Saturday, May 28, 2011

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fumetti

For the few that missed me, I was out goofing off in Europe.  This is Rome, a great city with history on every corner.  For my hometown, history means going to the McDonald's where they have the neon sign from the 50s, so this was quite a culture shock.  As you can see, they have let things get a little run down, though.  Would some asphalt and a few Starbucks hurt anybody?  Just saying.

Check, Please

A statue in Italy commemorating how hard it is to catch a waiter's eye to bring you your bill at any local restaurant.  Around tourists, Italians seem aggressive and in a rush, but when you catch them in their own element you learn they prefer to chill out, drink wine, eat pizza and have leisurely lunches; basically how I spent my first few years of college in the mid 80s.

The Touch of a World That is Older

Grave of Marconi, the dude that invented radio, Florence, Italy.  This church also has Machiavelli, Dante, Michelangelo, and some other big names who had big honking statues and other huge monuments dedicated to them.  Meanwhile, my brother here looks like he got put in the pet cemetery.  AV nerds always get the short end.

Johnny Stecchino

In Florence, the outside of the church where Marconi is taking the long dirt nap.  I sort of figured out if you know how to say "Scusi" and "Grazie" you can pretty much make your way across Italy.

Said I Shot A Man Named Ray, Took His Wife To Italy

This big shack is the Parthenon.  Half of Rome looks like a movie set.  Besides the obvious Sergio Leone and Mario Bava and Dario Argento movies I would recommend "The Bicycle Thief" and "La Dolce Vita" and "Big Deal on Madonna Street" for the classics; some good contemporary movies include "Cinema Paradiso" and "Johnny Stecchino" and "I'm Not Afraid."


Me:  "I think I compare favorably to the statue of David."  Wife:  "You must have been looking at a statue of Socrates."

Rock On, Romans

I like how in Rome the buses run wherever and whenever they damn well please, you better be ready to tuck in to a hearty meal all the time, and you can buy Dylan Dog and Nathan Never comics at every newsstand.  But my favorite thing was these posters plastered all over the city advertising an upcoming rock concert by showcasing an old man shushing people.

London's Calling

Crazy statue in the Tower of London, England.  Everywhere you look there are ideas for new D&D adventures. 

Holidays in the Sun

British Museum, London.  Where they keep all the stuff they took when they conquered the world, once upon a time.  London is a great city, which I felt very comfortable with since I have watched a lot of Doctor Who and read Harry Potter.  What you might not know is that the food is better than you'd think and the Tube is a great invention.  Even more surprising was that Obama was there at the same time and didn't invite me to the barbecue at Downing Street.

She Wouldn't Have A Willy Or A Sam

Where Anne Boleyn was beheaded at the Tower of London.  Didn't see Natalie Dormer around anywhere.

BBC 1, BBC 2

One of my favorite areas of London, the South Bank.  Tons of good little shops and restaurants and hipsters and buskers.  Stalls full of paperbacks.  Found some good British hardboiled stuff here.  Big Ben dead ahead, the Eye behind.

The Runaway Bride

Speaking of Doctor Who:  Yes, my brothers, I saw Doctor Who's David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing in London's West End. (Photo borrowed from somebody who thought to bring a camera to Leicester Square). This show was sold out but they had a lottery to sell twenty returned tickets for ten pounds each (face value 50 pounds and up) the morning of the show. I stood in a block-long line and thought I wasn't going to make it but got drawn second to last. Then they had a few more available at face value so I queued back up and managed to get a second ticket. Strangely my wife and I were only a few seats apart in the same row and some nice ladies swapped with us so we could sit together. My nerd karma rolled all that day. After I nabbed these two tickets I walked down Charing Cross Road and finally found the latest issue of 2000 AD that I had been searching for. Good night, sweet London town, good night.