Saturday, March 22, 2008


Like I said yesterday, I've started to go mad for March Madness, and today was no different. And what a day it was--all sorts of upsets, and my bracket is starting to look like a mess! Two games were particularly exciting to watch: Western Kentucky's upset of fifth seeded Drake, and then a similar overtime game with San Diego upsetting UConn, of all teams! Last minute shot games are the ones that always have you riveted, but I was equally pleased to see Butler knock off South Alabama. Right now I'm in the middle of watching the Hoosiers play Arkansas--go Hoosiers! (I know, I contradict myself by cheering for both IU and Purdue, but I'm just like that.)

I really have more to write about, as today was Good Friday and my father and I attended the evening Way of the Cross service at my church, but I will save that for tomorrow. AND, tomorrow will also be my last six-days-a-week blogging day! Hurrah--I did it!

more tomorrow...have a great, basketball-filled evening. There are loads of games on, what are you doing reading this?

- Jackie

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bring on the Brackets!

It's official. With the first games of the NCAA Men's tournament starting today, March Madness has finally arrived. This morning, I filled out my bracket, and this afternoon we are set to watch some of our favorite match-ups, especially Purdue University vs. Baylor--and of course we are cheering for Purdue! Don't feel like you're in the spirit yet? Feel like maybe you don't know enough about the match-ups? Well, get ready for a serious overdose on college hoops by reading about the best-worst scenarios for the 64 teams competing here , and if you'd rather just skip that (I think everyone has already predicted the Mt. Saint Mary's loss against UNC, thank you very much), take a short cut and simply read down this list of "64 things to mull over before Thursday." But don't mull too long--as you can see, Thursday has arrived.

So, let the madness begin! Oh, and who have I got in the final four?

UNC, Kansas, Stanford and, well...Purdue. Hey, a girl can dream.

- Jackie

Oh, check out Barack Obama apparently taking a break from his bracket to chat with Anderson Cooper. Anyone see what he wrote as his final four picks? :)

Wild Goose Chase

Another rainy day--no signs of stopping--but also a day spent seeing friends, so things were relatively bright in that sense. At lunch, I met up with three friends--Cassie, Corrie, and Eric--to spend the rainy lunch hour at a window seat, chatting and eating and enjoying being inside and able to watch the weather from a distance. Some of the highlights of the rest of the day were:

- freshly made strawberry-raspberry-lemonade at the City Cafe, where we ate lunch.

- accompanying Corrie to her job at Goose: The Market, and tasting their popular ice cream flavors (good stuff!). I had Plum Ginger sorbet!

- Exploring Goose's extensive wine, cheese, and salami products, as well as trying a sliver of Capriole Farms goat cheese! It was tasty! (and would actually make a good cheese of the week!)

- Taking a sort of 'wild goose chase' around the market, looking for a hidden golden egg that would have meant 50 dollars in Goose gift certificates--we searched through various carts, coolers, and jars without any luck...who knows where the magic egg could be?

- Shopping at the outlet malls, running from store to store in the rain, and settling on a colorful skirt that offered cheerful contrast to the dreary weather.

- And finally, just spending time with friends, catching up on stories and laughter and everything else, and being there for each other. It's always nice to come home to find my friends ready to welcome me. I hope that they come to visit soon in Italy as well!

- Jackie

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Good Day Sunshine

The weather during these last few days here in Indianapolis has been less than springlike--it has been cloudy and rainy and cold, more often than not. Today was no exception--we almost skipped the morning run due to what looked like an entire day of rain, but it turned out that the rain was mostly in the afternoon, and it was merely damp and dreary out all morning with no actual rainfall. However, sunshine came in the way of my favorite Mexican restaurant in Indianapolis's grand reopening: El Sol de Tala.

I've talked about El Sol's closing in the past--it closed about a year ago and left it uncertain as to whether or not it would reopen. In October of 2007, signs went up on the old building announcing a reopening soon, and we waited and waited. Finally it re-opened for dinner last night and for lunch today. It was perfect timing on my part to be home for its reopening (and it was completely accidental!), and I was happy to find a ray of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy day.

The food was good, although it was clear that El Sol was going for a fancier layout, with classier food preparation and some items missing from the menu. Overall, though, the food was like I had remembered, and we ate delicious chile con queso and enchiladas. It was neat to see the restaurant thriving on a rainy Tuesday, and to find the excitement and energy of a newly opened restaurant inside these very familiar El Sol walls. I'm thrilled that my favorite little restaurant in Indy has found its heart once again in the city.

Sooner or later we will be back again, whether its this trip or the next. I'm a regular again. Plus, I have to return--I didnt sample the guacamole at the newly established little corner of the restaurant titled "Guacamole Ville." (cheesy, huh?)


Monday, March 17, 2008

Gli Sposini

Bowden and Corrie, gli sposini

It's Monday of the last week of lent, meaning that my lenten promise to blog six days a week will soon be fulfilled, even if my blog posts have been rather boring! I apologize for that--as you know, I have been very busy, but I still am trying to make the most of the time I have, and hopefully this week's blog posts will be top notch! Or at least a few notches up from normal :). I'll do my best.

Today it isn't hard to post, because the weekend was so memorable: my blogging buddy Corrie got married to her love, Bowden! She celebrated the big event on Saturday, and the wedding was lovely. I got the opportunity to see and spend time with very close friends and people who I don't get to see often enough. As the ceremony ended, Cassie, Erin, and I--all three of us old roommates from studying in Italy together years ago--piled into Cass's new car and drove off to the reception, laughing and catching up on old times, with that feeling like, after all, nothing had really changed.

The reception was held in the barn of a Creamery near Indianapolis, and, while it was weird to see piles of hay stacked beside fancy tables and place settings, the dim lighting and rustic feel was really romantic: it was actually perfect for Corrie's wedding. We spent the evening dining on excellent cuisine (as you know Corrie and Bowden really love food), telling old stories and seeing more friends, and finally finishing off the meal with some delicious desserts--including the best ice cream I've had outside of Italy (cinnamon-coffee flavoured!).

As the last of our plates were licked clean, we watched Corrie and her friends take to the dance floor, dancing the night away to little ditties played by the band of musicians they had hired. It was sweet, and people in the crowds got up to join them, or just to watch. Cassie and Erin and I stayed at our seats, however, and we chatted with our friend Eric who lives in Indianapolis and shares our mad love for Italy and all things Italian, and just talked and reminisced.

Finally, it was late enough that we knew we had to go. As Cass and Erin and I grabbed our coats and began to leave, we went over to the bride and groom to congratulate them and to say goodbye. They were just done with their dancing, and it was easy to see just how thrilled and in love and happy they were. It reminded me of Antonello and my weddings--all three of them really, but especially the first one and how much it meant to truly be married to someone, and for it to be THE someone--the person who is right for you, the person you want to be with for the rest of your life. It's the kind of feeling that makes the toasts, the cake-cutting, even the cinnamon-coffee ice cream take on little importance. It's your day, Corrie and Bowden, so congrats.