Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sweat, Swedes and Swenanigans

Yesterday, when the Questura refused to give me my totally ready Permesso di Soggiorno for the umpteenth time (how many is "ump," you ask? I don't know, but I'm thinking enough to exasperate), I got back in the car where The Husband was waiting and La Bimba was sleeping and cried. We started to drive off and The Husband closed the windows. I reopened mine because it was sweltering and he shouted, "But she is sweating!" I shouted back, "I need air!" He shouted more loudly, "You want her to get bronchitis?!" I shouted from the bottom to the top of my lungs, "YOU DON'T GET BRONCHITIS FROM SWEATING IN THE HEAT AND THEN HAVING A WARM BREEZE WASH OVER YOU! BASTA!!!!"

The Husband let me leave my window open.

Sometimes you just reach your limit, you know?

There has been a lot of wind lately, lovely breezy days, which send the Neapolitans to take cover in doorways. They are offering constant fear-of-bronchitis comments to me and La Bimba and I have changed my response tactics. I used to either agree and assure them I would wrap a wool boa around her neck asap or disagree and lecture them briefly on the error of their logic. Now I stare blankly and walk away. Feels great!

La Bimba often gets called "la svedese," the Swede. I was at the park the other day and there a little blond boy with clear blue eyes wearing a white and navy blue sailor suit. I said to his mom, "Now this one really does look like a Swede."

He was actually a Swede. The "mom" was his Neapolitan babysitter.

I was thinking about starting to call Neapolitans "Naps" in this blog, but that got me thinking about JAPS, not the derogatory term for Japanese people, but the acronym for Jewish American Princess. We used to throw that term around like freshly blow-dried hair over our Jappy shoulders. It eventually became politcally incorrect to do so, so we stopped.

You can still find Italian American Princess t-shirts in Little Italy.

I was having a massive pity party the other day because none of my non-mommy friends call me anymore. Then I saw some of them and it turns out they are all having crises of varying degrees and they don't hate me. I felt like a heel. Why is it always so easy to imagine the worst?

Folks are gearing up for the Great Disappearing Act that is summer vacation in Italy. The Ghost Town effect doesn't hit until August, but the Slow Trickle Into Loneliness begins in June. We have about 50 ideas of where we want to go and when, but nothing planned except for a week in Sicily with the Nonni. I am really looking forward to some long floats in the Mediterranean.

I have been reading the expats in Italy blogs a lot lately and wishing I had the time and energy to comment, join some discussions, meet some challenges like the "____Needs" challenge posted by Sognatrice. I'll do a bit here:

1. Sima needs a really good immigration lawyer.

2. Sima needs to diversify support via partnerships.

3. Sima needs to be amended to restore that balance.
4. Sima needs you.

I do need you, I really do...and a good immigration lawyer.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Dems the Breaks

I am feeling wildly grateful for my apartment at this moment. It is cool and breezy when it's hot and sticky on the ground. It's a mekhaye...that's Yiddish for pleasure.

I am rarely wont to write about politics, mostly because, though my instincts are in the right place, I don't consider myself articulate enough on the subject. My leanings leak out here and there, for sure, mostly as snide asides, as asnides, if you will, but I prefer writing about Naples and that time at sleepaway camp when I dressed up as Boy George and looked EXACTLY like him. Plus, I am not all that well-read or, rather, I don't remember what I read when I read about politics. When I was living in the Bay Area, I spent a lot of time listening to KPFA and reading The Nation. My then-not-ex and I got pretty obsessed for a while there, him more than me since, you know, he is worse than me in all ways, and it started to feel awful, hearing about all the news that doesn't appear to be fit to print in the mainstream media and then going about our driving, water wasting, 12-dollar margarita swilling ways. We composted and (mostly after we broke up) I rode my bike, but I was still most definitely part of the problem. Now moreso than ever here in Naples, home of burning garbage and diesel fumes. Not that I burn garbage or ride a moped, but you get the point. I am contributing to the downfall of humankind. Sorry folks.

I am working on it, however.

All that said, the caving of the Democrats on the Iraq spending, no pullout timeline meshugas (more Yiddish...this time meaning madness) is something I need to write a bit about. Firstly, no surprise. In the 2000 and 2004 election years, to say the Democrats and the Republicans are basically the same at the end of the day and it was better to vote your conscience than for the lesser of two evils was to commit heresy. Nader voters were blamed for Bush's first win (instead of the Florida Supreme Court and myriad other imbrogli). Abortion was a hot topic as in, "If you don't vote for Gore/Kerry, abortion will be banned!"

