Saturday, February 28, 2009

I've come along way!

Yesterday my mom brought to my place lots of things that belong to me and that I had left at her place. She's doing renovations, now, so she needs the space.
I went through all the stuff, this morning (it was a long task!) and throw away most of it. It was University notes, esp on chem, physics and math, music books (which I kept, mostly) and other objects, like a necklace with a big jade pendant, which I had forgotten about, and which a friend brought me from Taiwan (got to wear it sometimes).

/rant
Among the notes, I found a page with two lists. I think it was when the guy than later would become my boyfriend (and successively my ex) was giving me very mixed signals, so I put in two separate columns the "positive" signals and the "negative" signals (what a dork, I know!). Besides that, what really cought my attention was a sentence I had written at the bottom of the page and underlined. I remember it's something he said to me once. It was:

Shut up, because that'd be better for eveybody.

WHAT? How dare you?

I know that nowadays, I'd just cancel from my life everyone who'd say something similar to me! I can't believe I was feeling so bad because of him, at the point of making a list, and he was saying these things to me.

Well, after reading it, I don't feel so bad anymore that I broke up with him - as I have felt for years. He definitely deserved it.
Plus, I am so glad today I wouldn't allow anyone to say something like that to me!

/end rant

Friday, February 27, 2009

Song of the day



I didn't know these guys: heard this song on the radio while driving back home.
I really think they're really good!

Interesting article...



I found this article on Style Bakery.
It's an ok article, nothing new from my point of view. Only, I'd like to comment on some points.

In the introduction, it says:
A closet brimming with designer handbags and overflowing with shoes is no longer the signature of a stylish woman.

Well, I have never thought that to be stilish you need designer stuff - quite the opposite! I don't think to be elegant and chic you have ever needed to spend a lot of money - if you can, good for you, but if you can't, no need to worry!!!
Elegance is much more than a signature on a dress. It's a way of putting things together, of presenting yourself a certain, unique way, and has to do with personality as much (if not more) as with the clothes you wear!

Anothe one:
7. Think quality, not quantity ... Is it better to spend $200 on 5 cheap but chic shirts you'll wear just for the season, or should you spend that money on a great fitting dress you'll wear for years?

Tatally agree on quality over quantity, but 200$ for 5 shirts means 40$ each on average. That's not cheap on my book! I have several nice shirts I bought from Express 2-3 years ago, less expensive than 40$ each, and I am still wearing them, since I do take good care of them. May be we should re-think what we define "cheap"? I repeat: 40$ for a shirt is not cheap for me!

Done with the rant. I did enjoy the rest of the post, thought!

I put a pic of Audrey Hepburn, because sh'e my favourite chic woman! Yes, Givenchy was making dresses for her, but she was a "natural".

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Morning thoughts...

I don't know why I am so pensive when I am on the bus. May be it's the nice view, the warm, fuzzy feeling, or the music I listen to...
This morning I had a thought about Middle Age, probably looking at the ancient walls of a nearby little town. And I thought. What would it have happened if I had been borne during the Middle Age?
Besides the obvious fact that I probably wouldn't have much left to live (I think life expectation was about 40...), what would I have been?
I probably a poor farmer, not even able to read, because most of the people couldn't read then, and I know I don't have noble ancestors.
I'd probably have spent my life working in the fields, having children, and not expecting anything more!

I consider myself a smart person, and I know that my degree and my accomplishments happened because I put an effort to obtain them. It was not easy.
But, what would I have been without the help of the favorable conditions we have nowadays, and of my family? I mean: it's not a given that I am given the possibility to study, move, do whatever I put my mind and my heart to, is it?

I think I should feel very lucky. And do. I am very grateful to all the chances life has donated to me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Song of the day

Jazz, encore! Love his "smoky" voice!


Stuff...



This is Ash Wednesday (had to check the spelling for wednesday, that's really sad!!!), and I am supposed to write a post a day starting today.
Hmmm... let's do it, then.

