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Am Pam

Pan American – France poster circa 1965 [IPG]

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I’ll See You In Zeptember

I’m leaving for Hawaii today.  I know, crazy, but hurricanes cannot stop me from going to where I’ve longed to go

be back soon


An Indigent American’s Guide to Italy – A Thru GraZie

instead of a post filled with endless pictures from my tour of Italia (which you can find plenty of on my instasham), which would take me 9ever to do, I’m just going to give you a brief set of things that I’ve learned and relearned from the old country…

a) I am not sure that Europeans know what deodorant is.  I know they sell it, cause I saw it in grocery stores, but lots of people don’t seem to use it.  That’s ok… probably in winter, but when it gets to 80+ degrees °Fahrenheit (or 26.6667 degrees °Celsius, if that’s your dumb way of doing weather), and things get a bit clammy, you can easily tell who and who does not use deodorant

Apparently lots of people don’t, cause lots of places smelled like B.O.  The würst was when I was walking up the leaning tower of Pisa and the spiral staircase REEKED of it!!!  And I had nowhere to go but up, and into the thick of it. Jesus people!  Do you not smell what we’re smelling?  Was smelling good not a thing that came about and corrected during the Enlightenment?

b) Speaking of heat – do yourself a favor and avoid going to the southern parts of Europe during the summer, and not just cause of the rampant B.O.  Apparently clouds don’t exist in Italy, or wind (unless you’re in a taxi or boat and it’s in motion)  

Also, air conditioning exists, but it’s not like our air conditioning.  Imagine air conditioning, but awful, and that’s what European air conditioning is like

You’d think that the famous museums (spelled ‘mvseums’ other there) would be pumping cool air, but yer gonna be sweating your feeties off in the Uffizi.  Seriously, what do they do with all their entrance fee monies?  Invest in towels for their employees to wipe their dripping heads with?  

Anywho, I drank endless amounts of water (with ‘no gas’, cause there’s nothing less refreshing than water with bubbles in it), and yet I always felt parched and dry.  Also, cold water is not the most common thing sold in grocery and convenient stores.  They do have them for sale, but it’s either a small amount available, or the fridges they are being stored in are barely refrigerated.  Also, cold costs more.  One nice thing is that room temp water bottles cost next to nothing – even cheaper than here (cept maybe Trader Joe’s prices).  Anywho, I tried many kinds of water, and for some reason, I took to the bottle shape and taste of Levissima.  probably cause I’m a sucker for the color green

c) Speaking of liquids – Italians love their lemons, and they make so many great things WITH lemons.  None better than lemon soda.  Two kinds I really took to were Fanta lemon, and Freedea’s lemon (and orange) soda.  SO FCUKING GOOD (and WAYYY better than the San Pellegrino lemon soda we have here)

also, if you see any kinda lemon slushy, you MUST get one. FANTASTICO!!!

also, in need of a zesty alcoholic drink, have yerself a spritz – an Aperol spritz!  

also, if yer in Venice, pay the 21 euros and get a Bellini where it was invented.  It was worth every euro penny!!!

also, it’s amazing that Italy has no Starbucks (until 2018).  they don’t need em.  you don’t need them.  plus, Starbucks sucks.  plus, give me and the mrs due cappuccini every morning and we’re good to go!

d) Sometimes Europe is into things we’ve given up on ages ago.  The one that always boggles my mind is the Hard Rock Cafe.  I know there are still American locations still going, and the casino is a big deal in Vegas, but c’mon people, give up on the Hard Rock Cafe and give into deodorant!!  Or at least open more Chi-Chi’s, which are dead in America, but still alive… in BELGIUM!!!

e) But in terms of non-Americanized food, Italians are really really really good at cooking… Italian food!!!  It’s true!  But do these people really only eat pizza and pasta for every meal?  If so, how are they not 39923924392 lbs, or just not sick of it??  

I mean, I over-indulged in both, but eventually we needed a few culinary side trips.  Yet, it was hard to do so.  They don’t have Mexican food (they probably don’t know where Mexico is).  Their Chinese food is probably more like food from China, then the perfect version we have of it on our shores.  We broke down and did have sushi, and it tasted like sushi, but you wanna know who’s your best American friend is while abroad?  McDonalds

Say what you will about the Golden Starches, but it will always be there for you wherever you go, and it will always taste like McDonalds.  And they put actual ice in their drinks (good luck getting that in other restaurants), and they have wifi, and easy to access bathroom options.  Plus, McD’s was truly the best and most appetizing options we had at the train stations we were at and in a hurry to catch a train from.  And the McAngus was totally not terrible.  I SWEAR!

