Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blogging Has Sucked Me Dry, among Other Things...

I'm going to be brutally honest, and this confession is not really news about blogging, but it is news coming from me.  I've been away from the blog for a long time, anyone who checks in knows that and what excuse have I?  Just plain ol' mundane life.  Sure there are unique little things that are happening to me, but the formula could be applied to so many of us.  I'm finishing up with school, one more semester this fall and that is finally it.  I get my diploma wings in my mid-thirties....ooof!  And there are little trips here and there, my ailing kitty, the mammone, who is spending his last days with the doting attention of his Momma, so there's all of that.  Many, many things that I really don't feel like writing about, but living, really being there to experience it all.

And I'm gonna let you in on another little secret, perhaps not so secret, but Rome is wearing me down, chewing on my last raw nerves, and there are plenty.  I've given it a good run, I love so many things about it, but folks, it ain't a vacation living here.  All the mozzarella di bufula in the world cannot make up for the hour wait in the post office whether there are fifty people in front of you or ten, what the hell?!  And the bad attitudes, the dirty streets, the sexual harassment, lack of civic responsibility, and the still non-existent Italian lady friend, meaning one that is literally Italian, not a transplant, ex-pat and the like, have worn off my shiny optimism. 

I'm not the only disenchanted soul either, read this article and maybe you will get the gist, leave your  Hollywood cliches at the airport.

Bella Roma

If I have a whiplash change of mood, no worries, you'll hear about it.  Until then...Ciao Belli

Monday, February 16, 2015

So busy...

Same old story, can't find a minute to sit down and write.  Still studying, working out (trying to lose that Holiday package), and taking care of an Italian husband, house and the little animal family.  I went to an exhibition in the center recently.  I could swear it was the coldest, windiest day, it felt like walking through sheets of ice and I wanted to look smart so I wore a skirt with very thick tights and my new black penny loafers, but it was so cold, I think I frowned the entire time walking around.  The Escher exhibit was nice, I saw prints that I'd never seen before, I didn't know that he spent so much time in Italy.  The Chiostro del Bramante, where the exhibition was held, is so tiny that it hardly managed the blockbuster crowd.  Despite too many people breathing down your neck as you take art in, it was a worthy diversion.  The cherry of the outing was the cheesecake with berries on top with a rich, dark espresso in the cafe afterwards.  It gave me enough energy to walk back to the car and take the following picture.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mammone! My Hifi

I learned a new word over the last few months and its discovery was bittersweet.  I cannot believe that I'd never really heard this term being used amongst the Italians that I'm acquainted with or my husband.  The surprise is because, in Italy we are surrounded by Mammoni!  What is the significance you ask!  It means Momma's boy.  Ohhhhh, we all know some of those, stereotypically speaking Italians are known for their abundance of them and the idolized mothers that perpetuate the dependent child-like behavior as well.

My acquisition of this term, however, did not stem from a big chat around the dinner table about such Momma's boys, but from our veterinarian.  Our little guy Hifi and poster boy for my fundraiser, has not been up to snuff for most of this year.  The tumbleweeds that bounded around my blog are in part due to his demanding care and attention of late.  On one of our emotional vet visits that was traumatic for not only Hifi, but his Momma, he became agitated and the staff was not able to calm him down.  My vet asked for my help and I began to stroke him and sing to him as is our private ritual, a bit of Mamma Cass was all it took to lower his speeding heart rate and render him into putty for the remaining prods and pokes.  Our vet was flabbergasted and I was a bit embarrassed, I had a larger audience for this intimacy than I'm used to, but Hifi, he's my mammone, which our vet exclaimed at the end of that visit. "Incredibile" she said shaking her head.

Due to Hifi's soulmate like status with me, it's been an excruciating several months attempting therapies, performing bloodwork and an onslaught of tests, but in recent days his health and temperament are beginning to improve.  I've been one grinning Momma this week and have slept better than I have in months, it helps that he's not screaming in my face four times a night due to his symptom of constant hunger.  But what can a Momma do?!

