Friday, June 5, 2009

Well hell...

Why, exactly am I posing a blog? I'm not sure, for myself I think. B/c I don't know who reads this or do I really think I care. Today, I post this blog for myself to make myself feel better.
Since being home my world has been turned up side down.  He broke up with me, can you believe it? I certainly didn't there for a while.  But I think I've come to terms with it in some ways. It'll take a lot of time to come to peace with it but its something I'm working towards.
For a while, I hated the fact that I went to Italy b/c I thought it was the reason he broke up with me. And maybe it was. But I don't regret it anymore, my time in Italy empowered me. I know I can live on my own, in a foreign country for at least 4 months. I know that I can make myself happy when thats all I have. I know that I am strong, so much stronger than I know and give myself credit for. I can't even count the amazing things I learned about myself while in Italy.  Today, I am grateful for doing it, and I think I will be forever grateful for it too.  
I think thats why I felt the need to post this blog.  B/c I need to remind myself that I did love my time abroad, as hard as it was, I am thankful for it.
I'm a strong person for keeping with it and seeing it to the end.
Now the real question is this : what kind of man was I with that it took 4 months of me being away to realize he "wasn't happy" with me? the answer: a weak, lying, coward. 
I'm stronger than him. And one day I'll prove it to the world.

If you pray, pray for me. If you don't (and thats cool b/c I don't pray either) then send strength and happy thoughts my way. 

I know I can do this.

Italy has made me a better, stronger person.



Friday, May 15, 2009

Tomorrow, I go home...

Things I’m going to miss about Florence:

The People

Nicole: a girl whom is quickly becoming one of my best friends, has a wonderful little shoulder to cry on, says “gotcha” all the time, enjoys a good meal, likes to pre-game early, keeps me optimistic even when I don’t feel like it, my painting and pastry buddy.  I’m going to miss her.

Marsha: Oh how I’m going to miss Marsha with her 20 (or so) necklaces, two pairs of glasses, distinctive voice, take-no-crap attitude, wise advice, unflattering energy, amazing teaching abilities,  stories about her amazing life journey, and the way she calls me by my last name because its fun to say.  Can’t I just take her home with me?

The Contessina Faculty: what would the Contessina be without asking for an internet card nearly everyday for 2 months and the young daughter and her husband (whom speaks no english), and their two incredibly cute young kids? Or the way the mother goes out of her way to make sure that we are happy, sometimes surprising us with a home baked cake.  Or Kiara, my bffl, who speaks wonderful english and fishes for compliments to make her feel like shes not old.  Or her husband, who looks very different in regular clothes.  And lets not forget Franceso, and his awkwardness, his passion for knowledge, the fact that he’s never wrong according to him, how he would never date me because I have tattoos, the way he first had a crush on Megan then moved to Caitlin, or the way he gets so bored and will talk your ear off for as long as you let him. Oh the Contessina, what will you do without the girls in 204?

The going-out crew: Sarah Jane and Leo, Melissa, Nicole and Leo (my drinking buddy!!) I miss the good times with them.

The Places

The Boboli Gardens: where dreams can come true and fairy tales are real. I will miss killing time just because, reading a book under a tree, taking a nap in the open grassy field at the bottom of the gardens, sitting on the benches near the lake, watching the fish in the fountain, and enjoying a sunny day away from the crowds. I’ll never forget the photoshoot with Keith in the gardens and our picnic afterwards.  Oh the ways in which I will miss the Gardens?

The Museums: bored? go to a museum.  Simple as that, go see some kick-a art, something different every time from all the different museums to choose from.  

Via dell’Alloro 14: The LdM art building, smells of turp and oil paint, how theres always an art kid in the building somewhere, the outrageously early hours in which they close, the moody tetris guys who don’t like their jobs, J.R. the cute little guy who cleans the building and is so nice, how theres always at least two different sources of music coming from the same room, and the comforting fact that art kids converge there.

