Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cominciando un altro semestre in mio caffè favorito a Firenze: La Cite.

Funny where inspiration comes from ;]

Though, I will probably hate these songs by next week because of my tendency for the repeat button.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I was at the corner place (this place with paninis, etc in Santo Spirito where I live) this afternoon getting a pizza and they were playing Had a Bad Day and it made me miss being home in the spring with my sun roof open driving through the city. And lately I find myself missing Dubai and with this new obsession with the Middle East. I want to see Damascus and Beirut and Israel and Palestine and India and I want to know what it's like to live there, just for a little while. Though that may never happen. I still haven't even gotten my ass to Istanbul or Kuala Lumpur, Saigon, Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong and the list goes on.

I always have my IPod on when we land or take off, it relieves my nerves, though I know I'm not supposed to have it on because my IPod could cause the plane to crash, but I did it once by accident, so now I don't really care since I survived. Since September I've been on 25 flights, countless trains, through 3 continents and roughly 12 cities. I realized my chances of dying by plane crash is probably far higher than the average persons, but then I think about flight attendants and their stats and it makes me feel a bit better.

And today, while I was in the corner place and this American song came on I found myself thinking of how much I missed home, but how much I would miss Florence all at once, and how strikingly different these places were. I could never have both for life. It's funny how I love Florence for the vegetable people in the square in the mornings, the strictly Italian food, walking to bars and walking home over the River Arno, piazza della Republica and for everything that it lacks, it offers a world which can't be found at home. And then I find myself missing the diverse culture, my honda accord, the people I've loved for years and walking to Starbucks in the middle of a sweltering summer, getting dressed up in 4 inch heels to the bars in Adams Morgan and Georgetown. Life here is so much simpler. I can't have both, and I will choose the world I grew up in, but god, I will miss the time that I have spent here dearly.

I got on the short list for fellowships with BNA and USAToday a few weeks ago. I didn't end up getting either, which wasn't entirely a surprise to me. I've never been good at interviews. Public speaking, articulation, confidence, I've always had trouble with these things. But I was thinking about it, and it's probably for the best I didn't get them because when they asked me what I wanted out of it all, I wasn't entirely honest. I said I wanted to be a journalist, to cover Capitol Hill, to cover the EU in Brussels. And though my resume may be conducive to all these things, at the end of the day, I'd be incredibly happy with my own column in the lifestyle section of some newspaper in some city I adored. And that would be enough for me. I think. But I never give that answer because I'm afraid it sounds superficial, not important enough. But who knows, with my dreams of traveling through the Middle East and Asia still need to be taken care of, I have to find a route to accomplish those things somehow.

I'm twenty-four and a half years old. I have never had a 'real' job.

I thank my parents every single day for everything that they've given me to delay the real world for as long as I have, to figure out what I want. They've given me everything they never had the chance to attain, and I owe them a lot for that.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

ATMs spitting 2500 dirhams

April 15 - 22, 2009
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
While we were in Dubai, we met this DJ at Chi@theLodge and we went out the next night to Zinc at the Crowne Hotel where he was djing. It's funny, while we were at Chi, surrounded by weirdos, I had said to Carol, I wish he could DJ at my wedding. And then somehow this stranger became our friend. At Zinc there was Karyl, a filipino from Sweden. Who knew? She had been living in Dubai for over a year, as a flight attendant. There are a lot of flight attendants in the city, I noticed. And there was Ayesha and her boyfriend, the music producer. They were probably one of the cutest couples I had seen in awhile. And there was Khalid, whose glasses I adored, whose name I've taken to. And a slew of other kind people. It's weird. The city was filled with either straight up creepers or really hospitable people. Far nicer than I would be at home to strangers I had just met.

Speaking of creepers, two of the men who'd approached us at Chi were Lebanese, living and working in Dubai. They preferred home, but anyway they looked like Ben Stiller from Zoolander. In dark skinny jeans, blazer and black dress shirt unbuttoned half way. Stiller #2 was more exaggerated with eyeliner top and bottom, ears out to who knows where, and both had really spiked up hair. While the first dood was talking to us, his friend was in the corner, trying to drink the foam off his newly bought heineken before dropping some crushed substance in it. Incredibly bizarre. He shook our hands after and I could feel the remnants.

But anyway, after Zinc we went out to eat with DJ Dany and his friends, and being around the careless banter of people who are comfortable around each other made me miss my friends back home.

