Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Due to tight deadlines this blog won't be updated for at least a week. It is unlikely that I'll have time to comment my favourite blogs and I apologize in advance. I'll be back... I only have to meet these deadlines first.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A touch deprived society?

Sometimes I feel the urge to hug and kiss my colleagues but I refrain from showing affection. There is a sort of unwritten rule or etiquette: if love is not involved it’s better to avoid physical contact, especially at the work place. Cheek kissing is fine, it’s our greeting habit but I would hug them more if it wasn’t considered inappropriate which I don’t think it is even in professional settings. We all are approximately the same age and we are not sexually interested in each other but still there are physical boundaries that I don’t fully understand. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to establish physical boundaries in relationships and I don’t necessarily want to be touched and hugged all the time. However, I think that my country is increasingly becoming a touch deprived society and I’m wondering what has led us to this. I’m aware this could be seen as a rough generalization but I think that “showing affection” has become so sexualized that even very warm people like Italians refrain from conveying warmth.  It is sad though because it would be much easier to be open and clear instead of avoiding contact because it may be not appropriate.

Through the sexual objectification of women in Italy and elsewhere friendliness is sometimes seen as an interest that goes far beyond friendship. “I don’t hug because I’m not sexually interested in you” is, I think, a common approach. However, physical manifestations of empathy are very important to reduce stress for instance and chimps know it better us. 

Body contact is so sexualized that we tend to avoid it and I miss it! I would feel more comfortable if I could hug my male colleagues more often instead of thinking that I shouldn’t because I don’t want to sleep with them.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A weekend in the Langhe II

So we went to this area called Langhe which is wonderful. It's a real must for wine, food and nature. Although it's not as popular as Tuscany, I highly recommed to go for two or three days and enjoy every single thing in this amazing sub region. 

We decided to celebrate our anniversay here and although a bit expensive it's definitely worth it if you're looking for romaticism, silence and beauty. Homemade breakfast was delicious, we took our time to taste both the cake and the cheese! They only have three rooms (one is a suite) so make sure to reserve in advance. The restaurant was close though and we were advised to go to Alba and have dinner here. The food was amazing but the wine was even better (we had a good bottle and we finished it!).

The weather was good and it was so beautiful to see the vineyards under the snow. If you go there, don't miss La Morra for the landscape, Alba, the old village of Neive, the route from Neive to the famous Barolo and Bararesco, Pollenzo and Cherasco. Of course there is more to see but these are  the villages we visited, they are all unique and lovely. It's better to go off season (namely not during the truffles season October-November) and to buy wine and cheese in this area. A bottle of Barolo is almost mandatory ;)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vineyards under snow (Langhe, Piedmont)

A weekend in the Langhe

Last weekend we went here and it was GREAT. I'll write more tomorrow. If you're planning a romantic weekend in Italy and you like wine, food and nature this is the right place to go.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I apologize

but it's been a hectic week so far. I don't even have time to check my email... Sorry about that, I'll back as soon as my job is less stressful.

Friday, February 5, 2010


The silence of snow, thought the man sitting just behind the bus driver. If this were the beginning of a poem, he would have called the thing he felt inside him the silence of the snow.
O. Pamuk

That's what I call the thing I feel inside today too. Silence after the yesterday's storm. I only have to catch up with my sleep now and I also have to let the snow wash my brain, my emotions and my dreams. I'll be brand new, I promise.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


This is NOT acceptable unless we consider despeaking (a surgery to quiet noisy humans) ok.

Hormons and iphone babies

I'm probably experiencing hormonal imbalance and it's not easy to deal with the sympthoms. I'd thought that I was going to be fine after the last Lupron shot but this is not the case and I guess it's nothing new nor surprising. Basically while during the therapy my estrogen levels were reduced and I didn't have my period for few months, now the levels should get back to normal and I should have the return of the ovulatory cycle. Delays are common and I don't really care about it but the fact that estrogen is produced again after 4 months has obviously an impact on me. I felt like shit during Lupron, I still have unpleasant side effects and in addiction to them I have other sympthoms due to the estrogen rise: mood swings, fatigue and lack of concentration.

Usually doctors don't bother to explain what happens when you're on a GnRH agonist (such as Lupron which is called Enantone in Europe if I'm not wrong) and I had to figure out on my own what the hell was going on with my body and my mind. After the treatment and in my case the surgery, everything is supposed to get back to normal and it seems as though no further explanations are needed. However the induction of menopause first and the rise of the estrogen levels then  have been pretty tough and I wish I had been given more information. 

I don't get why doctors often assume that patients cannot fully comprehend medical information. Unfortunatelly I'm not House's assitant (but I have seen it. Does it count?!) and I don't have a scientific background in biology or chemistry but it's MY f**** body and I'm not an idiot (am I?). I do have the right to know what is a gonadotropin releasing hormone analog and what exactely does to my body and I also have the right to know that during and after the treatment I could have side effects for a long time. 

Everything I know -or I don't know- is thanks to the Internet. I haven't research on Yaz yet - the birth control I have been prescribed-  but I guess I have to start pretty soon as the only thing my doctor told me was: "you might have problems with it, if that is the case give me a call" and then she explained me how to use it. 

Now, if I rely on the Internet  for medical information I should probably consider to buy an iphone and rely on MeFertil when I'll try to get pregnant. Perhaps we'll have an iphone baby too, homebirth as we can use skype, a webcam and wikipedia to make sure that everything is doing well.

"... push push and push again... no wait, according to this site you are still in the first stage of labor! Don't push  and let me see if I can find a video on youtube"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I did my first volounteer experience for an NGO. I don't want to go into details here because we deal with very delicate issues. Let me just briefly say that the theory was all in my head  (I attended a course last year) but after 10 minutes I realized that the reality of things is so different! Don't get me wrong, I loved it and I think I did the right choice: I can do it but I need time to learn and learn and... learn. Usually it takes 4 months to volounteer for them without the support of other skilled people who have been working there for years. The learning process is quite long and I fully understand why now.

I definitely liked it and I'm looking forward to my second experience scheduled for next week. You  know what is weird, though? I am a sociologist but this was the very first time I felt I was actually dealing with "society!. As a volounteer, I'll have to come up with answers in the near future, not only "approaches" to have a better overview of the problem.