This is what I think: high level Democrats and the Republicans are basically the same (not all of them, e.g. the late Paul Wellstone, Kucinich, Barbara Lee) in that they are career politicians out to keep their jobs at best and to make a killing on killing at worst. They all lie, they all cheat, they all look out for number one (and that is not the homeless shelter or the women's clinic in your neighborhood, in case you were wondering). They represent the political status quo and the economic elite, so the far left and far right who vote for them are hardly being represented. Still, we fear the extremes, so we vote center. Now I am a bit lost. Please clarify my point...Doug! Oh wait, you already have, here.

As for the fear of the illegalization of abortion. Note that, yes, Bush signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act into law, but it is unlikely that he will get around to banning abortion completely with all that fun, I mean, work to be done in Iraq. I am not being flip here. I am vehemently pro-choice, but am currently way more afraid of how evil and/or numbed out the US government officials are over the daily carnage in Iraq. And the widening gap between teeny tiny group of super rich and mega jumbo group of poor. And our schools. And so many other things.

My point here, foggy as it must read, is that I am disgusted by the rollover and play dead Dems, the roll them over and make them dead Republicans, and sad for all Americans, those who feel like me and those who don't (and sad for everyone the world over). We all have to live with the legacy of this administration and the repercussions of a western world gone completely mad. If someone cannot tell the difference between the right to free speech and the right to own an SUV, we are in way way lots of much oodley trouble.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Memory Strada

I have figured out the source of my hand/wrist/forearm pain: bouncing La Bimba in the stroller up and down the 80-plus stairs that lead to the park and the sea from my house. I flex and jam my wrist with every step. This is Neapolitan carpal tunnel. None of the other moms who take these stairs have complained about this particular pain, but that is probably because they don't try to do handstands every couple of days. I used to love handstands. Now I avoid them like push-ups.

I was going to say "like the plague," but since that poor monkey died of it I thought it would be crass. If you take Pepto Bismol, your tongue may turn black. This happened to a friend and she didn't know about this side effect, so panicked, she looked up "black tongue" in a medical reference book. As luck should have it for this poor hypochondriac, black tongue is a symptom of bubonic plague. (I just looked at Pepto pictures on the web and sure enough, there is a photo of a black tongue. I have elected not to post the photo because it is schifosissima).

The word for handstand in Italian is verticale. I learned that from The Husband when I did a handstand at the top of Castel Sant'Elmo. This was the second day of our acquaintance. We were up there with my friend from California, doing handstands, and when we asked how to say handstand in Italian, he said, "verticale." We didn't believe him. We said things like, "We know it's vertical, but it's also upside down!" How obnoxious were we? As if we knew his language better than he did.

What is a natural career for a person who is good at algebra?

In college, I took a career test and the results showed that I should have become a priest or a rabbi. There was no parenthetical about it being a good idea to believe in God, preferably the meanie in the Old Testament for rabbi or the meanie plus his polite son plus a holy specter for priest. Do you think it's too late for me? I could be like Ben Stiller in the film Keeping the Faith. I could marry Jenna Elfman! Whatever happened to her? She's fabulous! I almost named La Bimba Dharma after her. (Hold it! Hold it! Stop the presses! I just discovered that Elfman is a Scientologist. Che delusione!).

Actually, I wanted to name La Bimba Partenope, Naples's other name, la città partenopea. But then I did a little research and discovered that Partenope was a siren who, after Ulysses dissed her, killed herself, her body washing up on the shores of Naples. I didn't think that would be a good story for La Bimba to hear about her name. Plus, a good friend pointed out that she would be nicknamed "party animal" and we mustn't make assumptions about La Bimba's sordid ways this early on in her life.

I cursed out a man in a Smart car today because he almost ran over my friend and her baby. Stupid people are allowed to drive Smart cars. He was shaking his head as if to say, "Stupid woman! You almost rolled your baby under my car!" So I told him we had the right of way and that he was in asshole, the first part in Italian, the second in English. I often curse rude Neapolitans in English. When La Bimba is with me, which is nearly always, I sing the curses to a child-friendly melody like, say, Old MacDonald, as in: "He's a big fat ass hole man, ee ai ee ai oh. And there's a mother fucker there, ee ai ee ai oh." This way she thinks I love everyone. I also like ABC/Twinkle Twinkle: "I hate ev'ry one I see -- they are evil, you agree -- make me want to punch them all -- throw them through a plywood wall -- what a bunch of dorky schmucks -- dickheads, morons, total fucks." Isn't that lovely! I should make a CD. Look out Raffi!

