Friday, December 31, 2010

Melodies In My Ear

It's been quite a year for music, but maybe I'm just saying that because I bought a new computer a year ago since my old one had no space left, which enabled me to go crazy like a kid in an iTunes store. And, boy, did I. There was a lot of quality enjoyable music this year, but these are the ten records I really identified and became obsessed with:

Love Remains by How To Dress Well - Last year, it was The XX, but this year, the best make-out album is from a white-boy philosophy student doing his best ethereal, reverb-heavy, R&B impression. And it works.
Treats by Sleigh Bells - The most pleasant surprise of the year. I love the way Alexis Krauss's voice floats over the driving guitars and thrashing beats. In a way, it kinda reminds me of The Deftones. Particularly bad-ass are the screams thrown in in the middle of "Kids" and "A/B Machines." It's impossible not to rock out to this.
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem - If you had a cookout this summer and you weren't listening to this album, then your cookout sucked.
Contra by Vampire Weekend
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West - He's crazy, but his fifth LP sounds like it could have been a greatest hits compilation. Music with this much depth, wit, and variety proves he is a true talent.
Heaven Is Whenever by The Hold Steady - No, it's not their best album. Hell, it's probably their worst. But when a band's worst album is still miles above anything else released, you know they're truly the best bar band in America.
Lungs by Florence + The Machine
The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monae
Body Talk by Robyn - Don't just buy the "Body Talk" album. You also need the first two "Body Talk" EPs. When all three are combined, they create the best pop album of the year, and probably the decade. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the Swedes know their way around a pop hook. This, combined with Robyn's attitude and delivery, makes this record not only fun, but essential. Usually when I'm singing in my truck and I pull up next to someone, I stop. But when "Dancing On My Own" or "Fembot" is playing, I keep right on singing.

There were several albums I was excited about before they were released, and unfortunately, many were disappointments. But there were just as many that totally came out of left field and surprised the hell out of me. I'm starting to lose faith in new albums from Blur and No Doubt, but the new PJ Harvey, Strokes, and Lupe Fiasco albums are a sure thing this year, and that makes me happy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Colorado Gurls

Me & Jess
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
I just spent the past two days laughing my butt of in Colorado. It might be easy to blame it on the altitude, but I really think it was the presence of Jess, who, along with Cheyenne, picked me up at the airport Sunday afternoon and immediately placed a King Tut button on my jacket. If you want to know the rest of that story, you'll have to ask them.

Me, Chels, Chey, & Jess
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
From there, we met up with Chelsey, ate dinner, and then went out bar-hopping. Our final stop of the evening was a place called the Grizzly Rose, a place way too classy for words, and that must be seen to be believed.

Cheyenne & Danielle
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Monday, we met up with Danielle for a trek up through Boulder and ending in Fort Collins, where they all went to school at CSU. It was a great town, full of personality. We shopped in unique stores and had coffee and drinks. It was a wonderful way to spend time with my friends.

Italy really isn't the same without all these girls around, and it was great to hang out and laugh with them again, even if it was just for a couple days.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

White Christmas

White Christmas
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
It began snowing Friday afternoon, and by Christmas morning, our house had a nice white blanket. It made my first Christmas at home since 2007 even better.

Christmas Morning
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
After waking up yesterday morning, we headed to Don and Sharon's to share breakfast with their whole family and watch Nate, Ian, Keagan, and Vivian open all their presents. It took me back to my own childhood and all the excitement in wildly ripping open my new toys.

Grandma, Me, & Grandpa
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Then, yesterday evening, we went to my Grandparents' house for the big family Christmas. As cliche as it sounds, being around family on Christmas will never be overrated. I spent a lot of time with my family over the past two weeks, but it still wasn't enough. It's going to be hard leaving, but it's nice knowing I'm heading to Colorado to see friends who I love like family.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

St. Lunatics

Everett & Roxy
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
I spent the past few days in St. Louis, where I hung out with some old friends from my days in Japan. I made the three-hour drive to Paul and Trish's house in St. Charles and saw Roxy and Everett, who have grown so much since the last time I saw them three years ago. And exponentially more adorable, as well.

