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15 July 2011


OK so this blog thing was supposed to turn into a journal kind of thing so I could check in every few days and update people on what I've been doin. Oops. Turns out that I have wanted to spend as little time on the computer as possible while here... who'd have thought? Anyway, considering that I only have a week left it's a little late so start updating now because you've missed a lot. But also considering I'm alone in the apt tonight and feeling good with a glass of wine, it's a GREAT place to start. Soooo, I'll try and start with the beginning and see what happens.


OK so everything was running sooooo smoothly. I had a great birthday night with family and Patrick the night before and was feeling good. Bucci and I happened to arrive at the airport at the exact same time... perfect timing. Checked in, checked our bags, found our terminal and grabbed a beer (at a bar at our gate with 40 beers on tap... can I say amazing??). Easy flight to Atlanta, pretty easy but fast layover, LONG but relatively smooth flight (minus an hour or so of nasty turbulence... may or may not have said a prayer or 2), and easy connection in Venice. Still good, right? We get to Rome on another smooth, although rather B.O.-filled, flight. Looking good... until we land in Rome. We go to grab our bags and... nothing. We wait til the next arrived flights bags go through... nothing.

Obviously this is not good and I'm sure you can see where this is going. So Bucci and I go to file a claim on our missing bags and try to find out where they are. So we ask where they have been left. Pause. "We don't know." Don't know? I'm sorry but isn't that what those little barcode sticker tags that they attach are for? To find out where they are located? Apparently they are just for decoration. So we ask if she can look a little further and see if there is any sign of our bags on this great earth. "No, I'm sorry there are no messages." Obviously not... bags can't send messages from the moon, which is my best guess as to where they could be. There is no WiFi on the moon, so messages would be near impossible. OK signora, what do we do now. "We'll call you when we find them. What hotel are you staying at?" No, no hotel. An apartment. In Florence, not Rome. "Oh... we will call you and send them to your apartment." So we have to wait in our apartment for x-number of days til you get our bags back?

To make a long story short, we gave her our numbers and told her to send the bags to the Florence airport and we would get them ourselves. When. "Tomorrow probably." OK, one night, no big deal. Luckily Mal and Mark were meeting us in Florence so they'd have toiletries and stuff to lend for a night. Head up to Florence, and meet our landlord (who is a WHOLE other story, mind you...) two hours late so he is not happy. Too bad I tried calling 10 times and his cell phone just sucks. Anyway, we FINALLY settle in with promises of internet coming the next day. We call the airline that night and still no sign of our bags, call in the morning.

That was Monday. Tuesday we spend half the day wandering the city, visiting the Uffizi, and calling the airline. Good news! We found a bag in Atlanta. Oh good!! Where is the other? "We don't know. We will call you." Mind you, we hadn't received one phone call in 24 hours, not even telling us they found a bag. We had to call. We call again later that night and find out that one was in Atlanta and one was in Venice. We still, to this day, have no idea where our bags actually first got left. At any rate, they said our bags would be on the 6:30pm flight landing in Florence. We hop on the bus to the airport in Florence and wait for our bags in the baggage claim area. We watch Rome's bags come through... Zurich's... and Frankfurt's, but ours are nowhere to be seen. Again. We get some help from a kind lady in the lost and found who tells us to call after the 11:30 plane lands and hopefully they are there. 4 hours later, no luck.

Wednesday. This is basically day 3 with no bags. We had luckily both packed a few items of clothes in our carry-ons, just in case, so we were still living but just barely. Mal and Mark trek off to Venice for the day and Bucci and I literally spent the day on the phone with the airlines and airports trying to find our bag. A nasty woman in the Florence airport who brought me to tears with her nastiness said that no bags were in Florence, they must be in Rome. So when I asked her to look around instead of just looking on the computer screen she basically hung up on me. OK, at this point Bucci and I had been in the Lost and Found in Florence. It is not big. At all. It would take someone 3 minutes max to glance around and see if the bags are physically sitting there and not just a message on the computer screen. But not her, oh no.

A kinder man in Rome was more helpful and took the time to hunt in all areas for where our bags could be. He said one was in Florence and one was in Rome, contrary to nasty lady's testament of none in Florence. So we were back to square one with no idea at all where our bags actually were. Our only solution? Try the 6:30 flight in Florence and see if 2 lonely bags are sitting there. Took another bus to the airport, crossing our fingers to find at least ONE bag there. We go through the lost and found and... BUCCI'S BAG IS THERE!!! I pretty much give up looking since he only said one bag was there. Bucci suggests taking another look and... is that... it can't be... MY BAG!! And we each lived happily ever after with our luggage.

