Friday, March 30, 2007

Weather for the .....!!

It’s raining today, again. I don’t know what’s going on. I think we have had at least a little rain every day for a week maybe a week and half. I have it on good authority that we have all the water we need to get through the summer so Mother Nature can turn off the tap!!!! I checked my Brindisi weather stats and amount of rain per month does take a nosedive after March. It bottoms out in July when Brindisi gets on average 0.55 inches of rain (compare that to 3.9 inches in Indianapolis). The picture is my cyclamens on my balcony. They seem to like the weather.
Last night I went to a concert in Lecce (it rained on the way home). It was free for the students of the university and it was also free for other people who were bold or sneaky enough to enter through the back door. The location was a little strange, which is what provided us with a back door. It was in a huge circus tent in a gravel lot. We snuck (sneaked? had sneaked, whatever) around by the port-o-lets and trailers then act like you are coming back into the concert from using the bathroom. It worked like a charm. The concert was worth it too. The band,“The Hormonauts” were pure rockabilly (like Brian Setzer or maybe more like the Reverend Horton Heat ), just a stand up bass, drums, and sizzling guitar. I think I impressed my friends because I knew all the words to Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash would be proud. The best part of the show was when they came out with cowboy hats on and did a very country rock version of “Staying Alive”. The lead singer must be American because there is no way an Italian could sing in English and with a country drawl…. is there? I had to get a t-shirt as I loved the design with a big 50s style car on it and “The Hormonauts with Fast Hormone Billy”.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Pizza is Rated R!

Just when you think you’ve heard and seen everything. Well I pretty sure you haven’t heard or seen this! I have an update for the videos. Yeah! But this video is not for kids. Some time ago after the first video Cosimo said he wanted to make a special pizza for me. He described it and I was a little embarrassed but now I have a little video of the Pizza Sofia, named of course for Sofia Loren (and her name in Italian is Sofia Scicolone, not Sophia Loren). It’s a heart shaped pizza because of Italy’s love of Sofia and it has boobs, ugh, because Italy loves her “assests”. The video shows Cosimo making the most important part of the pizza. Again this video is not for kids and Maurizio provides a commentary for this one. Enjoy! Maybe I’ll put up a photo of the finished pizza but then I would loose my PG rating on the blog!

Click here to see "Making the Pizza Sofia!"

Monday, March 26, 2007

5 Things

I’m going to try to do this as asked for by Cyndi at Re-boot . It’s funny because I really think that I’m starting to take things for granted here. My life has changed since I moved here and now I think I don’t realize it anyone. So trying to identify things I love in Italy verses what I miss in the US is tough.

Name 5 things you love about your new country
1. The personal touch to shopping. Saturday morning I head out to make the rounds and every store I go into they know me. I’m worried that I’m getting into too much of a routine so every once in a while I go to a new baker or butcher (but don’t tell them that). It has a Mayberry feel to me. I’m like Aunt Bee. Wait, that doesn’t sound right.
2. Maintaining diversity by staying the same. Italy varies A LOT from North to South but they are all the same, in a way. They all run on very similar schedules and have similar pleasures (food, calcio, etc) but then they also strive to hold and keep their local traditions and style. They are convinced their way is the best no matter what. I have to love their devotion to a local food or festival.
3. Getting around without a car. I picked the apartment I did for two reasons. The view and the location. I can walk everywhere including to work. Antonio “C’mon” recently gave me some tips about the buses that go town to town so even if I wanted to go to other small towns I could, without my car. To an American that seems impossible.
4. The lack of choice. This sounds like a complaint buts it’s not. Sometimes having a lot of choices just tricks you into making the wrong choice. You don’t need strawberries year round. Instead you appreciate them when they are in season. I’m not sure how to explain it but I break it down that I feel I appreciate what I do have, when I have it. It’s an important lesson in life. Still, I whine about not having a fast food restaurant when I need it but guess what. I don’t need it. It’s like The Stones said, “You can’t always get what you want. You get what you need.” Italy is better at having what you need, not everything you want.
5. Meeting up with friends. At this point I know my schedule and my friends' schedule for the most part. If I don’t feel like calling someone about what's going on then I go down to the Caffe Continental around 7:30 PM and see Gavino and Lucia
(they work there so they are always there). Have a coffee and read the papers until someone comes by (if they aren’t there already doing the same). Or like last night I went down to the Vertigo on Sunday night (because everyone goes there!) with no plans. I ended up having dinner in Ostuni with people I haven’t seen for months. I love that you don’t need to plan too much (we decided where to eat on the way and another car of people caught up to us while we were in route).

