Back to our regularly scheduled programming…for today anyway

There are lots of things running through my brain this morning at warp speed. And I am sure it has nothing to do with the extra large coffee sitting on my desk that was empty by 9:15.

First…. I leave tomorrow for my trip! Yay! First stop will be Tampa for a work meeting, then directly on to Amsterdam. Ashbloem and I have already started filling our social calendar and we’ll be able to meet up with lots of fun characters from our days living in the Jordaan….

Like Anita!

And Rene!

And Jason and Ulrika!

And Matthijs!

And Antonio!(that’s Ashbloem with him)

Maybe GJ will make an appearance! (again Ashbloem in the shot looking so Rock Star)

I’ve heard that Johan (the Roman) will be around as well!

There are bound to be others around as well…we just have to see when we get there. I am still playing with the idea to hit London again to see Frankie, but I haven’t yet decided. Depends on finances more than anything else.

The weekend was fun… especially the “Irish Wake” for the departed Little Blue Scooter over at casa de Superette. Just look how sad and despondent we all look:

Have you ever seen a group of people so sad and despondent? And then the party was invaded…. by rice-crispy treat eating beetles…also clearly sad and despondent clinging to hope for a better future and butter:

That’s Gross.

That’s even more gross.

Well, this is probably my last posting for a few days, although hopefully I can get on line at Matthijs’ house. Tot Ziens!

Coincidence, Fate or Divine Intervention?

Here is a great story for all you in blogland…a story of love lost and… (well, judge for yourself)…

I have a good friend from my college days named Stephanie. Those of you whom have made her acquaintance know what a firecracker she is, and she and I have shared many an adventure over the years. One of the things we share is our love of all things Italian…art, literature, music, and of course boys.

My first love was an Italian, Franco Falcone, whom I met when I was an exchange student in Italy when I was 16. We met in my first weeks in Valva, Italy, where I was being introduced to Italian culture and language before being sent to my host family in Naples. Few people know that I had secretly promised Franco to move to Italy when I had finished my university studies (where of course I majored in Italian literature and culture). We spoke of being married in the town church. He gave me a gold ring when we sealed our future. But reality was unavoidable. The older I became, the less I could see myself married and living in a poor southern Italian town.

Around this time that my relationship was disintegrating, Stephanie moved in with me and my roommates on Semple Street for a semester before leaving to study in Rome. Despite our differences, her effervescence and my practicality, we got along like long lost friends almost from the very day we met.

Of course while Stephanie was in Italy with the Temple Rome program she fell in love with an good Italian man named Ezio. I met him for the first time when I put a plane ticket on a credit card for a quick trip over spring break to pay Steph a short visit in the Eternal City. He was gentle and compassionate. And had a hot friend named Massimiliano.

Not long after Steph returned, Ezio and Massimiliano came to the US for a visit. We had a great time showing them around Pittsburgh and even took them on a road trip to my home town, Washington, D.C.

But, alas, not surprisingly, her relationship with Ezio went in the direction of mine and Franco’s. The distance and the cultural divide provided to be just too much.

Since graduation, Steph and I have kept in touch despite our lives taking different directions. She is an executive in NY, but stays with me when she comes to Boston for business. Whenever she comes to town she brings a lot of laughs with her.

Two weeks ago Stephanie and her mother embarked on a long-awaited tour of Italy. It was her mother’s dream to visit Italy, and being rather religious they decided to go with their church. Their priest, Father Gregory, was leading a tour of churches in Rome and Florence. The 2 ladies left 5 days before the rest of the group to have extra time to explore Rome.

Naturally, Stephanie’s thoughts turned back to Ezio, even though 8 years has passed since they parted company and she is now in a rather serious relationship. She promised herself she would not call him…what would it accomplish? Surely he is married with 3 kids by now. But as she was walking through those old romantic streets of Rome, she couldn’t help herself. She found a phone book, looked up his number, scribbled it on a piece of paper and put it in her pocket. Nervous about calling, she decided to wait to think about what she would say.

The next day that number was burning a hole in her pocket. It was her last day in Rome before the group arrived. She found a pay phone and dialed….only to find that the number was disconnected. Oh well, she thought. Must be fate.

The group and Father Gregory arrived the next day, and the tour officially began. Of course, their first stop, being a church tour, was St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums. Stephanie had been several times before, but she stuck with the group and listened to the Father’s descriptions of the various paintings, tapestries, and sculptures. They made their way through the museum to the Sistine Chapel.

