On Italy

Italy, home of the Vatican, is 90 percent Catholic, but the dominate religion is life--motor scooters, soccer, fashion, girl-watching, boy-watching, good coffee, good wine, and il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).
-from Rick Steves' Italy 2007

Photo Credit: Tom "andertho", from Flickr

On to Rome!

A week from now, I will be in Rome with my darling Ashley.
How I'm supposed to do anything but pack and plan between now and then is beyond my comprehension.

In other exciting [wedding] news: Rachel bought a wedding dress. I'm finally onto editing Jess's wedding photos, so keep an eye out on my flickr stream for those.

On today

This morning, I got an email confirming that we can extend our stay at the awesome hotel I found for Ashley and I in Rome. At camp, all my campers did a great job and got along (even the instigators!). We did a high element on the ropes course, and everyone was really supportive. I even did it, twice, and not once did I fall! I bonded with some of my coworkers, and after the kids left we went out for drinks. A friend called. When I got home, I had a letter from my BC peer advisor and a new pair of shoes I'd ordered online waiting for me. Also, an email from Rachel (there is a date for her wedding!). Right now I'm wearing the new shoes (only on mine, that yellow stripe is PINK!). And no pants. I'm going to go take a shower, and do some laundry, and read (non-fiction!).

It's been a good day, guys.

On Having Babies, People!

Guess what I heard on NPR: People in the western world aren't having enough babies!
In order to maintain a population the birthrate needs to be 2.1 kids per a family, that's two to replace each parent, and 0.1 to replace children who, sadly, don't make it. But actually, we're only having 1.5 babies per a family! That makes me sad to hear, because it means there are a whole lot of only children. Also, these days the death rate is higher than the birthrate.

There are some really interesting reasons for it, too. For instance: children in school are taught that humans are ruining the world, so when they grow up they don't want to be making more.

I didn't get to hear the whole thing, but seriously people! Interesting!

Photo credit: Superhero Andrea Scher (see "inspiration" link at the right)

I love beginnings:
The opening credits of television shows and the menu sequences of DVDs. The first page of a book. A new haircut. A new venture. A new pen. A new friendship. Gifts, just before the lid of the box opens, regardless of whether I'm giving or recieving. I love first impressions, they're my favorite kind. I really love mornings, especially if I'm the first one up. I even sort of love Mondays. Sort of.

On "Hot Sauce"

I'm sorry to Ashley about my last post. I see how it could be sad, if you think it's really a dog writing it. But remember, Darling, it is not a dog writing. It is a poet, who wondered the same thing I wonder, and probably feels pretty bad about having to put his dog down.

In order to lighten the air, I will tell the story of M: a thirteen-year-old autistic boy who used to be in my group at camp. He was the most difficult, and the most gratifying of the campers.
He uses rocks as puppets. They have names, and if you ask him a question he'll protest: "Don't ask me! Ask Shelly!" Then you ask the rock.
He loves meatball subs. He also loves to swim - It's next to impossible to get him out of the water.
He thinks it's hysterical when we sing and dance to the radio on the bus. He dances too, all flailing elbows and rythmic rocking, punctuated by claps.
When he wants your attention, he sticks his chin out and half closes his seafoam green eyes, and he'll call you the most ridiculous names. I have been: Molly-head. Molly-girl-face. Moose. Princess. Panacake man. And (my personal favorite!) Hot Sauce.

On a Possible Change

So, I'm considering a blog revamp. Here's what it would look like:

Exactly the same!
Except with more posts. And they would be shorter. They would be just a little something that is on my mind, or a quote or poem that has been rolling around in my head. A chance to share what I love, what I hope for, an anecdote from my day. Also! Then I could share more photos!

Here's an example:
Sometimes when Picco's being calm with me I scratch him and he sort of half-closes his eyes. It's a look of either pleasure or annoyance. And I wish he could talk to me so he could say "Yes! Right there!" or "Geez, lady, lay off it, would you?"
And then the other day I came upon this poem, by Billy Collins. It is my fear, realized.

The Revenant

I am the dog you put to sleep,
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you--not one bit.

When I liked your face,
I thought of biting off your nose.
When I watched you toweling yourself dry,
I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.

I resented the way you moved,
your lack of animal grace,
the way you would sit in a chair to eat,
a napkin in your lap, knife in your hand.

I would have run away,
but I was too weak, a trick you taught me
while I was learning to sit and heel,
and--greatest of insults--shake hands without a hand.

I admit the sight of the leash
would excite me
but only because it meant I was about
to smell things you had never touched.

You do not want to believe this,
but I have no reason to lie.
I hated the car, the rubber toys,
disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives.

The jingling of my tags drove me mad.
You always scratched me in the wrong place.
All I ever wanted from you
was food and fresh water in my metal bowls.

While you slept, I watched you breathe
as the moon rose in the sky.
It took all my strength
not to raise my head and howl.

Now I am free of the collar,
the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater,
the absurdity of your lawn,
and that is all you need to know about this place

except what you already supposed
and are glad it did not happen sooner--
that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry, the cats and all the other in prose.


So now I'm the sort of person who puts poems on the internet. Crap.
But really. Tell me what you think.

On Possible Topics

Things I've been considering writing about:
Old Friends (and how they're great)
Sex (and the lack thereof)
My Upcoming Birthday (and my asymptotic approach to adulthood)
How My Job Is Kicking My Ass (and how my new nickname is "Hot Sauce")