Wednesday, March 31


at school in the spring
they're doing the usual things
growing tough and strong
as their little clay pots

brought one home today
to show mom and dad
his handmade creation
in the bottom of a bag

he told me how someone
laughed when it shattered
and asked for some superglue
but didn't seem like it mattered

and during errands today
we bought some more clay
and the kids set to it
cause he just couldn't glue it

preoccupied by messes
and being quite the hag
I take no time to notice
the shattered pot in the bag

nor the one on the table
that dries for tomorrow
he's balled it up
his heart full of sorrow

he falls asleep in the bed
and my regret lingers...
now I need help getting
superglue off my fingers

**aka: I suck

color summer

Written's theme this week is Colorful!

Tuesday, March 30

odd balls

I like the odd balls.
The one in the group of black trench coats staring at the clouds.
The window with the beaded curtains.
The pink houses.
The neon tights.

I smile at the portico capped with rusted iron angles.
The bimbo who wipes the gelato from nonno's chin.
Cherry blossoms at the bus stop.
Crazy curly frizzy hair.
Enormous orange hats.

Just when I'm feeling that I am the odd one out,
I look up and notice someone or something distinctly different,
The wonderful quirks that we humans bring to light,
That set things off,
But make it quite right.

Monday, March 29

runners high

Spring, degenerating health, and ants in my pants got me out for not one, but two runs this weekend. Punkette on pink wheels came along to keep me company while M and Punkone set off further afield.

So I lace up my shoes, pull down the bike, and she and I wound our way through the city streets. Down the street, right through the alley, across the park, under the tracks, two more blocks and we find the bike path.

Punkette's chattering dances across the steady beat of my feet on the pavement. Mixing up my usual rhythm. "Why do bees like bright colors?" she asks, reflecting upon their attraction for her fluorescent yellow t-shirt. I make something up about all the bright colors in nature being flowers. That the bees have evolved to recognize bright colors because that was where they always found the pollen they needed. That it was only just recently that people started confusing them with crazy colored t-shirts.

"Let's talk of the things of nature" she says in an awkwardly translated Italian. Its something she's learned in school and I ask her to explain what she means in Italian. That I'm sure I'll understand. She doesn't look convinced, but proceeds.

And we run and bike, side by side and sweating, I quiz her... The game is to say if something is natural or fabricated. We quickly arrive at the crossroads of the wooden post, which is fabricated, but made of wood, which is natural.

She enjoys this and I'm distracted from my tiring muscles. Their outraged cry at the past months of neglect. "What are you doing to us?!?!" is muffled by this curly headed punk on pink wheels.

But I sense a lull in her enthusiasm for the ride so I point out a far off cluster of trees. I tell her that there is a bench near those trees and that it would be a perfect spot for a break. Again she doesn't seem convinced (when did my children begin to doubt me so much!?!).

Then I cut her off at the start of "I can't..." and offer to set her up with the mp3 player. To this she lights up. And we race ahead, my body's cries for mercy drowned out by Punkette's repeated renditions of "Lollipop!"

She does the "sassy" Mika part really well.

Tuesday, March 23


Yesterday I went for a walk down by the river to see what spring was up to...

Basically I walked along this path and kept hanging my camera over the side to see what I could find...

I noticed that the buds became more and more open as I headed up river...

I was surprised to see this little guy out as it wasn't particularly sunny or warm. Guess he was just stretching his legs (the lizard I mean).

Monday, March 22


In sharp contrast to my unintentionally depressing poem (I really need to work on that... there's much more underlying joy to that story than was revealed in so few lines), this video should make you smile:

Also, I am putting together something special for tomorrow's random thoughts.
Little bit of love,

crash and burn

When shooting at the wrong hoop
Standing centered dance floor
And hand made fortune cookies
Send him to the wrong brown hair blue eyes.

