Friday, October 30, 2009

Hip of Glass

Many of you may be wondering, "Hmmm...why did Karen and Erik go see Joan Collins sing....on Mars?" But no. Karen and Erik recently became members of the Brooklyn Museum. Thursday night, they attended the member preview of "Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present." The night included a performance by Blondie. Debbie Harry was not blonde but she still sounded good.
In related news, Karen and Erik felt very young.

Monday, October 19, 2009

No Flash!

If Karen was independently wealthy, she'd get a job working at an art museum. Her entire job would consist of yelling at people for taking flash photographs and touching the artwork.

Erik used to think she was a little crazy, but about halfway through the Vatican Museum he found himself saying "Scusi! No flash!" and wagging his finger at a scared tourist. I'm not kidding, he seriously wagged his finger.

Karen was never more proud to be his wife.

Gatti + Graves = Cimitero Acattolico

This is the Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome (also known as the Protestant Cemetery). It's also a cat sanctuary with roughly 3 thousand cats running around at all times. It's kind of nice. It gives the place a Pet Cemetery vibe that one rarely finds outside of haunted houses and nightmares.

Honestly, it's a beautiful place that too many people miss on their trips to Rome. But the cats jumping out from behind headstones and bushes was a bit unsettling.

Caught the tram to Giza. . .

Just kidding . . . . but there is a pyramid in Rome near the cemetery containing the Earthly remains of John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Gregory Corso among others.
Cats prowl the cemetery letting visitors know they are unwelcome. Lots of cats. (See next photo).

Very Funny . . .

Picture yourself as an Italian living in Rome. You go to the grocery in search of a frozen pizza (apparently this happens?). You find one: "BIG AMERICANS: PIZZA AMERICAN STYLE." What do you do?
You laugh, suppress that gag reflex, and buy something...oh god, anything...else.

I think Erik's being watched . . .

As Karen and Erik were walking down an alley in Rome, they saw this on a wall.
Devotees will remember that Jack Torrance was in Red Hook as well.

Memories of Mesa

A long time ago, Erik and I used to sit out on his balcony in Mesa, AZ and watch the scenic view from his apartment. It usually involved someone getting arrested or the soft glow of a searchlight and the delicate hum of a police helicopter as it searched for a fugitive on the run.

While taking a long walk one day, we stopped and looked over the wall down into the Piazza del Popolo. For a minute, as a siren blared in the distance we were reminded of those fond times in Mesa, only for a minute.

Where's Karen? Italian Edition: CANCELLED

We had this great idea to take a shot of Karen on the wooden stage of the Coliseum. Unfortunately, Rome had other plans. Like 30% of the Coliseum was closed and foiled our well laid plans.  (Same story at the Vatican, don't ask about it unless you want a 30 minute rant from Mrs. Burg.)

The Demon God of Pasta: Arrabbiatamos

While we are quite familiar with his brother, Gary, the Demon God of Pizza, (We were big fans of his work while in Los Angeles) this statue was new to us.

Granted, the guy in the lower right corner is scary in his own right.

Where in the world are the Burgs?

Downtown Scottsdale perhaps?

Unfortunately, this was taken in Rome. There's a contemporary sculpture exhibit all over the Roman Forum and Colosseum and it's totally killing the view.

To add insult to injury, this thing is titled Canto a la Vida. Yeah, that's not helping one bit.

(For the record, I would be 100% fine with these sculptures in a more appropriate setting. Erik would not.)

Free Mineral Water!

All over Rome are spouts to fill up your empty bottles with clean, delicious water. These aquifers have been in place since 312 B.C.
In Santa Monica, if you filled up a glass from your tap it looked like a snowglobe.*  This seems like a problem.

* We used a Brita filter pitcher.

I Gaudius

It's hard to see from this shot of the Roman Forum, but behind it sits one of the gaudiest and most obnoxious buildings in Italy. Sadly for you, we chose not to post a front shot of a statue that has a 5 foot mustache, no joke.

(It's not just us, it's a pretty unpopular sight to Romans.)

Feelings of inadequacy

Kiddie Pool?

Why is no one in the pool? Well, it's actually the Trevi Fountain. Erik would've gotten a shot of the actual fountain, but there were roughly 10,000 idiots in the way and they all refused to move when asked. Tourists can be real jerks.

2 for 1!

A bar called Mister Boom with a hand grenade in one of the o's seemed pretty sweet in and of itself. But on further inspection, you may notice another treat to the left of the door.

That's right, all over the city someone wrote "Burgi" on the walls. We decided to consider it an affectionate greeting just for us.

Circus - Clowns = Happy Karen

Ok, technically this isn't a real "circus". But it is the remains of Circus Maximus. Initially, Karen was a bit nervous, but Erik assured her there were no clowns.

