Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Disappointment and rebirth

I am disappointed. I was reading that site I linked to about Tristan Jones (no, I'm not linking again! go find it, you lazy ones!), and I found out that the adventures he described in his books are not true... at least, not entirely.

I spent a week fantasizing about his life! I feel cheated!
Like buying a wonderful lemon tree, full of shiny yellow lemons, only to find out that they were stapled to the branches.
Like watching your beloved
kumquat tree die on your balcony and having no idea of the reason, or of how to recover it.

Then I thought, if what he writes and how he writes makes me dream and makes me stronger about what I want and wish to achieve in my life, then it's alright.
He remains an excellent writer and a pleasant person, and his books are still on my Amazon.com wishlist.

Speaking of wishes, there's not much that I can wish at the moment. Work is going well, private life too (apart from the same old problems, but you can't set them right in just a few days...), so I guess I could describe myself as quite a happy person. It's more than many can say, and I'm grateful for that (to whom? we atheists have a really hard time finding someone to be grateful to...)

Love, darlings. Have fun.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A change, at last

Good evening, darlings! How are you all?
I have to report a remarkable change in mood from the past few days: I am happy.
I finally could spend two days in the countryside with A - which we needed both as individuals and as a couple - my boss was in the office all day and I had fun working with him... in short, things are going well.

First of all, the countryside. We spent the laziest days I could enjoy lately. We walked around barefoot, sunbathe, dined with candles (there was a storm, and electricity went out for a few hours), cooked together, listened to thunder and rain in the evening. We needed to reestablish contact between us, to talk and cuddle and laugh together without thinking about anything - no pressure, no work, no problems. I realized once again that I truly want to be with him, he makes me feel calm, relaxed. He makes me laugh, which is the best gift he could give me. Now I feel I can wait and stand the bad periods, the problems, all that will come (and trust me, it will. He'd need to be a monster to not be affected - and fully aware of what he is doing and why).

Second: work. The boss was in the office today, and I had a very busy and very satisfying day. I worked hard, but I like it. I enjoy my work, so full days like this one make me feel satisfied.
Moreover, I had a glimpse of what my future life will be- and I guess I liked it. He's hard but reasonable, very demanding - and it will be a challenge. Maybe it's because I started taking ginseng capsules every morning again, but I feel quite confident.

I know these things depend largely on myself: when I am positive and active things go well. A little break in my "defenses" usually means that plans will not be realized, people will get angry, etc. It's amazing how the mind can influence our perception of things, and therefore things themselves.

Now I'm sitting in the dark, with a cup of coffee and a cigarette, tap-tapping away on my laptop. It's hot, but I don't mind. I went to the gym tonight (endorphines galore!), so I'm all sweaty and smelly anyway.

Due to my over-enthusiasm about leaving, of course on Friday I forgot my camera at home, so I cannot offer you any picture of the house or the countryside... all I can give you are pictures reflecting my current mood (yes, it's the sea again...)



These I took during a weekend in Cervo - a wonderful old village in eastern Liguria. It's a small village perched on the hills, not far from the sea, all made of stones and full of cats wandering around freely and enjoying cuddles and food from all tourists and passers-by. Quite a remarkable experience. The last picture proudly serves as wallpaper for my PC; it always makes me think of happy times.

I'm being rhetorical and sweeter than saccharine, my darlings, so I'll leave you. The shower calls and I cannot disappoint it.

Sleep well, darlings!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

On dreams, hopes and the passing of time

I'm reading a book (hardly surprising, since I read every time I have a minute to spare...)

The book I'm currently reading and I want to share with you tonight is particular; it's a sailor's story. Not one of those modern sailors who travel in hyper-technological boats around the South Pole in record time - Pete Goss is a good example - no... just a plain, old-fashioned sailor around the world, with a small boat, a three-legged/one-eyed dog and plenty of stories to tell (much like the one I said I'd like to be/become, remember?)

He converted a lifeboat into a sailing boat, with the addition of two masts and sails, and sailed with it around the world just for the sake of it, eating scrap food, doing small jobs when money ran short and enjoying life the rest of the time.
His name is (was, unfortunately - he passed away in 1995) Tristan Jones, should you want to google him and see what comes up (ok, ok, I'll
facilitate you, you lazy spoiled ones!)

Now to the title of my post:
On dreams, because I dream of one day living like that, and be free (and poor - the two things often go together in this crazy world). The life I currently live is more or less the opposite of Tristan's - I wake up every morning, go to the office, work all day, go home. Yes, my life is not only that, I do lots of things I love and care about, but still I am not free.
I don't think this is unfair: I am young and healthy and it is my duty to work for the community (and share the results/benefits of my work with everyone. This is what democracy should be about, isn't it?). HOWEVER, I am still free to dream, and this is what I dream of.
On hopes, because I hope I will be able to do it one day, and have the strength to fulfill my dreams and make them real (the best Xmas card I've ever seen: Je vous souhaite des reves à n'en plus finir / et l'envie furieuse d'en réaliser quelques'uns)
On the passing of time, because Tristan sailed in the '60s and the world was young and kind then. I don't think it would be possible to do it now, one would need too many documents, too much money, too many reasons.
Oh, baby, baby, it's a sad world
It's hard to get back just upon a smile...

