The Day the Earth Stood Still

For days, there had been a strange, cold, empty feeling in my stomach. Strange, because I never suffer from stomach problems; I am someone who breezes through the dodgiest street food markets of life with nary so much as a cramp. And yet, an unpleasant, awkward sensation in the core of me. Building, ruining my Sunday night…

The Dead; the Living; the Return

It took them six years to find me but by golly, they sure did find me. “Can the Dead REALLY come back to life?” asks this flier, dropped lovingly into my mailbox by the Italian Christian Right. Or, rather, I assume it was from the Italian Christian Right, as I didn’t actually read the thing….

Keeper of the Castle: A Play in One Act

CAST OF CHARACTERS E: Writer. American. Early 30s. Breathtakingly gorgeous. OLD MAN AMBROGIO: Pensioner. Early 60s. Italian. Haunts the bar where E goes to write. Scatters outrageous, unsolicited advice like so much birdseed. MARCO: Policeman. Italian. Mid-40s. MARCO was once one of E’s interview subjects for an article she was planning to write. FRANCESCO: MARCO’s…

Homemade

You guys, look what my friends give me: That’s apple cake and prune crostata from Maria, mandarins and pickled eggplants from Flora, and pesto and currant jam from Piero’s mom. I love these people.

Distractions

I don’t know how you expect me to concentrate on anything when I had this for dinner last night. Thoughts wandering all over the place. This post has been brought to you by Wanderfood Wednesday.

Usurpers to the Throne

  The usual hours and the usual parking spot and the usual teenage boys behind the bar who take bets on what flavor of fruit juice I’ll be drinking today; if I’ll accept the aperitivo or no; if I’ll get any writing done while Old Man Ambrogio lectures me on exactly what my problem is…

Blue Roses

At night, there are the nightspots and free concerts. My group of friends tends to meet up around midnight – when my friends in the tourism and hotel industry get off from work; when the nightspots start getting packed – and those of us who don’t live at home*  and might not have eaten dinner…

Seven Links, Seven Blogs

I’ve been nominated, I’ve been nominated! Nominated to take part in the 7 Blogs project, that is. This means that Barbara Weibel and tripbase – respectively, my gentle nominator and the mastermind behind the project – like me; that they really like me! My part in this project is simple. I may share with you…

USA vs. USA

What happens sometimes is that – when you’re living in a foreign country, a country where you’re almost one of a kind – people want to pair you up with other stray members of your species. There’s another American who lives three towns over, they say. I’ll invite him over. You can chest bump about…

Beach

…. and something else I do when I’m not writing my novel or writing travel articles or hitting the gym or doing other stuff which I haven’t told you about yet is I go to the beach. Terracina is like this now. Gone is the still, empty, beach of winter: here are the umbrellas, the sunshine,…

Gym

So something I do when I’m not stuffing my face with junk food writing my novel at the office is go to the gym and work out. Yes, you read that correctly; me, who won the 2004 Olympic Gold Medal for Ass-Sitting. Who would always, always, rather be asleep than be awake. Who has coasted…

Office

The office is where I am these days; that is, the 113 year-old bar in the Centro with my laptop and my cell phone and my glass of vibrant orange Crodino. I’ve officially become a great big ball of novel-writing momentum, which is why I’m there and not here with ye would be-pigeon eaters but…