Today is my birthday! I love my Birthhhhdddaaayyyyy!
it’ssssss mmmyyy birthhhdaaaaay!

Quick! Someone give me a tiara and wig!

Of course, you know me well enough by now, to know that I will document the day in photos. Strap yourselves in, this could get lengthy.

The original birthday…meaning the actual day of my birth:

How pissed do I look? I feel like I am thinking, “Are you shitting me? I waited 9 months for this? Take the damn picture already. And NO I will not smile for the camera. I don’t even know how to smile stupid”

Around the time I turned three, I discovered the beauty of the birthday cake and was very giddy about it:
A few short years later, whe I turned five, I mastered the blowing out of the candles, though it STILL took a LOT of concentration.

I threw a raging party for my 6th. Awwwww, yeah… For kicks, I invited a bunch of coke heads and transgendered kids. It was so much fun playing the childhood classic home game, “Boy or Girl? ” To make things tricky, bith my sister (orange shirt standing in the lefthand corner) and I (big black arrow above my head) wore skirts with suspenders and bowties.

My seventh birthday was the first year my parents were split. Those were tough times, and the first birthday when only one parent was there to greet when I woke up on the big day. But they made it special by setting the table early that day with pink decorations and tea roses– my first flowers! And certainly not the last…oh no no no. No Sir! Yes, that’s my brother lurking in the background behind me. He looks supremely jealous.

Shortly before my 8th, I boycotted the evil empire of hair brush manufacturers. I wouldn’t bow down to their imperialistic ways ANY LONGER! NO! But then, well, you know what that looks like.****
The next years were spent in jail.
I turned sweet-sixteen while living abroad in Naples with the Naccarato family, hiding from the Feds just like Robert De Niro in the Godfather: Part II. Except he was in the Mob and hiding in Sicily. It was weird to be away, but the family threw me a beautiful party and we all got dressed up. I don’t know why I am clenching my fist like I am about to pop poor Giorgia in the kidney.
My dad used to send me letters in code while I was hiding in Italy, at least that’s what I think it was, maybe just bad handwriting on yellow legal paper. I can picture him scribbling quick notes between meetings to be sent to me far away. This was the one written the day before my 16th. I have no idea what it says.
For the sake of brevity (I know…too late, right?) let’s fast forward to my 21st. My first outing as a legal drinker! Woo Hoo! I am not even going to comment on this photo– you can fill in the blanks. I have no words. I’ll just mention that is my then boyfriend Jeremiah giving me a smooch. He was cute. The other person in the photo was his roommate’s girlfriend. I know. I am not going to say it.

Not too many years later, I moved to Amsterdam. As you may have read in previous posts, I spent my 25th birthday in Prague on a long weekend away from Amsterdam. I think we’ve seen enough of Praha on Interravision, so lets skip to 26— a very significant birthday. Not just because I was moving into my mid-20s, but because it was at a surprise party thrown for my birthday that I first socialized with the lovely Ashbloem. I have proof too. She signed the group card with a polite, if curt, “Best, Ashbloem”. Thanks girl, love you too. (joking sweetie, you know I really do love you).

Ever since, our birthdays are somewhat intertwined since they fall so closely together. We’ve thrown some pretty awesome parties together, like our 28th at Cafe Dante (was it Dante? I can’t remember now):

Finally, I would regret not mentioning my 3oth, spent with my sister and brother out in Las Vegas. Sister had some hotel points and I had some frequent flier miles and we combined resouces and stayed here, at the Ritz Carlton, Lake Las Vegas. Just close enough to the strip to have a great time, but far enough away to relax and enjoy the amazing spa.

Well, that was a fun walk down birthday lane. For me anyway. I’d thank you for the indulgence, but it’s my birthday after all. So I’ll do as a I damn well please.


Blast from the Past

I’ve just received news from my old friend Ronaldo, in Brasil, who has put together an initiative to get all the students who studied in Italy with me in 1990-91 back in touch. It’s amazing! So many good memories have come rushing into my head. God, I was just a kid (16!) running around the streets of Italy. It was a defining time in my life. It changed everything. It’s where I grew up.In the 15 years that have passed I’ve thought about my fellow students often. I learned almost as much from them, being that we all came from every corner of the globe, as I did from Italy itself. Sweden, Switzerland, Ghana, Colombia, Finland, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Germany, Brazil, the US, Japan, Austria, Costa Rica… we were quite the mini UN.