Me, Don, & Paul
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
I also got to see Don, a man for whom I have an immeasurable amount of esteem. Don took us all around the quirkiest parts of the city, to sock stores and indie printing presses, bars and book stores, graffiti walls and historical landmarks, homeless camps and museums. It gave me new appreciation for urban living, and want to take taxis everywhere.
If I had my way, I'd bring these guys back to Italy with me because they tend to look at things from such a unique perspective. If they came with me to Venice, they'd spout off some shit that would blow my mind, and make me fall in love with that city even more.
Alas, until I win the lottery, I'll have to settle for sporadic trips to St. Louis. I miss them already.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Inside the Beltway

Me and Dan
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
My first stop in the States was a couple days in the DC area with my good friend Dan. He picked me up from the airport Saturday afternoon and we immediately went on the hunt for Mexican food, something sorely lacking in Italy. That night, we went to see the Washington Capitals (featuring Alex Ovechkin, arguably the best player in the NHL) take on the Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, the Caps lost 3-2, but it was my first NHL game ever and it was a total party atmosphere, followed by bar-hopping with all the other fans.

National Christmas Tree
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Sunday, we slept in, nursed our hangovers with pizza, and spent the afternoon shopping and sightseeing. The night was capped off with a visit to the National Mall to see the big Christmas tree. I'd never seen the World War II Memorial, and it was impressive. It's hard not to see all the monuments and memorials and not feel patriotic.

Air Force Memorial
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
I flew out Sunday afternoon, but on our way to the airport, we stopped to check out the Air Force Memorial, which was just built in 2006. Dan's a great tour guide, and I'm lucky to have him as a friend.

Friday, December 10, 2010


So the big job thing kinda fell through. Well, not completely. It's just been delayed a few months. Since I'm going to be in the States for a few weeks and have a six-week class in Germany beginning in February, they've decided that it would be best to wait until I'm back for good to start the whole thing. Sure, I'm disappointed, but I'm also a little relieved that A) I have a little more time to prepare for this transition, and B) they didn't say, "Screw you, Sutton. We'll find someone else."
Speaking of my trip to the States, I don't leave until tomorrow morning, but I started my leave today in order to clean, pack, and finish up some school work. Classes go through next week, but I've already squared everything up with my professors. I'll have one more paper to edit, and both of my finals are online, all of which I can do from home.
I haven't decided if I'll stay up all night or get a couple hours of sleep. Mike is coming to drive me to the airport at 4 AM (!) and I depart Venice at 7. I have a short stop in Paris, which has just had some major snow, so if you're reading this, right now might be a good time to say a prayer for safe, uninterrupted travel for me. Thanks.
My first stop in the States is DC, where my good friend Dan has a fun weekend full of hockey and booze planned for us. And on Monday, my whole family will be together under one roof for the first time in years. Yeah, this Christmas is going to be stellar.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Today, I got a call from my superintendent who asked me to come see him in his office. A little worried, I headed over and when I arrived, the first thing he said was, "How much do you like working in your shop?"
Basically, the ops chief wants to set up a special team of craftsmen from each shop to work on certain buildings on base, and they need an NCO to lead said team. For several minutes, we discussed the pros and cons of this new job, what it could mean for my career, the pressure I'll be under, who I'll be working for, who will be working for me, and tons of other aspects.
The thing is, I like what I'm doing now. As I was saying the other day, I can come in each morning, take care of what I need to take care of, and nobody really messes with me. They all have the faith that I'm going to get my shit done, because I've never given them any reason to believe otherwise. Sure, there are the occasional frustrations and personality conflicts, but overall, I'm very comfortable, and I've never been one to rock my own boat.
However, my superintendent is an amazing guy, and there are few people in the squadron I have more respect for than him. I'm the guy he asked because he thinks I'm the man for the job. Before he even asked me, he had already talked me up to the ops chief as a guy who gets his shit done. How could I refuse?
There are still some minor details that need to be worked out, and honestly, I'm a little nervous about the whole thing. I consider myself more of a worker than a leader, and there will definitely be growing pains. I'm also very excited about it, and it's definitely going to test my limits.
One more thing about my superintendent... I want to do a good job for two reasons: 1) To do a good job, and 2) because I don't want to disappoint him. Here's hoping I don't.