Misc. things: the cobblestone streets, the beautiful buildings, the windows and doors, gelato, the central market, the dried fruit guy, fresh food, walking EVERYWHERE, dogs in bars, drinking with an open container on the street, the wine bar on the corner, the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, the way the italians say OK, using words like Grazie and Ciao daily, H&M and Zara, the freaking amazing pastries, the carousal, street artists, San Lorenzo Market, the paninis, the AMAZING art supply stores!!!, the amazing art, the condom dispensers on the street (hilarious for a Catholic country), fresh mozzarella, pretty much everything.  

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Here's a couple of pictures of my sculpture since I got yelled at for not posting earlier. 

This is the front side.

Detail. The inside is not polished. It needed some texture contrast.

The other side.

The flaw which I love. :)

P.S. I solved the problem of packing stuff.  I bought a BIGGER suitcase today off the street, super cheap, will probably fall apart after it gets me home, but good enough.  I can breathe easy now.  :)

2 days.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Finals and Packing Dilemmas...

Well, since I last updated you I had my sculpture final.  Which was no biggie b/c "we don't have time for that test crap". We just worked to finish everything up.  I finished my piece.  Its now sitting upstairs near my bed.  I'm proud of it.  Its definitely not anything amazing though.  And I can't even imagine the time, patience, and work that would go into doing a LARGE marble sculpture.  I have a whole new appreciation now thats for sure.
I also had my italian final, which I did survive although I was nervous about it.  I find out tomorrow what I made on it and in the class.  Pray for a C.
Today I had my World of Museums final, which was harder than I thought it would be but still pretty easy.  I'm sure I got an A in the class, or atleast thats what I'm hoping for.  Today I also started to think about packing.  And had a little bit of a dilemma with the artwork.  It was going to cost me about 168 euros to ship my five paintings home.  No do-able. Period. So, I decided to take 3 off the frames and tube them (tube 6 euros).  Then pack the two-panel painting b/c I didn't want to un-stretch them and I figure I could just pack them and the tube in my suitcase.  Great idea. 
Except that they will NOT fit into my suitcase.  Which sucks.  So, now I have to rethink everything.  I think I'm going to go to the train station or market to see if I can haggle for a large suitcase. I will NOT pay over 60 euros for a suitcase because I simply don't have the money.  If that doesn't work I'll have to resort to shipping the package home and praying the airlines will let me take the tube on the plane.  Nothing is simple.  I worked my ass off all semester, and this is the drama that is sending artwork home.  I got sooo frustrated today.  I am so thankful for my roommate Megan to be an optimistic and help me figure it all out.  I love that girl and am so happy we got placed together as roommates.  Tomorrow I will update you on how the problem-solving goes.  I also have my last final tomorrow morning.  Last final of my Italian semester, last final of my junior year.  I'm going to lose my mind.

3 days counting.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Painting Final...

My last painting class was today.  So sad.  Its by far my favorite.  Every Monday morning with painting is a good way to start the week.  And today we had our final critique.  We had to make corrections to the paintings we did for midterm, then we had two new pieces that we hadn't critiqued yet.  The first new one was a double portrait of me and a model.  The second one was a two-panel painting that we had full rein over, only stipulation was that it had to be from life/photograph.  I'm still not happy with the double portrait but oh well.  But I'm really happy with my two-panel painting.  I got a lot of positive feedback on it.  That one might actually go up in the our apartment when I get home.  :)
Heres some photos of my class' work:

Nicole with her naked woman and boob.

Vic with her work. (sorry its blurry)

Kendal and her work.

My two-panel painting. :) Mi piace.

All my work.  See the improvement?

Note: there are two more kids in my painting class but they ditched before I could get a shot of them and their work.  :( 

Sculpture tomorrow.
Italian tomorrow.
Art History on Wednesday.
Jewelry on Thursday.
Party Thursday night.
Pack on Friday.
Leave early Saturday morning and arrive in KENTUCKY at 5:30 pm Saturday afternoon.

Crazy huh?


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Eating it up.

