Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween, Where's the CANDY?

I don't have a pumpkin this year so you'll have to look at my post from two years ago for Halloween jack-o-lantern. This year I see more pumpkins around but still they are for eating and not carving. Also check out the next day when I celebrated All Saints Day with Turibio in 2004. I haven't heard from that crazy kid this year. I wonder what happened to him.
Last year I didn't post on Halloween but I think it was because I was too worried about getting back to USA for my cousin's wedding. I still can't believe I made it.
Tonight there is something going on at all the bars but no costume parties. My mom will confirm that I was never that excited about dressing up for Halloween so I'm not missing that aspect. The only good costume I ever had was in 1999. I was the "millenium bug". I dressed up as an insect with computer parts and big clock hanging around my neck.
I do miss the candy. I'll solve that problem with a quick trip to the store tonight!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Teddy

It's Teodoro's birthday and I'm saying it in the blog so everyone knows!! He's the guy in the middle with the yellow and green shirt and baseball hat. Buon Compleanno Teddy!! This photo was taken over the summer after one of the wins in the World Cup. Not the Finals but some other game.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Black Cat in the Sun

This is a photo I took today of the kitten. She's growing fast and I found you need sunlight to get a good photo of black cat. It's getting dark really early these days so my best chance for a photo is on the weekend. Right now Nello is in my lap and Smeagol is climbing my leg. Ahhh, what claws she has.....Go play in the curtains you crazy kids...

Road Work part 2

Look what they did to my street. It was only a few months ago that finished repaving it and now they have destroyed it with that black mark you see in the photo. This new work was filled in very badly so I have no doubt it will be a nice pothole in few weeks.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The good ole days

In this photo you see a piece of history, a reminder of much different time when life was much simpler, more focused and well planned. What am I reflecting upon? I noticed that my pilot’s license was issued on October 28 1990. Sixteen years ago tomorrow. What a time that was. I was 18 years old! I was working my butt off every weekend in Hardees (fast food like McDonalds) to make enough money to take flying lessons and it all culminated with this license. Also in October of 1990 I was just starting my freshman year at the University of Cincinnati. Man how things have changed, but Paul Simon once said, “After changes upon changes we are more or less the same, after changes we are more or less the same”. Where's that from Kent? Mom and Dad can't answer because it would be easy for them.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Light email day

What a boring day so far. I come in and there are no work related emails and just one personal email in my inbox. Now I don’t feel too unloved because there were 19 spam emails to delete. Even for those $^#^* that’s unusually low. I’ll have to check the news on the Internet to see what’s going on.
I need help. My iPod has been diagnosed as terminally ill so I'm drooling over the possibilities. Should I wait and see what comes out next or dive into the biggest monster Apple has available right now? Dare I even think of buying a Microsoft product like the Zune? There’s getting to be so many choices. I don’t feel like shelling out a lot of money this time but I really liked having ALL my music in the car.
Also in the technology department, I'm one step closer to having high speed Internet at home. I know what you’re all thinking. Wasn’t he saying that a month ago? Yes I was. But now I have a note that says a package is waiting for me at the post office. They tried to deliver it yesterday but I was at work (how inconsiderate of me). This package is, I believe, the modem and wireless router from Fastweb. I’m hoping that I can hook it up myself but I think they will need to send out a “tecnico” who will do the installation from what I’ve heard. So I’ll have the equipment but I’ll still be waiting. Still if there is anything I’ve learned in Italy, it’s to be patient. Once I have this I will be surfing 24/7 and I’ll be able to watch and upload YouTube videos, which may not be a good thing.
And last but not least I found out that Giuliano Palma and the Bluebeaters are in concert in Rome on November 16. I would love to go to this but it's on a Thrusday night. I suppose I could try that same train I was supposed to take last weekend. Or maybe go the plane route. I really would like to see them in concert and they don't tour a lot.
Here are the lyrics from one of their Italian songs, Come le viole (means like the violets)

Come le viole

Son tornate le viole quaggiù
Ma non hanno colore per te
Quella calda tenerezza che tu
Portavi nei tuoi occhi
No, non c'è più

Come le viole anche tu
La primavera con te riporterai

Avevi la mia vita
Avevi la mia vita fra le tue braccia
Te ne sei andata non so
Te ne sei andata con chi dai sogni miei
Forse domani chissà tu piangerai
Quando il mio amore lo so tu capirai
Rifioriranno tante primavere

Come le viole anche tu
Rifioriranno tante primavere
Come le viole anche tu

It's about lost love but the song itself is upbeat and fun.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Ostuni

Lori wanted the big version of this picture so I'm putting it up. I take so many pictures of Ostuni that I loose track of them. In this one you can see the church is just finishing up it's renovations. It was covered in scaffolding for most of the summer.

