hey you guys

ok, so brad and i have been to: the forum (yeah, it's a whole lot bigger than i had anticipated...), trajan's market (there was a really cool sculptural exhibit there by mitoraj...), the colisseum, the vatican museum, the sistine chapel, saint peter's, the trevi fountain, the pantheon, piazza navona, the campidoglio, the palatine hill, lots of restaurants, the wedding cake/typewriter/monument thing called 'il vittoriano', the museum of the unification of italy, circus maximus, the temple of jupiter (maybe? as we're really not quite sure... we have a tendency to get really, really, really lost), teatro di marcello, the porta di ottavia, and we're on our way to the capitoline museums at the compidoglio....

so basically i don't really have a lot of time to write... more to come, i promise...


benvenuti a roma!!!!

so, after having the strangest bunch of flights and the absolutely nastiest-smelling train ride ever, i arrived in rome... since i arrived during the siesta, i decided to take a small nap to try to get a little boost since i hadn't slept in two days, woke up and had some incredible pizza margherita at cafè paparazzi... mmm mmm mmm. i then decided that since the sun was about to set, i'd go check out san pietro...

i walked down via d. conciliazione quite briskly, almost as if i was half-expecting the majesty of it all to suddenly disappear and find myself back at home waking from some sort of really vivid dream. as the cathedral and piazza came into view, i felt really strange, quite overwhelmed really, as it had actually hit me that i was in rome (i find it quite entertaining that it took me leaving rome and entering vatican city to finally realize that i'm here... hmmmm). i walked up to the square and through the south colonade that reaches out to embrace the piazza - i ran my hand along all 44 columns, and i don't know whether it was the fatigue, the actual experience of it all, or the vino starting to make me feel all warm and fuzzy, but eing the big fat baby that i am, i actally started to cry... it finally registered with me how much i had wanted to come to italy and how hard i worked to finally get here. yeah.

as i left the square, i found a bench on the boulevard and decided to sit down before heading back to my flat... on via in caterina (yeah, it rocks...) - i watched as the last rays of sunlight left the sky and dropped behing the amazingly large cupola, turning the canvas above me from a greenish-yellowish-gold to a perfectly transparent electric blue. sigh.

then, while on the way home, i decided that it was time for gellato... mango, melone and frutti di boschi... mmm mmm mmm. then i went to sleep (i got up and watched the sunrise from the pantheon this morning... ahhhhhh.... che bellissima)

i'm now on my way to pick brad up from the airport - so i'll check you folks later on....

benvenuta a roma, natalie. bienvenuta alla citta eterna...


we are flinstones kids... ten million strong and growing...

ok - so i leave for the airport at 6am and for some bloody reason [actually i can think of quite a few] i can't sleep. i watched the olympics for a while, repacked the bag that was packed already, reorganized my carry-on, did the whole 'wash my face, brush my teeth and prep for bed' thing... and i still can't sleep. it's not that i'm not tired - as i only got 4 hours of sleep last night, i'm truthfully quite exhausted... i'm just very sad... i'm leaving chris for four months, and honestly, it's killing me. it was terribly hard to be away from him for a month while i went to kuwait over the winter holiday, and i really cannot fathom four times as long without the person who keeps me sane and calm[-er than i would normally be].

in his blog today, chris mentioned how quiet the house when he got home from work - i think that i should have made a tape-recording of me having one of my famous freak-outs to make him feel more at home... maybe i'll send him a tape... i don't know... i'll think of something. i really do feel like i'm caught between a very large, jagged rock and a very hard, cold place... wanting desperately to go to rome, wanting to stay home just a little longer with chris... wanting my four months in rome to last as long as possible, wanting to come home as soon as possible. blah. this will pass, or at least get a little easier to bear, but i still don't have to like it and i don't think that i'm ever going to. i'm just not very good at being sad.... i'm also not so good at being without my flinstones kid...