This is what luggage looks like after its been missing 3 days. The bow was there before, it wasn't a gift from the airport.

So let's count. 2 people + 3 days + 2 missing bags + a bajillion phone calls + 2 hang-ups by airline people + 2 bus trips to the airport + coffee and wine = 2 well-traveled bags.

Reliving this entry has taken a lot out of me so I'll leave you with this story for now. Lots more to come.

PS-- Huge thanks to Mal and Mark for helping out those couple days and for coming to visit!!

05 April 2011

The Countdown is On...

OK so it is officially 12 hours and 23 minutes until I board my first of three planes to Italy. I am SO excited, slightly nervous, and slightly below my normal weight in anticipation of the obvious weight gain I'm about to endure (completely willingly).

I said my "See ya later"s to almost everyone at work (sorry if I missed you!) and was told that if I don't come back having gained some weight then I didn't do my trip right. I completely agree, by the way. Not only will I be eating enough pizzas for at least a dozen people to enjoy vicariously through me, but I was sent on a mission by my bffwifey to sample every pastry I can find. She wants to open and Italian bakery and I *reluctantly* agreed. And by reluctantly agreed, I mean it was basically understood I was going to do that anyway, but now I had an excuse. "Un'altra sfogliatelle, per favore. I'm not sure I tasted it correctly the first time."

And there will be several trips and many visitors!! Patrick is coming for a 3 1/2 weeks, Christina from TJs is coming for a few nights, and Mal and Mark will be there for the first few days!! There are many fun things plans which I will not allude to so that you can be surprised when I tell you later. I can't give away all the suspenseful, exciting updates before they even happen.

However, I should go for now. At the moment I am just killing time waiting for my iPod updates and uploads to go through. I will write again at some point from Firenze!!

A presto!!

08 January 2011

Happy New Year

I was doing so well for awhile!! Blogs every few days, fun topics, occasional witty ramblings (maybe not so much...). Then life gets busy, I lose motivation, and forget. Oh well. That was 2010. Time for 2011.

So my two resolutions for this year are 1) Be healthier and 2) Make art. I think they are really most of what I need to focus on.

I've been trying really hard to get more sleep and eat better. Exercise will come into play soon, really. I want to try yoga and/or pilates, and once the weather starts to warm up I will start running. Most (definitely not all) of my meals have been healthier and I've tried really reallyreally hard to cut back on crappy, compulsive snacking. I hope to convince my mom to do a little more buying of local foods too. I'm starting to get skeeved out by those gross mass-meat producing companies. Just think of that term... its gross.

The sleep thing is the most difficult because I find my brain super stimulated at night and my thoughts race as I try to go to bed. In the past 8 days of the new year I think I have come up with at least 3 big ideas that I would love to accomplish but mostly likely won't. We'll see though. At least I have plans if grad school in the Fall falls through.

And in comes my second resolution: make art. This is so super serious but so open and airy that I love it. I need to experiment more and produce more, but most importantly I need to just DO IT. I have commissions and projects going that will make it difficult to focus on my own personal work, but I have to. I know I won't grow if I don't.

In the same resolution I started (SUPER LATE) my applications for grad school. I'm actually sooo late that there are so far only 2 schools that I have a chance at getting applications in before the deadlines pass. Slacking seriously bit me in the ass this time. However, one of the schools is PAFA which is by far my number 1 choice. Fingers crossed!

In addition to commissions and grad school, in a few short months is ITALY! It is booked, I am really truly going. And my ONLY agenda there? Paint, draw, cook and travel. My day and weekend trips will probably be slightly limited just to make for maximum painting time. I don't know when I'll get the next chance to have literally 6 weeks of 24/7 available art making time. I NEED to take full advantage of it and I cannot wait. A huge thank you to Trader Joe's for letting me do it, too :)

So to my couple of little readers out there, I hope you bother me about my resolutions :) I need a little push of confidence every now and then. I apologize in advance if I'm not around as much because I will hopefully be doing lots of painting and drawing.


24 October 2010

My Apologies...

OK, so I am sorry for the rant. That was a little melodramatic on my part.

But for real for real, I am very frustrated lately. I felt like I had this wild epiphany a week ago to work abstractly and I felt like a genius and totally wild and enlightened. Then I went to bed, woke up, and realized how stupid it all looked. Now I am back to painting fruit and gourds. Not that I don't love painting food, I really do. I actually make a living doing that very thing at Trader Joe's and thoroughly enjoy it. I just feel like I haven't grown much as an artist lately/since I graduated. I have all these wild dreams and aspirations and I feel like I am going to have a hard time accomplish them painting large paintings of fruit and gourds.

