Tuesday, December 8, 2009

on the eve of bill's arrival

so ladies and gentlemen -
the year has passed like a ship through dark still water and my time in italy draws to a close. i'm not sure how this much time has managed to slip by so quickly but it has nonetheless.

it's strange really to be left with anxiety knowing that this year away, this challenge, this life altering event that has defined my identity in a time of rapid change is now passed and i am once again left to re-define myself for and by myself. the process of assimilating the new me, the former-expatriate-former-sibling-someone's-wife-me back to a life that i left behind brings with it no small measure of anxiety to be sure. it's hard not to fear that my life here will somehow slip away because, back at home, i'm the only one who knows about or understands it. i can try to share it with the people around me, but they don't know what it's like here, what it's like to be me here. in a few short days i can attempt to put it all on display for bill, but somehow that seems like a fool's errand.

so tomorrow morning, i will go to the airport, greet my husband whom i've missed very very much, and make it work, because that's all i can do.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

expect the unexpected

it's so funny how always the least expected thoughts and realizations are the most poignant, important, and from time to time, painful.

shortly after bill and i got engaged i remember realizing that certain things, marriage, children, settled domestic life, had never been certainties for me. that these kinds of steps in life are things that we consider wanting or not wanting, having or not having. what i mean is that getting married or having children or a particular type of career can be fantasies with fuzzy edges and indiscernible details, but it is only when you have already laid the groundwork for these dreams to become reality that you can truly visualize them.

so, back to the point, the full impact of what it meant to be engaged to someone, to know the name, face and love of the person who i was going to marry, also meant that i knew who would be the father of my children. it seems like a stupid obvious thing, but i can tell you, with certainty, that it was a significant moment for me.

so now, a little more than a year later, i'm trying to plan the next steps of my career that i can only barely visualize thus far. i can't help thinking that pete would be finishing his time in korea and doing the same planning and dreaming right about now. this is one of those blindsides of a realization that threatens to hurt the most.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

the road to hell -

so clearly just when i thought that i would be a good little blogger, i breached faith in the most egregious way thus far. it's been quite a while people and to be completely honest i don't have the energy to catch you all up; furthermore i'm betting that you don't have the energy to read the tome of an entry that it would require.

it's july 28th. i go home a week from today and i've never been more ready in my life. it has been four months since i've seen bill and seven since sweet home chicago. i have actually been missing the city quite a bit lately - ah homesickness.

right now things are fairly quiet. i've been working on my field project with a group of three other women who i generally like although one of them has been driving me reasonably crazy on and off. i've basically reached fluency in italian, thank god. there's nothing that i detest worse in this life than feeling ill at ease, stupid, or unable to express myself (as those of you who know me well very well know) so having conquered the majority of that obstacle feels pretty good. it's interesting to be at this level with a language though because i often find myself thinking in parallel in english and italian. so far it has served me well.

anyway. for those of you in chicago: i hope to see you in the next four weeks. for those of you outside: i hope to see you too i just don't know when. vi voglio bene.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

so much for good intentions

i suppose i shouldn't set such high standards for myself because i always seem to balk at the precipice if you know what i mean. i've been all over the place and back again lately, so as you can imagine, things have been pretty hectic. after napoli i went to paris and then a couple weeks later spent four days camping in the south (a bit south of salerno) and hanging around a music festival with friends. i had an amazing time.

ever since i got back it's been hard to concentrate and i've been exhausted. there's an expression in italian, non ho la faccia per...qualcosa which literally translates to, i don't have the face for...something. this is pretty much how i feel about school in general these days. i'm just trying to hold out for the next two weeks until we start our field projects at which point i'm hoping to get a second (or third) wind.

i've been thinking a lot about pete lately. i'm finding the idea that he's dead for my whole life incredibly difficult to accept. i'm not convinced that i will ever really be able to accept it. it seems more like a brutal reality that will confront me on a regular basis than something that i will get used to. i suppose time will tell really.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

oh wow -

- have i been blowing off the blog. but, in fairness to me, i've barely been in milan lately.

