Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The faces of my fiancé

We are on a mission to prove that two wrongs really do make a right.

Yes, it's true. Giulio and I are engaged. 

This past weekend, Giulio took me to one of his favorite family spots on the Italian Riviera to propose that I devote the rest of my life to washing his underwear we formalize our love story via holy matrimony. He distracted me with a shiny object in effort to manipulate the situation in his favor, and being the magpie that I evidently am, I surrendered. I have to admit that as a young girl, I never imagined myself engaged nor married... but now that I am, I am totally looking forward to eating bonbons on the sofa and working on really letting myself go!

Now enough about me because what I actually want to make the point to do is devote some cyberspace to celebrating the faces of my fiancé who's got enough charisma to last a lifetime.

Here is Giulio just after having devoured a Bistecca alla Fiorentina in Tuscany. It's a face quite similar to his usual look of disillusionment. 

Here he is in Sri Lanka moments before he began suffering from Shigellosis. What a sport!

Most men don't like cupcakes, but Giulio is avid for sweets and crappy television, just like me. It's important to share common interests, 'specially if you're gonnna get married.

Giulio looking dispossessed of the mustache he never had. (Except for the frothy kind.) 

Giulio fearing the outcome of the water hitting his hair, and being without a blowdryer and product.

Giulio's puerile behavior, a blight on a towel swan, and a moment that will ruin his future career in politics forever.  

Giulio with his best friend, who shares his passion for fine whiskey and apathy.

Giulio honing his kitchen skills with the same fervor he devotes to honing mine. (imperative)

Giulio pretending he's not absolutely terrified of bugs.

And finally, my favorite face of my fiancé, for all the intelligible reasons. 

I believe that I'm a lucky girl, though my social circle might contest I've been given exactly what I deserve- a man wearing a hat that advertises "quality semen".  

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Today the highlight of my day was using a tweezer to pull a dissevered earplug out from the depths of my boyfriend's ear. Half of it had broken off, leaving him frustrated to the point of apathy as he sat with hemispheric deafness until I could save him. It made me feel important.

As much as I love extractions, the ear plug debacle was the most celebrated part of my day because today was miserable. Today I cried. Today in the face of stress, I suffered a momentary lapse of judgement and cried big, ugly, Kim Kardashian-sized tears. 

genius image courtesy of http://plumkat.tumblr.com/

It really doesn't happen often that I "voluntarily" secrete bodily fluids, but I confess, the incredulity of feeling my own warm, salty secretions run down my cheeks made me cry even more. So first I sought the comfort of my boyfriend, and then spent a month's salary to use my cell phone to call my mom who is 6000 miles away. But it was worth it. 

I actually did have a few isolated anecdotes to share from the last two months- most of which pivoted around spending time in the mountains with friends. 

But nevermind that, because I'd rather emphasize how stressed and stifled and miserable I am.

School-wise, the last two months have been brutal, and the forecast predicts a progressive worsening until July, at which point gray skies may or may not clear up. I've been (bloggingly-speaking) absent because I've been working my ass off and suffering a consequential abandonment of my own creative spirit. I didn't have time to write, and have frankly been feeling more desperate than I have inspired. 

But as an enterprise to combat the creative void, I initiated a thirty-day Instagram challenge, aimed at capturing an image of something beautiful, interesting, funny, alluring, etc. each day for thirty days. It sort of worked, but mostly didn't. But at least I tried. You can see the photo montage here.

Presently I'm facing what is rumored to be the most punishing two months of medical school -Neuro. Every day in class you have to be superlatively prepared with notions fit for making you a neuro-scientist/ologist/surgeon, OR be prepared to be publicly humiliated by a professor intolerant of your ineptitude. Each day is outfitted with a cause for unrivaled anxiety, though I admit there's nothing like the threat of social indignity to incite one's motivation to read a textbook.