Name 4 things that you miss about your native country
1. The family and friends. I’m losing touch with Indianapolis as friends move away and I don’t make new friends in Indy. So the family becomes the only real link back to the US. Now my brother has a kid so it’s going to be tougher as the kid will show just how quickly things change and how much I'm not there. I noticed this with my cousin’s kids, but it will be even more close to home now. I just don’t what to have one trip where he’s just starting to walk and the next he's in the second grade. I have been able to get home about every 6 months so I think I’ve had it pretty good. This year I have to make it back for Thanksgiving. I know, I know. I said that last year too.
2. The convenience factor. Stores open all the time and I know exactly where to get what I need. The hardest thing here is that it’s 9:00 PM and you remember something you need but your next chance to get it is after work tomorrow. You better write it down because you may forget by then!!!!
3. The Indianapolis Zoo. I volunteered at the Zoo while I worked my 9 to 5 engineering job. I loved it because it gave me a sense of giving back to the community, the environment, and all that is good. I blogged some time back about the feeling of teaching at the zoo. Going to the gym has replaced playing Ultimate Frisbee (but not completely) but nothing has matched the meaning of being at the Zoo.
4. Job security and satisfaction. Over the years that I’ve been here, I’ve always had some concern that this could all end very easily and quickly. We have some pretty moody people on both sides of the pond. Work wasn’t prefect in the US but at least everyone seemed to work hard and people worried about the right things. I get so frustrated when people here worry about little things because it will make them look bad instead of worrying about the big picture which is how do we fix these things. If we just get the problem fixed and done then everyone looks good!

Name 3 things that annoy about your new country
1. I throw several things into one category, the lack of respect. Driving like everyone else is in your way. Walking on the sidewalk like no one else is there. I feel like people think it’s perfectly ok to use and abuse public spaces as they please (litter and graffiti are the most obvious signs). Then you go to their house and it’s spotless. These are same people that throw the cigarette butts on the ground in the park then clean out the ashtray in their house after each and every cigarette. If they just showed the same respect for the places we all use. Ugghhh.
2. The language. I have found my Achilles’ heel. I suck at learning a new language. I must be tone deaf because I swear I think I’m saying it right but I’m not. I have found that my voice sounds terrible when I record it so maybe there really is some disconnect from my ears to my vocal chords. Either way it annoys the hell out of me when I get the squinty-eyed look for the cashier when I ask for something. I know my Italian’s not perfect but you know what I mean. If I say “citta”, I’m not talking about Tarzan’s frickin’ chimp and you know that. Don’t give me that look!!! AHHHH!!!!
3. I get annoyed when people complain about the US as if they know exactly what my home country should do. I agree that there are some things that you can see clearer from a distance but they have to realize that EVERY country works for it’s own interests. Sometimes that leads countries to do stupid things. Stop giving me crap. Italy is divided just like the US so don’t lump us all together under one party and I won’t do the same to you.

Name 2 things that surprise you (or surprised you at the beginning) about your new country.
1. The stereotypes are true. The men do stay at home until they marry. They really do love their food and soccer more than anything else. I had coworkers who refused to work on Saturday even though they would get twice the pay. They wanted their time off and that’s that. They really do take their time. I can't tell you how many times I heard, “bello, bello, Jeff”. I expected all the stereotypes to be unfounded but I’m sorry they are true, in the South.
2. How dead the town is in the afternoon and alive at night. I still cannot believe when I look out my window on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and hear and see NO ONE on the road. You would swear that the town is deserted. Then at 1 or 2 in the morning there is still tons of people out and kids, on school nights!

