Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I'm leaving you. It isn't you, it's me.

Vado in Italia domani.

I will be back in three weeks, though, so let's not get too emotional about the whole thing. Who knows? Maybe something astonishing will happen and I'll hasten to an internet cafe to tell you about it. Frankly, I don't think anyone will be too broken up about the silence. I'm pretty sure that Marja is the only one who reads this and she'll be with me.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Oops. Switch that.

I was just intrigued by an online headline that I read as "Who's having 15 babies? Surprising facts."

Unfortunately (or fortunately I guess if you were the mother to be), it actually says "Who's having babies? 15 surprising facts."

That's far less interesting. Plus I already know the answer: all my friends. And there's nothing too surprising about it. I mean, they're married and all.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Their dark secret

As I walked out of Whole Foods with my organic nectarines and special prawn wraps, I passed a Whole Foods employee who was headed back into the store. In one hand, he held a cardboard tray with four 20-ounce sodas and in the other, a large plastic bag. The cups and the bag were emblazoned with two words: Taco Bell.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Nothing but the best

I really appreciate the lengths to which TrenItalia has gone to expidite my train travel to Italian airports. I can't tell you how many times I've been on my way to the airport wishing I could in suit relax and avoid all those darn tails. Grazie mille, TrenItalia!

The Local Transport of Trenitalia has instituted connections (direct and metropolitan services) between the cities of Palermo , Rome and Pisa and you respect airports in order to allow to you the travellers to save on the transfer costs and to optimize to the maximum the times of distance, travelling comfortable, sure, fast and in suit relax, avoiding the tails and the automotive traffic.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Bad guys

I love Trevor at Bank of America because when he was trying to explain exactly how fraud had been perpetrated with my stolen checks he got into some murky syntactical waters filled with too many pronouns. Finally he said, "Okay, let's just call them the Bad Guys. The Bad Guys took your check into the branch..."

Dear Bad Guys,
Everything's been canceled so it's of no use to you anyway. However, if you want to keep my credit cards as a souvenir, you may. There are some things I'd like back, though. Could you please send me my Free Sandwich card, my old drivers license from Oregon (because I was just 23 and it is one of the only pictures I've ever liked of myself), that gift certificate that my brother gave me for Christmas (I was saving it until I found just the right sweater), and also my childhood library card? Oh, and while you're at it, could I have my wallet back? It's magenta and turquoise and probably doesn't match your stuff, but I really liked it. Thanks.

Oh, by the way, your mother is terribly ashamed of you. Please mend your ways.

Someone who used to have no opinion of you, who now wishes you ill

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Learning another language is a tricky business. Pitfalls galore. For example, I learned in my Italian class that "piano" means floor of a building, slow, and (unsurprisingly) piano. My friend Marja reasonably asked me, "So, how do you say 'move the piano slowly to the third floor'?" I have no idea.

Along these lines, I was dining with a Frenchman last night who inquired what I would like to eat. I replied "La soupe et le connard." That would be fine if indeed that meant "the soup and the duck," but it doesn't. Duck is "canard."

I actually said, "I'll have the soup and the asshole."


Tuesday, June 14, 2005


One of the many rules for working in a construction zone is that open-toed shoes are forbidden. Nevertheless, I am wearing my new blue skirt (skirts I think are also forbidden, but I only own one pair of jeans and cannot reasonably wear them every day for three months) and I wanted to bring out the blue sandals for their debut appearance.

About ten steps into the walk it became clear that these sandals had only been pretending to be comfortable and, now that they were safely out of the store, they could reveal the sandpaper/knife edge thing they'd been saving for the top of my foot. Despite the fact that I was carrying a pair of perfectly serviceable close-toed shoes to put on at work, I continued to wear the torture sandals for ten blocks. Long enough, as it turns out, to draw blood. From both feet. But they did match my skirt. So that's something.

Friday, June 10, 2005

My secret shame

Just now I bought a loaf of sourdough. Having missed lunch, I'm feeling peckish, so I thought I'd just tear off the heel of the loaf to snack on on my way home. I reached in, clutched the end, exerted force, and--nothing happened. After a block, I gave up.

That's right people. In a battle of strength, I have been bested by...bread.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Calico Hard Hat

The whole working in a construction zone thing continues to be a wonderous and varied experience. I am pleased to report that this is the first day since being in this building that my fingers are finger-colored rather than blue. How can this possibly be true, you ask? Simple. I was so embarrassingly bitchy in the staff meeting on Monday (Staff shares a hearty chuckle about our shared plight in sub zero temperatures; I interrupt saying "Yeah. No. It's actually not funny. At all. I have spent the day wrapped in a blanket. Not okay.")that they have run 600 feet of extention cord to some viable power source such that I can be provided with a space heater. Positive reinforcement of bad behavior. Bolstered by these immediate favorable results, there's no telling what I'll ask for next.

Meanwhile, anywhere beyond my office door continues to be a frosty wasteland where my more polite/stoic colleagues scuttle around clad in various down-filled outerwear. There are plenty of ladders and exposed electrical cords. There's a half-finished bathroom. There are boarded-up windows.

Yet, among all these things, the one that makes me feel most abandonned is perhaps the jug of water that sits alone on a table in the hallway. It is one of those large containers that is meant to be turned upside down on a water cooler--that center of office life. Of course, we don't actually have a water cooler. Therefore, our water jug sits upright and has been fitted with a spout and a pump. To use this is to instantly evoke Little House on the Prairie. I can't shake the feeling that Pa has just sent me out back to fetch a pail of water for Ma.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Rock on

A homeless (or possibly just miscellaneously crazy) guy has set himself up across the street from the school. Presumably, he's chosen this paricular spot because it affords such a great view of the building construction. And everyone knows there's nothing more entertaining than watching people shuttle debris out of a constuction site into a dumpster. He is sitting on a little raised ledge that marks the edge of a planted area. In fact, "sitting" may be a generous term; the only reason he is not lying down is because he is being supported by the little fence that protects the plants. He is passed out against it, but it sags under his weight so his body is curved into an uncomfortable looking "C". Beside him on the sidewalk is a sizeable boom box. It is blasting "Born to be Wild."

Rock on, crazy passed out guy. Rock on.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The beauty of a comma

There's a new Dave Matthews song on the radio right now, the chorus of which is "Stay beautiful baby. I hope you stay American baby. Stay beautiful baby."

So, my question is, where do the commas go? Is this a plea to maintain a strict beauty regimen and to please not revoke citizenship? Or is it simply a request for a lovely American to not wander off?