Saluti Webtaculators! Welcome to the first ever Italian edition of Webtacular World. No, I assure you that I am not writing this at 4:30 AM, because that would be ridiculous. Instead, I am writing this from my villa in Tuscany in the early afternoon, because I have a little free time between my carriage ride and pasta making class. Being on a honeymoon is fun.
For those of you who aren’t used to this, here’s what’s happening: basically, whenever I travel, I create a way-too-long recap of my day-to-day activities in excruciating detail. And footnotes. Many of them. However, due to the limitations of WordPress as a publication platform, I sadly will not be able to include as many side notes as you might be accustomed to. I apologize.
Our trip to Italy began at 4 PM on Tuesday of last week from SFO. The travel itself was some of the smoothest I have ever experienced. Everything was on time, there were no lost bags, and Air France gets additional bonus points for treating alcohol like a normal beverage, in that it’s provided free of charge. It would have been absolutely stress free save for the fact that I did the last thing a new husband should ever do – I lost my wedding ring on the plane.
As someone who is relatively new to finger adornment, getting used to wearing something that is a physical symbol of your everlasting love takes some time. My personal ring wearing situation is quite unique in that my left ring finger veers about 20 degrees to the right at the second joint from some unknown childhood injury. This is further compounded by the fact that my finger’s circumference continuously varying between the size of a fat sausage to bone thin. Basically, I learned that my left hand is now not usable to do normal things, since as I was in the middle of packing up all the books and headphones for the landing, I noticed that the ring was missing from my finger. Instead of quietly dealing with this minor problem on my own, I quickly raised my hand, showed it to Meagan, pointed to the naked finger, and said “My ring is gone.” If you ever really want to freak your significant other, you should totally repeat those exact steps. We both started tearing apart our section of the plane, and luckily for me, I was able to find it buried in the bottom of one of my bags. I will soon be getting my ring resized to basically be a vise for my finger.
With the drama out of the way, I could resume my quest to enjoy Italy in the way I intended – eat and drink my way through it. Basically, my goal was to be in a continuous state of consumption until I pass out from fullness. Italy has so far been almost overeager to comply with this request. Breakfast has been starting for us around 10 AM with a plate of cheese, bread, and sliced meats, along with the best cappuccino I have ever tasted. At around Noon, we will have lunch, which as far as I can tell, is just first dinner. You know how Italian restaurants in the U.S. will say things like “Primi” and “Secondi,”on the menus, as though you should be expected to eat both pasta and a steak in the same meal? Well, essentially, they do. For roughly 10 Euro, you can get a giant plate of Tagliatelle followed immediately with a plate of grilled lemon chicken. Oh. This also usually includes a glass of wine. Because Italy. Of course, you could always do a panini, but that seems against the spirit of this trip. So far, this has been followed up by desert, usually either tiramisu or gelato, and then immediately by nap time. Dinners are usually a repeat of this around 7-9 PM, just with larger portions and a bottle or 2 instead of a glass. Basically, food heaven.
Don’t worry though! Eating is not the only thing we have done! We spent our first three days in Florence. The first day we took ourselves on a “let’s get lost” tour of the city. It’s small enough where you can walk everywhere, but because the Medicis were terrible city planners, it really doesn’t follow any sort of rhyme or reason to any of its streets. For example, there are red and black versions of the same address which are different places. You basically walk in a direction, until you run into some sort of plaza, where you may be able to identify one of the many beautiful churches which can act as a beacon. Then you proceed until you need to reorient yourself again. It’s fun. I promise.
The second day we spent gazing upon some of the most unbelievable art in existence, including Michelangelo’s Statue of David in the Galleria dell’Accademia and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus in the Uffizi Gallery. The thing about many of these works of art that was most surprising to me is their scale and size. A stamp-sized reprint in a 6th grade textbook really doesn’t do them any justice. David is 17 feet tall, and basically entirely proportional. It’s amazing.
Yesterday, we traveled out to the Tuscan country side to our Villa. And by traveled, I mean I drove a tiny Alpha Romeo through those same streets that were in no way designed for vehicular navigation. I managed to avoid other cars that take lanes as suggestions rather than the law, tourists who think they’re invincible, and mopeds, which basically are the only thing that make sense to drive here. We are situated on top of a small hill surrounded by idyllic farmland that is somehow still green. Whelp, time to get cooking. I’ll up with you all next week. Ciao! On to the news.
STORY OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Give Me My Jack!
Why: Because Apple was “courageous” and removed the audio jack and are selling $140 wireless ear buds in the newest version of its flagship device. I’m still getting one (eventually), but people are mad. Hilariously.
LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Who Will Defend The Defenders?
Why: Because Public Defense in the United States is slowly deteriorating. The amazing people who do this work need more support.
SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. watch)
What: Concussion Season’s Back!
Why: Because Cam Newton got absolutely hammered in the Panther’s opening game against the Broncos. It’s going to be a great season!
MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Your Next Favorite Movie Performance
Why: Because the Venice Film festival has done a pretty good job at predicting oscar winners.
TV THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: 50 Years Of Going Boldly
Why: Because Star Trek is one of the most influential shows ever.
FOOD THING OF THE WEEK (20 min. read)
What: Hot Chicken
Why: Because this is an amazing piece of writing on a delicious cultural phenomenon. Look for the $15 version in the hipster neighborhood of your local city soon.
PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long lessons)
What: How To Take Pictures
Why: Because you carry a pretty powerful camera around in your pocket, so you should probably understand how to use it well.
DESIGNER THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Clothes Should Fit People
Why: Because Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame makes the case that clothes need to be designed for how people actually look.
VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: PS4 Pro
Why: Because video game consoles are slowly becoming actual PCs. Also, Mario is coming to the iPhone.
INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Choo Choo!; Crappy Robots Are Crappy; If Only The Movies Were This Fun; Drugs Are Bad
Why: Because Internet.
THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Hot Chicken
Why: Because Brian deserves it.
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™