I felt like crap but I didn't know
The worst was yet to come
And that the worst is actually the best
That bleeding is vital

I'm a fool, a tool, face down in the pool
Following risk into the dark
Because it's the thing that feels right
And feeling right makes me smile

Too much joy to be had
Love to be lost in
To be worried about the hurt
After joy moves on and love dies.

So leave me standing, the fool
Laugh at my inexperience, the tool
Just choose you're own fate
And leave me to dance with mine

Friday, March 19

grinnin' ear to ear

Just a quick hello to say what an amazing day it is today here in the very far north of northern Italy.

I'm not one to complain too much about winter and cold and gray skies. These things always seem to give me a little buzz of latent childhood excitement. But WOW, this warm fresh air, windows open, short sleeves and skirts kind of weather is AWESOME.

It makes me want to exercise.
It makes me sing to myself as I zip through the streets.
I find myself tossing 2 euro coins in musician's baskets.
Playing hide-and-seek with wild abandon.
And literally hopping out of bed in the morning cause I'm so thrilled to see the bright blue sky.

Tuesday, March 16

twisted youth

Pigtails and backpacks
The rambunctious swarm
Black tights and hairspray
Somehow you're left out today

The velocity of growth
Hasn't yet finished it's work
The stunning looks hit your eyes
But you're still just a child

In your hoodie, your lavender backpack
Trying desperately to twist the joy of youth
Into something you're not sure of... how does this work exactly?
"Please, do you have any change?"

And where is the man that was holding that sign yesterday?
Is there an empty seat in a classroom somewhere today?
What horrors come to coerce you into this post?

If only the change could be
Never holding that foul sign again
Never pausing on corners, but to laugh
Arms slung over the shoulders of friends


Please go look at these pictures that tell a small part of the story of the Roma Gypsies.

Thursday, March 11

found the fun factor

Well, I'm always having fun, right!?!

But we went to Milan yesterday. The weather was beautifully crappy... snowy, wet, but not too cold. We were going there to get a new passport for Punkette. I tried to add as much excitement as possible to the adventure by filling out the application in the car on the way there, realizing that I didn't have her social security number nor did I remember the address of her emergency contact. Weee!!!

And getting into the embassy was SO MUCH FUN!!! You can't bring ANYTHING in with you. Seriously, we had to go find a Mailboxes Etc. to lock up my purse for an hour. Punkone had to put his chapstick in a little locker. Ok, they did let us keep our clothes on and enter with only the (incomplete) application and our passports. It was a riot.

The guys on the inside were soft (wiggle, jiggle) as jello though. I was really expecting much more of the third degree, but they were all super nice and let us get away with all kinds of silliness. I think they've got the guards fooled as to what really goes on in there.

And I made this goofy video. No, nothing remotely related to the embassy... I really wasn't interested in finding out what might happen if I attempted something like that. No way. It's just some fun randomness and discovery. Hope you like it.

Tuesday, March 9


I've been just taking in the sights and sounds lately. These photos are of nothing in particular, just a few random squares... but I find them striking nonetheless:

This one is in Venice. I don't live here, but I love the way squares fill up like this in Italy. I also liked the matching hat/pants combo on the person in the foreground.

This is a square close to my house on Sunday.

Can you see the silence?
It's nice to get out just to do nothing.

Monday, March 8

mimosa me

Smiling blue eyes was still there today. Even gave me a "Buona Festa" today. What a sugar.

Punkone had a rough day which did not seem to get better with the standard good listening and nodding. I had to pull out all the stops and apply hugging and kissing his neck until he giggled.

Punkette is a ball of energy, positive and directed today despite the insanely crappy state of her shoes. Or maybe because of this. Who knows what floats this girls boat. I'm just happy when she's happy.

I added to the flatness of my ass catching up with Bluebird's Mixed Tapes. I'm justifying this by swearing on the Festa della Donna that I'll put it to good use on my mp3 player and go for a long hike/run tomorrow.

Buone Feste!

