Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...


Men in Hardhats Bring Joy to Small Town

I would like to take a moment to remember my home-town, post hurricane Rita. The eye passed right over Orange and left a trail of damage in its wake. One of the more serious consequences of the storm was...LOSS OF CABLE. FOR OVER A MONTH. I went home to visit last year at the end of October, only to find this despicable and totally unacceptable condition existing unscathed. I wrote the following words one year ago, October 29th. To commemorate the anniversary of this event, I want to share with you my story of cable rebirth and hurricane redemption.

WOW! WE FINALLY HAVE CABLE WHICH MEANS WE FINALLY HAVE INTERNET!! Oh for the love of god it's been hard. I woke up this morning to my father's cries of, "I can watch the Sci-Fi channel!!!" It was like Christmas! Yes, my rear-end has sorely missed contact with its beloved couch. Just not a big reason for them to meet as frequently when there's no E True Hollywood Story, Real World marathon, or Food Network.

My sister got her cable 2 days ago. I saw a man hovering around the top of the telephone pole in her yard and my brother-in-law said, "Oh yeah, he's hooking up our cable." WHAT!?!? "ASK WHEN HE IS COMING TO OUR NEIGHBORHOOOOOOOOD!" Luckily I was right yesterday when, on our way home from the mall, I spotted several unmarked trucks carrying several unmarked ladders, I declared that these MUST be the cable guys. The doubters in the car with me (mom and sister) insisted that "Time-Warner" would be written on the trucks, so it can't be them. I think it is very wise not to advertise in these post-Rita times. Can you imagine, a whole region without cable and internet access for an entire month? Can you imagine what the inhabitants would do to a time-Warner caravan? I personally can just imagine kidnappings, hostage-takings,and bribings. Desperation breeds ugliness, people.

Anyway, having internet back in place can mean only one thing. More emails. SORRY! To quote my 8 year-old niece and her favorite new phrase, "I can't help it."

I have to go, my booty has to see a couch about a TV.

Heartwarming, isn't it?


La Mia Sirena

Here's to the flattered blush of the sea caught in the gaze of an admiring sky.
Here's to the water that softens the wind with a salty whisper.
Here's to the warmth that will return next year, allowing me to float weightless once again.
Here's to the photogenic object of my affection.
Here's to an image with the power to validate my choices when doubts render me (almost) unable to enjoy the beauty of a moment.

Here's to my island.



When I think I about last 3 years that I've been here, I don't remember late September and October being so warm.

Here, it's hot during July and August. Unbearably so because Italians have an unnatural fear of air conditioning.

But then, September is unpredictable, a couple of warm sunny days it will reluctantly give us before October becomes just chilled enough to request a light jacket and cancel your plans for late-season tanning. Summer paraphernalia like swim suits, shorts, and flip-flops are sadly boxed (but never forgotten), and the scent of sun block becomes a trigger of nostalgia for the brief time you had under the sun.

Look at that sunshine! This isn't normal, as I have said, and I will let my toes be free until the cold sends them to their room.

This is just a 5 minute walk from my house. Don't hate me.

To everyone's, I haven't put my sandals away yet. And I'm gonna wear shorts with my wet hair in a towel if you don't stop being smart-ass.

**When I wrote this, it was warm outside. My bragging has since caused winter to begin in Ischia...I apologize for my big mouth and apparent power to control the weather.


30 what? 30 who? Thirty...one

Wednesday, I celebrated the first anniversary of my 30th birthday. In honor of this (not so) momentous occasion, I'd like to revisit my thoughts from exactly 1 year and 1 day ago regarding the whole 30s matter.

(No) more obsessing about 30
You know, I have realized that I am not really sad about turning thirty. Aside from the encroaching wrinkles, premature gray hair, and visions of turkey neck, I don't really mind getting older. I have finally put my finger on the problem. You know the feeling you have when you are about to leave your house to go on vacation for a couple of weeks and you have to check to make sure that all of the lights are off, the iron isn't on, all with that special obsessive/compulsive fervor? Or when you are on your last day visiting some foreign city and you are trying to make sure that you have seen all the museums that you should 'cause you've been sleeping too late and didn't get around to sightseeing yet, you know that feeling?

That's me, right now. I'm at the door, looking at the last decade, years that have all begun with a 2, making sure all of my memories are in place. New city, college, new friends, my niece and nephew, first job, Italy...yes, it's all there. The happy moments, the tragedies, the special people, events, risks and decisions. You know, I've grown quite an affection for my twenties. They dun' went and taught me a lot about this life, and I think I just may be the wiser for it.

So, I've decided, it's not 30 that that has created anxiety--it's leaving 20. Like that trusty old t-shirt you've have for years. It's so comfortable, it makes you happy, it's been with you through thick and thin. But inevitably it reaches the end of its sweet t-shirt life and you just have to move on.

Ok, I think I can close the door and leave now, everything is fine. The iron and the lights are turned off, and I made it to the museum in time. Here's to the next decade!

And if I MUST be honest, I'd have to say that this new t-shirt has been broken in and it fits me just fine.

Happy birthday to me :)


Exclusion #1 from my list of reasons why I live in Italy

At noon I am blessed with a reliable TV schedule of The Rockford Files, Baywatch, and some show where Billy Ray Cyrus was a doctor...with a mullet and a grudge.**


**WARNING: The author bears no personal, legal, or moral responsibility for chronic and incurable mental rotations of "Achy Breaky Heart."


It's that time of year again. The month of my birthday, the time that I take up jogging again, thinking it's because of my devotion to desperately clinging to every breath of salty mediterranean air that I can pump into my lungs. Or maybe it's a deep appreciation of endless morning sea views surrounded by green fforests and chirping birds.

*record scratch*

Or maybe it's the one-year anniversary of my 30th birthday. Maybe every time I pull up to a dinner table I am baptized in olive oil covered vegetables that seem to put 2 pounds on a girl at their mere sight.

It seems that I found myself in a similar situation around this time last year, reminding everyone that my birthday was arriving in just 3 days. That is the the 11th of October, not the 10th or 12th, or 19th like my sister's. No, this is not a desperate cry for attention on the eve of sealing the 30s deal.


Five down, one to go

Please don't be alarmed by my absence, I am simply conducting a carefully planned experiment to see just how long my last remaining reader (hi mom) can tolerate seeing the same post every day for a month.