Tuesday, December 30, 2008

i only have a few days left here, and i'm feeling the crush to accomplish and to see everyone and to get ready to be alone again.

i'm feeling pete's absence a bit less frequently now. it's hardest in the shower of all places. i think maybe i'm the most alone there that i am anywhere and i find myself crying more there than i would think. it's also been difficult to see beautiful things, or when watching movies, it's the triumphant moments that make me the saddest. it's painful to be alive seeing and feeling amazing things when he's not.

i hope that i'm able to be true to myself and get everything out of life that i possibly can. i hope that i can love freely and allow myself to be loved. i hope that i can live the dream, just like he would be.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


i've been thinking a whole lot lately about different frames of mind/states of consciousness lately, as i mentioned in my previous entry. when i was in milan, time was passing really slowly for me. i've had a couple of different conversations with friends about this phenomenon, and i have concluded time speeds and slows relative to how much i am in tune with the world around me, or as meagen said, "living in the moment." when i'm really stimulated, a day feels like a week, and a week feels like a month. when i'm in a routine and uninterested, or looking forward to something in the future the days slip by.

when thinking about ways to explain this, i always think about the theory of relativity. the closer a person's forward movement is, relative to the speed of light, the more slowly time passes. i always think about this in terms of resonant frequencies. if my molecules are vibrating at or close to the same speed as the molecules around me, time moves more slowly. maybe this is just bogus esoteric, quasi-scientific bullshit, but it makes sense to me. i have also been reading philip pullman's, his dark materials series, which has certainly contributed to my thoughts of the soul's interactions with the universe. i'm sure that i will blog about my thoughts on that also, but right now this entry seems muddled and jumpy enough already.

pete's death has brought up all kinds of different feelings for me, particularly over the past week or so. when thinking about myself and my "issues," it continuously occurs to me that many of them are based on my history of breaking myself up into little pieces. i think it's a side effect of being a child of divorced parents. when i found myself navigating my way between mother and father and the very different people they are, i think i spent most of my time trying to make everyone happy. i was one thing to my father and stepmother and another to my mother. i lived very different lives at each of their houses and each of them brought out different parts of me, both good and bad.

i've been reminded of all this recently while trying to sort out details surrounding peter's things, and traveling to san diego and such. it seems that this kind of fracturing has become habitual. this seems to be the most subtly damaging effect that my parent's divorce has had on me. i've noticed it in other areas of my life also. the habit really seems to be the problem. it doesn't seem too complicated a process to identify these sorts of patterns, but solutions are elusive. i would like to think that therapy is the answer, but i don't really believe that. i don't think there is an answer. the best we can do is to find ways to cope with the difficult realities of our lives.

i will consider myself a success if i can manage this.

Monday, December 22, 2008

the past few days have been really hard for me. for the most part everything has been fine, but periodically i'm struck by waves of sadness and anger. some of the time there are little things that remind me of pete, or the fact that he's gone, other times nothing at all.

i feel like i've been stuck between two very different modes of being, opposing consciousness even. in one i feel normal and fine and the world is turning. in the other, i can't help but stare off into space and numb my brain as quickly as possible. it's hard to deal with so many different emotions all at once: fear, sadness, guilt, anger. i feel totally schizophrenic.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

saturday, t-minus 13 days

a few days ago i finally started dreaming again. i hadn't been since pete died, which is strange for me because i usually remember at least a couple bits and pieces. so for the past number of nights, i've been remembering them again. it's comforting to me to feel like i'm at least a little bit back to normal because the dreams have returned. i feel like now my mind is allowing me to work things out while i sleep, while before it was protecting me from something that i haven't been ready to deal with.

