Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pretty much ADDICTED to facebook.

I feel like I can't go anywhere or do anything "like leave the house" before I write in my status message.

Yea I am crazy...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Italy - Part Two

This post will be mostly pictures. We booked a tour to go to Naples and Pompeii which picked us up from our hotel at 7am. The tour was very nice. I was mostly impressed with Pompeii and how well preserved it is. The streets look like they were in use just a week ago. With most ruins you have to use a lot of imagination to see the city or town the way it was... not in Pompeii. With a little work it could easily be what it was before it was buried.

Here's some of my favorite pictures from the tour.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Italy - Part One

For the holidays this year my sister and I planned a trip to Italy. Originally we were going to go on a Mediterranean cruise, but that got scrapped because plane tickets got really expensive. Plan B was 10 days in Rome. I can only wish that all my Plan B's in life can be that cool.

Other than taking off at the front edge of a snow storm to hit the east coast, which delayed us by about 2 hours, the flight over there was pretty uneventful. We did what you're not supposed to do when you arrive in another country with jet lag, took a long nap as soon as we hit the room. Since we didn't sleep on the airplane it was very needed.

We did manage to get dinner at the corner restaurant, and go for a quick walk to see a fountain in the Piazza della Repubblica. I was surprised how many restaurants were named after American places. The place we ate was called Washington Snack Bar. The pizza there was really good. Amy and I aren't used to thin crust. We both preferred it since it's not so fluffy-filling.

We ended the night by grabbing some bananas for breakfast from a street vendor. You can't quite see it in this picture, but some of the fruit vendors sell coconut, which is kept in a small box with water running over it. Unfortunately we never tried any of the coconut. I'm sure that it tastes the same as the stuff in Hawaii though.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy NEW YEAR!!!

So this is my family on my DH side. We went to a reunion during the holidays. We were able to see 50 of our relatives. We're all wearing shirts made for us for the reunion. They represent the number of our place in the family. People who have left our family had a number but no shirt was made of course.
Only 2 didn't show on purpose because they were with their other family and couldn't be present.
There were 2 of my cousins on their missions who were also unable to attend. The one in Canada, the other in Louisiana. They however are represented in the picture (they're the cardboard cutouts)
It was so nice to be around family again. Its like they understand you...or have to understand you hahahaha!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Life in the Left Lane, Part 12

Theory #12, Lane Means Distance

Man, totally forgot to post the last theory. Things have been hectic, so forgive me.

This is my final post on the topic. I saved the best for last though. After years of pondering I finally decided that this made the most sense. Obviously some of the other theories I've already proposed may come into play from time to time. However, I think the majority of drivers, at least in Maryland fall under this theory.

One thing we as citizens of the Western world appreciate is organization. What would the roads be like if there were no painted stripes or dashes telling us where to drive on the big slab of concrete or asphalt? We create laws for everything, rules for things that aren't covered by laws, and social norms for the rest. We constantly strive for order in a world of chaos.

All of this is to say that our minds are set to give meaning and function to everything around us, traffic being no exception. So when a person looks at a road, beyond the markings on it, they have certain perceptions of it. While much of society tells us that the lane on the left is for passing slower moving cars, there are alternate explanations. This theory being a strong 2nd.

In Maryland many people think the lanes are representative of the distance you intend to travel. I arrived at this after hearing a colleague explain, "I-95 is horrible. In the morning when I get onto the Interstate I just get into the left lane and go!" I thought, what an odd concept. What she had inadvertently explained to me was that if you intend to go a long distance you should indeed be in the left most lane, and in the right lane for short distances.

In some ways this makes sense. As explained in Theory 9, traveling in the left lane does provide fewer distractions from people getting on and off the interstate. On some roads the left lane is actually paved better, which also allows for a nicer trip.

The problem with this mindset is that it totally ignores the intended rate of speed for the trip. For people who perceive the road this way, distance trumps speed. I would argue that much of the conflict in how to use the left lane arises over this simple hierarchy of meaning.

While I now understand this concept, I totally don't agree with it. If half of the States in the US believe the left lane equates to speed, then that has to mean something. The real bottom line is that if you are driving on the road and everyone around you is irritated you should probably evaluate your driving habits. An ounce of consideration and respect for people around you goes a long way.

As a quick side note, MSN recently had an article about driving in the left lane. Interesting timing, eh? Here's a link: Left Lane Slowpokes Drive You Crazy?

Enough said.