no nugget tonight... i'll try for a juicy one hopefully tomorrow [i'll be in london, so i don't know if i'll be able to get to a computer... but i'll try my very best].

pleasant dreams... and a pleasant day to follow.


rah rah rah rah

well, it's my last night at home tonight... as tomorrow i will be beginning my journey to italy... i'm really really really really excited, but i still feel somewhat surreal. i'm just doing the last minute junk - packing [which i actually haven't yet started], downloading the rest of my music onto my ipod, thinking about all the junk that i know that i'll forget to do, and trying not to think about how much i'm going to miss people while i'm gone. it's like being caught between a rock and a hard place, in that i want the semester to go by quickly so that i can see my friends again, but i really don't want it to go by quickly because i know that i'm going to fall in love with italy and i'm not going to want to leave... hmmm.

so, speaking of packing... that's what i'm going to go do.

daily nugget - sidenote: this is for my future gamblers... cause some trouble i vegas - and now for the nugget: to prevent some numbers from occurring more frequently than others, dice used in crap games in las vegas are manufactured to a tolerance of 0.0002 inches, less than 1/17 the thickness of a human hair.




well, hello there. i have nothing to write about, really. to be perfectly honest - i'm bored out of my mind. i've been running the last-minute pre-flight errands [boring and slightly irritating due to the massive influx of traffic (classes begin at the u of a on monday) and the (afforementioned) inability of most people in the city of fayetteville to control a motor vehicle]. ...

t-minus 3 days, 13 hours and 38 minutes until rome. i still can't believe that i'm actually going, but i am completely stoked. i'm to the point where i'm beginning to lose sleep due to excitement and anticipation. i love it. ...

daily nugget: there are more molecules in a teaspoon of water than there are teaspoons of water in the atlantic ocean.

i kind of thought that this one was appropriate due to the fact that i'll be crossing the atlantic pretty soon...



it's a conspiracy, i tell you!

so - i think that there is some sort of plot to set every piece of electrical equipment within a six mile radius of your's truly against me this week. every computer that i touch seems to freak out and do strange things to me - not, mind you, when i'm working on frivilous junk. it actually only seems to occur while i'm in the middle of a project of some significance to me or to someone relying on me to get a job done. i should let you know - as a bit of background - that i love technology. i'm just not particularly fond of it at this specific moment in time.

i'll give you a few examples of what i'm talking about here: 1. it's a beautiful monday here in fayetteville, and i'm getting a lot of work done - scanning some lovely figure drawings - and i'm on a roll. not just a small one, i mean a huge friggin' roll... my little gray cloud shows up at about 3:30 in the afternoon... one of our lovely physical plant employees who is assisting in some road work just outside of the computer lab that i'm working in decides that it would be just splendid to run a large spike straight through the main electrical supply running underground leading to a campus-wide loss of power... sigh. 2. tonight - i'm in the process of piecing a beautiful image together after pain-stakingly scanning a large image in very small, high-resolution pieces, and suddenly, the computer's 'scratch disks' or whatever they're called are full and i am no longer permitted to manipulate any image on the computer or save anything on the bloody computer... i love my life.

i guess that i just have to remember to breathe... i just find it somewhat amusing that stressful events/issues occur/come up all at once... you know?... when it rains it pours? it's really quite funny because i know that in a day or so, everything will be peaches and cream; my life is just utter chaos right now. c'est la vie, i guess.

the daily nugget [it's really quite appropriate for my mood right now...]: 25% of britons have physically attacked their computers.

i wonder what the statistic is for americans? more specifically, students. even more specifically, architecture students. i'd wager that it's somewhere around 80% and if it's lower than that, people are practicing some serious self-control.



how do you make a napkin dance?...

i must say, i think that these assessments are somewhat strange, but it's all whatnot i guess... i have nothing to write really, as i'm fairly boring today. the only things that i have noted as significant in my life today: numero uno - one of my closest friends, alexi, turns 21 today - congrats to my fiesty pumpkin! numero dos - i am going to have sushi for dinner... i say woo hoo!