last night i dreamed about my father and sylvia's house in san diego. they had completely redecorated it, to the point where it was unrecognizable. there were a lot of people staying there, old family friends, relatives, etc. i kept on trying to figure out where i was going to sleep and really didn't know because it looked like every bed was taken. the house itself was beautiful and strange. there was a lot of yellow and green everywhere. my father gave me a tour of the place and finally brought me into a room that they had made just for me. inside of it were all of the things that i had ever made for my parents, or that meant something to them about me. the room was pretty amazing looking. the walls were a periwinkle/powder blue and the accent colors were neon orange. there was a big primitive icon statue in the middle of a huge built in bookcase that was filled to the brim with things and there were multi-colored mardi gras beads hanging everywhere. it's funny actually, some of the most memorable parts of specific dreams lately have been colors. the colors stay with me and i love them.

it's less than two weeks now before i go back to italy. i'm excited to return and to start school again, but the thought of having to leave bill once more is very unappealing. life is so very strange for me right now. i'm so divided right now: between two cities and two languages, between two states of mind, one with my brother constantly and one with the rest of the world. at home with bill i'm married and in italy of course i'm not single but i'm living a single life. what a strange way to be.

Monday, December 15, 2008


i can't believe that it's already sunday and that the last post that i wrote was on tuesday. i feel like the days have been slipping by here. some of them are longer and some are shorter. there are moments when i can't stop thinking about peter and there are moments when things are normal.

being at home and spending time with friends has been really good so far. it has been a bit strange finding myself in the same kinds of situations from before because now i feel like a whole different person. pete's death has been, and i'm sure will continue to be an identity changing event for me.

in other news, things between bill and me have been really good since i've been home. he has been amazingly loving and supportive throughout this hellish ordeal. words cannot express how much i love him and how happy i am that we're together.

i feel like maybe i'm starting to come back to life a little bit. i think it will be a slow and painstaking process, but it will happen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


i just can't bring myself to come up with titles for these blog posts. not only do i feel without wit, but i feel that it would somehow be unreasonable or inappropriate to be witty. it's really stupid actually.

my brother wasn't necessarily witty in the same way that i am, and that my father is, but he appreciated it. i want to honor his memory by continuing to be myself, but everything feels so jarring right now. every time i go anywhere, i am assaulted by a barrage of images and feelings about him and the future.

i'm confronted by and facing my parents' sadness, but mine is so completely different. pete was supposed to keep me company when they're gone. he was supposed to still be lumbering around like my father and reminiscing with me about times long past. now i can't help but to think about the future without him, a future that is much longer for me than for my parents.

a very close friend came down to visit me yesterday. we spent the day screwing around, eating crab cake sandwiches and shopping in one of my favorite antique malls. walking around in all the stuff made me think of my family stuff. it made me think of all the things that were supposed to be passed down to my brother. those things will now go to bill and to me, and to our son(s).

all of a sudden i find myself worrying about my children, those yet unborn. i want to name my son peter, but is that unfair? is it reasonable to give his name to someone else? is it fair to either of them? or worse, what if i don't have a son? it feels so ridiculous to me to even be thinking about these things right now, but i can't help it.

i'm sure that as time passes, these thoughts will fade into the background; they're front and center at this moment.

Monday, December 8, 2008


we had pete's "service" on friday. it was bizarre and a little bit awkward and i couldn't stop crying. it was nice to have the family together. i've been really exhausted and have gone to sleep every night before ten o'clock. friday night i passed out on the couch at 8:45. unfortunately bill had to get back to chicago to work the weekend. i woke up at 4:30 in the morning on saturday to drive him to the airport. i came back here and went back to bed for another few hours. when i woke up i felt a bit better.

one of pete's close friends organized a memorial gathering for friends at the house yesterday. it was nice to see everyone together who knew and loved my brother. in the beginning it was a little strange since i didn't really know many people here. but it was clear that everyone really
cared about him. it meant a lot to my parents. not as many people got up to speak as i know had stories to tell. pete was a pretty ridiculous guy and i'm sure that his friends weren't completely comfortable telling all the off-color stories that they have about him in front of my parents. i can't blame them really. i told one of his friends that i want him to write down everything that he remembers about pete and email it all to me. i think the stories will keep me comfortable when i'm feeling sad.

today has been quiet. i think we're all just passing the time. tomorrow a close close friend is coming down for the day. i'm really looking forward to seeing her and spending some good time together.