Time is growing short here in Italy.  I only have about 6 days left, 4 of which are finals, 1 is going to be a recovery day/packing day, and then the sixth one is going to be going to the airport early in the morning.  So, not a lot of time.  Which is good and bad.  I'm really going to miss the people that I've met here, the things and places I've seen, the art, the cobblestone streets and the food.  But I'm going to be happy to be back home with my Keith, my dogs, my friends and fam, the american cheeseburger and mac and cheese, my car, my privacy, my art building and friends.  Everything. So its very bittersweet.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ahh Venice (lots of pictures)....

Boats, not cars.

How cool would this be?


My fav shot from the whole day.

view from the train.

I went to Venice this past weekend, and fell completely in love.  So in love that now I wish I had considered studying for the semester in Venice.  Gorgeous.  You step out of the Train Station and into water.  Its amazing.  Then you can walk, take a water taxi, or a ferry to where ever you need to go. There are NO CARS anywhere, how different then what I'm used to.  Absolutely beautiful. And whats funny about it is that I had no desire to see Venice whatsoever, but as soon as I seen it I fell in love.  There was an Italian family sitting near me on the train and when I seen the vastness of the water for the first time I gasped out loud, they laughed at me (not in a "I'm making fun of you" way, but in a "Yeah, Venice does that to you" way).  The ferry ride (my first) was interesting to say the least, very crowed, and they cram way too many people on the things and the ferry guy was really rude, but I guess if you have to deal with tourists all the time you would be kind of cranky.  The weather was wonderful, upper 70's, clear blue skies, in other words a wonderful day to go to Venice.  And there were soo many people there in the main squares, but less down the smaller streets.  The buildings look so run down and old, but beautiful all at the same time.  And I like how you can tell how high the water gets because of the green moldy slime on the bottom of the buildings.  Something else that I got a kick out of is the fact that many streets dead-end...into water.  
I took alot of pictures and already wish I could go back.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves but in no way do they do the beautiful city justice. Ahhh........I LOVE VENICE (& you would too)!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

They took my umbrella....

I got my purse back from Paris!
I was pleasantly surprised and a little disappointed all at the same time.  They left everything except: my camera, my ipod, my flash drive, and my umbrella.  They even took my umbrella.  Come on!  I knew the camera and ipod would be gone, but I was hoping they might have a heart and give back the flash drive.  Oh well.  At least I got my Id's back.  Now I don't have to pay GC $50 for a new G-card. 
And, I bought myself a leather jacket today.  Megan and I went together, it was an interesting experience.  The place that we went to, sells custom made leather jackets to most study abroaders in Florence.  So we knew he was good and that we'd get a good deal.  After trying on the first leather jacket, I was completely turned off.  I just looked different.  But eventually I found one that I liked.  I fell in love with a black bomber jacket with a hood (hood is 10 euros extra).  I'm not made like Italian women, I have curves (you know, hips and breasts which Italian women aren't big on here).  So, the tight small, form-fitting ones weren't cutting it.  He finally brought out the bomber jackets and then we started talking my kind of leather jacket.  And then when I tried it on, I knew it was the one.  :) Its nice.  Megan says I look sexy in it (which I don't of course) but it does seem to match my attitude very well.  I'm happy with my purchase, and it should last for a verrrry looong time.  I wonder what Keith will think of it....


OH! ps... only 17 days left! ahhhhhhhhh!!!! 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Its like Christmas....

