Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Better to go riding a missile

Dennis. The Sinhalese legend that is my housekeeper (but so much more) has been an increasingly relevant part of my life since I moved to Italy, and over the last five years I have come to truly appreciate him. 

Dennis often brought gifts 'just because' (gentlemen, take note). Once I casually mentioned my love for spicy food, and the week after found this


(He always leaves notes with his offerings.)

OLIVIA
        THIS IS FOR YOU
   TRY IT. 
                  BYE.


But aside from his gifts, he was a generous spirt and always motioned to support me emotionally. Our bond evolved when he had my back during my breakup last year

"where is doctor?"

 I could not tell a lie. "He is staying with a colleague. He left me."

-stares blankly- then:

"NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO"

I stood in silence waiting for him to ride out the wave of disbelief. Then, his advice:

"I think he found someone better than you, someone more rich, more money. You were very foolish, you know why? Because you lived with him for this long and you didn't marry him sooner. Now you have to go out there and find someone better than him, but this time don't be foolish, you take the next man by the neck [extends arm with clenched fist] and you marry him before he leaves you." 

-sighs-

"I just can't believe this."

-long pause-
[shakes head]

"Don't his parents like you?"

"yes they do"

[angry tone] "THEN WHY CAN'T THEY FORCE HIM TO MARRY YOU?"

[i laugh] "No, I don't want to be --" [cuts me off]

[shouting] "WHY not? WHY can't they? THEY CAN FORCE HIM TO MARRY YOU. THEY HAVE TO"

-long pause-
[shakes head]
[looks defeated]
[sighs]

"Did he at least get you a nice Christmas present?"

-------------

It was not uncommon for Dennis to keep in touch, to send me regular text messages. Every woman likes their guy checking in. His messages were often a mystery to unfold, but at least I knew he was always there.





As an employee, he was deliriously punctual, perhaps to a fault. He used to start work at 8:30, but when I asked him to start coming at 9am instead, he continued to arrive at 8:30 but would then wait outside the flat until 9. Over time he started to sneak in a few minutes before 9. Last week he walked in twelve minutes before 9 (he has a key) while I was standing butt naked in the kitchen with a boiling kettle in my hand. What could I do other than scream? He ran out.


In spite of my love for him, he has driven me absolutely nuts on certain occasions. It's happened more than once that he unloaded a dirty dishwasher. And just last week I asked him to swap out the duvet covers and pillow cases, and instead of pulling off the dirty stuff to wash, he simply layered the clean linens over the dirty ones. This was the second time he did this. (The first time I searched my house up and down for 24 hours to find where he had stashed the dirty sheets).

But then he goes and does that gift just because thing and I am made weak to my frustration: 



Always a note, this time on graph paper:

                I have left you
a small gift.
I hope you would
like it. See you
on monday.
                Bye.
                Dennis. 


In anticipation of us going our separate ways, last week Dennis asked me for two letters of recommendation, one in Italian and one in English. He specifically asked they be hand written. On Monday I gave him his letters, scribbled in pen per his request. To his future employer I left out the part about the dishwasher and the duvet. I mentioned instead his honesty, trustworthiness, kindness, and punctuality. Then we hugged for perhaps the last time and said goodbye. He left, I cried. 

In a few weeks I will be moving out of my apartment, the place I made a home. I'll be leaving Italy and not sure when or if I'll be back. But I will always remember this man I loved, my friend Dennis. I have a singular photo of him, in which his t-shirt brilliantly captures his imperial status: "It's better to go riding a missile".  




Sunday, June 26, 2016

not my day job

that one time fashion goddess Tamu McPherson and the machine that is Vanity Fair immortalized me. well, for a week. 











Saturday, June 11, 2016

the weekly newsletter


As the season for obligatory near-nudity fast approaches (groan), I had every intention of staying active during my long weekend trip to London last week. I was also as enthusiastic as tepid can be about my plans to experience the city like a true tourist.

I can't count how many times I've been to London, four since this February alone. My father lived on a wharf of the Thames for much of my childhood so from the age of ten I kind of gave up on actively getting to know it, the way one so regrettably does when he believes he'll always have another chance. So despite my UK citizenship and frequent visits, I really don't know the place at all. I was intent on changing that last Friday. 

The first thing I did upon arrival was take off my shoes and walk straight into a wall. My pinky toe in martyrdom beared the full weight of my inertia and now I needed morphine. 

