Monday, October 30, 2006


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Seven Hills of Rome

They say Rome was built on seven hills "la città dei sette colli". This is actually not true. Since I've been riding my new bike I can affirm that Rome was built on no less than 200.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Frisky cats

I woke up very early this morning to the sound of my cats playing in the bathroom. When I went in to see what all the fuss was about I found this:

She was eating the toilet paper. Literally eating the toilet paper.
Our other cat is male and he eats any food you put in front of him.

He would eat all day any day if we let him and needless to say he could stand lose a little weight. Nike on the other hand is a very picky eater and usually snuffs at the cat food we try to feed her. Instead she prefers to lick the soap off our hands and to munch on toilet paper as her guilty pleasure.
But the great thing about our cats is that we brought them all the way from nyc. They are truly international cats. Our friend Amanda's dog found them enclosed in a cardboard box on a street in Brooklyn. She couldn't keep them because of the dog so we decided to take care of them. Of course we grew attached and I was trying to find a good home for them before we moved to Rome. I didn't want to just leave them at PetCo for adoption so we decided to bring them with us. It cost a small fortune but several vaccination shots and two microchip identification tags later they were ready to go. Honestly, I am so glad they did make the trip with us as they are the best cats in the whole world. Even if they destroy the toilet paper and leave huge hairballs in the corners. We love them anyway.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Birthday Bliss

I am so spoiled.
My husband who is a fabulous cook made me a birthday feast. Wow.
We were going to go out with some friends for dinner but since I had to work early the next morning we decided to stay in and he whipped up a few of my favorite things.
What could be better than homemade pizza? TWO homemade pizzas!

Toni made carciofi (artichoke), prociutto, mozzarella, robiola, and gorgonzola which was heaven on earth. He also made mushroom and smoked provola pizza which was so yummy as well. Plus as appetizer we had fiori di zucca fritti con mozzarella e prosciutto (fried zucchine flowers stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto) uva fragola (grapes) and fried brie cheese. Not the healthiest or lightest dinner but since it was my birthday I decided to live it up. My arteries aren't thanking me but my stomach and taste buds are.

For dessert, champagne and torta con panna e frutta. It was all so delicious.

Plus I am the proud new owner of a spiffy blue mountain bike. Just look how beautiful she is!

And check out her sexy backside.

Ain't she a looker? And there is even a matching blue bell on the handlebars.

Yipee! I have a newfound freedom and I love it! I don't have to wait for the bus anymore or shove my way onto it during rush hour traffic. I don't have to bribe my loved ones and friends for a ride on back of their scooters. I don't have to wonder as I'm waiting at the bus stop if today is the day I will be late for work because I've been waiting 20 minutes now and there is no sign of my bus.... or I have to let 3 busses pass because it is so packed with people you just can't get on. Too bad I don't live closer to the metro. But even the metro is limited in where it can take you. (*sigh* I miss my 6 and L lines in nyc) And metros of course have their accidents.
On my birthday in fact two trains on the A line in Rome crashed. Over 200 people were injured and 2 died. Of course the American tv stations targeted this as possibly a terror related incident but it turned out to be faulty equipment (brakes?) on one of the trains.
But back to my lovely new bike....
I used to ride my bike in nyc during the spring/summer/fall months and I loved it. I am so excited to be able to ride the streets again although I think the traffic in Rome is a bit more chaotic and dangerous than nyc. Not to mention all the hills but I am ready for a challenge! Next step...motorino!
Amore mio, thank you for such a lovely birthday.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Italian TV

I really hate Italian tv
That's all I'm gonna say...
I really hate Italian tv

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Kissing is custom only with Italians?

I am kinda peeved.
But maybe I shouldn't be.
You see, there's this Italian girl I work with who I get the feeling doesn't like me very much. Maybe I'm overreacting, perhaps I'm just sensitive, but hear me out. We don't ever carry on long conversations because my Italian is not so good and she speaks no English so its hard to "connect". And at work today she was really quite bossy and kept telling me what to do (in Italian) even though technically I am supposed to be her superior (even though she's been there longer than I have) and in my opinion she stepped over the line. Several times. But I didn't say anything and I just let it slide and kept working. Perhaps its her personality, or perhaps we had a miscommunication. But tonight when we left work she said "Ciao", kissed our mutual Italian friend goodbye, turned, and left.
Now, I kinda felt left out, or rather slapped in the face. But this is a tricky situation because maybe she knows that kissing the cheeks is not really an American custom. Maybe she purposely didn't kiss me because it's an "Italian/European" thing. But then our mutual friend and I kissed goodbye. And I normally kiss my friends goodbye. Should I be offended? Should I say something or should I just let it go? Maybe I'm the one who's being catty(caddy? oh god i swear I can't spell anymore and I'm too lazy for the spellcheck)? Am I being too sensitive here? You know, next time I see her I'm just gonna plant a big fat wet one right on her planter and see what she says. I'm only kidding, but perhaps it will break this layer of ice between us.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My sweet blood

We were sitting at a bar yesterday afternoon enjoying an espresso, probably my fifth of the day, when my husband looks at my arm with eyes the size of saucers and barks "what happened?"
apparently I was sabotaged by zanzare (mosquitoes). And not just any zanzara, but zanzare tigre: the really huge tiger mosquitoes black with white stripes which perhaps the name of zebra would be more appropriate but since zebras are herbivore I suppose tigre was the next best thing.
Anyhow in the hour that we were sitting with our friend I was bitten a total of 7 times. But these are not just mere bites mind you. These bites start out small and in the course of 15 minutes their size increases 50 times. I kid you not. On any exposed skin I had there was a huge silver-dollar size welt that itched to high heaven. And nobody else was attacked but me! Our friend suggested because they smoke they didn't get bit, something along the lines of the smoke keeps them away (excuse me but I'm sitting directly next to you and the smoke is definitely wafting my way which obliterates that theory). My husband suggested it's because I have sweet blood (aw, honey, that's so nice but it makes absolutely no sense). And later that evening my Italian aunt (zia) suggested keeping basil around me to ward them off. Okay, um, thanks. All I know is we are headed into Autumn and the mosquito's have decided to hang around a bit longer so they can feast on my arms, ankles, and lower back.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Espresso kicks butt!

It's official.
I am addicted to espresso.
I have always loved coffee ever since I was 13 and started driving and smoking (way too young for any of those things, I know, but I thought I was oh so sophisticated). Well, now I don't smoke - and in Italy that's an anomaly, don't drive - I am patiently saving my money to buy a vespa but for now I rely on public transportation and the good graces of my husband and his moto, but boy do I love my coffee.
In the US I drank espresso but usually I preferred to linger over a nice home brewed cup o' joe and read the newspaper. But since meeting my husband I have streamlined my coffee habits to a shot here and there. In Italy people don't linger over coffee. They have a quick espresso and then they're on their way. It took a bit of getting used to but I think I have mastered the art of espresso. Short, sweet, and strong. That's how I like it.
And I drink way too much but, mamma mia, it is good.
Two shots in the morning, one after lunch, one around 4pm and sometimes, but only sometimes when I'm working I'll have another in the evening. Of course I am very careful about eating lots of cheese, gelato and other calcium sources to counteract any vitamin depletion I might be subjecting myself to. But I just can't stop. I can't wake up without it. The sign of a true addict.