Sunday, April 30, 2006

il cielo in una stanza

al mio ragazzo...

quando sei qui con me
questa stanza non ha più pareti
ma alberi
alberi infiniti
quando tu sei vicino a me
questo soffitto viola
no, non esiste più
io vedo il cielo sopra noi
che restiamo qui
come se non ci fosse più
niente, più niente al mondo
suona un'armonica
mi sembra un organo
che vibra per te e per me
su nell'immensità del cielo

look at me

my dear friend and fellow blogger andi has been gracious enough to feature my writing in her webzine, 'estella's revenge.' go check it out! it rocks! (the whole issue, not just my writing, hee hee.)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

i want you (she's so heavy)

I fell off the diet and exercise wagon with a loud thud, but to be honest, right now I really don't care. It's not on my list of priorities. I'm so preoccupied with getting ready for my trip that I don't want to worry about that stuff. I'm sure that will change once I go shopping for summer clothes, but right now, I couldn't care less. As I told Sister, I don't need to go on some strict, last-minute diet in order to slim down before I leave, because my intentions are not to sexually attract anyone over there. I just don't want my European travel shots to be icky. "Look, this is fat me at the Coliseum. There's me and my chins at the Leaning Tower of Pisa." Stuff like that.

I think about fat all the time. I'm sure many people do. I won't say women more than men because it's a generalization and I'm not even sure it's true. But suffice it to say, some people are more consumed by it than they should be. Myself included.

But it gets tiring. I mean, really tiring. I'm sure Boyfriend finds it tiring as well. How many times can I possibly harass him into explaining why he's with a chubby girl like me? How many times does he have to tell me what a stupid question that is? Besides, after all the damn walking and standing around I did today, I am too tired to even think of exercise.

I was looking around the net for some stuff and found this blog post. Apparently the gals over at Fatty McBlog decided to do an experiment. They posted an ad on Craigslist asking men why they would or would not date a fat girl. They then posted all the results that they got in the first 45 minutes!

*Warning: If you are the least bit overweight, you may find this incredibly offensive and hurtful. As I did.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

i'll see you soon

My plane tickets are booked. In four weeks I am off on my European adventure. This is going to be some trip considering I've never left the good ol' U. S. of A. before. It's so exciting for me because my fear of flying has prevented me from imagining myself traveling at all, even in the far-off future. I thought it was going to be something I wanted terribly to do but would be unable to. When Study Abroad people visited my classes and spoke of the wondrous programs offered, I thought to myself, "I wish I could go to one of these places, but I DON'T WANT TO DIE." Yeah, the fear was that intense. I almost didn't apply for my fellowship because I had heard misinformation about being forced to work abroad (when in reality, it is a choice, and a tantalizing one at that).

I have two lists of books that I am supposed to be reading in preparation for my job. I shouldn't say 'supposed to'; I am reading them, but not at the speed that I should be. I didn't realize how soon I was leaving until the tickets were purchased (by the program and not me, oh yeahhhh) a few days ago. Now it's like, Holy shit! I'm-a going, Mamma!

I really hope that I get to travel to Naples and Sicily while I'm in Italy. My Mother's family is from both cities: Napoli on her father's side and Sicilia on her mother's. It would be really cool to get in touch with some aspect of my heritage. (Something that eludes me sometimes as an American, as I mentioned here.)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

she's got the look

I felt like getting a makeover, and since I had neither the money nor the appropriate weather to go out and buy a new wardrobe today, I decided to do the blog over. I have been thinking for a while now that my all black motif was depressing. This feels lighter and a propos for spring/summer.

Don't I look pretty in pink? ;)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

change the world

Happy Earth Day. I had some really fun plans for today but Mother Nature rained me out. The irony, I tell you. Hopefully the kids-y/nature-y stuff I was going to take my sisters to will be rescheduled for next weekend.

When I was a kid I was always writing and directing plays. My friends were the stars, and we went through days and weeks of memorizing lines, rehearsing, planning scenery and costumes, drawing up blocking diagrams . . . only to never put on the play. Maybe we just lost interest in it. I can't really remember why we never took my plays through to completion, but I remember that not one of them - and there were many - made it to an audience.

One summer I bought (or perhaps my parents bought for me, shitty memory!) a play kit that included two plays, a marquis to write your production information on, and some other crap to keep kids out of their parent's hair using the arts. One of the plays was called "Be Kind to your Mother Earth," and while I wasn't a die-hard environmentalist, I decided that other one was stupid and that this would be the one.

