Wednesday, January 31, 2007,2:03 AM
Somethings are starting to come together
It was a good day!

I had a meeting... I got offered a collaboration.
I've been asked to help with press releases for an important exhibit that is in it's 13th edition. I'll be dealing with researching and contacting all relevant people in TV, press and radio and send out the press releases.
It's only a project that will last a because seeing as press conference will be held on march 1st, and the exhibit opens on march 22nd, but it'll be pretty interesting!
We have yet to discuss monetary compensation... so I'm curious about that too... all in due course.

As for my pictures... I was glad to be out! It was a pretty chilly day, but there was the most amazing gorgeous blue sky and a lovely warm sun... it felt good to be outdoors... I think the few photos I took reflect that, right?

This and today's other pictures (see "the outtakes") were all taken at a lighthouse not too far from my house. The area is called the Gianicolo Hill, also known as the The Janiculum and the lighthouse is called Il Faro del Giancicolo (The Gianicolo Lighthouse).

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Sunday, January 28, 2007,5:13 PM
What the world needs now...
I just realised there isn't enough love in the world. Or maybe there is, but we're too hung up behind social rules and psychological boundaries to let ourselves open up to free forms of expression.

I found something very interesting today, in one of the Daily photo diaries I read. PutYourFlareOn, from Flickr, saw the most wonderful thing the other day and posted a picture, with a link to a video of a phenomenon that's spreading pretty fast, the Free Hug Movement.
It amazes me to find that there are people out there who so freely bring a smile to your face and ask nothing in return.. I wish there were more people like that in the world and it makes me stop and ask myself what I am contributing to the world. What am I doing that brings pleasure to others without getting anything in return? What unselfish, unconditional act am I freely gifting away?
There's so much more than needs to be said about this, but somehow words fail me.
But it has definitely got me thinking!


~ photo courtesy of Brain Eden - All rights reserved ~

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007,11:00 AM
Open to dialogue
I got an important call today... but more news about that on friday.

It was a strange day. I had some unsettled business from last night that was on my mind, but I had a few errands to do, so it was a good chance to get out of the house and take some much needed outdoor pics.
They're not great, but at least they add a bit of colour to my thread!

I was able to talk to the fiancé and sort things it. It's hard being apart... it's pretty much the only time we have problems. The distance just makes me grumpy.
Anyways, it's ok now, so it's time to add some colour and hope to my blog!

I chose this picture because I think that the open gate with the graffiti behind it expresses somewhat my emotions.
The open gate symbolizes my willingness to open up and confront myself with my other half... the graffiti behind it symbolizes the goal, within reach, of open dialogue, mutual understanding and respect.

We reached our goal.

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Monday, January 22, 2007,12:08 AM
I feel cracked inside
Today wasn't a good day...
Well, it started off ok.... or sort of. There were some lingering feelings from last night, than made for an unsettling awakening, but I was ok until later this afternoon. I had an argument with my fiancé about what seems to be a reoccurring issue. I'm not getitng into it, but let's just say I'm fairly pissed.

I went to pay a visit to my cousin just before lunch, got a chance to take some pictures, including ones of the scooter. Then I came home. The afternoon was pretty much uneventful, as has been my night.

I'm getting ready to watch a DVD, might help take my mind off things.

I liked this picture and when I took it, I didn't realise that it would later pretty much sum up me feelings: I feel cracked inside.

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Friday, January 19, 2007,12:56 AM
Reflections.... in the mirror.... in my mind
It turned out to be for a shitty position, totally not what I'm interested in... but such is life.
I came home and there was some much missed sun shining today!! I took my camera and took some shots... today was pretty much all about me... someone said I should shoot myself more (in the head, probably, but I think I misinterpreted).