Friday, December 5, 2008


yesterday the family came, and so did pete's ashes. i keep feeling like i should have more to say, but i don't. my brother's ashes are sitting on a table in my parent's living room.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


i arrived in san diego today. it's very strange here, and very quiet.

everyone who i talk to keeps saying that they've been trying to avoid calling because they think it would be too much. it isn't too much. maybe that's why no one is calling. it's so strange to be in silence like this. the only thing that breaks through every so often is a thought of pete.

i was eating a burger yesterday, and couldn't get away from this picture that i have in my head of him eating some kind of messy sandwich. i don't even know when it was, but he had his face in it and the juice was running down his hands. he was a complete mess.

i got his tattoo yesterday. he traveled through southeast asia almost two years ago and got a tattoo in thailand. it was a thai phrase that is sort of hard to translate into english, but it basically means to strive for and to get all together. it's the way the pete lived his life and the way that i live mine. so now it's my motto and on my arm so it can be close to my heart.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


it seems like the storm has died down a little bit now. people are still calling, but less frequently. it seems like i have less to do. i have to leave the house today. i have to take off the clothes that i've been wearing for the past two days and take a shower.

bill and i are going to see our therapist this morning. i hope it will help.

tomorrow we go to san diego for the service. i can't bring myself to say the other word. funeral.

it's funny actually, because it's been hard for me to use euphemisms in my own head. i've only been using them with other people who i tell, my brother passed away on friday. yes it was of natural causes. yes it was fast and he wasn't in any pain.

the voice that's been marching in circles in my head can only say, my brother is dead, my brother is dead, my brother is dead. for some reason i'm not saying it nicely to myself.

what's the point?

my brother is dead.

Monday, December 1, 2008


today is monday: the day after sunday, which is the day after saturday, my brother's birthday, which is the day after friday, the day he died. i've been home now for about 36 hours, and last night i was actually able to sleep through the night.

now i'm awake, but everyone else is still sleeping.

i've gotten so many phone calls and emails over the past few days. it's been really amazing how many people have reached out to me. to be honest i still can't really believe that all of this is actually happening.

some of peter's friends from work came over to the house last night. it's great spending time with my friends of course, but it was really really good to talk to people who knew him well and who could laugh with me about all of the ridiculous quirks that made my brother such a unique and amazing person.

he was so charming when he wanted to be. he could make old ladies and diner waitresses giggle with the most ridiculous lines. i was never quite sure why they worked, but he pretty much always got a smile. he was very serious about his clothing; everything needed to coordinate just so. a friend of his from work told me that pete used to rib him about the clothes he was wearing, that is so my brother, so something that he would do. i suppose we weren't so different in that regard.

the kids at the center where he worked in chicago used to make him these string bracelets. he always wore them to work to show them how much it meant to him to receive them. he was the kind of guy who would wear a necklace made out of pasta every day so that some little kid who made it could know that she was special. he was kind, and caring and a little bit ridiculous. but now the funniest thing is that the ridiculous things that he did, the ways in which he was just himself, are the things that i will miss most and the things that take my breath away.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I’m flying right now. I’m flying right now and I feel normal. I feel like a living breathing human being. I’ve had quite a few pangs of guilt over the past few hours that I’ve felt like a normal human being for feeling that way. In the end, I’ve decided that it’s what Pete would have wanted.

It helps temper the guilt a little to know that the pain is waiting for me as soon as I’m no longer flying through the air from one place to another. I’ll be home. I will be looking at people and places that he used to look at, but this time I’ll know that he’s not here to look at them anymore.

It seems slightly more merciless to me that I’m flying across time zones on his birthday and that for me this day is unnaturally long. The sun has been setting through the airplane window now for the past hour or so. It will be setting still when I arrive home.

I’ve been sitting in a brightly colored airplane under rainbow lighting with a really cool little kid for the past five hours. I wish I could stay here forever, taking small glasses of water from women in saris, eating chicken Indian style and watching movies so that I’ll never have to deal with the fact that I can’t tell my brother about it. He would be so entertained.

