Nov 29, 2007

Ok, so my friend David's play last night (reading of his play, that is) was GREAT. I loved it. Completely hilarious, smart, heartbreaking, sensitive .. just this whirlwind, like him. I really admire writers who can be devastating and funny at the same time and I think David is so good at that, as is my friend Eric, tho David has this insane manic energy (he did the show Freak, so if you know that you have some idea) and Eric is more soft and lovely and wistful. Anyway, David's play is part of this workshop series at Labyrinth Theater, which is known for being Phillip Seymour Hoffman's company, and there was a reading last night at the Public Theater and there is ONE more, tomorrow night, and it is FREE, so if you are in New York you should GO GO GO GO GO. The reading's at 8 but since it's first come first serve you should probably arrive at 7 or 7:30 or something.

But this is what it is:

Nov. 28 & 30 at 8pm
by David Bar Katz
directed by John Gould Rubin
A marriage in the throes of sexual and financial problems is pushed to the brink in a game of Truth or Dare at a cocktail party. Philip Roth in Khartoum examines the destructive power of truth and the devastating impact of bad sex, autism, Philip Roth, absinthe and genocide on husbands and wives during an intimate evening with friends.

I was laughing out loud through almost the whole thing, and then by the end I was crying, I was so moved. The whole thing was so rich and so great that I was crossing my fingers halfway through, hoping he could pull it off and pull off a great ending, and then.. he did. Magical.


Nov 28, 2007

So last week my sister and I went to Pennsylvania for the holiday and on Sunday we all went to one of my favorite places in the world, our friends' amazing old-time sprawling farmouse in Spruce Creek, which is famous for its trout and is just completely lovely in the fall. Here are some photos.

The house with pond in front:

The inside of the barn, which was built in the 1830s:

The living room, complete with window seat and corn cobs and crackling fire:

A chicken coop and apple tree:

And a big dog fetching said apples:

And there are all kinds of other wonders there, like a teeny mini pumpkin patch, corn fields, a secret path through the trees, a wildflower garden, a barn-located basketball court, room after room with window seats and big wooden framed beds.. Also, we saw a slide show of my sister and father's trip to Vietnam, my sister and mother's trip to China, my sister's visit to Cambodia, and our friends' visit to Kazakhstan. I was VERY JEALOUS but demurely kept my cool and didn't even throw one thing.

In other news, I was also very proud of myself upon our return for cooking up a big pot of riboletta, or Tuscan bread soup, for which I actually chopped vegetables and let a big pot bubble and simmer. And last night I got my locks done by Lana and heard all about Thailand and bought a book of art by her amazing beau Jesse Reno, who seems to be as obssessed by things like blackbirds and antlers as I am. Tonight I am seeing my friend David's play, PHILIP ROTH IN KHARTOUM, which rooodly interferes with my watching of Project Runway, but that's the kind of selfless friend I am. Oh and yesterday, I met Massie for a walk through the diamond district, where she led me through secret labyrinths of casters and finishers and other mysterious jewelry making peoples, and then she pointed to this little old lady shuffling and waddling ahead of us, bedecked in a ridiculous long fake fur maroon jacket and fuzzy leopard print boots that came to her mid calves, and gleefully pronounced, "There's your future!" I should be so lucky.

Nov 20, 2007

Here are my last gorgeouso Rome photos. By the way, last night I kept having nightmares.. I kept thinking I had to go in this line, fill out this form, get my bags here.. and then I'd wake up all anxious and remember that I HAVE MADE IT HOME IN ONE PIECE.. AND WITH ALL MY LUGGAGE, NOT TO MENTION MY FIVE NEW PAIRS OF SHOES. Miraculous!

So here is the lovely lovely restaurant we ate in on Sunday night just off Piazza Navona, not to mention my lovely lasagna. By the way, at this one trattoria in Florence we loved, the waiter said, in Italian, as he set our table: "Wine, water, bread, and the table is full." So cute! But I am afraid I might have consumed more bread and wine these past three weeks than I did the whole rest of the year. Not to mention hyuuuge plates of pasta, as thusly, and decadently, pictured...

Also, here is a candlelit, opinionated path we crossed to get to this wine bar afterward:

Which was my SECOND FAVORITE wine bar ever after that one in Omaha, tho Joi, who objects to robust lighting in a suspiciously vampiric manner, was less impressed.

Then we went to what is now my favorite bookstore, since it happened to be open at 12:30am and was sluttily flashing a whole bin of movie posters, leaving me powerless to resist. Look at that floor! I bought two gorgeous Italian movie posters, one for Blow Up and one for Wings of Desire.

