October 3, 2009
They say an end can be a start
Feels like I've been buried yet I'm still alive
It's like a bad day that never ends
I feel the chaos around me
A thing I don't try to deny
I'd better learn to accept that
There are things in my life that I can't control
September 23, 2009
[11:26:57 AM] Matteo: omg non hai idea
[11:30:14 AM] LILL: awww
[11:30:20 AM] LILL: no YOU have no idea
[11:30:38 AM] LILL: ogni respiro ogni immagine che vedo e sento in questi giorni riesce a trasportarmi in italia
[11:30:50 AM] LILL: e' STRANISSIMO per quanto e' cosi' vivido
[11:30:53 AM] LILL: non so spiegare
[11:31:09 AM] LILL: ieri per esempio ero su Charles Street (Beacon Hill) dove ci sono i negozi come starbucks ecc
[11:31:16 AM] LILL: ti giuro sentivo l'italiano
[11:31:23 AM] LILL: dai turisti ecc ma mi sembravano cittadini/residenti
[11:31:38 AM] LILL: poi...l'atmosfera e i negozi erano molto all'italiana, con le luci e le finestre bellissime piene di roba messa in una mostra artistica e bellissima
[11:31:45 AM] LILL: poi oggi mi sono vestita come mi vestirei in italia...comoda ma elegante, jeans stretti con le ballerine a punto, collana multicolorata
[11:32:09 AM] LILL: poi andando in bici ovunque e lungo il Charles mi fa rivivere le serate estive che tornavo da centro a viale europa, lungo L'Arno...
[11:32:21 AM] LILL: c'e' una aria umida all'aria fiorentina
[11:32:26 AM] LILL: sempre fresca e profumata...con un vento tepida dalle montagne
[11:32:32 AM] LILL: sono TROPPO nostalgica!!!
[11:32:41 AM] LILL: ma in un modo troppo piacevole
[11:33:07 AM] LILL: e' finalmente mi sento normale...tranquilla...e' forte
[11:33:15 AM] LILL: da LUGLIO nn mi sentivo bene...non mi sentivo (io)...nn sapevo chi ero o chi sono
[11:33:17 AM] LILL: ti giuro
[11:33:26 AM] LILL: purtroppo hai visto/vissuto la fase peggiore
[11:33:40 AM] LILL: nn c'entravi nel fatto che stavo male
[11:33:58 AM] LILL: era proprio una fase che ho dovuto superare...non c'era verso evitarlo...come si dice in a ditch?
[11:34:13 AM] LILL: ma purtroppo sofrivi anche te...anzi tutti...
[11:34:41 AM] LILL: ero stressata, disorganizzata, senza voce, senza communicazione senza sentimenti senza sonno ma senza energia
[11:34:46 AM] LILL: ora mi sento liberata...e' non so perche'...
ma sono libera. sono io.
April 22, 2009
What's up? Oh, you're feeling down? Don't give up! Shut up! Are you warmed up? Cool down! Did you two break up? Can you make up? Did you put on your makeup? Get up! Time's up! What you up to? Do you feel up to it?
I told him to take it up with someone else. It's not my problem every language has its ups and downs.
For example...today I received the April letter from mio amore. Unsurprisingly, it made smile...but throughout the day I began to see the connections weaving Florence into my life. My italian music by Nada, Elisa e Tiziano Ferro played while I read his letter, and then subsequently I came across Julia's description of her visit to Florence. And then another reference to Florence came by gmail from an acquaintance there.
But the moment of grace that tied all of this together was when I read my favorite blog, www.melindagallo.com, and saw that the definition of giglio, which I had until now translated and understood as something else, a symbol I worship, I obsess over, I collect in any shape way or form and that I'd tattoo on my body before anything else if I were the type to get a tattoo, is translated as Lily.
This makes my sister's words resonate with me in a way they never have before.
"Her name is everywhere in this city and it makes me miss her like c-r-a-z-y. This is her city and it made me so sad and nostalgic that she wasn't there. It's almost like she belongs there more than Boston..."
January 29, 2009
Reading "The Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series....it brought back my whole middleschool-hood
Quilting with my grandma....it is literally a patchwork of free leftover scraps
Babysitting....in exchange for housing in Boston
Completing my TEFL...so I can somehow get a teaching job in Italy
January 13, 2009
January 7, 2009
I build my future on love.
It's addicting, I'm telling you. So, I did another for the Food Life:
Why can't my dinner be cake?
And then another for Six Words for America (and Obama):
Proves that American dream is alive.
...and then I wrote another about Love & Heartbreak:
true Romeos do exist in Italy.
