Supermarket Showdown #3752745

child running in supermarket alley

It’s been months since I had the guts to take my son to the supermarket. I’m not sure if every parent necessarily develops this form of shoppingwithtoddlerophobia, as I do sometimes see these relaxed women followed by faithful toddler girls doing a neat impersonation of a bonsai shopping housewife – but MY life does not look like that.

When my son started going to preschool, last November, I swore an oath to myself that I would always use those precious hours to practice the craft I love and WORK on my writing. But the craft I love is a foxy beast who knows many magic tricks to make time disappear, so slowly, over the months, I came to embrace the notion that slicing a tiny 25 minutes out of the two-hour Tuesday to dash get bread and a few other groceries for dinner was not such a bad idea after all.

For it spared me having to go with my Toddler.

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Return Of The Monster Tonsil

Or – How To Set Your Throat Chakra Ablaze In One Easy Step

strawberries and blades

It’s a random Tuesday night, I put away the millet-and-courgette-and-other-stuff cassoulet leftovers in the fridge, make myself a cup of lemongrass infusion and sit on the couch. I’m not even that pissed about myself tonight, the first two days of this new week have been quite productive and I always get a dopamine rush at the feeling I’m keeping my shit tight.

I fire up my favourite SVOD channel and while I relax in my sweatpants and thick old socks, I notice I may have a bit of heartburn, cause a small acid pang somewhere at the bottom of my larynx. I make a mental note to choose peppermint for the next cup. Too much lemon juice in the lettuce? Perhaps.

But at the third episode of Grace And Frankie I know things are much more serious than I had suspected. The peppermint didn’t help at all, and what I thought was a tiny acid reflux is turning out to be a full-blown throat ache, of the kind which mean no good.

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How To Survive A Film Festival, Unharmed

Many film festival badges from my past

If you have ever seen a big film festival with your own eyes, it’s impossible you didn’t notice how insistently it shines. Everything around a film festival is sparkly and bright (filmmakers know their lights), everywhere you look there’s silver high heels and paparazzi flashes, golden doorknobs, watery eyeballs.

Truth is, behind the silver screen things are indeed quite fancy, but also pretty hollow, and wasted. What from the outside looks like a dazzling celebration of CINEMA (the most expensive form of entertainment out there) is essentially a glorified fair for the Film Industry. Every big film festival is in fact a beehive clusterfuck of film-business people looking to hook-up with more film-business people so to hopefully find a distribution on Asian territories, find a new script to develop, find someone willing to arrange half of a million coins to finish the postproduction of the movie they’re stuck with, and get laid. Continue reading

To Pizza Or Not To Pizza

toddler not really eating juicy pizza

For me, eating pizza is a lot like going on “vacation” to my parents’ house. The dynamic around the two processes looks virtually the same. First, I think about it – Hey! Why don’t I go get me some lovely pizza? It’s been so long since I ate pizza! Mmmmm, pizza! – which every time sounds like the best fucking idea, because pizza is so awesome! Everyone loves pizza, few things in the world are tastier and more comforting than good pizza, one of those made with the heartiest ingredients and baked in a real wood-oven like they do in the country I come from – Italy. Pizza is warm and soft, it smells like yeasty roasted heaven, and it tastes even better, that simple yet perfect combination of tomato sauce and melted cheese, topped to perfection by fistfuls of what your palate loves most – olives? rucola? grilled aubergines? salami?

Just please no canned pineapple. Canned pineapple on a pizza is some strange brand of heresy.

The problem between pizza and me, though, is in the mozzarella. I shouldn’t eat real, juicy mozzarella because I’m Continue reading

One & Done

red crochet chicken on egg

It’s almost Easter again. The purple tips of the blossoming magnolias, the moist scent of last winter’s dog poo awakening in the sun. Also, everyone’s pregnant with their second child. And by everyone I mean my next-door neighbour, 97% of the girls in my mama group who popped with their first within the same few months as yours truly, and – most importantly – my sister.

