Tuesday, September 19, 2006

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways....

My husband asked me to cut his toenails last night. We were lying in bed chatting winding down from our day when he popped the question. I'm not kidding. He said "Could you cut my toenails for me?"
I was aghast and just stared at him mouth agape and eyes blinking. I was at a loss for words as my mind was churning trying to figure out why he would ask me that. Was he just too tired? Was he feeling ill? I mean if he was bed-ridden with the flu or in the hospital or something then, yeah, ok. I would probably do it if it would make him feel better. If for some reason he couldn't reach his feet...maybe his back went out...then perhaps I would. But he's perfectlly able and healthy and he just asked out of the blue.
As much as I love him, it's just gross.
Turns out he was joking (I should have known) but stretched it out as long as he could to see what my reaction would be. And you know what I said? "well, you know I really love you and I would do anything for you but, um, well, I'd have to wash my hands afterwards." Not exactly a smooth excuse but better than "no f***ing way!". I finally got the joke after he burst out laughing.
ha ha. very funny. Oh how I love thee...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ann Richards

I just found out Ann Richards died last night. She was the governer of Texas during my University days who unfortunately only served one term and was defeated by George Bush jr in 1994.

"Former Gov. Ann Richards, who opened the doors of state government to women and minorities and won national celebrity with her lively humor and Texas twang, died Wednesday night at her home. She was 73." -DallasNews.com

She was very outspoken and very liberal in a male dominated Texas government. In fact, she inspired several of my college classmates to enter politics because she was the first woman in a long time (ever?) to enter the political arena in a very Republican, white male patriarchal system and she really shook things up. Well, at least she paved the way for other women and people of minority descent to enter this realm of politics. As much as I miss my home, really, Texas can be very conservative and provincial.
She was one cool chick and I will remember her fondly.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

High School Reunion

Today when I came home from work and opened my mailbox there was an envelope waiting for me. A big red envelope. Immediatley I knew it was for me and from the U.S. I instantly recognized the handwriting and was somewhat suprised until I saw "15 year reunion" on the return address. My stomach dropped and I thought "but how did they find me?"
It's my 15 year high school reunion. I feel so old. I never went to my 10 year reunion and due to long distances and a short cash flow I won't be attending my 15 year reunion either.

But I want to know how they found me.

I have changed so many addresses in the last 5 years let alone a whole new continent and time zone. How do they know? I'm not in contact with anyone from my high school days. Not that I didn't meet some really fun friends but we all kinda went our separate ways. And to be quite honest, I don't have many fond memories of high school. That's when my dad died and my mom went kinda nuts for a year (I love her to death anyways. Can't even immagine losing my husband. It was hard enough losing my father). That's the first time I ever traveled to Europe (with my French Class). The first time I smoked pot (don't worry I didn't inhale), and the first time I, well...you get the idea.
Remember those akward mouth-full-of-braces kisses? Football games, homecoming queens, detentions, the fights in the hall and everyone would yell "FIGHT!!!" and scramble to get a front row view of the soon to be talked about/ever so cool drama that unfolded. The art teacher who would smoke cigarettes with us out back where the principal couldn't see. The Cure, Madonna, New Order, U2, INXS, Depeche Mode....does anyone remember 2LiveCrew or Salt n' Pepa? That was high school. Cheerleaders and choir- those were the popular kids. Band and debate club-those were the nerdy kids. Crappy cafeteria food (frito pie anyone?). And I used a typewriter for all my term papers (GASP!) And to think I didn't even use a computer until I went to the university.

I am old.

No. No thanks. Don't want to relive it don't want to think about it. And I know this sounds horrible but I really don't want to "catch up" with anyone I knew from high school. I am such a different person now and I wouldn't even know where to begin to explain how I've come to where I am. Besides the fact that it just feels like a b-movie casting call. Doesn't this end up in a bloody mess with the prom queen's head as a centerpiece? Nah. Not for me. Not unless Tim Burton is directing, then you can count me in.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Why can't I speak proper English?

I feel like the longer I stay in Italy the more my English skills deteriorate. When I type I have to double check my spelling and I am starting to form sentances in the Italian grammatical way. For instance tonight I said to my husband "no, I go to the store." which makes sense in English but grammatically I should say "no, I am going to the store." And when I call my family on the phone they laugh saying my intonations are so lyrical. I'm sure when I visit the US I will slip easily back into my old speech patterns but for the moment I'm sort of stuck in limbo. My Italian is elementary (although certainly improved) and my English is slowly getting worse. And when I do speak in English I tend to use Italian hand language. Don't laugh. You know what I'm talking about. The hand with fingers pinched together that falls from your shoulder to your waste and back up again. As when you say "Che pizza!".
I was talking with an older American couple I was helping on the street and of course the conversation turned to why am I in Italy and what do I do here. I was astonished and sort of stopped midair when I realized my hand gestures were so Roman. When did this happen and why didn't I realize it? And more importantly should I be worried? I remember in nyc I would watch the Italians (there is a large Italian population there) and smile at their gestures (the nice gestures that is) and think how charming and authentic it is. But somehow I don't feel like I am charming and authentic when I do it. uh-oh. Does this mean I'm an imposter?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Back from Vacation

The news yesterday reported that 3 million Italians returned from vacation this weekend and 15 million returned from vacation last weekend. Due to unforseen circumstances we stayed most of le ferie in Rome except for a week in Gaeta. The city was a ghost town and honestly, I really liked it that way. There was not much traffic, lots of parking spaces, and it was so quiet and calm compared to its usual activity.
Now that the holidays have come to an end Rome is abuzz again with scooters, car horns, and of course the occasional screaming spats from neighbors outside their window. In fact as we were lazily slumbering in bed this morning we abruptly ran to the window when we heard a woman screaming for dear life. We thought perhaps she was being mugged? murdered? needed medical attention? It turns out she wanted to park her car inside the neighbor's gated community because it was Sunday and the parking garage is closed. Three people in the community were yelling at her saying, excuse me, but we live here and this is private property. Picture an old man in wifebeater hanging out his window, a middle aged mother leaning over her balcony and a young professional on his balcony as well shouting over his bougainvillea.
Now this woman's response was superb. She didn't say excuse me, oh I'm sorry I didn't realize, or anything of the sort. She screamed back in her thick Roman accent "oooh, it's Sunday. I can park wherever I want!"
Maybe this is one of those "you had to be there" stories to appreciate the humor in this. Or maybe you have to live in Italy or perhaps Rome to understand this mentality but my husband and I could not stop laughing. And imagine the whole street coming alive with people peeking out their windows and stopping on the street to see what all the commotion is. Fortunately the woman ended up trying to find a parking space elsewhere and no major casualties were reported.