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I cleaned out my friends list of mostly LiveJournals that have not been updated in the past six months or longer. If you feel you have been defriended in error, let me know!

Also, if you want to be added to my friends list, let me know (this LJ is friend's only minus posts like this!).

ALSO if you have any good journals to recommend, please let me know.
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"Grace to be born and live as variously as possible."

--Frank O'Hara
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I have to finish 1 paper, start another short one and take 2 tests before I can enjoy Italy again. I'll be home in 10 days. I haven't had adequate time to reflect upon all of thise because right now I'm in super end of the year work mode. Oh and it turns out I'm still a procrastinator without the internet. I thought now having the internet would make me a better worker, but, it turns out, that I'm just better at spider solitare now. And I know every line to The Royal Tenenbaums.
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WHAT?!! They're making The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory into a film with Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansen. Oh man. Natalie is so not the right person to play Anne Boleyn though. Bad choice.
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Today is a really good Turkey Day so far. Eliza, my Italian teacher, made us chocolate cake. Then each class presented their 1st grade turkey hands to each Italian teacher. We all had a good laugh. I have art in 1 hour and then tonight we're having a huge American dinner. Yikessss!
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Oh no. John McCain is running for President. If he gets nominated I don't think Hillary will have any chance whatsoever because even I would consider voting for McCain. Let's hope they nominate Guiliani because I don't think he'd win. Hillary would probably have a better chance against him.
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SO apparently being a junior does mean something because I got all the classes I wanted with no trouble whatsoever. I'm still debating over one because I have 5 and after SLC and only having 3 classes there, maybe 5 is too much.

My tenative schedule includes

Social Thought II
Presidental Power, War and Democracy
Faith, Family and Sex in US Politics
Politics of School Reform
Intermediate Journalism-Internation Law and Institutions.

OMG I'll be an out of control liberal in no time with a schedule like this.
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Picking out courses for next semester is like Christmas coming early. It's too fun.
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It's a good day to be an American Democrat abroad. It's like a big apology to Europe, as if to say, We Didn't Know What We Were Thinking But We'll Try Better This Time.

The Ponte Vecchio, on of the bridges on the Arno is lit up for one reason or another. Tuesday it was red and blue lights. Tonight it is only red. Also along the river there are poorly strung lights and are straight for the most part but curve often. It just looks like a sad house at Christmas.
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Democrats won back the House and maybe the Senate.
Britney and Kevin are divorcing.

The 4 year break that the world has been on is now over and everything's going back to regular.

In other news, I saw The Departed last night and am still thinking about it. So good!
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Got back from London yesterday. It was the most lovely place. A very nice, clean, polite city. I saw just about everything they say you should see. Unknowingly I went to a play that had one of the old characters from the OC in it (Luke for you addicts who know what I'm talking about). It was great, cold, my legs hurt and I took a lot of pictures.

Today is election day in the US and it's odd being here. I guess I won't know what happens until tomorrow since I'm 6 hours ahead here and polls haven't even opened in the US yet. I already voted absentee ballot. Being so far away makes it hard to know how people are going to vote but I'm inclined to say that most people are probably fed up with the republicans and the war. I guess, though, it's kind of convenient (though not relevant enough, perhaps) that Saddam was sentenced to death yesterday. Then again, I am and always have been a hardened democrat.
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Last night at 7.30 upon deciding that I am the most indecisive person ever, I cut my hair. About 2 inches off the old wig, maybe more. Anyway I like the way it looks. It was getting to be too much. When it's hot and humid during the summer, it's nice because it gets all curly. But now it's just puffy so I think shorter hair will work better with the weather.
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Nothing like being an ocean away and still see people wearing Penn State University and Happy Valley T-Shirts and hoodies. Somethings change and yet other things never do.
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I have no idea where I'm going to be living in January. Yikes.
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In the past 24 hours I have learned:

Booking a flight, though exciting when spur the moment, is maybe best slept on. Considering you when you realize you could leave a day earlier than you booked since it's a national holiday. On the bright side, I only miss 2 classes instead of 3.

(I'm going to London! Too exciting. I have to remember I have my whole life to go back and having 3 days instead of 4 isn't that huge of a deal.)

I learned yesterday night at dinner that Valenzia and Venice are the same place. I hate English and wish all the cities could just be called the same in every language. I'm stupid.

22:15 is not 9:15, it's 10:15.

In Italy you should never say "buona fortuna." You should say "In bocca al lupo" Into the Mouth of the Wolf. The correct response is not "Grazie," thanks. It's "Crepi," May he die. I really like this expression.

That's all for now.
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I don't post that much anymore because the wireless internet I stole for a month now has a password.

Let's just say things are super here. I like it a lot. My classes are going swell. This weekend I plan on being lazy and the next 2 months are filled with marvelous Italian day trips. I ate ice cream twice yesterday, saw a really bad opera and wandered around. Maybe I just don't like opera.