So unfortunately that's all I've really got for you. I just needed to vent, and I also needed to make a confession regarding my boyfriend's breakfast cereal. My dear Giulio, it is time I told you that the reason why there's never any chocolate chunks or hazelnuts in your "chocolate chunk hazelnut granola" is not because you are repeatedly made a sucker of false advertising, but because every afternoon when I come home from neuro, I pick out all the good stuff. It assuages my pain... Please forgive me.  

PS. Here is a really disgusting worm that came out of someone's poop.


Friday, January 24, 2014


When I think of France I cannot help but recall my defunct childhood in cahoots with a young Macaulay Culkin.

"You're what the French call, "les incompétents"

We've just returned from Paris where I guess I would say, it was colder than it was unaffordable. Nevertheless, Giulio accommodated my interminable complaints about the wind as much as he did my demands to indulge in everything that could incite a good froth from my salivary glands- from the best french onion soup in Le Marai, to a browse around the Christian Louboutin boutique, to being the last two patrons standing at the terminal end of visiting hours at the Louvre. 

He is a very, very good man. 

The last time I was in Paris I skipped the Louvre in favor of clearing out every boulangerie of its pain au chocolat. But this time, I was on a mission to see some of my longtime favorite masterpieces, including the Winged Victory of Samothrace, which has been on my to do list since before I was legally emancipated.

Unfortunately this time, Paris had other plans for me: 

en cours de restauration.


But rather than sulking, I decided to focus my attention on all the other inspirational pieces  SELFIES represented in the artwork, practically everywhere I looked. I have always appreciated delicate symbolism and foreshadowing depicted in literature and art, but what patent an example as these projections of smartphone-fueled vanity from long Before Christ!

"fresh out of the salon" selfie

"look I'm doing yoga" selfie

"pensive" selfie 

"group sufferance" selfie

(There's more, but I guess you get the point.)

So we satisfied our penchant for body-sized baguettes of pickles and pâté and are now back to being cozily nestled into our manic Milanese life, (naturally) already missing the exalted Paris Fashion Week and 15 euro cocktails. So I guess for now it's au revoir to Jean-Marc Ayrault, (and in the meanwhile, see what you can do about turning the pinnacle of Paris into the discotheque it was obviously meant to be). 

Oh! oh! and just to get the very last word...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Key Wish

Make no mistake. "Key wish" is not a hackneyed manifestation of my festive mood after another (overly long) piney-fresh and raisin-embedded holiday season. Rather, it reflects an anagram of my personal microcosmic zeitgeist: 
W H I S K E Y. 

This freshly formed, cold (yet empathetic) friend of ours came to life on Boxing Day after Giulio and I had been obliged to house arrest by a three day snow storm (that left Giulio's hair looking like a bowl of vermicelli noodles).

The morning of Christmas Eve began with sunshine and breathtaking views over the Dolomites (not being trite, I am just at the moment a bit out of shape and easily winded). It really must be the most beautiful place in the world, but unfortunately you'll have to google it because the fog rolled in faster than I could find the zip to my ski pants to take a picture. And with that, our official Christmas photo was born, with us naturally behaving like wretched individuals and donning our whiskey jackets in front of the Italian Alps, which may or may not actually be there. 

So we retired our skis for a few days in favor of staying indoors to honor a diet of ham and gnocchi. We did manage to escape for a couple hours one afternoon to build a snowman and go sledding- two activities that even the most vile of humans can recognize as exceptionally entertaining.

And on the fourth day, we had BOMBARDINO!!!!!! 

Nevermind the epic snow and the sunshine and the view and all that, the bombardino is like, one of my favorite things in the whole world ever.  If you too appreciate eggnog and a stiff drink, prepare to have your life changed the moment it first touches your lips. The caveat of course is that it's strictly limited to consumption whilst in the mountains- the recipe calls for one part eggnog, one part brandy, and "the spirit of the Alps". I don't even know what that is, but I do know that you shouldn't think about trying to make yourself a "skinny" version in Southern California, it belongs here:

When we returned to Milan I had a package waiting for me(!), which is probably the only thing that could have consoled my spirit after the major downer that was saying ciao to fresh air and daytime drinking.  My mother (bless her) had mailed some of my favorite goodies from America, including the traditionally celebrated Christmas orange:

As a kid, I always received oranges in my stocking, but as I began to flirt with adulthood, they began to arrive in the form of CHOCOLATE!