Then there are a few others of mine on the SmithTeens website...
As you can see, I've been reading six word memoirs for a while now. Even though I only wrote a few insignificant entries on my SmithMag page, to my pleasant surprise, Larry Smith, who started the Smith Magazine, wrote me an email! At first I thought...This is just some automated site email...sent out to Smith Mag community members like me, but it was really him, the real Larry!
"Hey, thanks for the link on your blog. I too share a love of Italy and in fact Eat, Pray, Love. Elizabeth did a six-word memoir for our first six-word book, and our new one coming out in January. She's not in this video, but you might like it, anyway...."
(Six-Word Memoir video on Love & Heartbreak)
And then I really knew it wasn't automated when he reported that his wife is a Smithie too! "Smithies show up everywhere," he said.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
....and hey! there you have it. My six-word thought of the day!
PS- sneak peek at the Six-word memoirs book: Not Quite What I was Planning
Despite the below freezing cold weather and the mild buzz...the concert was unbeatable and the perfect event for New Years Eve. I absolutely loved Passion Pit and Giantess at the Great Scott in Arlington....
And all I have to say is nothing beats a large pizza and Sex & the City in pjs to recover from a long night....
Happy New Year!
December 30, 2008
You usually end up at this party after Tanya can't come into town after all and cancels or you were just too darn busy to make good plans, real plans, ahead of time. So you put on a sweater you got for Christmas or the cocktail dress you bought for Debbie's engagement party that you never wore again, and drag some poor unwitting sap of a friend to the party where you don't really know anyone. It's super awkward at first and you just stand by the cheese and crackers, nodding your head to the music, furtively gulping room-temperature chardonnay and furiously wishing for midnight."
-Richard on The Gawker blog
read about the other party types...
Party type 2: There's a Place Just a Few Blocks Up
Party type 3:At the Clurrrrb
Party type 4:Oh, we went to bed at 11am
Party type 5:Auld Lang Syne
hilarious article....and it's so true!!
December 27, 2008
But I came home from Italy with more than a year just watching and tasting Tuscan cooking and now after three months of being a nanny, I had my new-found culinary confidence that finally gave me a way to prove them wrong.
Here is my piaciuto and recently requested recipe for risotto:
- 1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
- 1 white onion, finely chopped.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tbl spoon of fresh Parsley, finely chopped.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups boiling water
- 1 1/2 vegetable bouillon cube
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmiggiano
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
A. IF you have real butternut squash, roast it and do the following:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.
B. IF you have a box of store-bought squash, defrost, set aside until instructed.*
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Meanwhile, begin to boil water in a separate pan. Add the bouillon cube to boiling water. Keep it on a low boil until finished.
- In pan with oil, add diced onion to sautee for 10 minutes, or until brown.
- Add rice to onions and oil to toast rice for 2-4 minutes, or until slightly toasted brown. Stir constantly.
- Now add all of the squash to rice, oil, onions. Stir constantly for 3 minutes.
- Add spices, add parsley.
- Using a ladle, transfer boiling hot broth to the rice/squash pan.
- NOTE: do not add broth all at once. Add 1 spoonful, then stir constantly until absorbed by rice. Then add the next spoonful.
- Continue to add the broth, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock.
- Keep stirring and adding broth for about 30-35 minutes. The longer you take to add all the broth, and the faster you stir, the creamier and better.
- After all broth is added, test a bite of risotto to see if rice is cooked to your liking.
- Take risotto off the heat. Add butter and stir. Add parmiggiano cheese and stir.
December 23, 2008
Our idea of Christmas shopping is a one-stop-shop at the mall, where you buy all your gifts under one roof. I took my sister to the Natick Collection (doubled in size while I was away!) so she could buy her gifts in one day at one place. My mom and I went down to the outdoor outlets for more shopping. If you want to shop at the mall, then be prepared to stalk people to their cars in order to claim their parking space. What a sad way to start the holidays, pushing and shoving! I even heard that on the day of the sales after Thanksgiving, some unfortunate store employee got trampled by all the customers running into the store to fight for the sales. It must've been killer sales prices! What embarrassing proof of our materialistic consumer culture...
Anyway, in my defense, I just can't help but compare the two cultures because I find it so fascinating to learn and be aware of the differences between them. I think there are benefits to learning more about the Italians. They have a lot of great things (like adding salt to pasta, siesta nap times post-lunch and fresh food markets) that could really improve our lifestyle. Living in Florence has taught me how to relax, eat well and enjoy life to say the least.
