Friday, December 19, 2008

My psycho family, Xmas

Tonight I’m going back to Italy for a little Christmas vacation! Yay!
Yeah, well, a little less yay, since apparently the Panther and Bro’s wife have put on a huge fight yesterday. The Panther actually spent one hour crying over the phone with me yesterday night.
The whole thing is about my nephew, a cute kid aged 2 everyone is in love with. Of course the kid can be a tornado when he’s playing, but he’s really no brat, and he’s not spoiled.
Recently, kiddo decided he no longer wants to live with his parents and his big sis, instead, he wants to stay with his grandparents (aka, my parents, the Panther and the Sponsor). He actually spends there a lot of time, because my sis in law finds it convenient to drop him all day long at the Panther’s, but even I have to admit that the Panther does NOT spoil him. Like, she won’t let him have snacks between meals, he’ll have to eat what she has cooked for him, and very very little telly is allowed (usually no more than half an hour a week, and even then she checks out the cartoons he’s watching).
I explained this, because we all were a little puzzled when he started showing that he did not want to stay at his parents’ place anymore. And then two days ago the Panther figured out the reason. Apparently she and the Sponsor had stopped by to pick up Sis in law and head to a reception together, and as soon as little kiddo pouted a little saying he wanted to come as well instead of going to bed (it was 9 o’ clock sharp), she started beating the crap out of him and then she locked him in the storage room in the dark.

Now I sure believe that kids do need rules, but this? This is total BULLSHIT!
Anyway, on the next day (yesterday) Sis in law called the Panther telling her she was bored and asking if she could pay a visit. The Panther (needless to say she was furious) told her no, so Sis in law asked her what was up and the Panther told (according to her) all she thinks about her. Which is no nice thing.

So I don’t really want to butt in to this thing, but I’ll sure keep an eye on how things are between kiddo and his mom over the next days, because I do care for him a lot…

On better news, tons of snow came down on the Alps, and on Monday I’m taking the Sponsor to ski, just the two of us, and I’m soooo looking forward to it!!!

Well, that will probably be the last post of the year (unless I get around to post on December 31st), so have a VERY MERRY XMAS and a haooy new year everyone!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Kitchen and I


When I first read Banana Yoshimoto’s novel «Kitchen» I still wasn’t that much into cooking and baking. What I mean is I wouldn’t mind preparing dinner when the Panther was too busy, but I did not either spend any time on food blogs or watching Jamie Oliver shows. (By the way, we’re talking about the second half of the 90s, so Jamie himself was about 20 and probably not yet famous. About the blogs, I’m not even sure they existed already, but you get what I mean right?).
“Kitchen”, however, really struck me, and I kept re-reading it over the years. It is true that when you live in the kitchen, you really know the heart of the family.

One of the common places about Italian people is that we’re all about food. It is not really true, but there are some things that often strike people from English-speaking countries (I know there are exceptions). I grew up without ever eating take-away or delivery food. Or anything bought ready to eat, for that matter. Almost every single day of my life I ahd a dinner (and often a lunch) that either I or someone else at home (mainly the Panther) had cooked. Even now I have a very hard time explaining KS that we are not going to order a pizza or take away, and that he is instead going to help me peel that three potatoes I’m tossing in our minestrone. What I’m trying to say is that somehow I find inacceptable (for myself) not to cook something for dinner. Mind you, I don’t think the others should cook: it’s just that I cannot avoid it.

My first job in a kitchen was in a pizza place in the UK, probably in 1999 (but it may be 1998), and I remember it a something completely crazy and out of control: the place was run by a bunch of Italian guys who were completely crazy (and totally keen on partying until 6AM), andtwisting pizza dough over your head while screaming was not only acceptable, but also encouraged.
While in business school, I lived for a while (almost one year, but I would go home on weekends) at my boyfriend’s parents place. The unspoken agreement was that, since I was the one who came home earlier, I would cook dinner. At this time I started taking an interest in baking, although I was totally unskilled (as at today, I still find it hard to cook in someone else’s kitchen).

Nowadays, Jamie Oliver is my celebrity crush. Every evening I cook dinner for KS and I, and we have guests for dinner at least once a week (but most of the time more often that that). I even bring over a packed lunch at work, and since I’m kind of always trying to shake off a few pounds, most of the time it’s minestrone or some other kind of homemade soup I bring along.
Although I’m vegetarian, I cook meat and fish for KS and for our guests. What I like most is baking. Baking warms up the house in winter, it doesn’t impregnate the kitchen with the smell of food as much as cooking on the stove, and it gives such wonderful looks to the food!!
I am however, waaay better at preparing appetizers and main course, real food I mean, than cakes and desserts. Yet, in September, I had decided I wanted to bake a special birthday cake for my beloved Seb, who happens to be a great rugby fun. This is what I managed to do…


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

December thoughts

Sooooooooooo
I know, long time no posts, nothing really funny happened though, I’ll try to recap a few things.

As I told you, on November 10 I drove to Milan to make final arrangements about the job there, and the partner told me “We’ll email you a contract over the week”.
I waited, waited, waited, then gave his assistant a call, waited some more, and finally emailed him. I guess I need to get back in track with the Italian ways: “within the week” in Italian usually means in a month or maybe more.
So this morning I finalmly got a mail from the Italian partner promising he’ll send me the contract in a few days. I’ll be happy when I’ll have it in my hands, but it’s better than nothing I guess. I should begin working there in the beginning of March, so I plan to move in the end of February. Of course, there’ll be the horrible apartment hunting thing to do, but I don’t want to think about it now.

On better news, KS and I are going to London in 10 days to see my friend Gaia and her boyfriend Mark, and I’m sooo looking forward to it! Can you believe I have lived in the UK for almost 2 years and I have never been in London???!!
On even better news, KS and I are visiting his sister in La Réunion (the island next to Madagascar) in February… thanks to our respective jobs (and to my trips to Italy at the time the Panther was ill) we both have enough points with Air France to flight for free, and since we’ll be staying at KS sis it will really cost us very little money… I’m so excited about taking a break in the sun before moving!!

As most of you I’m trying to figure out Xmas presents, I already got those for the Bro’s kids (paymobil zoo and a drawing board), the Panther (Nike running shoes personalized, present I’m buying together with the Sponsor), a CD player for the Sponsor car (together with the Panther) and KS (ski trousers).
I have something in mind for the Bro, but I need to get it, and I still have no clue for the Granparents…

As you have probably heard about the situation in Thailand, for once I am not overworried about Andrea The Hunter: incredible as it is, he has kept in touch since the beginning of the protest, so I know he’s fine and I’m talking to him almost every day. The whole protest has not prevented him to party like crazy… Which means he’s fine…

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Coming around again

November 11 is a national holiday in France (commemoration of the end of World War 1), and in accordance with French traditions, KS and I took a looooong 4 days weekend.
We drove to Italy, in order to see my parents, and I also had a meeting with the partner in charge of HR in the Milan office.
So on Monday morning I dressed up a lot (black suit, 4 inch suede boots and my fave white coat with a white fur neck) and I drove to Milan.
(Why did I drive? Because both trains AND local trasports, tube, everything was on strike. Note to self: you will endure this A LOT once in Milan)
The meeting went GREAT. The partner was very friendly, and he’s sending me the agreement to sign over the week. I still don’t know the exact amount I’ll be gaining, but we talked briefly about it and my hopes are high. I’ll start there on March 2, 2009.
A part from that the weekend was pretty uneventful. We played games, went for walks, enjoyed a bit the Bro’s kids, talked a lot with the Parents. The Sponsor has turned out to have a chronic illness affecting his bones that lets him in ache, but he’s on meds and he feels better (still, he’s taking so much cortisone, if I took all that cortisone I would probably fly instead of run).

Something completely different and unexpected happens… It needs a bit of flashback to be explained.
Since I was a little kid (6 years old or so) I had a very close friend who also was the son of a friend of the Panther, we’ll call him Emi. Growing up we spent a lot of time together, and I missed him a lot when he left for one year for the USA, when we were 17. He was a total geek, but an adorable one, great at telling stories (and making up stories also!), great to exchange books and movies and stuff. Anyway, in high school I had a best friend who was a half Polish half Italian chick, and to make long story short, one day I introduced them to each other, since I thought they had things in common. They got together and I was glad about it, we would do a lot of things together and so on.
When we left for college, Polish Chick and I soon got into a HUGE fight, and for weeks I could not understand why. Then one day on the train I met Emi, and he was as friendly as usual, so we chatted and I avoided talking about Polish Chick, figuring out it was an issue between her and I and it would have been unfair to have him take a position. This until he got a call from her: as soon as he mentioned we met on the train, she hung up on him. He made a face and explained me that Polish Chick was deadly jealous of me.
WTF??? Emi and I never even held hands!!!! And I was so NOT into him, I mean, he’s totally not my kind and they had been together for 2 years or so! Plus, if I had been attracted to him in first place, I wouldn’t have introduced the two of them the way I did!

Anyway, Emi tried to be nice, but soon enough I lost touch with him as well, because what’s the point in being friend with someone who is not even allowed to wave you hello if you cross in the street? I still had news from time to time of the two of them, by Emi’s mother who would tell the Panther, but that’s it. Also, at the time it really hurt losing both my best friends at once, and I really felt lonely for a while (until I made friends with Andrea The Hunter, at least). Even once the pain was over, I always regretted those two friends who were not cool and to whom I could talk about geek things like fantasy books or weird movies, with whom I could dream of adventures for a whole afternoon in an abandoned garden…


Almost seven years have gone since the fight, and a couple of days ago, he asked me as a friend on Facebook. A bit weirded out, I immediately checked his status: single. He had got on Facebook 3 days before, and I was his 5th friend.
So to resume things, we were best friends for 13 years, then his girlfriend forbid him to talk to me for almost seven years, and as soon as they split (because apparently they just broke up) he contacts me. Is it me or this whole thing is a little weird? Makes me thing of the Guns’n’Roses song:
“But it’s been 14 years of silence, it’s been 14 years of pain; it’s been 14 years that are gone forever and I’ll never have again!!”

