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licking the spoon clean.

*far* too much talk about nutella on Slow Travel this week; i need to say my piece.  so be warned, because i *am* opinionated when it comes to chocolate.

alright.  first of all, if you think nutella should only be eaten with bread, or some such other carbohydrate source, i laugh in your face.
come on, you're not a child any more.  nutella-on-toast is all about your mom *making* you have it that way.  the whole *point* of buying nutella as an adult is that no one can tell you that you can't have it straight out of the jar (because you need bread, because of cooties, whatever).  so why are you telling yourself just that?  forget the carb-crutch.  accept your independence.  if you pay your own rent, and do your own laundry, all you need is a spoon.

and secondly, it's nut-ella, as in "nut".  not newt-ella.
hazelnuts, people.  not small semiaquatic salamanders.  get it right.

and lastly, my second- and third-favorite ways to do this:
- slice a couple of ripe (or even slightly over-ripe) bananas, and throw them into a frying pan (you'll need at least a little oil so they don't stick).  fry till soft and starting to turn golden.  serve in bowls with nutella.  you can mix it in, layer it on top or just let the two co-exist side-by-side.
- spread the stuff on tea-biscuits (or graham crackers, or your cultural/geographic equivalent).  open up a can of peaches, drain and top up with the peach-halves.  pineapple chunks -- if you like them -- are also very, very good.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Canutola, Lisciano Niccone]
[mercoledi 25 agosto 2004 ore 13:12:01] []

walking in thru the out door.

Italy is where i belong.  some days i know this stronger than others.  some afternoons --  like this one, after a seafood-paella lunch in the piazza of the town next door, when our server is down and there is nothing i can do about it, and so nothing i can do at all -- i am able to remember past my job and this town i work in, past the money-troubles and the love-troubles (and all those troubles that follow you everywhere, even to the places you have always-and-allover wanted to be), that still: i would rather be here with these troubles, than anywhere else i have yet to find.

maybe i am not making as much money as i could be if i were in the Land Of Opportunity, and maybe i am not living the All-Important [insert country-name here] Dream, and i am sorry if most people reading this happen to be a choir i am unwittingly preaching to -- but you know there are lots of us on this planet and enough of us in cyberspace who think you should put dollars before what you believe in.  and even more of us for whom dollars *are* what you believe in.  and maybe you should.  i don't really care.  i only hope i can always have something i really really want.  and that, it has more to do with poetry and art and your soul, than your checkbook.

i hope.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via San Benedetto, Cortona]
[lunedi 17 agosto 2004 ore 19:54:26] []

okay, he may be a better writer than i...

...but we both happen to share the same preference for writing with a Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V5 Extra Fine.  that's got to mean something, no?

i especially like when i find one in turquoise-green.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Canutola, Lisciano Niccone]
[lunedi 17 agosto 2004 ore 10:42:21] []

things i've done this week...

1 - understood my horoscope on Italian TV.
i must be "confrontational about financial recognition", and "not be hesitant"  about what i deserve.

2 - posted enough on Slow Travel to achieve official Traveler status.

3 - cut my boyfriend's hair.
and still had a boyfriend afterwards.

4 - gotten stopped by the local carabinieri.
and for the first time, been really disgusted -- by how they treated the young Romanian boy i work with.  for the first time, felt the way i used to feel in Dubai -- that some of us here will always have to be wary of losing our right to live here, that some of us will always have a little more to lose, that some of us will always have to keep our mouths meekly shut in the face of paddle-wielding authority.

5 - finished reading my first trashy romance novel -- in Italian.
something about the revenge of the dark-haired woman, i think it's called...  (!)  at two euros a pop, these do wonders for train trips *and* my Italian.  and not just *that* kind of Italian, thanks very much...

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Canutola, Lisciano Niccone]
[lunedi 16 agosto 2004 ore 15:59:42] []

high-impact-houseguesting, and other sports.

sorry all, di nuovo, for not writing in a while.  i've been entertaining a mother, aunt and cousin, trying to score freelance work with every single translator and interpreter in Italy, set up my wireless router at home, and discipline a piadina-crazy kitten.

in terms of the wireless router, it does not help that the router itself is Canadian and needed a transformer, and it does not help that Tiscali-ADSL tech-support has two basic policies:
1.  you cannot stay online with a person for more than eleven minutes.
2.  you cannot ask to speak to a particular person when you call.

as you can see, this means that i spend the first six minutes of every eleven-minute phone call re-explaining the problem to every Paolo, Tommaso and Valerio i get.  they are all very nice, and each of them went looking for my router's manual (in Italian) on the Internet so they could understand it and help me with it, even though it wasn't a router that their employer had sold me as part of my ADSL contract, and it wasn't a router that they worked with.  but of course, it did nothing for their efficiency that they kept having to talk at chipmunk-speed to get as much tech-help to me in the remaining minutes as they possibly could.

i know somewhere in Tiscali management, Catbert is chuckling about this...

anyway, going back to the houseguesting.  i am now officially, actually half-way-through my Summer Of Visitors -- which started with my cousin in early July, moved through to mom, aunt and another cousin in early August, and is to continue with a second aunt next week, and then a friend at the end of August (and yes, contrary to common misconception there are actually some people i'm *not* related to that want to visit).  after that, summer is over but Albergo Shiraz stays open.  Lindsay and Rich come by in October (after i have hopefully had a blast in Spain), and  Zainab and Daniel are making noises about December.

i think it's my own fault for trying to enlist so many prayer-sayers for this whole Italian Adventure;  all i have ever been able to offer in return for all those crossed fingers has been this hoped-for-home.  and i must have made a lot of offers...

it's all good though, because i like to have my life turned upside down by visitors.  i like having a house full of people who've come a long way for me, and i'm always, always ready to share this country with anyone i possibly can.  but i have realized that what i *do* need to do is better educate some of them, to the slightly less-than-bella parts of this place...  and so i'm starting a primer.  maybe i shall call it "The Dark Parts Of Italy".  or, "How Not To Get Tuscan Sunburn".

stay tuned.  there will be more.  maybe.  hopefully.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Canutola, Lisciano Niccone]
[mercoledi 11 agosto 2004 ore 15:00:13] []


exactly one year ago, i was at Lynda's house turning twenty-and-six, and spending the day in her slightly-mosquito-infested-but-beautiful back-garden near Campo di Marte in Firenze, listening to Norah Jones and Vasco Rossi and Zucchero-Sting, drinking very excellent mojitos (thank you, ViviMarket, for the wilty-mint).

on the dry-erase board that hung on the back of Lynda's front door, under the week's shopping reminder, i wrote the following less-than-very-good piece of literature:

twenty-six and in Italy.
and if i leave,
it will be bitterly.

i'm still here.  and the bad-poet in me is dying to take advantage of the fact that my *new* age, happens to rhyme with "thank-heaven".


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via San Benedetto, Cortona]
[martedi 03 agosto 2004 ore 23:24:23] []