and now for your daily nugget: one in ten europeans born in the early nineties was conceived on an ikea bed.

hee hee.


i'm on top of it...

wow, babysitting is hard work. i mean, i love kids - i really do, but after babysitting i realize how unready i am to be a parent. watching them for a few hours is chill, but wow, i have a lot of respect for people who actually take care of their children - it's a full-time job and then some. or maybe i just freak out too much because the kids that i'm watching aren't mine - you know? it's that whole thing where you feel much more comfortable with the responsibility of something that's yours? whereas if something happens while you're responsible for someone else's precious cargo, you get slaughtered?... yeah.

so today, one of the children that i am watching comes running into the house after having been playing with the neighbor's children - blood covering his chin and he's screaming for me. i panic. oh, oooooh man... what do i do? this child is covered with blood... and are you ready for the kicker? yeah, it's just a lost tooth. i almost had a heart attack for a lost tooth. hey, at least the good 'ole ticker got a nice jump start today, huh? 10,000 volts of electric shock is more like it. the glass isn't just half full, it's bloody overflowing....

and now, for the daily nugget: the heart of an adult beats about 70 to 80 beats per minute, 100,000 times every day, 40 million times a year and in 70 years it will have beaten 2½ billion times. aq female heart beats about 10 times per minute faster than a male’s. the rate can increase to as much as 200 beats per minute during heavy exercise. as a pump, it produces enough pressure to shoot a stream 30 feet, produce enough energy in an hour to lift 2000 lb. 3 feet off the ground, and efficiently circulate 50 million gallons over the average lifetime. in one year, the average human heart circulates from 770,000 to 1.6 million gallons of blood through the body. this is enough fluid to fill 200 tank cars, each with a capacity of 8,000 gallons. there are enough tiny blood vessels called capillaries that if placed end to end they would stretch over 2 times around the earth. all this is done with just over a gallon of blood which circulates 1,000 times in a single day through the body on a daily 60,000-mile journey, 168,000,000 miles in a lifetime. 25 trillion cells travel through the bloodstream, but a stack of 500 would only measure 0.04 inches high. the human heart rests between beats. in an average lifetime of 70 years, the total resting time is estimated to be about 40 years.

i wonder how much one's heartbeat increases when one is nearly scared to death?...


blah ... business up front, party in the back.

apparently, the ball is rolling on the whole rome semester... seven days, nine hours and twenty-eight minutes until take-off. it seems somewhat surreal that the moment that i've been waiting for for three years is approaching so fast [i know... it's cheesy, but whatever].

i was somewhat disappointed that the humidity and [some] heat returned today, as i was really enjoying the spring-like weather that we experienced here in nw arkansas this past week... i guess that eighty degrees on the sixteenth of august is really nothing to complain about, though.

oh - on to more interesting things that i have seen since i last posted - side note: i have officially decided that my camera will go with me absolutely everywhere from now on - so, chris and i went to the mall for dinner saturday [the people-watching is really quite enjoyable...] and i saw a giant - maybe it's just that i'm really really short, but i honestly think that this girl was the biggest person that i've ever seen: i'm guessing somewhere right around or above 7' and not just tall, she looked like she could kick the shit out of anyone in her path... anyone. then we definitely saw a pair o' mullets... i mean quality mullets. boy-girl pair... the classic and the femmullet, complete with rediculous pot belly and mullet-fro. it was wonderful [i honestly think that i had a tear of joy in my eye]. i think that i'm going to start researching to find out who the first person was to sport the mullet... and then who the first person was that decided that the mullet was a stylish haircut. these are real perplexing questions here. i mean, who was it that took the time to grow their hair all the way out and then just cut the front? were they just too lazy to finish the job? or did their trimmer's battery run down? was it just a really terible joke played on a drunk person post pass-out? i really want, no, need to know. if you have any information regarding the history of the mullet, please contact me... i yearn for information.

