La Migra

This is M.E. before having a nervous breakdown from immigration services.

This is M.E. before having a nervous breakdown from immigration services.

These past few weeks have been crazy because my family is one giant pile of immigration shit right now. Francesco has his appointment on this coming tuesday for his interview at the embassy in Naples. My father also decided to import my aunt from Iran to Italy for our May 4th wedding which has required us to spend a freakish amount of time preparing her visa forms. My family is one big melting pot of immigrants. You should hear us all trying to communicate, it’s like those old ladies (or me) who try to communicate with their dogs, but their dogs are just super confused and stare back like, “you dumb shit I can’t understand you”. You’re a dick Oliver.

Now, let me tell you, dealing with immigration is not easy and dealing with the US immigration service is like trying to run a marathon with a tiger shark eating both of your legs. Also you’re blind. And deaf. And someone keeps randomly bitch slapping you. It’s actually kind of funny because I was given residency for five years in Italy in uhm, two days more or less. I had to supply a marriage certificate, smile, wave, and say “grazie.” Francesco basically has to promise to give the US government his first born, cure cancer, and personally raise the economy out of the deficit. Seriously, they make you work. Also, they make you pay. In fact, you have to pay 15 euros every time you call the embassy with a question. You cannot talk with a representative without giving your credit card number. Yes, seriously, this is capitalism my friends.

What EXACTLY had to be done?

Well, first we had to file a I-130 form. Along with it we had to provide wedding photos, a translated marriage certificate, birth certificate, letters from friends saying we are really married and that he isn’t paying me to marry him. Also, I would never marry him for money. He’s way too annoying for that. We also had to give passport photos, and something showing we share a residence, finances, or whatever. This cost us 300 euro.

THEN

We had to wait. We passed round one! Hooray! They gave us an interview date at the United States Embassy in Naples and now we are preparing:

Medical records to show that he’s not diseased.

Police records to show he’s not a pedophile, murderer, or otherwise criminally insane persons. Oh, it also asks if he’s a drug mule. Because, you know, if he were he would honestly check, “yes.”

Marriage records to show we really did spend 10,000 bucks on not one but TWO weddings. Your welcome economy of America and Italy.

A form of support with the past three years of tax information showing that you make over 125% of the poverty line. I do not because I am a writer. So my dad, who was also once an immigrant and is sympathetic to how much it sucks, had to step up and co-sponsor Francesco. Hooray.

Then I had to show proof that I am domiciled in the US. Don’t know what that means? Neither did I. Apparently it’s a fancy way of saying, “I am still American even if I live in Italy.” So I had to supply bank information showing I still use an American bank. AMERICA!

Cost-So far about 300 euros again. Plus 2, 15 euro each phone calls. You win this round, stati uniti.

Tanti cosi, guys.

So, if you’re wondering why I haven’t really posted, this is why. I’m stuck in immigration hell. Although, I can say this: American’s are fucking organized. It’s fairly easy to figure out what needs to be done as long as you read every single sentence of the documents they give you. Mostly.

Cross your fingers for us! Our appointment is Tuesday!

A Nice Thought

Warning. This is a lazy post. I’m overwhelmed with shit right now and haven’t had time to write something even remotely entertaining. However, I WILL! I WILL PREVAIL!

Sometimes when I’m feeling depressed or overwhelmed I’ll go through my old photos or my “memory” box to cheer me up. In doing that this morning I found a ticket to a Flamenco show that my husband took me to in 2010. When I first started dating him, and this is exactly why I fell in love with him, he wasn’t like anyone I’d ever dated before. He planned things, he surprsed me with things, he always knew where we were going to dinner, or for drinks and it was always exciting. He was also ridiculously romantic. I mean, make me throw up in my mouth, romantic. He’d come over and cook dinner, sing to me and dance with me in the kitchen. One time after I became angry with him he even tried to serenade me in the piazza under my house. Though, I’m not great with things that draw attention to me so instead of being impressed I screamed, “Oh god no,” and I ran away. It’s funny how that works, how you get smothered with attention when you don’t need it, but when you do it’s no longer available. Life is kind of a dick in that way. Right? Anyhow, I remember he’d booked a night in a really fancy hotel in Gaeta for us, and upon returning to Florence we rushed to the theatre for the Flamenco show.

