Sunday, March 21, 2010

An updated update on things

Hasn't been much in the way of novelties lately out here. Dario's started to go to daycare in the afternoons, but he hasn't been there much as he inevitably picks up some illness after being there a few days. I'm still teaching, but I've gone from feast to famine in the number of hours I'm working. Well, famine may be a bit strong, let's call it "weight watchers," as the servings have been unsatisfyingly small lately and look likely to get even more meager over the next months.
[I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, and things have actually surprisingly perked up lately- albeit things will be slim come June or so.]
This gives both an opportunity, as well as a necessity to go job hunting. Carla's folks are still in the same house as us. In fact Carla's mom is already starting to find excuses not to move- meaning we'd have to move into the house that was chosen and decorated for them. Honestly, my guess is that it won't come to that. Carla's mom prefers to decide as little as possible, thus allowing her [the right] to complain about everything everyone else decided. [Update: In theory they move out next weekend- but Carla's mom is still complaining of course...]

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Devil's take on Youtube

[1st line continues from previous post]
Yeah. Ready to move on.

I forget why, but I was thinking about [the usage of] swear words on the internet- I believe it was Eugene who made a comment about not being a big fan in general of cyber-cussing. And I agree, in fact here I will cuss with great caution. Still, it's quite funny really. If, out of the millions of explosively offensive things on the internet you get offended because I drop an F-bomb or two in this space, well, that would seem odd. And yet, being offended by such language would be neither terribly uncommon or inappropriate. Such is the beauty of the written word that it has managed to maintain its purity and power even when floating adrift in the vast sea of filth (and not) that is the interwebs.
My favorite line from my favorite book is a short one: "Manuscripts don't burn." It was a doubly ironic line because both the author who penned it and the character being told this line had indeed burned manuscripts, and quite successfully at that (both to

avoid Stalin-era Russian censors). Both authors were afraid of the consequences their writings might bring. And yet, with some help from others, the words of the authors came to light- in the book the Devil himself recreates and publishes the book, whereas the book of the flesh-and-blood author only came to light [initially in censored form] some 25 years after the author's death. So now I put thse words out into the evanescent web of ether. I'm not so sure the Devil (the speaker of the aforementioned line in the book) would make a similar insinuation about the immortality of this medium. But what do I know? The interet gives me one of those feelings that feel wrong and hollow. At first glance, it feels quite permanent, but anyone who ever lost their data on their hard drive can tell you that a pile of 0's and 1's are easy to lose. I think that the illusion of permanence may be related to the novelty of the internet, and how revolutionary it has been in that short time. A kind of "THIS IS THE FUTURE!"-type feeling. [Never trust a message in all caps with exclamation points- the internet taught me this.]
Uh, perhaps I should just keep my suppositions of what the devil thinks to myself. Probably a good general rule.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A duck that aspires to be lame

Had a lovely birthweek. According to Carla I had 3 parties. While that may be an exaggeration I did finally have some time to relax as both Carla and I had a 5-day weekend because of Carnevale. That deserves a 5-day weekend, doesn't it? Even though my brithday was actually the day I went back to work after the vacation (not a fun day) between the fun I had here, as well as the numerous b-day greetings that arrived from the states [I had a good birthday].

Oh, by the way, I've taken to saying "The States" quite often. I actually rather dislike the name, but at the same time it has a certain ring to it that usually flows better within the sentence than the U.S. or America would.
Perhaps the most interesting development of this week was Saturday, when I had the only one of my 3 "parties" that was actually a party- a dinner with our best friends here in Lonigo. I made a rather improvised veal roast with citrus juice and zest. Fun, but not sure I'll revisit it. Anyway, the interesting thing... I cooked up this roast at my friend Gilberto's house, which is also where we had the dinner. A couple of you Americans met him in Fullerton. For example, Rachel [met him and] didn't want to sleep with him. So I did. True story.
Anyway Gilberto often travels to The States on business. He works in the family business, which is a pretty good size

business of about 700-800 employees in 3 countries. My friend may not be the boss (yet) but his Dad is. I'm getting to the interesting thing, I swear...
This summer shortly after arriving here in Italy, he had mentioned he would like me to work for his company. Of course, he also mentioned how nothing would be happening soon, they had been laying people off during the recession, not hiring. [But while cooking up a storm this night he brought up this subject again, only this time it was about a fairly specific position that he thinks might be available within a few months, and he'd like to see me get the job.]
And ever since we had this talk my satisfaction at my current job has begun to plummet. Turns out there's quite a bit of ass-busting to be done in this job, and the pay is quite mediocre. It hasn't helped my satisfaction levels that twice a week I travel to Thiene (30 minute drive) with another teacher [for only a 90 minutes of paid work]. This teacher has already given a notice of sorts (he's not sure when he's going back yet, but sometime in the next 3-4 months). So we have all sorts of lame duck conversations about past and future "other" jobs (read:not teaching).