Monday, December 06, 2010

End In Sight

This school term is only seven weeks long, so there's a lot of cramming going on. I had my writing mid-term a couple weeks ago, and my computer mid-term on Thursday. I scored a perfect 100 on my writing exam, and a 92 in computers. I'm pretty stoked about both, but since I fly back to the States on Saturday, this will be my last week of classes. I have one more paper to write (hopefully finishing before Saturday) and two final exams, all of which can be completed online; but until it's all done, I won't really be able to enjoy myself while I'm on leave.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Take This Job

I'm a pretty calm guy, but I about lost my temper at work today. Things haven't been exactly smooth lately, but they've been moving along well enough. I'm lucky in that I take care of my own jobs and programs; nobody micromanages me, and I'm left to my own devices. But when something out-of-the-ordinary happens, it's always the same people in our shop doing the work to get things back to normal.
So today, I asked someone if he could take care of one of these out-of-the-ordinary incidents, and he flat out told me, "No." I tried to be encouraging and understanding, but he wouldn't budge, and that's when raised my voice a bit.
If this would have been a simple battle of wills, he would have lost. Unfortunately, he had an ace in the hole (aka his supervisor), and I had to retreat; but the war is far from over.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Pitfall of Human Nature

I'm an idiot. Just like I've done several times before, I seem to have become infatuated with someone who is completely unattainable. I don't know the formula for why this occurs (and seems to happen again and again). I get blindsided and find myself waist-deep in emotions I wish I had better control over. It would be great if there were something tangible I could blame (i.e. wine, work, insomnia, my washing machine), but I can only blame myself. I know it will pass in time, but muddling through it is such a pain. Until then, I'll have another glass of wine.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Project: FETUS

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
I just returned from a wonderful weekend down on the Umbria-Tuscany border with Mary, Casey, Kathy, Mey, Mike, Chris, and Will. This is the huge 18th century, fully-stocked, country house we rented, and it was amazing.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
This is the valley it overlooked on Thanksgiving morning. Breathtaking.

Mary & Casey
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
The eight of us took two cars down, leaving after work on Wednesday evening. We woke up Thursday morning and immediately began preparations for our Thanksgiving meal that afternoon.

Kathy & Mey
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Everyone contributed, and luckily, Mey knew how to cook a turkey. I made the macaroni and cheese and a pumpkin cheesecake.

Mike & Mary
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
And after dinner, we all contributed to the clean-up effort, which was probably on scale with Katrina.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
That evening, we sat around the fire and played games. It was cozy and terrific.

The Gang in Montepulciano
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Friday, we all drug ourselves out of bed, laid around all morning, and finally decided to make an early-afternoon trip to the medieval hill town of Montepulciano. It was a little chilly, but the town was amazing.

Casey, Kathy, & Mey
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
The girls decided to do aerobics to keep warm.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
After we left Montepulciano, we decided to try and hit up a winery or two, which wasn't difficult as you can't swing a dead cat around there without hitting a winery. We all brought back several bottles of Chianti, Nobile, and even olive oil.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Saturday, we all went to Siena, one of the most famous towns in central Italy. It was sunny and warmer, which made the whole sightseeing experience a little better.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
We gathered in the piazza for pizza and gelato, and it was great just watching all the locals hang out and enjoy their afternoon.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
We spent all afternoon walking the streets, shopping, stopping for caffe, and checking out the home of St. Catherine.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Siena is definitely a place I'd like to visit again, perhaps in the summer when they have their big horse races in the piazza.

Casa San Martino
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Sunday, we woke up and headed back to Aviano. The great thing about the weekend was how relaxing it was. Nobody was in a hurry to do anything, and the sense of fun-loving fellowship was everywhere.
The whole photostream is available here. By the way, have I mentioned how impressed I am with the photography capabilities of the iPhone 4. There are tons of applications the camera utilises, particularly the Hipstamatic, that just blow me away. Highly recommended.
Oh, and one more thing... Project: FETUS was the code name for our mission. Fantastically Excellent Tuscany Umbria Safari. Don't judge us.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Danny Boy

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Dan moved in with me on Tuesday so he wouldn't have to stay in lodging, and this morning, I took him to the airport. He's leaving Italy and on his way to New Mexico. He'll be dearly missed by everyone here, but I know someday, somehow, our paths will cross again. Good luck, Danny!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Over My Head

I won't lie. These two classes are kicking my butt. Actually, neither class is very difficult, and one of them is a breeze. But the other one is very time consuming and a bit overwhelming. Since Thursday was Veteran's Day, I decided to take Friday off and make it a four-day weekend. The goal was to catch up on all my homework and papers, and it was definitely the right decision. I feel well-rested and ready for this week. I just hope I can keep up through the rest of the term.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Back to Bologna

