Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Behold the party *croak* toad

Behold the party *croak* toad
Originally uploaded by la_mia_vista.

I was looking for a photo of the thermal baths in Viterbo, site of my latest silly adventure on Saturday night, when I came across this, more appropriate, image. It's "Bufo viridis", (as if I had to tell you). Now imagine three of these Bufos (me, Stefano and Pietro) rambling up a country road at 4 a.m. Sunday, silly from a night of party-hopping in Rome. Stefano was granted a rare night out away from woman and kid. So he decided the perfect way to extend the frivolity was to drive 90 minutes north of town and dip in a thermal bath built by the Romans 2,000 years ago. It's an incredible place: picture a thermal swimming pool at the edge of an olive grove surrounded by mountains and the odd volcanic cone. In other words, no place to be spoiled by a bunch of silly party toads. Still, we stayed submurged and pruney til sunset, chomped cold pizza, made a lot of noise and let the sulfur creep into our pores. I highly recommend it. Stefano would be happy to drive you, no doubt.

Monday, March 21, 2005

"Il Sette Bello"

Originally uploaded by la_mia_vista.
Il Sette Bello
(in case you were curious)

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Armageddon it?

There's only one rule I swear by, and that is: never quote Def Lepard lyrics in public. But I think just this once it's OK. I took this photo back in November at the twenty-bucks-to-enter MOMA. I thought this was particularly clever -- instant annihilation, as expressed in chess. While Puchalik, Cristina and I puzzled over its meaning, a young girl, no more than nine, leaned in and said to no one in particular: "hmm, all the horses die." Existentialism, as explained by the Barney generation.

The existence of horses is very much on my mind right now. You see, I think I just ate one. Not a whole one. Just enough to pack into a hamburger patty. I went to the market today, as I do most Saturdays, to stock up on supplies for the week. There's a butcher there who has never yet let me down -- (in the few weeks since I've shopped there that is). He suggested I try these burgers. Sono deliziosi!

Why not? It's the first warm Saturday of the year. Hamburgers sound like just the thing.

A few minutes later I passed by his stall and noticed he was pitching somebody else, again with the burgers. The other shopper was a bit more demanding, insisting to know whether it was beef or cavallo. When he said, cavallo (the horse), she eagerly took them! He sells both kinds, but I never did check to see which he sold me, and, of course, I never asked. Who would? I figured there's only one way to find out. Yep, fry them bad boys up. He was right. Very tasty indeed! But now, a few hours later, I'm hungry again. Hungry for horse!Posted by Hello

Monday, March 14, 2005

A little red wine with that, Commie?

Communists, I'm informed daily, live all around me. If you add in the fascists, that pretty much includes, well, yep, everybody on the boot. You see, in Italy you're either right, or you're left. There's nobody in the middle. Nobody worth mentioning anyhow. This polarization is both arbitrary and comprehensive. How could the mailman be regarded as an idealogue worthy of suspicion? Ragazzo, ragazzo, this is Italy! Every person is a character in a vast conspiracy too complex, too sinister, too convenient to question. Just accept it.

This bit of advice may prove useful for those of you back in the US wondering now how do I spot whether one of my family members, a former college friend, a member of the clergy or Pop Idol contestant is, you know, harboring red or blue tendencies? In Italy you can spot the budding NeoCon coming a block away. (The spikey, gelled hair and thick gold chain -- what you may have once thought of as a harmless "guido" -- is your first clue). Similarly, the shifty Red with three-day's of facial growth, tawdry jeans and Che Guevera t-shirt, stepping off a brand new Vespa is a no-brainer.

So, here's a cheat sheet:

Tucks shirt in: Yes? fascist. No? Commie.
Red wine? Commie. White, fascist.
Showers? Commie. Prefers baths, fascist.
Brown shoes? Commie. Black shoes, fascist.
Ski house? Commie. Beach house? fascist.
Preferred party attire: fascist: Polo/Ralph Lauren. Commie: Cuba/Soviet Union/Che Guevera t-shirt
Name tattooed on bicep: fascist: "mama". Commie: "Che" (scrawled just above "mama")
Favorite musicians: fascist: Maroon 5. Commie: Jackson 5.
Swears by the word of: Commie: "Il Manifesto". fascist: mama

Some Italians even believe certain inanimate objects deserve political classification:

Shampoo: right Bar of soap: left
Milk: right Water: left
Night club: right Bar: left
TV: right. Radio: left
Spaghetti: right. Tortellini: left.
washer machine: left dryer: right
Fridge: left Freezer: right

That's all for today's lesson. I gotta put on my brown shoes and dash out for dinner -- a dinner of tortellini and white wine. Then off to the night club to shake my ass to a little Jackson 5.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Benvenuti, tutti

Welcome to my blog, and by extension, to life in present day:

Been here just a few months, so these observations may appear a bit thin on context, a bit meatier in color. They are little more than the musings of an ex pat desperately trying to make sense of his new neighbors, their culture, their language, their politics, their approach to driving, their militaristic stance against even a single cup of capuccino after 11 a.m. Who knows, with a little luck of the sette bello (the trump card in Scopa), I may just smuggle out a few secrets.