Friday, January 29, 2010

The idiot

I had breakfast with a colleague (the “coffee girl”) of mine and we had a good laugh (and a good croissant) about our job. Right after the morning coffee we went together to a meeting where I barely spoke and she didn’t say a word. Actually I volunteered to do something (always a BIG mistake) as I candidly thought that other people were also involved in the job. It turned out that  I was the only idiot who said “I can do that, no problem”. At this point the coffee girl stared at me and laughed so hard that she had to go the toilet.

Since I was a child I raise my f**** hand to volunteer for everything. I should cut my hands off and keep my mouth shut.

After the meeting I just couldn’t have lunch with someone (“the boring person”). I couldn’t even think about having a sandwich with the boring person who is such a good human being but is boring to death... to put it mildly. And I don’t like the way he drinks, it seems as though we live in the desert. I lied to him and said that I had other arrangements. He bought it which is amazing because it seems that I ALWAYS have other things to do when that persons asks me out for lunch. I went to my favourite place and had melanzane alla parmigiana alone. Give a me a break!

I then checked my email and got a reply from an important author. I’m so glad we are in touch now, I hope to meet him soon. That’s the only good news today. I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon photocopying hundred of pages. I know it sounds old fashioned but I can’t buy all the books I have to study for my project for at least two reasons: I don’t have space and I want to stick to my second new year resolution.

As for the weekend, we’re are going to visit a friend and her new baby. We’ll probably go to see this movie later in the afternoon and then we’re planning to go here which is - to me- the best Indian restaurant in Milan. We haven't been there for a while and I'm so looking forward to eat some good stuff, I love Indian food.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Venice (again)

The sun helps me feel better and I do feel fine today. Right after I published the post I realized that it was a mistake. I felt guilty because the post is about very private stuff and I didn't want to hurt my partner. However, I also became aware of the fact that "feeling guilty" doesn't help at all. I had the urgent need to write down my problems and the blog is a way to share and feel lighter.

I'm working on an ambitious paper focused on a very specific and complicated topic. I've been reading, analysing and studying many books and I feel lucky as I can explore one the most negleted aspect in my field. It's a lot of work, though, and I don't have much time to write two articles. Hopefully at some point I'll give up reading and I'll start writing.

At the end of the day I need to focus on something else, that's why I picked up a book written by the good contemporary Italian writer Melania Mazzucco. La caduta dell'Angelo is about Tintoretto and it's (obviously) set in Venice. I love reading books set in this magical city. MY Venice is far from the most popular places (San Marco, Rialto and so forth) and thanks to my ucle we had the chance to visit less well known and beautiful parts.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Behind the visible

I am sorry baby, you will probably come across this post. Perhaps you aren’t aware of how inhibit I am talking about this issue through a language I certainly master more than English. I can’t use Italian because it would be too hard to me to analyze the situation without the help of these “cultural lens” that force me to structure my thoughts and feelings in a different grammar. Moreover, writing is better than talking as I take all the time I need to articulate my emotions. Frankly writing you a letter or an email in English is ridiculous and when I think about a place that is totally mine, this is one of first that comes to my mind. 

The crude reality is that my life isn’t the paradise that seems to be looking at this white, pink and purple blog. I do have a major problem, even though I try not to think about it. But it’s there and it will not fade away with a blink of an eye.There’s something that lies underneath this strong and accomplished woman. It’s a river that flows toward the ocean I haven’t been able to reach. It’s the ocean of the lost instincts buried under thick intellectualism. I have always pretended to be more interested in my career than in my own private life. The latter is crucial and I always loved so much my partner but I have never told him how much I have suffered because we have never lived together. We still don’t live together, the “we” I sometimes mention here is me and my family. For complex reasons I don’t want to share we don’t live under the same roof.

This is my main problem. I haven’t blossomed with him and my development as a woman has been a failure because of this missing piece. I am the daughter, the niece, the independent and frustrated woman in career who has never lived fully many aspects of a multifaceted personality.

I am the eternal girlfriend who still sleeps in a single bed.

This has an enormous impact on my psychological balance even if everything seems just fine. I live in a beautiful house and my parents love me immensely but I am not a teenager anymore and although I adore them I do want MY family. Basically I have always tried to hide many sides of me and the destruction of my life has its roots in all these hidden but vital parts that struggle to see the light now. They need water and sun, otherwise they would dry out forever. Creativity, sensual energy, sweetness, passion. I am all this and even more! I can talk for hours about theoretical approaches and contemporary history but please hear my soul voice and help me feeding my instinctual nature.