My friends and I worked and worked and worked on the damn thing. We turned my backyard into a stage and decided where the entrances and exits would be. But we never put it on. The funny thing is, while I no longer have the play or anything else associated with it, I do have a cassette tape of myself at that age, talking about the play and how it was going to change the world. Yes, everyone who came to see it (who, should the play have been produced, would have probably been a grand total of five or six) would be inspired and would turn around and inspire others, and then we would all start recycling, or something like that. (Screw Haley Joel Osment, those Pay It Forward bastards stole my idea.)

Kids are so idealistic. I wish I still woke up every morning wondering how I was going to change the world that day.

Friday, April 21, 2006

tree hugger

Fellow #3 is going to Italy with me because we got accepted to the same program :) So this past week, I invited her to join the Italian conversation group. She, Italian Conversation Partner and I all got along well, and besides being great practice, it was fun. Afterwards, F. #3 and I had dinner together. She has been to Italy before, so she was answering all my questions about what it would be like. We also exchanged book recommendations (English majors *shrugs shoulders*), and then Boyfriend joined us for dessert.

Yesterday I took Kid Sister #2 to the park because it was such a beautiful day. Out of nowhere, she ran up to a tree and gave it a big hug. She exclaimed, "Hugging the tree! Hugging the tree!" Yeah, I've done a good job with her ;)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

it was a very good year

I had better blog before midnight so that it's still my...

Vegetarian Anniversary!

One whole year of not perpetuating the slaughter of innocents. Oh, I feel lovely.

Monday, April 17, 2006

this kiss

It feels like forever since I've blogged. Mother's birthday came right before Easter so there were things to be done all the time. But, what with Easter and all, I have something to say about religion, so here goes.

For some reason, Easter always makes me feel closer to Christianity. More so than Christmas. I suppose this is because Christmas has become so ingrained into American culture that I think of family and Christmas trees and warm cookies on snowy evenings. Easter, on the other hand, is distinctly Christian, no matter how commercialized it has become. At my age, the Easter bunny and chocolate eggs just don't hold any value for me, so the religious aspect is the only aspect I am pulled towards.

This Easter I would have liked to go to church, as Fellow Seeker did. But family activities took up the entire day, so I couldn't. I also wanted to watch The Passion of the Christ, but didn't get a chance to do that either. Not even Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments!!
*Throws hand to head in overly dramatic show of regret*

I did, however, get to watch The Gospel of Judas on the National Geographic channel. I loved it. I'm fascinated by those Gnostic Gospels. More fascinated when I watch specials on them than when I actually read them. For someone who is so interested in religion, history and philosophy, I sure do get turned off when I can't understand something. The gnostic gospels remind me of the Tao Te Ching: every so often I get a wrinkled brow and wonder to myself, "What the hell does that mean?" Jesus, what do you mean you're in the piece of wood? But there's nothing better than those NGC/Discovery/History Channel shows where they have the experts, the epic music, and the corresponding works of art. I loved seeing depictions of Jesus and Judas throughout the whole two hours. Fun stuff.

*Newsweek article on the Gospel of Judas

Thursday, April 13, 2006

irish love

Happy HNT. I know I have already done a photo of my claddagh ring, but that is of my replacement claddagh ring. I bought it because several of the marcasite stones had fallen out of my original one. I have been wearing my garnet one for quite some time now, but I finally decided to run over to the jeweler and get my amethyst one fixed.

Mother gave me this ring for my twelfth birthday. She knew that it was a piece of Irish culture, but that was all she knew. Ironically, my mother is not Irish - my father is and consequently so am I, so that is why she gave it to me - but when I researched the origins and symbolism of the ring, I learned that it is something that mothers pass on to daughters. It is funny that my mother wasn't even aware of this, but she gave it to me anyway.

A couple of weeks ago I saw an elderly couple, and their wedding rings were claddaghs. I thought that was adorable. I wouldn't want my wedding ring to be one, though, because wearing two of them simultaneously would be overkill and I will never part with this ring that I have already had for ten years.

beautiful day

Yesterday was a really neat day. (I'm not usually the type to use the word 'neat' but for some reason I'm in the mood today.) Which was good, because it came on the heels of quite a bad few days. But I feel better now.

