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Have I mentioned dogs are scary here? They're not sweet like my Martin. More like really mangy wolves with reddish eyes.

You know those street performers who paint themselves in white or gold or whatever color? I was at Piazza Vecchio for the first time today and saw two who were done or just getting started. One just got down from being frozen and walked away. the other was putting on gold paint. His face was already gold. He looked at me as I passed, I smiled and he winked. It's a good day for street performers.

I can't wait for dinner. I wonder what we're having. Probably deliciousness.

I watched Farenheit 9/11 partially in Italian yesterday night.

Life is good and it looks like it's going to rain.
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I hate the Liberal Arts School game of "Name as many Painters/Museums/Photographers/Obscure British Magazines" as you can in one conversation. It gives me a headache.

I miss Eddie's, French fries and reality television.

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  • Italian man on bike asked me where I was from and if I wanted him to ride me around on his bike. No, Elvis, thanks.

  • People don't wear short shorts here or skirts. But a lot of Italian woman wear shear shirts with their bras showing.

  • My Italian is very broken. I basically say, "I go walk. Goodbye."

  • I need to get a cell phone.

  • It's hot, but not humid hot. Like the kind of hot it feels like when you have a fevor. Like really dry hot.

  • Facebook makes stalking too easy now. I deleted mine over that alone.

  • Oh yeah, Italy is GORGEOUS. I've been 8 different places over that past 5 days. Small mideval towns with only 50 inhabitants, I've been on hikes. I'm back in Florence. It's gorgeous though kind of abandoned on Sunday afternoon.

  • My host family seems cool. A husband (31) and wife (29) and a son (7) along with another exchange student from Middlebury. They are nice. My room is awesome. I fell down their marble steps though. That was embarassing. "Va bene, va bene!"

  • Soda costs about $2.50 here. Sad. Water costs only $.70. That's nice. Dont' drink cappucino after 10AM. Don't eat bread before the second/main course. Meals are long. Talking is key.

  • I've taken a lot of pictures but it'll probably be awhile before I upload them. I have the internet only at the cafe. Lights and electicity are expensive here. The Italians freak out if you touch their washer or stove. Benedina told me not to wash my dishes, just leave them in the sink. I think I can live with that.
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    I leave for Italy in 18 hours.

    At this time tomorrow I will be flying over the Atlantic. At this time a week from today I have no idea where I'll be or what I'll be doing.

    It's kind of scary in a lot of ways but very exciting.

    Take care of yourselves. I'll write when I can.

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    Tonight at 8 PM my dad was driving my mom, me, my 3 sisters and brother-in-law home from dinner downtown. The road we have to drive on to get to our house is a highway that goes up a mountain. It's pretty busy all day, dark with maybe one street light. So we're driving south to our house and all of a sudden we see these headlights flying toward us in the right lane.

    My mom yells, "Oh my god, Joe!"

    My dad beeps the horn, the SUV swerves into the left lane then swerves back, hits the car in the lane next to us which swerved right. It looked completely unreal but very deliberate. There was this huge crash sound that sounds like it's out of a movie.

    So like we're all freaking out, I call 911 along with everyone else on 309. No one got out of any of the cars. The SUV looks like it's flipped. The other car is against the guard rail. So my dad gets out and so eventually do the people in the car that got hit.

    Turns out the guy going the wrong way was very drunk. That makes sense because where we figure he turned on the road was pretty far up. Too far to not realize you weren't driving the right way. And the driver of the other car said the drunken man was hitting the guard rail the whole way down.

    In some situations I think, "That could've been me," but this time it really could have been us who got hit. And I guess it's kind of lucky the car got hit on the side instead of head on. It's still really scary and I'm glad my dad was the one driving.

    By the way, this is my last weekend home for 4 months. Good to go out with a bang, right?

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    I no longer need coffee in the morning. Listening to the AM local talk radio show is enough to wake me up. Today Georgey Bush got my veins pumping when I learned he's recatergorizing the "war" in Iraq as a religious one against Islamic fundementalism. I really can't say anything else about it because that sentence is pretty ridiculous. Think about it.