I instinctively stood on my injured foot with the healthy foot, remembering that lecture in neurophysiology about the Gate Control of Pain: 

"Observe the figure of the dorsal horn, which shows that large, mechanically sensitive A-beta afferent fibers in the skin excite interneurons that inhibit C-fibers- the neurons that carry pain information from the dorsal horns to the thalamus via the anterolateral tract".  

In other words, destroy thyself and then quickly put pressure on the surrounding area for fast and natural pain relief. If you've ever had a bikini wax you know what I'm talking about. For emotional pain instead, just pour some liquor on it.





Consequently spent the other morning in the emergency room waiting for my X-ray to reveal just how bad the break was. As I waited there I read very publicly the only book I had around- a self help about divorce. Other patients kept interrupting me to ask "what I was in for" the way they do in prison movies. The situation was dire and the wait was long.  When the orthopedic surgeon called my name I quickly hobbled over to get my results so I could finally be vindicated for the fact that I could no longer walk to the bar to order my own tequila. I was sure it was a fracture. But apparently medical school taught me nothing of practical use because there was no fracture, not even a shadow of a very minuscule one. Zilch. All I learned is that I have no excuse, and that I'm becoming more of a twat as I get older. I also still don't know anything about London.




I was ordered to "chill", so I worked from home for a few days. This afforded me the opportunity to also take care of things like laundry which I hadn't done in a while. On Wednesday I threw in a very big load. And since Wednesday my clothes have been in the washing machine. For reasons I've yet to understand, that machine spontaneously stopped working with the door locked, effectively holding all the dirty water and all my underwear hostage. I really don't know who to call or what to do so I'm just ignoring the situation until it resolves itself. 

This reminded me of hanging with the girls in Hungary last summer. It was here that my mother fully developed her "never throw anything away, no matter how functional or dysfunctional" attitude. She believes that things with no obvious utility in the present may eventually reveal their utility in the future. She and my grandmother were right about the vintage Russian washing machine that still, after more than half a century, is able to purge our unmentionables of their impurities. Meanwhile my German-made four-year-old device is currently challenging its worth on this planet. For now, I'll hold on to it holding onto my clothes. You never know what could become of it.




The best part is at the end of the clip when the machine stops and you can hear my grandmother come to its defense: 

"it just needs to rest for a moment." 

Words of gold, words to live by. 

---------------------------------------------------UPDATE!!------------------------------------------------

Current mood: feeling like a domestic hero.

Since writing this post, I received some virtuoso advice from several irreplaceable members of my social network and managed to fix the washing machine all by myself! All it took was uncapping the filter, flooding my bathroom with putrid, filthy, three-day-old lint water, and blindly digging my meandering hand up the washing machine's insides to search for anomalies that might be clogging the system. And I found them- two pieces of pocket-essential material! This is the kind of thrill-seeking that happens after age 30, and I've never been so satisfied. 



Monday, May 30, 2016

from ardor to ennui, (and back)

today i got a love letter.