The Lonely Fruit Fly

I don’t know why but the other day I had one fruit fly in my bathroom. Maybe this is the result of buying a bunch of bananas at the market on Saturday but it still doesn’t explain why this one fly was in the bathroom. I tried to rationalize it, because the bananas are gone. So I thought, maybe he was on a desperate search for food and while on this search he came across a big mirror in my bathroom. There are only two things on the mind of this dumb insect and that’s food and other fruit flies. I can only assume from his actions with the mirror that this fruit fly was either vain or incredibly lonely. It seemed like he hadn’t seen another fruit fly in days, which is a long time in the life of this poor insect. I made a couple of stabs at killing him before taking a shower but I kept missing and I didn’t like all the fingerprints I was putting on the mirror. I thought “I’ll take a shower and come back and smash this bugger after I get nice and clean”. Sure enough after the shower the little guy was still hard at it trying to get at that other fly. So I took aim and squashed him against the mirror. And that’s the end of the story of the lonely fruit fly. I’m sure there is a lesson in there somewhere….

Monday, October 23, 2006

congrats sis

Well my sister and brother in law have joined the collective. Go see their blog at:
Lori and Kent! Now I get to harass her about not writing often enough. She's lucky though because Kent is always taking good photos.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


video! This is a link to a video Nello and Smeagol playing. I posted it on You Tube.


As you could tell from my last entry I was getting a little upset with work lately and someone up there heard me. We'll see....

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Best Laid Plans...fall apart sometimes

Ughhh, my plans for this weekend are falling apart. My plans were:
1. Thursday (today), take a train to Rome tonight and stay there near the train station.
2. Friday, take a bus to Perugia in the morning and stay in Perugia (EUROCHOCOLATE 2006 is in Perugia right NOW!!!)
4. Saturday, go to Norcia in the morning and stay there Saturday night. This is the town of my grandfather's side of the family. I’ve been wanting to see since I arrived in Italy.
6. Sunday, make my way back to Brindisi Sunday.
It was a beautiful plan. It started to fall apart yesterday when the hotel in Norcia said they couldn't honor my reservation. I called around and the town is full (it's not that big so it doesn't take much). So I can't stay in Norcia, which was the most important part to me. Now I'm still at work (waiting for a call from the States) which means I missed the train I was planning to take to Rome tonight. There is another overnight train that leaves later, but it means I would spend two nights on trains out of four and I don't know where I'll be Saturday night at this point. And if I don't get this call today then naturally it will come tomorrow when I'm trying to enjoy myself. I think I'm going to bail on the whole thing. I think going to Perugia would be great but after that I would have to go back to Rome to find a place to stay Saturday night and then take another bus to Norcia just for a few hours on Sunday and then back to Rome to catch another train back to Brindisi. I would be spending the whole 3-day weekend on a train or bus.
I even looked at the other side and thought about driving up there myself. Then I could get away from bus and train schedules and find a place between Perugia and Norcia for Saturday night. Interesting to see that mapquest has Brindisi to Perugia as 9 hours 17 minutes while an Italian program that a friend has says you can go Brindisi to Perugia in 7 hours 1 minute!!! No wonder they drive fast. The program says I can make there in 7 hours!!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Magic Buses!!!

When I wrote my entry on Thursday, I didn’t even realize that Friday was “Friday the 13th”. It’s no big deal here because the number 13 is good luck. I also have a black cat now and guess what, a black cat is considered good luck in Italy. Go Figure!!!
But the big news this weekend is: The new buses are here! Saturday morning I went for my usual trip to the market for veggies, fruit, bread, and meat when I was greeted by these green buses parked all over the center of town. I picked up the one of flyers and it was very interesting news. Brindisi has 15 new buses that run on methane. These “green” buses (literally and environmentally) pollute less, run quieter, and cost less to run. It’s a win, win, win situation. The only question left is “Why didn’t they do it sooner?”
It’s so interesting to see the progress towards the environment being made here. The south is notoriously bad on its environmental record but in the time I’ve been here I’ve seen some good signs. New recycling bins, curbside pickup for some recyclables, and now much better buses. Mindsets still haven’t changed much though. How many people use these recycling bins and why is there still so much litter on the streets and beaches? As soon as the wind kicks up you realize how dirty it still is. Suddenly little tornadoes of trash appear where the wind spirals around buildings. Still I see progress and that’s the important part!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

All alone...and it's getting spooky...