Oh, and we stopped for coffee in Piazza San Eustachio, at a place that is supposed to have the best coffee in Rome and that my friend Eric recommended. I forced Joi to take this photo of me to prove to him that I listened, even though I think the barista was less than impressed with our photographic candor.

While I'm at it, here was my favorite restaurant of the whole trip, in Florence. So good and cheap and lovely!!! And hidden behind a medieval wall and up a rocky hill...

And here I am at the Trevi Fountain, about to make evil wishes for the downfall of all my enemies.

And then, finally, here was a weird sight outside my taxicab window as I headed to the airport yesterday morn:

As I got on the express bus this morn heading into Manhattan, I imagined that it too said DIVINO AMORE on the side and was reflecting a castle passing by.

The end.
So on Saturday, after a day spent in Vatican City at the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's... --

and by the way, I feel that this photo sums up a visit to the Sistine Chapel:

And do you see these little old ladies, one of whom is a nun? They cut in line in front of us to get into St. Peter's, so vast was their love of the divine therein.

This photo was taken just before I gave this nun the finger, of course. ---

So as we walked down that one street heading to the river, having had our fill of divinity, a strange sight did come upon my eyeballs. The sky was filled with beasts! Black beasts swooping up and down and across the sky together, making strange dark patterns against the dying light!


As I stared up in amazement and horror, the demons did make patterns in the sky! We walked closer and I went across the bridge to get a better view. And the beasts only grew more bold and were shameless in their swooping.. And it was clear to me that evil was upon us, spelling out our doom... BUT NO ONE EVEN BAT-TED AN EYE!!

I guess it is normal for the devil to be so close to Vatican City, trying to wend and weasal his way in.. but I could not believe the nonchalance of the Romans around us, so inured to the battle between good and evil raging amongst and above them..!!!

Nov 19, 2007

So after the worst travelling day ever, which involved a 9 and a half hour flight from Rome to Philly, during which yours truly watched a Nicholas Cage/Jessica Alba movie, a movie about a girl playing soccer, the latest Die Hard movie, AND an episode of NUMBERS or whatever it is called, ALL WHILE SITTING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MIDDLE ROW, and then, in Philly, waiting in 50000 lines and having to recheck all luggage, and then having the piddly half hour flight back to NYC delayed for THREE HOURS, I am finally finalllly home.

Here are some random Rome photos, and tomorrow I should have some more that will seem as if they came STRAIGHT DOWN FROM HEAVEN instead of from the depths of my fashionably pink camera.

1. Joi and me on the Spanish steps:

2. A very enticing ad for a bed and breakfast taped to the top of a dumpster:

3. Eric, Joi and me bravely riding in the teeny tiny deathtrap of an elevator at our hotel:

4. And one of the gorgeous graffiti-covered silver subway cars, the likes of which one cannot find anywheres in New York.

The end.

Nov 18, 2007

Since I have answered all my emails and Joi is still working (in an internet cafe), I would also like to add that I was APPALLED to discover that I am reading an ABRIDGED version of Casanova's autobiography. I believe that when a book is abridged it should proclaim so loudly and on its cover. I should have known that a book bought in Venice would be sneaky and untoward and even downright deceptive.

In other news, when touring the Coliseum and Forum today, I was surprised by the depth of my jealousy of the ancient Romans. As my modern mind was horrified by the violence and excess of it all, from the depths of my ancient soul I wanted to walk on those heated marble floor's of the emporer's palace and eat bread made by vestal virgins while watching ovely muscled gladiators fight lions.
So yesterday we went and saw many very sacred things and today we saw many very evil pagan things and tomorrow I fly hoooooome. Here are the things I have missed very much and will partake of as soon as I return: 1) BATHTUBS, 2) TELEVISION, 3) FOOD THAT IS NOT ITALIANO, and 4) NOT BEING CONFRONTED BY BOXER SHORTS OF THE DAVID'S PENIS EVERYWHERE WE TURN. But I also plan to come back to Italy within the next year and to stay a long time. The end.

