Saturday, October 20, 2012

leggings, armpits and graffiti

I now know why Italians always wear scarves, even during the scorching temperatures of summer. It is because there is always someone on the metro whose armpit emits a steady stream of noxious fumes, invisible tentacles creeping through the air to ambush unsuspecting victims. If I manage to snag a seat, inevitably someone will grab the bar above my head, armpit parallel to my nose. So I have started standing, hoping this would limit my odiferous experience. It doesn't work. The smell will find its way to me. This is where the scarves come in. Scarves. Scarves are the answer. If you have a scarf, you can wrap it around your nose and mouth like you are making your way through the eye watering smoke of a fire.

On the subject of Italian fashion staples, I have broken the one rule that should never be broken. We all know that leggings are not pants. They are tights without feet. They are meant to be worn under something, anything. But not on their own as pants. Except here, where leggings are pants. On women of all shapes, sizes, and ages. And like Stockholm Syndrome, I've started to think it looks acceptable. Normal, even. I have already embraced skinny jeans, which someone as short and un-storked leg as I should never wear. And now I have worn leggings. As pants. And I felt like I blended in. Because generally I feel like I stand out in a not good way. No matter how much I study them, I can't figure out how to makes my clothes look as awesome and effortless as the natives. I feel like an archaeologist studying a rare tribe.  And they have all mastered a way to make their clothes fit or drape or not-fit in a way I cannot achieve. I can be walking behind a group of girls, marveling that they are wearing leggings with unlaced high top sneakers and suddenly one will turn and I will realize they are 72 years old and still making it work. Damn!

Thus the leggings. I wore them as pants all day, walking around Rome. I felt normal. I changed clothes before Mike and John came home and saw me.

if you have ever before read this blog, you should be able to find waldo straight away. Un-ironic shoes with white socks? bingo. 
This picture is a double-whammy. I never tire of seeing the religious folk doing every day tasks( it's the Catholic in me): nuns driving ancient Fiats, monks crossing the street; priests with backpacks. It's like seeing your teacher at the grocery store. It's just wrong.  Also, the girl with the pink helmet? She has on fishnets and jean shorts. I wore that when I was 14. And again at 17. Am I going to have to start wearing that again now? I'll keep my eyes peeled for the grandma brigade and see if they are doing this.

they finally cut the grass. which is great because every time Sookie peed, we lost sight of her.
and then they raked and bagged the grass. except they used a broom. and a snow shovel.

We have decided to implement a new segment of the blog called Graffiti Grader. Graffiti is a way of life here; may as well take advantage of it for our amusement. Following in the footsteps of American Idol, America's Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance and all the other inane shows like them, we will have three judges, only one of which is female.

Judge A: "As far as I can tell, this says "Poison", obviously referring to the  1980s hair band fronted by Mechanicburg native Brett Michaels. I like the font, and I give it a B-. "

Judge M: " B-."

Judge J: " F due to sloppiness and the fact that it says poison."

Judge M: "It's legible, and I like the signal in the middle. C."

Judge J:" D. It says Skin Heads."

Judge A: "I am uncertain as to whether skinheads still exist, and I certainly don't like what they stand for, but I  think this is saying, 'Skin Heads Unite, let us not hate. Let us play the musical game Simon.'  However, it's lame. D." 
Judge J: "It's a cobra and it's well-done. A-."

Judge M:"B. It's original, it's fun. It's like it's saying, 'Hey, come enjoy Rome.'"

Judge A: "I like this one as well. It's a good use of space and I like snakes. A-."

Judge A: "It's hard to discern if this is genius or suckiness. I'll err on the side of caution and liken it to a Picasso or Jackson Pollack; initially misunderstood, but now worth gazillions. C+."

Judge M: "Like they didn't even try. C-."

Judge J: "Sloppy. C-."

Judge J: "C+. It says 'King Koes.'"

Judge A: "I think it's a misspelling of Kinkos and I'm not a fan of product placement, but I encourage the use of paper over electronic devices for reading. C."

Judge M: "A."

Judge A: "I like the bubble letters. And pink and orange are one of my favorite color combinations. A."

Judge M: "Illegible. Big, bubble-gum pink...B."

Judge J: " F, due to using the letter J for rubbish."

Judge M: "It's a cheat. Terrible. No risk, and it doesn't even make sense. F."

Judge A:"I think it's well-thought out in that it would requite time to make the stencil before doing the graffiti. A-."

Judge J:"They took their time. A-."

Judge A: "It's a bit lazy. Maybe it's part of housebreaking a dog to show the dog where to pee?  D."

Judge J: "B. It looks like real chicken scratch."

Judge M: "The first arrow gets a B because it's saying, 'Hey! Look here!' The second arrow gets  a C- because there isn't anything to look at but another arrow."

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