Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I might as well have saved myself the trip and just googled the info I was seeking, which in the end is what I ended up doing anyway.
I don't mean to be a big complainer, but aren't the employees of the ed center there for a reason? As in helping you find information about colleges or answering any questions you might have? I mean, that was my impression.
Here's how my convo with the ed center counselor went.
Me: "Hi, I was looking for some information about continuing my Masters. I'd like to get my Masters in Library Science."
Her: " Oh, well there's only a few schools that do that entirely online. One is Drexel University and one is in....ummm Denton, Texas I think?"
Me: " You mean the University of North Texas?"
Her:" I'm not sure if that sounds right, but maybe it is."
Me:" Well, I still need to take my GRE, could you tell me where I can do that."
Her:"Well...I think in Milan, but maybe here in Vicenza too. I'm not sure, the guy you need to ask is down the hall."
Me: "Well, can you give me any information on the two universities?"
Her:" I would, but this computer doesn't work, but you can google it and find the info."
Me: "Um...ok, thanks for the help."
Yeah, what help!? She only told me maybe one thing I didn't already know.
Total waste of time to go to the Ed Center.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Although I love living in Italy, there are a few things I miss about you.
How I miss your closets, your abundant storage spaces and built in shelves.
I miss the convenience of fast-food restaurants, especially the ever-tasty Taco Bueno. How I would love a beef combo platter right about now.
I miss Target and yes, even Wal-Mart. I never knew I could actually miss Wal-Mart.
I miss getting gas without having to use gas coupons and I miss my money not going constantly up and down in the exchange system.
I miss Chilis and their amazing mushroom jack fajitas (although I hear in Germany they have a Chilis on an AFB)
Before I return to your loveliness, could you please make a few things readily available for me?
These would include, cheap, delicious, loose wine, amazing pasta, Froop and the Greek yogurt I love so much and all the freakin amazing cheeses I have eaten since I've been here. If you could toss in a few cool places like Paris and Venice that wold be cool with me too.
Melissa a U.S. Citizen
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Remember my posts about X Couple?
Let me give you a quick update on that crazy situation. They are now in the process of getting a divorce and Mrs. X has already moved on to a new man. You do remember correctly they have a small child, who is under the age of one. I'm sure this isn't making a lasting impression on him at all.
Another wife I used sort of know at Fort Polk has a blog that I occasionally read. I thought for a long time she was a smart woman, I know she has a masters and I'm 90% sure she has a doctorate in some sort of social work. I've known for awhile that she and her husband have been trying to have a child for sometime without success. From what she's told me it's been a real struggle and they are still looking at various methods. I felt for them and her until recently when catching up on her blog and she had posted entry upon entry showing pictures of her drinking heavily and smoking. I'm not kidding that one blog mentions her and a friend killing four huge bottles of wine.
Um...last time I checked it wasn't really recommended for anyone who was trying to have children to engage in those behaviors, much less if you are having trouble conceiving.
I told Sean I was considering leaving an anonymous comment on her blog saying as much.
I mean really? Does anyone else not find that detrimental to the whole process?
Sorry for the post, I think the rain is making me a bit crabby.
Sunshine and rainbows will be back tomorrow!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Yesterday I got an email from her that aggravated me. I've had a love/hate relationship with her since I was younger. Not really hate I suppose, more like dislike at times.
See the email talked about how she liked my pictures, which was a postive note, but then talked about how Sean should stop dipping because it's a nasty habit (yes I already know this) but what gets me is her husband smokes probably a pack a day and has a very close relationship with Scotch. She's not one to really talk about a spouse having nasty habits.
Then she goes on to ask me if I'd used the phone cards she gave me for Christmas yet and if I hadn't could I please call my grandmother? Ok, for starters I've told her several times that I didn't have Internet and/or a phone to call the states until Thursday. So, if I could have called my grandmother I would have. Then she proceeds to tell me not to forget my grandparent's birthdays that are coming up in April.
Let me say this, if I had forgotten their birthdays before I can understand why she'd remind me. HOWEVER, I call them every year on their birthday AND send them cards so I'm not sure why she thought I needed reminding. I wasn't rude in my email back to her, but I informed her I already had those dates scheduled on my calendar so I didn't need the reminder.
To further illustrate my aunt, I used to stay with her sometimes when I was younger for Spring Break or a weekend. She was very good to me when I was younger, buying me lots of clothes, taking me to the zoo, but when I was around six she started telling me to suck in my stomach. I WAS SIX! Six year olds are supposed to have somewhat unflat tummies. I mean come on!