I am starting a list of places La Bimba has lived, so she can one day go off on her own personal Bloomsday walk.

French class. I have some things I'd like to say about French class. Cunningham Junior High School, Brooklyn, NY: Madame Karney. We had a girl with Tourette's Syndrome in the class. We were told to be kind to her, that she had a disease that caused her to say inappropriate things at inappropriate times. Did I say we were in Junior High? Could we have possibly resisted taking advantage of that poor girl? Did we? NOOOOO. We would pass her notes with "fuck" and "shit" written on them and she would say those words out loud over and over again during Madame Karney's lesson: Je suis, tu es, il est, fuck! Nous sommes, vous etes, ils sont, shit!

John Dewey High School, Brooklyn, NY: don't remember the teacher's name, also a woman. We gave all the answers to William Hunter because he was cute, a rare WASP in a sea of Italians, Jews, Latinos.

University of Wisconsin-Madison, freshman year, first class of my first semester. The TA was blind. She would always be about to write over what she had already written on the board, so we would shout, "A gauche! A gauche! A droit! A gauche." It was exhausting. I got a B, which Anne Lamott says is a very good grade. I wish I had known that then. I might not have dropped French after that.

I don't know where all these memories are coming from. I lie next to La Bimba while she drifts off to sleep and one memory after another comes racing across the finish line of my conscious mind, crashing into one another like yesterday's Giro d'Italia pile-up. I am grateful Blogger now automatically saves these drafts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Holy Water

An old man on the funicolare centrale smelled like sauerkraut, and since no one eats sauerkraut in Naples, I fear the source of the odor. Still made me want to have a hot dog.

A young man in the Villa Floridiana was wearing a t-shirt that said, "Gigolo Latino. 500 $. First night free."

I went to my neighbor's baby's baptism on Sunday. It was my first baptism and it was fascinating. Many things did not meet my expectations. I expected:

1. To see the baby dunked into the little birdbath. Instead, she was shpritzed. I missed that, too, since the parents and godparents were blocking the view.

2. To see the baby in a long white baptism gown. She was decked out in a cute little summer number. Later the priest draped a white smock over her, representing purity, I think.

3. To see the napoletani dressed to the nines. It was actually a very casual affair. My neighbor and her mom looked smashing though! Great necklace, C.!

What I didn't expect was:

1. A live guitarist and hymns sung with accompanying hand gestures, like the Macarena. It had a real hippie California flavor, like being in a Berkeley reform synagogue but with Jesus.

2. Better informed children. This was the children's mass (thus the Electric Slide versions of the songs), so the priest spent some time addressing the kids in the front rows. He asked them all sorts of questions, leading questions, and they got them all wrong. I remember one question, "What do these babies become after they are baptized?" One eager ragazzino said, "Christians!" The priest shook his head and said, "Well, yes they are Christians, but no. They become part of Christ." I didn't know that after a Catholic baptism the baptee becomes a piece of flesh and blood Jesus. I love that. Transfiguration? Or does that just apply to the host and the wine?

I hope I am not sounding sarcastic. It was so nice and I felt so honored to be there. It's always a little funky for a Jew being in church, particularly at a mass. Like the time I went to a Catholic wedding in St. Paul, Minnesota, and when it was time to take communion, I was the ONLY person left twiddling her thumbs in the pews. Talk about pariah, Ms. Arendt! Or like when a friend and I got into a fit of giggles in St. Peter's after she walked in and said, "Wow! That's one big chuppah!"

It was great being in the back of the church because I got to hang out with the altar kids (boys and girls!). They were all giggly and fidgetty. I was afraid they were going to drop the host. The didn't. An Italian-American friend who was recently visiting Naples told me about when he was an altar boy back in New Jersey. He was the shortest, so he had to lead the line up to the counter, no that's not it, where are my English words, dais, no, crap, anyway, he led the boys up to where the priest stands, but was blocked by an overweight choir girl. He tried to go around the other side, but it too was blocked. So, he led the line of boys out the door, around the church, and back in another entrance. Through the snow. Their white robes were drenched and Sister Angelina (was that her name?) mouthed to the mortified 8-year-old, "Where were you?"

