November 29, 2009

Roma in pictures. Day One.

Filed under: Uncategorized — irenejk @ 10:33 am

I was scared to get to the hotel because I didn’t pay very much for it.  I was expecting the worst.  Cockroaches and dirtiness, no heat, etc.  But I was pleasantly surprised when this is what I saw when I walked in.  Certainly nothing fancy, but definitely a room fit to be slept in for 3 nights.

Since I convinced Jeff to come with me the day prior to arriving, we ended up on different flights, meaning I had a morning and part of the afternoon to kill before he got there.  I wandered around in the rain and here are some things I saw:

One of these streets is called “Street of 4 Fountains” and on every corner in this intersection there is a fountain.  Here are 2:

Villa Borghese, the largest public park in Rome.

Other sightings.

The Spanish Steps.

The freaking Pantheon.  The original. Meaning, 2nd century AD.  World’s largest concrete dome.  SECOND CENTURY.

There is more to come, but I’ve been working on this for like a week and i’m sick of it, so I am publishing NOW.


November 28, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — irenejk @ 6:49 pm

Very discreetly. Mostly through song.

Here are my cute primary kids!

November 25, 2009

It’s freaking Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Filed under: Uncategorized — irenejk @ 6:53 pm

Holy crap it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow in America and did I ever tell you that THANKSGIVING IS MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY ??? Well, it is.  I love it for its time of year, for the rice stuffing my mother makes, for being able to buy pumpkin in cans, and for being able to watch my brother Jason eat until he starts sweating and almost vomiting.  Once I saw him get up and walk around in circles around the table, moaning in agony from the discomfort. I love not having to go to school those days. I love going around the table and saying what we’re thankful for.  I loved it one year when we got 9 feet of snow and we had a whole week of snow days. I love it.  I love it because it is what it is.  We say it’s based on that whole story about us sharing with the Natives, but we really know that never really happened, which is why we can’t really ever ruin Thanksgiving… it’s a holiday based on a fallacy, so it’s already ruined.  Which is good because now we just use it as an excuse to make an outrageously caloric meal.  That we eat at 4pm.  Sometimes 3:30.

It’s ok though because some of us Yanks are getting together this week to eat ridiculous amounts of food. I’m in charge of the pumpkin pie.  And I’ve been forced to learn how to cook actual pumpkin instead of scooping it out of aluminum.  The pie is heavenly.  Little bits of candied ginger.  Mmmm.

But really, when I think of turkeys, this is the image that comes into my head:

This is right when he waves and says, “Hey buddy!”  Which brings me to another thing that I love. Seinfeld. Love like I spent the better part of my adolescence taping episodes. And indexing them. And watching them over and over. Until I could quote all lines. Trips to New York served as ways to immerse myself even more: NBC studio tours in hopes to run into someone, eating at Monk’s, really called Tom’s Restaurant, and being a patron to the Soup Nazi.  I got the crab bisque. Anyway, i cried when it ended, and for years I had an internal alarm at 10pm, the hour that Fox 29 would play reruns.


Maybe you know about this, and I’m way late on the boat.  (I literally just wrote that, reread it, and realized I have no idea what it means. But I’m leaving it because it’s making me laugh.  I think i meant to say, I missed the boat, even though that doesn’t make sense either.)  I’m not in America (apparently it’s the only country that knows about Seinfeld which makes me question every other country’s sense of humor) so that’s my excuse.  Otherwise I’m sure I would be the president of this movement.  So yeah. It happened. I watched it.  I almost cried from joy.  I was so giddy and it felt like a lost part of me was stitched right back on the ole’ heart.  They did it on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David’s HBO show.  It’s Amazing.  Seeing them all there… hearing Jerry’s voice again… it just felt so right.

Anyway, if you dont have HBO you can find it streaming on the internet. And you should.  Life will be better.

I leave with you a classic Seinfeld moment. (In Rome, I couldn’t stop saying, “Five cups… chopped porcini mushrooms…”, so this scene has been in my head for weeks)

Who do you love? Elaine? Jerry? Frank? Banya? What is something you always quote? Got a favorite episode? Line? Scene? I would love to know.

November 22, 2009

Ace of Base lives on.

Filed under: Uncategorized — irenejk @ 5:12 pm


This took place at the St. Michel metro station a couple weeks ago.  People, including me, were so. into. it.  Dancing and having fun and singing along. Even the homeless (to whom you must pay careful attention. He’s amazing. Especially around 0:34)

It goes a little wonky at the end because I couldn’t help but move my body to that beat.  Now, it must be stated that most street performers do NOT have this much success. Did you see that crowd??  He said he played for THREE AND A HALF HOURS that night.  I think we owe it to old man in front and the setlist which was amazing: that one song that goes, “And I said hey-ay-ay-eh-eh hey-yay-yeah, I said Hey! What’s going on?” + “You say it best… when you say nothing at all…” + Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” can only equal success.

November 17, 2009

Rome Chapter 1: FOOD.

Filed under: Uncategorized — irenejk @ 7:01 pm

Going through the hundreds of pictures I took in Rome, I realized it’s way too hard to do a mega post on the weekend, so I’ll just do it in segments.  And I’m starting off with food. Because I’m Still dreaming about the homemade gnocchis.

It must be said: Italians really know how do do their food.  The French do too, but a lot of times to go out to eat in Paris really sucks when the bill comes.  The great thing about Rome was we could eat at real restaurants and it wasn’t that expensive.  (Which I think explains why the McDonalds (McDonaldses??) in France are always crowded whereas in Rome, NO ONE was in them. More cheap choices = less McDo = good.)

So pasta really isn’t that exciting where we come from.  Really.  But going to Italy will make you realize that pasta’s potential is totally lost anywhere else.