(who sang that? Remember?)

I sometimes feel like an outdated hippy... Give me flower power! Long skirts and plastic beads! Woodstock! (both the concert and the bird, of course) The Kon-Tiki! Bob Dylan and Joan Baez!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Weekend insanity

Hello darlings!
I'm back after a weekend break from more or less everything, including blogging and my mental sanity (or what's left of it).
Given that my foul mood did not subside as I would have liked it to, I thought it was better not to bother you. BUT, since I'm extremely generous and maybe someone out there actually cares, here's a brief (???) recap:

On Friday night I fought with my dad over my difficulties in starting the new job. I know it's nothing really, and I'm overreacting due to anxiety and shyness and insecurity and thus making things even more complicated, but I would have appreciated some support instead of his shrugging off the whole matter saying it's bullshit and I'm stupid.
Later, I had an honest talk with my mom on the matter, and was finally able to put it in perspective and let go of my rage (due to the above mentioned reasons I really really don't want to repeat).

You see, I've always been extremely shy. I made a great deal of work on myself over the years, and was able to overcome part, if not most, of it. I can now talk to strangers, fit in groups I would have never dreamt of coming near to, etc. But it costs me a great effort, and after four years in the old job I forgot what it was like. That's the reason of my temporary insanity, stress, rage and all kinds of negative and unpleasant thoughts.

Since my mom loves me and knows me better than I do myself, on Saturday afternoon she took me to the Gay Pride held here in Turin. It was awesome! I am not gay myself, but I fully, strongly, entirely support all kinds of orientation, preference, feeling and what have you. I believe everyone should be entirely free to do and/or be whatever is pleasurable or right for him/her without any organization/structure "regulating" (i.e. limiting) individual liberties - as long as we're talking about consensual adults, of course.
Societies were invented to protect citizens, to support them and provide a safer environment in which to live and work and grow. Religions were invented (yes, I'm an atheist - I believe they were actually invented by someone) to provide emotional support and strength in the face of difficulties. Neither of them has the right to tell a person what he/she can and cannot do in private, with another person who shares the same beliefs/instincts/willingness. Where did it all go wrong?









Since my mom knows me even better than I thought, she also bought me two orange juices with rum, which greatly helped improve my mood.

I did not go out on Saturday night, although I wanted to. All my friends had planned football nights (Italy was playing in the World Soccer Championship), so I could not find a soul who was not glued to a TV set. As you probably guessed, I couldn't care less about soccer. I spent my evening on the internet adding this blog to all search engines and RSS feed I could find, in the (vain?) hope it could help increase my traffic. Suggestions welcome!

Sunday came: I did nothing at all (lazy girl...) until the afternoon, when I took the cat to my mother's. He usually lives with her because I don't spend enough time at home, so he gets bored and stressed and unhappy. He's much better off at mom's, as he very clearly explained to me (don't believe all that s**t: animals can make themselves perfectly clear!). So, I relented and let him move in with her, in a bigger house where he can move as much as he wants and wander on roofs and generally be a naughty boy. He appreciated!

Then, a little fight with A - a few rules needed to be updated. We're not in the best of situations, given that he lives with a person that's not me and is currently fighting his way out. Things are changing, but in the meantime it's not easy. I don't like seeing him so rarely, and not being able to freely plan my time with him, and he doesn't like... well, anything, at the moment. He's having to deal with house selling, money sharing, agreements making and all the rest.
I honestly don't feel I'm a homewrecker - that home was wrecked long before I came - but I'm sorry it's so hard on him. I try not to pressure him, try to make no demands and just let him live this phase and deal with it his way - I only give emotional support and a place to be in without problems.
But, he cancelled on me three times this weekend, and I just gave up. I shouted at him (closed in my grandma's bathroom) that I do not want to live without him but don't want to feel bad because of him, and that the only thing I asked for myself - but that is absolutely non negotiable - is a little of his time and attention. The rest I can manage on my own.
It's such a weird situation... But hopefully it will get better soon. Let's just wait and see.

That's all for today darlings. A bad weekend, but improving! Work is going better these days - I'm more relaxed and reactive, and therefore everything is easier - A's situation is improving and a small flickering light can be seen at the end of the tunnel... What more could I want?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Therapeutic blogging

I'm a bit on the down side today, so expect a rather depressing post. Feel free to avoid it like bubonic plague, never come to my blog again and condemn it to telematic oblivion (but remember you will be held accountable for my eventual breakdown. I'll come again as a recurring nightmare to make your navigation miserable! Where can I find a bedsheet and chains to render my appearances more interesting?)