At the St. Paul wedding, the host-bearer tripped on the carpet, sending the host flying. An altar boy, who was standing near the priest did an amazing dive off the platform, no that's not the word, and caught it. I wonder if the 2-second rule applies to host that touches the floor.

So, my neighbor's gorgeous little baby is washed free of original sin. I had told The Husband when La Bimba was born that if it was important to him, we could baptize her. After having been to a baptism, however, I realize I could never have gone through with it. I am very sensitive to rites and rituals and the holy, whether or not they are my rites, rituals, holy molies. I would never have been able to let the believers believe and pretend it didn't matter, didn't count.

Reading Alice Steinbach's "Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman." Steinbach is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, formerly of the Baltimore sun, who took about a year off to travel, choosing Paris, London, Oxford, and various places in Italy. I am enjoying the book, though her tone is a little marmy for me and her awareness of clothes and the various shades they come in annoying. Annoying because I am wearing the same clothes I wore in high school? Perhaps.

Ahhhhhh, it feels good to be back. It was difficult typing without my J and K keys. My fingers are back to doing the walking and talking.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I *heart* Bucky

We checked out some properties -- wild, roofless, overgrown -- on the Amalfi coast today. Got me fantasizing all over again about that 8-sided barn. Carl Djerassi, inventor of the birth control pill (I personally thanked him at a conference at Stanford...that was before I decided it was not such a good idea to play funky with your hormones for ten years...with my hormones, that is), has a gorgeous estate in Woodside, California, that is home to the Djerassi arts residency program. An 8-sided barn houses the 8 artists -- choreographers, painters, poets, sculptors, musicians -- who come for a month to explore the terrain (gawgeous) and have a quiet place to make art, share it with each other, collaborate. Many choreographers I know have benefitted wildly from this and other residencies. I would love to provide something like that for artists. So I am looking to build an 8-sided barn in Italy.

Just thought I'd put that out there.

Lately, I have been rather nostalgic for Wisconsin of all places. I did my undergrad degree at Madison and my MFA in Milwaukee, so I've spent a fair amount of time in that great midwestern state. I would love to show The Husband and La Bimba all the beauty and tranquility, eat some brats, drink some beers. Too bad The Husband would never consent to live there. He would freeze his nookie tookie off. He is an ectomorph, who has to wear a wool shirt under a t-shirt under a long sleeve t-shirt under a sweater under a leather jacket when it dips below 60 degrees outside. I used to be chillier, but since pregnancy and motherhood I am always hot. Hot, hot, hot to trot.

I need to ask Bleeding Espresso lady to devote a special entry to all the pros and all the cons about living in Calabria. Maybe we'll move there and build the 8-sided barn. Hey BEL (bleeding espresso lady), if you're reading, hook me up! (And I love your food photos by the way. They are sexy).

Alas, poor Yorick, it's time to put the skull, I mean, you, down and watch some TV.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

These Are the Days

La Bimba fell asleep on my chest this evening. She was doing her usual switch-hitting (boob, pacifier, boob, pacifier), tossing herself from side to side, rolling over to sit up and then crawl when, before I could flip her over AGAIN onto her back, she crawled over to me and set her little keppie on my chest. She usually pops up right away and goes back to her marathonic sleep avoidance techniques, but this time she let me gather her whole self onto my torso and she fell asleep just like when she was a teeny tiny newborn. I was singing "Landslide" when I started to tear up.

I was one cranky mofo today and demanded lots of cuddling from The Husband. Demanding cuddling is tricky: you have to manage to be cuddlable while being bossy. I haven't mastered it yet.

La Bimba and I shared some peach and fior di latte ice cream today. She's not that into ice cream. I told you, she loves her greens. Sometimes I look into her giant baby blues, at her jubilant beaming smile and think, I can't believe she's Neapolitan. There are actually plenty of blue-eyed Neapolitans. It's the smiling that is so out of character.

She now looks at The Husband and clearly states, "Babbo." I am still mamma only when she is complaining as in, "mamamamamamamamamamamamma give me back that piece of The New Yorker I was shredding!"

I am still actively avoiding writing what I need to write about. I would say I am proactively avoiding it. I have a real problem with follow-through and not just with my backhand. I also feel a bit cursed with choices, too many choices. How does one decide? Rather than decide tonight (where to move, what to focus on beyond La Bimba -- dance? writing? teaching?), I baked cookies.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Commit Random Acts of Randomness

When I told my aunt and uncle that I was afraid to show them some of my writing because I didn't want them to think I was an asshole, they told me they already knew I was an asshole, and that helped a lot.