Then a few years ago, we were at my Grandmothers eating dinner, fried chicken was on the menu and I was eating it with my hands. I mean, that's what you do with with fried chicken right? She proceeds to tell me I should cut it up, it's more ladylike. If anyone can tell me how you cut up fried chicken I'd like to know. I informed her it was fried chicken and by god I was going to eat it with my hands. (Ok..I was more polite than that, but I made my point known)
Now you can see why I don't really like hanging around her. She's gotten a little better the last year or two, but sometimes she really steams me up.
So...do you have a family member like this? I'd love to hear your stories.
Basically the rules are simple. You go to Google and search for (insert your name) needs and then give the first ten results.
I think mine are hilarious, but maybe that's just me.
1. Melissa needs to take a break (Oh I hear that!)
2. Melissa needs a home (Well...not really, though I'd like one with built in closets)
3. Melissa needs to board the blog ship. (Nah...pretty sure I'm already on it)
4. Melissa needs a lot of guidance. (Hmm..some may say that)
5. Melissa needs to lose it. (yeah I could stand to lose a few pounds)
6. Melissa needs a roof. (Have one. Check)
7. Melisa needs pants! (Ok..I could use a few new pairs)
8. Melissa needs hydration after the walk. (Uh...I guess?)
9. Melissa needs to find a new agent. (Yeah...I think not)
10. Melissa needs flakes! (of what variety would we be talking?)
Friday, March 27, 2009
These are the mountains you can see from our apartment, however when I take pictures from our apartment they don't come out as good as this, so I made Sean drive like five minutes away so I could get a better view.
A church in downtown Vicenza
I just love the details on these buildings
A grand view down a side street.
I'm not sure what building this is, but it's in one of the main squares of Vicenza.
Obviously I should start paying attention to what the name is of buildings that I photograph!
Not sure who Pippy and Tommy are, but it made for an interesting picture.
I loved this bridge, it was one of a couple we crossed, but the most picturesque.
Did I mention I now have Internet at home? *Picturing me singing in operatic voice...Hallelujah!*
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Now on to today's discussion: The lockeroom.
I've never been a woman who's been extremely comfortable with changing or being in various stages of undress in front of other women.
In fact, I remember the first day of 7th day track when I realized I'd be changing in front of everyone and I freaked out momentarily.
I had that feeling recently when I was prepping for a shower at the on-post gym.
Fast forward from 7th grade to me as an almost 26-year-old and I'm still not comfortable with the concept.
Granted I do strip down (towel strategically placed)and I waste no time in getting dressed.
Today I had the pleasure of being in the lockeroom with a whole passel of Italian women.
Let me just say...if you had Americans and Italians in a lockeroom and nobody talked, you'd still be able to tell who was who. Simply with who is more comfortable being naked.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are plenty of American women who are completely comfortable with changing in front of others or being naked in front of others, I'm just not one of them and neither are most of the American women who use the gym with me.
Today I got the show of a lifetime. I've never seen so many boobs in one room in my life. Women naked on the scale, putting on their make-up. Topless drying their hair and chatting with their friends.
I was pretty much in awe because I'm not sure I could ever do that. I'm just too body conscious. In fact, on my way home with Sean this afternoon I told him I felt like the fat girl of the lockeroom. It seems like everybody's legs are this big around. () <------ Seriously that's the size.
I'm a petite girl, but my bone structure is not slim. As hard as I try I don't think it ever will be, that's just my body...but I do wish I could become more comfortable in my own skin.
So today's question...are you that comfortable? Are you more like the bold Europeans or the timid Americans?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Let me ask you this, has your husband ever tried to encourage you to become an Officer in the military?
For some reason Sean has this idea in his head that I should go to OCS (Officer Candidate School) and become an officer in the Army.
The first couple of times he mentioned it, I thought he was joking. However, he's like a dog with a bone, he won't give it up!
The other day he brought home the PT scores that I'd be expected to pass to get into OCS.
First of all, I have no interest in becoming an Officer in the Army, or any branch for that matter. It's simply not something I want to do or feel like I need to do.
That being said I have great respect for women who are in the military, officer or enlisted, it's something that I don't think I'd be good at. That's me being 100% honest. I also am in awe of those that both them and their spouse are in the military and somehow manage to have a somewhat normal life and raise children.
I know raising kids and having a successful marriage with both partners in the military is possible, but I honestly think it must be very difficult. I know of several couples that are dual-military and they aren't even stationed together.
I don't know why exactly it is that Sean wants me to be an officer. He seems to think because I have the college degree and I'm not doing anything specific with it that the military would be great.