We all have –as Jung argues- the moral obligation to live out and express ourselves. 

These descarted, devalued, and "unaccetable" aspects of soul and self do not just lie there in the dark but rather conspire about how and when they shall make a break for freedom. They burble down there in unconscious, they seethe, they boil, till one day no matter how well the lid over them is sealed, they explode outward and upward in an unchanneled torrent and with a will of their own.
Pinkola Estés

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I want to work on that... my last post is full of I, I, I.
It's quite boring.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Where/When do you write?

I don't write everywhere. I usually write at home because I share a small office with two colleagues and I don't want them to stare at me while I'm writing private stuff. They don't know about this blog and I'm not eager to let them know. If I am alone I do have a look at the blog or the comments and occasionally I write but I have to be completely alone. I also need a considerable amount of silence and there's only one quiet place where I can focus: my house. I'm NOT multitasking though, so I can't speak while writing, especially if I'm not using my native language. It's time consuming because I'm not very confident and I check on the Internet every now and then. I need an empty room (the dog is always allowed of course), the right mood and -possibly- the right light. Another reason why I can't write for a long time at work is a sort of neon lights effect which is disturbing to me. If the light is gentle, my thoughts are "soft" too.

I love writing when I'm staying alone in a hotel room, especially when I'm abroad. It seems as though I have plenty of time to think despite the fact that this is never the case. If I'm lucky enough to have half a day on my own, I have lunch in my room while writing, thinking, working, reading and so forth. It doesn't matter if I'm in Greece and the weather is great, I'm so focused on me and on my writing commitments that I don't want to be outdoor.

I don't know if these are writing habits. I'm flexible enough to write in a noise place if I have to but I rather prefer waiting for the "right moment" (and light and mood....).

I'm much more flexible with reading. A good book is all I need, no matter where I am or what I'm doing. Few years ago I manged to read while I was drying my hair and it was quite an experience. By the way, I'm stiking to New Year Resolution # 2. Amazing, isn't it?

What about you? Do you have writing habits?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010


I spend 2 hours a day travelling to and from work. I don't mind it because I don't have regular office hours. While travelling to work I usually read, work or listen to music. Travelling from work, though it's a totally different experience. I listen to a podcast (in English) I really like which, I'm sure, would embarrass most of the passengers I share the car with. Sometimes I get embarrassed too, I even blush but it's the best podcast ever on sex. It's just a rational conversation about sexuality but still... day I'll be caught and sent to the Inquisition.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stich 'n Bitch

I'll join this group. By the way, I love the place, it's one of my favourite in Milan. I'll be there with my endless dog blanket.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Check up

Everything seems just fine. I'm not on Lupron anymore and I do feel sensual again. Today I've realized that my breast is still where is supposed to be: I'm not as flat as the kitchen table as few weeks ago. My hormons are almost back to normal and all is well healed. 6 months on birth control and then we can try to get pregnant.

I'm thrilled even though I don't take for granted that it will be easy. Hopefully we'll try this summer, we're planning to go to the mountain and relax, walk and focus on us as much as we can. At least I'm planning this kind of holidays but I mentioned to him my ideas and he seems fine with it. I have never been to the mountain in the summer (I love the sea) but this year I really want to get stronger and fit before my belly gets too big to walk for hours. I appreciate how well my body handled the surgery, it definitely deservers more attention and love.

The most important thing is that the surgery went well and that I don't have to take this shit. Cheers! I'm a woman again.

The new transparency

I like this article although I don't see any good news as far the "new transparency". There are several theoretical arguments that might be raised which drawn on both Debord's Society of the Spetacle (1967) and on Foucault's Displine and Punish (and also History of Sexuality). Moreover, there is a well known network of international scholars who has been analysing the so called surveillance society.

Surveillance is the very word that is missed here. Because it's routine surveillance that has fostered transparency and the lack of resistance is something we should think about.

Another key word is visibility. But that's another story.

He is not allowed

to sleep on the couch. But look at him! He made me laugh and I didn't say anything.
Yes, I know. I'm obsessed with my big boy. Apologize, I just can't help it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Flowers skin

Yes, I love you too

Podcasting HIV

on sex is fun. You can listen to this show in your browser.

It's foggy again (random thoughts)

and the humidity penetrates in my bones. However, I walk the dog almost every day. It keeps my mind clear and my body fit. I feel well, tomorrow I'll have my 6 weeks post surgery check up and I'm looking forward to ask some questions (can I run with my 38 kg. dog?!).