Name 1 thing that you would miss terribly in your new country, if you had to leave it.
1. I would miss the chance to experience something new. Every time I think I know what to expect something comes along screw that up. It could be having lunch at someone’s house or learning another piece of history by actually experiencing it.

Just to add to this I have noticed another thing lately. I’m less likely now to jump and down singing the praises of Puglia. When I first arrived. I was telling everyone they should come and see Puglia, but not anymore. I saw Francesco’s Italy on BBC this weekend and he was in Puglia for about 5 minutes. Afterwards, I was happy because I thought he did a great job but also because he didn’t say too much. I kinda don’t want people to find out Puglia. There are already too many outside influences. So go read a blog about Tuscany! That’s where you all want to go away.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Look out I'm cooking again

The picture this time is my latest creation. I talked to Mino’s wife at the littlest grocery store and told her I wanted to make something new. I figure if she can explain something to me without writing it down then it’s easy enough to make so here it goes. As told to me…so it could be wrong….
Step 1 Put a little bit of olive oil, butter, and one clove of garlic in saucepan and cook until the garlic is done. Then remove the garlic.
Step 2. Add cherry tomatoes. She didn’t say how to cut them so I cut them in quarters. I hope that’s right. Cook this mixture for a short time. Also add oregano if you like.
Step 3. After the tomatoes have cooked a little add Speck that has been cut into little strips. Oh don’t forget, you probably don’t need to add salt in the first step, as the speck is pretty salty already. Don’t cook the speck too long! Very important! It doesn’t really need to cook.
Step 4. Add the completed sauce to cooked pasta and then cover with Parmesan cheese.
Step 5. Enjoy!
She called it “Pasta della Contessa” but I think she just made the name up because no one at work recognizes the name. It was good and easy to make.
As you can see Nello liked it too. Does he look thinner? He should because I’ve brushed several pounds of hair out of that cat in the last week or two. He has a neck again! Mara showed less interest.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

News and Nostalgia

I’m a little pissed today. You have to be living under a rock in Italy not to know about the Italian reporter that was kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Taliban. He was released a few days ago unharmed and so there is a happy ending to the story. But there is more, so much more, that really angers me. In the Italian news they were covering the story very closely and it was revealed that between 3 and 5 Taliban prisoners were set free as part of the deal to release Daniele. You, my English speaking readers, don’t know that because I didn’t see that fact in ANY of the major English reports on his release (I did find it mentioned in an Australian newspaper online). Surely this is an important part of the article. Italian journalist traded for the release of Taliban prisoners. I wonder what else isn’t getting translated into my native tongue. By the way, one of released prisoners has already released a statement saying he can’t wait to start fighting again. It just burns me when I think I’m being told the truth and I’m not. I see that the Corrier della Sera decided to translate this article into English for everyone. The link to the Corrier della Sera to the left will take you there.
On a lighter note, I was hit by nostalgia last night. I picked up an old CD to listen to while I cooked and set in motion a string of thoughts. The CD was the 92.3 WTTS Collector’s Edition Volume 2. 92.3 WTTS is a radio station that I listened to A LOT in Indianapolis. I loved their mix of songs so around Christmas they would put together some of the best songs of the year on a CD and sell it for charity. They wouldn’t be the most popular songs of the year. I think it was just the best they could get from the artists for charity. This particular CD was from 1996 and that got me thinking about that year. Then it occurred to me that it was March of 1996 when I moved from Cincinnati to Indianapolis. It was my first big move of my life even if it was only 2 hours up the road. And it was a temporary move because when I moved from Cincy to Indy it was for a 2-year contract job and ended up staying for 9 years. Now I’ve moved to Italy for a 3-year contract job and I’m in the 4th year. What could that mean? It deserves the old “Who would have thought?” And the question to you the reader, where were you in March of 1996?
Here are some of the songs on the CD to jog your memory:
Spacehog – In the Meantime
Joan Osborne – One of Us
Natalie Merchant – Wonder
Cowboy Junkies – A Common Disaster
Hootie and the Blowfish – A Fine Line (they were on their way out by 1996)
Jars of Clay- Flood
Deep Blue Something – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I looked up what the number one song of 1996 was, but I couldn’t bring myself to put it in my blog.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Let's Ride!