Well my mom and dad are on there way back to the good ole United States. I was feeling down about them going back but last night Valiero called to ask me to play soccer tonight and Andrea sent an SMS saying he was organizing a pizza night for Friday, (already –strange to plan so far in advance, must be something big). On top of this I have the Puglia Posse night out Saturday night. So I’m sad that my parents are gone but at least I know I won’t be lacking something to do until at least Sunday. Also I should see the whole family shortly, be it Thanksgiving or Christmas, maybe even both!
My mom didn’t get to see Sicily. Their trip was too short for that! Maybe when we do go the A3 will be done and the drive will be easier. Boy am I an optimist!! The A3…done…maybe I’m not thinking straight since I got up at 4:30 AM to get them to the airport for the 6:10 AM flight. I still can’t believe Alitalia has a flight that early. No wonder they’re loosing money. You have to pay an Italian pilot a lot to get up and fly that early!!! I thought only bakers and fisherman work that early!!
The town was strangely quiet in the predawn hours this morning. When I was walking from my garage to the apartment I felt a slight breeze but everything was so still. Even the trees and flowers didn’t move. There was also a wispy hint of fog in the air. All I needed was some scary music and a howling wolf for a horror movie. I must have Halloween on my mind….

Monday, October 09, 2006

Santa Maria di Leuca

This is a picture from Sunday with the parents. We started out with a visit to Otranto and then took the road from Otranto along the coast to Santa Maria di Leuca. I call this drive the "mini Amalfi coast". The road is slow going with amazing cliffs down to the sea. At the end you arrive at this monastery. This is at the very tip of the heel of Italy. There is a cafe just off to the left of this photo. We had a very relaxing lunch there and soaked in the sun.

With the 'rents

This is a photo from Saturday. I hope Mom doesn't get mad at me for for putting her in the blog. I think she's pretty small in the photo so you can't tell that her hair's getting blown around. It was windy all weekend! We had a snack here by this small beach on the way home from Polignano a Mare. The water is still warm and some people were going in. That would be fun but you would be freezing getting out in that wind!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Change is good?

Trying out a change. I seem to have lost some things and others aren't where I want them!! I should have left it alone! Don't go to Blogger Beta just yet!

Things are getting into place now. I'm much happier with what I can do now but there are a few things that I want to screw with. Feel free to let me know what you think.

Brindisi in the News

Wow, did you see the news? We have terrorists right here in Brindisi. Well the story has changed a little. When we first heard about the plane it was this: Terrorists had hijacked a plane and wanted to fly it to Rome “as a message to the Pope”.
Now it turns out that it was just one guy (he implied he had an accomplice to make sure his plan worked) who was seeking asylum in Italy. He’s actually a convert to Christianity and trying to get out of serving in the Turkish Army, which as we know gets you killed in Turkey. So last night it was all concerns of safety of the Pope and relations between Muslims and Christians when really it’s just one kid scared to go back to Turkey.
Side note: The English people on BBC better stop butchering the pronunciation of Brindisi. It’s not brenDESE. It’s BRENdese

Today it’s another beautiful day. Why am I happy? Because Gina is going to clean my apartment this afternoon. This is going to save me a lot of time and concern. After she gets done with my place my mom shouldn’t have a problem with her allergies when she gets here Friday. With the new kitten things have been busy around the house. Nello is now playing nicely with Smigol.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sunday Lunch

So Saturday night Andrea said lets go eat in a little place he knows in the country. That's always a good idea in my book, so I was in, immediately.

This is the classic "in the car picture" Giulio is driving, Mariaellena on camera, Francesco and I in the back.

The biker shot. Andrea and Viviana are on the Harley and Marco is on the Ducati. It was a beautiful day to be out on a motocycle.

You know this is a restaurant www.ottavapiccola.com and not someone's house because of the sign. Most people don't have an "ingresso" sign at their front door. We arrived around 2:00 and they were ready for us. The menu is already decided for you. You just sit down and they start serving. There is no way you could do that in the States.

The first dish was actually two different dishes of pasta. Wait a minute; I took a picture of the menu. It was:

Antipasti della Masseria

Primi: Laganori con il Ragu`, Cavatelli con Pancetta e Fagioli

Secondo: Grigliata Mista di Agnello, Salsciccia, Bottbege, e Gnummaredde

Contorni: Insalata e Patate al Forno

Torta della Masseria

After the meal when went on a “modified” passeggiata. Modified because we went to this grassy field by the sea and laid down.

This spot is perfect for throwing Frisbee. I’ve been searching for a place like this and couldn’t figure out why it was here. It turns out that it’s a landing strip for Ultralight aircraft. We found this out when a guy with a parachute and fan strapped to his back took off. Later, when he came back the kids playing soccer had to get out of his way. With the work the Flying Club must put into this field I can’t believe they let people hang out on their grass runway.

To put it simply, the day was one of those that remind how nice it is to live in Italy with friends, good food, and always something new to around the corner.

Update on Nello's Friend

Smigol (the name is temporary still) is doing great. He's been well fed and cleaned. Nello just started to actually play with him Saturday night. This morning I was getting worried because Nello was getting a little rough.