Sunday, September 27, 2015


I now teach English to two little girls who are friends and whose mothers are friends, but I teach them separately for scheduling reasons. Theirs. The world is one of dance and swimming lessons; I just live in it. Anyway, I had them play the same games since they are both about nine years old. The first was parachute hangman where I drew a figure on a pad along with some lines to indicate blank spaces where individual letters to spell out a word in English would go. They had to guess the letters or the little guy on the parachute's strings would get erased one by one. Below him was a shark. The first girl shrieked with joy as I took away the strings and delighted when she didn't guess the word in time.

The second girl scratched the sofa with her nails and pummeled me with questions about the man's fate. By the end, I had to make the shark be a sweet and smiley mammal and the man have a Zen expression. It turned out she guessed the word in time  so she got a prize. She didn't want the prize because she didn't think it was fair that her friend hadn't gotten one earlier in the week. Her prize was that she got to see my bedspread with the buffalo on it because her word was "buffalo." I convinced her that I would also give her friend a prize. I don't know what the prize will be because that girl's word was "German." In the end, girl number two told me that Barnaby, my new duvet cover pet, is not a buffalo, but a bison. It was quite the fifteen minutes of an hour long lesson, I tell you

 In other news, I have an evil genius plan that involves my becoming sincerely interested in tissue making for my own good. Both companies I work for make tissue and so I have immersed myself in the world of rewinders, unwinders, ply, density, combiners and jumbo reels so that I can pull the best English out of my students. It just proves that any topic can be interesting if you really get into the human dynamics underneath. Even if that human dynamic is the need for soft paper under our bums. I also have convinced F that he should design an trilingual app for the paper making industries that I am going to pimp out for him wherever I go and make us rich. I'll let you know if this makes it off the blackboard and into reality.

I am reaching new heights of Zen, as my skin gets worse and worse and my hormones go more and more haywire. My aquiesence is endless. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self to enjoy the hell out of that little period when I had clear skin even though that's when I was my fattest and hairiest. My journey through life is one in which the universe realized that I would be unbearably joyful if I had all my beauty problems resolved at one time. That said,  I have to shout out to Samantha Power with her work on behalf of all women and humans this week with her bold statement at the U.N. During an interview, a comment she made introduced me to the work of Hugh MacLeod, especially her mantra:

In other family news, T has become an amazing biker while she recovers from an ankle bruise caused from jogging in sneakers that pinched in the back. She routinely does multiple loops around the city walls and comes home complaining about people who refuse to get out of her way.

 Her new professors had various reactions to her having to acknowledge her American-ness to them that ranged from apathy to mild repulsion. The weird thing about Italian high school is that they really don't care if she learns the lesson content (dates, facts, ideas) about art history, philosophy or even Italian history; what they care about is whether she can express what she learns orally and in perfect Italian. This is not ideal for her skill set, but we think she will surprise even herself by the year's end.

Our upstairs neighbors have really outdone themselves. Yesterday they babysat or took their baby out of the closet. I don't know which. They seem to have a baby every other Saturday and then it vanishes. They also had people over to watch soccer. Watching soccer means that we get to hear them and their guests either yelp with rage or delight at irregular intervals. There was also some bocci ball with small coins that they throw in whenever I even consider taking a nap.

Our cutie next door neighbors left us this little note before they went on vacation:

How cute is that??

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