Friday, March 5

my street

When I step out from the cavernous darkness of our building, I often feel surprised at how bright and sunny it is. The air sings with the sounds of the city echoing off the stone buildings and sidewalks. Cars give off a knitted rumble as they drive past on the cobblestone street. And there is almost always an accordion playing somewhere, to the left or just half a block to the right.

Today it's the old man with the smiling blue eyes. He sits on his low stool and rocks and nods as the song unfurls it's way into my ears. This alone is Italy for me. This makes everything... Having my life set to sound brings a cinematic quality to it. Intensifies and brings weight to passing moments, gone more swiftly than the notes clinging to the air.

A coin toss a day that goes with a wish. That you'll be here again tomorrow.

Thursday, March 4

hello sunshine

and hello dear bloggers. I've finally pulled myself out of the sugar induced coma. Don't worry, I didn't eat all the cookies myself. Most of the double batch (well, half) was packed up and sent with Punkone to school for his birthday treat. IMAGINE!!! Being able to send homemade chocolate chip cookies to your punk's class for birthday treats. Italy is so cool. In fact, most parents don't do this, but send a sack of hard candy instead. I figure, if hard candy is okay, chocolate chip cookies are going to fly quite well.

And they did. The Italians loved Grandma Nestle's chocolate chip cookies. Bambini and Mamme were hitting me up for the recipe after school. I was all the rage. Of course such a long standing family tradition cannot be divulged lightly. Next thing you know, you'll find it posted on the internet, or worse, printed right on the packages of chocolate chips! (Don't look now, but there is an empty package of chocolate chips tucked away in my recipe book just for this reason.)

Take that Italy! You may kick ass in pasta and saltimboca (prociutto and sage wrapped veal bites that "jump (salt) in (im) your mouth (boca)" ), but US Americans take the cookie!!!

Okay, enough ra ra. I don't even like Nestle'. Boo Nestle. Go steal their recipie but get your chocolate from somewhere else.

The party was a hit. The comment from one of the kids upon spying the tray of "ants on a log" was (translated) "I don't know what that is, but the prociutto sandwiches are good." As a result, we had ants on a log for dinner and have enough left over for snack today.

My only issues were getting some of the kids to keep their shirts on easily solved by innocently proposing that I call up their Mamma and ask if it's okay and breaking up kissing sessions. Yea, apparently a couple of these punks are "dating" and entertain their peers with extended kissing. They reportedly only got to 3 seconds yesterday. Seeing as they've gotten to 20 seconds on the school playground, I feel like I've adequately performed my duties as the parent in charge.

Ahh, the joys of 3rd grade.

Tuesday, March 2


My body has developed a delightful way to let me know I haven't had enough sleep. It bashes me over the head with a migraine. I'm sure that's what it is. The black spots in my vision tipped me off.

Thank you body. It was not enough that I was up all night with a vomiting child. The migraine is really the puke pink frosting on the cake.

Speaking of cake, said puky punk has a birthday party tomorrow. So, not only is he home today being a pain in the ass getting better and keeping me from taking a much needed nap, I also have to manage to prepare a long list of snacks and party favors. I'm thinking turkey sandwiches and stickers. Not to mention his birthday gift.

I'm praying that I fall unconscious get a good nights sleep tonight so that I don't kill can properly entertain the punks tomorrow afternoon.

This morning he walked halfway to the bathroom and... well it was too gross to say. I can usually handle gross, but apparently migraines and grossness don't mix well. Or punkone has taken grossness to a whole new level. Today I'm doing this mothering gig simply because I have to. There is no joy in it for me. Something is stirring up from inside of me, but it's not joy.

Yes, Mom, I do remember a certain girl scout trip when I was similarly afflicted and the only bathroom facilities were an outhouse. (Seriously, an outhouse? There's no charm in using an outhouse) I guess all I can say is, thanks. I hope you didn't have a migraine.

The only thing to do now is clean up and move on. Repeat. Joy will come another day.