though I generally believe correspondence best kept private, sometimes the words hand-picked by an artisan of the pen are too beautiful, too poetic, too funny, and too inspired not to be shared.
--
i'm so glad to hear from you. I think of you so much as well. almost weekly you pop into my thoughts. A delightful pause in the usual hamster wheel.
I am doing a lot of work. Too much perhaps. I am, as the French say, tres fucking tired. I have so many things I want to do and I keep pretending I can do them all. Still in SF doing graphics and the occasional architecture assist. Moving my way through 7-10 yrs Master Sommelier court, and also making clothes, where a future business may bloom. And then of course there's the supplementary bottle service job I do for a giant night club that makes me loads of money while only claiming 8 hours of my week, constantly making me question all things life. All over the place. Emphatically bestowing my mother with high blood pressure and likely at least a few cerebral conditions. But it’s the least I can do to stay positive in the midst of what is most definitely the saddest turn of events in American history. Come November, you may have an indefinite house guest.
Being in our 30’s is interesting, isn’t it? I cannot recall a time I’ve ever felt so present. I have more moments than ever where I’m too tired to nap and too weary to drink. Probably because no one has designed a silent cocktail shaker that allows me to make my martinis without fear of my fellow cohabitants knowing the severity of my drinking desires. Living at a point in our nation’s history that lacks any oxygen to feed the breath of progress nor exits for escape. Yet I must remind myself that: optimism is better than the alternative, and clearly Prince should have run for president. How rare, and powerful, and absolutely intoxicating it is to see a person so fearlessly dedicated to being themselves. And also there’s water on Mars. And also a pope in the Vatican who preaches love, humility, and universal kindness.
So, aside from modern American life being depressingly shallow and isolating at times, my increasing use of cuss words far too casually, and loving vodka and it not loving me back, I think I finally have adulting down. Though by most people’s standards, I should be making more money and working towards the wedding and the family and the property and the possessions and knowing more important people. But I have never really wanted any of that. I prefer ascetic fulfillment to material success any day. I want to make things. Not manage process (which is apparently where the money is). I want to care deeply rather than vest quickly. I want an adulthood that most people don’t think is feasible. And I want it to be honored and supported properly. I mostly have that here. I love San Francisco. Like intensely love it. Some days I’m all like “It’s kinda cool that there’s a dude in the neighborhood who plays the bagpipe in his front yard.” And some days I’m all like, “Nah man. This aint cool.” More the former though. And I have an amazing boyfriend. Who shares my tragic and comedic awareness that every person will frustrate, anger, madden and disappoint us, and we will undoubtedly do the same to them.
Which brings me to you. No one is exempt from this type of loss. Love doesn’t care about our feelings. It doesn’t care what we believe in or what we sacrifice or what our dreams are made of. Love is not a thing forged and broken in a moment. It’s a thing forged and broken over many strikes of the hammer. Sometimes someone just needs to take love out to pasture and old yeller it. I encourage you to keep wearing your experiences more as a medal than a scar to hide. It makes you cooler than most and more honest than many. Don’t hold on to the past so fiercely and blindly, as that memory which prevails upon you to recreate itself is, most likely, a well constructed lie. Don’t try to make any sense of what happened. Ever. For the rest of your life, if you can. You’ll never find the right construction of ethos to capture it. Just be eternally grateful for it, defined intrinsically by those who have given love to you most, and the way you’re then able to give love, and be changed forever by it. Always. It’s hard to have new awareness and capabilities everyday. You’re so intelligent. Sensitive. Kinetic. Charming. A lover and a fighter. You have a wonderful ability to suck the air out of the room and return it in the form of laughter. You are terrifyingly strong willed, just like your beautiful mother. Heart achingly independent. And a testament to the importance of intelligence, ambition and endurance. We control only one thing in our lives…The decision that life is worth living. Not our health. Not the tragedy. Or the victories. Not the trajectory nor the stability. Only the idea that we believe it is worth the effort and the reward. No one said it was going to be easy. Only important.
When you’re back in the states I will find you. I wish I had known you were in my area for NYE. I would have whisked you off to my favorite Karaoke bar where being left of sober is dangerously easy and fun. Where, if pickles and martinis aren’t making things better, things weren’t ever really going to get better anyway.
I’m off to be the low battery smoke alarm hunter.
--

Rooftop of the Duomo, Milan
photo by Morgan Moller

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Cuba

One month ago I was alone on a coach from Trinidad to Havana. The woman to my right was using a compact mirror to pluck her eyebrows. I have this issue with hair once it becomes detached from the body. The thought of it makes me gag, in fact I am gagging right now just thinking about it, particularly the image of long strands curling up in the back of my throat - having been chaperoned there by a food vehicle - or the sticky root of a stranger's short hair attaching to something close to me. This was a six and a half hour ride so I vowed to keep my cool and instead focus on something else, ANYTHING else, for instance the clock that was perpetually stuck counting the seconds of minute 22:00. 


Six hours into the journey, my neighbor had fully groomed herself with deodorant, makeup, and of course a new set of manicured eyebrows! I had watched the broken clock oscillate from 22:00 to 22:59 roughly three hundred and sixty times, when she very suddenly shrieked, stood up, and started to wipe herself down the way one does before getting out of the shower (you do that too, right?). Her hair and clothes were soaked and her fresh mascara smudged, meanwhile I was perfectly dry. I was slightly dozy so it took a moment to understand that the air conditioning supply had cracked, drenching her with fluid from the vent above. I suppose I do believe in the spiritual principle of cause and effect, but as a tendency don't see karma as something that operates incidentally and with immediate turnaround. Never would I wish ill on anyone, but I couldn't help my slightly sinister smile as I offered up the full supply of my kleenex.

