Soul Friends

I haven’t lived in one place long enough to sustain many frienships where people know you through and through… you know what I mean… soul friends.

Soul friends know it all, or at least have access to it. They laugh and cry with you and aren’t bothered a bit by a late night emergency-I-have-to-tell-you-this-RIGHT-NOW kind of phone call. Often a whole conversation can pass through one glance or a raise of the eyebrow. They remember what you like and don’t like and even when they disagree with their choices they stand by your side and even hold your hand when your heart gets broken. And again when it is mended.

I have many good friends who have pieces of me, who can tell, in detail, many of my stories from the times we’ve spent together. But few can qualify as my soul friends. This girl happens to be one of them, and since it’s her birthday today it seems like the perfect time to shout a little love her way (although if you read her blog you’ll see she’s getting plenty of good lovin’ lately)

Girl, you are the cat’s pajamas! You keep me laughing even when I can’t find anything left to laugh about. If there is any piece of me that is even remotely hip, current, or cool it is your doing, more likely than not. You’ve taught me about lipgloss, the love of wigs, the fun of fake eyelashes, cool music, and even tried (albeit so far unsuccessfully) to knit. But still, watch out since I would steal your make-up basket if you weren’t looking. You are the perfect combination of Gwen Stefani, Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Steinem, Dolly Parton and Courtney Love.

Altijd Een Festje!

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`)

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.

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…

New Years Eve

I’ve never been a huge fan of New Years Eve. Too much hype, too few cabs. But as far as new years parties go, we had a pretty darn good time last night. Ashbloem, Danielle, Victor, Kevin and I went to a party at a bar hosted by Kevin’s sister. The music was…well, lets say there was quite the variety. The cocktails were plentifully flowing. There was lots of dancing (once we got the crowd up to the dance floor). And naturally, there was A LOT of picture taking.

Here are a few snapshots, the rest can be found HERE.

Happy New Year everyone. Let’s hope it’s a good one.

Christmas La Dee Dee Wheee!

Ah, Christmas Morning!

Normally I wouldn’t be sitting here, watching A Christmas Story and blogging on Christmas morning. As you’ve guessed by now, I didn’t make it home. But so far it isn’t so bad. Last night Carrrrrmen and I went to see the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and out for drinks in the only bar open in town afterwards (pictures to come later today). For some reason she had a burning desire to play Scrabble, so naturally we brought the game with us into the bar. And we played, O! It was so very intense. Thus we attracted some strange attention. Here is a snippet of conversation from a guy who sat down next to me for a spell:

Guy: What are you drinking? (gesturing to my nearly empty beer glass)
Me: It was a Guinness.
Guy: You like that stuff?
Me: Umm, looks like it.

It was actually really fun, except for the horrible music. Have you heard Cartman’s rendition of Come Sail Away?

Christmas mornings were truly magical when I was a child, especially before my parents split. I don’t remember actually finding out the truth about Santa, do you? My brother, sister, and I would stand in the kitchen (painted olive green, gotta love the ’70s), standing at the doorway that led down to the family room, where Santa had left us presents. We would giggle and take turns trying to peek through the keyhole to catch a glimpse of our goodies. When Mom and Dad said it was time, we rushed the door, down the stairwell and to our respective stockings.

We opened presents always on Christmas morning, I can’t imagine following the tradition that does them on Christmas Eve. That just can’t be the same. We were allowed to open one present before bed on Christmas Eve. An appetizer of sorts. A teaser.

We would open presents one at a time, early Chrstmas Morn, watching each other. It wasn’t a mad dash for the finish line, so we’d be at it quite a while. One Christmas my parents audio taped us opening presents. I wish I knew where that tape was! It was precious. I remember hearing my brother, who was 9 years old or so at the time, open up the double album set of Gold Rush ’79 and exclaiming with excitement, “Wow! Mom! It’s got Shake Your Groove Thing!”. Awesome.

I admit that I always felt a pang of regret once everything was ripped open and admired. I hated the idea that the next Christmas was now so very far away. I guess I sort of feel that way right now too.

And there are blessings

I have been thinking today about the ideals of grace and kindness. Which, I guess, are specificially appropriate things to be thinking about this time of year.

In the last 24 hours I have been the recipent of both incredible heart wrenching thoughtfulness and simple immature thoughtlessness. As such, I am reminded how easy it is to focus on the bad rather than the good if you are not mindful to do otherwise.

So let me tell you about the good.

First is my friend Stephanie. Steph is such a spitfire and always full of surprises. If she were to call me up tomorrow and tell me that she had eloped with a Croatian supermodel and will spend the next year sailing the Greek Islands, I would nary raise an eyebrow. Last week a package came in the mail from dear Steph. Inside was a card that brought me to tears and two precious tree ornaments. See, she read my blog about my tree trimming party and wanted to contribute. How thoughtful is that? It brings fresh tears to my eyes as I relay the story to you. Have a look at how sweet they are:

Next, the outpouring of support from friends, family and even near strangers upon hearing I am likely staying home alone this christmas has warmed my heart.

Penny, another long time friend from college days, who has just learned that she will be spending six months in India for work, offered to drive from New Haven to Boston to spend time with me after Christmas. That is quite an offer since she doesn’t have many free days to spare before a six month separation from her boyfriend.

I had the sweetest conversation wtih Ann and Dabney this morning, who have ordered me to come up to VT to celebrate the holiday with them and Dabney’s mom. I wish it were possible! I am sure there is nothing better than snuggling up all cozy with A&D up in beautiful Vermont. That would get me in the Christmas spirit!

My family has really rallied around me offering me support and comfort. I hate the idea of not being with them, this is the first time that my brother, my sister and I would be celebrating in three separate places. Not bad for 3 kids in their 30s I suppose. My sister has made multiple offers to stay behind here in Boston with me, but I won’t let her. My dad has been calling me several times a day to check on me. I appreciate that he is just letting me make my own decsion without and pressure even though I know he really wants me to be there. My brother spent a good hour on the phone with me last night, consoling me after a particularly sad and difficult day. My Mom has been calling daily as well, just supporting me from afar.

Ashbloem, although far far away in TX, has been there to share my grief over the loss of our friend. I just wish she were here to attend the memorial service with me tomorrow. I’d like to hold her hand.

Of course you already know Vic has been a constant helpful fixture this entire Christmas season. From carrying in the chirstmas tree to fixing my bathroom drain to making sure I got home safely after a bloody mary too many. Cheers to you as well.

I can’t go without mentioning Mr. C. We’ve only been out on one date, but his constant offers to bring me supplies and fill my fridge since I can’t get out right now have been very much appreciated. He has also offered to stop my to lift my spirits on Christmas day since he will be just around the corner. All from a virtual stranger!

It feels good to sit and count the blessings of so many loving people in my life. I am going to take the advice of an anonymous commenter from one of the recent posts and see what good I can do for someone else this holiday.