We saw an amazing movie (IT) last weekend. Italian cinema is NOT dead: Tornatore, Salvatores, Virzì and Ozpetek are very talented and should deserve much more attention. I completely disagree with Tarantino, the new Italian cinema is vital and I love it.

I work at home today. I've been focusing more lately but I'm still a little distracted. I guess the medical treatment and the surgery have played a big role (I'm pretty sure they have) but there should be something else that keeps me "emotionally detached" from what I do. I used to love my work whereas now I have a different approach. It's important but it's not "crucial" to me. I have put a lot of energy, love and efforts but now it seems as though everything has dried out. I don't know what's happening, perhaps I'm just trying to find a balance between my private life and my job.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's foggy today

and I feel a bit foggy too. It's of those days you feel fine but there's also a sense of sadness that makes my vision blurry. I still don't have a clear vision of my future and there are challenges this year too which seem bigger than me.

I was knitting (yes, the dog blanket) while watching Little Buddha last night. This wonderful movie made me think about strategies to cope with life challenges. We all have strategies or little tricks either to live better or to give a meaning to life. To me buddhism is a demanding but all encopassing philosophy to define a long term action and a tactic. I don't know if it's for me though. I have read several books on buddhism and when things fall apart I know where I have to look at to feel better. I just have to look inside instead of outside of me. The problem is that my spiritual journeys are far too short. One day I read the gospels and the next day I want to go to Tibet to mediate on life. There is no coherence in my spiritual quest. I don't even know if I'm spiritual at all. Besides, I am a "lonely wolf " meaning that I can't be part of a christian, buddhist or whatever group. I am allergic to groups even if I am a very social person. I have always read books on my own to figure out my own strategy. I'm not still there as I have lots of drafts but no definitive plannings.

In the meanwhile, I read Tolstoj.
All the efforts of several hundred thousand people, crowded in a small space, to disfigure the land on which they lived; all the stone they covered it with to keep it barren; how so diligently every sprouting blade of grass was removed; all the smoke of coal and naphtha; all the cutting down of trees and driving off of cattle could not shut out the spring, even from the city. (Resurrection)

... all the challenges could not shut out the spring, even from this difficult year.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The elegance of the Hedgehog

We saw the movie and it's nice but nothing can compare with this great book. I'm re-reading (in IT) and I've realised that it's all about spaces. Real spaces versus inner spaces. While the first are represented by the building apartments, the second are eptomized through two charaters, the concierge Renée and a sharp-eyed 12 year old named Paloma. Tangible spaces and the appearance of Reneé are only functional shells that hide respectively rich but deeply superficial people and an intelligent woman with a delicate soul.

The small world of the building apartments is seen through the sarcasm and the brightness of Reneé and Paloma who happen to know each other due to a Japanese who buys a vacant apartment. It's interesting noting that, Kazuro organizes his apartment space in a peculiar way. Specifically, as Paloma subtly argues, Japanese mostly use sliding doors that separate rooms from other rooms without "cutting" off abruptly portions of space. Kazuro's apartment is not a "shell" poorly related to its resident, rather there is no difference between the outside and the inside.

Conclusion: the movie counterpart is nice but READ the book first!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Year resolution # 2

#1 is positive thinking and -surprisingly enough- I'm sticking to it.

The second is harder though: no more books in 2010. Namely, I don't want to buy books for the next 365 days for at least three reasons. First, I don't have enough space and more importantly I haven't read yet at least -say- 50 books I've bought. Last but not least, the paper waste. Now that I'm thinking about it, there's also another reason. I want to re-read some books either because I was too young to appreaciate them (Russian literature for instance) fully or because I don't remember the details. My family says that I won't stick to this one, it's far too much difficult to me. Ok, let's say 6 months ;)

The first day at work was fine... despite the fact that I was so excited to see my big boy this evening that I fell down and I almost broke my right foot. Overall the day was good and it was lovely to see my colleagues and my boss. And yes, he is planning a dinner. Honestly I couldn't have asked for a better team to work with.

Addictionally, my partner got a new job today which is a blessing for both of us.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The magic of the winter has gone

--- but the snow is still on my mind ---

Friday, January 8, 2010

Changes & other things

As you may notice, I have made some changes to the blog:
  • the header image (yes it's my big boy)
  • new links. As promised, the "positive links" are some online resources (IT and EN) on HIV-AIDS. Moreover, there are also few "knitting blogs" (IT)
  • "currently reading" will be regularly updated
  • fonts and colors are different, I hope you like them.
I am full of energy today and I don't even know why. Perhaps it's because I'll be back to work on Monday which scares me and excites me at the same time. I'm looking forward to see my boss and my colleagues who spent the Christmas break in amazing places. I don't know whether there will be time to chat as I'll have to catch up on my work. However, my boss is probably planning a lunch and/or dinner at his wonderful house that looks like a modern museum of anthropology. We'll have plenty of time to chat (and drink, and eat etc.).