For you the loyal reader I went out of my way to make my Sunday interesting. After a late Saturday night of partying I finally got up and had a coffee. I then pulled out the bike, checked the tires, and then off for ride. I like to take an afternoon bike ride every so often. By 2:00 PM almost all Italians are at the table for lunch so I can have the streets all to myself (if I’m not eating a big lunch with them). I always head north out of town along the sea, as that’s the most scenic route. I start by going past an area where several huge new palazzos (or apartment buildings) about 10 stories tall have been made until I reach a small bridge that goes over a creek where it enters the sea. It was near this bridge that Andrea found Mara swimming for her life and rescued her. At this point I’m only a few feet above sea level and at the very end of a finger of the sea that juts inland. Brindisi is best natural port in the Mediterranean. It has a small opening to the open sea that turns into large harbor with two fingers of the sea that jut inland. They say it looks like the horns of a deer from the air so a deer’s head is in the crest of the city.
From here it’s all uphill for a long time. I’m still along the sea as I climb the slope and on the side of cove closest to me there are docks with many sailboats of all sizes and on the other side sits a castle built by Fredrick II in the 1200s still being used by the Italian Navy with one or two gray military ships. I know I’m out of town when I reach a stretch of road with two high stone walls on either side. The road then slopes down below ground level until it reaches a tunnel! The only tunnel within an hour of here and it’s one-lane so it has a traffic light that says whose turns it is. This strange short tunnel goes under the runway of the airport, which ends very close to the sea! The stone walls guard the airport which is also still used by the military. From here I go through another small area of houses and Veterinary’s office for Nello and Mara. At the edge of these houses is the first stop, porto turistico. This is a huge concrete structure that stretches out for about 2 km into the sea and serves as a new and improved line of protection for the natural port. It also protects a castle built by the Aragonese in the 1500’s at the very edge of the natural port (again this castle too is still being used by the Navy!). A third benefit is it gives a lot of guys a place to spend the day “drowning worms” as we say in the Midwest. I continue on north until I come to the first beach! Now the houses end and there is nothing between the road and the sea. At “granchio rosso” I decide I better head back but first I try a couple of artistic photos with the boats there. I get back just as the cars are returning to the streets and people are getting ready to for the evening passeggiata. Me, I need a shower and nap!
Small Beach near Brindisi

More boats in the middle of nowhere. Also the sea is very calm in these photos.

Time to turn around!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Laurea Party

No, that’s not someone’s name. That’s Italian for “degree”. This weekend we celebrated Francesca finishing her degree. Now she’s ready to enter into a carrier instead of a job. It’s traditional to have a big party for this occasion. However Valerio, her fidanzato, had her convinced that the party would just be a few drinks and cake at the Big Ben Pub and nothing too special. I can only imagine the look on her face when she arrived at the Big Ben Saturday night and no one was there. In truth the party was at a friend’s house in the country and EVERYONE was there. Anyway people ate, drank, danced, and sang until the wee hours. I closed the shutters tight when I finally got to bed and 4 AM because I was not letting the sun wake me Sunday morning. The photo above is when Francesca and Valerio arrived. The photo below is the best part, the gifts!!! We have Francesca opening, Valerio next to her and Matteo is the one that needs a shave!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Traffico, come vuoi!

