29 October 2009


that whole mystery veggie thing is going to have to wait, as i have not made it yet. moving on:

kevin and lindsey's stay was wonderful. they were enthralled by the cheese and wine from the start. in only two days, we managed to hit campo di fiore, the vatican, piazza navona, my studio / jewish ghetto, pantheon, capitoline hill, venetian palace, and back to the vatican for a last minute tour.

we sprinted to the museum, since we heard they closed at four. "run like rabbits" they told us. they didn't think we'd make it. ha! its pays to jet past an english speaking tour guide...who just so happened to give us a great tour.

sunday morning we hit mass at st. peters led by...you guessed it- the pope himself. what an adorable man. after the mass, we somehow managed to make the porta portese flea market. i was certainly with the right crew: deal-dinosaur [kevin] and price-penguin llindsey] raised hell as they bought a pipe and some coral. it was a great learning experience for bargain-bear [becky]. those two aren't amateurs anymore; they've moved up to estate sales and auctions. a flea market must be a joke to these legends.

we went back to their b&b [great location, by the way. only 15 min from my apt!] then tried to hit the colosseum. we did make it there, but just a wee bit too late. since they closed at 3:30, we never made it in, sadly. They also wanted to go in the inside of the pantheon, but there was a wedding going on. A WEDDING! WHO GETS MARRIED IN THE PANTHEON??!!

anyway, they will be back tomorrow, when they will be able to hit those last two sites. i'm sure they'll have enough energy after florence and barga to do it all.

becky now tired.

pope said that purple is fine. it's best to wear it if you're a winter. the cool tones look best. he said to try and not over do it though. it can be so easy with the way the world [rome] is right now. i see what he's saying. this will be continued. it kind of has to be, since it's a blog.

we're going to berlin this weekend! an old friend from high school, henning, is going to be showing us around the city. we can't wait to hang out with a real live german! the day we get back we leave to go on our northern field trip. then my crazy friends and i will be staying in milan and venice before we return to rome. this life isn't so bad. vacation from october 31- november 9.

here's my next few crazy days:

sat (oct. 31): rome > frankfurt > berlin = halloween in berlin ! meet henning at airport.
sun: concentration camp tour, holocaust monument, whatever else the germans find noteworthy.
mon: bauhaus museum! > frankfurt > spend night in airport
tues: frankfurt > rome [back for 7 hours], rome > bern overnight
wed: basel
thurs: zurich [swiss paper museum]
fri: can't remember. i'll fill you in later.
sat: end up in milan. stay night.
sun: milan > venice
mon (nov. 9): venice > rome

23 October 2009

happy friday

snapshot of the week:

1. 4 day weekends. still. this may be news to some of you, but being a full time student out here in roma, i've been blessed with the luxurious life of classes on wednesday, thursday, and friday. this makes it easy to plan trips, or do absolutely nothing at all.

2. i could do absolutely nothing at all, but being a design student, i am actually always working on homework. it's actually quite pathetic.

3. since we had the loss of one of our art history professors, that class was canceled this week (supposed to be vatican visit). my gal pals and i made use of that thursday morning time and hit a museum to see the futurismo dada exhibit. though i am surrounded by timeless classical art living in rome, i haven't felt as inspired as i did here. seeing the doodles straight from the sketchbook of Duchamp or Paul Klee was thrilling. of course, the infamous "fountain" was present (Duchamp's toilet he simply signed, "R. Mutt. 1917". caused a ruckus in the art world).

4. i got bangs! i don't have photos yet, plus i feel silly posting photos of myself. however, i am trying to get over that. i should probably have a few pictures of myself over here. how will my grandchildren believe i too once wore a bikini?

5. kevin and lindsey are visiting! they should be contacting me in less than two hours! i. can't. wait. i have been looking forward to this day ever since lindsey told me she bought the flight tickets. those two crazy kangaroos will be here until monday when they will depart for florence and the rest of their italian tour. i just hope they enjoy their time in my neck of the woods. It will be just like high school cheerleading again! kind of!

6. i made homemade noodles. big deal, you say. i know. i just wanted something else to put on this list.

7. weather is almost as menopausal here as it is in iowa. we think it's going to be cold and rainy- and then- my neck starts to sweat from the beating rays that follow the rain. that secret weapon you just can't be mad at- the sun. rainy-sunny-cloudy-colder than the arctic-sunny-warm-just kidding it's freezing again. i can't complain. it's beautiful and it's still not that cold. IF i was going to complain, i would complain about the fact that it's illegal to turn heaters on until mid november. but i'm above that.

8. inglorious bastards. grrreat film. i would recommend it to anyone who hasn't had the viewing pleasure just yet. funny. gruesome (ish) but somehow tasteful. i loved it and i only understood a third of it. between it being filmed in english, german, french, italian, and the italian subtitles the whole time, it was nice when brad pit was in a scene, to say the least. "arreeevaderci."