This past Thursday, I got a package in the mail! and it was a big one too. It was like Christmas all over again, I couldn't wait to open it up.  So, I did, in the middle of class.  I must say I do have the worlds best mother-in-law.  She stocked me up with American foods/candies.  Gobstoppers, Charleston Chews, Nerds, Oreos, beef jerky!,  and Poptarts!  It was amazing to open it and see all those goodies, plus a letter from her, Keish, and Court.  Exciting stuff.  Needless to say, everyone is jealous, but I share.  And my jewelry teacher, who is German, wanted to try the Charleston Chews.  He loved them! He said that I would have to mail him some more once I get back in the states.  lol.  I LOVE my goodies.  They will definitely hold me over for the next 20 days, yes thats right, I only have 20 days left.  Crazy huh?  but I have sooo much work to get done in those 20 days.  I have to start and finish a two-panel painting, make some corrections to an old painting, finish up a marble sculpture (which is not going too bad), start and finish a silver bracelet in jewelry class, and a project/paper for my museums class.  Oh, and Italian class is going ok.  My grade average is a B (in Italian), which is awesome because it gives me some leeway on that final.  ;)
And this coming Tuesday afternoon is going to be like Christmas too because....there are good people in the world.  Some in Paris turned my purse into the Police Station, who in turn turned it into the City Lost and Found.  They sent me a letter telling me to come get myself or send someone to do it for me.  And my friend, Ashley, is in Paris right now and said that she would get it for me!  How amazing is that?  Not only that it was turned it but that I have a friend that is willing to take time out of there time in Paris to get it for me!  I feel much better about the whole "I lost my purse/life in Paris...." thing.  There are good people in the world.  So, this Tuesday I get my purse back.  I dont care whats in it, probably not the things I want the most but thats ok.  I'm just excited to have it back.  Know what I mean? I love for my ipod and camera to still be in there, but I'm not counting on it.  Electronics are tempting to take I suppose.  But maybe my drivers license and student ids are still in there, and *fingers crossed* my flash drive.  But no expectations.  I just wonder what hell my purse went through to get back to me, its adventures.  :)
So, in the meantime, I'll eat my Oreo Fudge Rings from the U.S.A, work my butt off on art projects, and count down the days til I'm back in Kentucky but enjoy those 20 days in the process.  


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fun Facts about Italia...

So, I'm currently procrastinating my homework.  And I've been learning random and interesting facts about Italy since I've been here, and it has lead me to google some more tidbits about Italy.  
  1. Italy is the 5th most industrialized country in the world.
  2. Its about the size of Arizona.
  3. The average Italian eats about 55 pounds of pasta a year.  
  4. Italy has a low birth rate, because family values are changing in Italy.
  5. 98% of Italians in Italy are Roman Catholics.  
  6. The story of Pinocchio was written by Carlo Collodi, a Florentine.
  7. The average Italian eats about 1/2 pound of bread a day.
  8. Italy has one of the highest eating disorders rates in the world. (I've been told this, I'm not 100% sure on it though.)
  9. Eyeglasses are an Italian invention.
  10. The average Italian drinks about 26 gallons of wine a year.
  11. Italy imports over 75% of its energy.
  12. Italy has over 3,000 museums, Florence being the home of Italian Art.
  13. The Vespa is an Italian made motor scooter.
haha.  I enjoy these facts much more than my Italian homework.
I hope you do too.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

When in Rome....

Bungalow #30.  Nice.

Caitlin locking it up.

Rows and Rows of Bungalows.

The rockin view from PLUS hostel.  Notice the trees.  

Fountain at the Spanish Steps.

Me on the Spanish Steps.

The Pine Cone Courtyard.

Modern Art. Gotta love it. This thing spins.  :)

Our goofy tour guide.

The Lacoon. :)

AHHHHH!!! i love this piece.  

Mikey was obsessed over this piece back in the day.

Vatican looking OUT.

Pope's Royal Guards.  Dorks.  Sucks to wear that everyday.

We are Romans.

Awesome seats... :)


Green Apple was deelish.