It’s both beautiful and cruel that the saddest day of my life is also neverending, definitely more day than god intended. The longest sunset I’ve ever witnessed on the longest darkest day I’ve ever lived.

Happy birthday kiddo, wherever you are.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

in the dark

today is the worst day that has ever happened. i wish that i could say i can't wait for it to be over, but tomorrow will be bad too.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday, Venerdì Bianco

It’s the day after thanksgiving, and I woke up from a really bizarre dream to see snow falling outside my window. Although Milan is very close to the Alps, it is not terribly common for it to know here, particularly with the ferocity with which it’s snowing outside right now.

But let me rewind about 14 hours and recount the events of Thanksgiving dinner. I had been told (and emailed) about a turkey dinner here at a bistrot somewhere in Brera (a very fashionable neighborhood in the northwest part of the center). The flyer had indicated the menu, the price (35€) and had called it a dinner/party with Football on the big screen(!). I surveyed my friends, but between the price and the vicious cold that’s been going around, I found myself pretty much on my own. I made a reservation for one for the 9:30 seating. At about 7:00 I was sitting in bed, bored and lonely, trying to decide whether I was going to go to this thing or not.

One of my reluctances in going to the dinner had been that I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a sit down environment, or something a bit more interactive. I was not entirely convinced that I could cope with sitting at a table by myself, eating turkey. It’s just fucking turkey right? Who gives a shit about the turkey?

At Bill’s suggestion, I finally decided to get my ass up and get out of the house. I got dressed, hopped on the Metro and walked around a little bit to find the itty-bitty street (thanks Rebekah, couldn’t live without the moleskine).

So, I arrive to the restaurant, which is, in fact, a restaurant with lots of tables where people are being seated for dinner. Damn it. I find the host (who is actually the owner), a Texan as a matter of fact, and he tells me that since I booked alone, he had put me at a table with someone else who was also alone, so that I didn’t have to eat alone. That was nice of him (right?), but unfortunately my mystery date hadn’t arrived yet. He asked if I wanted to wait a few minutes and offered me a seat at the bar. I sat at the bar and drank a glass of prosecco, all the while feeling strange, out of place and alone. There were tons of Americans around, so I’m sure I could’ve made friends, but I didn’t really feel like it. Those Americans weren’t a suitable replacement for my Americans, so why bother right?

Finally I got sick of waiting, and by this time it was already about 10pm, and I was very hungry. I went back up to Danny, the host/owner/Texan and said that I was ready to be seated with or without mystery date. He said, “Are you sure? I don’t want you to have to eat alone.” I responded, “I really do appreciate it, however, the fact is that I am alone. I’m alone in Milan, it’s the daily reality of my life so thanks again, it’s very sweet of you, but I’ll just take the table.”

I was seated in a two-top right at the top of the stairs, facing the stairs. So everyone who walked up the stairs got to look at the sad American woman eating thanksgiving dinner in Milan alone. There were moments when I felt like I was in a zoo. I ended up talking to the couple at the table next to me, two American college kids who are studying abroad for a semester. I had also brought a book, grazie a dio. So, in general, despite lots of indicators to the contrary, I was doing all right. The food was decent, slightly over-salted and the cranberry sauce had quite a suspicious quantity of blueberry flavor, but overall I give it a not bad.

When I had finished my turkey/potatoes/stuffing/cranblueberry sauce/spinach plate, I had to get up and use the restroom. For everyone who doesn’t know, it Italy, restrooms are unisex. You walk in and generally there’s a sink and a couple of stalls with doors, that are more like little rooms than regular bathroom stalls. I went into one of the stalls and locked the door. When I was just about finished, a guy opened the door (despite the fact that it had been locked) and started to walk in. I screamed. I only saw his pink button down shirt. I think at that point he retreated back up the stairs, because when I came out of the bathroom, he was nowhere to be found. I breathed a sigh of relief; at least I didn’t have to look at him. Little did I know that this particular pleasure was to be reserved for mere seconds later when I was halfway up the stairs and he was coming back down. It was a narrow staircase and we conveniently ran into each other on the landing where we had to maneuver a little bit to walk around each other. He made a discernible effort to not look me in the face while we continued in our opposite directions.