If you've never had one of these things, it's really worth trying at least once. It comes as a dense sphere of orange-flavored chocolate that is artfully segmented and perfectly texturized into the likeness of a real orange. The most satisfying thing about it is that before opening, you have to slam it into something sturdy to crack it into its twenty segments:

Thanks to this, one day each year I am permitted to behave like the neanderthal I am inclined to be, with absolute freedom from social scorn. I like to take full advantage of this fact by getting into a low squatting position, cupping the orange in between my two hands, and repeatedly banging it against the floor well beyond the threshold required to get the job done. I derive an unparalleled pleasure from this.

Which brings me to the present moment- the anticlimactic eighth of January 2014, where I lie on my sofa considering all the New Year's Resolutions that have already been broken, meanwhile my laptop irradiates my ovaries, and I dream of inexhaustible chocolate oranges and sunny days above the fray. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Taste of Naples

(That was just a cheap tactic to capture your attention).

I recently took the chance to accompany Giulio to Naples for a conference, and to cultivate what I refer to as my human version of a prostomium. Basically what I mean is that for four days I wedged myself into the cracks of the city and like an earthworm in its usual fashion, ate my way through the very burrows I sought to create. The world was my oyster and no food could be my obstacle. 

So, here's the Taste of Naples:

Baba. The apple of the Napolitano's eye. A yeast-based cake soaked in so much rum it would have gotten you drunk had you not just eaten enough food to feed a family of three for two weeks. And though you don't find yourself tipsy per se, you may find yourself teetering on the sobering line that delicately separates insulin resistant from not.

Pizza Margherita. Naples is ostensibly the birthplace of this handsome little devil:

Pastiera. Don't let this cute little torta fool you, bizza is DENSE! prolly weighs more than a small human:

Pasticce. May the (crispy on the outside, warm ricotta on the inside) Sfogliatelle have mercy on your pathetically easily delighted soul:

Coffee. I dunno, I asked for one and this is what came out:

Pasta. Period.

I sincerely have no idea what this is but I ate it anyway:

Struffoli. The holiday delight of Naples, so festive, how could I resist?

(Struffoli after): Actually one of the most horrible things I've ever eaten, and the only thing I left unfinished.

Of course, how could we miss an opportunity to indulge at Da Michele? Famously regarded as the best pizza in the whole damn world, (and as I realized later, also the location of the triumphant pizza scene in the film Eat Pray Love.)

Let me just give you a little anecdote to highlight how I truly am the modern day Julia Roberts. The story starts like this: WE WAITED IN LINE FOR TWO AND A HALF WRETCHED HOURS.

At hour 1.5, we found ourselves in such a desperate state of delirious hunger that I went into ninja mode, rounded the corner, stormed the adjacent pizzeria, and demanded a to-go margherita for me and my friends that we then ate in line while waiting for our main course. I for one am not afraid to admit that I ascribe unabashed scorn to the notion of "delayed gratification". 

And then with a little more patience we made it. Pants unbuttoned, happy girl.

The End. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013


The leaves and my serotonin levels are falling.

Do you know what this is? 

It's my macbook air failing to reconcile whatever mental issues led to its premature death this autumn.


I lost every photo, every file, countless hours at the apple store, (and even more lamenting the whole damn thing). Furthermore, I attest I did not bring my worthless lump of aluminum to the shop to have the stupid ass "geniuses" (I mean really, c'mon) look at me scornfully when I said I didn't have it backed up. 