If you've been to Cuba or you're planning a trip, perhaps you have learned that the mainstay of accommodation is the Casa Particular. It's a homestay/b&b most often with a private room and bathroom that will cost you $25-30/night. Hotels, conversely, are extremely expensive, outdated, and frankly, really fucking sad. I stayed in one in Cienfuegos that had a stainless steel steam table pan filled with a heaping pile of potato chips as a main course at both the dinner and breakfast buffet. When Morgan went to ask for a mojito, they told him they didn't have any. Now, I'm not the kind of person to indulge in a poor-customer-service fueled rage scene, but this is an "all-inclusive hotel" in CUBA and there are no mojitos! ZERO mojitos. Like, NONE. So he asked for a bottle of water. NOPE. None of those either. Then a roach landed on Morgan's dad in the shower. Then liquid from an unknown source landed on my stash of Cohibas, rendering them untokeable. The sliding door to my hotel room didn't lock nor close which i wouldn't have really cared about had the hotel not taken on the Wes Anderson meets serial killer vibe. Oh, and don't even think about using the internet- the dial up hotel computer I used to try to email my mum abruptly shut down (like screen went black) after I searched "google.com" and apparently "violated the terms of agreement". 

Havana is pretty cool, boasting a range of architectural milieu unique to each neighborhood. Old Havana is beautifully maintained and charming. Vedado has a vibe I can't quite describe. There are pristine streets and others quite rough, though the only time I ever felt unsafe was walking past a nail salon on Simón Bolivar at the same time the aesthetician was dumping out the tub of dirty foot water into the street (as one does) that splashed all up my bare legs, front, and face. Microbiological disaster. 

Public busses bump reggaeton and are often packed to the maximum with live human body parts dangling out the door and windows. People salsa dance in the street. Food is not the country's highlight, though unlike every other travel experience of my life, I didn't puke once! Infrastructure is behind but Cuba is socially progressive- Mariela Castro herself leads gay rights parades, and sex change surgeries are paid for by the state. Mojitos don't actually get old and neither does live music. If you don't smoke cigars, now is a good time to start. People are friendly, sociable, and educated.  Air is smoggy. Planes to take you home don't necessarily show up. Do you mind? Not too much. 


National Capitol Building from Paseo de Marti, Havana

Paseo de Marti, Havana

Paseo de Marti, Havana
Plaza de la Revolución, Havana

La Bodeguita del Medio, Havana

around the corner from Romeo y Julieta cigar factory, Havana

shoes and socks and music of Trinidad

Trinidad


Tobacco farm, Pinar del Rio

Viñales Valley

"which way's the beach?" Cayo Jutías

Coconuts of Cayo Jutías

Trinidad; photograph by Morgan Moller

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

piñata

You know shit has really hit the fan when "figure out my life" becomes a point on your To-Do List. 

I don't know what kind of celestial tectonic drama was happening up there for a while, but whatever it was resulted in my acquisition of some heavy goods that I've heard commonly referred to as "baggage". Now I've got a collection of big bags, little bags, medium bags, shoulder bags, roller bags, saddle bags, undereye bags. All the bags! The bags are mine. Give me all the bags. 

Not only was there massive life changing/defining/ending upheaval, but I also couldn't catch a break on the daily. 

For months I was reminded every morning of the Bridget Jones I had become courtesy of the taped self-affirmation above my mirror. Yes I did that. I was so desperate for restoration of my psychological health that I was willing to try anything up to and including positive self talk, scripted and robotically read in the presence of but only my own reflection; the dire scene was one I could only experience as if from the third party perspective, making me feel invariably far worse than neutral, much less better. 

There was a day in the lab I found myself on my hands and knees burdened by the scent of excrement while investigating the dust-mite ridden underbelly of the -20C freezers in search of hundreds of runaway fecal samples after my colleague dropped a box of vials filled with human waste on the floor.

I got busted for not swiping my unlimited transportation card (that I PAID for!!!) on the bus in Milan, thus forced to pay a fine meanwhile suffering the unbearable public humiliation that is being socially demonized in the most boring way possible. 

In trying to wax my mustache I took the skin off my upper lip at least three or four times (every time). 

In an emergency bathroom situation I wedged my way through the crowd at the Heathrow Airport to access the single disabled-persons toilet. In my haste I mistook the big red button for the flusher and set off the gnarliest alarm that alerted the entire immigration area that I was a moron. I ran away before sorting out how to actually flush it.

