Friday, January 29


I'll let myself be taken in
swept up
mashed up
The explosive juicy fruit center

I'll shake it up
Build it up
Chew it from the inside out
Gobbling up more
Light and color

I'm not anything like how I look
Not at all who I see in the glass
Inside I'm dancing
Violet and blue
Dipped in red

Do you taste that?

Thursday, January 28

teenage dreams

I'm one of those people who was quite thrilled to be done with her teenage years. Never looked back. Never longed for those days since.

Until now.

"Forget all your ambitions and relax for awhile"

said my fortune cookie.

First thought... OK
Second thought... what the heck kinda fortune is this?!? What is the fortune cookie trying to tell me? "Might as well just give up your dreams and sloth on the sofa for awhile"?!?!?
Third thought... this actually makes total sense. I'm temporarily living in Italy and not working full-time ... a sweet situation that has a definite end. An approaching end.
Smart cooke.

Wednesday, January 27

things found inside Punkette's nightstand:

sheriff badge
water gun
lip gloss
gel pen
champagne cork
fake 50 euro bill
christmas tree garland and
26 empty toilet paper rolls

What could this kid be up to?

Tuesday, January 26

RTT: sweet dreams are made of this

Ready for carnivale?

Punkette woke up this morning. Got out of bed. Got completely dressed BY HERSELF, ate breakfast, put on her shoes, and walked to school. She didn't scream even once. NOT ONCE!!!

We Pilgrams have been daydreaming about settling down. I'm thinking of a forty acre piece of land in the San Lorenzo Valley just between the bay area and Santa Cruz in California. Would you buy a piece of undeveloped land called "Cougar Point"?

Forty acres makes me dream of this (Punkone just might have enough legos):

While Punkone thinks of this:

And no matter how innovative the design, a rolling fireplace just doesn't seem like a good idea.

I guess that last one is more of a nightmare. Imagine your toddler rolling the fireplace around the living room.


Monday, January 25


Ever feel like "bouncing back" feels more like being dragged behind a car on a gravel road? Sometimes we soar out of those pits and other times we dig our nails in and claw our way out. Fight tooth and nail. Smile first thing in the morning. Hug and kiss your kids. Check your posture in the shop windows. Smile at yourself. Sparkle and shine from within. Burst with joy, even if you don't know what for.

And why? Because it feels good to feel good.

So what kind of day are you having?

Friday, January 22

be a lover, not a hater

Not something I usually think about but two events have recently got me thinking more about haters.

First was on Facebook. Generally a wonderful thing for me. I can post photos of the punks and all my relatives can see them. Little benign updates. But sometimes more comes through these updates. Things that I don't bother myself about and my relatives and I get along fabulously when we get together. Happy happy joy joy. I don't hear that they support Sarah Palin (this seriously sent me into shock... I couldn't imagine someone supporting her, much less a relative) and also their belief that if you don't speak English you shouldn't be allowed into the US. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. Makes me want to start an anti-English speaking campaign. Everyone (near my cousin) has to speak another language for a day. Or we pick her up and plop her in some other country for a month. Any other ideas? I decided to just block her from my news feed.

Second is funny and a bit of a punch to the gut at the same time. A funny punch to the gut. Haha... aren't those the best?!?!

When we got out of the house to head to school yesterday, I see this:

My immediate translation was "No paper on the street!" I think I've already bitched about the fact that shops and bars just throw fliers all over the street as a method of advertising. But I thought that it seems like a strange thing to graffiti about... so I consulted with M.

Apparently it slang for "NO FOREIGNERS, GET OUT!"

So this is funny, no? Obviously not the smartest haters (is there such a thing?)... writing your message in slang so that all us foreigners just think there are a band of anti-litter radicals roaming about.

Ok... small beans I suppose. I didn't get my house burnt down or something really horrible. Just little scratches on my serenity. Nothing a smile can't mend. A smile and some shopping. I found some great buys (for myself, not the kids!) at 50% off at Petit Bateau... also across the street. I guess that evens it out ;)

Tuesday, January 19

RTT: euro trash

How long have I lived here now? Almost 3 years. And it's taken less than that amount of time to break my 1-2 showers a day habit. I'm on a weekly rotation now. And I don't even smell. Well, at least I don't notice any smell. Is it true that people can't smell their own stench? Gee, maybe it's not language barriers that are keeping people away...

Random Amalfi photo...