I’ve invited them to visit Interravision, so for them I am posting these few photos I already have scanned. More to come!

All of our group, and some Sardinian friends, in Solarussa

Claudia, Suzanne, Mikael

Me, Anna Lena and Ronaldo in Rome (Rocca di Papa`)

Sometimes I am oblivious

I didn’t even know it was going to snow today. I avoid the local news at all costs, and guess I just wasn’t paying attention to the radio the last day or two. But I woke up this morning to a snow covered Boston. Take a look at these pics I just took outside my office window.

Did I mention it was 60 degrees on Saturday?

You’d think…

…that Interravision is trying to compete with Bravo for the amount of Texas Hold’em she is advertising. I can assure you it isn’t intentional. But I just have to tell you about this, and share a few pics, naturally.

I went to play poker chez Superette on Sunday night with 8 other hopeful players– and I almost won! I got through all the way to the final two, just me and the A-side of Superette. Damn that girl! In the end I just couldn’t pull it off. But…So….Close!

Can you believe that I kicked two, TWO, people out of the game in one hand? That was awesome. And there were wigs, of course. And bourbon.

First: here is a fun clip of the evening of A-Side impersonating GOB from the best TV show ever, Arrested Development:

View this clip on Vimeo

And a few stills of the evening. And did I mention wigs?

Good times. Good times.


I was tagged by the lovely A-side of Superette to fill out this game of seven. So, here you go! This was a lot harder than I thought…

Seven things to do before I die:

1. Spend 3+ months traveling around Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, preferably taking a journey on the Great South Pacific Express. Well, it appears that this service is no longer offered by the Venice-Simplon Orient-Express, but I am keeping it on my list just in case they bring it back. If you ever have the chance to travel on one of their trains, take it! I did Rome to Venice a few years ago and it was seriously awesome.
2. Get another tattoo (I know what it’s going to be already, just need to do it).
3. Fly on an airplane and not think once about having a panic attack.
4. Sell my photography to a stranger.
5. Sky dive, ideally if I had already conquered #3.
6. Learn French.
7. Try to see what that Marriage thing is all about. Apparently it’s all the rage.

Seven things i can’t do:

1. Ride the T without being mystified by the lack of humanity most people exhibit towards others.
2. Meditate for more than 10 minutes at a time.
3. Drive the speed limit or drive a stick.
4. Beat Victor at a game of pool.
5. Sit in the backseat of a car for a long journey.
6. Headstands.
7. Knit.

Seven things I can do (I added this category in, it’s only fair if I have to list what I can’t do, I should list what I can do as well)

1. Speak Italian.
2. Cook up a pretty good meal.
3. Take a pretty good picture of something, or catch people when they are unconsciously beautiful on film.
4. Listen and offer (sometimes) unsolicited advice.
5. Kiss really really really good. Awwww, yeah.
6. Give engaging presentations and speeches in front of large audiences even when the topic at hand is less than entertaining.
7 . Sing. Oh yes, I can do it, and do it often. Loudly too. But who said I was any good?

Seven things that attract me to blogging:

1. Hey, it’s fun!
2. A great way to keep friends and family up-to-date.
3. I love to share my photos.
4. I think it’s amusing to check the blogs of my friends the morning after we had a wild night out together to see how we each person has chosen to illustrate the evening’s antics.
5. The ritual, I miss it when I skip or take a break.
6. Sharing ideas.
7. It’s like being in on a great joke.

Seven things i say most often:

1. Variations with the word “fuck” (sorry, it’s true)…motherfucker, no fucking way, fuck that, that’s fucking awesome, whatthefuck?, and fuuuuuuccck.
2. Fillers: eww, ugh, grr, bah
3. Yo Lady!
4. Ciao Ciao
5. Can I get that without cheese, please
6. Jackass
7. Thank you

Seven books that i love, in no particular order (but not necessarily all-time faves):

1. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
2. Kitchen Table Wisdom and the follow-up My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen
3. Expecting Adam by Martha Beck
4. The Fall of a Sparrow by Robert Hellenga
5. The Captain’s Verses by Pablo Neruda
6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
7. Dante’s Inferno

Seven movies i watch again and again:

1. Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
2. The English Patient (I just love that Ralph Fiennes)
3. What Dreams May Come
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
5. About a Boy
6. The Godfather II
7. Say Anything

OK, up next I’d like to hear from the D-side of Superette (since we heard from the A-side) and Ashbloem if she hasn’t run off to Vegas to get married and hasn’t been tagged yet.