It's always good to know that the people who love you know you are an asshole. I think that is the definition of unconditional love.

No one is an asshole all of the time and in every way. Also good to know.

I found a flier from the gas company in our last Naples apartment. It was a flier about a program to conserve energy or something and the slogan was, "Pass Gas." Need I say more? I explained to The Husband why tears of laughter were streaming down my face when I saw the flier and now "to pass gas" is part of his limited albeit growing English vocabulary.

I am pretty sure The Husband can finally hear the difference between "hungry" and "angry." Sure, you think it's easy, but put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never had to aspirate his Hs.

My mother has told me on more than one occasion that one of the reasons we never moved out of Brooklyn to go live in Lawnguyland or Joisey was because she wanted me to grow up to be a street kid. Instead, I married one.

I did not play stick ball or stoop ball or box ball or ringolevio with the kids on my block. I did learn to ride a bicycle on my street, my encouraging father running alongside my yellow banana seated two-wheeler, that exhilirating feeling of realizing that he had let go many seconds ago and I was riding by myself. I might have written on the asphalt in chalk once or twice, jumped some rope, maybe a bit of hopscotch, but I was definitely more comfortable inside playing jacks or creating elaborate soap opera fantasies for my dolls. I also enjoyed dragging my mattress downstairs to the living room and running from the kitchen through the dining room and hall to do flips onto it. Pretending to be a weatherman was also fun, as was singing along to the Evita soundtrack. I memorized all the songs, played all the parts. It took years before I could rent Madonna's version. She ain't no Patti Lupone.

The Husband was definitely a street kid, a scugnizzo (napoletano for "street urchin"). I don't know if his father ran up the steep, cobblestone streets with him as he attempted to ride a bicycle, but it's unlikely since he had a motorino by the time he was probably 8 or 9. According to The Husband, without going into detail, he was a holy terror as a kid. We often stare at La Bimba while she is playing or sleeping to see if she is showing any signs of future hooliganism. So far she is very brava. Did I mention that her favorite foods are green vegetables?

La Bimba is heavily into pulling herself up to standing and chucking her pacifier overboard when in the crib. She hurls it onto the floor and then points at it and says, "Oooooh!" She has also begun doing yoga. She did downward dog today in addition to her usual happy baby pose.

My yoga class ends at the end of the month. I've had low enrollment but those who have been coming have been blessedly commited and focused. And my how they have improved! Brave! (That's brah-vay, as in Good Work Ladies! as opposed to brave as in, well, you speak English, you know what brave means).

I am reading Anne Lamott's novel All New People. Because I read all her non-fiction first (Travelling Mercies almost made me want to believe in Jesus in spite of childhood trauma), I can pick out all the autobiographical stuff in the novel and see how she manipulated it and shifted it and made it art. She rocks da house.

Sunday we went to the Amalfi Coast to try to find a broken down farmhouse to buy and turn it into a solar energy, B&B, home, organic vegetable garden paradise. We didn't find anything up in the hills, but it was a lovely day and La Bimba loved playing in the sand at Atrani. She does not like cold water though. Every time I tried to dip her feeties in the sea she retracted them up to her ears. I think she is going to grow up to be a spa lady like her grandma.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Excuses, excuse me

I have a lot of excuses for not blogging these days and having guests is no longer one of them. Everyone was gone by this past Tuesday. It was a very intense time, lots of emotional tilt-a-whirling, psychological bumper cars, and neurotic flumes. Yes, I spent a lot of time in amusement parks growing up. I am particularly fond of the water park in the sausage capital of Texas, New Braunfels.

I love water parks because I love water. There is nothing like swinging Tarzan-like from a rope into a deep pool, slipping speedily down a multi-bump water slide, walking through sprinklers, bobbing in a wave pool. Sure real ocean waves are better (and saltier!), but I spent many a thrilled summer day during my childhood running around in flipflops and a bathing suit with a couple of good friends and a floppy blue foam mat.

I had no intention of writing about water parks on this my first day back blogging. I am trying to get out of my own way here, to let all the hard stuff come up and out, to process a bit of the parental visit and face a few demons, but I've got nothing but water parks.

Naples has been suspiciously tame these days. Or is it that I have become so used to Neapolitan madness that it no longer seems mad to me? I told a cabbie, who was honking like a duck in heat in an effort to get the standstill traffic to move an inch, that it was useless to honk ("non serve!") and he shot back, "Non serve? Non serve." From his tone I do believe he was in disagreement with me. From the amount his cab moved forward after honking (not one millimeter -- check me out! I'm metric!), I do believe I was right.