This morning I noticed an aspect of Italian driving that I’ve probably never commented upon before. It had me laughing on the way to work as I think it’s one of the few things I haven’t tried to do, yet! No, it’s not about bad parking or driving the wrong way down a one-way street or ignoring traffic signals. I’ve been there, done that. That’s old news. It’s about doing all those described actions at once. Picture if you will, a car parked badly outside the local café (because, as I have mentioned before, you are allowed to park HOWEVER YOU LIKE if you are just getting a quick coffee or buying cigarettes). Now Cosimo has had his coffee but he is on a street heading south and he wants to go east. So what does he do? He backs out of the “parking space” and continues backing up a one-way street until he gets to an intersection and then proceeds to BACK INTO the intersection and swings the nose of his car around until he is now nearly facing the direction he wants to go and then shifts in first and ploughs through the intersection in the correct direction heading off to work. All the while ignoring the blaring horns and swerving cars that for some reason are surprised to see this. I have seen this many times and this morning I knew from the look on the guy’s face getting in the car, exactly what he was going to do and he didn’t disappoint. Sometimes the road is pretty clear so it seems a like reasonable action, other times, like this morning, they look like a salmon swimming upstream. It’s so funny…when you’re watching from the sidewalk!
I saw a related story in the news last night. A few months ago the Prodi administration did a good thing, maybe… They came up with a new form and procedure for reporting car accidents. It was meant to streamline things and make the insurance companies do their job. Well it seems this new procedure has set records for the number of accidents being reported and claims against the insurance companies. So a good thing for everyone may turn out to be bad for everyone. If these first few months are any guide, then claims will go up and so will the insurance rates.

Other news!!
I just noticed that Blogger has started a thing where all the photos that I've posted will be in a photo album in Picasa. Use this link:
Jeff in Puglia Picasa Photo Album
for now it's only newer photos but they are working on loading all the photos that I've ever used in the blog. I should add a link to it in the sidebar.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

More Pizza videos

The second pizza making video has been posted!!
In this video, Alessandro makes a surprise cameo appearance. Alessandro is funny because he is the only one that "knows" English. He is also the only that works there that is not officially part of the family. Is it just me or do you think he looks a little like crusty the clown? More to come...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Look to the links

I may not have much to blog about but please hit my link to the left and go to Scott Adam's Dilbert Blog. He's has a few good ones in a row over there. His blog today about being stuck next to the world's most annoying man on the plane should put a smile on your face. Sometimes he gets too political but right now they are hilarious.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Nothing to Blog about

Well this weekend was very different than last. There was a concert at Goblins Friday night, there wasn’t an armed robbery anywhere, and the weather was lousy. So there isn’t anything to write about or good photos that were taken. I knew I should have gone to Rome this weekend. One of these days I’m going to jump on the Friday afternoon train and go to Rome for the weekend. At least that’s what I keep saying I’m going to do. I wish I had more for you and my sister is probably going to give me crap about nothing in the blog. Sorry sis.
Maybe I could use this time to try to explain this strange 8 sided castle (with 8 sided towers) near Bari that also appears on the 1 cent piece in Italy. Boh!