A month later he took me to Sicily for a week where he proposed for probably the third time since we’d been dating on a cliff overlooking the sea. German tourists watched and clapped while I ran away. Now, he’s Italian, and I’m not as dumb as I look, so it’s possible that he didn’t mean any of it back then and he was most likely sleeping with half of Europe at the same time. Still, the point is, it was sweet.

This was us after six months and three marriage proposals. We were so romantic.

This was us after six months together and three marriage proposals. We were so romantic.

Later that night I started my period and thought I was dying. He ran to the Farmacia (pharmacy) and bought pain killers, juice, and a thermometer (because apparently he’d never known a women who had a period before?). I fell asleep and woke up to a candle-lit dinner in the corner of our room that he had put together while I slept.

I have a lot of memories of him like this. He won’t be happy that I’m writing this because he prefers that his friends think he’s a piece of shit, and would hate for them to know that sometimes he’s a decent guy. Seriously. I’ll never understand men. He also used to write me poetry. POETRY. So, take that, guys.

So, this is me reminding myself of why I fell in love with him. Even if he is the biggest pain in my ass ever and sometimes I think about sticking forks in his eyes while he sleeps. He was worth falling for.

ps. hint, hint, I would like dinner delivered to bed more often. Obviously.

How I Ireland

Last week I went with my husband and a few of his friends to Dublin for a long weekend. A break from Italy! But I was hesitant to go on the trip because most of my husband’s friends think I’m weird. I mean, I AM weird, but usually my weirdness is kind of endearing to my friends in the US. Here, it’s not very endearing, here instead of the, “She’s unique,” look, I get the, “She is going to ax murder her family,” look. In all fairness I might ax murder THEIR family, but not my own. How dare they. Anyhow, I was so worried about the trip that I was having a panic attack at the airport in Rome before leaving. I don’t know how to interact with people anymore. Not awesome.

Wait, speaking of me being crazy, I should back up. First I should tell everyone about leaving Oliver with a new dog-sitter and how I insulted our current sitter by telling her horror stories about dog cruelty. It all started with the internet. I was looking around when I stumbled on some horrible tragedy that happened in Ohio. Some lunatic who owned a dog kennel starved eight of his sixteen dogs to death. I read this the day before we were supposed to leave Oliver with someone we’d never met because our sitter couldn’t take him. However, she knew this other woman and assured us that he would be safe. For some reason I had to mention the article. I don’t know why but I wanted to share my nervousness with someone. So, I casually mentioned to our sitter that I was more worried than usual about leaving Oliver because of THIS ARTICLE I read and I sent her the link. It didn’t really occur to me that she would think that I was suggesting that she might kill my dog. I was not. I was merely saying that I was worried more than usual because Oliver was going to a new person and I just read this story about a human killing eight dogs. So, basically, I was saying I was slightly (illogically) worried that the new person might starve my dog to death. A totally illogical fear, but it seems less illogical after you read a news story like that. Anyhow, our dog sitter was understandably offended. But she was still nice and professional and took us to meet the new dog sitter who was very sweet and didn’t look evil at all. Yes, everyone, I do have some issues when it comes to Oliver. I get it. Shut up. So anyways, we left Oliver in good hands and drove to Rome to catch our flight to Ireland.