But under no circumstances should anyone ever eat at a Subway, home OR abroad.  Also, how insulting is it that they sell a ‘Spicy Italian’ sandwich in Italy??

Gelato is good, and I enjoyed it, but rest assure Dairy Queen, I still prefer good ole American soft-serve ice cream

And yes, the pizza of Italy is great, but nothing was mind-blowingly better than any pizza I’ve had in America.  I’ll take Di Fara’s or Lou Malnati’s or Ledo’s or Pizza Express‘ or Mother Bear’s ANY DAY over what I’ve had.  Also, how is pepperoni (aka, THE only pizza topping anyone should ever order) not a thing in Italy, birthplace of pizza?  I didn’t see it on a single menu.  They have salami, which is wonderful, but it is not pepperoni.  C’MON GUYS!!  I didn’t get to try their frozen pizzas, so I don’t know if they do them better than Mama Celeste done does

also, Yelp isn’t as big over there as it is over here, but I still trust it and trusted it more than I do/did TripAdvisor.  TripAdvisor’s ratings rankings never seem right, and their website design remains more painful to look at than a Julia Roberts movie

so what’s the best thing I ate?  tied – the two sandwiches (they call them ‘panini’, and sadly not ‘sanwichiozzies’) I had from All’Antico Vinaio, and Amorini (pictured here)

f) Speaking of stuffing my face… it all ends up in once place, and I will say that the Europeans are pretty smart when it comes to toilets.  They have one flushing button for lighter loads, and another for the heavy DOOTY stuff.  Also, all the flushes were powerful!  Also, they love bidets!  And who doesn’t love a good bidet!  I just have no clue how yer suppose to sit or hover on one

Alas, there seemed to be A SH!T TON of toilets missing their seats.  WHERE DO THE SEATS GO??  WHO IS STEALING THEM?? Maybe this poor guy below had its seat stolen, and then they stole someone else’s to replace theirs???

g) Italy is full of tourists so don’t be afraid or ashamed to do all the touristy stuff.  It’s insane that all this stuff was built a zillion years ago AND is still with us – the Colosseum, Vatican City, the Duomo, the leaning tour of Pisa, the non-leaning towers of San Gimigano, the town center of Siena, Michelangelo’s David, and every inch of Venice  

Venice is literally the most insane place.  How it’s able to still exist is a miracle, and an absolute dream.  I’ve been dreaming of returning there every since I went in 1998, and I don’t think i can wait another 19 years to return again.  It’s that amazing!!  

Another place you have to add to your MUST visit list is the five sea/mountain villages of Cinque Terre.  People make a big thing about hiking between the villages, but I didn’t have the time or energy to do so.  Did plenty of walking every day, plus the trains take you from town to town in minutes, and with the time you save, you can enjoy the views and ‘beaches’ for even longer!!!  

But please note – all those pics you see of Cinque Terre are overly-saturated in photoshop or reved up in instasham (I am guilty of it myself).  Yes, all the buildings are painting all kinds of beautiful colors, but in actuality, the colors are dulled – not vibrant like you see in the pics.  Look, I don’t fault these people (who used to deal with pirates, and now deal with mudslides and endless tourists) for not endlessly repainting them, but still, the colors are not as bright as you want them to be.  If you’re looking for that ultra-bright color amazingness, and if yer in Venice, take a vaporetto to the isle of Burano.  it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen

this is the block I want to retire on!!!

h thru z) the world is your oyster.  don’t waste your life staying at home or vacationing in Ohio.  America is great, but Europe is greater (to visit, but not to live… I mean, I can’t be watching the Nationals in the middle of the night for 162 games).  sure, it costs money to go to these places, but you can find the money later.  get the pasta and old stuff in now while you’re sorta young and can truly enjoy it.  juss don’t forget to pack your deodorant!


Monroe County Thanks

they and we used to say ‘Monroe County Dank‘, but now we say ‘Monroe County Thanks’.  thank you Monroe County, for giving us a place to escape after a wild week of American head-shaking and denial.  if there was ever a weekend to get away and disappear into a fuzz of farts and beer, then this was the one  

Monroe County was one of four blue counties in the entire state of Indiana red

but my blood bleeds blue AND red for the city seat of the county – Bloomington

ahhhhhhhhhhhh Bloomington – the home of my ‘education’ from 1995-1999, and the home of an annual weekend trip where a bunch of dudes I truly love get together and party like it’s (1995-)1999

❤️THESE GUYS!!!!!!