I spoke to my friend in the US today, the one who's also marrying an American. (She's Italian like me). Things aren't going too well... she's coming home next week, cause her permit is over... but _I think she'll need this time back home to reflect on her relationship.
I knew she was rushing it.... it's not like Michael and I... we've been over two and a half years. We decided to get married after having dated over a year. We lived together for three months before deciding to make things serious between us. It takes time to get to know a person, to decide if you are ready to give up your job, your home, your life to spend the rest of your life with this person.
We're not talking about changing neighbourhood here... we're talking about giving up everything!! I too often stop and wonder if I will ever regret my choice. I haven't moved yet, but I know there will things I will surely miss from Italy. Life is so different here... people are different, customs are different...
I, though, have lived abroad pretty much part of my whole life. I know what it's like to live in the US, I went to an International school This was her first experience abroad... America is a world apart... it's a totally different reality.
I feel bad for her, because I know that things won't end well. I'm afraid that she won't be able to give up her life here. I'm afraid she won't get used to the change, to her future husband who so unwillingly lets go of himself to accommodate and meet her needs.
Don't get me wrong, he's a great guy... he's just too different from her...

Everyday I feel blessed because I have Michael. Other days I am scared we will never truly understand one another. As international as I possibly can be... I'm still an Italian... and Michael will always be American, nothing will ever change that. We can only hope to be able to bring our differences together and use them to create new wonderful things for each other.
Diversity enhances our relationship, not ruin it.
Everyone should learn from this... sometimes I wish travelling the world were a mandatory subject in school... Differences enrich our lives, not divide us.
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Sunday, January 14, 2007,11:12 PM
Old habits die hard
I got woken up at 10.45 am by my aunt who seemed to be appalled by the fact that I was still in bed at almost 11 in the morning!
I guess she doesn't realize I have a social life and that Saturday nights are for going out and coming home late! (Well mine anyways...)

I was debating weather to go to the flea market, but I did get up too late for it, and it was a grey day... and I don't like going out when it's grey..

I managed to get my hands on my Dad's camera while it was still daylight. I went out on my balcony to see what my neighbourhood was up to on a Sunday afternoon.
Sundays here in Italy are all about soccer. between 3 and 5 pm 99% of Italian males are either glued to their TV sets, to the radio or at the stadium. When the local team scores, you can hear the entire area rise in uproar with a huge cheer! It's like actually being at the stadium.
This Sunday no such thing happened. This usually means one of two things... either the local team is losing, or the game is very boring.
I was told that Roma won... so it must have been a very boring game with a very easy opponent.

While out on the balcony I was able to observe how in the year 2007 we are still very much attached to traditions. Though nowadays we are flooded with technology that allows us to almost anything with much less effort while saving so much more time, some people still dry their clothes the old fashioned way.
It's funny but comforting at the same time... it's like we're not forgetting our roots, where we came from and what our grandmothers taught us.
I'm not sure if this still goes on in other capitals of the world, but here in Rome, we hang our clothes out to dry publicly, rain or shine!

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Saturday, January 13, 2007,3:14 AM
I really have to say I'm getting stuff done!! Today was another very productive day!
It started off in my Dad's study... yes!! We had a guest over and she stayed in my room last night, so I slept in the study... my back is sore, form the shitty fold-away bed now!

Anyways, first errand of the day, another stop at the bank, but only for a quick deposit... no need to have issues of any sort today!!!
My next planned stop was going to be the dentist... as I had postponed it from wednesday, but seeing as I got done at the bank sooner than I had thought, I had some extra time on my hands. So I decided to go back to the Canon assistance and get my camera back, seeing as I'm not going to have it repaired.. (well, not for now anyways... I'm just too broke!). Then, off to my dental appointment!
I confirmed with my Dentist Carlo that today was "the last episode", as I put it!! He said "yes, yes, you're free to go...!!" That was a relief!! Hopefully I won't have to see him any time soon... only means bad news for my teeth if I do!

Home in time for lunch, then surfed on flickr a bit, and stopped by my little MDPD friends and said hello.... then back out again to go to a job interview... which SUCKED!!!
Well, it didn't exactly suck itself, the interview was ok... it wasn't really much of an interview anyways.... more of a presentation of what the job entails. It's a "Call Center" as we Italians like to call these places.... basically the home base of Telemarketing Sales jobs, ya know?... blahhh.... yeah I know, gross!!!
Would you believe I have a master's degree in Comunications and can't find better??? Crazy!!!! I really need to get out of this country!!
Anyways... the pay was so ridiculous, I doubt I'll be calling them back!

