Saturday, March 24, 2007


Is it bad blogger etiquette to not respond to people's comments? I have this tendency to bump into a friend in the street, think, "Wow, great haircut!" and then not say anything. I imagine that I've said the compliment out loud, I am sure I mean to say it out loud, but it is actually living alone, eating take-out Chinese out of the carton by itself, in my head. So, for all of you who have been commenting on my blog, "I love your hair!"

I mean, Thank you, and please keep commenting.

I went to see my friend the new mom today. It was a brief visit. Her baby is doing great. My friend is doing great even in the face of evil pediatric advice, i.e. scolding. According to the pediatrician she was overfeeding the baby and neglecting the umbilical cord stump. She has been a mom for two and half weeks, she is tired, it is all new and challenging, and this doctor made her feel like a shitty mom. Fucker!

People in positions of authority just love to make you feel bad here in Napoli. A person in a position of authority in Napoli is anyone who stands in front of you, usually behind a counter or desk, and answers your questions. A counter or desk can be very loosely could mean the Dutch door of a basso. Your questions can also be very loosely may not have asked the person in authority anything. You may have been walking down the street, innocently pushing your innocent baby in her stroller, and someone from behind their Dutch door or hanging out their window might say, "She's not dressed warmly enough! It's windy. She'll get bronchitis!"

Or maybe you go to the butcher and ask for a half-kilo of meat for your baby and the butcher says, "That's too much," and you chuckle affectionately at the misunderstanding and say, "Not for one meal! I cook it and then freeze it," which causes the butcher to look at you with a mixture of pity and disgust and to say, "You can't do that! The baby must eat only fresh meat," and you say, "Well, I'm not going to cook fresh every single day. I don't have that kind of time. I work," which makes the butcher turn the color of the side of beef that stares at you from the glass case, and he says, "Well, I'm not going to sell it to you."

The latter actually happened to an American friend here in Napoli. When she told the butcher she would have to feed the baby jarred food if he wouldn't sell her the meat, he said that jarred food was better than fresh meat cooked and then frozen because the freezing kills all the nutrients. I guess the processing of baby food keeps all the nutrients in tact. I guess "fresh" in this case means a new jar freshly opened each day.

Can I just say, Aiuto?
These kind of moments make me want to say, "Can I aks you somethin'? Fuck you."
That line was overheard on the New York subway by a friend of a friend. It is almost, but not quite, okay not nearly as good as the line I overheard on the New York subway. A crazy person was muttering and bugging people, you know, your average, normal, New York crazy person, just getting up in peoples' faces and reciting Ginsburg poems mixed with shopping lists and quotes from Rainman, when, just as the train pulled into West 4th Street, the tall dark and handsome stranger in a blue business suit who was sitting next to me, calmly reading the paper, betraying no irritation, not even snapping open the paper to facilitate a crisp fold, stood up, put his hand on the solar plexus of the crazy person, shoved him toward the doors and said, "You're getting off here." Just before he backed out of the train, looking completely unfazed (as opposed to the rest of us, who had our jaws on the floor... say "jaws on the floor" with a Brooklyn accent, please... jaws on the flaw), the crazy person said, "I'd rather be home eating Cheerios than hanging out with you purgatories."

Okay, let's talk yoga. I think I am actually going to start teaching Monday, April 2nd from 9:30-11am at MUDRA, Rampe Brancaccio 6, Napoli, Chiaia district, above Via dei Mille. I will confirm this information on Tuesday of this week. Keep your fingers in the lotus position for me!

Did I mention I am reading Annie Dillard's An American Childhood? And that it is the most gorgeous memoir? Growing up in Pittsburgh in the 50s and 60s. The pages are like grassy fields, beds of leaves, shady trees, dappled sunlight. Beautiful. What a writer.

I thought I had carpal tunnel syndrome yesterday. I no longer think I have it. Syndrome is a scary word, scarier than disease. Speaking of words, I entered a neologism contest at the end of last year. I haven't heard anything, so I guess I didn't win. Evidently, the judges do not recognize genius when they see it, but you, fair reader, you certainly do...

Function: Noun
Definition: A strong dose of information involving the life and exploits of Tom Cruise.
Example: Thank goodness there was a People magazine in the doctor’s office; I really needed a Cruisefix.
Related terms: Cruisefy v. 1. To seek information involving the life and exploits of Tom Cruise: I was up until 2 a.m. Cruisefying on the web. 2. To torment a person for strange behaviour due to hormonal shifts: I have post-partum depression and my husband is totally Cruisefying me for it.
Cruisefixion n. The excruciating pain that follows a Cruisefix.

I should have at least gotten an honorable mention. Fuckers.


Doug said...

No need to reply to comments, I don't think...unless you feel moved to...

franca said...

That was one of the best blog entries I've ever read. And, yes, I think you should've have won the contest. You're hilarious. :)

KC said...

So many little voices of authority in a place with so little public's as though the individual's respect for authority is inversely proportional to his or her propensity to pontificate. But this is one of the ironies I love about southern Italy!

Doug said...

Re: butchers, and only tenuously on-topic (sorry!), but I highly recommend the Criterion Collection DVD of Eyes Without A Face, a psychological thriller directed by Georges Franju, and not only because it's a great film. There's a short documentary Franju made in the late '40s about slaughterhouses in Paris called Blood of the Beasts included on the DVD. There is basically no way in hell anyone can watch that documentary and not become a vegetarian. (Actually, if someone watched it 30 or 40 times, they'd get used to it, of course, which says a lot about all of us.)

rompipalle said...

Oy, Doug, so morbid. I was nearly done in by The Jungle, so I think I'll pass on the film. My stab at vegetarianism in California was short-lived. With all the happy, free-roaming, hormone-free, euthanized animals being served up in the Bay Area, one can almost feel noble about being carnivorous.