Where I’ve Been When I’m Not Here

Hey everyone! It’s been a minute and I miss you guys. I’ve been gone partly because I’ve been crazy and struggling with some anxiety and depression but ALSO because I totally finished my book! YEE-HAW!

Now, I’m moving on to making a cookbook with Francesco that will be super fun and awesome. And starting another photography/art book about Italy. FUN STUFF (just need to get this anxiety under control, STAT).

WHAT’S GOING ON IN ITALY RIGHT NOW

Italy: Clashes at anti-government March in Florence: Things got a little out of control in Florence recently during a protest. Renzi has proposed a referendum that will reduce regional power. He says it will streamline parliament, his critics say that it will concentrate too much power federally. Police threw tear gas, Italians threw fire-crackers. One cop was “hurt in the leg.” And as much as I’m sad that anyone was hurt, or that the protest became violent in any way, I sure wish we could learn something from the Italians over here in ‘Merca. If we threw firecrackers at police officers during a protest, I imagine much worse things would happen. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37886766

REVIEW: Elena Ferrante’s New Book: Frantumaglia: Alright, you guys might hate me but I don’t LOVE Elena Ferrante’s work. Sigh. I KNOW. Everyone loves her except for me and one of my best friends who discovered her together in a book club. Her writing is fantastic, but I have a hard time with her characters who are often really extreme female stereotypes, the insecure, self-loathing and petty stereotype or the martyr stereotype. However, that being said, her writing is beautiful and her books are based in the area that Francesco grew up. Reading her work is a great way to pull something about the culture of the place.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maria-laurino/review-elena-ferrantes-ne_b_12775280.html?utm_hp_ref=italy

Two Former Nuns Celebrate Their Love For Each Other In Italy: Two nuns recently left their convent to marry each other in Italy. All I have to say about this is, “awe.” It’s incredibly courageous, especially given their faith. It must have been very hard for these women to openly do what they’re doing. Love is love is love is love. And? I always wondered about nuns… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/former-nuns-marriage-italy_us_57ed31e2e4b082aad9b999cf?utm_hp_ref=italy

What’s new with you guys? Are you excited/terrified for the upcoming election on Tuesday?

Watching Immigrants, The Rare, Not Racist Italians, And Getting Locked Out Again

This isn’t a real post, just an observation. I’ve been sick this week so I haven’t written something really. It’s coming, I promise.

I am a lot like Einstein. I’m not a genius and I suck at math but I once read that he regularly forgot how to get home, always locked himself out, and was generally absent-minded. That’s me. I lock myself out of the house all the time. I could make a lot of excuses for myself but seriously, I’m just an airhead. The last time I locked myself out I was with my dog and we had to wait for about five hours for F to come home from work. I didn’t have my purse. I had nothing. The only thing I could do was go to the cafe across the street and pathetically ask to use her phone. She didn’t have one so she shoved money into my hand, shook her head at me and sent me across the street to the pay-phone. I returned a few seconds later asking how to use it. So she shook her head again, probably thinking, “how are you still alive you dumb, dumb woman,” then she explained it to me and sent me back. I called F and told him that I was sorry and that I locked myself out. He paused for a second and said, “Well, I can’t say that I’m surprised, but you’ll just have to wait until I get off of work.” I went back to the coffee shop and just sat around outside for a while watching people.

The first thing I noticed was a blind man walking down the street swiftly. He smacked someone in the leg with his stick thingy. Then I noticed a group of Senegalese street vendors congregating around a table near mine. The cafe owner gave one of them some money to wash the windows so he washed them while his friends made fun of him. I found this to be adorable. Why? Because Florentines are racist. I’ve never experienced so much blatant racism in my life until I lived in Italy. If you think American republicans hate immigrants you really haven’t witnessed the ridiculous bullshit pulled by the mass amount of neo-fascists living in Florence. There are many, many, many fascists here. A while ago one of them shot and killed some immigrants, and on the when black players play soccer here the crowds scream horrible racist shit the entire time. I hate it. It’s the WORST thing about Italy, hands down.

In my opinion human nature is one of survival. Since globalization is destroying the world and small countries are exploited by us big countries, it’s only normal that people want to leave their crappy poor countries for something better. The problem is that immigrating legally is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE. No? Well, I just spent six months as an American woman trying to get my M.S. of Engineering, Italian husband a visa for the US. It took my father and his over six-figure income to make it happen because as a writer I can’t “sponsor” him. It IS almost impossible, especially if you’re a normal person, middle-class, or without a father that owns a business. Good luck. So, if it’s almost impossible does that mean people should stop wanting to improve their lives? No. It just means that they’ll find a way to do it anyhow. I would. If I was born in the CongoI would sneak my ass into Europe (and so would you). Like, as soon as I could walk. In my opinion, we should do more to help the economy of these countries where we have immigration problems, our shitty US companies with offices in Mexico should pay the Mexican workers more, for example, and we should make immigration easier, limited, but easier. Obviously we can’t flood our countries with immigrants because we just can’t. But it’s better to have a country full of people who pay taxes instead of a country full of people who are off the radar. Same reason I believe that prostitution should be legal. There will ALWAYS be prostitutes because men will always pay for sex. So, regulate it, make it legal, and make them pay taxes. Government has no place in morality, do what makes sense, not what you think is right (although, what makes logical sense is often right so we all win). Anyways, my point of all of this is that people are mean to the street vendors here. The ones who walk around selling tissues, lighters and other things. It makes me sad. I overcompensate by giving them like all of my money which gets me repeatedly yelled at by my husband. I hang out with them and spend hours chatting with them about their home lives. Most send everything they make home to their parents or wives. They buy everything they sale for really cheap, and then they resale it for a little more. Their jobs suck and they work all day outside in crap conditions. So, it was nice to see someone giving them a job and to see them all joking around outside and having fun for once. I wrote a little on a notepad that the shop owner lent me while I watched the immigrants call each other funny names like, “old man” and giggle. One of them said something and they turned to look at me. One of them that I talk with regularly said, “sorry Misty, he uses bad language.” I smiled and waved it away. “Why are you outside today?” He asked. I told him that I locked myself out. “Do you need anything?” He asked. I told him no.

In a place where people are unwanted and surviving on ten euros per day I find it interesting that they still find room for joking, for making the best of their situation, and for offering help to someone who is clearly much more fortunate than they are. Where you were born was a gamble. Any of us could have been born in bad circumstances. There is a gap in empathy and it’s the reason the world is falling apart.

In other news, after F came home from work I promised to never lock myself out again. Instead, I accidentally wore my slippers to get my hair cut. I don’t even deserve shoes. Seriously.