Sunday, June 28, 2015

Random and a casaccio
So I almost posted to fb the photo of Obama holding the bald eagle that says knock, knock, who's there? gay marriage and health care and this bald eagle mother fucker, but then I didn't. Well, I did, but then like a real wuss, I deleted it. Here's why: for me, it is a compliment to Obama. I think Obama would be offended by the language choice. I can't imagine him at dinner with Michelle and the girls looking at fb and being like, isn't this awesome? So then I had to realize that I am:

a. overthinking shit
b. overconsiderate
c. too concerned with what other people think
d. the only one who cares about what other people think
e. delusional

Right, e, I know. Because I think I have to make sure that when Obama checks out my fb page, he is pleased with it.

Also I had some of my students from Materis paint company come over for an aperitivo. When I originally invited them, they seemed pleased. When I invited them for real, they seemed really worried about it and unsure that they would come. Well, they came and brought flowers and were incredibly incredibly sweet. Word repetition level sweet. I was overly anxious and I didn't know why. I spoke non-stop and in Italian, even though they obviously speak English. I taught. It. To them. But I didn't leave the space for awkward silences and thus missed out on getting to know them any better. I wonder if Seinfeld has those moments . . .

Today I realized why. I have every symptom of being in perimenopause. It sounds like a nicer shade of blue than it is.  Including, the stubborn acne and not excluding the fact that I now have constant pms and the shortest cycles imaginable. I am glad I am not dying, because that was my first thought. But then yesterday, I had to weigh out my options, and I wasn't sure.

As though I am dying, I have decided to live every day to the fullest, which unfortuately means that, as a dare to myself, we accepted a dinner invitation with our most stylish and unemotional friends Alessandro and Barbara this evening. They are some cool Tuscan cucumbers. They live in a loft and have elevated nonchalance into a spectator sport. For me. We made some recommendations on their vacation to New York so they want to let us know how it turned out. If we don't accept, the striking while the something is hot heat will die down. They will be less likely to invite us again. I like being invited places. I just hate actually having to go anywhere.  Especially when I have giant lesions all over my jaw and can cry on cue.

Don't you wish you were here to see the pre-dinner preparations. It will be as delightful as it sounds. To lull myself away from the edge, I am binge watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and wondering how the hell I ended up living in Tuscany. Washed up comedians who have nothing better to do than cause traffic accidents and drink caffeine are the people who I identify with the most. They are my people. They don't live here l and when they visit, nobody recognizes them.

Monday, June 22, 2015

F: Do you think that it's safe to say that we're the only family in Tuscany right now that goes around singing: "We're all born naked and the rest is drag"?

K: Um yeah. I'm pretty positive.

-- Ru Paul (she done already done had herses.)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Final touches

We finally got the rest of the decorations put up on the walls of our bedroom in the new apartment. We went back to Gong, the store in town where they sell furniture and decorative items imported from Indonesia. I feel like the wooden carvings make it feel more like a finished place and less like a dorm room or something. The free form frames remind me of the naked cakes that are in fashion now with the layers that aren't all covered up with frosting.

Everything went fine at the anagrafe where we documented the change of address. Of course there was some drama beforehand when we noticed that there was a typo on our rental contract. There is always but always something that non va bene before we figure things out.

I was only halfway kidding when I suggested to F that we should get these duvets to go with the poster: 

But he pointed out that it was really straying wildly from the fact that we sleep in Tuscany. I'm still undecided.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Is there a support group?
Why do I love this?:
It goes against everything I know to be right.

It is aesthetically pleasing as can be though.

p.s. Our 16th anniversary is tomorrow.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Friend request: Oh okay, accepted. Photo: everywhere.

Moving on
T survived Italian high school again this year! She is awesome. Hence the huge party. Well, it's a school party, but she is going with Giorgia, Natasha, and her new friend Stella who is here visiting from America. They look super glam. Check out this photo we forced them to pose for:

The girl in the middle gave me one day's notice that she absolutely had to have high heels for this event.

In other news, we had a super mega galactic miscommunication with the second Barcelona family and the dates got confused. I am officially The Biggest Loser of Homeexchange.
The woman who had proposed the exchange was super polite about the whole fiasco. The fact is that I had told her we already had airplane tickets for certain dates and then didn't notice when she optimistically proposed completely different dates and went ahead and accepted them. Hence, we are not going to Barcelona. I really want to go some day, but I'm not sad about doing just one exchange this summer to Amsterdam. The exchanges are a lot of work and I hate airports. We are going to plan some kind of Italian adventure instead.

Today I discovered that this place was around the corner from the new house and I had never seen it before.

How do you miss an entire secret courtyard, a church, and a ceramics museum? Wake up, immigrant lady, and smell the espresso!!

 There were two aproned name tagged young people out front and I just rushed to the conclusion that they were religious enthusiasts. It turned out that the young man running after me was none other than Leo from the fancy gym - a young man who is all about Zumba all day every day and who has a penchant for getting his photo taken with anyone with a female anatomy and then posting it on social media. I have my theories about why he does this, but I will keep them to myself. Anyway, he was very knowledgeable and charming about all things Church of San Francesco and so I let him give me the tour only to find out that at the end I would have my photo taken with him by his coworker. I would screenshot you a copy, but then I might have to accept his friend request. I am pretty sure I will never get rid of him now.
This is off fb. Totally illegal??
I also have one English student in an all male course who walks me home and carries my books. I had no worries until one evening when he asked me where my husband was . . . And now F has to pick me up after work all the time. So awkward.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

picture day
I needed a new profile picture and so F took these.

