Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

The View From My Upstairs Balcony

One of my favorite parts of our place, this is the view first thing in the morning:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

More on the X Man

Well, the mystery of what has been ailing the X Man is starting to come into focus a bit more. I had to reschedule his doctor appointment yesterday but I had interesting conversation with our neighbor a couple nights ago that helped shed some light on thigs. See, we live in a "bifamiliare" (basically a duplex) and the family that lives next to us has a grandchild living with them named Danielle. Danielle is about Xavier's age, is in his class at school, and the two have become best buddies. Xavier is often over their house playing with Danielle and it's cute to hear them playing together, the X Man speaking fluent Italian to him. Anyway, I happened to be talking to Danielle's grandmother the other night and mentioned Xavier's vomiting and diarrhea. She told me that Danielle has had the same thing for the past week as has everyone else in their house. Not only that but I've been told that it is some kind of virus and has been sweeping the whole area. Luca had it and I've even got a touch of it myself the past day or two. Fortunately Xavier appears to be over it and seems back to normal the past couple days. Last night he even kept complaining that he was hungry.

In other X Man news, he has developed a supernatural fear of bees. We have a big flower bush next to our driveway and the bees have been all over the past week as the weather has been beautiful here. Everytime he has to get in and out of the car now, he jumps out and runs halfway across the yard just to avoid getting anywhere near the bush. Not only that but, in his mind, spring = bees. The past several weeks, he asks me 10 times a day "How many more days til spring". And when I tell him "Spring will be here soon", he gets quiet and says "Oh no...bees". His obsession with bees is actually getting quite annoying. I can't imagine what will happen if he ever actually gets stung by one. He will probably pass out and be scarred for life...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What to do with the X Man?

Something is wrong with the X Man. Exactly what, we're not quite sure. He's been on antibiotics twice since January for ear infections which seem to have subsided. He's always had a weak stomach and pukes easily but lately it seems to be getting worse. The past couple weeks he's also developed diarrhea. At first I figured it must be a side effect of the antibiotics but he stopped taking those almopst a week ago and still has the shits. He has always been a fussy eater and underweight but lately he has gotten much worse in the this regard and coupled with the diarrhea, he's losing weight when he should be gaining. Not only that but he has been puking a lot lately. This makes it difficult because we can't force him to eat all of his meal for fear that he will inevitably puke it right up. He takes two bites and then complains that he's full or that his tummy hurts. It's extremely annoying. He still has plenty of energy though and he isn't displaying any signs of the flu or any other major illness, which is encouraging. I kind of suspect that he's caught some kind of virus or bug from one of the other kids at school - I don't think it's any coincidence that his health problems started right after he started going to school.

Anyway, he's got a doctor's appointment on Thursday so hopefully we'll know what - if anything - is wrong with him.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

Application to be a parent...

This was sent to me recently and thought I'd post it for all the other parents out there...

PARENT - Job Description

Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop


Long term, team players needed, for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment.
Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends
and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities!
Travel expenses not reimbursed.
Extensive courier duties also required.


The rest of your life.
Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.
Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule
and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices.
Must always hope for the best but b e prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.


Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you


None required unfortunately.
On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.


Get this! You pay them!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses.
A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent.
When you die, you give them whatever is left.
The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered;
this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Five 80's TV shows I loved

1. Cheers

2. Hunter

3. Spencer: For Hire

4. Family Ties

5. Moonlighting

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My 10 favorite Italian wines

1. Marchesi di Barolo

2. Brunello di Montalcino (never had a bad one)

3. Amarone (preferably from Recchia)

4. Cannonau di Sardegna

5. Nero d'Avola (Sicilia/Sicily)

6. Chianti Classico (MUST be a Classico)

7. Barbaresco d'Alba

8. Valpolicella Classico Superiore

9. Valpolicella Ripasso di Recchia

10. Any Pinot Nero from the Trentino region

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

10 European cities I think are underrated

1. Bologna, Italy

2. Wurzburg, Germany

3. Strasbourg, France

4. Ljubijana, Slovenia

5. Nurnberg, Germany

6. Salzburg, Austria

7. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

8. Porto, Portugal

9. Andorra La Vella

10. Padova, Italy

Sunday, March 01, 2009

5 Reasons why I love watching Rugby

1. Scrums

2. The Hooker

3. The Sin Bin

4. Blood Subs

5. Extra points for blowouts.