My Punkette has ISSUES. Good god. Underwear issues. Pants issues. Sock issues. Shoe issues. Food issues. Now hair issues. To top it off she doesn't have a dog. And she has to go to school. And her mom makes her take the stairs. Doesn't your heart just break for her?

Punkone is disgusted with whoever invented English. What were they thinking? Take the words bare and bear. The meanings are in complete contrast with each other (a bare chest as opposed to a bear chest). He wants to know exactly who to blame for this absurdity.

M is on a doctor prescribed diet to reign in his triglyceride levels. I think at last check they were over 8000 something or others. That's not even too much of an exaggeration. He said the woman reading the test results turned white and asked him if he had children. RE the diet... We're actually all loving it. Well, except for M. We have these fiber toast things in the morning with jam. Punkette could eat this for every meal of the day. It's yummy. And filling. When he first started the diet, he felt so full he was worried that he would end up gaining weight, but after a week, he lost a little. Hopefully it will work and we'll get to keep him for a bit longer.

In other efforts to get us all healthier, we all learned how to cross country ski last weekend. Beautiful snow covered landscape and so much fun. We all enjoyed it immensely and are planning to go again this weekend.

Seriously the best picture I was able to take of my nephew. The kid moves.

Now I'm really rambling and I've got to go do my Italian homework. Happy Tuesday!

Friday, January 15

oh yea... TV

I've been living without TV for nearly 3 years now. We watch DVDs but TV programming has been absent from our house. I like it this way, but in one of my efforts to improve my Italian, I started wondering if a little TV might do me some good.

That said, I thought I'd share the prime source of Italian TV programming on the web. Click on and you have immediate access to dozens of channels. They even have a cute little remote that pops up on the screen so you can flip through the channels.

Warning: The vast majority of Italian TV is crap. Talk shows, talk shows, more talk shows. The format is basically a circle of people all talking/screaming at each other at the same time with the random scantily clad woman in the background.

But I do like the RAI scuola channel. They have a series for foreigners in Italy to help them (us) both learn the language and a little bit about different regions and programs in Italy. Cool beans.

Tuesday, January 12

catching up on other cultures

Edoardo Bennato... where have you been all my life? When you stormed Italy with your mad tunes back in the 80s, where was I? Painfully unawares in far off America. Listening to crap like Wham! and Huey Lewis.

Ahh... yet another discovered classic by this nube. I did notice the recurring buzzing theme. Maybe a surpressed affection for the kazoo?

Any great classics I should know about from where you're from?

Monday, January 11

brought to you by illy

I like to dwell at the cafe'
To sit down and sip, listen, read, think
Maybe chat a bit with M
And I have a bookstore cafe'
The perfect place for this

In this cafe, this morning, in the piles of pamphlets on a side table
I found a stack of journals
Heavy stock, the kind that give a paper cut to the bone
But nice to feel and read through
Issue 27 of Illywords
The Culture of Listening
Full of beautiful graphics
In Italian and English
For free... so I took one

And found the following quote
of Yoko Ono:

"Especially after
You spent a lot of years with it
Because then
Life becomes like a lover
You have been
Close to
You know him so well
And yet every day
He gives you
A surprise"

Interesting. A lover you have been close to, you know him so well, yet, every day, he gives you a surprise... Really? Can we know someone (or life) so well, and still be surprised everyday? Could someone be so wondrous?

I think there is truth to this. I think my doubt might arise from my own perception of this someone (or life), a perception defined by some preconceived criteria, fulfilled, and now, limited. But if I let these ideas go, and listen, and see things again... I can imagine that I might discover something new. And be surprised.

Can you?

Thursday, January 7

... the tip of your nose is always the same

A string of lights snakes its way along the highway. There's something grounding for me about driving through the night. Traveling the land through light speckled blackness. The passenger train makes it's way through the mountains beside us. And I feel exactly the same here as I have on so many other night drives. Different car, different country... even different company... but my core settles into that same comfortable place. It softens and forgets where it is for a while.

Maybe that's why I find myself staring too closely at the most common things. The world at the tip of your nose is always the same. At least that's how it strikes me. Like I'm staring at elements. Same carbon, same hydrogen. The way water droplets form on spiderwebs. Grains in the stone and plaster. Leaves. Empty bag of chips.

And city lights in the night. The blackness of night hides the landscape, so shockingly different. Or shockingly the same. Night is night is night. And lit windows from a passenger train.