We arrived in Dublin around ten p.m. starving and freezing. I imagine this is how most stories start out when someone is describing Ireland. We met up with an Irish friend who I’ll call Dr. Cohones because he asked me repeatedly over the course of the weekend to NOT BLOG ABOUT HIM. Noted. So, instead I’ll blog about a different Irish professor who is very similar in both action and character but who goes by an odd spanish rap name. Dr. C picked us up and walked us around Trinity College and into the Temple Bar area where we found an amazing Persian fast food restaurant. We ate. I didn’t say more than two words because I was busy eating and observing Dr. C to figure out if it was safe to talk to him. Afterwards we headed to a pub nearby to meet two other guys for drinks who had just flown in from random parts of Europe. We’ll call them Dr. O, and Dr. K. Yes, they are all actually Dr’s and yes everyone was smarter than me. I’m okay with that. Mostly. We arrived at the very generically decorated Irish pub, dark wood, random four leaf clovers, smell of moldy beer mixed with hopeful testosterone and self-loathing. I ordered a vodka grapefruit and sat down nervously with the guys. Back home most of my friends are male so being in a big group of men feels natural to me, not in a Jenna Jameson kind of way, but in a, I don’t have to talk about stuff that I hate, kind of way. I suck at small-talk. I hate it. I am weird when I do it and the result is often me staring at the other person for an uncomfortably long time while I search for something, “polite,” to say. So, you can imagine how relieved I was when the guys started talking about sheep sex almost right away.

“How often do you suppose men lie down with sheep in Ireland?”

“How would we find out the statistical average? A poll? Do you think that this information has been documented already? What would you say the average might be for number of sheep partners per rural man?”

“You can’t really trust a survey of information comparing countries because one country might be more proud of their bestiality while another is more ashamed. It would impact the accuracy of the survey’s.”

“Why a sheep and not a pig?”

“Height? Also, nobody wants to fuck a pig when they can fuck a sheep.”

“Has anyone read Who Is Silvia? Fantastic book about a man who falls in love with a goat.”

“Ah! A goat! What about goats!”

I was feeling very comfortable and at home because something I am good at is random theoretical discussions. Then we packed up our things and headed around the corner to our weekend home, a two bedroom apartment the seven of us would be sharing. It sounds like a bad idea but it was actually very comfortable.  The downstairs was a blood donation clinic, a good sign, and the elevator had a Purell hand sanitizer attached to it. Great!

When we entered we were all very happy that the apartment was nice and the boys were kind enough to give me and Francesco our own room. Three of the boys shared the other room and when the other two arrived we would put them in the living room on the pull-out sofa beds.

The next morning I stumbled out into the living room to find coffee on the table. BIG COFFEE hand delivered by Dr. K. Right then I decided that I loved him and everyone and Ireland. Life was going to be good. No screaming Italians, no rude poodle, just big coffee and alcohol. Life is awesome even if it is freezing and raining every day. Freezing and raining. Hmm. “What is the suicide rate in Ireland?” I asked as the rest of the guys stirred and entered the kitchen area. We drank our coffee and contemplated. I looked something like a heroin addict and feeling very sorry for the others decided it was time to put on my artificial face, the more attractive one, so we could head off to the Leprechaun museum (Yes, my idea, and surprisingly the guys were into it.)

Then we went out for a long walk. We had breakfast. We had more big coffee. We went to the Guiness museum where some asshole told me that Leprechauns were not real. I learned how to pour Guiness and so now I’m thinking about quiting writing and moving to Ireland to be a professional bartender. Dr. K was trying to decide the appropriate hair length to maximize job opportunities. I suggested that hair was a symbol for testosterone and since he had been blessed with many the flowing locks he should become a eunich. Historically people liked to hire them because they were non-threatening in terms of wives and power (since they can’t produce an heir). My idea was vetoed but people still spoke with me afterwards so I consider my suggestion a success.

It costs about twenty-five dollars to enter here. They do give you a free beer and a diploma which is totally worth it. My other diplomas cost me about eighty grand so this was a bargain.

It costs about twenty-five dollars to enter here. They do give you a free beer and a diploma which is totally worth it. My other diplomas cost me about eighty grand so this was a bargain.

The Room With A View

The Room With A View: Photo By Dr. L

Education At It's Finest

Education At Its Finest: Dr. L and ME School The Other Bastards

After the Guiness museum we walked past this interesting market and I had to go inside. Lucky for me I did because I was able to get a quick ten minute massage in a tiny pink room, by a lovely Japanese girl, next to the bunny/bird taxidermy. The guys were kind enough to wait. Thank you.