The worst thing is that I worry about her. Over the years I heard through the grapevine a lot of things: that they didn’t see friends anymore ‘cause she was jealous of everyone, that she totally depended on him. Even worse, I know that her parents fled the country because they were so in debt they had everything taken away, since they both had stopped working, and apparently they disappeared somewhere in Eastern Europe and even her did not have any more news from them.

This people dumped me seven years ago, erasing years spent together just with a few words, telling me they did not need me, and here I am worrying about them…

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Mama I'm coming home

I’ve been waiting to find a way to write this for almost a week. But I did’t come up with anything good, so I guess I’ll just have to jottle it down someway.

The Milan office hired me.

*me doing happy dance*
I’m going down there on Monday to sign a few papers (and to discuss benefits), but it’s done and confirmed, I’ll start there in March.
I am really glad, because lately my office SUCKS big big time, and I really wanna drag my sorry ass out of here…
The Parents were so happy that the Panther went almost histerycal. Then they asked me 10 millions questions (like which part of the city are you going to live in, when are you going to hunt for apartments, what are you going to keep of all the stuff you have in France, blah, blah, blah). Then they went histerycal again.
And honestly? With the Sponsor not going well and all these things going on, the mail of confirmation couldn’t arrive in a better moment!
KS was happy for me, we had of course discussed the thing before I officially applied for Milan, so it didn’t come out of the blue. The plan is that he should move also two or three months after me, to join me, but of course he’ll need to find a job. However, it is likely that he will manage to be transferred within his company (they have a desk in Milan as well), so hopefully everything will go well.

The Parents also promised that they will come over with a truck in order to help me collecting my things and move (or if they don’t feel well enough they’ll have the brothers do it).
I don’t have a lot of rubbish, but my stuff can be described as:
BOOKS. This is the main part of it. I spend thousands (literally) of bucks every year in books, I really read a lot. So, in three years spent here, I have collected A LOT of books, and I have no intention of throwing them away.
PLANTS and FLOWERS. I have a lot of them and love them, and I have no intention to leave them behind (also because KS is NOT reliable when it comes to taking care of plants). Of course a few of them will be offered to friends, but I really want to bring along the biggest and most expensive apartment plants, because anyway I would need to buy new ones in Milan (I hate living in the city, since I’m a country girl I need some green in the house).
CLOTHES. I don’t have tons of them though. And I’m seriously going to take old things to charity and maybe sell a few things on e-bay.
COOKING STUFF. I bake and cook all the time. You may know that I dream about having a catering or a restaurant one day. So I cannot leave this stuff behind, or I’d need to rebuy it. So I’ll have to move a LOT of baking pans and moulds, my cupcake carrier, my kitchen aid,…

Well enough for today!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where are we going?

Of course I’m not the first one to discover a crisis is going on, that worldwide banks experience difficulties and so on.
In order to explain the situation, I need to write a note mainly for North Amercian readers, I guess.
In most of Europe, and definetly in France and Italy, you cannot simply “lose your job”. Once you’re past the junior stage, you have a “permanent” contract, and unless you do something very serious, they can’t fire you. I know Americas usually find this weird, but if you see it from the worker side, this is absolutly great.

Anyway, even though the crisis has fully hit down here, we still thought that we would have work to do, probably because my tream is still recovering from the last job and the 7 weeks spent on work leave.
Apparently we were wrong. We all knew that corporate companies would stop M&A deals for a while, but we were confident that Private Equities would instead take advantage of the situation. This would have given us enough work for the following 5 or 6 months.
Instead, today the partner told us that he has already called most of our PE clients, and they are all out of cash, so they don’t consider any deal at the moment. Since the banks are not making any loan, this means no work for the next few months. UGH.
The partner pretty told us that if some of us should decide to quit the Company, it would be good.

Yeah, great, only who the hell does he think would hire us???

So right now most of my coworkers are wondering what will happen to us. Some actually say that withing 6 months or 1 year our job will disappear, at least in continental Europe.
I don’t think it’s so bad, but who knows really?

On my side, I’m waiting for some news from the Milan office, and meanwhile I managed to have myself staffed on a mission for the Paris office in November. And I really hope this shows some people from my office, that while they have nothing to do, the Paris office WANTS ME TO WORK. Just so that we can make things clear about whose work is considered valuable.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Step 1: done!

Yesterday I finally found the guts to tell the big big boss I want to be transferred to the Milan office. Given the world economy situation, he was pretty cool about it, confiding me that he would surely not mind if someone else would leave as well, since (according to him) we’ll have no business going on for the next few months.
Let me explain that this is pure hypocrisy: my office makes TONS of money. I myself invoice 350 Euros per hour I work to our clients. Out of these, less than 20 get to my pockets. The difference? Well, let’s just say that the big big boss bought a castle last year and renewed it.
So I pretty hate when he complains about the economy, and it’s not about me, because let’s be serious, I do pretty well, okay I work hard but I have no reasons to complain. But in this part of Europe a recent study proved that over 10% of the population lives in poverty, meaning they do not have access to basic services (hospitals, food and a roof over their head). So I hate this hypocrisy.

Anyway…

The only objection the big big boss opposed is that, given the situation, the Milan office may not want to hire at all. Which of course is my main issue about the whole job thing, but you cannot know if you don’t give it a try, right?

So last spring, when I went to Milan to work with people of that office for a week or so, I hinted that I would eventually like to join them on permanent basis. Of course, since it was Milan and I wanted to make good impressions, I had worked my fingers to the bone, as well as dressed up in my best tailleurs during the whole week, and I had even invested in hairdresser.
So at the time, when I mentioned I would eventually like to move to their office, I had some pretty positive answers.
So I called the senior manager I had spoke to, which I’ll refer to as O’Frog, because his family name means frog and due to his red hair, people often refer to him as the Irish.

So I dialled O’Frog’s number and introduced myself this way:

“Hello O’Frog, this is DDgirl from the French office…” (and I was going to ask “Do you remember me?)
His answer “DDgirl! So nice to hear from you!! So did you finally decide to join us?”

In my opinion, this is a good start isn’t it??
We discussed a little, of course the economy may be an issue, but he seemed positive to me and told me he will get in touch with me soon.

So hopefully, fuck my boss, I’ll be out of here in a few months! Yay!!!

PS: A hairdresser appointment is ALWAYS a good investment!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Something is starting to fall in its place

So, as you all know, each time I go to see my parents (which is definitely not often enough..), the leaving is pretty devastating.

A song I really like, half in French and half in English keeps running in my head in these days… I actually rearranged the lyrics:

I walk into the streets, God in my pocket
I walk in the big city, and it’s cold
The Earth is my friend, and sometimes I sleep on it
And I think about my country, which was so small

Farewell my small country, farewell my family
Farewell … Italy! Farewell my lake!

I remember my country, Down Memory Lane
The wind is my best friend: it alays blows for me
Neons in the distance dear as daylight
Sometimes I think that I'm not of this world
I remember this song

Oh farewell my country, my Mediterranean land
Oh farewell Italy, the sun I just can see

I remember the streets, and the nights in Milan
And I’m always a foreigner, at the train station
The wind would blow on me, as far as he could
And I know this sound

Farewell my small country, farewell my family
Farewell … Italy! Farewell my lake!
The sun I just can’t see


Well, to make story short, I finally took matters into my hands and spoke about my leaving to KS over the weekend.
He didn’t take it very well, but not very bad either. I the end we agreed that I’ll try to make arrangements to move in March.
Now if I don’t sound super excited about it is because I still have to talk the company into transferring me to the Milan office, and due to the crisis, this may be harder than expected. But somehow I’ll deal.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Smoke and snow

I’m still working in the middle of nowhere, and office bookmaker forecast say we’ll stay here for another month. Ouch.

This morning I got up at 6h30 (as I do here at the hotel) to running. Now I always have a hard time running this early in the morning, but I don’t really have the chose as long as I’m staying in this place. The main problem is that days are getting shorter, and today I already had difficulties in seeing my path, because well, at 7AM it’s still night and I run on a trail in the country (I even spotted a fox two weeks ago!)

Today it was even colder than usually (note to self: next week don’t forget bringing a long sleeve top), but while running uphill it was still so dark I didn’t notice what became obvious after breakfast: 200 meters higher on the hills, it has bee snowing all night long.
Now it’s afternoon and the landscape is still pretty much covered in snow. And in case you were wondering, no, this is not normal around here on October 3.

Anyway, in order to shake up the daily routine of the factory I’m staying at, today a fire exercise took place. Which would have been normal, except for here they spread real smoke EVERYWHERE in the building. Now I stink and I’m coughing and afraid my asthma may settle in. Yay!!

I really need to focus on the fact that tonight I’m going clubbing…


PS: I finally read the first Twighlight book, and well, I'm totally a sucker, but I CAN4T WAIT TO RECEIVE BOOK 2!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

If God will send his angels...

Things have been busy and complicated, lately…

Ten days ago or so, I called home and the Panther wasn’t there, so I got to talk to the Sponsor who spoke “freely” (he never talks about his health problems with the Panther, since he doesn’t want to worry her). This was great, but it really scared me: after a few minutes he started crying on the phone!! And this is so unlike him I got really really worried.
The thing is, in addition to his health problems, he works way to much and he’s really too tired to keep up with things.
The Sponsor is a cardiologist, and the problem is that he cannot manage to refuse to help anyone who is sick and reaches for him. Which is a great thing, but now, after 9 month of treatment which are giving him a lot of side effects, is tiring him.
Luckily a managed to go home on the next weekend and cheer him up a little, but I’m still worried about him.

Last weekend we celebrated KS weekend, and we had 15 people over for Saturday night (8 staying for the whole weekend), and the party itself went great. I had baked a beautiful cake (I’ll try to post a pic later this week) and prepared lots of food and booze, and everyone seemed happy.
However, KS and I had a MAJOR argument.
After the party we went out and headed to a local pub known for dancing on tables and on the bar. Since getting in can be difficult, we split into small groups and I got in first with Maria and another friend. A song I really like was playing, lots of people were dancing, and I immediately climbed on the bar and started dancing, while watching at the door at the same time, in order to spot the others as soon as they got in and wave at them.
2 or 3 minutes later (I’m sure it was no more than that, because the same song was still playing) KS got in and gestured at me to get down to the floor. I did so carefully, in order not to fall, and as soon as I was stood next to him he shouted at me (I didn’t get a word though, since the music was loud) and then pushed me against the door. Only, he pushed me real hard, and I almost lost my balance, and then he grabbed my arm (and I had bruises on the next day).