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Eric and I went to Bologna this weekend with the intention of attending a festival, hitting up bars and clubs, and dancing all night. We took the train down and arrived Saturday afternoon, checked into our hotel, and then trekked around the city just to see the sights.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Bologna is one of those cities that blends the old and the new seamlessly. There are medieval towers alongside boutiques and cafes. We saw this street performer riding a unicycle and juggling fire sticks. Impressive.
The longer we walked, the hungrier we got. So, we stopped for dinner and gorged ourselves on pasta. Did I mention there was wine, too? Like, lots of wine.
After dinner we stumbled back to our hotel for what was supposed to be an hour-long nap before hitting the bars. Well, that hour-long nap turned into a five-hour nap, meaning we missed pretty much everything we went down there to do. Still, it was nice to get away for a couple days and see something different.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
While waiting for our train back home, we decided to take some cool pictures with the Hipstamatic App on my iPhone. It's by far my favourite photography app, and the images it creates are spectacular. It takes some experimentation, but it's definitely worth the effort.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Eric decided we should splurge for first class train tickets on the way back, so we rode in style with free wine and snacks.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Even though we didn't get to go dancing or anything, it was still a fun trip. Short weekend excursions are one of the great things about living in Italy, and I can't wait until the next one.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Calling Me Back

When my alarm goes off in the morning, I usually lay in bed a little while longer, savouring the warmth, mentally planning my day, and playing with my phone. After a few minutes, I drag myself out onto the cold floor and begin preparations for my day. It was particularly chilly this morning, making it extra hard to get up. I couldn't find my slippers and my feet were freezing. After going downstairs to start some espresso and make my breakfast, I went back upstairs to make my bed. I reached in between the covers and it was still all warm inside, but I somehow resisted the urge to get back in. That, my friends, is what they call "will power."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fruits of My Labour

Wine Rack
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Today was the fourth Saturday in a row I went winery-hopping. Lately, I've felt the need to stock up on as much wine as possible, both in quantity and variety. Also, I had this new wine rack custom made, and it was finally delivered this week. It looks great, and it's fully stocked. However, since I've bought so much wine this month, I could easily fill another three or four racks. I'm not sure where I'm going to keep it all, but if Italy ever goes on lock-down, I'm totally prepared.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting Medieval On Your Pumpkin

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Yesterday, Eric and I drove to Venzone for their annual Festa della Zucca (Pumpkin Festival). Venzone has an old-town around which its ancient walls still stand, so they celebrate their medieval roots as much as they do the pumpkins. Seeing all the locals in medieval garb was a hoot, and the theatrics of the whole day were priceless, especially the part where they name "The Archduke of Pumpkins." Seriously.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Venzone is a small town cradled by the Alps on all sides, and it's easy to see why so many people flock there for the festival every year. Eric and I tried pumpkin beer and pumpkin frico. I skipped the pumpkin pizza because it had bacon on it, but Eric said it was divine.

While walking around through the crowds, we saw a 290 kilogram pumpkin (638 pounds). We saw mummies. We saw a mannequin made completely out of lavendar. And we ran into several of our friends eager to take group pictures.
Festivals in Italy don't always have a lot to offer, but they're always fun just because so many people come out for them. As the weather gets colder, the festivals will become less frequent, but next year, I plan on hitting even more, especially ones to which I've never been.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Heavy Breather

The Air Force has adopted new, stricter PT standards this year, and today, I had my first PT test under these new standards. I have to admit I was a little nervous I'd even pass at all. I wasn't concerned about my waist measurement or my run, but there are now minimum requirements for push-ups and sit-ups, and strength has never been my, um, strength.
I've been doing push-ups and sit-ups on my own for the past couple months, trying to get my numbers up. And today, when I went to the assessment cell, not only did I meet the standards, I exceeded them.
My run time was 10:59--by far my fastest run time ever. My final score was an 89.7--also my best ever. The frustrating thing is, we have Italian civilians administering our tests, for some reason, and they're really harsh on push-up form. As I was doing my push-ups, there were a few I think he should have counted that he didn't count, and if I'd have gotten just one more push-up, I would have scored above a 90, which would mean that I wouldn't have to PT test again for another year. Scores below a 90 re-test in six months. Still, I'm thrilled with how I did, and it's definitely something I won't worry about as much in the future.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Head of the Class