    Also in an interview with Brian Williams yesterday he said Americans are sacrificing by paying taxes and standing in line at the airport.

    Yes, this Monday I will be making a great sacrifice for my troops and country by standing in line at JFK waiting to go to Italy.

    I think I've done my civic duty.

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    Why does my instinct to PACK not kick in until after midnight? If I didn't have work tomorrow at 7:30 AM, I'd stay up all night trying to get this damn suitcase right. I have decided to pack shampoo that'll last a week and buy some there. I'm convinced that shampoo, conditioner & body gel are making my suitcase at least 5 pounds heavier.

    I think if I put all the things in now, I'll be able to decide what I want and what can be left behind. It's hard. I like all my things.

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    Reading Rosie O'Donnell's blog gives me a good laugh. She's like a 13 year-old who loves E.E. Cummings too much.
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    I've been updating my Flickr. I like it. Add me if you'd like though what I post there is what I mostly post here when I post photos.

    Packing/Italy/Trains/Cars/Buses/Planes are driving me nuts. My parents are driving me crazy and I'm trying to do everything I should have done 3 weeks ago into 1 week. This is a pretty hectic time.

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    I'm too sad and tired to write much. )

    Cried most of the way home. Sang Billy Joel on the top of my lungs. Used cruise control for the first time.

    I'm going to miss my girls. I couldn't ask for better friends.

    I leave in 7 days. I've never been away from home, friends and family for more than a month and a half.

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    One of the local weather forecasters, Noreen Clark, lives in my town.

    Todawy I saw her at the grocery store and she smiled at me like she knew I knew who she was. And I ran into a railing.

    I just thought that was funny.

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    Georgia got back from Greece yesterday and I saw her today. She told me yesterday was supposed to be the day that terrorist plot to blow up planes was supposed to happen.

    How's that for a reality check?

    I have a suitcase now that I can literally fit into. I'm sure this much space is unnecessary but I'm sure I won't be saying that once all my shit for 4 months is in it.

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    I can count on one hand the number of times I've said the N word aloud in its entirity. It makes me extremely uncomfortable when people throw it around so lightly. "N-this, N-that." I don't get it, like it or understand it. It's not just a word.

    It's just something I've been thinking about for the past 2 days.

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    It's my birthday today.
    I am 20 years-old.
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    Whenever I miss New York City, I just go to the movies.

    It's a nice feeling.

    (Saw World Trade Center tonight with Nicole. It was pretty good. Tasteful and visually impressive.)

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    Today at Cracker Barrel, a grandmother was with her granddaughter and I tried to get them to buy licorice (our target item). The grandma laughed, said her granddaughter couldn't eat it because she just got braces. She was maybe 10.

    I told the girl when I had braces I ate all the stuff the doctor tells you not to eat. The little girl laughed and then her grandmother said,

    "Oh, since she hasn't been eating all that junk, she's lost a lot of weight!"

    I felt sad. That this girl was 10 and already someone was telling her she's fat.

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    I find it increasingly hard to write public entries. Who knows who reads this stupid thing. I don't know how much I really want to say to people I don't know who read this.

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    My mother is crazy. I haven't been to work with her all this week. The girls were all asking where I was. Instead of telling them I just didn't want to come in and was sleeping until 11:30AM, she told them I'm on vacation for the week. In Wildwood, New Jersey.

    I've never even been to Wildwood.
    I hope she's just joking.

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    Just 2 minutes ago someone called and the caller ID said, "US Gov't" and had a local number. I got worried and picked it up.

    "Hello, goodmorning ma'am," the man said with a Southern accent, "I'm calling from the army reserve. I was wondering if I can talk to Jillian?"

    "Um, no she's not here right now," I said.

    "Okay, when would be a better time to reach her?" He asked.

    "Call back around one."

    Oh my gosh I started laughing my ass off. My little sister Jillian is 17 years-old, artsy, skinny, short, and loves to do her hair. It was just a funny visual to picture an army man calling our house looking for her. I wanted to tell him she would never make it in the army and not to call back, but it was just too funny so I played along.

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