Friday, May 9, 2014

I was thrilled to see two comments on my last post. Thanks, guys! It can be lonely in the blogosphere, especially when you abandon it for long stretches of time. Today I saw a group of graduate students in Italian Studies that I met during my first year in graduate school. We're all still chipping away at our dissertations. I told them I feel like Rodin but without the talent or vision, just chipping away at this big boulder and hoping something that looks vaguely like an elbow or a nostril appears. My dissertation project is no longer about Naples but it is still about gesture so there is some continuity there.

Speaking of Naples, we bought our tickets! I'm actually more excited than worried, which is quite unexpected and pleasing. Already there is stress around who to say with, when to go to Procida, when to go to Calabria, but really, rompipalle, this is the stress of privilege, so be grateful! We'll be in SoIt (doesn't quite have the ring of SoCal, but I like it) for just under three weeks. It will fly by. I look forward to a change of air, fetid air as it may be.

What should I eat, I mean, do first?

That's not a rhetorical question.

Also, quick non-sequitur: after posting legions of photos of La Bimba on this blog, it's time to post one of La Giaconda. Check out that punim/faccia!

Monday, March 24, 2014

It has been too long

I think about this blog often, but it is only this evening, after a day of alternating between self-pity and self-loathing, that I find myself here. La Bimba, The Husband, and I have been in Berkeley for almost six years now. Six years! And we have a second bimba! I'll call her, La Giaconda, instead of La Seconda, since a dear friend says she looks like the Mona Lisa. Do not fret: La Giaconda mia has eyebrows and much fuller lips. I have turned back to this blog because I have reached a doctoral impasse, an academic writing stumbling block too large to scale. I've lost faith in my scholarly abilities and believe, or rather hope, that a little writing bait-and-switch might help the situation. I am aware that "bait-and-switch" is not exactly the right term here, but I like it.

Also, we are thinking about traveling to Naples this summer and I have mixed feelings about it. I haven't been back since the end of 2009/start of 2010. That was not an easy trip. I'm working through some PTSD from my time in Naples and though I would love to revisit old stomping grounds, I have my misgivings. So I thought returning to some fun or at least funny memories might help get me excited about the prospect of drinking in and eating up the city I once called home.

I met The Husband ten years ago. I find that astonishing. He has been adjusting slowly, slowly to life in California. It hasn't been easy. The language, the culture, the way people like to make plans in advance, the Chinese food, so many things. He has let go of one or two Neapolitan ideas like no bathing after eating, and has let me in on some ones I'd never heard of in Naples, like only one person changes the baby's clothes at a time because, lo sai, like the hat on the bed, only when you're kaput do two people change your clothes.

There's so much to report but my eyes are closing. I'm on spring break, La Bimba, who is almost eight, EIGHT, is not, so maybe I'll have a chance to write some more.

If anybody's out there, say hi. Un bacione.