Now, I’ve been taught NEVER to let a man raise his hands on me, and he really scared me. Add a little drunkenness, the fact I was tired and everything, and I burst in tears. Instead of excusing himself, KS started arguing with me, because apparently the others did not manage to get in to the club and I made everyone wait (but I know for sure I didn’t stay in for more than 4-5 minutes).
But the thing is that I felt humiliated and pushed and I got scared, and so I broke down and we made a scene in front of everyone.
In the end he asked forgiveness and promised he won’t ever do it again, but he still made me feel guilty for making a scene. We tried two more clubs but they were too busy to get in, so we ended up going back to our place and I went straight to bed. The rest of the weekend was okay, but…

Add to all this that I’ve been working 12 to 15 hours every day for the whole month (and it’s not going to change for at least 2-3 weeks), and most of the time I’m working 2 hours drive from the city. This is not living, it’s surviving.

And if God will send his angels, I could use them here right now...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Someone is coming home..

Let’s face it: I’m not really working. I keep scrolling through internet sites of recipes, keeping my excel spreadsheet open in case anyone approached my computer.
So, I thought I may as well update my blog, that lately lacks of new posts.

The thing is, although I’m too tired to be efficient today, I’ve been working very hard lately. I have started a new mission at work, for a client that, although not far away, is not exactly next door, requiring almost two hours to go there (plus the go back). So I’ve been away most of the time.
Furthermore, I’m training pretty hard (I try to run 6 miles at least 4-5 times a week, 10KM), and a few days ago I decided to go back to a strictly fruits and vegetables diet (all cereals and potatoes are banned).
Add this to the usual 11 hours working days, and you may guess how tired I am when I go back home at night.
KS birthday is coming up soon, and we’re hosting a big party, as usual. Plus, since we have a lot of friends coming from far, we’ll have 8 people sleeping at our apartment for the whole weekend (27 September). I still have to figure out where I’ll put all of them, and whether I have or not enough plaids, comfys and so on. We’ll see. I’m trying to have a Friday off for the occasion, in order to prepare food, have my hair cut and so on before everyone arrives, but I’m still not sure if I’ll manage to skip work or not. Ugh.

On the family front, I have some updates, although I haven’t been back in Italy since August 17 (ouch).
Crea, my eldest bro, has been dumped by his girlfriend. A little resume of the story: they met when Crea was working over the summer at a diving school when he had just finished grad school. Shortly after, she convinced him to move to Florence (far from where we’re from), so he did not pursue a career in his field (he’s a marine biologist), chose a boring job and left his family all to stay with her. She and I never went along well, mainly because she is jealous
Now in August, Crea lost his job, because his company went for bankruptcy. At the same time, the bitch dumped him. Which could be acceptable, since I can understand that relationships do sometimes end. But what makes me hate her is that she told him that over the 4 years they have been together, she has never been in love with him, but she wanted to have someone beside her because of her family issues (her bro is a psycho, lives in a psycho hospital).
Now Crea is such a great person, always generous, friendly and open hearted, never mean, and he really did not deserve something like this.

The good thing in this whole shitty situation is that he will most likely move back at the lake, so he’ll be close to the family, and I’ll get to see him much more!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer is almost over

Ladiiiiieees and gentlemen !!
DDgirl is back !!!

Okay, I didn’t post for a while, as you all know I’ve been in Italy until August 17 to see the Parents, and then I was too lazy…
While on vacation, I took KS hiking the Mont Rose, 4.554mt AND his first 4K!!! It was actually his birthday present, and although it’s been a bit tough for him, he was really happy afterwards. We also spent a few days together by the lake, with my Parents, and then he left to go hiking for a few days with his dad, while I spent one more week with my Parents, doing a LOT of sport, relaxing a bit and enjoying my annual gala dinner of August 15.

Sadly, I’ve been back to work for one week already…

But, last weekend, it was KS’ dad 50th birthday party.
On Friday night we drove to their place (in southern France, about one hour and a half from our home). I had baked A LOT of cakecups on Thursday, and although it was tough to pack them for the journey, I managed to deliver them to KS mother all intact!!!
On Saturday we just hanged out all day by the swimming pool, playing water games, volley, eating, drinking and so on. By Saturday evening there were 40 people there, and we had roasted a pig on a fire in the backyard.
Side note: as you may or may not no, I don’t eat any meat or fish, but I don’t have big problems cooking it. However, it really annoys me when people spend half an hour crying out “Look at that poooooor piggy, his nose is sooo cute” and then when I serve it on their plate eat like it was their last meal. Either you don’t eat meat, either you shut up, but please do not give me all that hypocrisy! (the best thing is shut up anyway and let eat those who want to. In the end, KS’ brother in law and I were the ones who had to cut the meat in pieces when it was cooked, since no one else had the gut to do it!! I mean how stupid is that?

Oh, and there was also an embarrassing moment when KS uncle (married to his father sister) approached me commenting my bikini and then grabbed my ass. I tried not to make a scene, but cried out “Hey KS, your uncle is touching my ass and you just stand and watch?” Everyone laughed and the stupid asshole did not dare to approach anymore, so I guess I acted right (I really did not want to make a scene, but he needed to be put in his place!!)

Okay that’s all for now!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

PMSing

I'm really in the blue, I hope it's because I'm totally on PMS.



KS is on vacation with friends, at the end of the week he's coming back and we're both heading to Italy, where he's staying one week and I'm staying two weeks.



Work is boring lately, plus although I had a good increase (+15%) I had less than half of the bonus I was expecting, and this is really depressing considering the times I have been working over 1é hours per day this year.

I mean, once I have paid the tax in September, my bonus will be gone, so it feels more like a joke than like a remuneration for my efforts.



Even worse, I have the impression that no matter what I'll do, I'll be in need of dieting and training for the rest of my life, and it makes me feel awful.





I really have no desire of going out with my friends who would surely complain about their ex boyfriends. But at night, I realize that I haven't done a single thing I have enjoied during the day, literaly I spend my time working, running and thinking about food I must not eat. Reading a good book or watching a good movie (I do both before sleeping) IS NOT ENOUGH to make me happy right now.

The weather is grey, wet and hot, maybe I need the storm to break, and my period to come.

Or maybe I need a new life

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

60 things (stolen from Shelly and PCS)

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
Mmm I walk… I mean, I do drive but I don’t own a car!

2. When was the last time you threw up?
No clue… a few months ago.. I don’t puke when I’m drunk, but as soon as I eat something that is not perfectly healthy or so, I puke it…

3. What's your favourite curse word?
Mmm I swear in Italian… but I should really stop it

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today?
KS, Michele (former colleague) and Sexy

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
I was varnishing the parquet of the bathroom (no kidding)

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
I was walking to work!

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now?
I’ll probably be painting the second layer of varnish on the parquet

8. Have you ever been to a strip club?
Yeah, and it was B.O.R.I.N.G.

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
I talked to KS on the phone, so it was “je t’embrasse, a plus” (like I kiss you, c u later)

10. What is the best ice cream flavor?
Hazelnut and chocolate!! But I’m on a diet, sniff sniff

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
Coffee

13. What was the last thing you ate?
Special Ks and half skimmed milk, for breakfast

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?
Ouch… I bought a cute dress for a gala dinner I have on August 15, and also a skirt for work (but the latter only costed me 10 Euros: hey, sales are on!) oh, and a swimsuit for the Panther

15.When was the last time you ran?
Yesterday about 6 miles (10km)

16. What's the last sporting event you watched?
I really don’t watch any sport

18. Who is the last person you emailed?
The Sponsor (aka Dad)

19. Ever go camping?
Yes. The best time I was 18 and left with both my Bros, heading to Austria: we had planned 1 week and we only came back after 2 months!!!

20. Do you have a tan?
Yes, because I spend outdoor as much time as possible (otherwise I’m as white as milk)

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw?
Nope

25. What did your last IM say?
It was work related (I only use IM to talk to colleagues located in other cities, mostly Paris and Milan)

26. Are you someone's best friend?
Yes, Maria!

27. What are you doing tomorrow?
I hope to work as little as possible. I’ll sure go running. And I’d like to go to the movies

28. Where is your mom right now?
Home. Which means, in another country, far away

29. Look to your left, what do you see?
My mess on my desk

30. What color is your watch?
Iron and lilac

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia?
I think it must be nice but it’s really too far away….

32. Would you consider plastic surgery?
I don’t think so. But I dream of losing my fat without efforts!!!

33. What is your birthstone?
No clue!!

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
Drive thru practically don’t exist around here, hey, Southern Europe is all about slow food!!

35.How many kids do you want?
I don’t know yet

36. Do you have a dog?
No, but when I was a kid I had a huge Saint Bernard (my parents bought it for me, and he really was my personal bodyguard)

37. Last person you talked to on the phone?
KS (boyfriend)

38. Have you met anyone famous?
I don’t think so

39. Any plans today?
Meet KS who needs to hit the sales to buy a few things (but I’m not buying anything today!!)

40. How many states have you lived in?
“States” doesn’t mean anything around here.. But I have lived in Italy, England, Switzerland and France

41. Ever go to college?
Done!

42. Where are you right now?
At my desk at work, but not for long LOL

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
Having to decide when to move

44. Last song listened to?
The rhythm of my heart, by Rod Stewart, while working this morning (I’m such a loser!!)

46. Are you allergic to anything?
All kind of pollens, some seafood, absinth, metals

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
Jogging shoes!!!!

48. Are you jealous of anyone?
Sometimes I’m jealous of Andrea the Hunter, but I don’t think he’s happier than me

50. Is anyone jealous of you?
Yes…. Hey, that’s life!

51. What time is it?
Time for lunch!

52. Do any of your friends have children?
Yes.

53. Do you eat healthy?
Almost always

54. What do you usually do during the day?
I work, I run at noon, I go home at night, cook dinner, feed KS and then we do something together (a game, a film,…)

55. Do you hate anyone right now?
Not really

56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
Yes

58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
27 (but not until June 2009). It’s freaking me out.

59. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
what's that?

60. How did you get one of your scars?
I fell from a rock and got 15 stitches on the head. Luckily it’s completely hidden by my hair!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A thought for the one who is BRAVE

Although this is not an international news, and it’s very likely that no one but a few Italian readers know about it, today my mind is focused on Pakistan.

During the week, an Italian expedition has tried to climb a new route on the Nanga Parbat, which is considered one of the hardest mountains in the world (with the K2), although “only” the 9th highest peak.
The chef of the expedition (Karl Unterkircher) has died yesterday, leaving the other two members (who are way less experienced) alone and in trouble. They are alive for sure, and today they were reported to be at 7,000mt, but they’re apparently in difficulties and have only climbed up about 4,000mt in the whole day.

I happen to be friend, through my dad, with one of the 6 men in the world who has climbed all the 8,000 without oxygen, whose nickname is Gnaro. We’re friends, because he’s from the same place I’m from and he’s a nice guy, who sometimes took me climbing when I was a teenager.
In our area (the Mont Rose) he has a reputation which is not only related to his climbing ability. He has rescued a lot of people in the Alps, people who were in danger or badly hurt. He is known to be the one who will manage to go where no one else has dared to, in order to save someone. He has also rescued a few people on the Everest (took a Russian guy downhill by himself once, carrying him on his shoulders fro 8,100 to the camp), and he saved a Spanish climber on the Nanga Parbat in 2005 (she lost her toes, but she’s alive thanks to him).
I myself, when in doubt about the conditions of the mountain and therefore wondering whether to climb or not somewhere with my skis, always ask him his opinion. A few years ago I was freeriding in the middle of a snow storm, when I thought I heard something, and then met Gnaro and three other guides, with trained dogs: a guy was reported as missing and lost in the storm. I had crossed him while I was still climbing up, and so they asked me to join them and two hours later we found the guy: I was so proud I had been able to help him!!!

Now I’d like to say that this man has now finished his 8k career. He’s turned 50, has climbed the last 8k last year, has a wife and two kids. He still works in the rescue corps in the Alps, and it’s already dangerous enough.

Yesterday morning he has been called concerning the two climbers currently in difficulties on the Nanga Parbat, and yesterday afternoon he caught a flight to Islamabad and is now at the base camp of the Nanga Parbat: tomorrow, together with another guy, they’ll try to rescue the expedition.
Mind you, they won’t get paid for this. They won’t get any benefit, they’ll only manage to risk their lives (and the risk is material) in the hope of saving the two others’ ones.

I’ll think of them and hope with all my heart that all goes well. And I’ll be proud of sharing my origins with these guys, no matter if they’ll manage to rescue the expedition or not.

You're a braveheart. Tonight, and tomorrow, Gnaro, my heart will be with you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

One step too far

Last weekend I went back to my Parents’ place, and it wasn’t easy.
Besides from the usual feelings (each time it’s harder to leave when it’s time to come back to France, and so on…), the Sponsor is NOT feeling good.
As much as he may act as if everything’s all right, he actually has also appendicitis and the beginning of a hernia.
He also has had problems with a leg muscle mast week (enough to be using crutches for a week or so.
Not to mention that today he’s going to the hospital for another chemo treatment (the 7th since he begun them in December), which won’t be the last.
Oh, did I mention that the man is too stubborn to stay home on sick leave, and instead goes on working 10 hours (sometimes 14) shifts (he’s a doc in a heart hospital)?

Just in case you forgot the DDfamily is all made of crazy people…

So my issues about being here, far away and everything, get stronger and stronger.
KS does not understand what I’m going through, mainly because:

1. He thinks that if my father was really feeling bad he would stay home (but he doesn’t know him like I do, of course: I’m the perfect daughter for my father after all, going to the office when I’ve got over 100F of temperature..)

2. He’s French, meaning that if his parents are sick, it’s their problem. KS isn’t a bastard, it’s just that down here they don’t have the same concept of family we have in Italy.

So while I dream of moving, he has started fixing the bathroom (new shower, new floor, new lining on the walls…)

I am clearly not moving by September as I had originally planned, because I was hoping I could work things out and wait to move ‘till KS is ready to do it. But time flies, and we only live once, so by the end of the year decisions will have to be taken. I only need the guts to do it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

99 random things

Everyone is doing it, so…

99 random things about me:

  1. My nickname refers to my job: I work in Due-Diligence, and there are very few girls in this job
  2. I sure do not have double D bra size…
  3. My family is small but complicated
  4. I’m Italian but I live in France
  5. I have an older brother (Bro) who is 31
  6. Bro is married to the German, and they live in Italy
  7. They have two kids (3 and a half and 2 years old)
  8. I miss my family
  9. My Parents are 58 and 59 years old
  10. They are not as healthy as they used to be
  11. And I worry about them a lot
  12. I would like to move in with my Parents
  13. And it’s weird, because I left when I was 18 and at that time I just wanted to go away from them
  14. I love KS, my boyfriend
  15. But sometimes I don’t think we will last
  16. Because I can’t spend the rest of my life here
  17. Wherever I’ll go, I’ll be missing someone
  18. I hate this
  19. I’ve been engaged for one year
  20. When B. dumped me, my family was very very supportive
  21. But I left and moved here, because I couldn’t stand things
  22. Although I make mistakes, for me it’s the same to speak English, French or Italian
  23. I also speak a little German and Spanish
  24. And a few words of Portuguese and Greek
  25. But I think knowing a language is only useful if you’re fluent. Otherwise, it’s pretty useless
  26. I’m listening to “Hotel California” performed by Gipsy Kings
  27. When I was younger I spent a lot of time in England
  28. I think it was almost two years
  29. I used to think I wanted to live in England
  30. Today I wouldn’t move to England for anything in the world
  31. Because I want to live in the Alps
  32. Freeriding and mountaineering ski are probably my favourite activity
  33. There is no pain that I cannot forget when I’m skiing in the middle of nowhere and it’s snowing
  34. One winter, when I was in grad school, I skied over 90 days
  35. Because in the alps you can do mountaineering ski until May, sometimes until June
  36. I love Italian food
  37. My Mom is the best cook in the world
  38. I dream to quit my job and open a catering near my Parents’ place
  39. My family is pretty wealthy
  40. But they rely on me for everything that is not money
  41. My Parents used to be very independent people
  42. Now they do almost nothing without at least consulting me
  43. They don’t do this with Bro
  44. Bro relies a lot on me as well
  45. Although I’m the youngest and I live abroad
  46. I think it’s because they get old
  47. It scares me
  48. In Italy, most women take care of their parents and have them move in with their family when they’re old
  49. I think this is great
  50. I don’t want my Parents ending up alone, or even worse in a hospital
  51. I love baking
  52. I love Rod Stewart when he sing “never will I roam, for I know my place is home”
  53. I learn songs by heart just by listening them once or twice, and never forget them
  54. As long as they’re in English, Italian or French (sometimes German)
  55. I wish it was that easy for me to learn more useful things
  56. I always sing
  57. This can be very annoying for other people
  58. I had my first kiss at 14
  59. I was in England
  60. He was Spanish
  61. I had sex for the first time at 16
  62. With Leo, my first boyfriend
  63. We’ve been together for one year and a half
  64. We are in good terms and I think he’s a great guy
  65. I slept with too many boys
  66. I’ve tried drugs
  67. I don’t regret it
  68. But I wouldn’t do it again
  69. I think I’ll never really completely get over B.
  70. And I really hate his wife
  71. But this is my worst secret
  72. I should lose weight
  73. But I find it hard while living with my boyfriend
  74. I only have one real friend around here
  75. I miss my Italian friends
  76. I’m going to escape from the office for an hour or so
  77. Because I really want to buy those pink cargos I saw on sale
  78. I’m a bit vain
  79. And I like when a guy checks me out
  80. I need holidays so badly
  81. I could spend the whole day reading and laying in sun
  82. I want to go back to Italy badly
  83. I’m only here because of my boyfriend
  84. I wonder if it’s worth it
  85. I used to be a hard rebel kid
  86. It’s weird, because today I think my family is the most important thing in the world
  87. I feel conventional
  88. I have red stains on my right hand since this morning
  89. It’s an allergic reaction, but I dunno to what
  90. It seems dirty
  91. I love animals
  92. I own a cat and a goose. They both answer when called by name
  93. They stay at my parents’ place. There are also 3 donkeys, hens, a rabbit, a turtle and my brother’s dog.
  94. I still miss the dog I had, a Saint Bernard my Parents bought me when I was a little kid, he died when I was in college
  95. He really was my bodyguard
  96. KS father is arriving at our place tonight
  97. He’s staying 3 days
  98. And I don’t know what to cook
  99. So I totally need to go to the supermarket!

Have a nice day, I hope you aren’t bored to death!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Deadly sins TMI!!!!

1. LUST: Besides your current Significant Other who do you lust for or have you lusted for?

Mmmm I dunno if you like this answer, but the truth is, I occasionally lust for Sexy. It’s not like I really want him (I totally could have him any moment), it’s just a memory or a fantasy. I think is also because sex with him has always been great fun!!

2. GLUTTONY: What food brings out your inner glutton?

French fries!!!! But I’ll never manage to say no to good, homemade Italian pasta!

3. GREED: What are you greedy for?

Shoes. I never buy expensive shoes.

4. SLOTH: What is your plan for an ideal day of sloth?

By the lake, at Parents’ place, sun tanning, reading, occasionally bathing in the lake, and aperitif at my neighbour (always by the lake)

5. WRATH: Describe a time that you let out a can of whoop ass on someone.

I don’t often let my anger out…

6. ENVY: Who or what do you envy? Why?

Girls with a better looking body than mine…

7. PRIDE: Have you ever had to swallow your pride? What are you proud of?

The worst time, of course, was when B. dumped me. I ended up moving, so much I couldn’t stand the situation.

Still, I am proud of how I did in life so far anyway.



PS on SEXY

Last night Sexy sent out one of those mails with questions about yourlself, to fill in with your details and circulate to your friends. Some of his answers (he sent the same message to 10 friends):

Who is the sexiest person you know? DDgirl
Who is the weirdest persont you know? DDgirl

I totally adore Sexy!!!!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sick!

