like you are in a movie.

3. St. Peter's in Chains church. This church has on display the chains that bound Peter, pictured here with Trevor lighting a candle.

But the part I really liked about the church was Michelangelo's Moses statue. This is one of those things that I've seen pictures of, but did not appreciate until I saw it in person.

Kathy's favorite things were:

1. Walking and exploring Rome

When we walked out of our hotel, we went up a little street pictured here (which we named Orange St. because it had orange trees on it and we wanted to pick and eat them, but didn't know if we were allowed because it was near the President's house so maybe they were his oranges. Can you imagine just walking down the street of a major city and seeing fresh oranges?). At the top of the hill was this view over the city, so it was our first view.

2. Our beautiful hotel with comfy beds, chatting by the fire, eating free chocolates and drinking DCs, which were replenshed daily. (pictured here, in a bottle designed by Roberto Cavalli.)

3. Gelato at San Crispino. Even though it was cold, we ate it every day! We tried a few different places, but this was our favorite.

Trevor's favorites:

1. Walking around Rome. We loved the mix of the ancient and modern 10 feet from each other.

2. The Pantheon (here's a great photo that Kathy took of the ceiling. That hole is open, so when it rains, it just pours right into the building. Can you imagine being in church and having it rain on you? Girls camp testimony meeting doesn't count. )

3. Sitting by the fire, eating chocolates.

thanks Kathy. Most of these pictures are yours!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

First night in Rome

The first night we arrived in Rome, we walked all over the city exploring before settling in the area around the Colloseum to watch the fireworks and ring in the new year. I loved the view of this bridge. It reminded me of this scene from Sex and the City, which was actually Paris, but, you know, that's what I do.... compare my life to TV and movies.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our homes away from home

First off, here's where we stayed for the first three nights. This is the view from the back.

Here's the front door and entryway.

The living room, where we sat by the fire each night, chatting about our explorations.

The bathroom and bathtub in which I soaked my aching body our last night. (we walked A LOT.)

Delicious breakfast buffet.

The grand staircase going up to our rooms.

After Trevor left, we stayed someplace else. This is how we felt about it! Notice the plastic covering the bed! Italian stereotypes happen for a reason!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year, New Daily Show episodes

Here's my favorite TV personality and my roommate's favorite TV personality together for the first time! (It could be the 100th time. I have no idea, actually.) I love how AC calls one of the dogs "Rags."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Okay, so I'm back from Rome and can finally upload the picture of this cake. I think Valerie is so clever with stuff like this. My nephew said he wanted a cake with M&M's and a Wall-E cake... so here is what he got. How cute is this? (And my nephew and my sister, for that matter!)

Pictures and stories from Rome are coming!