Nov 15, 2007

Scenes of Carnage

Scene of Impending Carnage

The End
I am now quiiiite madly in love with Venice, despite the carnivorous pigeons and huge-lunged gondoliers and unfriendly locals and crapola overpriced food. This morn we took this long, amazing tour of the Doge's palace and all the secret chambers of the Circle of Ten and all the 50000 other secret groups of long-past empires, not to mention jail cells and torture rooms and ceilings sagging with gold. And we learned all about Casanova so that by the end of the tour I'd developed a hyuuge crush. I bought his autobiography, then Joi and Eric wandered off to the Jewish ghetto while I had a hot chocolate in this lovely cafe in San Marco Piazza and read, and then I wandered along many pathways and across the wooden bridge to the Peggy Guggenheim collection, where I saw this gorgeously strange Rosso exhibition and the regular collection that includes three Cornell boxes and, my other favorites, this beautiful collage by Juan Gris and another by Max Ernst. Then I wandered around some more and read some more--Casanova is so funny!! I love him with my whole heart and maybe yours too--and then I went into this mask store and took a long time selecting the most beautiful one, a full face mask with silver and gold and lace and crystals. Then we all met up again and had (an overpriced) dinner and vino. Tomorrow: Rome!!

Nov 14, 2007

Out of the windows of our charming hotel just outside of Piazza San Marco we can see the gondoliers floating by and hear them singing in operatic tones..

I have watched the pigeons attack and kill AT LEAST NINE PEOPLE TODAY.

And everyone stands around and takes pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why I Am Not Moving to Venice


Nov 12, 2007

So Joi and I just went to see SILK at this gorgeous old theater. The movie was ridiculous and overwrought (by the end we were just laughing), but I didn't much care since I loove me some old movie palaces where the chairs are like bathtubs and you can stare up at crazy stained glass.

Today we saw our last touristy things at the Duomo and other places, and we're about to go back to this amazing hidden-away restaurant in Oltrarno where strings of lights dangle from the ceiling and everything is fresh fresh fresh. I am verrrrrrrrrrry sad to leave Florence.

But tomorrow: Venice!

Nov 11, 2007

My ex beau updated my whole website, and added in the new, very obnoxiousa Praise section:

Oh: and at the train station we also talked for a bit with this sweet sweet older white-haired lady from Georgia on her way to Siena with her husband. She called Joi and me her "angels" because we told her where to store her luggage on the bus and where to get off in Siena. She told us she was on a "grand adventure." When we told her we're going to Venice and Rome next, and that Joi and Eric are then off to Naples and Palermo, she said, "Oh, you're on a grand adventure, too!" She asked why I had luggage with me (since we had told her we were waiting for Joi's boyfriend). When I waved my hand and said, "I just bought that to carry all my new shoes home in," she squealed in delight and wanted to know all about them.
So Joi's beau Eric arrived yesterday, and Joi and I ended up waiting for him at the station for two and a half hours before giving up and going back to the apartment. During that time, however, we witnessed the following astounding scene: a few pigeons were strutting around by the buses, and one Egyptian-walked his way up to this woman sitting on a bench nearby and eating a roll. She threw down a piece. Said pigeon strutted slowly over to the bread, and two or three more pigeons started meandering their way to it as well. Suddenly this tiny fat finch careened its way down out of nowhere, swooped in and stole the bread. Then it flitted off a few feet away and began luxuriously eating it before the pigeons even knew what had hit them. When one finally noticed the finch, it slowwwwwwly made its way over and just as it neared the finch that fat little bird snapped up the roll and flitted away. When that woman threw down another piece of roll a few minutes later, I snapped a photo, but that finch was gone with that roll like lightning. It was really very inspiring.

In other news, today we went to many many places including the Bargello, where we saw Donatello's David being restored, and this Leonardo exhibit, where we saw models of his wings and other sights, and the Boboli Gardens at the Palazzo Pitti, where we saw very cool views of the city and this silver head (at the Silver Museum) with which I am madly in love.

Later, I had the most decadent cup of hot chocolate with cream you can imagine.

Oh, and here are two more random sights from yesterday eve. That is right: you can buy pasta out of vending machines and eat Dante and Beatrice sandwiches.

The end.

Nov 10, 2007

Yesterday we took a bus to San Gimignano, this little walled medieval town on top of a hill. The bus ride was very beautiful, and we passed many vineyards with rows and rows of grape vines and the occasional roadside Mary.

The town had many gorgeous views, though the signs directing one towards said views were extremely suspiciously suggestive in a deviously suicidal manner.

Yet we bravely resisted, and gazed poetically onto the lush countryside.

Later, a brief thunderstorm broke open over us and made the town even more picturesque and cool, albeit slightly more evil.

Somehow, we made it out alive, with the nefariously atmospheric photos to prove it.

The end.