For once, I have a better excuse for not posting that work.
You do believe me, don’tcha?

I’ve been awfully sick, and by awfully I mean that on Tuesday morning (4 AM) my temperature was 103.7F. Needless to say, with my usual chance I was home alone (KS was away for work). It took me almost 15 minutes to crawl to the bathroom to get an aspirin, and then crawl back in bed.
So I spent most of the week crawling from bed to work (I had a deadline I couldn’t miss) and from work to bed. The great thing in all this is I lost two kilos, which I was so trying to do!!!

Anyway, I don’t have anything interesting to say, so I’ll give you a bit of Wednesday Weirdness, even if it’s Thursday…

1. Do you ever do your own fireworks show in celebration of the 4th of July? Do you go watch a display somewhere else? How do you celebrate?
In Europe July 4 doesn’t have any special meaning… I my hometown there are great fireworks by the lake at August end, and when I was younger my Bros, me and a bunch of friends would pile in our small boat with beers to enjoy the show.


2. Do you ever buy extra fireworks while you can to stockpile and have extras packed away for whenever you feel like using them?
I don’t like private fireworks, because too often in my country they caused fires or they hurt people.

3. Would you ever get anything below the waist pierced?
No frigging way!!!

4. Would you ever join the military?
No frigging way!! And by the way, dating someone who is in the army is a big no no for me. I don’t want to be involved with anyone who has a gun, or who needs a gun to do his job.

5. What is your favorite kind of cheese?
I LOVE ALL kind of cheese, and since I live in France I can have plenty of different cheese!! My fave right now is “buche de chevre”, but I’m also mad about Pecorino

6. What are three things are you terrible at?
Ironing
Teaching
Being nice when I feel awful

7. Do you always wash your hands after you use the restroom?
Yes (at least I hope I always do!)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Crazy week!

Once again, work has become nuts last week. On Saturday night, while I was in Italy for the weekend to celebrate the Sponsor's birthday, I got an sms from a senior manager of the Paris office:

From: Senior Manager
To: DDgirl
Hey DDgirl! we have to provide additional information and analyses to our client, and a report to issue for Monday evening. I understand from your ususal manager (agreed with the partner) that you could come up to Paris on Monday for the day. I do not know if you were aware. Please call me on my mobile so we can discuss. Thanx have a nice wekend. SM.

Now, first of all, since she had not picked up the damned phone to tell me before, of course I was not aware. Secondly I was on another project (I still am) and I was already running late on it, so that would mean losing a whole day on my prior project.
Furthermore, during the whole weekend the railway site often does not work.
So I got up at 4:30 AM on Monday, went to the rilway station and jumped on the 5:30 bullet train to Paris. Of course it was full, so I had to stand into the bar wagon for two solid hours. Once in Paris, our ffice is almost one hour from the station, so I jumped into the cab I had booke on the evening before (gettin a cab on monday morning in paris = crazy), and continued working on project 1 on the whole way.
When I finally got to the Paris office, the Senior Manager was not there (8:30) because she has kids and she's always late in the morning. Let me say tht I hate someone who makes you wake up at 4:30 in the morning and than cannot manage herself to be on time.
The good thing is I could continue working on project 1 until she finally dragged her butt to the office 9:30AM!!!!! WTF!!!!
Now let me explain that the reason I'm the only one who is able to work on this job is that the whole documentation is only available in Italian, and noone but me is fluent in Italian in the whole French office (we're talking about 3000 people). Anyway.
By this time I had talked to my usual boss on the phone, and she had made me promise I would be back in my city office on Tuesday morning, and not to be too tired because we were going to have a tough week (great...)
Needless to say, even by skipping lunch we were still far from issuing a report by 8:30PM. At this point, I was granted permission to leave, which means I managed to take the bullet train leaving at 10PM and that I was at home at 12:15.
Of course I went to the office at 7AM on Tuesday morning... So it was a crazy week, and so will be next one.
The cute thing is that one of my best friends from college who now lives in London (we'll call her business girl, because she has a great creer going on) came to visit me and KS with her boyfriend (The Icelander, because he's from Iceland and I don't know anyone else from Iceland, even though they both live in London now...).
It was so good to be able to catch up and gossip, to complain about our expat situation, to go shopping together and all this stuff! Plus the boys did get along very well, so we're planning to visit them in London at the end of the summer, whih is great, especially sinc ealthough I used to live in England, well, I've never been in London!!

Okay, just because I had said I would post it, this is a picture of the cake I've prepared for my dad's and my birthdays...


Friday, June 20, 2008

My birthday card

Last Sunday, right on time for my birthday, I got this mail.

From: Andrea the Hunter
To: DDgirl

Subject: My Babe is getting’ older

Hello Beautiful,

And let me say also, “Happy Birthday!”
Sorry for being such a stranger, I’ve been kinda busy.
Things are going great, I have started this MBA I had talket to you about, it’s not that exciting but better than work in any case. Mom has been around here for a few weeks, and she bought me this amazing apartment, which basically is in a building that hosts a five stars hotel and 5 flats like mine: I totally love it!! And it’s pretty huge, 120square meters, and the view is great (I’m on the 22nd floor), and I have a guest bedroom of course, so if you come around here we won’t have to sleep all piled up into a microscopic bed the way we used to back in college!
I’m really going out a lot, and I’m also dating a few girls. The Japanese I’ve been seeing for a month or so, well, I’m a bit over her, but then again she has these amazing geisha techniques that make me shut up every time I try to get rid of her.
I’m also fooling around with my private banker: let’s just say that the chick takes care of my business, both in bank and bed (I know, I’m a pig).

What about you? Are you celebrating decently or mourning on your age as usual (I know ya!)?

My recommendations for the next year: have fun, go partying a lot, and if you feel down catch a plane and come around here for a tour of the islands!

Kisses

A.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sexy back

I don’t really think I have ever mentioned Sexy.
Sexy has been my friend with benefits over the last 7 years. We met in 2001, we have never been boyfriend/girlfriend, are very good friends. Still, every time I’m single, I cannot keep him away from my bed, basically because, well, when I see him I want to eat him, if you see what I mean, and it’s more than mutual. Back in 2003, we also used to be neighbours, and used to spend like, every evening/night together!

Sexy is also the only Italian friend who ever came to see me in Lyon (huh, like, 8 times in my first year here…). For obvious reasons, he hasn’t come here since I got together with KS, but we are in touch because well, we really are friends. So I am among the first ones he called when his dad died last winter, and I know he’s one I can count on.
Mind you, it hasn’t always been like that. Back to when we met, I considered Sexy as a totally unreliable person, cute, nice and everything but unreliable. But then again, he grew up I guess.

Anyway, I emailed him about my concerns about my concerns (going nowhere).

His answer:

From: Sexy
To: DDgirl

Little star
(as he always calls me)

It really makes me angry to read those things… knowing your moody and not being able to do anything about it?? Had you been closer, I’d take the matter into my hands (literally, lol)
Now first of all, stop listening to those people who only talk about marriage and kids… we’re young, smart, sporty, do we need to be married to be happy? Of course not!!!
I know, we live in a society that privileges married ones, but who cares? You’ll still be on time to do that in a couple years!! (not to mention kids, your Bro’s ones are more than enough for you to handle!)

You and I, Babe, are dynamite, you know me and you know us, imagine if we were to be neighbours again!!! It would be sparks all the time!!
Be positive babe, if you’re feeling fat or depressed, think about me and think about how I’d hit on you if I had the smallest chance to do it!
Remember, I respect that you’re in a relationship, but as soon as you want me, I’m here for you!!

Take care Babe, and call me if you’re felling down!

Sexy

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Going nowhere

The Parents have come and gone, and I have survived.
Last week I was actually so stressed that I have bought two bookshelves at Ikea, assembled them and thrown away the two dusty old ones we had in the guest-rooms.
Yeah, the Panther (aka mom) worries me that much.
In order to welcome the Parents I had also prepared varied and high-quality menus for the whole weekend, not to mention that I baked a charlotte Bavarian cake with white chocolate cream and strawberries. Hopefully I’ll manage to upload a pic soon (I had KS take a pure Nigella Lawson style picture of me presenting my beautiful gateau!).

Now this week I should have gone back to Paris, but in the end they stopped the mission, so I’m hanging at the Lyon office. I could have used some quiet time in Paris, honestly: I can’t remember last time I’ve been shopping for myself. And I’d really enjoy spending a bit more time with Kevin. Honestly, he’s one of the best friends I have around here, I mean he’s always there for me, and lately I feel I really need someone I can count on.

What more? A whole lot nothing. I realized I got almost 8kg since I got to France, so I’m strictly on diet, and I’m practically eating only soup, tomatoes, salads and so on. Don’t waste your time commenting that this is not a good diet: I happen to be vegetarian, so the only way to lose weight quickly is to completely cut carbs. And, since I have a gala dinner on July 4 (and nothing to wear… yet) I need to lose it fast.

Next Sunday I’ll be 26. KS plans for the weekend: we’re going to his parents’ place. Do I need to say this is so not the way I was hoping to celebrate? Whatever. My birthday depresses me anyway, so I guess I’ll just try to forget it’s my birthday. And that I’m one year older.

I know, depressing. But I really feel I’m going nowhere. Does it ever happen to you?

PS I cannot even manage to find the 18th episode of Desperate Housewives, which, sucks. Was it my impression or the man that Susan greets kissing at the end of the 17th episode of the fourth season (five years later) is totally NOT Mike Delfino? Please let me know if you have seen it, 'cause I really wonder...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by PCS, and it's my first time!!

1) What were you doing five years ago?
I was in Milan, ending my last but one year of college. I was also preparing my Bro's marriage at my parents' place!

2) What are three things on my to-do list for tomorrow?
Dieting, working as little as possible, and, if it doesn't rain, I'll go swimming!

3) Snacks I enjoy:
One again, I'm on a diet. But the best snack ever, my sin: french fries. and chips. and everything that involves fried potatoes!!

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire
Open a restaurant near my parents' place, open a college account for my niece and my nephew. Oh, and buy a ton of summer dresses!!!

5)Two states I have lived
England, Italy, Switzerland, France. It makes four, but it's the countries I have lived in.