I feel like I need a week free of agenda for me to accomplish things. Like cleaning my mess of a room, making art, applying to grad schools, planning italy, and being awesome. I haven't done any of those things in so long. I'm sitting here in a mess of a room, totally frustrated and terrified to tackle this monster (it's actually not that bad... I cleaned a lot of it the other day, the rest is just what hasn't found a place yet... and so far there's no hope of finding one...)

I also want to start singing. However, I am totally shy, bashful, and embarrassed to do so, so this will probably never go further than me singing loudly in my car. The only people who will probably witness my singing will be strangers in cars stopped at red lights near me or driving on the highway next to me. This is good news for people who know me since they probably will never hear me sing, but unfortunate for the unlucky drivers around me. My apologies to the Philadelphia area.

So... an idea occurred to me as I was typing. Hey Self, stop typing... find a free spot of floor in your room (dramatization, I promise).... stand there... and start to clean. Yes! Brilliant! THEN!... get your sketchbook out of its new "place" and ... DRAW! Amazing! How did I ever think of this?! Self, you are brilliant and awesome.

By the way, for the 2.3 people who might skim through this, if you have reached this point you are not crazy. I am just seriously sleep deprived, moody, depressed over the Phillies loss and the end of baseball season (in my eyes), hungry, chilly, and seriously tired. Thanks for being a pal and reading, I hope it at least provided a few minutes of amusement. Gah.


I am soooo lazy.

I drive myself crazy with the LACK of everything that I do.

I HAVE to paint more. I'm soo behind and haven't produced anything in forever. Where do my days go!? Maybe I'll have more time since I won't be watching the Phillies for another 6 months...

Sad face.

09 October 2010

Name Change

So, as you can see, I've renamed my blog. I realized that lately it has regrettably become less focused on art I'm making, and more about day-to-day happenings and goals. So that's what this will become. Adventures in anything from cooking, painting, and work to planning trips, applying to grad schools, attending historical baseball games, and slowly making my studio better and better.

Grad school applications are getting started. Yay! Italy planning is still... being planned, haha. And today I plan on cooking AND painting. Good little Saturday :)

So, to go along with this new theme, I have some pics of some delicious Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins I made Thursday night. The recipe make about 24 small muffins, 12 of which I brought to work and 12 I left at home. There are now about 7 at home, and I plan to drastically reduce that number in the next day or 2, with help or without.

Here are some tasty pics :)

Before baking...

The mess... this actually is just the mess collected in my sink. The real mess was all over the counters :)

Tasty tasty muffins


04 October 2010

Little Adventures, Here and There

So life lately has been... busy? Eventful? Hectic? Unfortunately none of those words are quite right for what I'm thinking, even though at the same time all three of them are totally right.

About a week ago I spent 5 hours waiting in line to audition/be reviewed for Bravo's TV show Work of Art. It was insane. I met some cool people, saw some REALLY weird people (awesomee!) and had an extremely awkward review where I basically rambled for 5 minutes while my reviewed smiled, nodded, and said "mm-hmm" a lot. Better luck next year, Self.

Italy is still in the plans, especially since I didn't quite make the cut for Bravo. I found a place I like and now it's just a matter of figuring out the length of time to stay and getting approval from work. Fingers crossed for both (apartment and work-approval)!! The place is small but nice, with a stove AND oven (yes!!!), 2-3 sleeping spaces and it's in Italy. Perfetto.

Life at TJs has been winding down... while at the same time getting crazy. Lisa is back (HUGE YAY!) which is obviously awesome. It's great to have her back in the art room, and also great to have her back because she is seriously awesome at this job. Makes like a bajillion times easier/more fun. But then again, the holidays are coming so that means the crowds are too. Oh goodie...

Have you ever been so torn between your head and your heart that it is physically exhausting? I'm there too lately. In a number of places in life I think. Art, relationships, life goals... how do you pick? I've always been one to follow my heart, but God knows that hasn't always worked out. And while following my head sometimes works, it's always the safer bet and always feel like I'm cheating myself out of something. Best idea yet? Stop thinking :) See what happens and do your best to enjoy the ride :) Oh, and don't cheat myself out of anything. Try everything once. I love the quote that goes something like "If you never try, you've already failed." Did I make that up? Not sure... If I did though, then go me :)

So my last blog entry was about choosing a new title... I think I might like the title of this entry actually! Let me know yes or no... but I think I might go with it!