Because sometimes you have to get a massage for ten euros in a market that sells taxidermy.

Because sometimes you have to get a massage for ten euros in a market that sells taxidermy.

After my massage we went found an amazing punk rock bar where we played pool. We spent the following four or five hours there playing pool, drinking, and listening to Iron Maidon. Heaven.

When other people think of Ireland they might think, "Riverdancing," but I think, "Heavy Metal." Now.

Before when I thought of Ireland I thought, “Riverdancing,” but now I think, “Heavy Metal.”

Around nine p.m. the two other guys arrived from London. The seven of us headed to a nice pub for a quick dinner before heading out to a cocktail bar where we took shots for women’s day, more drinking at a different bar and me telling Dr. K my entire life story and theories on sexual fluidity while he hid his judgements well (which I appreciated) and then we continued to some sort of dive club that was having a 1990’s throwback night. We danced to the top 90’s  jams, and I played air guitar with an awesome girl I had met once before in Florence. It’s always nice when you can find someone who is in their thirties who is still willing to play air guitar on their knees in a club. Thank you, Dr. Awesome. One of the friends, Dr. Irish, passed out and paid a cab driver to basically drive him around Dublin until he later found his way back to the apartment around 6 a.m. At least he made it “home” safely and was able to laugh at himself afterwards, which I admire. I have to say he was in luck though, otherwise he would have been stuck with us and the serpent troll. While this was happening, some kind of Irish serpent creature followed us home, hitting on my husband, and talking in a fake Italian accent about her, “ragazzo italiano” whom she claimed to love a lot. “Is it safe for me to go back to the apartment will all those guys?” She asked. I shrugged, “I don’t think anyone wants to gang rape you.” Somehow, she found this comforting and trolled home with us. She sat at our table eating our Doritos while continuing on in her fake accent. “Misty, please tell her to get up on a fucking table and dance or leave. And stop eating our fucking chips!” Said Dr. C. She was that irritating. Dr. L was kind and tried to have polite conversation. My husband however, kept trying to argue with her and repeatedly yelled something about Italian men wanting to have sex with their mothers. No, I didn’t understand either. 

The next day after we got ready we went for lunch at a nice Lebanese restaurant. I was so happy to eat something non-Italian that I couldn’t stop eating. All I wanted to do was eat. Now I know what it’s like to be a fat kid. It feels great! After the Lebanese restaurant Dr. F wanted to do some shopping so went to some Irish sweater shop where I forced various people to try on warm and sexy sweaters. It was fun! Most of us bought a hat to shield us from rain, and provide some sort of way to find eachother when lost. We also wanted to look like old irish men.

Oh, and then I found this:

sometimes I like to feel sexy...

sometimes I like to feel sexy…

Then we drank more beer, more vodka, more things. We ended up in some random part of town with hippies and more drinking. Dr. K and I discussed the details of ownership and I agreed that he would make a lot of money as a high paid, “business partner.” I offered my management services. Drunk at three a.m. we felt confident in our abilities to become rich, not the first time I’ve tried fancy pimping, probably not the last. Anyhow, we ended up at some random place where some random dick tried to fight us on the street by gurgling nonesense in our faces. I didn’t know I was allowed to fight and nobody told me that I was so I was a LADY and acted very grown up. Go ME! Then we went to another club that was dark with dancy music and strobe lights. Dr. O was hitting on a woman at the bar. I tried to be a good wing-man by doing push-ups on the bar to show her how awesome we are (drunk logic) where she turned and said, “You’re cute. I’m trying to be a lesbian, want to help me with that?” I said, “I can’t because I’m married.” Then I turned and bunny-hopped away because that’s what I do when I’m awkward=act like a rabbit. Then I hid from her. I know from experience that when women get in that mode it’s not long before I’m being physically assaulted to it’s best to keep a distance and/or hide behind a group of seven men. Oh! Snow white with giants. Winning!

That was basically the end. We went home and passed out. Had a cute brunch the next day as people left one by one for their flights back home. Oddly, it was sad. I hadn’t anticipated a good time yet it was fun enough that I wasn’t prepared to return to my solitude.