I'm slowly starting to take college courses again. Since the University of Maryland has a satellite campus on base, I've been going through them. This time around, I'm going for a business degree, which shouldn't take me too long, hopefully.
Last term, I took Library Science, which basically teaches one how to Google something. But, it's a basic requirement for a degree, so I gotta take it. This term, I'm taking Writing 101 and a basic computer class. The writing class is another basic requirement, which is ridiculous since I had upper level writing classes the first time I was in school. And the computer class shouldn't be too difficult. Both classes are hybrids in that half the time I'll be in a classroom, and the rest of the class is online, so I'll only have class two nights a week. I start on November 1st and will finish just in time to head home for Christmas. It's gonna be a busy six weeks, but I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Knee High

We had a water break today. Actually, we knew about it last week, but it wasn't too bad, and today was the first day we could get a Dirt Boy out there to dig for us. It was just bubbling up out of the ground a little bit, and we were hoping it wouldn't be too severe; but after we dug it up, it ended up being a lot worse. To compound our frustration, the nearest shut-off valve was over a fence inside an Italian military compound. This meant we would have to deal with the Carabinieri AND the Italian military, and it could literally take days to get the valve shut off.
So Rick, being the hero he is, decided that he wanted to fix it live. Part of it looked like this:

Eventually, he needed a little help lining up the pipes, so I hopped down in the hole. Despite temperatures in the upper 50s, it didn't seem that cold. We finished the job by 2 PM--much sooner than anticipated--then after taking our tools back to the shop, we went home. We felt we deserved it. A big high-five to Rick and his sense of adventure.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Keep On Movin'

I know my posts have been increasingly sporadic lately, and I apologise. But really, there hasn't been anything going on blog-worthy the past few weeks. Work is going smooth, and my social life is pretty temperate. I'm pretty much over the cold I had earlier this week. I could write stuff on a daily basis, but it would only bore everyone and possibly burn me out on the whole blogging thing, which is the last thing I want to do.
Back in Utah, I was posting on a near-daily basis, and it became almost an obligation. Now I feel good if I write three times in a week. It's still a priority, and if anything of note happens, it will definitely be posted. Thanks for continuing to read.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Under the Weather

I'm typing this from my couch, from which I haven't moved since Sunday morning. I was feeling kinda nasty Saturday night, and yesterday morning, I woke up unable to breathe with a sore throat. I've been horizontal on my couch non-stop, reading, playing iPhone games, and watching Modern Family to keep myself occupied. I'm feeling better today, so work tomorrow shouldn't be too much of a struggle. Well, any more than usual.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Viva il Vino

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Yesterday, Dan and I got up really early and drove east, past Udine, deep into Friuli wine country. Our destination was a town called Buttrio, which has half a dozen wineries within a stone's throw of each other. It was kind of a gamble, as finding family-owned businesses open on the weekend is hit-and-miss. Luckily, we caught three with open doors...

Castello di Buttrio
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
...including one housed in a castle that dated all the way back to 1218. We're already considering another trip back to that area in a couple weeks to hit up some of the places we missed. This is just one of the many amazing things I love about Italia.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Return of Saturn

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
About a month before I came back from my deployment, Dan left for Iraq. He made his triumphant return to Italy on Monday, and there has been much rejoicing since. This rejoicing is mostly in the form of food and wine and laying around watching movies.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Himmel der Bayer (Heaven for Bavarians)

Me & Mar
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
After the insanity of last year's Oktoberfest, the expectations were high for this, the 200th Anniversary of the giant Bavarian festival. Mark and I left Friday evening, and arrived in Munich Saturday morning, just in time to line up for the tents.

Kai, Anna, Maria, & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
We wandered around the fairgrounds and somehow found ourselves in line for the Hacker-Pschorr tent. There were tons of people, and once the doors opened at 8, it was a mad dash to get a table. Mark and I found an empty one, and as people continued to flood in, some very nice Germans asked if they could share our table. We happily accepted.

They started serving beer at 9, and we were joined by even more people, most of whose names I actually remembered. All the guys wore lederhosen, and the ladies wore those dresses with their cleavage all out there. It was great.