I forgot to mention the "fun" part of the day... (NOT!)
On my way to the job interview, as I was going round in circles trying to find the street... (one person told me "go there..." and another person to go in the opposite direction... and when I'm only a corner away from the place, a third person tells me it's in totally the opposite direction!!!) my scooter decided to die on me! Well, poor thing, he was right too... I forgot to feed him today! He wanted his "milk" so badly and I forgot to stop at the gas station!! Bad bad sunshinecity for neglecting my poor scooter!! He's like my baby, ya know! I paid for him, I raised him!!! We've been together for hmm... about 8 years now!!! I still have the receipt from when I bought him!
I'll have to post a pic one of these days as a tribute!

Anyways, so I parked the scooter close by to the office and walked the rest fo the way. On the way back, I had to walk to find a "Bar" (what in english is concidered a Cafè), find some empty water bottles, and walk to the closest gas station... then I pushed my scooter for a bit of the way, as I didn't want to have to walk all the way back as well....
Wow, I was sweating like a pig in labour by the end of that push!!! When I reached a slight hill I gave up! I parked it again and made my way to the gas station...
To cut it short, I got my gas, fed the baby and drove home!!!

*I'm pretty much relaying my Daily Photo Diary from flickr... seems to work well and gets me blogging every day this way...*

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Thursday, January 11, 2007,11:58 PM
Movin' on through my list!
Following my good deeds from yesterday, today I continued through the items listed on my to do list.
Today's errand was "The Bank". Dealing with banks here in Italy is rarely a pleasureable experience. The tellers behind the counter often make you feel as if they're doing you a favour in serving you, rather than actually doing what they're paid to do, assist you.
Bank company policies are terrible, often making the client feel "alone" and always in the wrong. Customer satisfaction is optional... basically when you need to go to the bank, you have to be mentally prepared for it... you have to psych yourself up and find all the "feelgood" vibes deep inside you and concentrate hard to keep smiling, through those grinding teeth!

I had to go fix a number of things... first of all, my online banking system was telling me that only a certain amount of purchases had been debited to my account, while my balance showed different. I hadn't forseen that certain expenses would be billed to me, and they had.
A while back I had my wallet stollen and in it was my credit card. When I got my new one, they idiots who take care of the online banking system never added the new card to my online account, therefore I was unable to keep track of my monthly purchases etc... (I often make many online purchases, therefore have no receipts... I forget to print them out!)
I also have a phone banking system, but need a user ID and PIN to access it. When they stole my wallet, in it was that information to access the phone system... so I was now unable to call them!
Then, because I had forgotten about some purchases I made, my bank balance went in the negative and (only by a tiny bit...) and they blocked my credit card! I am not even able to use the ATM even for just checking my balance or print out a statement!!!
So all these issues.... and a very frustrated sunshinecity!

I went to speak to the Home Banker who understood my frustation and was sorry for not having my recent card changes applied to my online banking... BUT was unable to fix it, as the bank was out of codes!!!! (Basically when you sign up for these online or phone services, they automatically give you user ID and PIN then and there on the spot, in sealed envelopes, but they had ran out of them, and would only have new ones in about 10 days or so!!)
How unorganised can you get??? Then we wonder why Italy is economically behind!!!
I wasn't even able to phone up my branch, as they've recently moved locations, and in the letter they sent out to inform their clients (which arrived only 2 days before their move!) they forgot to put their new phone number on it!!! Can you believe that??!!?
As Samrag would say....aaarrrrgghhhhhhh!!!!

The Home Banker was kind enough to reactivate my credit card, as policy would have it that they take it off my hands! : (
She felt bad.... as most of this (besides the too much spending) is their fault anyways!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007,7:21 PM
My Daily Photo Diary for 2007 ~ update
I mentioned my little flickr project in a previous post. It's been evolving really well!
The group is so diverse, so full of tiny little glimpses into different people's lives... I'm loving it!

