Thursday, February 12, 2004

Turning a Corner

Today Jane and I walked from one side of town to another, stopping periodically to look at various Valentine's Day displays that practically bathe the city's shops in red. The weather is just changing, the air crispser than yesterday. The chill of winter might be upon us soon, but right now it's almost perfect outside--the sun smiling down helplessly as the wind takes over, a mix of warm and cool. You can still eat gelato, and we did, at the gelateria in Piazza Mazzini.

But it was the walk down the Scalette that opened my eyes today. Hurrying down one of the side alleys, we hit the Scalette and I felt almost overcome with its grandness, something I hadn't noticed often before. The evening was just beginning, and people were moving along that staircase-hill, chatting, browsing in shops. The lights were all on and golden, and the long walk down seemed like it continued for blocks and blocks. There was the sound of happy chatter, the smell of warm pizza, and the mesmerizing sense of not knowing exactly where I was in all of this evening warmth.


No white flag above my door

It has long been my philosophy that if I could find someone to tie my shoes and take me to swimming lessons, I think I could enjoy a pretty happy existence. There is definitely something to be said for the joyous challenges of youth (double knots are tricky, the perfectly-timed flipturn is illusive, etc.) as opposed to the menial complexities of growed-up-ness (a horrid batch of taxes, computer software issues, etc.).

On my "break" from those icky details of these days - I was driving to the bank to make deposits for work - I listened to Dido's new cd, Life for Rent. By the time I got to the bank, one line was stuck in my head, "...on the road where the cars never stop going through the night to a life where I can't watch the sun set, I don't have time..."

I don't like that so often I feel like I'm living that lyric - it seems a universal feeling among many folks I know, too. It's been a while since I watched the sun set; I prefer shoes without laces since they take less time to put on; I haven't been swimming in months.

There has to be a way to have both, to sit still for the last half hour of daylight AND appease the IRS deadlines. The search for this balance has its lows (like today) and its highs (like the dream of Italia in four short weeks!).

Returning from the bank, another lyric caught my attention: "And I won't put my hands up and surrender, there will be no white flag above my door." That's the spirit! Tomorrow is another day - full of deadlines but with the chance to see another sunset, too.


Tuesday, February 10, 2004

My Low-Tech Boyfriend

Yesterday I officially became Antonello's email address for his caving buddies. Since Antonello refuses to touch a computer (he gets scared by the mouse), and since his friends were sick of faxing him materials at work, Antonello gave my address out to be the receiver, and eventually the printer, of his various caving emails.

I didn't think this would bother me. I am checking email quite often anyway, so what could it hurt to get a few emails from his friends, print out a couple of pages, and all the while help out Antonello a little?

Yesterday I received half a meg of emails from various cavers, totaling about 20 pages of printed material. Today I received this email:

Dear Earthlink Subscriber,

Your Earthlink email account is almost out of storage space. Exceeding your storage space limit returns any incoming email to the sender.

For information on clearing out your storage space and avoiding this problem in the future, please see below.

You can also purchase additional storage space for as little as $1.95 per month. Having more space means you don't have to worry about bouncing emails or deleting special messages from family, friends, and colleagues
(i.e. Italian cavers))! To get more storage space now, just click here*:

We appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.

Earthlink MailWatch

*Please note: Typically, additional storage space is available a few seconds after your purchase, though in some cases availability may take up to 24 hours.

So, while now I will be busy deleting a series of large emails from various Italian spelunkers, there is an upside to the matter. I printed the above letter out, and now Antonello and I have new English reading material. It will be hard to explain what "storage space limit" means, but still...