Boyfriend has been back since Tues, so we spent the day together, off and on. I had tons of things to do so it was a bit of back and forth. At noon I had my interview at the Human Resources department of the city's library system. It went well, and today I got a call from the person in my area who will interview me and then try to place me somewhere around here. I don't know when this job is supposed to be for, because I was quite upfront in my cover letter about being gone from May to August. *Shrugs shoulders*

Afterwards, Boyfriend and I had lunch at the Indian restaurant where we first met :) We also went to see his relatives briefly. Then at 4:00 I had my first session tutoring Mentor's daughter. (I don't think I mentioned it, but he hired me to give his daughter some help with her writing.) She's in sixth grade, and just so adorable. I had to resist the urge to pinch her cheeks. She's quite creative, and we edited a short story that she wrote.

After that B. and I spent a little more time together at a bookstore, and then I went off to meet my new Italian Conversation Partner. She was great, and we spoke for over an hour. I was surprised at how just being in a conversation forced me to speak well, better than I had anticipated. It was a lot of fun and we are going to meet on a regular basis. Veteran Seeker might join us too, yipee!

Monday, April 10, 2006

"I Am Not Yours"

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love -- put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

-Sarah Teasdale -

Sunday, April 09, 2006

you can call me al

BadChristian has written on the subject of referring to God as 'He' or 'She.' It's good stuff, especially the comments dialogue that ensues.

Too Rude

I got annoyed today and I'll tell you why. I was getting ready to work out. This guy I know was over, and he said to me, "Looking good! How much have you lost?" I told him. Then he touched my stomach and said, "Have to tone up here. Do some crunches."

I was so tempted to look down in mock horror and say, "Holy shit, where did my six-pack go?!" Fucking idiot.

In my opinion, that's like going up to an old friend and saying, "Wow! You lost weight? You look great... just gotta do something about that ass. I mean, geez."

Was I wearing a sign that said I-Have-The-World's- Tightest-Abs? Did I wander around the house wondering aloud, "Oh, where can I find someone to give me the secret to a stomach you can bounce a quarter off of?"

It really put me in a bad mood. Maybe I'm overreacting, but I think any lady (or guy, for that matter) who has ever worked really hard to diet and exercise would understand. My abs are improving, but they take time. And even if they weren't... what if I like being a little flabby? What's the hell's the huge problem? I don't want to wake up in the morning and think, Better get working so I can have the body society tells me I must have in order to be attractive. What am I, a robot? Off an assembly line? No, I'm not.

I exercise because it's fun and I feel better afterwards and yeah I want nice abs but that's not the whole objective. So leave me and my pudge alone. We are happy without universal approval, thank you very much.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Tainted Love

Sister's Ex freaked us all out. We (meaning Sister and our whole family) never saw it coming because he had been such a sweetheart throughout their relationship, but he said and did some things at the end that were just... bizarre. Now, naturally, Sister has a cavalcade of potential suitors lined up at our front door. At first I was glad, because she had been in so much pain due to her breakup and this could serve as a distraction. But now, it's bothering me. I wish that my little sister believed in being single, even for a little while. Yesterday, a friend of hers brought roses to the house (even after she told him she wanted to remain his friend and nothing more). That I don't mind, because he's a friend. But when I look at her Myspace profile and there are these older guys that she doesn't know calling her 'sexy' and 'beautiful' as if they were intimate friends or something...urgh. Fucking relationship vultures. Disgusting.

I wish I could lock her in her room for a month. Must be the big sister instinct.

Friday, April 07, 2006


This week I watched God Is Great and I Am Not and Amelie for the first time, and now I have a girl crush on Audrey Tautou.

People might disagree with me, and perhaps it is my spiritual bent, but I liked God is Great more than Amelie. Not just the spirituality aspect of it (which I loved, of course), but the whole relationship aspect. I have to re-watch them both before I return them. And the Da Vinci Code is coming next month! :)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sweet Peas

Happy HNT. Sister had a mouth full of peas. *Shrugs* It was funny.

And she's fine, home and not in too much pain. Thanks for the prayers and vibes.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Request Line

Sister's having an operation today. It's a minor thing and shouldn't be a big deal, but send prayers and good vibes anyway please. Thanks :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I'm So Sleepy

I fell asleep this afternoon at around 5:00 and woke up at 10:30 this evening. Yeah, that's a good sleep schedule to be on, hehe. I had a semi-late night (1:00 a.m. is late for me at twenty-two years old. How unutterably sad.) and woke up early, so I was wiped. Today was a nice day, though. Despite the bad feelings that always accompany my trips to the airport, I dropped Boyfriend off there this morning and still managed to have a nice day. The fact that he'll be back next week helped a lot. I shouldn't be sad at all but I'm just so damn attached to him. Europe for two months without him is going to be challenging. *Shrugs shoulders*

I had lunch with my former boss this afternoon, which was just wonderful. We went to a Korean restaurant that she had taken me to once before during my internship. We sat in the floor - not on the floor, in it! - and had some yummy tofu dishes. She was the one who introduced me to tofu at that very restaurant so of course I love her. I mean, I would still be chowing down on cheese sandwiches, wondering where the hell all my energy went, if not for her (how many eggs/nuts can a person eat?).