And that’s the lesson: You never know.

P.S. The “new” sitter was great and Oliver was healthy and happy when we returned. Although he did pee the bed the first night back. Rude.

Energizer Bunny Whore In Lipstick-Or-Italian Music

My husband absolutely loves Italian “oldies.” In fact, he’s probably listened to this particular song no less than one-thousand times. I’ve never really listened to the lyrics but today for some reason I decided to look the song up. I learned that basically, “oldies” in Italy is just another way of saying “old and dirty” since this song is about a super- whore wearing red lipstick. And yes, “super-whore” is a real thing that I just made up which means the energizer bunny of whoring.

Fabrizio De Andrè-Bocca di Rosa

And here is more or less a rough translation. Enjoy!

http://lyricstranslate.com

They called her Bocca di Rosa
she put love, she put love
they called her Bocca di Rosa
she put love above everything.

As soon as she got off at the station
in the little village of Sant’Ilario
everybody knew at a glance
that she wasn’t a missionary.

There are those who make love because of boredom,
those who choose it as a profession.
Bocca di Rosa did neither,
she did it for passion.

But passion often leads
to the satisfaction of one’s own desires
without investigating whether the object of ones lust
has a free heart or a wife.

And so it was that from one day to the next
Bocca di Rosa attracted
the fatal fury of the bitches
from whom she had taken the bone.
……..
And the bitches went to the chief of police,
saying, without mincing their words,
“That dirty woman has already too many clients,
even more than a food shop”.

And four guards arrived
with their plumes with their plumes
and four guards arrived
with their plumes and their weapons.

A soft heart is not a quality
for which the carabinieri are noted,
but on that occasion they unwillingly
accompanied her to catch the train.

Everybody was at the station, from the
chief of police to the sacristan
everybody was at the station
with red eyes and their hats in their hands.

To say goodbye to someone who for a little while,
without pretention, without pretention,
to say goodbye to someone who, for a little while,
brought love to their village.

There was a yellow board
with black writing on it, saying:
“Farewell Bocca di Rosa
you take spring away with you”.

But unusual news
doesn’t need a newspaper:
it quickly flies from mouth to mouth
as the arrow shoots from the bow.

And at the following station were
many more people than when she left
some blowing a kiss, some throwing a flower,
some booking a couple of hours.

Even the priest who doesn’t despise,
whilst saying a prayer of mercy or the last rites,
the ephemeral good of beauty,
wants her near him in the procession.

And with the Virgin at the front
and Bocca di Rosa close by
he leads through the village
love both sacred and profane!
Read more at http://lyricstranslate.com/en/bocca-di-rosa-rose-mouth.html#OfC84JOEE6OSoswf.99

A Week In Photos

And they have the illustrations to prove it. "We can enter." With a picture of a dog falling in something slippery?

Dog friendly and they have the illustration to prove it. “We can enter.” With a picture of a dog falling in something slippery?

I was walking Oliver when I saw some old man lean over the curb to inspect something. He was looking for about five minutes. He must have been satisfied that the bird was dead before moving along. Old man was not happy that I proceeded to take a picture of his fallen friend but I'm a fucking artist. Dead is art because I am that cool. Blah blah blah, anguish, blah, blah.

Street taxidermy. I was walking Oliver when I saw some old man lean over the curb to inspect something. He was looking for about five minutes. He must have been satisfied that the bird was dead before moving along. Old man was not happy that I proceeded to take a picture of his fallen friend but I’m a fucking artist. Dead is art because I am that cool. Blah blah blah, anguish, blah, blah.

MonteCassino. The Americans blew this up at some point but they've rebuilt it.

MonteCassino. The Americans blew this up at some point but they’ve rebuilt it.

Obviously some asshole pissed me off this day. I look like a huge bitch in this picture (because I am).

Obviously some asshole pissed me off this day. I look like a huge bitch in this picture (because I am). Look at little Oli in his red hoodie pissing on stuff in the background. I love that little guy and because of his dedication we own like half of Italy. Good work, guy.