"NO I don't have it backed up?" WHY? Because I thought that when I shelled out $1500.00 one year and five weeks ago for the alleged "Rolls Royce" of computers, I could have relied on it. And besides, the one time I actually did back it up, the external hard drive had already malfunctioned before I realized I even needed it. Next time remind me to buy a Toshiba or a Samsung, and to spend the rest of my allowance on my subscription to Carbonite, assholes. And by the way, the new iTunes layout is totally not user friendly.

One night prior, I had been lying in bed, snuggling with my incredible heat-producing laptop machine while poking around on various social media sites (like a true glutton for free-time). Then I got sleepy, shut my computer, and went to bed.

The morning after, I was faced with an image that appeared to be deriding me: a completely gray screen with a question mark. I don't mean a figurative question mark, I mean, like, a LITERAL question mark. Punto domanda. This was not a joke. 

I'd been in the apple store for two hours waiting for the geniuses to confirm that my computer was in fact not worth more than the metal it was made of, when my iPhone went into "10% battery" mode. I proceeded to charge it at one of the many ports within the store, when an asswipe of an employee came to me and in a surly Italian dialect asked me if I had "come to the apple store for the purpose of charging my phone". This is when I erupted into malevolent rage and went all kinds of rogue on him, asserting that I should be reimbursed for my overpriced and over-celebrated MadeInChina POS, and that furthermore he was maleducato, ignorante, sgarbato, scortese, vile, etc. Some patrons looked on as I were batshit crazy while others seemed to be giving me a telepathic "you go girl" and a virtual high-five. (But this is neither here nor there.)

After finally managing to get my "fixed" computer back, (you will not believe this) two days later it did EXACTLY the same thing. 

I'm interrupting my own story here because frankly, it's boring me, and besides, the autunno hasn't been all rubbish. Lets focus on the good stuff.

First, I received a lovely bicycle accessory (MUSTACHE!) from Arianna- a cute and perky classmate of mine who always smells delightfully of laundry detergent. Considering I refuse to indulge in a month of anarchical facial hair growth for the sake of prostate cancer awareness,  I find my cyclette 'stache to be a perfect tribute to Movember. (Although it is absolutely disgusting after a good rain.)

Then my beautiful-young-blonde-cousin-doctor-friend came to visit for a week. While I was in school, she would whip up banoffee pies and stuff. Every guest should be so intelligent and so eager to please.

Then Giulio and I hopped over to California for a hot minute. Good n' cathartic:

...we even visited a vineyard to watch our friends get hitched in style!

But within a jiffy, we were turned around with a brief sojourn in London just before disembarking the plane in Milan and deliriously rolling in to the Queens of the Stonehenge concert (or whatever they're called). 

Here we are looking stupid and jaundiced and far too old for rock concerts:

Last week I reconnected with some girlfriends over dinner. Our time together is always fulfilling and robust:

Also, Giulio knew I'd been home avidly studying and stressing a lot lately, so he affectionately suggested I go out with my girlfriends for a glass of wine:

While out, Yar and I nuzzled ourselves into a cozy corner of the (empty) bar (on a rainy Monday night) and took so many selfies that the cameriere eventually asked us if we were lovers. Then he offered us free shots of rum! Yarden accepted, while I opted for a rubbish Lipton tea the way a good ol' bitch does. (And yes PETA, I'm wearing REAL fur.) 

I suppose other than these painfully boring anecdotes, there's not much news to report. I'm on a diet which basically means that on the way to Brescia this weekend (1 hour away from Milan) I had to force Giulio to pull over at the Autogrill to buy me a fried chicken sandwich and a chocolate bar because I was afraid I was becoming hypoglycemic. We went there (Brescia) to purchase a 1970's sofa (which I affectionately refer to as "vintage", and Italians refer to as "used"). Also, today while wearing socks, I stepped into a puddle of water that had leaked from the refrigerator, which was really annoying. 

Next weekend we're off to Naples to eat a pizza and have our watches stolen.