Welcome to the land of complete mortification…it’s nice to meet you.

I returned to my table to find my dessert waiting for me there: a little square of “pumpkin pie” floating in an almost completely melted vanilla gelato soup. It was, shall we say, slightly disappointing.

Then, I had a nice little reprise with Mr. Pink Shirt when he came back up the stairs and had to pass my Thanksgiving-for-one table, which was so conveniently centrally located.

At the end of it all, I was really glad that I had gone out…even to a ridiculously traumatic meal like that one. I got to come home, call some family and talk to the people who I really wish I had been with. Conveniently, by that time, I had enough of a buzz going that I had already mostly set aside the, what one might call, horrific events of the evening.

So, now it’s almost noon on Friday morning, black Friday in the US and, as it turns out, a white Friday in Milan. I’m going to take a shower in a few minutes and get outside and enjoy the snow. Right about now in Chicago, the lines are building outside of all the electronics stores and the Wal-Marts so that people can have themselves a merry little Christmas in the midst of a worldwide financial crisis. I’m going to go get a panino and drink a cappuccino, and disavow all knowledge.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


today is november 27th, thanksgiving day. it's cold and sunny in milan and completely devoid of the sights and smells to which i am accustomed. it's difficult not to think about all of the thanksgivings i have spent in the past and all the people i love who are thousands of miles away.

the past year has been huge for me. i think it's fairly safe to say that i have closed one chapter of my life, while simultaneously opening a few others. it's difficult to be without bill, particularly today. we've been together for three years, but only for one thanksgiving so far, and unfortunately our first together as husband and wife may have to wait a while, as it looks like we might spend next year's equally distantly.

my one wish this year is that all of my loved ones be happy and surrounded by love. for the last few years my family and family members have seen more space grow between us, all of us. it seems like this year, everyone feels a little bit alone, not just i, who actually am so.

life is hard...and growing up and moving on is maybe the hardest part of it. i am thankful for everyone and for the history we already share, and for the future that we haven't yet written together.

with love.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

one day it will all be mine.

i went shopping today. i didn't buy anything, and it was completely amazing. there are so many beautiful things here i can't even describe it. i really missed bill today. there were so many things that i wanted to buy for him (and for me of course). i went to corso como 10, which is a very famous store here. they carry pretty much every major designer and it's an incredibly beautiful and interesting space. i also checked out lots of awesome little stores. the style here is so fantastic (unsurprising right?).

whenever i have the opportunity to look around like this, i always feel really filled up at the end of it. it's the reason that i know i have to work in fashion. there are just so many beautiful pieces of art in the world...and yes of course they're really expensive, but so beautiful. and fuck money anyway. you can't take it with you right? (<--says the girl who has none)

someday i'll have lots and i'll have a houseful of beautiful things that i will wear and use all the time and they will give me great pleasure. sigh, just not today.

Friday, November 21, 2008

freda moon-stelloh...

love you and miss you, and if i were you i would keep that 20 right where you've got it, although maybe throw in "has lots of fun" in the middle. i'm also hoping there are some good betting odds for "gets an unbelievable interesting and lucrative job upon degree completion," updates forthcoming. xoxo

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the cheese stands alone sometimes, but it's getting better all the time.

so, it was brought to my attention today by a dear friend of mine that i have been neglecting my readership. mea culpa, mea culpa.

the past couple weeks have been a veritable roller coaster. with reference to my last posting, i've been able to work out most of the kinks here. i have internet access finally. i bought a phone that as it turns out i won't really be using that much, and i've actually managed to make a couple friends who i really really like. so that's good too. i've been going out a bit (just a bit) and having lots of fun with some lovely italian girls. they're all so sweet and so much fun. consequently my italian has improved dramatically which is also fantastic.

there's also a completely adorable chinese girl named yoyo who sits next to me in class who i love. she's completely hilarious, very smart and we have lots of funny paper conversations in class so as not to be disruptive (see below). you can find all of these people on my facebook account if you're interested in photos and the like.