Last night I came back home late, because there was some Mardi Gras parade on Viale Trastevere, so my bus got deviated, and since everything got deviated on the same street, the traffic was insane. Walking home from the bus stop, I was happy to see my favourite pastry shop was still open!
I picked up two St. Joseph bignè, and headed home.

I am happy to say bf was feeling like me, just looking forward to talk. He apologyzed before I could even say anything, and said what he had said in the morning was stupid and wasn't something he really thinks.
So we were all happy and ate the bignè after dinner! A nice conclusion for a crappy day...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Song of the day!!!

Love!!


silence...

I decided to undertake a challenge: post everyday for lent.
Don't know what I am gonna write so interesting, but I felt since I'll have to start posting every day, I could take a break efore, right?

On another note... had an ugly discussion with bf this morning... I have something to do before going home, but I whish I could go directly and talk to him.
I am gonna buy something good on my way home, to eat for dessert. Hope evrything goes well...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shopping ban update

I was so good for the whole last 10 days... until today!
I went to Sandro Ferrone to check the final sales, and I found a beautiful dress that I'll wear for an upcoming wedding. It's so cute I couldn't pass it. Plus, it was only 29 euros.
That's all, I swear!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine day!

Yesterday it was V-day.
For the last week or so, every time I'd mention I was going to make a cake for V-day, bf would say - but we don't celebrate V-day! If you want to make a cake, just make it.
But I wanted to say my cake was for Valentine's day, so I kept saying it. And yesterday I made it.
It's a very dense chocolate cake I made, and we had some friends over for dinner to celebrate V-day. Because, I really think it's just another good chance to be toghether with friends.

Yesterday afternoon I wanted to go take a walk near Piazza Navona to take some pics and take a look at the small shops there. I told bf if he didn't feel like coming, I'd just go alone and take the bus.
Surprisingly, he decided to come with me, and was very patient when I was going inside said small shops!
I found four-five consignment shops I didn't know they even existed. They have nice leather coats, and very good bags. Too bad I am on a shopping ban, but I am planning on going back there for spring/summer stuff.
After all, even if bf refused to say we were celebrating V-day, we had a really good time, so I really cannot complain!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Song of the day...

Beautiful voice. No more words needed...

Friday, February 13, 2009

I am kinda of obsessed with this video lately... even if I am not sure what it means...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Embarassing moments...

On Mon I stayed home because I wasn't feeling well. At some point, in the afternoon, bf sent me a very sweet text. I couldn't reply immediately, as I was doing something else, but after I was done, I texted him back, something like "Me too, my love... C"
Couple of hours forward, he comes back home and says "did you read my message?" "yes, I replied too" "I didn't get anything!"
So I went to check my cell phone, and there was this text from my colleague, with whom I am pretty friendly. She wrote: "Thanks, but are you sure "my love" is for me?"
Basically, I had sent the message to the last number I had sent the previous one, and that was her, to say I wasn't going to work.
Thank God it went to her, and not my boss. That would have been much more embarrassing!
So now she keeps jocking like "Oh, you can tell me, we are intimate now, my love..."

This kind of mistakes is so... Chiara!

Song of the day



I listened to this song this morning on the bus to work. It reminds me very much of when I was living in Brooklyn, studying for my degree and working at a bakery during weekends. My friend Dee, from the bakery, introduced me to Matchbox 20 (who are pretty much unknown in Italy), and I immediately loved them... I kept listening to their album, that Dee burned for me on a CD.
It feels bittersweet to listen to this song after so much time...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Shopping ban time!


I have been spending a bit too much on shopping, lately. More than I had became used to, lately, mostly because before I got paid I had very little disposable money.
Her are my last buys:
  • A leather bag, blue color, from Benetton. It was 50% off, and since I had been eyeing it from the moment it got to the stores, I am really happy I bought it!
  • A pair of dark wash jeans. I got a nice deal on them, and paid 19 euros only. Finally, now I can wear jeans to the office: the ones I had before, all have a hole, from working in the lab, except for my Killah jeans, that are too casual for work.
  • A subscription to Hachette home, a home magazine I keep buying from the newsstand. I decided to suscribe, since it's cheaper, and I'd buy it anyway!
  • A pair of grey booties. It's my first pair, and I plan on wearing them with pants (I don't have the legs to wear booties+skirt!). They are gray, so I can wear them with jeans, black, brown or gray pants.

Although I am pretty happy about all these buys, I decided it's time for a shopping ban!

At least from now to Easter. Here are the rules!

  • Food is allowed (duh!)
  • Presents/gifts are allowed, of course
  • Replacement items are allowed too (I am thinking bath items and toiletry).
  • Theatre, cinema, exibitions, and the like are allowed.
  • Books? Yes!

Basically, I just need to stop buying clothes, shoes and bags. And some makeup items, such as nail polishes (I have a lot of them!). The idea would be to address my money on something more meaningful, since I really do not need anymore clothes!

Let's see how it goes... I feel if I make my resolution public, I'll stick better to it!

Weekly to do list.



Bummer!
I woke up this morning with a terrible headache, probably due to my sinuses (again!), so I decided to stay home. Tomorrow I have something very important at work, so I MUST go, and I preferred to skip work today.
As I recently confessed, I am a shameless list addict. So, here's my list of what I need/want to do this week:

  • I absolutely have to take my headset to work on Tue, for a vistual class with the Munich office.
  • Teach two classes, Mon and Wed.
  • Go to theatre on Thu
  • Doctor on Fri
  • Exam on Thu
  • Go to Zara to check out their jeans: I saw my cousin yesterday wearing a very nice pair, appropriate for work, and I want to try them on (I never bought anything from them here in Italy)
  • Write at least three artcles for the website I write for: one of my first two articles got nice ratings, and now it's like third out of twelve (yay!).
  • Go on with the book I am reading. It's a very interesting book I got for my birthday (in july!), but I never seem to have time to read! Besides, a much lighter and fluffier one is waiting for me once I am done with this (that being an incentive).
  • Take pics of interesting stores windows.
  • Call the hair salon for an appointment! It gets more and more difficult to style my hair in the morning...
  • Make a cake for Valentine's day. I already know which one, but I have to buy the ingredients (or I should delegate do bf?)
  • I am sure I'll think of more...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sweet thughts...

It's raining really hard outside, so we decided to stay home tonight...
I forgot how sweet and relaxing it to stay on the couch, reading or surfing the net, with a loved person sitting next to me, a bit of chocolate and a glass wine...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lists.

I know there is such a thing as the Secret Society of List Addicts, and I often find it fun to read the entries. But I had never considered myself a "List Addict".
Then, a few moments ago, I found myself doing something I do every Saturday or Sunday: writing a list of outfits for the upcoming week. I spend some time doing this, as I have to consider what I have to do on any given day, whether I stay at my place or bf's place, whether or not I have to take the bus/motocycle. I also try to think of which necklace/bracelet/earrings/bag I'll use on a given day. It's insane, short of crazy.
Then, I reflected, I have long been writing lists. What I absolutely need to do tomorrow. What I have to take to bf's home for the next days. What I need to buy at the supermarket. What makeup i need to replace. And listen to this: before sales started, I made a list of what I needed. Something like: three skirts, one of which brownish, two tops, boots, one pair of pants... And I did stick to it!

So, i started reflecting: why do I love lists so much?
I really think that because I tend to feel overwhelmed very easily, lists help me keep grounded. Like, if I see what I have to do on paper, I can quantify it. It almost become real, and less intimidating.

I don't know if it's an addiction, if I need to talk to a psychologist,or of it's normal. But I do know that it halps me get things done... so it cannot be too bad, right?

Song of the Day

I heard this song this morning while cleaning my apartment, and it stuck to my head...



Love his unique voice. I find this song an invitation to not take anything too seriously...

searching...

Due to the disastrous status of the economy, here in Europe like in the States, I am continuously in search of ways to raise side money... I never know when I might lose my job!
I always have a part-time teaching job, but they are really bad with payments (always late and totally non reliable). I'd love to find some free-lance writing jobs, but it Italy it's like impossible.
And I am really self-conscious about english not being my first language, so I am shy about applying for free-lance writing jobs at US websites. Besides, I am really confused about what I can write about.
I am thinking of doing a list of possible topics. Let's see...
  • Science! That's what I have studied for. Plus, i am good at explaining science at every level, adapting the level of difficultyit to the audience.
  • Food. I love food and love experimenting with it...
  • Book reviews. Don't know why I hadn't thought of this earlier: I like to read (and to own books, too...)
  • Fashion. That'd require some work, since it's not exactly something I work with, but it's something I really love. Writing on this would would probably involve reading more about trends, runways, fashion blogs... it might even become fun!
I am gonna spend some more time thinking about this...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Yay!

Picure from Andy Warhol

I finally did it!
I went to the bank this morning, to deposit the money I had left in my US bank account. It came out a quite consistent sum, more than two months living expenses. As soon as the money shows up on my bank account, I am going to put it in my ING account, and let it grow!
I am especially happy I overcame my famous lazyness and finally did it!

Now, next step, would be to get the money from my ex employer pension plan, and put that in my savings account. But I have to figure out how the whole process works...
I should probably give myself a time limit to do this, otherwise I'll never get this accomplished!

Stories...

Lovely Gala from icing in one of her recent posts asks:
When was the last time that an unfortunate turn of events was actually something fabulous in disguise?

I didn't really have to thinkmuch about which one big event had changed my life. But I am still trying to figure out whether it was something fabulous that came out of it, or not...

During my childhood, I had always said I wanted to be a doctor. A surgeon, to be more detailed. I went to high school with the intention of getting high scores and get into the medical school. So, after my last year high school, I applied to two universities, both in Rome. I had to pass a test to get into both.
First, I had the test in the private university. Then, I had to take the test at the public university, which was the place I really wanted to get into. It was scheduled on Sep 14th 1993. I remember that day as if it was yesterday.
I took the bus, got to the subway station, only to find the subway closed because it was flooded with rain. Such event hasn't happened any other time, as I can remember.
I called my dad, he picked me up and took me to the examination building, but by the time we got there it was too late. It was done. No more hopes of getting into the medicine faculty at that university.
I had good grades, and a very high chance to be admitted, even only with my high school curriculum. And in fact, I got admitted to the private university.

But...

I had lost my drive. It was too much of a financial stretch for my parents, and the scholarships wouldn't have covered for living and the whole tuition. And there was no chance of getting a loan.
Now I know that I could have spent my first year at the private school, then tranferred to the public one. But I was just sick of the whole ordeal.

So, I picked another faculty. I graduated in industrial chemistry, and after 5 years I got to NY for my PhD. I stayed in the US for seven years, and very much loved the experience.

Not everything has been easy, both there and here after I came back. But I had a wonderful experience, and the feeling of doing everything by one's self in another country is really empowering. I know I can pretty much do anything.

After the subway flooding, I accept life turns thinking that something better can come out of every bad situation. Not easy, now always comforting, but it is undeniably true!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shameles self-advertisment

Lovely Kris at stylethread.com did a stitch on yellow and grey for spring for fashion and home and featured a couple of my pictures!
I am so proud of it, I am sending the link to everybody!

Here is the link, for your viewing pleasure:

www.stylethread.com/stitch_current.html

Monday, February 2, 2009

Work woes... again!

On Friday we got the unofficial news that the director of our department had been changed. And today on our website there was the news, with the names of all new directors.
Not sure if it is a bad or a good thing yet.
What I know, is that the former director is the one that really pushed to have some new technical examiners (the five of us), so she was probably going to push for us to stay even when the contract would have expired (Oct 2009).
I don't think the new director is firing us, but maybe the chances of having our contract renewed in October are slimmer...
Our boss is in a meeting today, and tomorrow will come back with some news. Hopefully not too negative.

I hadn't counted on my October renewal, the thing that would really scare me now is if they got rid of us right now. Still, they really need us: simply by checking the progress it has been made since we are here, they can see it.

Oh, well...
I already know where I want to apply for a job once I am done here. May be I'll have to do a bit sooner, even if I really hope not.

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