We had some great conversation; I enjoyed myself immensely. She's like the coolest boss you could ever have. A V.P. at a large corporation yet completely down-to-earth. She keeps telling me to call her if I ever need anything, and she was quite excited about meeting up for lunch today. And since it's not like lunch with me is the most exciting thing in the world, I know it's because she's a person who takes a genuine interest in people.

We spoke about what kind of year the company's having, my family, Boyfriend, what I want to do with my life, and even blogging. She kept pressing me to think about writing about my experiences. She said over and over, "It would make a wonderful book. Think about it." (Mentor and others have told me the same thing. I guess they hope that all this life bullshit will turn out to be useful for something other than giving me white hairs, of which I now have four or five.)

I had about a half hour to kill before I met her for lunch, so I bummed around clothing stores and for some reason got really excited about shopping for the summer. That's really not me, I'm the not the I-Love-Shopping girl (unless it's book shopping), but in this one store, it seemed like they had so many outfits that would suit me, especially at my new job. Not only that, but they were also looks that I have always wanted to cultivate but never did. So, looking to try new things. Yipee.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Where I'm From

I watched Steven Spielberg's Amistad for the first time this weekend. I cannot believe how good it was. It was very difficult to watch, but it really blew me away. And I actually got to see Matthew McConaughey in something other than a cheesy romantic comedy.

You know what I really liked about it? It showed America at its best and its worst at the same time. It didn't deny the racism and government corruption that existed at the time, but it also illuminated the finer points of our background (Anthony Hopkins gave a beautiful speech as John Quincy Adams, invoking the aid of his ancestors just as the African Mende do). Although I am never hesitant to speak out angrily about the terrible things in our past, I do really love this country and its history, which is why I was the only person on the planet who loved Jim Carrey's The Majestic.

Boyfriend said a funny thing to me recently. I had mentioned that I loved a set of lamps, and he thought they were ugly, and joked that in the future, if we're living together, any piece of furniture or decorum has to be mutually agreed upon. I smiled and said, "Okay, that includes gigantic Indian flags," referencing the one he has on the wall of his apartment. (When he said that the flag was his grandmother's, I felt like a total asshole, even though I had only been joking.) That got us to talking about flags. I said that I wouldn't put up an Irish or Italian flag that big, but then I realized that this was not the same thing. I then imagined myself in another country, putting up a large American flag on my wall to remind me of home, but that didn't seem like something I would do either. When I said this to Boyfriend, he laughed and said, "That's because you don't like America."

I'm sure he was joking, but all jokes come from somewhere, and I know at times I must seem like an anti-American American. I'm totally not. I think being a dissenter makes me the quintessential American :) But I have often thought about what it means to be an American, and it is quite confusing. Do I identify with America, or Scotland, or Ireland, or Italy? Or, perhaps, that tiny fragment of Russian blood that came from my mother's grandmother? I feel connections to the "Mother countries" but it is inherently a disconnected connection. The members of my family who emigrated here were my great-great grandparents on one side and great-great-great grandparents on the other, so it is not like I am a first- or second-generation American. True, we haven't been here since the 17th or 18th century, but we haven't just arrived either. It is like the national equivalent of the soon-to-be-nonexistent Limbo.

And it is strange that growing up I was taught all about the heros of our country, people we are supposed to revere and idolize, yet those people were only "my people" in the sense that I was born here. They were mostly British, something I am not.

I don't want to use the word "envious," because that word is too similar to "jealous" and, for me, carries a negative connotation, but sometimes I wish that I had such a clear relation to where I am from, the way Boyfriend has. One country he was born and raised in, one country whose flag graces his wall, a one-word answer for when people ask him what his ethnicity is. Mine, and that of many other Americans, is jumbled and confusing. But then, there is the other side of it. I remind myself that I get to connect with and cherish more than one tradition, and that is pretty lucky too, no?