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except our bodies can’t really handle it

but who cares – cause we will ALWAYS give it the old college try!



(and the ones who couldn’t make the trip this time)

Indiana, our Indiana, Indiana we're all for you! I-U! miss you Bloomington. stay ranchy until I return

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and we were there to get our game on

football vs Penn State live, with an outcome leaving us half empty… like the stadium holding the event

Halftime entertainment

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and got to watch the bball Hoosier boys play in Hawaii at our favorite bar

#GoHoosiers #KuckFansas

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beer me


onion rings him


sometimes we juss had to wing it


and sometimes we REALLY needed to wing it (our mothers and wives are so proud)

and coat our stomachs with something that looks like glue, but tastes like heaven

when I dip you dip we dip #RanchFarts2016 #RanchFarts @pizzax

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and occasionally, add a few ‘greens’ into our weekend diet

the only 'vegetables' I will see all weekend #RanchFarts2016 #RanchFarts

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and then eat incredible cheesy and breaded foods from that bear with boobs!

the big dipper #RanchFarts #RanchFarts2016

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and of course – dig in on one of America’s best non-chain hamburgers


on Veteran’s Day no less – and you can’t get more American than this…

and you can’t get more delicious than this – as we tried out a NEW place (a very rare thing to do – try something new)!


and said goodbye to some old places (who have moved to a nearby location, but this building was kinda an institution to us)


and we even branched out on more new stuff… like antiquing!

gone antiquing

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and something I’ve wanted to do since I left…

early for class

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and especially this class – which I always got shut out of when registering for in the 90s – but better late than never…

The Music of Beatles by Glenn Gass!!!!

learning never ends

and sometimes lines never end either…

Saturday night alive #BTown

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shout out to the IU Art Museum and their awesome Vik Muniz exhibit!

#VikMuniz does #GerhardRichter does Betty

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what a lovely fcuking city/town/place Bloomington is


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and even as the world feels like its upside down – the world still turns

as the world turns

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and I’m thankful to be alive, and to have such amazing friendships, that were forged in such an amazing place


life is beautiful

I could go on and on, and spin some more yarns…


but methinks you’d rather wear these NFL tie-dyes than hear more




2015 – Diana, In

2014 – The Union Forever

2013 – Thighwalker Ranch Farts

2012 – Unhidden Valley Ranch Farts

2011 – Ranch DuBois

2011 – #RanchFarts2011

2009 – Herman B. Wells That Ends Well

2008 – Ranch Sauce Farts Part 6 Meets Police Academy Part 6

2008 – Bloomingtales

2007 – Village (Pantry) Idiot

2006 – College of Arts & SciencesCollage of Farts & Appliances


the trip actually began briefly with a night stay over in Chicago!

I can now cross Midway Airport off my bucket list

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where having an Italian beef sammy at 11pm wasn’t nearly enuff to quench my burst

indigestion fest stop #1 with my Chicago culinary tour guide @mgomberg #HotBeefInjection

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also had to have hot dogs covered in fries – to begin the stomach stretching the weekend required!

and on the way down south – stopped off in Gary, Indiana, and paid love and respect to the Jackson family home

and if you aren’t following us on Instagram, you may not have known that the Mrs and I were in Indiana (and Michigan) 10 days earlier!

where we…

paid respect to the Rebel


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said goodbye to a Moose

lights on one last time, before the lights go out at the original Chocolate @moosebtown :(

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and fell for the fall leaves

big time!

btw – an amazing time to be on any college campus is Halloween!!

#College #Halloween Part 1

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although there were not as many slutty cats as you’d think there’d be!

#College #Halloween Part 2

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looks like today’s kids are more into slutty zombies

love you so much B-town

so long IU. see you in 9 days – no joke, but the next time with the #RanchFarts fellas #Bloomington5ever

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and cheers to you MSU campus!

#College #GoSparty #SpartyLikeIts1999

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and even to you Michigan fans!

a proud @uofmichigan mom in enemy territory #AHouseDivided #GoTerps #GoHoosiers

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Big Ten = Big Friends!

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