and now for your daily nugget: a rope made from 1000 human hairs could lift a well built man. actually, today i'll be extra-special nice and give you two. the second dose: on average, girls spend two weeks of their life doing their hair.

oh yeah.


i'm late, i'm late, for a very important date...

have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you're just running behind? yeah, so today's one of those days... i turned of my back-up alarm today in my sleep, and then overslept my actual alarm [thinking that i'd have the back-up to wake my ass up], then i took brandy [the extremely friendly pit bull with the adorably large head that i've been house-sitting] for a walk in wilson park today, and instead of taking the usual 30 - 45 minutes, it took us almost an hour and a half to get .9 miles today...ahhhh. and the whipped cream and cherries of the day so far: i show up at the u of a parking deck - so that i can park within ten miles of campus today [thank you greek recruitment week], and the stinking change machine goes schizo on me... it just started spitting the bills that i had put into it back out at me... wow... i feel special.

anyway... here's your daily nugget o' goodness: you can live longer without eating than without sleeping. most humans can last several weeks without food but only about ten days without sleep. [this daily nugget is dedicated to anyone who has survived and/or is currently surviving architecture school...]


podders of the world, unite!

hip, hip, a hippa to tha hippa to tha hip hip hop. ya don't stop... as i was leaving the house at 101 s. duncan this morning, a very nice man in a lovely green and purple outfit stopped me at the door. in his hand was a little square box, which he made me sign for... ooo, the anticipation... what could possibly be inside??? as I took the box inside and excitedly openned it, my heart jumped with joy to see that at long last, my very own ipod had arrived, complete with customized inscription ['natalie's pod'] and all the fixins - just like mom used to make. giggidy giggidy giggidy... oh yeah!

so, i'm off to play with my new toy...

today's blog brought to you by the letter 'i' [as in ipod], and now for your daily nugget o' fun: the dot over the 'i' is called the 'tittle.'


it's a beautiful day for scanning slides

ciao - so, i really do believe that i have found a new favorite sandwich: the 'firehouse' from iron horse [in rogers, ar]... i'm all about turkey and jalapenos! mmm, mmm, mmm. yes, yes, i had the distinct pleasure of driving to rogers today [really, not a bad drive, were it not for all of the people in the region of northwest arkansas who lack the capacity to control a moving vehicle...]. so i got to have lunch with great company... only to return to fayetteville to work in a computer lab. blah, but i'm almost finished [i've been almost finished for about two weeks now]... so i'm enjoying my last couple of days working inside.

i've been housesitting since friday and it has reaffirmed my desire to own a dog in the very near future [i.e. post rome and comp studio]. the dogs - brandy and louise - are truly the cutest creatures that i have encountered in quite some time... very loyal and extremely energetic.

anywho... so the countdown to rome begins: t minus 15 days, 1 hour, and eight minutes. oh, and i almost forgot... your daily nugget: the average human foot has approximately 20,000 sweat glands and can sweat up to a half cup of liquid per day.

mmm mmm... salty!


mike check - 1, 2, 1, 2

well, hello there. i'm natalie...

what to say: i am starting to get ready to go to rome for the fall - starting to get excited and really nervous. i have an apartment in the palazzo farnese area with my friends brad and david... i guess we'll see how well three people do living in a one room [not one bedroom - npoe, it's just one whole room] for about four and a half months... updates on that situation to come starting on the 26th.

yeah, so, good/weird thing happened the other day... started talking to some friends that i grew up with in ksa, and suddenly, i have now contacted four very dear friends that i haven't spoken to/seen in an average of about 7 years. i'm really on a trip...it's pretty damn cool. i guess you never really know how much people mean to you until they're out of your life and you think that you'll never have them as part of your life anymore. ...

i am going to sleep now... here's some food for thought - an adult grizzly bear can decapitate a moose with one swipe of its paw. when it charges it can cover 100 yards in six seconds - faster than a racehorse.

sleep on that...