 Today we made the startling discovery that the sweet couple from Napoli lives above us in the Snow White apartment and not an angry, pregnant woman with plans to move out -- so that changes everything. We decided to give bread to the couple next door, downstairs and upstairs in a strategic move that is nothing less than a huge effort at manipulation through carbohydrates. We figure if there is ever a flood or a noise problem on our part or theirs, we will always be innocent due to our fabulous bread. Anyway, the lady upstairs is a primary school teacher and I think he is a jump-roping neat freak who has offered to make us Napolitan coffee, the side effects of which may or may not be rampant jump roping and vacuuming at early morning hours. The American girl that looks like Barbie and her iron man husband from Austria never made it home from the beach and neither did the others so they will have to have day-old bread tomorrow. Let's face it, that's all they probably deserve. :) Barbie and Iron Man have a dog. It barks when you try to bring them bread. Otherwise, it is quiet. I think it is probably a battery issue.

New photo for Master Bedroom. Do you love?

In other news, we got jobs teaching English at a paper company that makes paper on rolls. All of my students are really sweet so far, and it is a totally pleasant experience. I've learned that recycled is not always better for the earth and lots of things about that cylinder core that you never know what to do with. Our students are preparing for an important business event that they are very serious about, called "It's Tissue." It is a damned shame that I laugh until tears come out of my eyes everytime somebody says that particular phrase and then have to catch my breath while responding, "God Bless You."

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Pinteresting . . 
Tomorrow is Republic Day in Italy which celebrates the day in 1946 when Italians voted to abolish the monarchy so they could become a republic. Yay holidays that fall on a random Tuesday!

Also, Ricky Martin was the fourth judge on AMICI, the best reality talent show in the world apart from SYTYCD.
Yes, he did a medley.
Also Snow White had a huge fight with her partner today (the Prince? the Hunter?) and we hope it means that she will be leaving the enchanted forest that is our condominium soon so that we can take over her castle, I mean apartment. Stay tuned.

We found this amazing site for making large prints on multiple sheets of paper so that we could print it ourselves. It is called The
F bought some really powerful (smelling) spray glue. We made face masks out of his (clean) underwear. F says I looked like Che Guevara.

The Rasterbators (don't think too hard about the name) give you a margin of error, but it is still exacting work.

F also bought a laminating spray that not only doesn't laminate, but it then pulls up all the spray glue. PANIC.

Spoiler Alert: It turned out great.

I also had an idea for a jewelry organizer.

I love it very much. (Thanks F!)

Monday, June 01, 2015

Married life
When we moved out of Brooklyn, I swore I would never buy Ikea furniture again.

Then we moved to Lucca and practically the first stop after the airport was to the Ikea near Florence.

We bought a ton of cheap furniture and I decided I hated it and we threw half of it out.

I spent years believing that you had to wait for old people to die in Lucca to inherit their old furniture because whenever I asked people where they got their furniture, they inevitable replied that it was passed down to them from their great-aunt.

Speed forward to today. We decide to make a coffee table. I find DIY options on Pinterest. We look at coffee tables online. We try to decide if we are going to buy one or make one. No, no we are going to make one. Should we go Sunday or just go today? Today! Will we make it back in time for the apartment to be put together when the students get here? Yes! Do you promise? Promise! F gathers the plywood togeher. I suggest that we soak steelwool in vinegar that we can add black tea to and create a wood stain. We discuss it. I change my mind. We are going to make two ottomans instead. No, just one. No, two. If there are two, we can push them together to make a coffee table or separate them to make seating. Wait. Can we make two ottomans that can open up to contain stuff? Let's just look on-line one more time. We look at the Ikea website. They make ottomans that contain stuff. Buying stuff would be easier . . . Wait. Those are really too expensive. Let's just make them. If we buy the boxes and we buy pillows and we buy material, then we can make them ourselves for much cheaper. Agreed! We go to Ikea in Pisa. They have the wooden boxes in stock. (It's a miracle.) Seconds after getting in our front door, F quickly assembles the new purchases.The latice work wooden boxes are too tall. How are they too tall? We both measured them! We remeasure them and make adjustments. F takes out his saw and reduces them by almost half and then glues them back together and clamps them down. I pin five pins on Pinterest about making ottomans and then delete them one by one throughout the day.

Occasionally this happens mid-English lesson :

Somehow we also ended up buying mattress pads, pillows, a shower caddy, lightbulbs, dishtowels, and burlap pillowcases to sew together to make a back-of-the-door laundry sorter to stick in the bathroom now that we have no room for a hamper. It was not all that economical, if we're being honest.

For the new house I want everything to have a place it belongs and to have only things that we like, know where they are, and can appreciate. There is a lot less space so we have already gotten rid of a lot.

Mind you, this all happened after F asked me if he should build a standing desk/huge wooden coffin for our printers. I said no. He built one. A big white, wooden vampire coffin. He asked me if I liked it. I said, "No." He un-built it. We discussed other options for thirty minutes. F realized they fit in the cabinet we had just bought for the living room.

So Sunday comes and we make the DIY stain. It smells like a mixture of toe mold and and farts and changes the light wood into a really unattractive greenish, gray. The rotten egg of wood colors, if you will.

The stain gets on the newly painted white walls.

We find out that their is a rumor that the pregnant lady in the best apartment of the building right above ours, the one called Snow White, might be moving out. We mentally prepare ourselves to re-do everything if they will let us change apartments.

During . . This latice work meant that even though F said we didn't need to paint inside the squares, we did. I did use his toothbrush, however.

We also decided we are going to make a mosaic print for the bedroom of this. Not one Italian person I know thinks this is a good idea: