Wednesday, May 31, 2006

BACK to work

Man, I’m dragging right now. I’m waiting for all my email to download as I write this. The trip back went pretty smoothly but I didn’t meet anyone interesting on the plane and I didn’t sleep at all. My luggage made it this time and with no new damage. Right now my right ear is blocked something terrible. I can feel it starting to go away now but that third descent into Brindisi was bad.
Everything in the house seems in ok. Nello looks thinner and he cried a lot when he saw me but not as much as when I came back from Christmas so he’s getting more independent.
The town looks the same but the road from the airport to town is almost finished and It will be much wider when it’s done and their will be a sidewalk so it will be less dangerous for pedestrians.
Well it’s after lunch now and my ear feels a lot better but I’m still really tired. Ton of emails so more later….

Friday, May 26, 2006

Busy, Busy

I can't believe how busy I've been here for work. Today we talked for 6 hours straight about the state of the business. Last night we all went out for a big steak dinner. I still feel full and my stomach can't seem take it. Tonight I had pizza which was a little more to my taste. I've taken some photos but I can't but them on until I get back in Italy. This weekend I'll be hanging out in Cincinnati with the family, which should be much more laid back. I still have a lot of things to buy for the people back in Brindisi. No I'm not buying a bowling ball for you, Marco!!!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Plane Blog

I'm writing from the airplane because I have room like I’ve never had before. The nice lady at the check in counter found an exit row seat so I have room for the big work laptop on this 10.5 hour flight. I’m on the aisle, which is not unusual but this time it proved to be trouble already. I never believed that things actually “may shift during take-off and landing”. That was until the overhead bin above me was opened and bag came down knocked me on head.
Yesterday was “Brindisi in bicicletta”. They closed the roads and a mass of 800 bikers (pedal kind) roamed around an organized route. The problem is 800 bikes don’t fit well on narrow Italian streets so it was very slow moving at times. We rode around for 3 hours and that was definitely enough. Erika and Valerio had the cool bikes from the Cantieri store. I have pictures of the bikes that I’ll put up. I like the fat tires and vintage look of these bikes. You’ll see later.
More later as the in flight movie should start soon. One of them is Chronicles of Narnia, which I actually would like to see.

This is written much later…
Well the time has flown by so far. The airlines lost my luggage but I arrived the later on Tuesday. The conference has been fast and furious so far. We have a little break tomorrow morning, then it’s back on until Wednesday. I did get to play Ultimate Tuesday night!! I may play again tonight, but there is some rough weather around.
I hope Nello is ok.
Also I hope all the people celebrating a birthday’s in Brindisi have fun this weekend. For some reason my super cell phone is not letting me make calls overseas. It’s really upsetting me but I’ll find a way to call you all.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Back in da USSSSSAA

Well this should be my last entry before a two-week stay in US. It’s only been 5 months since I’ve seen friends and family so I might be a little happy to be back. There has been a little extra bounce in my step and my Italian is worse than usual (I’m already thinking in English more- Mexican food, I need some Mexican Food). I like this trip too because it’s one of the few times that I’m heading back when the weather is good back in the Midwest. It seems since I’ve been living in Italy I only go home around Christmas when it’s cold and in the middle of summer when it’s very hot.
So this weekend I have some shopping and packing to do and Sunday is “Brindisi in Bicicletta”. They are going to close some streets around town so we can bike around in safety. For 3 euros you get a t-shirt, baseball cap, and lanyard. Not bad. It should be a photo worthy event so we’ll see Sunday night if I have time to put them up.
Also during this time back I really have to find out my future here. There is officially only 3 months left on my contract and officially I have heard nothing about what type of extension there would be. Of course I’ve heard rumors but I want something definite. I can only assume there would be an extension as there isn’t enough time to replace me at this point. June and July will have disruptions at work for the World Cup. The farther Italy goes the more people that will be "out". I hear the whole country stops when the National team is playing. Then the month of August is a complete loss in Italy. Almost nothing gets done and you couldn’t have some move over then. So what will I do and for how long? I’m getting sick of that question so don’t ask!!!!!! When I know I’ll post it here or send out a mass email.
And Marco, I’m not bringing you a bowling ball when I come back!! I don’t care if it is your birthday!!!! Anche Marco, non scrivi le parolacce nel blog!!! Mia madre legge questo!!!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Meal time!

My on going meal saga of fotos of my meals. This was my lunch today. Spag with a green bean and tomato sauce. Marco said it is the law to have ricotta on it which is the white cheese you see. Looks very italian!!! The bread is "pucci" (blobs of dough and olives) and no I bought the bread snack on them all day. Posted by Picasa

The Littlest Protestor

This is from the protest last week. That WWF flag is heavy. Sure the grown ups make it look easy. Posted by Picasa

The Garden

Cat grass!!! The little white thing is what they give you to grow it. The other pot is where I planted most of the seeds. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Working on Labor Day!!!

Monday was Labor Day here so I didn’t need to go to MY work, but I did do some work. I went out to the country home of Antonella’s family with Marco and the crowd. We used the combined muscle to set up some concrete beams along the driveway to replace some old rotting wooden beams. It reminded me of the good old days in the Oliverio’s back yard with Antonella’s dad being Mr. O. Now the wisteria and other climbing vines have support that won’t collapse under their weight. They also now have an area that they can turn into a second villa. It was good old-fashioned physical labor. It makes me want to buy a villa in the country myself. Then go off and spend the weekend getting dirty…
On Saturday there was a protest march against a new natural gas refining plant they want to build very close to where I work. Nicchi Vendola (president of Puglia) was there again as well as the Mayors of Brindisi, Taranto, and Bari. I’m against it for environmental reasons. They want to carry the gas here by boat, then refine it, and carry the end product away by boat again. So what do they leave, just the waste products. There is no real benefit for Brindisi, as the plant won’t employ many people. The construction phase would probably have the most work, but that wouldn’t last long. It’s like they want a convenient place that hopefully won’t mind what they are doing. Also we need to remember the last mayor was arrested and had to leave office before the end of his term. I wasn’t following that type of news back then to know exactly what he did. I just remember seeing the mayor and 3 friends in the papers and in court for a few days when I first arrived here. Now the mayor and president of the region are against this plant and people for it say its “development”. I don’t know how it can go forward. Did the last government sign something that means it cannot be stopped?
Looking forward to my trip home in mid-May. With the dollar at such a low exchange rate I have a list of things I need to buy for people here. Are there still hooded sweatshirts in the stores?