6) Some jobs I've had (old jobs, mind-you)
I've worked in a high mountain hut
I've worked as a dancer in a club in the UK (strictly DRESSED, mind you)
I've been a pizza cook (again, in the UK)
I've been a bond trader.

7)How did you come across the name for your blog?
DDgirl comes from my job (due diligence, I'm definetly no double D breast size)
My life, well, I was listening to No Doubt screaming "But it's my life!! Don't you forget: it's my liiiife!!!" when I started the blog!

I'll tag Peyton, but I'll only be able to write her tomorrow (at home I don't have my favourites!!!!)

Oh, and I'll seriously post something tomorrow, I promise!!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

In the end...

Hello girls,

And thanx for the advice!! It was interesting reading different opinions on the matter (makes me remember that there is no “right” or “wrong” thing to do…)
So you wanna know what did I end up doing?

Well, I had decided to join my friends for the weekend, and by Friday afternoon I was ready to go. KS had made alternative plans, he had a friend coming over at our place and they were going to join a soccer game and play Wii for the whole weekend, so it felt okay to go have fun and relax with my lots,…
Only, my manager came to see me a 5PM Friday afternoon to tell me she had decided that she would not need my presence in Paris on Monday. This meant that, had I decided to go to the country with Kevin & co., I would have had to go all the way back home on my own on Sunday night.

So in the end I went back home. Kevin escorted me (read: carried my heavy luggage) to the station, I made excuses, air-kissed him and stumbled on the bullet train back home. My allergies got worse and I spent most of the weekend dozing, but I also managed to cook decent dinners for KS and our visiting friend.

It is true that I’m a bit the kind of independent gal, but the truth is lately I cannot stop questioning myself: I still haven’t decided when I’m going to finally leave France, and I know KS is not yet ready to do it (but will he ever be?)
I’m trying not to put the pressure on him, but I’m totally overloaded with it.

On other news, the Parents are coming to visit me next weekend, and as usual I’m panicking in advance. Will the flat be clean enough? Will the Panther avoid stupid commentaries?
Just to help things, I woke up yesterday morning with a paralyzing neck-ache that prescription pills are not taking away… I want to sleep 48 hours non-stop….

And I can’t believe in 11 days I’ll be 26….

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Guilty and tired

After being sick, working way too much and other minor stuff, on Monday night I’ve been called for an emergency that required me to be in our Paris office on the next morning, 9AM.
So, after swearing a little, I found an hotel, a bullet train ticket for 5:30 AM, went home and wrapped up all the clean clothes I had (not many, honestly, and the lack of iron shirts in my closet was dramatic).
I left on Tuesday morning, under one of the worst storm we’ve had over the last few years, and now here I am, dealing with this bullshit: some asshole (sorry, but that’s it) sold a big big project without realizing that all the documentation is written in Italian and that strictly no one but me in the firm understands Italian. Of course, this is the kind of project that would require at least 3 people (including someone more experienced than me) working on it, but since no one understands a thing, I’m alone on it, and it sucks big time.
So, once more, I’m in Paris and I cannot even manage to buy shampoo (and the one provided by the hotel does not smell good): yesterday I worked non stop 7:30AM to 11PM. Luckily, Kevin was ready to rescue me when I left, so he came picked me up and took me out for drinks.

Now, the thing that has been on my mind is this: Kevin invited me to go to his country house (well, his parents’) with a bunch of friends for the weekend. It’s only 45 minutes from Paris, and it would be a nice relaxing weekend: BBQ, sun tanning, playing volley and so on. KS had a party in Toulouse planned, and since I didn’t feel like going the whole way back to Lyon, than to Toulouse and back to Paris on Sunday night, I had planned to go with Kevin.
KS was a bit jealous, but hey, I cannot spend my life on trains, right?

So this morning, it turned out that the party in Toulouse is cancelled. I would like to go to the country, but honestly, I feel guilty for leaving KS home alone….
Any advice?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sorry..

...for disappearing once more...

Work has been hard, but mainly I've been really sick.

I'll post something by Thursday at latest, I promise!

Smoochies!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dilemma

I’m back in France, after a weekend spent at my parents’ place with KS, the Parents, the Bro and his family.
The weekend was great, we had nice warm weather that allowed us to spend most of our time outdoor; eat delicious ice creams and so on.

Bad news was offered however: the Sponsor (aka Dad) has to go through more chemo. Of course, this makes me feel even guiltier for living abroad and so on.
On our way back to France, KS wanted to discuss the possibility of moving to Milan. His response is that he may move to Milan, he would even promise to do it, but not until January 2010.

I, on the other side, can’t wait that long. I’ve been here for almost three years, and I really want to go back.
So, I can try to convince KS to move by January 2009 (I would move two or three months earlier, but this wouldn’t be a problem, I could use the time to set a flat for both of us), but what if it turns out he isn’t coming?
I love KS, and it will hurt badly if I have to leave.

Okay, enough rambling, it’s almost 7PM, I haven’t quit the office over 12 hours and still have work to do before I can go home…

Friday, May 09, 2008

Why I love this country

French people are (forgive me, my loyal French readers) somehow « colder » than Italians.
In France, a guy complimenting a girl is trying to hit on her. Otherwise, he won’t compliment.
Any kind of attention that includes compliments has a deeper meaning.

Now, you all know I love to be at the centre of the world, I mean, I like when boys like me.
Seriously, who doesn’t like to be complimented? So I missed it in France, at the beginning. Then I forgot about it, because habits change quickly, and 3 years is a long time.

These days I’m spending in Milan took me back to old lovely times. When I come to the office, guys actually DO compliment me in the morning. They do it because they’re nice, not because they’re hitting on me or something. This is the way they have been educated, so they look at you and compliment what they think is beautiful about you, which can be your hairstyle, the way you dressed, your nail colour… whatever. You see what I mean? No one here would tell you “You look tired” or something like that, when you get to work.

Being a natural venetian blond helps even more, because real blonds are rare in Italy.
Today I went out for lunch with a bunch of colleagues, and the waiter offered me a nice flowers. Call me silly if you want, but these little, nice things can make your day.

On other news, I’m going to visit the Parents for a long weekend (Monday is holiday in France), and KS is arriving as well tonight, because apparently he was getting bored without me back in France, so we’re going to spend a lovely spring weekend by the lake, in Italy.

Isn’t life beautiful?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Back to La Dolce Vita

I AM WORKING IN MILAN !!!!!!

Okay, first of all, sorry for not posting for so long, I know I suck, but those days have been a little full of drama.


A few days ago, KS and I went out running, and after some 10 minutes of small talk I blurted out
“HowwouldyoufeelaboutusmovingtoMilanforawhile?”
His answer: “What? I didn’t understand a word”
“How would you feel about us moving to Milan for a while?”
His answer: “Are you kidding? Noway”

Now this is not how I expected this conversation to go.
I started explaining that I want to go back to Italy and to state my reasons and that I would love him to go with me. He didn’t talk to me for a few hours, then we “reconciliated” (read we made love), and we didn’t talk about it anymore.

I will try to move between Augoust and September. My opinion? KS won’t come with me. This is hard, but we always knew I was not going to spend my whole life in France. In September it’ll be three years since I moved to France, and I wanna go back. If he loves me as much as he said, he’ll give it a try, otherwise, I’ll have to move on. I sound heartless, but I have to face the truth.

In the meanwhile, I’m trying to enjoy our time together. We went out on real dates, we went dancing with friends, and I also enjoyed a bit more some ladies night with Maria.

Last Friday I was announced I had to work in Milan this week (and maybe next), and it’s definitely fine with me: the weather is warm, I have tentative plans for each night of the week, and I’m building some potentially useful work-relationship.
And I’ll sure have things to tell you about my nights out, over the next days!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not so sexy...



This morning I was thinking about all those kind of things that I’d never reveal about myself in the early stage of a relationship…

1) I have a leg which is longer than the other. It’s less than one centimetre, and it’s due to an accident I had (I broke a tibia in a few points when I was 6, and spent 100 days with a plaster..). You cannot really see it unless you pay a great attention to my knees when I walk (one bends slightly more than the other.
2) I seem to have permanent backache (at least when I work, which means always). This is mainly a consequence of point 1.
3) The reason I love to wear trendy, high heeled boots in winter is that I wear wool ski-socks to warm my permanently cold feet, and boots are the only way to hide them. Of course, when I’m wearing a nice skirt and, as soon as I get home I kick off my boots and reveal knee-high wool socks, it’s a bit unsexy.
4) Since I run a lot, ski 6 months a year (and used to climb a lot also), my feet always have some blisters or a black toenail.
5) When I’m sleepy and tired, I feel like scratching my head. Of course I try to avoid doing it in public, but if I’m working late at night and you see me passing a hand through my hair, it means I need some sleep. Badly.

Those are pics I took on the first day of my mountaineering ski tour, three weeks ago…











Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Again

Who is the most recurring character of this blog?
Who is the dreaded ex that keeps popping out in my life? The one that, at least once a year, I have to deal with, to talk to, and, in some ways, to satisfy?

Who else but The Little Prince?
Because yes, The Little Prince is back to persecute me. Oh yes, you bet he is, even though he still doesn’t know about it (because yes, The Little Prince can persecute me even without knowing it, the smartass).

Anyway, let’s step back.
I first met The Little Prince almost three years ago, because he was and still is the Chief Legal Officer in a company who happened to be a client of mine when I was still at my old job. This is probably the main reason why he kept coming back: we would cross our ways because of work, or he would talk to my colleagues, or whatever.
Then again, one year ago, right before I changed company, I met his for the last time and told him to leave me alone (see Haunting you).

Today it seems that his company has dumped my old office and has chosen my new one as advisors for their acquisitions. With my usual luck, I have been designed as the person to take care of this job. This means, we might have to travel to Sweden together for a few days.

And seriously, it might be fun. Because I’m sooooo over him, that I might really have some fun showing him all my hottiness that he cannot have!!!

Oh, and yes, in case you didn’t already know, I’m a real bitch.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Election day (and related rant)

As you probably don’t know (unless for Italian readers), elections for parliament and government are going on today in Italy, my birth-country.
Those who are not Italian may find it a little weird, since last time we voted for parliament and government, it was spring 2006, but that’s the way things are: the government lost the support of the parliament, so we’re back to voting, once more.