Homemade pasta. Tender porcini mushrooms.  Fresh tomato sauce.  Seriously real Parmesan cheese.  We came to this restaurant twice because this pasta melted our faces off.

Bruscetta. Pizza. Salad.  Looking at this makes me sad that this food is no longer available to me.  For the salads, they have bottles of balsamic vinegar and olive oil for the dressing.  The vinegar was SO GOOD i honestly thought about drinking it straight from the bottle.

Remember how Italy is the land of gelato?  Yeah well we took advantage of that.  I dont have pictures of it, but let me assure you, it was amazing.  And a small cup which they fill and load with twice its expected capacity is usually only about 2 euros.

This next is a stupid picture, but wanted to mention that I went into this cafe because it started pouring and so ordered a hot chocolate.  This hot chocolate was LITERALLY Chocolate that was hot.  Like putting a mug under a fondu fountain of dark goodness and drinking it.  It was pretty strong, but also really really good.

And to end, one last picture of ravioli stuffed with spinach and cheese.  Sweet dreams, everyone.

November 15, 2009

The most aMOZing experience. (a recounting of the Morrissey show / a regression to age 20)

Filed under: Uncategorized — irenejk @ 9:09 pm

The opening band (Doll and the Kicks or something? i can’t remember) was playing their last song when I arrived at the Zénith in Paris.  I think it has about 6000 capacity but they only used half of it.  Tons of people were still outside, the pit was pretty small, seats were empty, right in front of the stage was pretty dense, but nothing that intimidating.  I got as close as I could without being too annoying but was still not in an acceptable spot considering my height and my desires.  Then some ballsy girl started cutting through the crowd and of course I took advantage and followed her, ending up in front of center stage about 4 rows of people in front of me.  I couldn’t believe it. I was freaking out.  MORRISSEY for goodness sakes!  I felt like a kid again!  I haven’t put forth this much effort in years!

I was moving and dancing and singing at the top of my lungs.  And admiring the Moz from a very close distant.  He opened with “This Charming Man,” (“why pamper life’s complexities when the leather runs smooth on the passenger seaaaa-ea-eat”) then greeted us with, “Hello Paris! The city of love! … and then there’s me…”  HAha!!!  He’s hilarious.  Surprised us with “Cemetery Gates” (“Oh Keats and Yates are on your side…) and “Is it Really So Strange?” (“and is the last mile the hardest mile? My throat was dry with the sun in my eyes and I realized I realized I could never never never go back home again”), wooed us with “Throwing My Arms Around Paris,” rocked us with “Irish Blood, English Heart,” moved us with “How Soon is Now?” and pleased us with “Ask.”  Here’s a picture of the setlist for the songs in order:


I am not the proud owner of this setlist; I just asked the kid next to me if I could take a picture of it when he got it.  BUT I got something better.  That’s right.  Watch this.

I wanted to tape the end of the song and all of a sudden I realized his shirt was off. And it was coming right at me.  I reached for it.  SUCCESS! Except 10 other people also had a hold of it.  I pulled with every part of me.  I wrapped my arm around that piece of fabric and contorted my body to accommodate the violent movements around me.  Which is why you can hear me screaming from time to time.  And I am proud to say I never let go.  But, neither did anyone else.  So finally a girl used a key to rip it up and ration it among us.  In the video you can hear some American girl whine and say, “But I was the one who caught it!!” The funny thing is is throughout the show I would yell out “I want your shirt” and in my fantasy Morrissey would throw it in my direction and all those around me would just gracefully step out of the way as if my saying that meant it was mine for when the time came.  Needless to say, this fantasy did not come to pass.  But I did get a piece.  (Some history behind this is my friend Adam caught his WHOLE shirt while I was on my mission.  I got a picture of it and almost died.  The shirt smelled so delightful that he and his girlfriend did some serious research to find the cologne.  So the first thing I did was smell the shirt (I know, so gross, but really, he had only been wearing it for one song so just calm down.) and yet again its aroma is quite dreamy.)


Thanks Morrissey, for not being shy about your aging body to allow your fans pieces of your clothing.

Here is a bit of “Something is Squeezing My Skull” off the new album. (I took this video – look how close I am!)

(as a side note, I’m really not a youtube post-er, not that there is anything wrong with that, I just use it because it’s the easiest for the blog posting.)

November 11, 2009

I have really always hated thinking of titles.

Filed under: Uncategorized — irenejk @ 8:11 pm

So much to say! So many pictures to share! But it’s 1am and I have class tomorrow so I won’t go into detail but I will mention the things I want to talk about. (in chronological order as they happened… or will happen)

Woke up a few weeks ago and thought, oh it’s October… the GRE is in December… I have like 3 months.  Then I realized it was the end of October and that blasted test is in the beginning of December which meant I had about 6 weeks… I’m screwed. Seriously.

I am a primary teacher!!! Four 6-year-old boys. So cute.

I paid for a haircut! (First time in over 2 years.)

Went down south for a 5-day French Riviera reminder.  Still beautiful!

Reading and listening to some really great things.  I will tell you about them.

My parents have been married for 32 years!! Happy anniversary!

I WENT TO ROME.  And didn’t have to go by myself!!! I thank my iPhone for being rad and allowing JD to buy tickets impulsively at Flunch.

I AM GOING TO MORRISSEY TOMORROW.  And hopefully I score a free ticket to Moby on Friday and next Wednesday it’s Tegan and Sara.  And debating about buying a ticket to Depeche Mode who are coming on my birthday!!

I may soon be infected by Swine Flu, which will ruin all these upcoming events.

More to come with more words and images! Goodnight!

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