My mother is about to come stay with us for two weeks and she’s on a mission like one of those groggy police negotiators who take jumpers down from the edge of buildings, unharmed, unsplattered. If I want to survive the upcoming holiday, I need to prepare to fend off the numerous, unrelenting conversations about this epidemic of second human conceptions that’s holding me under siege. Continue reading

Things I Should Be Doing Instead Of Writing

I am a TWAHT mom.

And by TWAHT I mean Trying to Work At Home with Toddler (mom). My line of work is writing and I do it whenever my young offspring is asleep (god bless naps), whenever it’s a weekend and he’s out with his Papa, or in the bath, or at night when I need to write so much that I can’t sleep. Currently, my life mission is to utilize every possible scrap of spare time to slide any of my writing projects forward, even if it’s only by one paragraph. Sometimes, I write even when I’m not writing: under the shower, scrubbing potatoes in the kitchen sink, or chilling on the rug while my son launches his toy train off the couch’s edge.

Writing is my work, but it’s hard to consider it a job. Also, it’s hard to have those around me understand what it means to me, this invisible passion. Writing is my art and my calling and I do not think I need to earn money on my words in order for me to be legit. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, but as long as I write I am legit. This very moment, this drowsy afternoon while the dishes downstairs are not yet done and I’m trying to type as many sentences as possible before my son calls me from our bedroom, right now, I am as legit as I need to be.

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Every Holiday Season is always spiked with hurdles in the form of uncomfortable questions from friends and family and strangers alike. Their inquiries and conversation starters will all be tentative paraphrases of the same thought – What is it exactly that you do? Every one has a clear opinion about what I should be doing instead of writing, and by everyone I mean my mother, my next door neighbor, and helpful strangers on the bus. Continue reading

Back To Bra

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I leave the bedroom quietly, shut the door like I’m not even there. It took me so long to get him to fall asleep, nursing, he must have sucked for almost half an hour. I step into the bathroom, lift my shirt, and estimate the damage. I take the needle from the complimentary hotel sewing kit I keep handy on the shelf, clean it with rubbing alcohol then get down to it. The first time I had to do this I sweated profusely, the needle slipping out of my fingertips and my heart pumping like a traumatized squirrel’s. Continue reading

Book, Interrupted

I have finally started bringing out of the garage some of the boxes with books I’ve not yet unpacked since our move to the new house four months ago. This past weekend, I found a bunch of special books which are close to my heart in a peculiar way. Their story is what you are about to read, I call them The Interrupted.

Like many other bookworms out there, it’s quite hard for me to read only one book at a time. Usually, I have an average of 3-4 titles in progress on my desk, bedside table, and toilet sink. Many of them, eventually, meet their destiny and get read till the end, but there is always a small percentage which remains stuck at some level and lingers for months and months in this halfway state between the unread and the finished until I get tired of seeing its cover catching dust, I force myself to make peace with the thought I will not see the end of this story any time soon, and I finally archive the title on The Interrupted Shelf.

Yes, I have an Interrupted Shelf. I also call it “The Limbo Shelf”, a name that wants to express empathy for their stuck and unfinished state of being. I have feelings and respect for my books, even those I will probably never read till the end. That’s why I would like to introduce to you nine of the most egregious Interrupted titles, celebrate them for a moment, before they slide back onto their shelf and deep into this reader’s oblivion.