Going back to the other perspective in all fairness, Americans always uphold our tradition to relax, eat well and enjoy their holiday season**** (after all the mad crazy stressful rush to buy the gifts of course). We have been cooking for three days in my house. I made a Tiramisu ("pick me up") the real way with lady fingers and brandy too, butternut squash risotto and verdure arroste (roasted veggies with eggplant, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, celery, red onion). My mom and dad made an apple pie, lobster pie, yule log, pecan sticky sweet buns. See!? We know how to eat well!
***ONLY DURING THE HOLIDAYS...
Happy Christmas and eat up!
Auguri e Buone feste!
it's actually good to be home. Refeshing. I appreciate it more after being away. my house is very festive for the holidays. Glowing. I can sleep in and spend time with my family. And the beautiful snowstorm gave me a sort of peaceful feeling and despite the cold, it felt like a warm welcome. i feel grounded here and although im a bit more unproductive (my cozy house makes me lazy!!), i have set many goals, resolutions and challeges to reach. i'm starting a job search in january (despite the discouraging job market). this is why i decided to spend some time at home where i feel stable, protected and encouraged by my family to get things started. the more i'm away from florence, the more i'm desperate and motivated to get back there.
i can forsee that in 2009 there will be possibilities on the horizon. even if i stay in boston for a while, I always have my sights set on florence...
Now it's just a matter of time. I have had no real customers make orders at the shop yet. That's okay because I'm too busy during the holidays to crank out big orders. After the holidays I'll start my job search...and if I don't find a job then hopefully I'll have customers who have orders, so I can at least fall back on that.
December 12, 2008
i made my blog header from all of my old Florence pictures. I put them on the Picnik website to spice them up....it took me about two hours... and they weren't just any two hours...they were my only solid hours to pack up for my big trip to Boston! ooops....
but at least my blog is colorful and cheery now...
....i hope to be both in my next last few days in Florence before the holidays.
other ideas for blog headers...
-Lorenzo dei Medici
ah lilly! hi! i totally just stumbled on your blog somehow, and i was wondering if it was okay if i linked you in my blog...i just started a new anonymous blog because of law school. i was really excited to find your blog...it's so good to have updates on your life. how is florence? i'm so jealous that you're an ex-pat while i'm stuck here in boring old america. how is the boy????
PS: K's blog Hello, My name is Fabulous
Ciao carissima K!!
mamma mia it's been forever since we've talked. I am soooo flattered (and pleasantly surprised) that you found my blog and enjoy being caught up on my dolce-amara vita.
i always forget somehow that you showed up to smith knowing tons of italian and already being an italophile ....and i was the frenchie....now look what influence you had on me!!!
first of all, great blog!!! i can hear you saying everything in your voice and your K-way of talking...it's not anomymous in the sense that i can totally see the K-ness about it. but i wish mine was more anonymous. i had intended it that way but there's so much that i just can't resist putting up (fotos, personal stories). so far you can't really find my full name on there. but i send the link to everyone so obviously they know it's my blog!!!
boring old america here i come, by the way. im going home for Christmas and then for an indefinite amount of time. i have to rethink-research-restart my life plans to live and work in the states or in italy. i think graduate school will be a detour. and i need to make money!! there is no money in my bank and no money in italy. im an aupair and i think ill go crazy if i have to keep doing this job. i want to do what i like to do and what im good at!!!!
Florence is beautiful though as always and it is so hard to leave. the river is overflowing with water, the streets are overflowing with christmas lights and the atmosfere is overflowing with holiday cheer. and leaving the boy is going to be ROUGH. o man it's always so dramatic. he's my best friend. my latin lover. we are going on our two year anniversary date this weekend. he's got 3 more years of law school and he lives with his parents. so if that explains anything...yeah.
aww my dear estranged 1st-ever-roomie. thank you for sharing your blog and filling me in on your life. im so damn impressed and jealous that you are (already) in grad school and heading in a direction. i have yet to find my direction. i feel like a freaking weathervane...a gust of wind can send me in a different direction. do i want to design? be an architect? be a translator? a world traveler? an english teacher?
so congratulations and ill hopefully see you around Boston!!! what a great city!!
.......but not as great as Florence....hehe:)
December 11, 2008
Then I realized that I had to change my attitude with them.
I started to pick up on what gives the Italians that extra kick of energy and assertiveness (strong horsepower fuel called Italian espresso two times daily), what gives the young and old the assertive confidence in any situation (causing them to use the "umbrella gesture" or some parolacce), and the ability to be unashamedly confrontational.
Today I took the preparatory steps to becoming furbo that an Italian would take on any given morning. I had a cappuccino and a corneto integrale on via Gioberti. I walked fast and in the middle on the road so confidently that no bike or three-wheeled truck dared to honk me out of the way. I spoke with my best accento fiorentino and self-assurance. I was assertive when making purchases--I wanted a discount for purchasing more than one item or I wouldn't buy it.
