Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ganglion What?

One day when I was a junior in college I noticed a big bump on the back of my hand.

I immediately suspected cancer, or an alien fetus. But after scouring the internet like a good hypochondriac, I discovered that it was probably just a ganglion cyst. No biggie.

It's totally normal and benign, just kinda lumpy and annoying to look at. People used to call them Bible bumps because one method of getting rid of a ganglion cyst is to hit it really hard with something big and heavy and pretty much everybody back in the day had a bible, which is apparently an effective thing to hit people with. I did not attempt this method, though my dad did offer to smack me with a large book.

It went away on its own after a couple months.

And now, 2 years and a couple hundred miles later, it's back. I noticed it yesterday, when I was admiring my left hand as I sometimes do. It's just as uselessly lumpy as ever and I can't seem to stop looking at it.

I like to think that it went away on a vacation and now it's back on my hand, thinking to itself, “Okay, back to work, being useless and lumpy.”

Good work, ganglion cyst. Good work.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mia Famiglia

I have been adopted by a family in Southern Italy. They live in Rogliano. It is a very small town with lots of hills. Our apartment is in the middle of a hill, and no matter where I walk, it is always up hill for at least half the time. On the bright side, my butt looks amazing.

Let me introduce you to my new family:

This is my youngest host brother:

He is six. He would look like Harry Potter except for the huge boogers hanging from his nose. Apparently in Italy six year olds don't blow their own noses. When his mom or dad notice him choking on his own snot they come over and hold a tissue over his nose and command him to blow. It is icky.

This is my other host brother:

He is 13. He will not eat his dinner until his Mom cuts it up and pours him water.

Kids in Italy are weird. If Italian kids lived in the Animal Kingdom they would all die before they reached maturity because they are incapable of doing anything for themselves. Anything at all. American kids would find their nests and devour them before the Italian kids could call for their parents to defend them. No wonder most Italian kids don't move out of their parent's houses till they're 30.

If my parents are reading this they just burst out laughing because they think I am incapable of doing things like laundry and cooking my own meals. I'm not saying they're wrong, but they should meet these Italian kids. They've got nothing on me.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ballare -- To Dance

There has been a surprising amount of spontaneous dancing on this trip. To better illustrate this strange phenomenon, I have made a video.

Caution: Spontaneous dancing may occur after viewing this video. Continue at your own risk.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thoughts on Venice

Venice is a wonderful city to visit if you have a sense of direction.

Here is a map of Venice:

This is not a real map. Actually, I drew it. But I think that this map would be just as helpful to a person trying to find their way around Venice as the map our hostel gave us was. I went to Venice a couple of weeks ago with my sister Sarah and one of her Frisbee friends and we got very very lost. And it was not fun lost, this was more, “if I can't find the station in 5 minutes I'm going to miss my train and damn it, we've passed this bridge 10 times!” lost.

Hydrophobes (people who are afraid of water), should not visit Venice. While stumbling around in the dark after dinner on our first night there Sarah and I found a lot of dead-ends. Dead-ends in Venice are different then dead-ends in other places, though. In Venice instead of a brick wall or a fence blocking your way, often times there is nothing but a canal full of water of undetermined depth. You will turn a corner confidently expecting a street or bridge and—SUPRISE! Water. If you don't maintain constant vigilance, it would not be difficult to just step off into the icky canal water. We almost did it a few times and we were only there for about 24 hours. If we had stayed longer I'm sure one of us would have drowned.

But Venice was pretty fun before the whole lost thing.

We went to San Marcos square and fed were attacked by pigeons, tried on masks, and had lunch at a canal-side cafe.

The pigeon thing was definitely my favorite part.

Ornithophobes (people who are afraid of birds), should not visit Venice. The pigeons in Venice are not more afraid of you then you are of them. If you are holding bread or if you look like you might be thinking about holding bread sometime in the future or if you happen to be standing outside these pigeons will find you and land on your head.

If the pigeons in Venice could be taught to detect illegal substances instead of bread the drug trade would collapse. No one would make it past the pigeons. Also it would be funny to see people swarmed with pigeons in airports. Pigeons are funnier then dogs.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I met a doppelgänger the other day. Well, I say met, but it was more like I sat behind him for Easter service and secretly took his picture when he was looking away from me. But anyway, look:

Does he remind you of someone? Someone who, perhaps, works at the Daily Planet and has a secret identity? Maybe I've given away how utterly nerdy I am, but when I saw this mysterious stranger the first thing I thought was "OMG Superman is catholic!"

It was so exciting it kept me awake for 10 whole minutes of Easter service.

This was not an isolated incident.

Last week I saw an Italian Robert Downey Jr. I sat across from him on the train. I really wanted to take a picture but he never fell asleep and I'm not enough of a creeper that I would take a picture of some stranger while he was awake and looking at me. Though I guess taking a picture of a stranger while they are asleep on a train is creepier. I still really wish he'd fallen asleep.

Based on these two sightings I have decided that Italy is full of doppelgängers. It is a strange mirror world where everyone's double lives. Perhaps I shall meet my double and the world will explode, because so much coolness cannot be contained in one dimension.

Though I kind of doubt my double lives in Rogliano, so the world is probably safe.

For now.