What could be better….

Well, it looks like Key West might be the birthday destination of choice. The who and the when are still a little bit up in the air (the weekend of Jan 27 or one of the following 2 weekends).

Anyone have any good idea on where to stay, what to eat and where to go? Feel free to share.

So, come on, who’s in? The more the merrier….

Poker Pictures

I think half the reason I love playing pictures with the girls, this girland thisother girl is because I love taking pictures of us playing poker. I never get tired of the colors and lighting.

Here is evidence of Saturday night’s Texas Hold’em…

In Poker, you’re either in…or…

Oh, What to Do?

I am big on birthdays.
I don’t know why, I just am like that. I like to throw a big party, or go somewhere new and chic to celebrate in style. Sometimes I can wrangle friends or family to come with my, like Erin did when we celebrated my 30th at the Ritz Carlton in Lake Las Vegas (beauuuutiful) and sometimes I go on my own, like when I went to Prague solo for my 25th.

Shot of the Ritz Carlton, Lake Las Vegas

Ashbloem’s birthday is just a week later than mine, so on occasion we celebrate by throwing big bash together. Most notably, the Divalicious party we threw at Cafe Dante when we lived in Amsterdam. That was awesome. And there were a few wigs, which always livens things up a bit:

Frankie, Dannie & Me at the Divalicious party, Cafe Dante, Amsterdam

This year I am stumped. There won’t be a big party, so I am seeking out a good destination. I only have long weekends to spare right now, so I don’t want to go too far. I was just looking at Iceland which would be pretty cool. The thing that kills me right now are the taxes slapped on to international flights. I just saw a flight to London where the taxes for the flight were more than the flight price itself. Someone explain that to me!

So, I am looking at domestic destinations, and am thinking about who I can hit up for a place to stay. My brother in Seattle, Dannie in San Fran, Steph in NYC… all good choices. I would, however, really like to go somewhere new. That’s why I was thinking Iceland, since it is actually a shorter flight there than to the West Coast– just 5 hours. Sure it will be damn cold, but it would be fun to see the Northern Lights again (I saw them when I was working in Alaska) and visit the Blue Lagoon.

Maybe I should just stay relatively local and take the cash I would spend on a flight and have one night in a luxurious spa. That would be pretty sweet.

Well, I better get my ass in gear and decide soon or I’ll be spending my big day sitting on the couch alone in the dark. Any suggestions from you guys out in blogland?

And then she said…

Another company dinner party last night. This is a meeting we have once a year, and at the dinner every person who has never attended before has to get up and choose from the following:

A) Tell an embarrassing story about themselves
B) Sing a Song
C) Tell a Joke

We had maybe 25-30 new staff there last night, out of about 70. They wasted no time, and stories were being thrown out there before our first course even arrived. Most people choose option A, but 3 people had the balls to sing a song and 1 person told a joke. So the stories typically fall into these categories:

1) Peeing/Pooping
2) Drunken antics
3) Sexual misconduct

When done properly, these stories can be hysterical. On more than one occasion I had tears of laughter streaming down my face and participated in at least 2 standing ovations. But when not told with comedic finesse, the room sits in stony silence until you finish and then you are blessed with a polite golfer’s clap. And then by default, that becomes your most embarrassing story ever.

Yes, this is a business function.

As with any of our functions, there is always that girl. The one everyone is buzzing about the next day, and not in a good way. We have a lot of women in the company, but don’t get me wrong, the boys can qualify to be that girl too. It’s not really a gender thing. I swear.

Last night’s that girl really went all out. It was her first day of work at this company. She stood up towards the end of the evening, after many glasses of wine, to tell her embarassing story. Her story had something to do with spending christmas in Amsterdam with the family of a friend of hers, smoking a gigantic joint, getting drunk, hooking up with the brother, getting caught by the mother and then the next day the mother revealing how relieved she was that it was her hooking up with her son since at first glance she thought it was her own daughter. Ah, a story that combines drugs, alcohol, sex and perceived incest, what can be better than that? Oh, her story was littered with drunken slurs and the occasional f-bomb. She also called out to the President, Vice President and her manager letting them know it was too late, they’ve hired her and we are all now stuck with her.

Pretty good, for a first day of work.

Why I love Dave Letterman

Letterman to Bill O’Reilly last night:

I am not smart enought to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feeling, I have the feeling that about 60% of what you say is crap.

Watch the video Here. It was awesome.