In Italy no reliable exit polls are held: back in 2006, exit polls said until the very last minute that the Republicans (more or less, down here in southern Europe we would say “the right” as opposite to “the left”) were winning, and in the end it turned out exit polls were completely wrong and the Labor party (once again, I’d rather say “the left”) went to the government.

Today I believe that the average Italian citizen does not believe in anyone of the two possible next political leaders, namely Berlusconi and Veltroni.
We all know that our politicians are not worth a single cent. We have already seen them, they did not solve the problems of our country, and during this campaign, they did not propose concrete solutions.
Furthermore, exit polls show, until now, very little difference: 41% against 39.5% (some say 40%). Which means, whoever will win, won’t have a strong, reliable majority that would help in actually concretizing SOMETHING.

What we really need, what I envy so much to the USA, is someone NEW. Someone who is not yet corrupted, not involved with the mafia, someone who BELIEVES in changing things.

As for me, I could not vote, because in Italy you have to go back to your hometown to vote, and the river here (the Rhône) last Friday has flood the railway. So I spent 4 hours in the middle of nowhere under the rain (they had us leave the train and stand next to the railway, yes), and in the end I had to go back to France, so I couldn’t vote. And I also caught a cold.
(Not to mention I felt as I lived in India, when the monsoon arrives, only it was way colder)

(Therefore, I couldn’t even get the pictures of my mountaineering ski, sigh…)

Now people, I work in the finance business, and I have one sure advice if you want to invest: buy some land, or pour some earth on your balcony, and sow some cereals in it.
Step number two, if you don’t know how to cook, learn to cook.
Next year you won’t be hungry, and you’ll be saving tons of bucks.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Back from the Haute Route

I believed in it, I believed in myself, and in the end, I gave it all. And that’s why I proved to be strong, I proved to be more than able, without hesitating a single second.

Here’s how it went.

On Saturday morning, we started the Haute Route from Chamonix, on a perfect day: the sun was shining, there was very little wind, the weather was warm and the snow perfect. We hiked up the first length, and then we had to go down a vertical ditch: the first half we ensured us with a rope, while the second half was free climbing, with crampons and an ice axe, our skis attached to the backpack. I was leading, and it was so exciting, not to mention the incredible panorama!
We proceeded by climbing up another passage which was way more difficult than the first one, but then again I’m better when it’s a matter of skills than of strength.
When we finally got to the hut where we were spending the night, the weather had already started turning bad, a cold wind was blowing, and we were glad to go inside and give ourselves a rest. There were people from everywhere: USA, Canada, Spain, Switzerland (of course!), France, Sweden and the three of us. Although everyone was older than I, I still had a laugh with a lot of people, everyone was there for the same reason after all!

On the next morning, the wind was blowing up to 160kmh (almost 100 miles per hour), there was less than 5 metres of visibility, and lots of snow falling.
We started our trek, we had to ski down 1600 mt of altitude down the glacier, and it was tough, since the wind kept making us fall and so on, but we managed everything pretty well.
We continued the day by climbing up to the next refuge, and it was a mess because, although the wind had lessened, the visibility had gotten even worse, so we had a hard time in actually FINDING the hut.
On the next morning, snow was still falling, but we were way too motivated to surrender! So we climbed up to the next peak, but once up there we realized that we could not cross and go down on the other side without provoking an avalanche.
So we made our way back in order to find another passage, but we called the keeper of the hut were we were going to, to let him know we were going to be late. Only, he told us that due to the newly fallen snow, the way up to the refuge was way too risky, and that avalanches were sure fall during the afternoon.
So we had no choice but to renounce, since I didn’t have the whole week of vacation we could not afford to stop for a whole day (and the weather forecast were bad for the rest of the week either.

As I said, I am however proud of myself. Next year we’re giving it another chance, it’s sad we had to give up, but those who know the mountains know that this is part of the game, so even if we did not reach Zermatt, I’m glad of what we did, together dad and I.
At the same time, the emotions of the climbing, of the panorama, of the storms, were so great and deep, it was definitely worth it. And next week I’ll have some pics to post!!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Believe in yourself

I’m so tense I almost ache.
Yesterday night, while KS, Maria and I were hanging out at our place, the Sponsor called me to inform me that our Haute Route has been anticipated. I am leaving tonight for Switzerland, and I’ll catch up with the others tomorrow morning at the first hour.
The reason of all this mess is that weather forecasts announce a great day for tomorrow, while snow and rain are expected for the rest of the week, so we decided to take advantage of sunny tomorrow and progress as much as possible (the goal is to make day 1 and day 2 path all in one day).

I know I have trained constantly; I have been running a good deal and everything. But I am stressed out, I’m afraid I may fail, I’m afraid I might be too weak. ARGH!!!!!
This is worst then when I used to do running competitions as a teenager.

Furthermore, I had not prepared my things, so I had to do a washing machine in a rush yesterday night, find a place to sleep in Switzerland for tonight, and I still have to manage to leave work unnoticed around 4PM tonight to go rescue my backpack and hop on the train.

Okay I can do it. I’ll put on some relaxing-self confident booster music like Enya, plan out the slightest detail and deal with the whole thing.

I’ll be back posting next Thursday, unless I miserably fail, iun this case I might post sooner.
But I won’t fail.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

That time of the year is coming...

I got an evaluation from the worst asshole of the Paris office managers.
This is the kind of guy who, while I’m working for him, spends half of his time telling me how I’m way better than all the other colleagues of my same seniority and other BS like that (which is honestly frustrating, since I’m one of the worst paid, thanx to the combination of being a foreigner (not American) and a woman. The other half of his time, he messes up my analyses, so that once they are presented to the senior manager, I have to redo half of the job.

Anyway, today I got the evaluation, and, although it says plenty of things about me, in the end I’m rated as “up to standards”. This would be good, if it wasn’t for:
- you need an excellent level to have a decent bonus, and the year-end meeting which will allocate bonuses is next month;
- he has been blathering about how excellent I am throughout the whole job.
WTF?

Truth is, I’ll never become anything more than a manager (in the best case scenario) in this job, so one day I’ll have to take my chances in some other business.
I keep dreaming about, one day, starting my own business (probably a restaurant), but in reality the simple idea of the responsibility freaks me out.

If this was a Kinsella book, I’d find the perfect job (in television), the perfect, rich man, and I’ll be okay for the rest of my life.
A long time ago, however, I realized that Kinsella’s pattern does not apply to my life. And therefore, I’ll have to learn to stand up against managers.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Whatever (I had a dream)

Okay, I didn’t think about writing this, but I really don’t feel like sharing this story with anyone I know, and I need to get it off my chest. Hopefully, once I see this post in my blog, I’ll stop thinking about it.

I had a dream last night 'cause it looked just like a dream
I had a dream last night but it looked not like a dream

I was relaxing home (but it wasn’t anywhere I know), when I felt the strangest sensation from my belly.
It was summer, and I was wearing white light trousers and a white tank top that did not cover my tummy, which was flat and tanned. All in a sudden, I knew I was pregnant.

Mercy, mercy, I made a call
Make me a suit so I can get it off
Heaven help me, my head is spin'n round
Stop this airplane cause I got to get down

I went to buy a pregnancy test, and although I don’t know where I was supposed to be, it was not Europe, the vegetation, the buildings were different. The test was positive, of course.
I knew who the father was.

I had a dream last night, and it fit me like a glove
It was a scream last night it was getting kinda fun


When I got back “home”, Andrea the Hunter was there.
“I came because I felt that you needed to talk to me” he said, smiling.
“I’m pregnant with your baby” I answered quietly. “I wanted you to know, but I’m not asking for anything”.
He looked, somehow, as if he already knew, he had a glow, a look of wisdom and slight happiness, something I had never seen on him.
“But you will marry me, won’t you? After all, we always knew we would end up together”.

I was perplex, we had never been in any kind of relationship but friendship (no clue about the pregnancy, in the dream no sex was involved).
In the end, we got married. And he was just everything but Andrea, he was the ideal and perfect husband.

I had a dream last night, because he looked just like a dream
I had a dream last night, because he looked just like a dream

And then, we were somewhere on a white sand beach, and it felt like something was going to happen soon, the pressure was tangible, like ten thousands storm was going to break. Something was approaching, something horrible, something to fear. And somehow, I knew it was me who was provoking it.

He was on fire last night, and I was breathing gasoline
I had a dream last night, and it fit me like a glove
I had a scream last night
Lord above...



I know this whole lot doesn’t mean anything, and that no one will probably understand it, but it’s been on my mind for the whole day, together with the song Whatever (I had a dream).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Back to the cold!!

Two weeks ago I caught a bad flu. I kept on working, although I had up to 39 Celsius (102F), and I had to travel to Milan for some business meetings, and then back to Lyon. By the end of the week I was exhausted, looking and feeling like crap.
KS was pretty worn out as well, since he had been working quite hard, so we took a week off, bought a last minute plane ticket and went to Morocco.
We spent a week in the sun, visiting Marrakesh and its surroundings, spending a day in the desert, and also relaxing by the hotel swimming-pool. The weather was great, sunny and definitely warm (almost too warm to go around at noon), and we could finally spend some quality time together: although we have been together for one year and a half, this was our first vacation together!!

After relaxing and sun tanning, we came back to a stormy, snowy and very cold France. On Easter I took a train to go visit the Parents, and it took me 9 hours to get there (it normally takes about 5 hours and a half).
It was still nice to see them, to spend Easter with the family and so on, plus the Sponsor and I have settled the last details for our haute route from Chamonix to Zermatt (since we won’t meet before April 5, the day we have rendez-vous in Chamonix).
Since it’s been snowing a lot in the last few days, it’s sure we’ll have enough snow on our path, and although it’s gonna be tough, I’m really looking forward to it.
The other side of the whole thing is I still have to train, so today instead of having lunch I went running. The park was snowy, it was awfully cold to run, even the male lion looked sad with his hair wet. But I still ran 6 miles and a half (10.5km), and I was honestly proud of myself. Plus, since this week work should be pretty slow, I’ll probably manage to train as much as I want!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Random thoughts

It's snowing, and fucking cold.
This morning, it was 12° and the sun was shining, I wore a light silk white suit and opened shoes with no socks, and happily headed out. By noon it was raining and windy. And now it's below zero and snowing.
And I know I always say I love snow and so on, but tonight it sucks, also because KS has to go to the airport tomorrow early in the morning, and I worry about the highway.