This year is the 40th anniversary of the 1966 flood of Florence. The river floods disastrously every 100 years. In the past 500 years, there have been 54 floods in all. In the past 40 years, they haven't built new dikes or anything. They just accept the river will flood. It's odd to me, coming from an area that floods. It's nice to see natural disasters are the same everywhere.

In 1966, the National Library, which held precious original documents like Marco Polo's journal from his visit to China, was flooded. The most important books were the deepest down in the library and are still being restored today. Marco Polo's journals were never able to be fully restored and are lost forever.

My super cool art professor was only 23 when the flood happened here. He gave a presentation today (Friday the 13th) on the flood. He told stories of how he, his wife, and their 1 year old son stood on a trembling bridge newly built 20 years ago after the war. He took pictures and now he has a book coming on this month.

Anyway I still miss French fries. But Florence is nice anyway.
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I came here not expecting anything. I think life works better that way. I worry I won't find what everyone else finds in Europe. How they speak so fondly of this place. How they say "You just HAVE TO go!" Such ideals we have.

I was watching The Rules of Attraction and the one part where the one character goes all over Europe. How he has this prententious attitude of "You don't know until you go there." I don't think there's anything grand or important that I didn't know before I got here that I know now.

I know little things like Italian women don't really wear shorts or short skirts. They like Puma shoes and little purses (Where do they put everything?). I know leather makes me sneeze and walking down some streets makes me feel like I have asthma. I know the European women smoke when pregnant. I know that Italian men like American girls because the Italian women refuse to talk to them. I know that it's acceptable to just put the bread on the table. And that you shouldn't eat it before dinner.

But I didn't have this profound revelation of Now I'm In Europe and Know It. What is "it" anyway? Some dumb delusion people make up. Everyone's the same everywhere, but the way they hold their forks change. That's all. Maybe I've learned that, but I think I already knew.

Coming here was so. . . it was a pretty big deal. I had ideas of what it was going to be like in my head. Now that I'm here I wear my jeans and backpack. I drink coffee and don't go to museums though I know I should. I think I'm going to try to go to 3 a week. Or 3 "places." I want to go other places. One day to London or maybe Paris.

This is all too glamorous sounding but I assure you an airplane is an airplane and you will never have the window seat. Someone will always bump into you and you will always look out of place. Nothing changes just because you're in a town with an unpronouncible name. A beach is a beach. A vineyard is a vineyard (Count Niccolo or no Count). The wine tastes funny and so does the cheese. You forget Italian words and speak like a 5 year-old.

Nothing changes all that much.

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  • I'm going to a beautiful beach tomorrow. I can't wait. I'm leaving very early. No one's going with me because everyone decided 6 hours of roundtrip traveling was too much for just a trip to the beach. I think that's lame. 6 hours roundtrip is how long it takes to go to New York City for the day from where I live. I really want to go to the beach, anyways. So I'm just going to go. My first solo European adventure! Well, I mean, not exactly the first, but you know what I mean, I think.

  • I found a cute stationary store by my school. I love it and it's rather inexpensive. Most things were under 20E and there were cute little notebooks for 2.20E.

  • My absentee ballot arrived today, much to my elation. I sent it out today as well. I really really REALLY hate my senator, Rick Santorum. I want him gone. I voted straight ticket Democrat. Sometimes I feel irresponsible voting like that sometimes, but I'd rather puke every day for a month before I vote for a Republican.

    However, you can argue that Santorum's opposent, Bob Casey, is a conservative Democrat. I think this is why he has a chance at winning. I don't like that he's pro-life, but, at this point, I'll take anyone other than Santorum. I remember I didn't vote for Casey in the primary for Governor 2 years ago over the pro-life issue. Perhaps I'm a hypocrite. Or perhaps I am too rational.

    Anyway Life is good. The beach is exciting and I hope Rick Santorum winds up alone and on some farm in West Virginia
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    My love for gelato is as uncontrollable as the new curliness of my hair. It's nuts. I don't know what to do with my hair so I just put it up. It's very hot here and these curls are annoying. I wish I remembered to bring my flat iron but alas! I am a curly-q for 3 months.

    I'm taking Studio Arts. This is scary because I've never taken an art class before. It's also exciting. The school the class is at was the first place in Italy to have private print making. This is apparently a big deal. Picasso worked there once upon a time.

    The lady who founded it was in the resistence in WWII. We met her. She told us women in Italy have accomplished more than women in the US. I guess by proxy, that's true. Italy's been around longer than the US, of course.

    I can't wait to visit other countries. Maybe next weekend I'll go away. I don't know. It's all too exciting.

    Florence is pretty small compared to New York City, but, I guess most places are. The dogs here are still ugly and mean. I eat a lot of fruit and try not to get caught in the rain. Oh, I am also taking Italian Literature and (of course) Italian.

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