9. new sweatshirt + new boots. did i mention purple is THE color of the year /probably decade over here?  the bug bit me and i finally found a black hoodie with my mom's favorited color plaided all over it. nothing more cozy than a hood up and some yoga pants after a long day.

10. i had to do ten, well, because it seemed right. since i can't think of anything else from this week, i should mention that i saw the pope a weekend or two ago-heeeyo! we were going to get some drinks after he said the rosary, but then he remembered he was going to hang with some bishops and cardinals. i let them have a boys night and told him i'd see him again. which i am. sunday i got the three of us (kevin and lindsey) some golden tickets to the papal mass at st. peters.

TO BE CONTINUED: what the pope has to say about this purple trend, adventures with kevin and zindzey, and what i do with the mystery vegetable i bought- how i will cook it, that is. i'll give you one clue: it's lumpy and fully of starch.

21 October 2009

up then down

the last week has been a sad one for us in rome. one of our professors, terry kirk, decided to end his life. we [students] officially found out yesterday and had a little service for him tonight. i never had him for my art history class (60 of us are divided into three groups). i was looking forward to going to the vatican with him tomorrow- looking forward to it all semester.  that was the one time i was supposed to experience one of his famous lectures. you don't understand how magnetic this man was; every single student who had him was captivated out of their wits. i really missed out. naturally everyone's best qualities come out in a time like this, but there was something so unique and impressive about his demeanor.

it was good to step back from my routine and just admire the life of a great man with my classmates and professors. someone so engaging, charismatic, and kind hearted deserves to be remembered.

we're just given a millimeter of eternity on earth. i do not believe that this life is all there is. it can't be. it is far too short. it's worth your time to think about. think about priorities, meaningless worries, and the people you love. tell them. i need to remember some things [many] are well worth investing my time and words. everyone deserves a basic layer of respect and more. if for no other reason, we [you/me/parents/celebrity idol/waitress/school secretary] were hand crafted and molded by a perfect creator. now go be happy because life is / can be. that. good. 

14 October 2009

pish posh and such got a makeover

somebody's got the cooking bug... it's not obama. it's not gayle the snail, and it's certainly not mary kate olson. you guessed it- it's becky murphy.

i've never been MUCH of a cook. i CAN do it, i guess. i eat well enough but why make homemade sauce when you can just buy it? these ladies [roomies] have been so good for me. i'm enjoying new dishes and taking the time to cook the perfect something whenever i have the chance. pasta dishes, thai lettuce wraps, and vegetable shepherd’s pie are a few of the things we enjoy. i'm going have to snag that last recipe from them; it’s the heartiest meal i've had in italy.

Check these out:

yesterday: mashed potatoes & zucchini + sautéed red onions + chives. it was like pay day for my taste buds.

i didn't know if i should reveal that extra tablespoon of information or not. the last thing i need is high expectations in the kitchen when i return. Yeeesh!

just thought you should know.

the top are those mashed potatoes i mentioned. the middle picture is our makeshift shelf in our kitchen. we only have a few feet of counter space. all those veggies needed a better place. so, we put the ironing board in. hope nobody actually needs it. it's worked out quite well so far. oh- and that other mushy looking food is my tuna salad. tuna + red peppers + garlic + basil + tomatoes on toasted bread.

12 October 2009

now i'm really caught up

here are some pictures of naples, sorrento, capri, and pompeii. sorry they're out of order but i think you get the idea. keep reading- there is a another post in that october folder over there ----->

caught up!

I am so happy I'm finally caught up on these photos! I'm just going to call it even and move on.

School has been going marvelously. Even though I'm only in class for 3 days, I promise I do work hard (ish). But really- last week we had a typography workshop with Oded Ezer. He is a brilliant typographer from Isreal. ISU was lucky to snatch him. We're the first group of Americans he's ever taught. It was an inspiring and encouraging three days.

What else is new? I'm just compiling a list of things that are different from the US. Here are a few:

1. toilet flushers are different. Not bad. Not that diffferent. Just different. It's more of a button instead of a little lever.
2. public bathrooms are dirtier. sorry, europe. they just are.
3. speaking of toilets, you have to pay up to .75 just to use one sometimes.
4. they have trains. wow! you buy a ticket, validate it, and ride it. they're more common anyway.
5. everything runs late.
6. black socks galore! (that's how i know someone isn't american)
7. few flip flops
8. less obesidy (we could have guessed that one)
9. also not surprisingly, nuns and priests run rampant. like soybeans in iowa.
10. smart cars. everywhere. on the streets, in my salad, on my computer. everywhere. they have infected the whole city.
11. fiats.
12. less peanut butter more nutella.
13. water isn't free at restaurants. first, make sure it doesn't have gas. then pay €3 for a big bottle. woof.
14. funny three-wheeled work trucks.
15. more smokers > more raspy voices.
16. beggars are more assertive.
17. beaches have less tops.
18. gypsies.
19. dining experience is longer. you must ask for the check.
20. talking with hands. i swear i am right now. you just can't see it.

keep reading for more. i know you will. sooner or later. please eat chips and salsa for me. i miss them dearly.

