Tuesday, 28 July 2015

this must be the (awful) place

"Enchanted" is one of those movie I don't mind watching again, even if only a brief clip when there's a rerun on TV.
I find it funny, charming and, despite the fairytale happy ending, very truthful.

It all goes back to this exchange between the 2 main characters:

Two lines and there you have it: a nice, neat, straight-to-the-point definition of what's around us in general and what I'm stuck deep in: what's this fucked up, shitty, awful and right now too hot and too packed with mosquitos place I'm in. 
It's called reality and alas it's not going anywhere. 

Anything else to add? Right now not that much, other that I got no clear means nor idea on how to improve my current living situation.
Oh, how I wish I could just crawl in bed, hide my head under the pillow and wake up in, say, one month to find out that life has sorted itself out on its own by magic.
Or what about the sudden appearance of some amazing technology that could just take me by hand and say: "There, that's what you got to do. This is the way forward, move along".

But nothing like this is going to happen, because this is not a movie but an awful place, in a even more awful city and I'm left to my own devices, trying to understand how to move from the quicksand I willingly placed myself into.
I'd like to find a way to start magically from scratch tomorrow morning, but alas this is Milan, Italy, where things move slowly normally and grinds to an halt in summer when "everybody" is on holiday.
Nothing left to do for this evening but setting volume the max and listen to some music.
I'll face the awful tomorrow morning.

And I'm hitching a ride out of this no good town...

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

cable fever

Every job brings some collateral effects, quirks and habits along.
Before the age of computers, my dad passed so many hours drawing at the drafting table, he naturally developed a big, thick and everlasting writer's bump.
I had it too, back in the school days, but now it's nothing but a shadow of what it used to be, but my dad's bump has survived even if gave up on the drafting table more than 20 years ago: years and years of holding a pencil made it a part of his body map, a small hill in a flat land.

My job brought me something altogether different: an irrational sense of dread fills me every time I travel, when I'm moving from one place to another. I'm afraid of getting where I have to go and find out I didn't bring with me the right amount of the right cables.
Charging cable and cable adapters, battery plugs, different international plug adapter. I work in an office loaded with cables, I got a shoe box in my flat filled with just cables. I scattered cables in my relatives houses as well, so that I don't have to carry them around. Yet, every time I pack my handbag or my travel backpack I make sure to fit some cables in them; and with some I mean: 3 iPhone lightning cables and 1 iPhone 30-pin cable, 1 mini-USB cable, the ethernet adapter and 2 plug. Not to mention 3 USB stick, 1 external hard drive and 1 power pack.

Why? Well, it's pretty obvious and simple: what if apocalypse strike and I found myself without cables?
Sure, if apocalypse truly comes knocking at our door, I'm pretty sure the chances of finding an electricity supply, internet connection or time to use them both are pretty small, but you better always be prepared.
As much as I tried to rationalize it, my good will is not strong enough: I start packing a couple of cable and a plug and then my mind looses control completely: the 50cm cable is very hand when I'm outside and have to connect the phone to the power pack, because this way it's easy to wrap them together without too much extra cable dangling around. So I pack the cable alongside the battery pack and then think that i could put a cable in the side pocket of the backpack: it's a very logical thing to do, this way I can reach for the cables quickly without having to rummage in the bag. But then why putting extra cable inside the bag? Cause you never know.

Which is probably the reason why, before leaving the office for the day, my colleague asked me if I had enough cables and plugs with me for the night. "You never know, right?!?"
It must be an occupational disease affecting the whole category.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

notes over the last weekends

"And now, what?" the writer wonders and ponders.
The "writer" not as in an author engaged in the pursuit of her own poetic and/or literary ambitions.
But rather the "writer" as the subject currently busy writing these lines on a KLM flights and later busy in typing than back on a blog post.
This writer/typist is barely able to put a grocery list together and hasn't graced this blog with her own presence for more than a month now, maybe "scribbler wannabe" could be a better fitting definition. Yet none of these remarks stops her from wondering and pondering. And perhaps worrying a little bit. Just a tiny little bit of worry and unrest.

She looks at her agenda and sighs: "Now what?!"
Not so long ago, her agenda looked so nice, full of promises of nice days ahead:

July plans

She notices that referring to herself using the 3rd person singular is a bit pompous, yet makes her happy. She also beams at the notion that in middle of July, not only she hasn't misplaced her agenda a single time, but that she occasionally even used it to write down appointments and things to do (sadly no grocery lists).

The pages of the incoming weekends, however, have no concert planned. Actually there's no concert planned till the middle of October.

The past month was made of time spent waiting for the next concert. It looked and felt like a never-ending time was just in front of me: I just had to let some time pass before taking my bag and go somewhere to see somebody playing.

A series of fortunate events created a wonderful soundtrack: Johnny Marr, Paul Weller, The Who, Bob Dylan, Counting Crows and, last but not least, the amazingly awesome Frames.

The soundtrack brought along a nice mileage too: London, Rome via Torino and then Cork.
After 1 month around I got a lot of memories: drinking gin from a very hipster yet eco-friendly jar in Hyde Park, while wondering at the number of people that still sport a Paul Weller haircut when even Paul Weller doesn't have a Paul Weller haircut any longer.
Doubts about the break in the middle of the Dylan's concert, even though, when somebody sings a "Les Feuilles Mortes" cover like he did, he's excused to take a break even every 5 minutes if he feels like it.
Or the notion that avoiding the trauma and disappointments of being stood up at the last minute for my birthday non-party was made easier by traveling to Rome, surviving its public transportation system and the heat, so to watch Counting Crows play live.
Not even the time for the bags to hit the floor and it was time to board the planes to Cork, cause it's a long way to Fitzcarraldo, but an even longer one to Ireland, if you are so unlucky to start your travel from everywhere in the world but London and Amsterdam.

And before I could even realize it, I had stopped using the 3rd person singular to refer to the writer and I keep looking a bit sad at the agenda: no concert in store for next weekend. Would the situation improve if I used the Force?

I got used to this nice pattern so easily: work, travel, concert, travel, repeat. It gave my past month a lovely rhythm to follow and now it's just hard, looking at the gig stubs on the wall, feeling extremely bored and tired of being again "here", in Milan, when nothing really change and the heat makes everything even less bearable.


But at least there's a plane waiting on Sunday: no concert, but still something different to do, friends to see and, as usual, a city to escape from and another to escape to.