about a week after my last posting i went to napoli and spent four days messing about in the south which was really great actually. it's really a beautiful city that oddly enough reminds me a whole lot of san francisco. a friend of a friend lives down there and he was kind enough to organize some nightlife for me so basically i wandered around during the day senza programma and at night got together with people and experienced a bit of that. i stayed at a really cute hostel right in the center of town on the border of the centro storico. i was really impressed that the hostel was actually pretty true to the photos on the website, which seems to be something of a rarity. so, if you ever go to napoli i highly recommend. the historical center of the city is quite gorgeous actually and you wouldn't believe how many little pizza man magnets can be for sale in one place. it's actually a bit terrible really. i can't imagine how the napolitani must feel about selling this absurd italian stereotypes to the absurd american tourists...oh well, a euro's a euro. here are some photos:

i also had the chance to go to capri, which is ohmygod beautiful, although it's impossible not to get the distince sense of not belonging to the club there (and by club i mean the ultra rich residents/tourists of capri club). i promise i'll add photos soon, but at the moment i have to stop doing this and start doing work, actual work that is. xo

Friday, May 1, 2009

fuori salone, armani, manifestazioni

i just finished uploading the rest of my photos from design week onto my computer. this batch is actually from fuori salone from the zona tortona area, which is pretty close to my house. i saw some pretty great things, but the actual fair itself was pretty hard to beat.

while on my way over there i met a couple of kids from the netherlands, eindhoven actually. apparently this city is not only the location of a very famous design school but apparently is the center of the design universe in the netherlands. i hear they'd like to give milan a run for the title vis a vis organizations like brainport they were here with a group of students and alumni exhibiting at fuorisalone. their space was called jewels and joules . it was one of the best things i saw over the entire week. the two people that i met were the "food designers" which is a totally new concept to me. basically they experiment with different flavors of food and design dishes. as chefs have been doing this since the dawn of time, it's not a particularly revolutionary concept. the twist in this case is that the people doing it are not chefs so they come to it with a different perspective on how food mixes and functions socially - interesting indeed. in this particular project they were using foods that are typical of south-eastern holland such as white asparagus, purple potatoes and smoked eel (totally delicious i swear to god). the eel is hanging above the table in this photo, along with bundles of asparagus.

the following photo is of a lamp that is currently in production that is made up of small foam oil drums. the number of oil drums that make up the lamp when the customer receives it depends on the price of oil at the time of purchase: the higher the price the fewer drums and thus the smaller the lamp, the lower the price the more drums and the bigger it is.

much of the show was about sustainability, gardening and food. here is my absolute favorite thing that i saw at the salone del mobile. it's a cultivation cabinet in which one can germinate seeds and grow small plants. it could comfortably live inside of the house and is a really beautiful structure. i'm going to ask bill to build me one.

here are some other assorted photographic highlights from zona tortona:

all of the preceding fuorisalone business happened last saturday. i had had all kinds of grandiose plans for sunday, but ended up doing basically nothing because i was exhausted and the weather was rainy and shitty. the weather remained rainy and shitty through wednesday. ugh. milan. wednesday night some girls from my program invited me out to an aperitivo and then we went to armani prive. i know it sounds super exclusive, but it's basically just like an other club, except it really is guest list/table only and the drinks are 20 euro! wtf man?! i did really have a good time, drunkenly dancing all over the place and being appalled by all of the incredibly scantily clad women bouncing about. i definitely can't see going there regularly, but every once in a while it's fun as evidenced below.

i know that this is the longest post in history, but it's mostly images! i'm trying not to tax all of your brains too intensely with lots of reading, just visual stimulation - yeah!

today, may 1st, is a holiday in italy. i honestly have no idea why and i don't really feel like researching it (but conveniently you're already on the internet and can if you feel so inclined). i went to my friend yael's house to interview her for a project and ended up staying and having lunch. we went out to meet up with a friend of hers and decided to go to the center, since it's the only part of the city that's open on holidays - if you're lucky. our tram driver made an announcement that it couldn't reach the center due to a manifestazione. we decided to walk since it wasn't really that far. about two blocks closer to the duomo, we found ourselves in the middle of this:

in case you were wondering, yes, that huge black thing is a wall of speakers that was blasting out fantastic reggae music and all of those people around us were dancing up the street behind it as it drove towards the center of the city. it was truly fantastic, particularly in a country with no open bottle laws. we were drinking beers and dancing up the street and the weather was amazing!