A. I'm afraid of going to bootcamp. I don't handle being yelled at well and it doesn't seem like a barrel of laughs.
B. I don't want to be stationed away from Sean, I don't want to have the added stress of having kids and us both being in the military.
C. Nowhere in my job plans does it involve the military. Photographer? Yes. Librarian? Perhaps. Army Officer? No.
Several times I've tried to explain to Sean that if he wants an officer in the family than he needs to do Green to Gold and go to OCS himself, somehow that idea always gets shot down. I told him the last time we had this discussion that how would he like it if he had plans for his career and I kept telling him he needed to do something different. I know he wouldn't like that and quite frankly neither do I.
So, lay it on me. Has your husband, significant other ever tried to push for you being an officer?
Women in the military, what are you thoughts on this?
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The first is my senior prom dress that thankfully I can fit into again. It's salmon colored with some jewels at the top, strapless and has a lace up back.
Here's the dress. Please ignore the wrinkles, it was in my household goods.
A closer look at the bust of the dress.
This is my other choice. Kind of a 50's vibe to it.
A close-up of the hem of the dress.
Both dresses need a small amount of work. Both need to be dry-cleaned, and the shorter dress needs to be taken in, as well as having a minor repair to the zipper done. Nothing major and neither should be expensive to take care of.
I'm thinking of wearin silver shoes with each dress, but perhaps black with the turquoise dress. I'm thinking of doing loose curls, with my hair pinned back on one side, sort of a Veronica Lake, glam vibe.
Ok..let me know your opinions and if you have any more ideas for me, let me know!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
It seems like today is bad news day, at least for Sean. He has CQ for the next 24 hours, I got a message from a mutual friend of ours informing me one of his childhood friends died on Friday and I learned from a former Ft. Polk wife that her husband (who used to be in Sean's unit) was shot in Afghanistan, the only decent news about that is that he's stable and on his way to Germany.
I also seem to be wanting to get sick, at least my body seems to be trying to. At night I feel like stuff is draining down my throat and I feel a bit sniffly, but I have yet to feel really bad OR kick whatever is getting me down.
I do however, have some good news.
1. We have definite days for block leave. Which means Sean and I can start planning our trip to Ireland in July. We are going for his 30th Bday/My 26th Bday/our 2nd Anniversary. We are looking at three days in July and I'm beyond excited. If you have been to Ireland recently, please give me some travel tips. Feel free to email those to me.
2. Our Battallion Ball is coming up in May! I don't know about the rest of you military wives, but I look forward to the balls. I don't think I'll be buying a dress this year. I have two that I'm trying to decide between and I'll take pictures and ask for your opinions soon.
As I mentioned on Thursday, our household goods came in. They delievered them bright and early Friday morning. Technically I know you can have them unpack for you, but I don't like people unpacking my stuff. For one it makes an even bigger mess than me just going through the boxes myself. Thankfully the guys will be back to get the empty boxes though and that's a relief! You wouldn't want to come to our house right now. It's insanely messy! I curse the fact Europeans don't believe in closets!
One more thing for you photographers out there. Check out JPG magazine or their website JPGmag.com. It's a great inspiration for pictures and I just love looking at everyone's work. I highly recommend you check it out!
How was your weekend? Do anything fun?
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The bad news? I'll be busy unpacking stuff for the next few days, so if you don't see me around, that's why.
In the meantime, here's some hella cute clothes I found at Forever 21.
I love this shirt, not sure I can pull it off, but it's very spring like.
I can picture myself wearing this to a BBQ.
This is my favorite dress! It's so summery!
How cute is this giraffe shirt?
I'd feel like a 50's secretary in this.
This bag has such a boho vibe to it.
Enjoy your weekend!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
So today I'm going to do an I'm Guilty Of blog. Enjoy!
I'm guilty of:
-making snap judgements on people I have and haven't met. Usually my judgements turn out to be wrong and I know it's not really right to judge people, but it's a hard habit to break.
-sometimes taking the best piece or cut of meat when Sean and I have steak or chicken.
-taking 30 minutes to get up and retrieve something, just because I don't want to make the effort to get up and go get it.
-thinking Eric Balfour is quite possibly the hottest actor out there.
-wishing Sean would let me drive most mornings because the way he drives makes me car sick!
-wanting to slam on my brakes when people tailgate me, it seems to be a national pastime in Italy. Although it's not the Italians that bug me when they do this, it's the Americans!
-being aggravated when people try to add me on MySpace that I don't know. If I don't know you, then please don't add me! It's just that simple.