Me & Tits
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Speaking of cleavage, this was our waitress. We didn't know her name, so Mark and I just referred to her as "Tits." She knew we needed another beer even before we did.

Peter, Mark, & Dominic
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Last year, we were in the Hofbrau tent, which was great, but there were tons of Americans, Canadians, Australians, and other English-speaking people. But this year, I think we were the only Americans around. I asked Kai why he chose the Hacker-Pschorr tent every year, and he said, "It's the best!" It was definitely a young crowd, but everyone was just there to have a good time.

Christian, Max, & Patrick
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Every so often, the whole tent would join in drinking songs with lines like, "Ein Prosit der Gemut Lich-cait," which loosely translates to "We're drinking and everyone's comfortable."

Our Tent
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Around 4 PM, Mark and I decided we needed to slow down, so we said "Auf wiedersehen" to our new friends and strolled around the fairgrounds for a bit before heading into the city of Munich for dinner and sight-seeing. It was a great ending to a great day. This was my second Oktoberfest, and I can't imagine missing it next year, either.
Also, the full photostream is available here if you'd like to see more blurry pictures of Germans handling their beer better than any American ever could.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Oil Slick

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
The merging of the utilities and fuels career fields has been pretty smooth, as far as our shop is concerned. Since there are a lot more utilities jobs than fuels jobs, I haven't had to branch out much. But today, I was riding around with Diaz, and we happened upon a malfunctioning fuel valve with Mike.
It wasn't terribly difficult, as I had Mike telling me what to do the whole time. Just a bunch of turning wrenches and moving lines around.
When we left, I told Diaz that I lost my fuels job virginity, but he said that since I didn't get totally drenched, I only got to third base. Still, I managed to douse my right shoulder pretty good, and now, even after showering, scrubbing, and changing clothes, I can't seem to get the smell of diesel fuel off of me.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Red Wine Recovery

About ten days ago, Mark had his wisdom teeth removed, and in three days, his face had swollen to the size of a volleyball. Pam took him to the ER Saturday afternoon, and he finally went home Thursday. He was in a lot of pain, and I spent a few evenings this week visiting him, bringing him stuff, and trying to cheer him up.
He came over last night, looking much better, so we tossed back a couple bottles of wine and fell asleep watching movies. It wasn't a rowdy Friday night, by any means, but it was great fun, nonetheless.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

All the better for hearing the Church bells chime

We had a really mild summer this year. The only time I ever turn on my air conditioning is if it's a really hot night and I can't sleep; and this year, I only used it twice. There's just something about sleeping with my windows open and a breeze blowing through.
Even though it's getting a little cooler in the evenings, I don't want to give up the night air just yet, so I've already put an extra blanket on my bed, with another close by in case it gets particularly chilly. It makes it even harder to get up in the morning when my bed is so soft and warm, but it's worth it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Photosynthesis Prohibited

Festa dei Funghi
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
This weekend was Budoia's annual Festa dei Funghi (Mushroom Festival), so several of us took the afternoon to walk around the town, checking out the booths selling crafts, wine, sweets, and, of course, mushrooms. It's just a small town festival, but people come from all over Italy, even Sicily, to check it out.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
This was my third time, and it seems to get bigger every year. We spent a long time checking out a set up of old Vespas, possibly because it was right next to a booth giving out free samples of wine.
Autumn is a great time to be in northern Italy. The weather is perfect, the foliage is beautiful, and every weekend, there's another festival in some hidden little village. I'm never leaving this place.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Race Marked Out For Me

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
This morning was the 4th annual Aviano Marathon, and while I still have no desire to run 26 miles, I enjoy competing in the shorter treks, such as the 10K. JoAnn, Corey, Johnny, and I did it a couple years ago, and I kinda skipped last year, despite my original intention to run the 1/2 marathon. I couldn't convince any of my friends to run with me this year, but figured I'd give it a shot anyway. This year, the path was through a bunch of fields, and since it's been raining the past few days, most of the trail was through muddy gravel. By the time I crossed the finish line, the back of my legs was covered in mud. My time was 55:09, and I finished third in my age bracket and fifth overall.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
My friend Mary has been training for the Dublin Marathon in October, and opted to run the 1/2 marathon today. For some reason, the 10K seemed really easy to run, and went by really fast. It made me wish I'd signed up for the 1/2 marathon instead. I know I've said this before, but maybe next year...?