Wednesday, December 27, 2006

sanna gave me just what i wanted...

i must have been a very good boy. look what sanna gave me:

it an upright scale. the scales here really stink to high heaven, they are very inconsistent. this one, on the other hand isnt. now, i have declared war on my weight. im planning on losing 1-2KG a week. the timing really stinks because i got permission to go see my family in campobasso for two days. im leaving tomorrow. they are a typical italian family: manga, manga, manga (eat, eat, eat). to add to the problem, the food is awesome there. im looking forward to the two days there.

my weight this morning is 101.0 KG, or 222 LBS. hopefully by jan 3, ill be at least 100 KG.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas again

i hope you had a good christmas. i heard the weather in toronto was beautiful, but not beautiful for you who wanted a white christmas.
we had quite a meal here, again. this is the first plate, the anti-pasta: my incredible "artistic" skills were put to use putting that plate together. it took me half an hour to do it.

the second plate was lasagna made by our cook on saturday:

it tastes as good as it looks. the next plate was the main course, which was smoked ham. here is a shot of the cook fr primo butchering... em, slicing it.and then was dessert, also prepared by the cook:

on top of the cake is the nativity scene. the cave is made from delicious chocolate.

last night while sleeping, santa left me a nice gift. ill blog it tomorrow.


Sunday, December 24, 2006


merry christmas to all! was santa good to you?

this evening we had one hell of a meal. we normally eat at 1:15, but because it was xmas eve, we decided to have a dinner, so we ate at 5:00. i didnt have lunch so i came to the table with one hell of an appetite. the first course, done by frank, was spaghetti with clams and clam sauce. the clams were whole ones, still in the shell. man it was good! the five of us polished off two pounds of spaghetti, and that was just the first course. the second course, done by primo, was shrimp-kabob, whole shrimp (with the head and all) on wooden skewer fried in a secret sauce. i dont know how many there were, but there were alot, and that was polished off too. for dessert, we had what was left over. we were all stuffed, so few of us had dessert. after we cleaned up, we celebrated the christmas vigil mass at 8, went to the rec room after, got our gifts, chatted and then went to bed. i got a scarf.
merry christmas to you all!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

second tree up, and crib too

well, the second tree is completed and this one is in our dining room:

i was very good this year, that is why there is a present so early (blue wrapper). the lights on this tree are very small and are not visible. ah well.

here is a shot of the crib that is in our chapel in front of the altar:

there is no baby Jesus yet or the maji, but they are coming soon...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

up goes the tree...

it a little late to put up a tree, but its up! this is phil with the 'before' picture...

and phil with the 'after' picture. it tooks us a few hours to do it, but its done. we started on our second tree when the decorations ran out. tomorrow ill buy more decorations.

it looks nice with the lights flashing. ill take a shot of it in the dark with the lights on, maybe it will look better.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

florence pt3

Next stop, PONTE VECCHIO (old bridge). it is very unique because there are stores (mostly jewelry) on both edges/sides of the bridge. the first ponte vecchio was built by wood in ancient roman times but was destroyed by a flood in 1333. it was re-built in 1345 from stone this time. in the middle of the bridge is 3 arches where you can look out from. all the bridges in florence were destroyed by the germans except for this one, allegedly hitler's orders. here is a couple of shots of it:

and this is a shot from the bridge. jewelry stores are on either side

final stop, BASILICA DI SANTA CROCE. its huge, but you cant tell from this pic. it houses many pieces of art as well as tombs of galileo galilei, dante alighieri, enrico fermi, machiavelli and many more. i didnt go in so no pix of the inside.

santa croce seen from the tower: i hope you enjoyed the tour of florence. if you did, please leave a tip.

we wuz robbed!!!

i didnt blog yesterday because there was a robbery in our house last night. thank god no one was hurt. 3 of the six rooms were ransacked. one of the rooms wasnt mine. frank had is money stolen and phil had both his money and his laptop stolen. when the robber was done, he locked phil's door and climbed out of his window. from what we gathered (with the help of watching many many CSI episodes), he sneaked in when the door was open (because of the workers that afternoon), went in an empty room and waited hours until the coast was clear. needless to say, frank and phil didnt sleep that night. co-incidently, our university was also robbed last night. i guess it was "rob a friary" night.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Florence, pt2

After a 10 minute walk from the DUOMO, i arrived at the PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA. this is only part of the piazza.
there is a lot to see in this piazza. the main attraction is the PALAZZO VECCHIO, originally called PALAZZO DELLA SIGNORIA. i took this shot standing on a side street. i absolutely love the bell tower.
adjacent to it is the LOGGIA DEI LANZI gallery, built between 1376-1382. there are about 10 famous sculptures there.