-of thinking maybe it's not such a bad thing not having a career. I really have enjoyed all the different job opportunities that have come my way since graduating college.
-collecting magazines. I'm a sucker for People, Glamour and US Weekly. Almost everytime Sean and I go to the shoppette I pick out at least one magazine.
-not having the best self-image. I try to like how I look, but there's always a day when I wish I were thinner/prettier/able to wear cute hats on my big head. :)
-wanting to slap women when they try to act stupid. If you are trying to attract men with this ploy then you really deserve to be slapped.
-spoiling Boomer to the extreme. He now wants to eat whatever I'm eating and when we go to bed he insists on laying between Sean and I with his head on the pillow. I'm pretty sure he thinks he's human.
-of blog envy. Some of you have the cutest setups on your blog. JLC at French Kiss and Becca at Lovely Yellow Ribbons are just a few. I love my background and header, but I need to organize my blog sidebars some more.
I think that's enough for today!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I've also noticed this happens on the show Army Wives. Women are randomly thrown together in a variety of good and bad circumstances and no matter how different, they are good friends. Not that I'm quoting this as a stellar example of Army life...I'm just saying.
I'm not doubting that this is true for some. I however, have yet to really experience it.
Quite honestly, there are only two women that are associated with the military that I would call my friends. Those being two ladies I met off of Blogger, not at some FRG meeting or spouses club function.
At times it makes me sad that my short military wife existence has been void of any really close friends (minus the ladies I mentioned earlier). That's not to say I don't still have close friends back home, because I do, but there are days that it would just be great to know that I could call up a friend here and have a partner-in-crime.
I've tried to figure out why I don't have many military wife friends and I've come up with a few reasons.
1. Sean and I aren't really friends with couples, generally he has single friends which makes for double dates or couples functions hard to come by.
2. Sean and I can sometimes be a bit reclusive. As in, we like to be at home, watching a movie, eating and curled up on the couch together.
3. I don't have children. No playgroups or the million programs that ACS offers for parents and their children. At my age, finding military wives without children is somewhat more difficult. Not to say I don't want to be friends with only those that don't have children, but I think you know what I'm saying.
Other than that I don't really know what the problem is. I'm a friendly person, I've never had a problem making friends (honestly!) at least until I became an Army wife.
What I wouldn't give for a good friend here!
So here's my question, is anyone else out there like me? Or do you instantly find friends wherever the military takes you?
Me with the inside of the Arena as a backdrop.
Looking up the stairs of the Arena
The winged lion representing Venice in Piazza Erbe
Some of the buildings off of Piazza Erbe
This scene looked quintassentially Italian to me
These used to be used as scales
One of the main pedestrian only streets in Verona. It had tons of good shops. Even Sephora!
Looking across the river
We think this is some sort of memorial
Hope you enjoyed them!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I wanted to make sure I wasn't showing my age too much.
Anywho...I recently discovered I married Bobby Fischer. Sean is now addicted to playing chess on our laptop. As in...I came to post today and he opted to stay home so he could play chess.
If you are slightly peeved you haven't seen any new pictures of Verona...or Vicenza, then blame it on old Bobby, seeing as he's hogging the laptop.
First it was solitare...now chess. Obviously the man needs a hobby..or our TVs to arrive in our household goods.
Speaking of household goods, Sean went to Transportation on Friday to ask them where in the heck our stuff was. She told us that "magically" our unaccompanied baggage was there, but our household goods would be another 10 days.
I was excited of course to finally get some of our stuff, but pissed that they hadn't sent us an email informing us our unaccompanied baggage was there, like they said they would. Rookie mistake on my part, I should never have believed them that they would actually do what they said. The upside is that our baggage was delievered yesterday and I now have my DVD collection, my own plates and silverware and other assorted necessary kitchen items to cook with. Thank God!
Last night Sean made us mustard covered tuna (use Dijon) with lemon and pepper. It was AMAZING! Basically just take some tuna steaks, mix up some Dijon mustard with fresh lemon juice and some pepper, baste the tuna in it and then bake. You won't be sorry. It's that good!
Thank you to everyone for the congrats on my new job! I'm sure I'll have some funny stories from there, so look for those in the future.
Oh...also thanks to everyone who commented to let me know that they were reading me. I've started following you and added a few of you to my blog list.
One more thing, SQ if you're reading this, I'd love for you to email me. I think I read somewhere that you are coming to Vicenza, am I right? If so, drop me a line!
