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tomorrow is the last day i will rideshare into this culo-del-mondo little town to play webmistress, site-programmer-and-administrator, network-manager, printer-cartridge-keeper, router-restarter, office-password-rememberer and all-round-anything-to-do-with-a-computer-girl-friday.  

tomorrow is also two years -- to-the-day -- since i sent out my little "ciao" to that ever-infamous fish-ny alias at what is now sbi.razorfish.

in twenty-four months, i've gone through three countries, five homes (some more home-like than others, i might add), three (eventually successful) immigration processes, twenty-seven passport photographs, most of a platinum card, and a now-non-existant Charles Schwab account.  i've interviewed for jobs in Toronto, Florence, Cortona, Rome, Milan and Pisa (and if you count the ones by-phone: Amsterdam; London and Ngorongoro, Tanzania), and i've bothered far too many people at United Nations organizations all over Italy.  i've helped sell cellphones to American students on a bus-stop on via Bolognese, and i've been accused of illegal tourguiding in the Oltrarno.  i've been given roses by a Bangladeshi beltmaker, i've been taken out to dinner by more than one winebar-owner, and i've been sent far too few lovenotes via SMS.  i've learned to make pici alla contadina (and found pellets in the obviously-very-fresh pheasant-sauce i've used for said pici alla contadina).  i've figured out that my favorite potatoes are those roasted with rosemary, and that i still prefer red over white -- every time.  i've learned to love the smell of woodsmoke-in-the-morning, and the sound of swallows-at-sunset.  i've acquired a cat and called her Simarik, and i've had to fight her for various bread-products.  i've stood inside more than one church, abbey or medieval ruin i'd want to be married in, been dancing in the courtyard of a twelfth-century women's prison, and written questionable poetry on some very beautiful bridges.  i've found a real-live scorpion in my neighbor's kitchen-sink, and a dead one in my bed.  and i've driven a stick-shift.  once.

so yeah.  between a drinktank at Double Happiness (ah -- the ever-so-trendy, ever-so-slightly-seedy Nolita, and its ever-so-good cranberry-juice-vodkas) and a wine n' dine dinner at a communal wooden table, at Giorgio's enoteca on Cortona's charmingly-well-cobbled via Guelfa...  there's been a long, long line of life.

by the way.  i lied about Ngorongoro.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Canutola, Lisciano Niccone]
[mercoledi 29 settembre 2004 ore 11:22:17] []


a little piece of advice for all of you would-be Italian-property-owners.
would you stop calling it "Le Marche".  there is no effing "Le".  
nobody calls it "The Texas", do they?

you would think, if you wanted to put hundreds of thousands of Euros down for a house some place, you'd bother to figure out what the hell it's called.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Canutola, Lisciano Niccone]
[giovedi 16 settembre 2004 ore 10:26:06] []


so Hotel Shiraz is -- at least for a few weeks -- taking a breather, after a summer full of what in some parts of south-Asia is known as barkat.  this is one of those words i always have a hard time translating, without ending up using less than three sentences and at least a little cultural stereotyping...

the general idea is that barkat comes from having a house and a home that your friends and relatives know is always open to them and that will always have the space for them.  the more people there are in the world that know they are welcome in your home, and the more people there are in the world that have come to your home and have been welcome in it -- the more barkat you have.  it's considered a kind of wealth, and the way i was raised (ack -- pompous self-importance creeping through!), it is considered the best kind of wealth -- the kind that comes from the richness of friends and people, and the good karma they bring into your home when they do not think twice about entering it.

it does *not* however, buy you anything on your Amazon wishlist.
ah well...

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Canutola, Lisciano Niccone]
[martedi 14 settembre 2004 ore 17:45:30] []


sitting in Ciro's wine bar.  it feels weird to live this day, essentially alone.  in the sense that, no one around me is thinking what i am thinking, all day today:  that this is september eleventh.

not that it bothers me, or makes it harder.  life is going on here -- wine is being ordered and cheese is being eaten and Berlusconi jokes are being made -- as if it's a normal day, with little more than a nod at the three-inch-by-three-inch archive-photo on the front page of La Repubblica, of that tattered flag, and those firefighters.

i am not upset by it.  it's just that i know, if, instead of Firenze, i were anywhere on the island of Manhattan today, it would be different.  it would be a little quieter.

i know i am not really alone.  i know there are new-yorkers everywhere, wondering, and deciding, what to do with themselves today.  some of us are grieving -- openly, and not.  some of us are memorializing.  some of us write, or read, or listen to Suheir Hammad say all the things we weren't able to.  some of us are not doing anything at all that's different from any other Saturday.

all of us, are remembering.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Le Volpi e L'Uva, Firenze]
[sabato 11 settembre 2004 ore 16:19:00] []


as i'm sure many of you have noticed from the lame near-thumbnails that masquerade as so-called image-content on this site, i am not exactly a crack photographer.  but, after reading the competition entry rules for Toscana Click - "The Quality of Life in Tuscany", i felt like maybe i had something to say (or in this case, show).  and alright, maybe a couple of cows may not seem at first glance to be a big statement on such things as life and it's quality here, but the chianina does have a lot to do with the quality of the bistecca here, and *that* has a lot to do with life, no?

anyway, go on.  click here, choose "Gallery" from their left-hand menu, find my bossies and vote for them!

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Canutola, Lisciano Niccone]
[mercoledi 08 settembre 2004 ore 10:12:14] []

mean reds.

some days are harder than others.  and even poetry doesn't help, or doesn't get to the point where i will let it.  because i am feeling too dark, too distracted and too damn sorry-for-myself to read right.

and then i try to write a blog entry.  and, at the expense of a less-than-great-stretch-of-reading, i do manage to start thinking -- if only for four minutes -- about something besides the crappy morning i am having.

the sunflowers in the fields look awful these days.  tall-as-ever -- but blackened and brittle.  row upon row of sad, dead things.

i need a really, really good book.
and a bathtub.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Canutola, Lisciano Niccone]
[lunedi 06 settembre 2004 ore 09:48:56] []

three by thirty.

jobs, that is.
by the time i'm thirty, that is.
looks like it, that is.

as of two days ago.  there are a few more things that i can now say i have done in Italian (or, thanks to being in Italy):
- resigned.
- gotten (at least in softcopy, anyway) an offer for a contratto per tempo indeterminato.  time immemorial folks.  woohoo.
- failed (miserably) at negotiating.
- had meal tickets be a part of my salary discussion.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Canutola, Lisciano Niccone]
[giovedi 02 settembre 2004 ore 15:02:17] []