the most famous sculpture here, and the most famous bronze sculpture is the PERSEUS. he is holding a sword on his right hand, medusa's head on the left and he is standing on medusa's body.

between the palazzo and the gallery is the PIAZZALE DEGLI UFFIZI. the entrance to the world famous GALLERY DEGHI UFFIZI is to the left. to the right and the left of this very narrow piazza is sculptures of famous florentine residents, (picture taken facing the river with back to the piazza)

(picture taken facing the piazza with back to the river)including Donatello, Galileo, Da Vinci, Dante Alighieri, etc.this is not the end of things to see in florence. more tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

day-trip to Firenze

i have neglected my blog, but no longer.
on sunday, i took a day trip to florence. from rome, with the fast train, it takes just over an hour and a half. i left 9:45 and got there before 11:30.

the first stop was the DUOMO (the cathedral). building started 1296 and completed in 1432 with the completion of the dome (barely visible between the church and the bell tower). next to the duomo in milan, externally, it is the most beautiful church, followed by st. peters in my opinion.

in front of this church is the BATTISTERO DI SAN GIOVANNI (baptistery). until the 19th century, all florentines were baptized there.

beside the church is GIOTTO'S BELL TOWER, 84 meters high. you can go up the bell tower, but there are 414 steps and no elevator. i decided to go up the tower. tons of sweat later, i arrived but the view was worth it

on the top left is PALAZZO VECCHIO, a massive gothic fortress/castle. i love its tower. it is in PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA, which is the center and heart of florence. just to the right of it (with 3 arches) is LOGGIA DEI LANZI gallery. its an open gallery that has famous sculptures. to the right of the palazzo (cant see it in that picture) is the world famous GALLERIA DEGLI UFFIZI. next to the louvre, it is the most important art museum in the world. piazza della signoria is a short walk away from the duomo. in the center of the above picture is the main street (nicely lit up by xmas lights) and it connects the duomo and the piazza. pictures the beautiful piazza tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

blaise pascal...

... he is a philosopher, which, for some reason, i thought of, and his collection of random thoughts, called 'pensee', which means 'thoughts' in french (published 1660). he had a very negative view of man, as you will read. here are some of his interesting thoughts (#172 is a famous one, sobering one too):

#44 - "Do you wish people to believe good of you? Don't speak." (but he didnt say 'dont type')

#80 - "How comes it that a cripple does not offend us, but that a fool does? Because a cripple recognises that we walk straight, whereas a fool declares that it is we who are silly; if it were not so, we should feel pity and not anger."

#100 - "...Truly it is an evil to be full of faults; but it is a still greater evil to be full of them and to be unwilling to recognise them...". (this doesnt pertain to me, im perfect)

#130 - "Restlessness.--If a soldier, or labourer, complain of the hardship of his lot, set him to do nothing." (i wish my formators would do this for me)

#153 - "Pride, ...we even lose our life with joy, provided people talk of it."

#172. "We do not rest satisfied with the present... For the present is generally painful to us...Let each one examine his thoughts, and he will find them all occupied with the past and the future. The present is never our end. The past and the present are our means; the future alone is our we are always preparing to be happy, it is inevitable we should never be so. (what am i having for breakfast tomorrow...?)

any thoughts? (yes, you!)

Monday, December 04, 2006

lunch at frascate

me, alvin and chris were invited for lunch at a friary of the Rome province at frascate. 4 of the students there started their studies the same time we did, and all of us were/are in pretty much in every class together for the past 3 years. very good group of guys.

this is FEDERICO, one of the 4, (his blog is linked) serving espresso after lunch

this is RICCARDO, another of the 4, chilling out in the same room,

ALVIN, SIMONE (first year philosophy), MAURO (first theology), and FRANCESCO (also first philosophy).

we had pasta with pesto sauce, rabbit and asparagus. it was a very good lunch.

on my way home, i saw this christmas tree at termini, the main train station in rome:

Sunday, December 03, 2006

no #$%^ english movies

i wanted to watch a movie today but this is one of those rare weeks where there are no movies in "lingua originale", or "original language". that one theatre that did have english movies was, for some reason, closed. i hope it is not permanent. i was hoping 'nativity' was in english. ah well. i spent most of the day on the phone with family and friends and did other errands. a quiet sunday, all in all.