It's finally Saturday, and I intended to rest, recreate, relax and do all kind of things starting with "r".
Instead, I was woken this morning at 8.30 when a very interesting individual I luckily don't know the name of started blowing his/her horn furiously in the street just below my window. I have no idea why, but I have a pretty good idea of what I would have liked to do to him/her. Of course, the cat assumed it was a kind of wake-up call and started jumping on my poor self and meowing desperately, demanding attention, food and play. I provided him with the second (all I could manage, trust me) and tried to go back to sleep, but as you probably guessed to no avail. I gave up, got up, made coffee and sat down with a book.

My mobile rang: a message from A. He's in the mountains selling his house, and was supposed to come back in the afternoon and come to the countryside with me. And guess what? Yes. He's not coming back until tomorrow. Plans blew up, and I'm left with nothing to do. I was really looking forward to going there (it's a house my family owns not far from the town, a very relaxing place full of grass and birds and calm), I needed some time off from everything.

As you probably gathered at this point, the start of my new job was not exactly what I expected.
Everything will work out in the end, I'm sure about that. I can work and I'm good at my job, but it's hard to start again...
I really never thought I would miss my former bosses and workplace as I'm doing. I'm astonished.

In consideration of all of the above (did I mention that on top of it all it started raining?) I will spend my weekend shopping, drinking and blogging - promise this will be the only depressing post, the others will be much more cheerful.

Talking about shopping:
Amazon is currently offering lots of very interesting bargain books: cheap, interesting and new! I bought the history of Mercatore - the one who devised a way to represent a spheric world on a very flat sheet of paper, and thus allowed the creation of all nautical charts we use today -, the history of the two astronomers who calculated the lenght of a meter, travelling along meridians and trying to convince the world it was the essential measure, and "A prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving.
I also added tons of books to my wishlist (I love wishlists and Amazon recommendations! Since I can't buy all their archives at once, I just add things to my ever-growing list of "books I so very much wish I could buy right now but wait a bit to get because I'm ashamed of the part of my salary currently devoted to Amazon")
And, if you're bookworms like me, make sure you read
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. It's witty, fun, interesting, moving and an extraordinary declaration of love for books and literature. And it's fun.

Last but not least, let's come to the title of this post. It was originally titled "Blah", as in Chrlie Brown saying he was feeling blah - because that's exactly how I felt when I started writing this post. I changed it to the current one just because it's true. I never had a diary because I never understood the use of writing to oneself when thinking has the same effect (and saves paper, pen and a lot of space on the shelves), but knowing that I'm talking to someone else as well as myself obliges me to render my thoughts understandable and clearer, and it never fails to make me feel better.
So thank you, sweeties, for reading this, and for making me feel better every time.

And it's stopped raining. Time to go shopping!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Another piece of the puzzle

To cheer you up after the boring description of my first day in the new office, my dearest, I decided to offer you another piece of the puzzle that is Sasha. Another element to know me and maybe understand a little more about who I am.

This is the mirror collection I wrote about some time ago. It's still in progress, and I have no intention of stopping it before the whole wall and the adjacent ones are full. Then I'll move to a bigger house and start again!

They all come from different places, people and occasions. Each of them is a memory, and that's why I love them so much.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the hall of my flat:


On work, again

First day today.
I was very nervous when I arrived this morning, I expected some kind of frenzied, super-efficient office with people typing furiously and extremely difficult and involute documents being produced, translated, circulated and thoroughly analyzed.
I had been described extreme pressure, endless challenges and continuous intellectual progresses.
As you probably understood, it was not what I found.

People are young, (seemingly) efficient and interesting, but my predecessor's role is much less than I expected...

A question spurted from my head like a flower from the grass (yes, I'm a poet): is it me?
I tend to answer myself that it isn't, and that makes me feel better. But I have a big work ahead of me.

[paragraph deleted due to overwhelming guilty feelings over bad thoughts about innocent people, entirely due to my own anxiety. I feel like Bridget Jones]

So I will have to:
1. convince him that I can do what is currently requested and much more
2.convince him that I actually want to do much more
3. convince him to ask me much more

Then I can start complaining that I work too much.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ode to an almost ex boss

Oh, engineer,
You who have kept me endless hours in the office
to write, copy, rewrite, cancel and write again
You who have made me book
personal holidays, medical exams and parties
You for whom I have made a thousand coffees
and a million phone calls

...no, I can't make it. Engineers and poetry really don't go together. I wanted to draft a superb post, that would make every poet out there proud of me, but it's damn impossible. ;-)

Let's try it another way: tomorrow is my last day in the office.
It's really weird, I didn't expect it to end so soon, nor so sadly. There's only four of us left, I'm leaving tomorrow and C. is following me in two weeks. That makes it two left - nine people said goodbye in the last year. That's what I call a success!

It's really difficult for me to write about these things, they are much too personal and touch me much too deeply to be discussed. I will let time pass and look back in a while, perhaps then I'll be able to see it more clearly and make you understand.

For the moment all I can say is...

Goodbye, engineer!