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Here is the traditional branch of mimosa for all the ladies out there on this "Festa della Donna". I tried to think of something poetic or deep to say but...nothing seems romantic or poetic about March 8th.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I would be crazy if I didn’t finish my weekend recap because Sunday was the best part. We went to a restaurant that I have been to several times but this time it was very different. What I didn’t know was that Ugo (follow this link to the story of Ugo) has family connections there. That makes a big difference. We sat down to eat around 1:30 and I then wondered, when would we be getting up? (answer: about 5:00 PM) This restaurant has an amazing atmosphere with a stone ceiling and walls that date back hundreds of years (I think they said the 1200's but I can't believe that). Ugo’s zio said it appeared they stored ice and salt here for packing fish. It’s very close to the sea and the fish market (at least where it was hundreds of years ago). I like this review of the restaurant I saw posted on a website, “L’unico posto dove posso mangiare i frutti di mare crudi senza... effetti collaterali!”
Immediately Ugo and Marco were peppering me with questions that were all along the line, “Have you ever tried…?” I knew this was going to be a marathon of eating. The first dish was riccio di mare or sea urchins. Now this is not new to me because last summer I ate “ricci allo scoglio” which is eating sea urchins as you snorkel. I will say in the restaurant they were better because you use bread to scoop up the insides (which are eggs) and eat. I like them but there just isn’t much to eat so I don’t seek them out. I think I need to bring bread with me when I go snorkeling in the summer.
The next dish was “schiuma di mare” which is literally “sea foam”. Well as you can see in the picture it is actually very young fish. They are served raw and in a big mass that is a gel full of eyes. Put a little lemon juice, olive oil, and maybe some pepper and then eat. It was a strange texture and I’m not a big fan it. Ugo says it’s getting harder to find places where you can catch fish in clean enough water to eat them raw. So this dish is getting rare. Another plate came out but it was oysters and several types of clam, raw. I had the nerve to only try one raw “noci di mare” (clam). It tasted and smelled like my salt-water fishtank when it hadn’t been cleaned in looong time. Sorry, no good. I didn’t even try a raw oyster.

After these experimental dishes they brought out a more regular selection of antipasti. My favorite would have be this grilled tuna fillet with pesto sauce in the photo. It just looked, smelled, and tasted so good.
For my primi a “linguini e vongole” (linguini and clams) seemed a good way to go. It’s one of those dishes that I have to make for myself one of these days. But since I’m from the Midwest I need someone to help me select the right clams. In the meantime I’ll enjoy the dish at the restaurant. I think everyone else had pasta with scampi! Antonella and I were the only ones not to continue with a secondi. My eyes had seen the deserts and I was going to make sure I could have one.
To end the meal we had a good lemon sorbet to cleanse the mouth of fish. Then I had some chocolate cake (with a surprising amount of liquor in it) and my first zeppola of the season. Erika is seen here with 3 zeppole that disappeared from that plate in front of her. I honestly don’t know how she ate all 3 after everything else. She said one fell on the floor but I didn’t see any evidence of that!

Monday, March 05, 2007


Moving on from the problem fill Friday. Saturday was much better. I fixed the digital camera. I took it apart and put it back together and now it works. I swear this camera seems to have nine lives. Yes I had a few parts left over and yes it makes many strange grinding noises whenever the lens moves to focus or zoom but it does work. So I decided to take it with me shopping Saturday morning while it's still with us.

The first stop is always Pierluigi at the Caffé Porta Napoli across the street fom my apartment for a caffé or cappuccino and maybe a cornetti or a rustico. In the summer I can hear him rattling the little ceramic cups and saucers through the windows. It's one of those things that I miss if I'm not here.

The second stop is almost always Cosimo and his sister (Lori what is her name!) for fruit and vegetables. He always has a wide variety and she is always ready to clean any vegetables I plan to eat for lunch that day.

Next stop is Cosimo (I’m not making this up) the butcher. His son Massimo wasn’t there Saturday morning so it’s just the father in this photo. I often meet Massimo and his girlfriend, Elizabetta in the Big Ben. It seems that Cosimo was quite a soccer player in his day. He played for the local team back when players played for the glory of their town, not for the money. In his place is the first time I saw ground beef being made. You can almost see the machine behind him where he cranks the handle to grind it up. No coloring or wondering what's in the hamburger.

Rabbia! or Rage!