The Madhouse that was the Gelato Bar

Trevi Fountain

This past weekend I went to Rome with my roommate Caitlin.  I had been dying to go, and wanted to wait until the weather straightened up to go.  Thankfully, it didn't rain until after we were already on the train back home.  Rome was really the only other Italian city that I had be dying to see.  Hello, the Sistine Chapel is there.  So, to Rome I went.  It was an interesting adventure.
We staying at PLUS Hostel in Rome, which really did turn out to be a camping village that was 30 minutes outside of the city center.  The distance kinda sucked, but we figured out the bus and metro system it was easy.  Be best thing about staying there, was that there were TREES!!!!  Florence has no trees (expect in the parks).  We stayed in a "bunaglow" which consisted of two beds, and a tiny bathroom.  Thats all.  It was nice though because it was clean and super CHEAP.  36 euros for two nights (for one person).  Sweet deal.  
We took the fast train to Rome, and it was nice.  Only took about 1.5 hours.  After we checked in at PLUS, we hopped on a bus, then a metro, and went to the Spanish Steps.  Very pretty, especially at sunset.  It was a nice square, with a small fountain designed by Bernini and is supposed to look like a small boat that was once stranded there.   There were many shops and street artists at Piazza di Spangna as well.  The steps can get quite crowded, and I don't really like crowds but it was still very pretty.  Afterwards, we went in search of a good place to get dinner.  We picked a random trattoria and of course it was delicious.  Then we headed back to the Hostel because we had to be at the Vatican first thing in the morning to meet up with our tour group. 
I'd like to start off with this tidbit of information, Vatican City, is a country.  Yes, it is in ROME but it is its own country as well.  It's the world's smallest country, about .2 square miles and serves as the spiritual center for millions of people from all over the world.  Its usually referred to as a City State and often called "the Holy See".  Pretty much the only people who live there within the .2 square miles are priests, nuns, guards, high-ranking dignitaries, and the Pope.
We booked a group tour, with a hefty fee, for the Vatican Museum which includes: the Sistine Chapel, a modern art collection, countless rooms of art, and just a lot of stuff...mostly all "donated" to the Vatican.  Some of the worlds most famous pieces are held here.  Like the Lacoon for example.  And of course the frescos within the Sistine Chapel.  Overall, I'm so thankful for the experience of the visiting the Vatican, but never in my life will I probably ever do it again.  Why? Simply because of the crowds.  It was horrible the massive amount of people there.  I would do it again, on a less busy day, but our tour guide said that the day we were there was a "slow" day.  Ugh.  Heck, we only spent 30 minutes in the Sistine Chapel because there were so many people and the guards were professional bad mood-ers.  Yelling at people and stuff.  It was overwhelming.  But Mikey did one hell of a job on that ceiling.  But the Last Judgement is still my favorite.  I made a list a few years ago in high school, of things I wanted to see or do before I died, seeing the Sistine Chapel was on there, and can now be checked off the list.  :)
After the Vatican, we walked to the Colosseum and got in for free, why I'm not sure, but the ticket lady said it was free and I was happy.  The Colosseum was very cool.  No wonder so many movies made after this amazing place.  Back in the day it could hold about 55,000 spectators.  The coolest part about the Colosseum was the sections underground, which you couldn't get to but you could see it.  Thats where they held the prisoners/slaves and the wild animals.  Sucks that in 847 an earthquake hit and made it into the ruins that it is today.  
After the Colosseum, we walked around a bit.  Caitlin has family in Rome, so we met up with them and walked around.  We met them at the Pantheon, which we seen from the outside.  The inside was reserved for those who wanted to pray.  The Pantheon is located in the Piazza della Rotonda square; which was my favorite square that I seen in Rome.  Caitlins family took us to this gelato bar near the Pantheon.  It was like nothing I've ever seen before in my life.  It was a cross between an auction and a mosh-pit.  Ridiculous.  You pay first, and then squeeze your way to the gelato bar, get squished, hope and pray that the gelato boys see you so that they can take your order (or atleast this is how it is for short people like me), get your ice cream, pray that it doesn't fall off the cone as you fight your way back the the back of the store to exit.  Yeah, it was that busy.  But it was soooo good.... I had green apple (verde mela), and it tasted just like green apple.  After we left Caitlin's family we continued to walk around Rome a bit, just stopping to look at stuff in the windows or to shop.  We also seen the beautiful Trevi Fountain.  Gorgeous.  
Overall, I enjoyed Rome, but prefer Florence.  Florence is smaller, everything is within walking distance, and the people here are friendlier.  Rome was huge.  But for a big city, it was awesome especially with its old ruins intermingled with the modern city.  I liked Rome.  I would've liked to have spent more than a weekend there, to just walk around some more.  But its nice to be back in Florence too.