things have (i guess) been busy here lately. my course are going exceptionally well. they're very interesting...i even like accounting. who knew? things are actually kind of already winding down here. i only have two more weeks of class and then a week off to study for exams. then, as most of you already know, i'll be going home for almost three weeks (yay!!) to spend time with bill and the cats and my couch (and friends of course).

for the most part everyone in my classes is really nice too, although there are a few people who've been getting on my nerves. there are also quite a few people who can't seem to keep their damn mouths shut which is really deeply pissing me off on a regular basis. what are we, in fucking kindergarten?!

so, all in all, italy is improving for me dramatically. i'm feeling very hopeful about the coming year and think it's going to be lots and lots of fun. hopefully i'll have lots of visitors who will get to share it with me.


Monday, November 10, 2008

nothing works in this damn country!

today has been somewhat frustrating thus far. i bought an internet key for the computer over the weekend in the hopes of solving my access problems at home. no phone and no internet is pretty rough in my world. i was all excited to use it when i got home to rent a movie and lay in bed as i was pretty hung over and feeling shitty.

as you might have guessed the damn thing didn't work.

i had planned to go to the bookstore to buy a schoolbook and go grocery shopping on sunday. i wanted to hang around the house and finally get myself organized. if you're familiar with italy, you might have guessed that the bookstore was closed. you may or may not have guessed that the damn grocery store was closed too. i had also been holding on to some hope that the internet key would work on sunday. maybe it just needed 24 hours to activate. nope. no such luck.

right now it's 5:53pm. i'm sitting at school having just finished working with a group on a project that took four hours instead of one and a half. i'm also feeling pressured to get everything done on the internet that i need, plus catch up with the news, since i'm completely cut off at home.

when i leave here, soon, i'm hoping that the public transit is functioning. there was a transit strike today and maybe it hasn't ended yet. apparently transit strikes in italy only occur during business hours.

what the fuck!?

oh, and in one final addition to my rant, living in a country where people don't speak english is actually making my english worse! and i've only been here for two weeks!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

election day

today has been a big day so far. i started school this morning, and [this afternoon in italy] polls are opening all across the united states to allow her citizens to choose a new president. to me, and to most of you who would be reading this blog, the choice is clear. the opportunity to elect barack obama to our nation's highest office is not one to be taken lightly or to be thrown away. he has the potential to affect a real change in america, the likes of which my generation, and perhaps that of my parents as well, has not yet seen.

bill also left today to fly home. i'm already missing him and we've only been apart for about eight hours. it's going to be a long year.

i am happy to report that school will be very very interesting this year. our first lesson today, in a course called the essentials of management, gave me a clear indication that my education here will allow me to develop the kind of knowledge and lexicon in business that i have been lacking thus far in my career. my classmates are a very diverse group and they seem to have all come to this place the same way as i. everyone seems to have been searching for this very thing, and was only able to find it at bocconi. it doesn't seem to exist anywhere else. i'm thankful for the opportunity and fully intend to kick ass and have a job this time next year. i just wish i were a little closer to home.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Un gioco di che non so i regolamenti...

The Italian bureaucracy seems to me to be like a beautifully choreographed dance with no music or explanation. It has been a trial at every turn, and truthfully if I didn't speak Italian, I don't know where I would be.

Upon entering Italy, a student has eight days to apply for a permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay). This is in addition to the visa, so for those of you who remember my difficulties in obtaining one of those, this is something completely different.

SDA Bocconi, my school, accepts many foreign students, so the administrator of my program
has provided a guide to filing all of these forms in the student handbook. My third day here I decided that it was time to start filing my papers so that I can get a fiscal code for a bank account and a cell phone. So, after visiting three different post offices and waiting probably for twenty to thirty minutes at each, I was finally referred to another agency the name of which I still am not clear on. Yesterday someone there told me to return at seven this morning to take care of my business.