For once, he wasn't lying.

Turns out, we walk fast . . .


Quite possibly the cutest dog ever created. I don't usually go for small dogs, but this one had the face of a Schnauzer and the body of a Dachshund. Erik's pretty sure he's called a Schneizer. Nonetheless, I want one.

Friends of G.O.B.

Apparently they're from the future, brought back to fight gladiators in Ancient Rome.

(Arrested Development fans will get this one . . .)

Karen's Birthday Present

Yes, that's right folks. For the first time in 6 years of friendship and 4 years of marriage, Erik D. Burg allowed someone else to touch one of our cameras* to take this picture.

It was my birthday present, and worth every minute of begging. Thanks again Erik!

*Note: it was my camera, but it's still a step in the right direction.

And Again. . .

Again sometimes it's just a pretty picture we want to share with not much to say.

Dangerous Territory

A window full of plaster baby Jesuses (Jesi?) for sale in a shop window can flood ones mind with inappropriate and potentially sacrilegious jokes. Then you remember that you're pretty much standing at the Pope's back door and the fear of a lighting bolt straightens you right out.

Holy Soles

These are the actual shoes Karen wore to visit the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Basilica. She walked amongst some of the most holy of religious artifacts known to Christians worldwide.

We're pretty sure these shoes can kill Vampires now . . .

Again. . .

Yes. Again, we don't really have anything witty to say about this picture. But, look at that sky! After the first day of slight rain, it was beautiful all week in Rome and gave our pictures a ridiculous sun-dappled feel.

An aside: On Sunday, Karen and Erik, on their return from Rome, stood on line for a taxi in 50 degrees and drizzle.

Live From St. Peter's!

It's Sabbath night live!
It's the Pope's jumbotron . . . less popular acts use it when they're in town.
Bon Jovi. This means you.

At least we got some background in this one . . . right?

Sadly, Karen had to pose Erik's hand and then run back to take this photo. There were roughly ten police officers within picture taking distance from us, but apparently they looked "shifty".

In Erik's defense, they all have guns. So if they did want to steal our camera, we'd kind of be screwed.

Someone forgot their hardhat.

Don't worry, Karen was able to find one with a picture of the Pope on it from a vendor down the street. They also had one with a close-up shot of David's, ahem, well, you can figure it out.

We've got nothing . . .

What can we say? We were in Rome for a week and took a combined 361 photos. Some of these photos were just really, really pretty and we wanted to share them with you. This is one of them.

Sometimes guidebooks lie.

It's not that this was a "bad" restaurant, because frankly even frozen pizzas made in Italy taste pretty good (Karen knows, don't ask.) It's just not good enough to talk about. And not 1, but 2 guidebooks mentioned this as a place to eat near the Vatican.

View? Awesome.
Atmosphere? Pretty fabulous.
Food? Meh.

Karen is taking this as further evidence for a need for her to start a travel magazine/book series/blog. You'd read that, right?

Spot the Italian

Hmmm, orange haired old lady? No . . . Pink Hoodie? No, look at those jeans! Shutterbug? He's a little too svelte to be a local. The smart money is on the guy with the leather bag and well-cut suit, I'm just sayin'.

Lunch Break

The gladiators outside the Colosseum (they take pictures with tourists in exchange for anywhere from 5 to 100 euros depending on the stupidity level of said tourist) occasionally need to take a break now and then. You know, to smoke a cigarette, have a sandwich,  or maybe to change  socks. Yes, apparently gladiators wore socks. . . well, these "gladiators" did.

Out of Office Autoreply: The Burgs are in Rome

We will not have access to voicemail, email or the internet from October 12 until October 18th in honor of Karen's 29th birthday and our 4th Anniversary.

I bet you're a little jealous. Don't worry, we have many photos to share.

Monday, October 5, 2009

King Rut

Steve Martin will be playing Carnegie Hall this week. He is touring for his recently released album of banjo music.
This is great news. Erik is for anything that keeps Mr. Martin from being in front of cameras as he now only appears in horrendous remakes (and sequels to said remakes) and makes smug cameos in TV shows. Erik wouldn't care but he remembers when the man was actually funny....his stand-up, "The Jerk," "The Man with Two Brains," "The Lonely Guy," "King Tut." Hilarious.
Fifteen years and untold spins in the grave by Peter Sellers later, he's making "The Pink Panther 2." So keep up the music career and...wait, nevermind...a quick check of the IMDB reveals that a remake of "Topper" will be slated for 2010. Mr. Martin will be playing the Cary Grant role. Well played, Mr. Martin. Well played.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


This sign was posted at a park near us once the weather started changing.
I picture the rats looking for their new digs carrying their hobo bundles tied to sticks slung over their shoulders. Maybe that's just me. I blame this on too much "Tom & Jerry" as a child.