And like Dee had said. She'd moved from London to Dubai and had been living there for 5 years. She missed the city and didn't prefer this place, but she'd said, if you meet the right people then it's alright. And I could see that it was. And I knew then, I could probably live anywhere if I had friendships like that wherever I was.

We all gotta make a home somewhere.
oh, oh, oh, here we go. Round #2.

American University Class of 2010.

I think when people get Masters degrees they should be called Master So and So. Like Doctor so and so. Master Ha. No?

Matters of the heart

The past two years I've lived my life on this idea of oh fuck it, I'm only young once, I can have my fun just like everyone else seems to be able to. That coupled with my inability for self-control, and there were days when I feared I was becoming some sort of slut. I try not to judge others for this reason because I mean, as long as you can handle it, then why not live your life however the hell you want to? But anyway, in my case, I've learned that I cannot handle it, and at this point it's not really getting me anywhere. I can't just have fun because emotional attachments sometimes develop even if they weren't there before, or it's vice versa which makes me feel like shit as well. So this method I've chosen the past two years, clearly isn't working and it isn't healthy for my emotional capacity. So I've decided a change. No hooking up with men, random or not unless it's going to go somewhere. I've never been the girl to sit around and wait for a guy. If I like someone, I tell them, I can't help it because I always think, what do I have to lose? Nothing really, and I'm used to embarrasing myself. And I've always hated the idea of sitting around and waiting for some guy to ask you out because the only guys that ever seem to approach me are ones who I have absolutely no interest in. But anyway, my method of going after men have done nothing for me up to this point, so I'm going to try this self-control & restraint method. It's going pretty well right now, but then again, I have no interest in anyone currently.

We'll see how this goes. This sitting around waiting for a man. The idea makes me sick. But oh well.
April 19, 2009

Safari through the desert in the United Arab Emirates. My life is fucking cool. I've never had so many people be jealous of my life before, and will probably never again. It's kind of weird. I'm living it for all it's worth.

Halfway through this ride though my motion sickness kicked in and I had to regurgitate into a bag. I hadn't had much to eat so it was just me gagging out liquid, gross. But it was still pretty damn amazing.

I graduated from JMU 2 years ago and now this random ass photograph has decided to pop up on the home page. I don't like the picture, but hey it's kind of cool. Anyway, thanks JMU, you've given me a lot to be thankful for, even until now. From Newman Lake to sledding down ISAT hill to peruvian chicken to Thursday's at Highlawn to figuring myself out to studying abroad in London and to this life in Firenze.

town by the sea

April 12, 2009

Brighton, United Kingdom

Friday, April 17, 2009

missing the big big sky

I'm writing this at 5:07 AM from my hotel lobby in Dubai, UAE. I fell asleep around midnight and woke up around 1:30 AM and haven't been able to fall back asleep. I've had a lot of time to think the past week, without school getting in the way. Perhaps too much time, I'm not sure. People are already awake getting the hotel up and running. It's kind of insane. I'm glad I don't have to wake up at 5 AM to do work.

So we landed on Wednesday, and I'm not sure I've taken to this city. I guess that's bound to happen sometimes. It's just perhaps because of some combination of smog, the sky is not clear here. Rather, almost non existent. I'm actually not sure I've seen it. And it's making me feel eerily claustrophobic. Funny the things we take for granted.

I was laying in bed with all these thoughts running through my mind. American University, USA TODAY, how come not talking to you is easier than talking to you, but now I kind of just want to talk to you again because you're home and I'm missing that now, but I realized I can't keep pulling that switch on you, or on myself, and I find myself missing New York City lately, but that's ironic considering I've never even really taken to that city, and ever since I left Firenze last week, I've found myself missing it incredibly because the inevitability of leaving so soon is really getting to me, and months ago when I first arrived I remember laying in bed trying to calm myself down, wondering what the hell I got myself into for a year of my life with these strangers, who have now become like some dysfunctional sort of family who I adore all at once, and this city that was strange and annoying and lacking, I've now fallen in love with somehow, somewhere, when I wasn't even paying attention, well I guess you can learn to fall in love, maybe that's how love works sometimes. But today I'm missing everything that is real, the big blue sky, and the people I've loved for years, months, weeks.