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1 * THE NEW YORK TRILOGY * Paul Auster

Interrupted when and where: sometime in 2009, on page 129 of 308. Reason for the Interruption: as the title suggests, this is a collection of three stories. I read the first two, City Of Glass and Ghosts, and stopped right before The Locked Room. Why? Although I am a big Continue reading

In Which I Sell My First Guitar For A Ferry Ride (To Finland)

Previously on my Tale Of Three Guitars: I actually start with no guitar but singing in a church choir and not wanting to play the piano. Then, I become a rebel and buy the ugliest bass you’ll ever see, start a band only to watch it come undone after the first gig. I have more luck with my second band, thanks to which I have my first lick of rockstardom, until high school ends and I have to leave the country. Next is the story

In Which I Sell My First Guitar For A Ferry Ride (To Finland)

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It’s 1997, I’m 19 years old. I leave my parental nest and move 1256 kilometers North, to Poland, to study cinema. (My) luck wants that the city where the Film Academy is located is also where my maternal Grandmother lives. My parents find this marvelously convenient and it’s agreed that, until I figure out whether or not I am fit for this film life, I’d stay with her. Trying to describe my Grandmother’s persona in a sentence or two would be unfair to her great complexity, but because this story is not about her let’s just say that If Gary Oldman as Nosferatu in Coppola’s cult-ass Dracula had a female version of himself, that would be my Grandma. Only, with much less hair and absolute zero sex appeal. She’d torture me by waking me up at unsanitary early hours (6 am on Sunday morning!?) because it pissed her off that someone was asleep in the house when she had already risen. She’d prepare meals for me then sit and stare at me making sarcastic remarks about how ugly I look when I chew. Needless to say, she did not allow any bass-playing in her house and as it was not easy to take my guitar and amp out for a jam, for the first whole year of studies there was nada Rock’N’Roll.

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I Took A Bath

A few days ago I read a mighty entertaining story written by Jill from The Jillist for Mamalode about how NOT to take a bath. It made me laugh and slap my forehead in so many ways, but it also made me realize one very important thing.

See, I didn’t always love baths. For most of my young years I’ve actually been a shower person. Many aspects of the whole bath-taking process used to irritate me way more than relax, like having to wait forever for the tub to fill up, or almost always ending up with a full bath of water which was just a bit too hot, or too cold. Once I consumed the time-frame of three showers to just get the thing ready, I would finally submerge myself only to jump the heck out of there after seven minutes because I’m hot, sweating, and from the way my veins pulsate on my temples I’m afraid I could be on the verge of a heatstroke.

Also, what the fuck am I gonna do sort of floating in soapy water for longer than that? Read a book? No, because what if it falls in the water. Scroll through my social media? Even more no, I’ve got too many pictures not yet posted on Instagram to risk having my phone take a bath with me. Reenacting Breaking Bad episodes with my toy duck?

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One Kinky Night Out at the Sexpo [BLUNTmoms]

Once upon a time, three godzillion years ago, I was not yet a Mom. No, I was a smooth and juicy young gal who liked her sexy time very VERY much. Especially when it was with the man who later became Papa Blues. Indeed, from the very beginning of our lust affair, we both agreed that when it comes to bedroom acrobatics, we don’t necessarily like vanilla all the time, we are into variety and experiments, and we are not at all afraid of getting our freak on once in a while. Believe me, it was FUN.

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But then, from all that FUN obviously, we accidentally became parents and stopped having sex completely (sort of). That’s why nowadays I often find myself revisiting the memories of those good times that were and recently traveled back to the night of our second anniversary. The night we decided to celebrate by going to a sexpo. I wrote this story down and was MINDBLOWN that the kick-ass BLUNTmoms found it worthy of being published on their site. Here is a little excerpt (consider it foreplay): Continue reading

Mind The Nap [Sammiches and Psych Meds]

During the first year of V’s life, countless times I found myself wandering the streets like a ghost stuck between limbos trying to have him sleep in his stroller. Often, I was also so tired and angry I would run hate-rants in my head like hypnotic anti-lullabies to keep me awake while I walked. Sometimes, I felt frantic and abandoned and it blew my mind that no-one out there paid a spit of attention to me, my bloodshot eyes, and the baby I was rocking to sleep.

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So one day I wrote a thoroughly sleep-deprived open letter to all those childless suckers making noises on the street while I tried to get my little one to finally nap and the hilarious and juicy Sammiches and Psych Meds decided to join my cause and publish it on their site. It goes a little something like this: Continue reading