If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

24 May 2005

Dove' Normale? (Where is Normal?)

My life in DC didn't really have a normalcy to it, so I'm not sure why I'm striving for one here, but so it is. After an exhausting morning of satellite installation (90% finished, at least enough to be posting again...) I went to the grocery store yesterday, relieved to do *something* that didn't feel like I'm on vacation. Gotta find a routine that works. Having the Satellite up and operational so I can connect to the office (it's all working but the webcam at the moment, which is pretty freakin' amazing, all things considered. As Pollyanna Buckeye observed, that's the result of a LOOOOOOT of hard work and research - my own and my crack tech team's - and I'm tickled pink with the results so far.)

The constant psychological tension of being "on" (having to pay attention - REALLY closely - to what people say to me just so I have a basic grasp on conversations) is truly down-to-the-very-bone exhausting. (Okay, okay - the secret's out - I've only been half paying attention to what you were saying all these years. You do it, too - don't play dumb ... but here, I don't have enough spare brainwaves to multitask yet.) I'm amazed at the people I meet who can switch effortlessly between English, French, German and Italian. Europeans learn three or four languages and are still just as well trained in their professional fields as Americans -- what do we Americans DO with all the extra time and mental energy that we generally DON'T put into learning another language? I'm never embarrassed to be an American, but it sure does feel like we're a bit educationally complacent by comparison ... I welcome thoughts from the educators in our midst.

A quick rant to offer - since I could go on and on and on about how gorgeous it is here and how wonderful people have been, but that's not really a completely fair picture of the place... other than the fact that ICE doesn't exist here (which I was emotionally prepared for), my trip to the grocery store revealed a giant missing link in the Italian consumer society: DRYER SHEETS. You know what I'm talkin' about, dontcha: Snuggle? Bounce? The generic grocery brand? Nope. Non esista! And I'm not talking the corner store, this is the relatively well-stocked 'Coop' (just past the one stoplight) in town. Other than the delightful smell of spring rain or powder freshness or mountain dew whatever other crap they claim to be, they are useful for one major (and for the fashionista - ha! - that I am, critical) thing: STATIC ELIMINATION. I can't fathom why the Italians aren't all walking around with their skirts clinging in desperation to their legs and a sock stuck to the back of their shirt. More investigation to be done, but until then ... I'm counting my socks carefully when they come out of the dryer.

Aaah. A good rant always clears the head. It's nice to be 'connected' again. I'm not sure if anyone is out there really reading this, but I DO feel an obligation to 'you' (my peeps - whoever you are) - to let you know on a pretty regular basis what's going on here. Plus, it gives me a routine: get up, go for hike, have toast and coffee, study Italian, check in with you ... Call it codependence if you want, but it makes me happy.

Speaking of my peeps, I'm loving my "Buh-bye" tribute from my blog daddy & friend Sensitive Rebel (he calls himself The Sean Show), on his site. (though I must utter a word of caution to all the kids or fundamentalists in the room - his site is NOT for the meek or easily shocked suburbanites. But he's mostly all bark, I promise...) He taught me that one good link deserves another. It's nice to be back up online so I can see what he's been up to. He always finds fun diversions to share ... like this one ...

You're Brigitte Bardot!

What Classic Pin-Up Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm not sure I agree with the Brigitte Bardot thing, but c'est la vie. And now, I'm off to the big city (Florence - called Firenze here) for the afternoon to buy an Italian cellphone and see Andrea and Guido at Discover Tuscany (yup, the caricatures are true, everyone here has a friend named Guido!).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am Bettie Page...frightening.
I think you are Lili St. Cyr instead of Bardot.
Very cute...
Unassuming Princess.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to see the update. I love the concept of 'blogging'...how fun to read your 'musings' and 'rantings'...had to take the quiz (love quizzes)...I was Lili St. Cyr...keep posting
Virgin Blogger

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Corey II said...

Kel: My plan to rid the world of Bounce is working & it begins in a small town in northern Italy...it is all part of the plan...a well executed plan...I am glad to see it is all coming together.

Corey II

6:04 AM  

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