I arrived at the door to the building at 6:45am, in the dark and the rain. There were already two others waiting there. We waited. Over the course of the next 45 minutes, more people came. We waited in silence. At one point, there was a small drama with a couple of garbage trucks. Everyone turned around to watch, silently. Because nothing else had gone on in the small alley-like street for so long, my silent waiting companions seemed grateful to have something to occupy their attention. I felt no need to turn around, but I seemed to be the minority in this regard.

Someone finally arrived at 7:30 to let us in. He opened the gate and we waited closer to the entrance, but not quite inside. Then he let us into the building and gave us all numbers. We waited in the lobby until 8:15. We were then shown into a room with a yellow linoleum floor and almost matching institutional yellow walls on the second floor of the building. We waited.

We waited until 8:40 or so when people finally came out to start seeing us. I was third in line. When it finally reached my turn, I sat down at the table and told the two people sitting across from me, that all I needed was a kit with the forms for my permit to stay. They told me they didn't have the kits there. I almost cried. Almost but not quite, grazie a dio.

I explained my situation in halting, upset Italian. When I'm tired or frustrated it becomes much more difficult for me to speak well. They said they could help me. We talked for a few minutes after which time they told me to return for an appointment on Monday. I'm hoping that the waiting is finally done. But we shall see. On Monday it could all begin anew.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rachel 0, Jet Lag 1

I went to sleep at 1am and woke up at 3:30am. I've been up ever since. It's now 9:34am. I'll get you next time my pretty, but for now the die is cast. Mwahahaaahaa.

No seriously...I've been awake most of the night thinking about housing and money and skypein numbers and having imaginary conversations in italian in my head. You guys thought you knew how crazy I was, but think again. I'm on a whole new level now baby.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finalmente in Italia.

Buonasera a tutti! It's almost 2am here and I am wide awake. Of course Bill is sleeping like a baby, damn him! We arrived early this morning and thank god made it to the hotel without incident. I was feeling very nervous and intimidated about speaking italian and creating a relationship with the city that I'm supposed to be making my home...duh duh duuuuuuhhhhh. But now that I am here, I'm feeling pretty good about it.

My first impression of Milan is that it's a little bit strange. The buildings are all at crazy angles and it's very flat so there isn't a lot of visible depth to the city. The streets all turn every which way, which I suppose is standard fare for Europe...not that I would know much about that at this point.

It was very foggy today, the first foggy day in a while apparently. A change in the weather always seems to change the mood of a city, so it was interesting to arrive in the midst of that. Additionally I found out today that Monday is the day that everything is closed here. So, when we were walking around the city, there were gates pulled down over everything. It was a fairly bizarre introduction, but I like it nonetheless.

Bill and I went to the school to meet with a housing consultant. I actually may have found an apartment already. I will be going to see it tomorrow evening. The owner's name is Signora Tosca (she sounds a bit older on the phone). The plan right now is to stay there for two months and move again in January when the housing market opens up a little bit. Marie, the housing consultant who speaks italian with a french accent, and says alors and ma side by side, told me that because there are ten universities in Milan (yes ten--in a city of a million people!), November is a terrible time to look for an apartment.

Alors, this is the update for the time being. I can only imagine how much more I will be writing in the coming months...so keep paying attention and you'll hear all about it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The eve of traslocare.

It seems like the focus of every one of my postings to date has been the expectation of something else big on the horizon. First I was waiting for the wedding and related fracas, for the weeks in between it has been the end of work and the beginning of Italy. So now, I move to Italy...tomorrow. It's such a funny thing to even say to myself.

I was at Myopic today (for those of you not Chicagoans, a fantastic used bookstore) attempting to sell some books and overheard a guy talking to one of the employees. He said that he's in a band from Italy who are here for a week. After they were done the conversation I bumped into him while milling around the store...waiting for Myopic to not buy any of my books (boo). I asked him where in Italy he lives since I'm moving to Milan tomorrow. No matter how many times I say it, it still sounds ridiculous. Maybe when I'm there (with Bill yay!) tomorrow, it won't sound so crazy.

There are lots of worries dancing through my mind right now that I could/should be writing about. There is much time for worry. Right now I'll focus on the strange reality that is my own. I'll write about the fears tomorrow...or better yet after Bill has gone back to our life in Chicago and I have nothing but time to kill.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Check. Next.