11 October 2009

a few weeks ago...

I know I'm so behind! I finally got Picasa so you can check out my online albums. More pics + less time.
Here are some from Assisi and Cinque Terre
assisi + cinque terre

10 October 2009

italian friends from that one party

aventine hill

Posted by Picasa

06 October 2009

quite the trip

My goodness I am becoming quite the seasoned traveler. I am going to say this once and get it over with: I am too tired and unmotivated to reread this post before I publish it for the whole Internet nation to read. I am just going to tell you about my last five days in a concise fashion so you can keep an eye on those noodles.

After our glorious trip to Cinque Terre, we got back to class for a day. We learned about these new projects, blah blah, ate pizza, and packed. Our class (and the interior design chaps) headed for Naples Thursday morning in the early hours. We went straight to the archeological museum so we could check out the Pompeii findings before going to the site. After the museum we jetted out of dirty Naples pronto so we could enjoy the rest of our afternoon in a posh restaurant and get ready for our dinner at this lemon tree restaurant. Best meal in Italy. I think it was four courses? Best noodles and fish I’ve had in Italy.

Friday was rainy but perfect for a great day of shopping in Sorrento! We exhausted the leather shops. Laura came out as a champion with her hot new leather boots. We can all learn from her this semester.

Saturday we decided to take the ferry to Capri. Fabulous. This is probably the best place I’ve been next to Cinque Terre. This is where people spend vacations when they can go anywhere in the world….like Bill Gates! We boated past his “fun boat”, as well as the Todd Shoes owner’s yacht. I figure if these guys love Capri- so should I. We took a boat tour and saw the grottos and the coral on the side of the island.

I’ll hop to the next juicy part of the trip: Pompeii. Normally we would go with our class on Friday, but since it was rainy they let us go on our own later in the weekend. I’m so glad we went yesterday because it was so sunny and breezy. I never gave Pompeii a whole lot of thought since fourth grade when we read about it in class. I remember it being so surreal to me- the idea of a volcano erupting and frantically running for your life to escape its path. Being there made me think about how it must have felt to see a cloud of dust come over you and know you only have moments to live. I would have dropped to my knees and froze. We saw Mount Vesuvious from the ruins and I just can’t imagine what it would be like to live a normal life and then in an instant you, your family, your whole town, and your existence are completely forgotten about forever. THEN rediscovered a couple thousand years later, but that is even being generous.

All in all: good trip. Better to be back home, in Rome.

04 October 2009

merry cinque terre

Rome is good. Assisi was wonderful. Cinque Terre is the BEST. Thank God we got the chance to go there. It's comprised of five small towns (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarla, Riomaggiore) by the Medeterranean Sea. Kind of a crazy trip. We got there at 5 AM and slept outside for a couple hours. This was the first trip that the seven of us roomies took by ourselves. Cinque Terre is very merry. Thank God we got the chance to go. It was super-female-bonding time.

So we get there, and find a nice spot by the dumpsters (don't worry rents, it was clean AND safe) This sounds worse than it is...We did that for a bit, then we relocated so we could get a better view of the sun rising. That's when Karen sat on a cactus. The poor thing had such a good attitude despite there being needles in her booty.

We were too exhausted to do anything once we were able to check into our hostel. It was a long five hours on a train without any seats for us (another story). We crashed in our honeymoon-for-seven-Italy-meets-Saudi-Arabia room. Once we woke up from hibernation, we went straight to the beach. It was beautiful. I have never ever been to water so clear. I thought it was clear at Ostio Lido, but this was unlike anything I've ever seen. I was disappointed when I saw the color on my computer because it didn't translate well on screen. The colors were so magnificent. Really. The buildings were yellow, pink, green, blue, etc. You see these towns from afar and can't help but imagine them in a fairy tale.

The next day, we went hiking! We hit most of it (probably 4-5 miles?) It was tough at some points, but it makes me want to try it out more often. We met cool people on the trails too. Lots of pictures, lots of sweat, and lots of stairs.

That night we drank a few bottles of wine on the beach. We were the only ones (Vernazza). It was too good. Those girls are what made Cinque Terre so great for me. There was this local artist we had met earlier in his studio. He was an accomplished guy. I bought a great print and I can't wait to hang it up in Iowa. He saw us sitting down there and he bought us a bottle (nice stuff). People are still good.

We ended up taking the train back that next day. I skipped over the cracks on this post because I'm so tired. I didn't mention Karen slicing her toe, running down the mountain to catch the train, meeting the lovely couple, shop-shop-shopping, etc.