So to finish up the story of Friday night. She said, “I would like to go out with you but I don’t know you well enough”. I thought to myself, “Well that’s why we would go out”. I should know better. Here you don’t go out to get to know someone. You go out because you know them. UGH!
Anyway after I wrote that entry I went out and my Friday night got worse, much worse. I went to Goblins as every Friday night they have live music, except last Friday night. No live music at Goblins, oh well, so I walk over to the Big Ben to warn anybody over there not to bother with Goblins. I take a seat at the bar with Matteo and Vicenzo. We start talking about how Thursday night had more going on than this Friday night. As we’re talking I suddenly see something out of the corner of my eye. I turn to look and sure enough it’s a pistol. I take in the situation and I see that Isiam (I spelled his name wrong before) is turning over the contents of the cash register to two men. At first I thought this must be a joke. Then I see the look on Isiam’s face and that the two men with him at the register are wearing passamontagne (balaclavas) with the hoods on their jackets up. The danger that is right next to me still doesn’t really register and next thing I know they are gone. Who would come in at 11:30 PM and rob the place at gunpoint? Turns out there are two such low life scums. The whole episode took about 20-30 seconds to happen. The cash register is pretty close to the front door and Isiam was behind the bar by himself. Isiam was on the phone to the police almost as they left and the police arrived in no time, but it didn’t seem to matter as they disappeared into the labyrinth of old streets quickly.
It made me so angry that someone would do that. I was only 10 feet from the little **** but there is nothing I could think of that would identify them and there was nothing I could have done that wouldn’t have been very dangerous. The good thing is one of them picked up the tray on the register to make sure there wasn’t any money underneath. The police dusted the tray for fingerprints so maybe they can identify one of them. I read in the paper the next day that this robbery was very similar to two others that happened back in December so they think same two robbers are responsible for all three. This is the first time they robbed a place so early in the night. The paper reasons they hoped to get a cash register stocked up for the night but the opposite was true. Isiam said they only got around 200 euro. They risk going to jail for armed robbery for a couple hundred euro. The worst part is they ruin how I feel in town. I have never worried about safety in Brindisi. Sure there are some bad neighborhoods but I don’t go there and they are easy to avoid. This was in my neighborhood and too close to home. Maybe I needed a wake up call to remind me to pay attention. What I would give to get my hands on those two…
So I was in the middle of an armed robbery Friday night. Did I mention that last weekend got off to a really bad start!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday Night!

The black devil that broke the camera. Here again copying big brother Nello. Don't worry no one ever uses the bidet in this house. I know you europeans think that's disgusting. Sorry.
Anyway I wanted to do a quick post before I head out tonight. I'm interested to see how this weekend develops. Sunday afternoon I'm doubled booked with two things I would like to do but neither involving throwing Frisbee on the beach. The weather is looking too good to not do that but maybe tomorrow. I'm worried that this weekend will not be good because it's off to bad start. My plans for dinner tonight fell thru with the "gym crew" which is why I'm here writting this instead of out. Umberto didn't get reservations early enough. Also I asked a girl out at the gym and got a response I think you only get in Southern Italy. She said "I would like to go out with you but..." Wait, gotta go. I'll leave the rest for Monday!

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Old photos for now! This one is what I have as the background on my computer right now so I thought I would use it again. This castle is located right on the Ionian sea. I'm standing on a pebbly beach and I'm about 45 minutes from Taranto heading along the coast to Calabria and all points south. You could say I'm in the "arch of the boot". I hear it's a good restuarant!

Sooo long February! We had a good cold and wet February. I say “good” because we needed the rain. Now it’s the first day of March and the weather is great. I was overdressed with a light jacket this morning for the walk to work. Tomorrow I may not even need a jacket! Or maybe I’ll where my new jeans jacket tomorrow just to be stylish. Can you believe I’ve been here for 3 years and I just recently bought a jeans jacket? It’s very Italian with useless pockets of strange dimensions, random faded areas, and to top it off, on the back there is random writing in English that makes no sense. Before moving here I would never buy something like this.
I REALLY feel like taking the afternoon off. In February it was easy to work as with the nasty weather but now… The good news is that it is supposed to last until the weekend so I’ll wait. I could take tomorrow afternoon off. Yes I can do that. I just have to make sure they can get me on my cell phone and if something important comes up then I have to be able to drop what I’m doing and go in. Hey, I haven’t used a vacation day yet this year and there are no holidays in February or March.
Also the new camera may be easier than I thought. There are so many really cheap cameras out there. I know I shouldn’t be surprised that I can get a camera for half the price of the old one with more functions and more mega pixels, but I am.