Excuse my unintentionally long absence. I've been finishing up with work and trying to mentally tie up some loose ends before focusing on the next step.

Italy is rapidly approaching and I'm not really sure how to feel about it. Of course I'm excited, and completely terrified, and excited and terrified. I wish it didn't feel slightly bitter sweet, knowing that I'll be living without Bill, something that I don't want to do and haven't done in the past three years. It's a little bit daunting, the idea of being alone again. The fierce and determined independence which drove my life before Bill somehow seems like a distant memory to me now.

I know that I have an amazing future ahead of me and that this is just the first step in a series of new beginnings and opportunities. I am truly excited about going back to school and flexing my brain a little bit. It's been a long long time since I've been charged with wrapping my mind around purely intellectual pursuits. I suppose this will be different in that it's a much more practical knowledge base that I will be acquiring than say for example a degree in modern literature from UC Santa Cruz. I'm excited nonetheless, and truthfully am not sure that I have the patience any longer for such esoteric undertakings as that on a grand scale anyway. The Rachel who I am now, is not the Rachel that I was in college...that's for sure.

So, I am resolute that I must swallow my fear and revel in the fact that I am one of the rare ones who gets to live my dreams, not just endlessly dream them.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

five days in

i went back to work today. i thought that it would be okay because i've had so many days off. i'm still over it. conveniently, i only have another seven days of actual work and then i'm finished. thank god.

it feels good to be married to bill. there's definitely a sense of security that i didn't have before. it is also kind of funny to associate myself with all of the other married people in the world. people keep asking me if i'm going to take his name. i'm not sure about that yet.

i got off the phone with my grandmother a few minutes ago. she asked me to call my father and apologize to him, even if i don't mean it. she asked me to do it for her. i don't know if that's possible. he and sylvia insulted me in every way that is humanly possible. now she asks me to apologize. how am i supposed to do that? i want to do this thing for her, but i don't know if i can. in fact, i think i can't. she's putting me in a very difficult position by calling in this favor.

i'm so angry.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

the last night before the first day

it's been a crazy couple of days here. i've done lots of running around and visiting, and some drinking here and there. tonight was pretty quiet, which was more than a small blessing. now i'm lying in bed alone, as bill insisted upon separating until the wedding. there's definitely something great about it, as it seems to increase the gravity of seeing each other for the first time again.

i like our life together, i love our family and friends and the community that we've built around us. bill is a good man and we love each other without pretense. tomorrow will be a great day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The end of today:

I spent all day today running around accomplishing. As I'm sitting right now listening to my walking-down-the-aisle song, it occurs to me that I'm getting married in five days. I love Bill.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The day before the family comes...

Today is the last day off that I will have before many of my loved ones, from all over the globe I might add, descend upon Chicago. I'm really excited to see all of them, as for many it has been a great number of years since our last visit.

I do have some small measure of anxiety though. It's a sort of an amusing feeling--a picture in my head of all of them swooping in from the air and surrounding me.

My uncle actually called me yesterday to tell me that at the last minute he and my cousin are able to come. I'm really happy that they will be attending. This particular uncle has had a very dodgy relationship with my father for most of their adult lives. As such, I have never been terribly close to him or his family. It's pretty amazing that he's another part of my father's family that is rallying behind me when the man himself can't seem to get his act together.

I talked to Becky (my step-sister) the other day. It was super tough talking to her. It had been quite a long while since the last time. Pete told me that she has been declining of late, but it was really hard to hear it. I apologized to her that I hadn't called her and told her that I loved her and missed her. It was hard to tell if she understood it or not. It made me miss my family. It's funny though actually: I don't miss the old family per se, I miss what I believed my family to be before all of this drama happened. I'm not the type of person to take the blue pill in general, but sometimes I wish I were.

It's the to-do list that has really been keeping me going more than anything. I don't know what I would do without it really. I have a massive section of it to tackle today actually, yet I'm trapped in my computer once more. I need to escape and clean myself.