We went to see Io, loro e Lara. Perhaps I'm a little biased since I do like Verdone but I think that this movie is a perfect snapshot of the contemporary Italian society. We're going to see Il Riccio this weekend. By the way, the book is great and I highly recommed reading it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I have a small diary

that I used to share with a friend of mine when we were 19 or so. We wrote letters to each other about life, literature and poetry. We were very close for a brief period of time ...then she disappeared from my life due to tough personal issues but I still have our precious journal.

Surprinsingly enough today in a local newspaper I've found an article on her career as a theatre director! She lives abroad and apparently she is very well known and has her own theatre company. I'm so proud of her and I cannot be happier for this creative and inspiring woman.

This is for you, A. You have really changed your life!

We have to take risks. We can only truly understand the miracle of life when we let the unexpected manifest itself.
Every day – together with the sun – God gives us a moment in which it is possible to change everything that makes us unhappy. Every day we try to pretend that we don’t realize that moment, that it doesn’t exist, that today is just the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow. But if you pay attention, you can discover the magic instant.
It may be hiding at the moment when we put the key in the door in the morning, in the silence right after dinner, in the thousand and one things that all seem the same to us. This moment exists – a moment when all the strength of the stars passes through us and lets us work miracles.
Happiness is at times a blessing – but usually it’s a conquest. The magic instant helps us to change, drives us forward to seek our dreams. We shall suffer and go through quite a few difficult moments and face many a disappointment – but this is all transitory and inevitable, and eventually we shall feel proud of the marks left behind by the obstacles. In the future we will be able to look back with pride and faith.
Poor are those who are afraid of running risks. Because maybe they are never disappointed, never disillusioned, never suffer like those who have a dream to pursue. But when they look back – for we always look back – they will hear their heart saying: “What did you do with the miracles that God sowed for your days? What did you do with the talent that your Master entrusted to you? You buried it deep in a grave because you were afraid to lose it. So this is your inheritance: the certainty that you have wasted your life.”
Poor are those who hear these words. For then they will believe in miracles, but the magic instants of life will have already passed.

in “By the river Piedra I sat down and wept” (The Magic Moment)

ps. I know you don't believe in God. I have doubts either but the first part of the above quote is just... you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Last night I had two strange nightmares. I don't recall the details but I'll try to write as much as I can.

First: our wedding. We and the guests gather in an ungly and noise room. I don't know the guests except for my auntie (I haven't seen her for more than 10 years) and Fabio Volo (!) who looks exactly like this. I'm not surprised that he is one of our guests. Everything is ready, we have to go the church but we are -for unknown reasons- very late. We arrive an hour later and I see my partner outside a mall -the church- who doens't tell me why he is walking away from the church. After a while he tells me -without looking into my eyes- the truth: "we are too late, I'm sorry but the priest doesn't want to marry us anymore". I run away taking off my dress and screaming like crazy. My mum is waiting for me in a car. The end. (I wake up, it's 6:15 a.m).

Second: I am with my boss and other people somewhere, it seems a hotel in the countryside. There's a race the next day with horses and hot air balloons. I'm the balloons pilot of my team but I don't understand why we also have a horse. What's the role of the horse? Am I able to pilot a balloon? I recall that I attended a ballon school (which is true indeed) but it was years ago and I have forgotten everything. I ask my boss whether I will be alone in the basket but he is too drunk to answer. I'm getting anxious and I feel I need some rest so I go to bed while the others are still drinking. A girl come with me and we end up fighting in the hotel aisle. I beat her. The end. (I wake up, it's 9:15 a.m).


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Milan and HIV

This letter (in Italian) sheds light on a forgotten issue.

Online resources on HIV will be added soon to my blogroll (both in Italian and in English). I am a volounteer of an Italian NGO for the fight against Aids, this is NOT a forgotten issue to me.