It continued like this and I came to view myself as the personification of the piñata; after being beaten over and over again by a figurative overly young and enthusiastic ephemeral orchestrator of life who I swore had gotten the wrong girl, I finally exploded. But in doing so I realized I was far from empty inside, rather filled with all kinds of cheap candy that everyone hates to admit they secretly like. 

So I peeled the self affirmation off my mirror. I converted all that vial-laden poop into my medical school thesis. I yielded to my neglected creative spirit and gave birth to song lyrics then watched them come to life. Then I went to Cuba. And now I'm back and inspired, with even more cheap candy for all, if you'd only stay posted. 





Wednesday, January 20, 2016

riding dirty

I recall riding the train to Milan this summer and passing out in the late afternoon heat. I awoke muzzy and marinated in sweat to a deserted carriage stopped at God knows which station in Italy. I scurried to the sliding doors to stick my neck out and look for a sign, at which point the doors suddenly slammed, clamping me on either side of my temporal lobe in a scene that could have only reminded passersby of Jack Nicholson on the cover of The Shining. The doors may be lined in rubber, but as they close they accelerate the way an enthusiastic member of a high school marching band plays the cymbals- easily enough g-force to render me decidedly more disoriented than before. I remained locked in place long enough to understand that I was at the correct stop -Milano Centrale- then slithered my head out from between the doors using my very own jaws of life (residual latissimus dorsi from previous years as a rower) and made the ten minute shuffle home alone. When I got to my apartment and looked in the mirror I realized that I had addressed the public with either side of my head/hair and face covered in black door grease, but I did not care. 

When people ask me how I'm doing these days, I think back to this moment - some mix of finding myself alone and panicky on an empty carriage, and then unexpectedly blasted by figurative doors inciting me to wake the feck up and get off the train. I am aware that I physically appear as if I've been through the wringer, though don't yet care enough or have the energy to even put myself in the shower to attempt to wash the grease out of my hair.


I went back to California for the holidays with some sort of optimism thinking that my luck would begin to change as soon as I got to the airport with an upgrade to business class. WRONG. Instead, I was one of the last to check in and as a consequence placed in the back of the plane by the toilets and behind a fearful looking man who turned around immediately to ask me "do you know where this plane going?". I missed my connection in London, was rerouted through Phoenix, then placed behind two screaming infants for the eleven hour flight. When I finally arrived in San Diego my bag had obviously gone missing, so I spent the first three days in California wearing my mother's underwear (no offense mom). 

I wonder now if in a human's effort to recover from deep suffering he has to first skim the bottom before resurfacing. I cried everyday for five weeks, often spontaneously even while out at a meal with friends. My diet largely consisted of xanax, cigarettes, and an occasional vitamin for good measure. Actually it's not as though I were completely out of the woods yet, most of the hell I went through is probably still too recent to be funny or cute to anyone but perhaps myself. 

BUT NOT ALL OF IT!

The spirit at home was kind of morose, and from my mother's perspective augmented by the fact that one of the trees in our backyard had fallen into the swimming pool. She still seethes from the massive amount of money she spent years ago to have the backyard re-landscaped to a subpar standard, so the tree in the pool was really the icing on the holiday ham. We didn't have a Christmas tree in the house because again, the mood was too somber, so I made a point to wrap the rotten rooted pool tree up in bows and turn it into our unconventional symbol of the fête. Don't ask me why I'm not wearing pants.



Mom and I also did a Christmas Day hike in which you can see me in my gorgeous holiday sweater and mom in her most trusty accessory - the visor.


 (In case you didn't get the pop culture reference...)



I also got to steal plenty of kisses from a younger man I just met:


Ok I wouldn't say I'm really a "kid person" but I have to indulge for sec because this one made me change my mind. He belongs to one of my best friends Elyse and her husband Vince. Out of the womb he looked like he was already 97. He is impressively well behaved and good natured. Never cries or complains, just sits there observing, making funny faces, laughing, and generally allowing himself to be entertained. I want to keep him as my own. Here he is throwing up a "westside" like the little gangster he is (his motor skills are not yet fully developed but his intention is clear): 


And here he is touching my chest and sinking into a deep trance: 


Then I got to be spoiled by the company of another one of my closest friends Megan. She's normally hovering around Princeton but the US women's national rowing team was conveniently training at the Olympic Training Center in San Diego long enough for her to take a break for us to share an oyster dinner, cocktail, and a grainy selfie. 