I wondered how come I always have to miss everything and everyone, but then if I didn't, that would mean I didn't enoy the people or experiences, so I guess I've lead one lucky life, and on the plane ride here, I thought my life was too good. You ever get that feeling? Like everything is just too good, it's almost scary. And it is terrifying, to have almost everything I've ever wanted and have life work out this way.

As for this city, at first sight it seems to be a replica of everything that is, the West self-imposed in the Middle East. But hey, I guess I can't judge too quickly because we all make a home somewhere, and there's goodness everywhere. The ATM did spit an extra $600 at me for no reason.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rough draft.

I hadn't seen you in months. The last time I had been back to visit after graduation, I hadn't had the time to drop by. Rather, it was too much trouble for me. Now it was Spring. Almost a year after we had donned that cap and gown, done the whole dance, and received that diploma that was supposed to have meant something. We were grown up. At least, that's what we were told. But hell, somehow it didn't feel that much different.

"You got a boyfriend or anything these days?" He asked sitting down on the sidewalk beside me, his bottle clinking against the pavement.
"No. I've been hanging out with this guy, but he's kinda intolerable," I said. "Kind of reminds me of you actually."
"Cause I'm intolerable?"
"Nah. Cause he's kind of depressing, and sort of an asshole. I don't even know why I'm hanging out with him actually. He's got this self-deprecating thing going on."
"I see the resemblance already," he said wryly. "So why are you hanging out with this kid?"
"It's actually kind of depressing," I admitted. "I'm not sure why I'm hanging out with him. He's never going to matter. Maybe that's why."
"What's sad is I remind you of an asshole."
I laughed. "You know that's not what I meant. You're gonna end up breaking that bottle."
"Don't worry. I got it. I'm not that drunk yet," he replied. "So what's with you and assholes?"
"What do you mean?"
"That one night you came over, and you were crying over that frat boy."

"Why are you here?" he had asked me.
I couldn't answer then because I couldn't understand why he was asking me this question.
"Because I didn't have anywhere else to go." It was a lame reply.
"That's not true," he'd said, shaking his head.
And it wasn't.

"God I miss this place sometimes," I said.

I borrowed this CD from your car a few years ago, and of course I still have it...somewhere. You'd dropped me off at my apartment after class, and it had been one of those hot, completely beautiful spring days.

Subject: Invisible nutcase #1

This is a quiet night outside our palazzo in Santo Spirito. I tried to find the woman singing, but I could not locate her. I think she was hiding from me. She's been out there singing like she's in an opera the past few nights, usually around 3 AM though. She had an early show tonight.

30 hours and counting

On 12 days of misery, the last round of European Union cohesion policy and future enlargement with the accession of Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and (of course) Turkey.

Watch 22 dvds and several seasons of Felicity and Friends, check
Sit through tremors of an earthquake, check
Sleep through hobos and crackhead italians singing in falsetto at 3am, check
Eat 2 boxes of heart cookies, check
Play tricks, check
Procrastinate on Facebook, check
Laugh a lot, check
Shower, check
Mac, check
Trek to the European University Institute, check
Have lunch, check
Cappuccino, check
Water, check
Brain music


7,000 words away from happy time

Monday, April 6, 2009

After College

It is not a question of possibility, but rather.... How badly do you want it? What are you willing to give up for it? Because you see, your life has always been your choice.

A 6.3 magnitude Earthquake occurred in L'Aquila at 3:32 AM
L'Aquila is 363 km from Firenze - 225 miles

Prior at around 10:20 PM a 4.6 magnitude earthquake had occurred outside of Bologna.

Me, Leigh and Caitlin were doing work in the TV room when Leigh started banging on the wall adjacent to the kitchen because she thought someone was stomping around. Minor tremors reached Firenze, and of course sitting next to them, I didn't feel anything.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I wish I were a balla

So Italy is not a diverse country, in terms of food and ethnic diversity. In fact, I miss peruvian chicken and pho so bad all the time, especially on morning afters.

But anyway, the only 'Black' guys we ever see around here are North African. And they come into the pubs, get in our face, literally, and try to sell us things like ripped dvds, roses and sometimes tissues. So as me, Leigh and Ilk were walking home from the bus stop by the Duomo yesterday through Piazza della Republica we walk by these 4 black guys. And one of them points to the piazza and goes:

"What you wanna do?"
"Do you wanna be a balla?"
"A shot calla?"

Haha. They were AMERICAN!!! And they are probably the first African Americans I've ever come across while traveling abroad. Anyway, I forgot how much I missed African American men. And now I wish we had a token black guy in the house.