Here's today's post:

I've been slacking lately... being lazy about getting stuff done. I've had a cough ever since January 1st, and although I'm doing something about it (ie, taking medicatoin, as per doctor's orders) it doesn't seem to want to go away! I think it has a crush on my lungs!!!
But today I decided get some things tken care of.
My camera was dropped by a friend of mine, and the lense got all bent and wouldn't retract. It won't stay on and basically doesn't work.
So I decided it was about time to do something about it! I was able to find the closest Cannon assistance, which told me that if the repair cost is €90,00 or less, they'll go ahead and repair it without calling to check up first. If the cost is superior, they'll call so I can decide what to do about it.
I went ahead and left it with them and on my way home stopped off at an electronics store and asked about some new cameras. I was told that my model's modern equivalent is the Canon IXUS 55, priced at a mere €259!!! Then again, that's what mine cost me two years ago!

When I got home I wrote an email to my friend who so kindly offered to pay for the damages (that he caused!). He was very nice about it and told me that he'd rather buy me the new camera rather than get my old one fxed, as he too didn't trust repairs.

I have to say that in my bad luck (having my camera broken) I was lucky! Why, you ask? Well, I was lucky enough to have it broken by such a nice guy! He offered to repay it! Someone else could have just said "Ooops... sorry!!).

I'm still slacking in other departments though, seeing as I was supposed to have a dental appointment, but didn't feel like going!! I've spent most of november and december in his office; going again today just wasn't gonna happen!
I had ongoing "work" done that lasted well over a month. He finally finished it two appointments ago, but from what I can tell this guy is a prefectionist! (Which is a good thing, when it comes to fixing people's teeth... Lord knows how many Quacks like to pretend they're good, when they're not!). Today was sort of like a check-up. He wanted to go over his work, give me a clean (the third in three weeks...) and hopefully it was gonna be the end of that... but I wasn't up for it!
I still have this damn cough, and I wasn't about ready to have to sit still while trying damn hard not to cough in the dentist's face!
My dad says that the dentist likes me, so that's why he wanted to see me again today! It's not true though... my dentist and his whole staff (One father and two brothers) are friends of the family, so he's just being extra thorough with me. It's nice... I feel cared about!
Anyways, I basically called up his studio and said I'd go in on friday instead. I wanted to get a few other things done today and luckily I did!

That's the highlight of my day... but when I was out, I didn't have my sister's camera with me. (She doesn't know I'm "borrowing" it!!) so unfortunately there are no related pics to go with my errand, and seeing as I so desperately wanted an outdoors picture for today's post, you'll have to settle with a shot taken from my balcony.

- Taken from ~ sunshinecity, a picture, a story

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Saturday, January 06, 2007,10:21 PM
A week of bliss already over
Some of you may know, others might not... Michael came over to visit for New Year's. He arrived on the 31st and left this morning.
I'm surprisingly feeling OK about his departure today, but last night... wow, I was a wreck.

This week together has been amazing. I know I probably always say that, about every stay or every visit. Every time, the time spent together flies by so fast, and we have such a blast, but this week's visit really was wonderful.

I'd been planning to introduce him to my family, seeing as every time he's here, he doesn't stay that often. He'd met my grandma and my cousin so far, but not all my other aunts and uncles and cousins. So we decided to have a dinner to introduce Michael to the family.
My mom had been preparing for this for over a week. She was making grocery lists, buying all the necessary ingredients for her recipes. She's been slaving away cooking all sorts of yummy things.
Finally the night of the family dinner arrived. Everything went so smoothly! The food was great, the company was wonderful. Michael really fit in! It's honestly so surprising to o see him get on so well with my Italian speaking relatives when there's such a language barrier. In all honesty, I'm so proud of Michael for being so patient and trying so hard to pick up every word of Italian he could. I think he's very good at learning languages... if only he were able to spend longer lenghts of time here, he'd be fluent in no time!

My family loved him! It was a wonderful evening. He is now officially part of the family. He's been welcomed by all. I can't wait for the wedding. I think it'll be great!

As for us... I don't think I've ever felt so much love for someone as I have this past week. It's almost indescribable. I know I'm probably rotting some one's tooth now, with this sweet mushiness but I just wanted to briefly share my happiness.
It will definitely be hard waiting for the next time we'll be together again. I don't know when it'll be. I really am hoping 2007 will have promising things on the horizon for us.

I read of other people's lives these past few days. I've been browsing blogs, and reading people's online photo diaries... we're not all so fortunate.
I know I am truly blessed. I am blessed with Michael. Nothing has ever compared. Nothing ever will. I am loved!
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