And then I got to the Post Office centrale near Piazza Repubblica and I was running late for my lunch in Gavinana outside of town. Come al solito. I pulled a ticket for 142, when the customer being served at the window was at 114. Porca miseria!. So I did some quick calculations. I could look at the flower market under the arches around the Poste, and then make a quick visit to the Smith College sede in Piazza Signoria before my number was called.
I tend to talk too much and lose track of time. I did exactly that with my former study-abroad coordinator. I got back to the Poste and the board beeped a 149. Oddio, che palle!!!
I knew there was only one solution to avoid waiting for my new number, 174. I needed to be furba. I needed to be confident and very convincing.
The number 151 came up. The post officer waited, looked around, finger on the button for the next number. I vecchietti in line looked at their numbers and sighed, so I made a mad dash to the desk.
Che numero hai? she wanted to make sure I was number 151.
Ah, well I have 142, but I was outside and customer 151 has left the poste office, I said in a whisper as to not draw angry glares from the crowd of customers.
And in two minutes, I paid and ran to the bus. Menomale!
Now the Disclaimer: So if you want to have any success at being furba, you need lots of sleep, siesta's and caffe'. My good friend M forgot those key steps but was saved by her innate furba-ness. She had to talk her way out of a 50 euro fine to the bus-ticket controllers, for having ripped a 4-way paper ticket in half, which was unstamped because it was too short at that point to fit in the machine. She later made the mistake of misreading a Eurostar sign on a train and got on with a regular priced ticket, and the ticket controller kicked her off. Two trains later, she found herself on another Eurostar (she had no money to buy a higher-priced ticket) that afternoon so she decided to be fake being deaf. But she was a bit sfortunata, because it was the SAME ticket controller! Despite being sleep deprived, despite having forgotten a crucial espresso before her nine-hour ride from Vienna to Modena, she was naturally furba and talked herself out of being arrested.
So if you are not my friend, M, and not prepared to be furba, don't even try it because it's exhausting...comunque, you should prep yourself first before you take on the challenges of being tricky, or else you might find yourself in a tricky situation!
*not my friends or acquaintances, but those Italians who see my cappelli biondi and put me in the outsider category subito so they can stereotype and undermine me
December 10, 2008
thank you, Uncle Chris, for this fantastic panoramic of our gita around Florence. we saw palazzo borghese, kent state univ study-abroad palazzo, caffe' rinascente, chiaroscuro, the post office and san lorenzo market. in the evening we had a glass of Castiglioni chianti at an enoteca with a little bit of souvenir shopping in the leather shops of Borgo Greci. also, we were on a mission to find three giant Babbo Natale cioccolati di Kindercare...
un incontro all'improvviso became una bellissima giornata!
December 8, 2008
they have this wonderful way of writing about the culture & customs, sketches of local Italians, a weekly "fatto bello" (nice fact) of the week, and book reviews. this week i was really touched by the story about the colorful altruistic taxi driver, Caterina aka "Milano25".
I was lucky enough to ride in her taxi two years ago one night after a long evening out with the girls at YAB, Lochness or Slowly (or all three). surprisingly we found her taxi at a stand in Piazza Repubblica. this was a real lucky streak considering she is a famous taxi driver (for all her volunteer work for kids with cancer) and so we jumped in her car for our ride home. it was such an experience let me tell you...it was as smooth as an airplane, it was like being rocked to sleep in a cradle with all the toys and DVD screens showing a Disney movie, it was like going back to my childhood for those twenty minutes. I thought I was in a fairy tale.
But when you read about her life...you realize her personal story was not like a fairytale.
And seeing that my point is that The Florentine is a wonderful newspaper that focuses on the positive, you can bet that they really showed you the beauty and upside of her story.
Thank you, TheFlorentine!
December 7, 2008
December 5, 2008
(My LinkedIn profile explains what I'm looking for if you're curious)
Now that everyone else I know directly or indirectly through friends (facebook tells me i have 814 friends*, linkedin tells me i have 11 connections, my email has 234 contacts) has a tangled web of their exponentially growing collection of pages on the world wide WEB, I can't even keep up with friends, family, colleagues...let alone my own pages, me.
*are they all true friends i see and talk to daily? no of course not
Good thing that's all that came up. *
*I'm not saying there is more to find, I'm just glad that's the case.
**On facebook someone could tag some horrible unflattering or scandalous pictures to your face. On google you may accidentally find other scandals with your name attached. PHEW so far so good...