And, yes, we made it back to Michigan safely last night, after two busses, a train, two flights and a couple of car rides.

    I am sick now though. I have a cold. The cold I have been evading for the past week has finally caught up to me in a big way. I took today off from work. When I first got up this morning, my nose started dripping faster than a Mr Coffee. There was no way that I could have worked and sopped up all the snot.

    As I was home, I invented a little contraption that has helped quite a bit though. Unfortunately, I don’t think it would go over too well at the office… Have you seen a George Forman “Knock Out the Fat” Grill? Do you know the little plastic tray that sits at the edge of the incline, catching all of the burger drippings and meat puss? Well. I’ve got that little tray under my nose. I’ve drilled two small holes in it and I’ve run a string around the back of my head. Now I can type for up to ten minutes without having to dump the container. It just sits there, quietly filling up and I go about my business. I just need to be careful not to tilt my head, which is difficult when I cough. So, once again, necessity was the mother of invention.

    Can I tell you tomorrow about my trip to the grocery store today in search of bargain fake meat, and the woman I met there? I’ve already written it once for you today, but it was lost in one of the Fucking Blogger Incidents (FBIs).

    Goodnight, I’m going to go up and cough pounds of phlegm into my pillow as I try to sleep now.

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    Blogger is all fucked up! I can’t take it. I just wrote another great post and it was lost, and I am confident that it is not my fault. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Double Fuck with sprinkles on top.

    Why won’t the lord just take me now?

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      I’ve written three posts in the past week that have been lost for one reason or another. They were all stunningly brilliant. I will never, as long as I live, write anything nearly as engaging or clever. They were my masterpieces.

      It’s like if JD Salinger tripped and dropped the manuscript for “Catcher in the Rye” into the furnace.

      This has been a sad week for the world. I’m just happy that none of you know what you missed. If you knew, you would throw yourself out your windows.

      -Mark

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      hi itislinette now. in siena we have taken it easy, paying no museum admissions, spending time eating elato on Il Campo, the town center, sitting in bars with coffees in the sun and waking up embarassingly late. Today I tried to go to Saint Catherine’s sanctuary, a 13th century girl who traveled to Paris to convince the Pop to comeback to Rome. She grew up in Siena, and her parents were wool-dyers. Her house has been a site for pilgrimages since the 1400s. The have, according to guidebooks, a finger bone and her head as a relic there. yes,her head! Now that we have been here for almost 2 weeks, I have seen many a Saint’s arm bone and several fingers encased in churches, but never a head.I have to admit that my desire to visit the sanctuary was not of the purest intent. It was free as well as incredibly interesting and strange.A head? It made me think about my friend Monica’s father’s shrunken head from his days as a Colombian salesman in the Amazon. (Not her father’s head, but the shrunken head thta was kept in her family kitchen cabinet in a teacup). Anyway, we went to the sanctuary where I immediately felt horrible when we were greeted by a nun and the place was so fullof pious worship that I immediately knew that I would not be asking the nun where the head was. Mark said that I was a horrible person and that he could tell I was just scoping the place out for the head and I felt genuinely bad about it.I am still full of questions.what was the Pope doing in Paris anyway, that he needed convincing to come back? When did they get the head? Does that mean that someone cut the head of a saint off or was she a sketeton already by the 1400s? Mark and I are going to dinner now in the restaurant below the room we are renting. bye bye, Linette

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      Hey, it’s Mark. I’m still in Siena. We leave tomorrow morning for Rome, the last leg of this two-week Italian odesy. While I’m sure I will hate being back in Michigan, I’m kind of getting tired of being on vacation. I won’t admit that to Linette, but it’s the truth. I’m getting worn out. It’s tiring to be on a vacation like this. How many great works of art can a person see in a day? How many times can one man be expected to eat gelatti (Italian ice cream) and drink great wine. It’snot restfull… No, I don’t expect for you to feel sorry for me. I know that I’m very fortunate to have been given this opportunity to travel back to Europe. I just wanted to say that I’m tired of living this very, very nice life of leisure. Maybe it’s my protestant work ethic, but I want to get back to the office, where I can sit and complain about work all day. Love you. -Mark

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