I need to pop on over to Forever21's website, as I've spied a few things I
Yes, the addiction is back.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I really didn't want to discuss it on here until it was 100% set in stone, but as of yesterday it was so now I can share with ya'll.
I'm going to be the new Information Specialist here at the USO on-post.
Now, to be honest when I moved here I wasn't sure if I was going to work. I had plans of working on my Masters, working on my photography and most likely volunteering, but I knew the job market was pretty much non-existent here, so I wasn't really expecting anything.
I start on Monday, even though I've been going this week for a few hours each day just to get the hang of things, but I'm excited. I think it's going to be a great job.
In other news I got a gift-card for a massage from Sean yesterday. I'm not sure if it was the sleep induced haze of doing staff duty for 24 hours or just a particularly sweet moment for him, but he totally surprised me with it. Random romantic things always make my day.
I also wanted to say welcome to my new followers! If anyone that follows me would like to be added to my sidebar then please let me know. I love "meeting" new people on here and I always love reading new blogs. If you're a lurker then don't be afraid to comment and say hello. I promise I don't bite....hard.
Now a question for you photography peeps out there. (Yeah that's right I just said peeps) What telephoto lens would you recommend for an Canon SLR? I'm leaning towards the 70-300mm, but I'm open for suggestions.
If you haven't already checked out the Verona pics in the post below then feel free. I will try (keyword here is try) to get some more of them up before the weekend. In the meantime I'm trying to figure out how to get them into a slideshow on my blog. Everytime I do this it presents a problem and I feel like an idiot trying to figure it out. Somehow I forget how to do it everytime.
I'm thinking of a giveaway for my 300th post. Any suggestions? No..a trip to Italy is not an option. Nor is wine. Sorry! If I could I'd send some. Any other suggestions just leave a comment or email me. My email addy is on my sidebar.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
We left for Verona on Saturday morning and opted not to take the Autostrada, but instead the scenic route. Big mistake. It took FOREVER! Mainly because we had to go through 50 some traffic circles just to get out of Vicenza. No I'm not joking.
Once we got to Verona we parked and started walking toward the town center. For any of those that drive and go there is a good parking garage only about five minutes from the Arena. It's cheap too. Only cost us about 13 Euro for about 24 hours.
Once you walk past the old town walls you are greeted with a huge piazza. Piazza Bra is the name of it. There are cafes all on one side of it, a park in the middle and of course the impressive Arena right in front of you. The Arena is the Roman Colisseum in Verona. It's honestly an awesome sight. It's the third largest colisseum in the Roman world.
Sean and I in front of the Arena.
Sean playing Gladiator
My tip? Buy the Verona card if you plan on seeing more than one sight. It's 10 Euro for a day and it has about 10 sights on it. Well worth it in my opinion.
Next up? Some window shopping and then Piazza Erbe. This is where the main market is held, however we weren't there on a market day.
Lunch for me was some smoked salmon and crostini. No pictures of any food. I kind of forgot about doing that this trip. I'll make sure I start though. Sean had pizza, that I of course taste-tested and it was indeed pretty good.
Another piazza, this time with a statue of Dante (complete with pigeon on his head) and an old whale rib hanging over the entrance to the piazza. They say it's some sort of souviner from several hundred years ago. I'm not one for keeping whale ribs as souviners, but to each his own.
Dante..complete with bird on his head.
On to Juliet's house. It's not really her house, just a sort of tourist trap, but that doesn't mean it's not fun to rub her boob and pose on the balcony.
This one was for you Lindsay!
Sean and I also left our names in a heart on the graffiti love wall in the courtyard.
We ended up staying the night in Verona at the Hotel Mastini( I think that's right). It was a great hotel and I loved our room, but the bed was beyond hard.
Sean nicknamed this the Karma Sutra chair.
Next morning Sean and I went out sightseeing before we left for Vicenza. We had a few interesting encounters with some people. First of all a vendor gave me a sewn card with Verona on it, an older gentlemen thought we were German for some reason and gave us some sort of pamphlet about a site that was in German and lastly a lady who seemed to be Hungarian asked us for some directions and then upon hearing us talk asked if we were British because "our English was so good". I told Sean she'd obviously never heard a British person talk because we do not sound British at all.
The expression on this guy makes me laugh!
Our main goal that morning was to get to the river and see the bridge that was destroyed during WWII and after that fact the townspeople fished the stones out of the river and rebuilt it.
This is just a random door knocker, but I loved how unusual it is.
I didn't get to see everything here, but one of these days I'd like to get back and visit the things we missed.
I have way more pictures, but I'll try to put more up later this week.