Matt: agreed. i wish we had a token black dude in the house
Matt: they would be funny
Matt: and they'd do the kim voice with me
Matt: and we would act out kim'isms
Matt: and then he'd be like shit son
Kim Ha: just cause you're tall, doesn't mean he'd be your bff
Matt: and we'd fist pound
Matt: yeah huh
Matt: if your skin is brown you respect people who are tall
Matt: thats the way it works

And I guess it would give Matt a little man friend he seems to be missing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

La vita e bella

The sunset over Firenze from the European University Institute in Fiesole. I still have trouble believing this is my life. I can't wait until summer, driving through Tuscany. First, must figure out how to rent a car.
On the way to the EUI we noticed this new plaque on the ledge of our bridge prohibiting climbing or sitting on the triangular shaped ledges which you can climb over onto. It's kind of dangerous since you could fall into the Arno since there are no barriers, but I was kind of sad they put up that sign. Because this means, no more possibility for peeing into the Arno, or writing postcards sitting against the bridge. As me and Leigh were commenting about it this old man stopped by us and saw we spoke English and he started ranting about teenagers, mostly American students who graffiti the bridges and climb over the edges for late night parties.
"Write things like I love Giovanni. Where is Giovanni? I want to find Giovanni and throw him into the Arno!" As he continuosly spits on Leigh. "Two years ago these American students had parties on the ledge and one fell in. Well, they didn't fish him out until two days later and he drowned. I'm glad he drowned!" omg. It would not be a day in Firenze without running into some kind of weirdo. That's the one sure thing about this city, aside from it's beauty, it's filled with nutcases. Mind you it's 70 degrees out.

I recently moved my desk to the middle of my room. Sometimes Caitlin or Ilk or basically randoms will come into my room and entertain me. I feel kind of like it's my office, like I'm a psychologist or something.

Childs Play

On writing thousands of useless words which will probably never amount to anything.

Leigh: "I need a drink, drink until I can't feel feelings."

The Streets of Philadelphia.

She said you left them. She said you're still making the same mistakes, the same ones that made her leave you all those years ago. But she's always had a habit of lying to me. Telling me things she thinks I'd rather hear. And this time I hope she's lying. I hope she's lying because wherever you are today, I hope you are happy. I really hope you are happy and have learned from your mistakes and have people who love you and children who have grown up to adore you. I really hope so.

We made something out of nothing. We made a mess of this place, and now there's nowhere to go. To everything that is, and to everything that will never be.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I applied on a whim without believing I was anywhere near qualified. And now that I'm so close, I find myself wanting it pretty badly.

As if this will never end.

I have 14,000 words to write by hopefully the end of next Wednesday. Ambitious is the word. And Firenze is making it painstakingly difficult because of this gorgeous spring weather we've been having. It's weird, the Florentines are still wearing massive coats and scarves, and we've already packed our sweaters away. Allison wanted to go on a walk today, so me and Leigh went to Esselunga, the 'biggest' grocery store around us. And our conversation consisted mostly of our "crazy psycho bitch" moments, and it suddenly occurred to me that I kind of have to give men a little credit for dealing with it. Cause we're all like this when we really like a guy and he's not entirely into us and then we get insecure and sometimes drunk and that just makes the normal pent up crazy come out. This perpetual cycle. Intoxicated nights, over reactions, aim conversations, useless arguments and all the while the guy pretty much has no idea why we've defriended them and say things like "get the fuck out of my life, I never want to see you again." And in the sober light of the next morning, all we can really say is fuck my life and apologize because the truth is, we said those things because we have feelings for them and we're upset and frustrated.

So sometimes it starts like this. You guys are friends, and you hang out all the time. And then one day things escalate. And then they continue. And then you get attached and insecure, and when he doesn't call one day, you freak out and wonder "why hasn't he called me?" To which you never would've cared before. And of course you can't tell the guy any of these thoughts because you guys aren't dating. To which he will point out when you do freak out on him. And it never occurs to the guy that any signals were mixed because as Leigh's male friend summed up.

"We live our life by the day. We do what we want on that day. And if a guy is really into you, then he will show you that every day."

Otherwise, he's just not that into you.

And it's a bit tragic and entirely confusing and complicated because even though we are aware of this truth, we can't help reacting the way we do anyway.

But hey, at least we live in Firenze and get to see the world for a bit.