It is really summer now, windy, so the air seems fresher, cool sea air. La Bimba is enjoying wearing capri pants and t-shirts. I slathered her with sunscreen, but she still appears to be getting tan, just a bit, above the sock line. If a t-shirt tan is a farmer tan, what's a sock tan? A retiree tan? A tennis bum tan? A look-it's-my-uncle-Irving tan?

I am worried that if Naples begins to feel like any other city to me, I will have to change the name of my blog. Or I will have to further exploit The Husband. The problem there is that he is learning English. He told me today he would like to read my blog. Caspita!

The Husband, La Bimba and I were walking along the street yesterday, when I decided to run ahead, hide behind a wall, and jump out to make La Bimba laugh. She laughed, but The Husband said, "This is not the time for that kind of behavior. We are still depressed." I liked that one. I told him I wasn't feeling depressed, that I was in fact feeling liberated and gay, thus the jumping around and other public displays of mirth. But he was adamant. No fun until the weight of the past few weeks passes. Still waiting for weightlessness.

I was at a lovely party this afternoon. The hosts are a couple from the US -- she full-time mom, he foreign service. I thought about joining the foreign service -- I like moving around, I'm good at languages, I know who Andy Warhol is (one of the questions on the exam according to the dude) -- but then I remembered my aversion to being inside US government buildings. Too much armed protection on the outside, not enough good politics on the inside. The first time I walked into the American consulate here in Naples and saw that grinning fool's portrait I nearly upchucked my gnocchi. Maybe once Kucinich is president I'll reconsider. Guess I have some time. Like forever. And I'm sure this blog entry alone has ruined my chances.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I bid you anon.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Don't Give Up On Me

I am bereft without blogging. My blog is like a phantom limb, itching me when it's not there. Or something like that.

I didn't enter the contest after all. The contest organizer censored me because of too much f-word. She had good reasons (kid readers, living in Texas), and she was kind enough to write to me and confess to being in a bog, a blog bog, an oily Texas bloggy bog. My uncle made a good point about using the f-word (and the a-, s-, m-f- words): he said they have a place in writing, but sometimes serve as a way to avoid finding a more acute word. In other words, they can be cop outs. So, I am going to try to see what happens to my writing if I try to express my disdain, scorn, hatred, frustration, angst, disbelief, joy in other way.

I can't get my blog juices flowing under all this guestiness. Gustiness. Justice. So, I will keep watching the Colbert Report and reading Cusk (almost through; don't know what to read next, having, blessedly, so much to choose from due to great book windfall from Brooklyn). Tune in about a week from now, when freedom will ring again. Ding dong hot diggety dog dong...I think I just potty-mouthed again. Dang!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

It's the Cheesiest

I saw a bottle of Revlon Flex shampoo in a store window today. I used to use Flex. Do they still sell that stuff in Americuh?

La Bimba turned one and changed from a mellow, chipper soul to a backflipping, moody bugger. All part of the developmental process, lo so, lo so. She is also teething again. Last night she just had to sleep in bed with us. She simply refused to sleep in the crib. I am reading Rachel Cusk's "A Life's Work" to help me cope.

My dad is on the floor playing with La Bimba and singing songs (all the wrong words, but at least he can carry a tune; he just sang, "By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea; you and I, you and I, oh how happy we'll be," evidently unaware that "I," though grammatically correct, does not rhyme with "sea").

Which reminds me of the painful English lesson I gave to a couple of execs at Kraft Foods International (I thanked them for all those happy years in front of the TV with Mac and Cheese). The topic was double negatives and how they are not used in proper English. The elder exec, Giuseppe, said, "Wait a minute! What about, I can't get no satisfaction?" I tried to explain poetic license and lots of late coked up nights partying with supermodels, but he just insisted that if Mick would sing it, Mick being English, thus speaking the real English, not the bastardized pidgin American I speak, it must be correct. Bloody Kraft exec.

I have so much more to share with you, but La Bimba is doing her stuck pig whine, so I have to go. A prestissimo.
Oh, and I've entered a contest, the This Blog "Blows My Dress Up" Contest organized by Shelly Tucker at her blog This Eclectic Life. Tomorrow is the last day to enter, so be sure to forget about it so my competition isn't too stiff.