Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bearing Right

I found out today that in less than a month, I'll be heading up to Germany for a six-week class. It's all about becoming a better leader and professionalism and Air Force heritage and blah, blah, blah. I'm not really looking forward to it, but it's something everyone at my rank has to endure. I'll be there with about 150 other Tech Sergeants from all over Europe. Usually, even though I'm not really excited about these things, I end up meeting lots of cool people and having a good time. I'm sure that's how this will be, too, but as of right now, I'd rather spend the rest of my winter hitting the slopes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Humble Pie

On Friday, I did something high-school-ish and unprofessional and totally got called out. It ate at me all weekend, and this morning, I apologised to the guy I wronged. He could have been a richard about it, but he was really cool and I feel a lot better. It's amazing how cathartic confession is.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Greased Lightning

Changing My Brakes
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
I've been driving Dan's little Volkswagon around for the past two weeks, but finally, my brake parts came in. This morning, Mike helped me put them on, which in itself, wasn't too difficult. However, I was sent the wrong parts (thanks, Autozone), so we had to drive around looking for parts for an American vehicle in Italy. By pure luck, we found brake pads for my truck, and now Babe is back and better than ever. Extra special thanks to Mike, without whom I'd likely be totally freaking out right now.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Earlier this week, my form came down that allows me to choose if I want to try to stay in Italy longer. As it stands now, I'll leave in February 2012. My goal all along has been to stay as long as possible, but certain policies prevent me from staying over five years. This means the longest I can extend for again is another year, and for the next few weeks, I'm going to jump through a series of hoops (some will probably be on fire) in order to do so.
But here's the strange part: when I was flying back in to Italy a couple weeks ago, I didn't feel that little bit of excitement about returning to Italy I've felt every other time I've left. Sure, it was nice to get back home and get back into the swing of things, but as far as Italy was concerned, I was left feeling a little numb. Perhaps my love affair with Italy is through. Has it lost its lustre? Has the lack of a 24-hour gas station finally gotten to me?
Despite these initial feelings of uncertainty, I still plan on jumping through those hoops to try and extend until February 2013. And even if I do all the paperwork and my commander signs off, there's no guarantee it will get approved at headquarters. If it does, I'll be happy about having another year to travel around Europe. But if it doesn't, I'll take it as a sign that I should move on and not look back.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Free Space

It's been a long time, but last night, I went back to Bingo at the club on base. I sat with my new friend Jonathan, and across from Claire and Keirsten, who had me in stitches the whole night. I didn't win anything, but this could easily become a weekly event.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Round the Renaissance

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
For the long weekend, Eric and I decided to head down to Florence. He'd never been, and I love showing people around, plus the forecast called for temperatures in the 60s. We were in.
One of the great things about Italy is no matter how many times I've been to some historic place, whenever I go back, I always find something new, and this time was no different.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
We checked out Michelangelo's David, the Duomo, and ate at Trattoria Nella, possibly my favourite place in all of Italy. We strolled through the markets, had caffe along the Arno, and shopped for wine.

Pitti Palace
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
On Monday morning, we trekked across the river to see I Giardini di Boboli. Unfortunately, the Pitti Palace, home to the Medici dynasty, was closed, but the Boboli Gardens were amazing.

Adam & Eve
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Since it's winter, the foliage wasn't very lush, but there were tons of statues throughout the gardens.

I Giardini di Boboli
Originally uploaded by currtdawg

I Giardini di Boboli
Originally uploaded by currtdawg

I Giardini di Boboli
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Have I mentioned how much I love the Hipstamatic photo app?

Il Bacchino
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
This is called Il Bacchino, which apparently means "fat, naked guy riding a turtle."

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
But probably the best part of our trip was when we were walking by the Duomo and that angel high-fived me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ouch and Ouch Again

Aaron, a guy in my shop, is leaving Italy on Saturday and moving to sunny Florida. As kind of a going away present, I told him I'd make dinner for him and his friends last night.
So, long story short, I'm hung over as hell today. To add insult to injury, I shot this text to Steven last night after everyone left (though I have no recollection of it):

Jyst fell down tge stairs. If o have bruisess tomortow you know why.

To further add insult to injury, he posted it on Facebook. Thanks.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Shaking The Dust Off

My first week back at work was pretty good. It wasn't too difficult getting back into the swing of things, and even though I don't always love my job, I'm very comfortable there. The best part is we have our old boss back and morale seems to have improved due to his presence. Unfortunately, he'll be leaving Aviano in a few months, but I'm sure we'll get by without him.
After a month of being busy and around tons of people non-stop, my weekend has been wonderfully serene and isolated. I had dinner with Eric Friday night, but since then, I've been getting my house in order, hitting the gym, and relaxing. It's been quite nice.
Speaking of hitting the gym, my vacation consisted of laying around and eating everything in sight, so it was a surprise to hop on the scale the other day and find out I only gained six pounds. Still, it's sitting around my mid-section, and it's something I'm going to have to work extra hard to get rid of, especially now that I'm back around all this wonderful Italian cuisine again. Progress will be reported, if there is any.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Ritorno in Italia

I'm back in Italy, safe and sound. The vacation was amazing, and obviously God was smiling on me, as I had absolutely no travel delays or issues, despite all the crazy weather around the US. But now, it's back to reality.
Mike picked me up from the airport (Thanks, Mike!) and on the drive home, it became obvious I'm going to need new brakes on my truck very soon. I also have a mountain of laundry and no food in my house. I'm going to do my best to stay awake until 9 PM tonight to try to get on a normal sleep schedule, but waking up for work tomorrow is going to be brutal. Thankfully, it will be a short week. Let's see how it goes.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Back In The Beehive State

Me & Scott
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Utah was spectacular. I saw so many people, ate at all my favourite places, and even got a day of boarding in at Brighton with Scott.

NYE at Brian's
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
The apex of my vacation was New Year's Eve. Brian threw a thrasher of a party with plenty of drinking, dancing, and hot-tubbing. Even though I only spent five days there, it was just as hard to leave this time. It's bye for now, Utah, but I'll be back soon.