First peaceful night in a long time, he also got to remove his cone.  There's Thurston in the background.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Italy Has Needs, I Want People to Acknowledge Them

I want to come back to my weekly banter in this space so badly.  Let's see if I can keep it up.
My fundraiser in underway and is doing well, but after the first couple of days it has gotten a little quiet, so I hope that if any of you readers out there want to take a look, you will.  It's for a good cause...anti-sexual violence.  I admit I have a lot of passion about this topic, not so much for my personal experiences, but for some people around me that are very important.  I've seen first hand how they've suffered and how sexual violence has created a ripple effect in their lives that is permanent and also affects those around them.

Also, sexual violence and domestic violence is a big issue here in Italy, a dirty little secret that travelers or expats don't want to talk about.  It's not scenic, and doesn't have to with pasta, unless that's what the police told you was the remedy for getting your husband not to hit you anymore, make him a nice dish of pasta. It's quite difficult for me to wrap my head around the lack of awareness and concern and it feels like a sin to be a woman here.  At least that's how it makes me feel here after spending enough time to see how much the true disdain and/or disregard for women is institutionalized.  It's deeply cultural and these things do not change very easily and I'm singing an old tune when I discuss the difficulty of making this aspect of Italy go away.  I have a secret wish to begin a charity organization here in Rome and then all over Italy, but I feel that it would not survive due to the lack of interest in the issue.  Without a culture of philanthropy and passion for your cause, it can be a losing battle.

What's interesting is that I'm beginning to understand why Italians are so hesitant to give to causes,  mostly because when they do give, they do not get in return what they've been promised.  That ranges from services for their taxes to legitimate charities that actually put their money where they say they will and be successful about it.  It is a jaded place and it makes me very sad and frustrated sometimes.  Please don't misconstrue by opinions as facts, there are always exceptions, but this is what I've confronted while living here close to six years.

Since I could not figure out in a short time how to raise money internationally for an Italian cause as  my fundraising project, I decided to base my efforts back in the States.  The need is everywhere, I just hope that Italy and those that love Italy realize that in order to make a difference here too we must figure out an effective method of making it happen while conquering the indifference to non-profit organizations and the relevant issues they support.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Don't Hate Me! I'm Fundraising!

I've not posted in a looooong time, too long.  Instead of giving you an equally long list of excuses, I'm just going to tell you that sometimes life is hard, school is hard and when I sit on my rear all day studying or writing or maintaining some semblance of connection back home, I hate sitting some more to blog.  I got a bit burnt out.  It made me sad and frustrated, but I couldn't figure out how to change it, until I needed the blog, like a big ol' megaphone at a Texas High School Football game to tell you that I launched my first little baby of a fundraising campaign.  It wasn't completely organic, but my Fundraising Leadership course, as overwhelming and demanding as it is, gave me a little bit of an itch to actually do, rather than just hypothetically say what I'd do, you the change and all of that.

I'm talking to too much already, just check out my fundraising page on Crowdrise and see for yourself my amateur attempts at being a rainmaker, more like a "sprinkle-maker" for a good cause.

I'm Not an Animal

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Let my Ghostly Presence Take Over

I complain that every semester is harder, more demanding than the previous one.  But honestly this time around this is more than an empty whine.  I've not felt the energy or even the necessity to write in this space.  I've given it all to my classes, my animals, my friends, my family and F.

Today I write because I've been a little down or distracted and have tried to pretend that I wasn't, but today a sound and a smell made me happy.  I put on CK One, remember that, and then I put Beck's new album on the stereo and then the scents and sounds played tricks with me as I turned the white, bright laundry on the line outside in the sun.  A mood overtook me that I thought I'd lost, like I was 15 again with so much waiting out there for me.

To a happy spring and feeling fifteen!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Extra Virgin Liars

Yes, I've been M.I.A. for awhile, but I'll get to that in another post.

I want to share this very informative expose on "Italian" olive oil, especially for those of you who've adopted it into their daily routine and lifestyle.

Extra Virgin Liars