At work, I'm on a project I'm hating.
Every morning, all around me are familiar, worn out faces, in a worn out dataroom. I get up early, go to work, and feel like I'm going nowhere. It's too frigging cold to go running, and my ankle hurt pretty badly (no clue why).

Tomorrow the Sponsor will go to see the doctor, who will probably recommend some more chemio, and I hate that he's going through this (and I cannot even be by his side).

Finally, I keep eating, and, to look stunning as I used to, I should lose 6 kilos, but I don't think I am able to do it right now.

Things will get better, I know it and need to hold tightly to this idea.

Before moving to France, I never called the Parents or granparents, unless something had to be said.
Every day, during my daytime, I collect anedocts to tell the Panther, and every night I call her and discuss happy matters like books, recipies, family matters and so on. We talk half an hour or so, every night.
And this only makes me feel just a little tiny bit less guilty for not being there with them, for them.
Forgive me dad, for not being by your side. I think about you all the time, every day, with my mind, I'm with you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WHAT'S UP with DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES?

Hello everyone,
I just wanted to ask to the American readers:
what's up with DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES?

I am stuck to the 10th episode of the 4th season (after the tornado), and I can't find any following episode: is the show going on at all?

Tank-you for your answers,

DH-addicted DDgirl

Monday, February 25, 2008

Complaint: I'm not like them.

Over the weekend, besides eating like a pig (but I also ran 9km on Saturday), cooking lasagna, waxing my legs, I had an argument with Kevin, my best buddy in the Paris office.
Since Kevin’s crush on me is finally fading away, he has started telling me about his dates (or, to be more exact, about chicks he meets, date is a big word).
So, on Friday afternoon we were chatting a bit on IM, and he was telling me how he had been working like crazy lately, when I digressed.
DDgirl: So, how about the new Russian chick? (Kevin has always had a thing for Russian girls, btw, and I hate it)
Kevin: Fine… she’s just astonished I come home so late at night from work.


Here is where I stared, wondering at my screen. Kevin lives with his parents, and he met this random chick like, last Tuesday. Like, 3 days before Friday.

DDgirl: Home? Did you move?
Kevin: nope… She’s staying at my parents’ place with me until she goes back to Russia in ten days.
DDgirl: So, just to make sure I get things well… You met this gal 3 days ago in a club, and now she’s staying at your parents’ apartment?
Kevin: yeah, you know she’s on holiday and has no more money left, so she didn’t know where to stay.
DDgirl: And do you host at YOUR PARENTS’ PLACE every beggar you find in the street? Or just blond ones with a Russian accent?
Kevin: Oh c’mon Stranger, amongst all people, you should know what it feels like to be a stranger.

And that’s where I lost it. Because, I’m sorry and I know it’s wrong, but I HATE those bitches that put all their neediness on our men, trading sex in exchange. Because this is what they do, we’re talking about a chick who is on vacation and cannot afford it, and no one obliges you to go on vacation if you are broke!!!
And I may be a foreigner here, BUT I NEVER ASKED ANYTHING TO ANYONE, I have always paid my dues and I cannot stand to be compared to this kind of girl.

And yes, Eastern European gals have already caused me problems, do I have to talk about The Eastern Slut? Or maybe about B.’s wife (another one who would play it all about how she couldn’t do it on her own, how her dad was a drunk and her mother a bitch, how she would kill herself if B dumped her, yeah, she even menaced that).
And how about Kevin’s ex, who told him she loved him too much to be with him, dumped him (that’s why he’s staying at his parents’) and the next week she was already screwing with her boss?
I’m sure most of girls from Russia, Poland and so on are not like this. But I keep having those kind of issues.

And the real thing is, I know why I always get involved in those situations. I’m quite tall, blonde, blue eyes and fair skin. Guys who like me, usually like the Eastern type.
And, at least in those stupid Mediterrean countries where I live, guys don’t like independent girls: they prefer them needy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Will you be my Valentine?

Almost a week has gone since V-day, and I realize I wrote absolutely NOTHING about it.
There are a few reasons. Over the last three weeks, I have been working an average of 70-75 hours per week, and trust me, unless you have experienced it, you don’t know what I’m talking about. Luckily this project is over, so things have really slow down since Monday.
Furthermore, I don’t think V-day is a big deal. Still, I like to do something nice for my man, without being commercial. That is why, since I was 18, I always challenged myself in preparing my man a delicious romantic dinner, to be consumed at home with me, at the table, with cell phones switched off, no TV, no other distraction than a little music on the background.

Since this year I was working 8AM-1AM on V-day, I anticipated the dinner to the weekend of February 9. I don’t necessarily prepare very very special plates: besides, I try to stick to KS favourites. So this year it was:

Verrine of smoke salmon, lime, ricotta cheese and fish eggs
Farfalle (pasta) with pesto, potatoes and green beans (Pesto alla ligure)
Roasted chicken with potatoes and red pepper
A heart-shaped chocolate mousse cake, wrapped in red velvet (mainly made of icing sugar)

That’s it. No gifts, no cards were exchanged, we didn’t go anywhere special.
We still exchange plenty of gifts without any special occasion, but not on V-day, and I’m glad it’s this way.

Monday, February 18, 2008

You've got a friend in me

Dear DDgirl,

What’s up with my fave frenchy?
As you had already guessed, I came back to Thailand three weeks ago, and this time it might be for good. I’m actually learning Thai (I joined an intensive class which is pretty hard but I can already manage a basic conversation, not bad huh?), and I’m looking around for a job here in Bangkok. I actually have a job interview on Friday, and I’ve been so busy I hardly go out at night during the week, limiting my clubbing to weekend nights.
Babe, I know you’ll be a bit disappointed if I’m not coming back, but I couldn’t stand Milan anymore. All our old buddies from business school have transformed into boring bankers, who only go out with people that could help their career and so on. Things are not like they used to be when Eivind and you were there, and the three of us would rock each time we met.
And besides, I am happy here. Waking up in the warm air, knowing the day will be sunny, already puts me in a great mood.

Enough about me! How are you doing? I’m craving for some mail with the latest DDgirl’s adventures!

Kisses

Andrea

This morning, when I found this mail, I squealed with happiness. Luckily there wasn’t anyone else in the office!
Andrea the Hunter is safe and happy, and I’m relieved.
Last week was totally crazy, I’ve been working 16 to 20 hours each day, and by Friday night I was sick and exhausted. I managed to sleep through most of the weekend, spending some quality time with KS when awake, and today I’m in a great shape (I’m even considering jogging at noon!).
I’ll answer Andrea, work, jog, and I’ll be happy for today, because my best friend is safe and happy. Because he’s still my friend, and I’m still the one he will turn to when he needs help.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Why I worry about you

Andrea the Hunter has, once more, disappeared.
I know, Andrea is like that, every once in a while it just seems he has left the Earth for some other place, and no one knows how to reach him or where exactly he might be.
Judging from the sound I get when I call his cell phone (to which he doesn’t answer), I am able to say he’s in Thailand, although he didn’t tell me he was leaving. The latter is not weird at all: he often decides to leave Europe and takes off just a few hours later, without even packing: once he’s there, he only needs to buy a pair of Bermuda and a few t-shirts, so why bother packing? He usually just heads to the airport and get a place on the first fly for Bangkok.

I know what you are thinking: “Why the hell then should I worry about him?”

Things haven’t always been like this. There was a time when Andrea would come and go, and disappear even more often than he does nowadays, and I just knew sooner or later he would call or email me, telling me plenty of funny stories about all the crazy things he had been doing.

In 2004, he left for Thailand in early October. On his last night in Milan, we went out, drank, exchanged stories and hung out, then I kissed him goodbye and let him go. We traded mails twice a week more or less, and usually I had a blast reading his messages.
On December 23 I got a mail in which he complained about the bad weather (he was on the east coast), so I answered suggesting him to go to Phi Phi Island, I wished him a Merry Christmas, turned off my laptop and headed home to spend the 24 and the 25 with my family.
On the morning of December 26, I woke up very early to go back to Milan to the office. While driving to the station, at 5AM, I turned on the radio and learnt that the Tsunami had hit the Thai West Coast. They specifically talked about Phi Phi island as one of the places that had been more violently hit.
I immediately tried to call Andrea, but obviously thai cell phones did not work. The next step was to get in touch with his Italian “girlfriend”, who didn’t even know he was in Thailand.
I was still calm when I called Eivind, our mutual best friend who lived in Norway. Eivind told me he had Andrea’s last mail on December 24, where he said he was leaving for the west coast. And then, I started to panic.
Together with Evind, we called all the information centres about people lost on the Tsunami, we call Andrea’s mother who was in Finland (and didn’t appear much concerned), we tried everything.
During these days, a little voice inside me was whispering at my ear “If anything happened to him it’s your fault, you’re the one who advised his to go west, if he had remained on the east coast he would be safe”

On January 5, my phone rang in the middle of the night: it was Andrea. The Tsunami had reached him while he was boarding on a ship to PhiPhi Island. The ship rose, crashed on one side but did not sink, he had a broken arm (but later on he told me some people on the same boat had died), but he had managed not to lose his papers. In the following days, without any way to communicate with the rest of the world, without any access to hospitals, he fled towards the east coast, where he finally could be medicated in some kind of hospital. Only ten days after the Tsunami some phones started to work, and then he called.

A week later he managed to find a place on a plane from Bangkok to Amsterdam, from where a connection flight took him to Milan. I went to the airport to fetch him, it was snowing outside, and he arrived with dirty Bermudas and a t-shirt, his left arm plastered, and no luggage but his wallet. That night I took him at my place, helped him showering, fed him and then let him sleep in my bed while I took the couch. He slept for 20 hours, and in the meanwhile I went out to buy him a pair of jeans, a clean shirt and a sweater. On the next day he took the train to go home where his sister and his aunt were waiting for him.