Almodovar Retrospective

I love Almodovar, he is one of my favourite director. I don't want to miss this retrospective (January 6-28). By the way, tonight on sky there's a movie by another director I love -F. Ozpetek- Saturno Contro.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tit for tat

Have you ever seek revenge on someone? I have tasted this desire only once in my life but I haven't taken action (yet!!). It struck me though that for the very first time I 'd contemplated a very negative feeling. I was ready to inflict punishment and I planned how to do it during a sleepless night. After few days I got a very good news and all of a sudden I was over it.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm really over it. I still fantasize about it even though the "punishment" is very mild. I will never take action, I'm not that type of person. However I had to deal with this primitive desire and I didn't like at all.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

(Almost) 4 weeks after

Today my lover is E.M. Forster. Yesterday Thomas Mann... not bad, isn't it? I wish I could read for the rest of the day but we're going to the movies. After 4 weeks at home going out it's like engaging in a demanding adventure. I'm fine, I'm not tired and I don't have pain but I like my house so much and I've reached the stage of almost perfect relaxation. However I don't want to live in a golden cage. After all I'll be back at work in a week and I need a physical and psychological workout plan.
Firstly, while it is true that writing in my own language allows me to express myself better, it's also important to keep challenging my brain before it gets too lazy. I still have difficulties focusing. I think it depends on both the anesthetic and the GnRH agonist which has severe side effects and I still have problems. As for the physical, 4 weeks after the surgery is the right moment to begin walking every single day. I did start few days ago but then it was too cold to stay outside for a long period of time. Besides, I've read that it takes up to six weeks to the abdominal muscles and tissues to heal completely so I can't do too much. I feel as I don't need more time to feel better but it seems as I do need time to get back on track again.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Death in Venice (in Italian)

Nulla esiste di più singolare, di più scabroso, che il rapporto fra persone che si conoscano solo attraverso lo sguardo: ogni giorno, ogni ora s'incontrano, si osservano e nello stesso tempo, costrette per civiltà o per bizzaria personale a insistere nella finzione, serbano un contegno indifferente e staccato, non si salutano nè scambiano parola. Tra loro si forma un fluido d'inquietudine e di curiosità esacerbata, un isterico bisogno, inappagato o innaturalmente represso, di conoscenza e di mutuo scambio, e soprattutto, infine, una sorta di ansioso riguardo: poichè l'uomo ama l'uomo e lo onora finchè non è in grado di giudicarlo; e dall'incompleto conoscersi nasce il desiderio.
Thomas Mann

Sto leggendo in italiano La morte a Venezia e nella mia lingua sento il bisogno di scrivere questo post dedicato alle città, all'amore e all'amicizia. "Ho voglia leggere di una città" mi sono detta. C'è vento forte fuori, non mi va di uscire. Ho cercato tra i numerosi libri di mia madre che non ho ancora letto. Lei adora i classici russi e i capolavori della letteratura inglese. Gli autori tedeschi sono pochi ma ho scovato Thomas Mann tra Goethe e qualcun altro che ora non ricordo.
La morte a Venezia
, oggi vado in laguna.

Nella mia mente si affollano d'un tratto le immagini del film di Visconti: un solo personaggio, in realtà, accarezza i miei pensieri. E' Tadzio, interpretato da un perfetto ragazzo biondo dalla carnagione color avorio. Inizio a leggere e mi viene in mente la mia Venezia, quella del canale della Giudecca, distante dall'affollata e turistica San Marco. Poi i pensieri vanno a ritroso, alla ricerca dei luoghi del 2009. Li associo a conversazioni, a persone che hanno sfiorato magicamente la mia vita. Ricordo Spalato, la colazione con la frutta fresca e una storia di cambiamento interiore che mi è stata raccontata per una strana combinazione del destino. Il mare e la camminata da sola lungo la spiaggia stretta e lunga. Il gelato, il vento e il lusso dell'albergo.

Bucarest. Non è una bella città, c'è solo cemento e in un grande hotel di cemento ci troviamo. Beviamo vino e cerchiamo di conoscerci un po' fino a quando i destini -ancora una volta- si incrociano indissolubilmente. Quasi non ci crediamo. Le nostre vite sono legate a filo doppio e restiamo a parlare fino al mattino.

E ogni giorno, ogni viaggio, regalo la mia anima a chi la sa osservare.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Message in a bottle

Just a little note to say that we did have a lovely evening yesterday night. However, today I miss my American friend who has just moved to another state. He is so balanced, I wish I could have a chat with him right now. I miss my Polish friend as well: I'd love to see her ASAP and drink a glass of wine as we did few months ago laughing and crying for our common "fate". I miss these two so much. I don't know if they are aware of the role they have played in my life.

I had a glass of spumante before dinner. I was alone in the kitchen and I thought about you.