The day after I hopped up to San Francisco to spend NYE with Marah and Milla and all of our new Burning Man inspired friends, as well as pay a visit to the beloved Godfather at V O L T A (which easily made its way into the top three meals of my life, but we have no photos because we were all too beguiled to think about taking the phone out for a pic). 





Upon my return to San Diego after the turn of the new year, i found that i had received an unexpected delivery from a friend- a box of organic California-grown fruits with a note cheersing to "more fruit in 2016"- a playful jab at the fact that my former flame would famously gag at the taste or texture of any fruit. 




So here's to a tutti frutti 2016, ya'll. 


on moving on



it's electrifying how the source and direction of light can bend the cortices
    what seems in front is actually behind, 
         what appears to float is actually suspended, 
                 and while the reflection of oneself has vanished from his own perspective- 

                          the stranger behind two panes of glass can see you perfectly.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

our last holiday card

My attention span is generally too short for even a television to capture, but i happened to see one episode one time in which Kevin Spacey outfitted as a politician said he loved his wife "more than sharks love blood", and with a mouth full of peanut butter/banana/honey on soft white, I pointed enthusiastically at the telly and shouted "EXACTLY Francis", then i flexed my biceps because i enjoy the human connection. 


Little about mine and Giulio's relationship was conventional, and the same applies to our breakup. Though I am not yet equipped to speak about it freely, I will just say that in my best state I fall to my knees with gratitude for the five heavenly years we spent together, and at the worst I wonder if i will ever pass another moment when the light of day itself does not remind me of him. 


When I was ten I was an avid little figure skater. I was quite sweet and not yet corrupt, although still remember my internal condemnation of those who, thinking they were clever or original, would tell me that "at least when you fall the ice is already there". I never experienced heartbreak until now, actually I had come to accept it as a common life experience that I would have gone without. But now that my organs have been scattered across Italian soil, I acknowledge the convenience of it happening while I am already home to THE destination where the broken hearted retreat to soul search and reclaim what is theirs. I fell and the ice was indeed, already on my ass.


I have never felt community the way I have of late. It's an experience in itself observing how one human approaches another he sees suffering; people come out of nowhere to offer a hug, or a compassionate glance, or a bottle of wine. Even the unsolicited bad advice I have received has been cathartic, probably because it's so bad that it's actually good. Or at least funny. You know, there is always humor lurking in even the darkest of corners. Last week my lovely middle aged male Sri Lankan house cleaner asked me "where is doctor?" and I could not tell a lie:


"He is staying with a colleague. He left me."


-stares blankly- then:


"NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO"



Over the preceding days I had become used to this reaction, so I knew to just stand there in silence until he rode out the wave of disbelief. Then the advice:



"I think he found someone better than you, someone more rich, more money. You were very foolish, you know why? Because you lived with him for this long and you didn't marry him sooner. Now you have to go out there and find someone better than him, but this time don't be foolish, you take the next man by the neck [extends arm with clenched fist] and you marry him before he leaves you." 


-sighs-


"I just can't believe this."

-long pause-
[shakes head]


"Don't his parents like you?"


"yes they do"


[angry tone] "THEN WHY CAN'T THEY FORCE HIM TO MARRY YOU?"


[i laugh] "No, I don't want to be --" [cuts me off]


[shouting] "WHY not? WHY can't they? THEY CAN FORCE HIM TO MARRY YOU. THEY HAVE TO"


-long pause-
[shakes head]
[looks defeated]
[sighs]


"Did he at least get you a nice Christmas present?"

_________


Aside from filtering through sentiments, I have been looking to recovery by running the gamut of cliché breakup activities. I attempted to chop off all my hair, however the hairdresser intervened. Instead they wrapped me up in plastic like a sofa too good to exploit, after which I emerged blonde AF.






I have been alternating between provocative thoughts inspired by Thus Spoke Zarathustra and provocative thoughts inspired by the female anatomy in Orange is the New Black

I caulked the sink and shower- an activity I now affectionately refer to as CAULKBLOCKING. 







Then I made a galette, because until the day I made it I didn't know what a galette  even was. This one was with a flaky whole wheat crust, roasted pumpkin and sage, caramelized onions, chevre, and honey. 





I have been exploiting my girlfriends... 




...and been exploited by my girlfriends. 




The list goes on. But for now I will leave you with the ultimate in mine and Giulio's series of stanky holiday cards, captured at the world's largest salt flat this August in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.


Together we wish you a holiday season more sweet and less salty than ours,



Olivia & Giulio