Those of you who have been to the Sistine Chapel know that it is totally unlike what you think it will be. Smaller and larger all at the same time. And packed with people almost all the time. Stephanie stood in the middle of the chaos and looked up at Michelangelo’s depiction of the Creation of Adam. When she shifted her gaze back to room, standing right in front of her was… you guessed it… Ezio!

He is now a security guard for the Vatican Museums and he is assigned to the Sistine Chapel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Stephanie’s Mom, who always loved sweet Ezio, tackled him on the spot and immediately burst in to tears.

Father Gregory said it was Divine Intervention. Steph’s mom said it was a Miracle.

Stephanie and Ezio made plans to see each other that night, and the next, before she left with the group for Florence. She was wrong, he is still single having broken off a five year relationship a few months before (although, sadly, Massimiliano has been married now for 3 years). He said he never stopped loving her. She replied the same. He said he wanted to come see her during his two week vacation in August, she said that would be nice (although how she’ll explain the presence of a hunky Italian to her current boyfriend still is a mystery).


Will Stephanie drop everything to return to her lost Italian love?
Will Stephanie (as her mother has advised) drop everything, move to Rome, and have a big Italian-style wedding?
Will Stephanie sweep it all under the rug and just rule it all as a crazy coincidence?

I truly don’t know. But it will sure be molto interessante to see what happens next. Stay tuned.

It’s My Anniversary!!

July 4 fireworks from a Beacon Hill Roof Deck
As I was watching the fireworks last night, I became strangely nostalgic.

July 4th is quite unlike other holidays since year after year I find myself doing completely different things, if anything at all, to mark the day. This is quite unlike other holidays such as Christmas, where my memories over the years run together because there is little variety to the celebrations; I am almost always at home with my family celebrating the day following the same family traditions year after year.

When I was a kid we’d go to watch the fireworks over at the University of Maryland campus. Once or twice we went downtown, but that certainly wasn’t the norm. Don’t you remember how larger than life fireworks seemed when you were a child?

It was on a certain July 4th that I had my first make-out session and my first experience with booze (coincidence that both took place on the same day? I think not). The boy was Evan and the booze was Bartles and Jaymes. I was 16 and leaving for my year long Italian exchange student adventure just a few weeks later. In fact, the following morning I recall I had to go to the Italian Embassy to pick up my visa and thought I would puke in their waiting room. So that means TODAY officially marks the 15th anniversary of my first hangover (yay! Let’s party to THAT!).

As American expats living in Amsterdam we still tried to hold true to tradition and used to throw July 4 parties. The sun this time of year doesn’t go down in Amsterdam unitl very late at night, nearly midnight if my memory serves correctly. One year we got a bunch of hot dogs, sparklers and red white and blue paraphenia and threw a huge party for all our European friends. I remember standing in a corner with some Swede trying to explain my understanding of the difference between patriotism and nationalism (and not doing a very good job at it).

My first July 4th back on US soil after many years abroad was strange. I felt like a foreigner in my own country and couldn’t seem to buy in to all the rah rah hoopla. I walked down Storrow Drive (closed to traffic) by myself as the fireworks boomed overhead. All I wanted was to be back with my friends in Amsterdam. I was very angry.

Last year I was with C. He lives right by the Esplanade so we just quickly walked down to a clearing on the baseball field and watched them together. I had just purchased a new digital camera a few days before and I took a ton of pictures of the fireworks, him, and us together. We were already talking about moving in together when my leased ended in September. Less than 4 weeks later, the relationship was over.

I am looking back at the entry and one thing comes to mind, “what is the point, and who cares?”. Good question. I am not sure about either answer. But there you go. That’s all I’ve got for today. Tomorrow Interravision will be back to it’s regularly scheduled programming of fun fun fun and pictures.

So THAT’S Where I Put It!

I had looked high and low.
Searched everywhere I could think of.
The typical places where things like this are found.
But for the past few months, just no luck.
I was about to staple MIA signs to the telephone polls in my neighborhood that look something like this:

Let there be celebrations in the streets!
Raise your glasses!
Kiss your neighbor!
Visit Hot Bartenders!
Duct tape your husband and friends to a bed!

It has been found. This calls for a party.

I’ll bring the vodka if you bring the tape.