Thank You For The Music

self portrait with iPod

I can get quite sentimental about objects. Maybe that’s because I’ve spent many years on my own, living alone, working for myself, travelling so much, which made me learn to appreciate the company and comfort certain things can provide. Not ALL things, of course, I’m not a hoarder and actually I have quite a minimalist approach to the owning of material goods, but there are a few objects I cherish, which have been through a lot together with me, which have stood by me and kept going even when everything else seemed to fall apart (like the water cooker that’s been with me 15 years now and has tirelessly boiled water for my cups of tea across 5 countries).

If I can consider these few objects my friends, then there is one among them which has been my absolute best friend ever since we laid eyes on each other. And, as it also goes with human friendships, for reasons hard to understand and as sudden as a chameleon snapping a fly mid-flight with its tongue, I lost it. 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

30 Birthdays And The Second Guitar

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, I sell my first guitar for a ferry ride (to Finland) which, somehow, brings us to a story of

30 Birthdays And The Second Guitar

pink and black vintage woman playing guitar

Slide your eyelids shut, inhale through your nostrils, and let me time-travel you to the morning of Friday April 11th, 2008. Imagine the heavy, dusty boots of a delivery guy climbing up the concrete-grey staircase of an Eastern European post-soviet film studio, cursing under his breath, smelling of yesterday’s vodka, hug-dragging an uncomfortable, unconventional, shapely package. He moves down a somber corridor, scanning the numbers on the doors, looking for the one marked on his order. He finds it, it’s wide open, it’s a production office for one of the many movies being shot somewhere around the studios. Three people sit behind desks in the room, the delivery guy doesn’t knock, he pants his way in and plants the thing in the middle of the coffee-stained carpet, staring, waiting for the bitch who had the brilliant idea to have such a thing delivered by mail to jump up from her chair in utter delight.

That bitch is me, and the funky thing that looks like a Blues Brothers’ guitar case fucked a postal package and gave birth to this, is what I got myself for my thirtieth birthday. 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)

FERRY-ARCTIC 03

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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Camera Obscura

These last few days saw the passage of two necessary landmarks I trip on every single year. On April 1st I celebrated 13 years since the day of my graduation [yes, I graduated on April Fool’s day – now I know it was a full-frontal omen] and on April 11th – yesterday – I celebrated 37 years since the day of my birth.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

I love to count time. When I was little, I had this habit: I would take mental photographs of moments that struck me particularly and hold them in my thoughts as time-trackers. I would count back toward them and try to dissect the strange feeling it gave me to see that something present and real would morph into past and eventually fall out of my memory, gone.

I took one of the mental photos I remember most clearly on the day of my brother’s christening. I was 9, we had already left the house to go to church when I realized I forgot my purse. My mother allowed me to go get it, I dashed back into my room and stopped cold at what I saw. Continue reading

A Trip To Neurodisney

Last time I told you the story of how the love of music awakened in me and how, on a sweaty teenage afternoon, I came to the conclusion my life would *have* to be about playing the bass from that moment on and forever.

[ In case you missed that post, no worries: READ IT HERE ]

Quite a few months went by from that day of awakening to the moment I actually held a bass in my hands. Months that I spent in lucid daydreaming of how incredibly cool I would look on a stage, how confident and mean, rocking the shit out of them strings. How I would pinch them, pick at them, slap them furiously and pace like a wild sexy thing across the stage, adolescent mojo oozing out of my every pore. In my daydreams, the guitar I was holding was black and shiny, fierce, scary, something that only a tough and mighty girl could know how to wrangle. Something like this:

bass09 melissa

[ This is Melissa Auf Der Maur – she has it all ]

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A Tale Of Three Guitars – Prologue

My adventures in Rock’N’Roll started quite askew and not very early at all: I was eleven when my mother decided I must learn to play the piano.

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No-one plays the piano in my family. No one plays any other instrument for that matter or is even remotely able to sing, so I have no idea why my mother came to such conclusion. She probably just assumed that, because I seemed to display the buds of creative inclinations, I needed to hold such skill. In order for this to happen, my parents rented a piano which was delivered by three strong men riding a truck and placed right next to our dining table. I believe their idea was I would eventually be able to entertain their guests with sonatas in B-major while they digested their desserts sipping on Fernets.

It never happened.

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A Day In A Life That Was

Today is Thursday and I would like to do my first contribution to the #ThrowbackThursday theme by posting something I wrote in the past, that talks of my past, and looks like the past too.

But first, a few words of introduction.

Back in 2010 I lived in Amsterdam for a year. I was young, beautiful and (care)free and my life looked *completely* different than what it is now. Sometime later I started writing a blog the main character of which was my alter ego: Betty Too. I was having a great time with that blog, but a little over a year ago, when I found myself holding a positive pregnancy test, everything sort of came undone in my head and Betty was one of those casualties.

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