Why I’m not able to make a pudding and the meaning of the Universe

That should be an easy one for anyone very dumb or lazy or too busy.

The instruction label it’s crystal clear:

  • Pour the pudding mix into a medium saucepan and bring to a full boil. Next take a 1 cup scooper and put 3 cups of milk into the bowl full of the pudding mix.
  • Stir the pudding mix and milk with a whisk for at least 2 minutes over the stove.
  • Pour the saucepan full of pudding into a bowl and put in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  • Once the 5 minutes are up, take a spoon and gingerly stick it into the pudding.
  • Take individual serving bowls and fill them about almost halfway with pudding. If you have more than 6 people to serve, fill them a little lower than almost halfway.

but always –and I say always– something goes wrong.  At this time I even know the procedure by heart but despite of it I’m not able to cook a simple nothing like that. There’s always something that goes wrong:  one time it’s a very liquid pudding – reminding more of a ‘cioccolata’ – the other is a three-sizes-pudding-instead-of-the-promised-four.

I believe that behind this incapability lies a great message from the Universe: “the easy stuff it’s not for you.” 

As I’ve experienced many times in my life, every single time I measure myself – or better bang into – with something common I have problems.  From finding the man to merry to be a happy customer you stay sure I would pick the more difficult option.  Perhaps it’s the heritage of my childhood as only child, always encouraged to try to be better at things, or perhaps it’s some kind of hopeless obtuseness. Who knows, but anyway, earlier today, when I’ve eaten one of my three-cups-instead-of-four pudding (and yes, I do use the treasuring cup),  I finally realized that for people like me there’s no way but accepting that what it’s considered been normal would never [ever] fit us.  Amen.

 

Photo courtesy of Bakers Royale®

Anger management – part 1

Tonight I shouldn’t write because I’m upset. Very upset.  But since I’ve grown up I don’t stuff myself anymore with Nutella  (the most über-powerful anti-depressive EVER, I’ve heard that ingredients had being studied by CIA). No, now I’ve just found another way to be a masochist: I share my feelings with the net, so with YOU unknown reader, who must think I’m some kind of last-chance-wannabe Anna dello Russo-the-Sartorialist admirer.  Well, first of all I hate Anna dello Russo.  We have Anna Piaggi – and trust me, it’s already enough –and nobody urge to have another old woman dressing with simply stupid mises. But since even the fashion system has some kind of self adjustment laws, for which you can’t have two exhibitionists on the same country, the system itself tried to push her (or, export as they say Italian style) in the USA, finding another way to help our export score. But poor Anna didn’t know that the USA were already taken by Daphne Guinness, the beer heiress that has nothing better to do but spending money on otherwise unwearable haute couture clothing, calling herself a muse and getting naked into Barney’s shop windows. Well, well, well, getting started on rich and weird (and useless) old ladies obsessed by fashion actually helped me forgetting for a little why I’m upset.  And now I’m afraid you want to know why I am upset.   Well, I’m upset simply because my boss it’s a jerk.  Voilà! What has he done?  You may wonder.  What has he done?! Who told you it’s a “he”?  I share with very few people around the world the very unique gift of having tree bosses (two man and a woman) and two mothers in laws.  Lucky me, uh?  I bet none of you has five people at their service with the only purpose of driving them crazy.  So, long story short, tonight two of my bosses in a very formal and courteous meeting informed me that, well, they are forced (I mean “forced”) to cut my hours since the present situation suggested so.  After that announcement every form of insult in every language I know crossed my mind but — and I’m very proud of myself — in a NON-Italian way I managed to stay calm, with a blank expression, and with all the remaining forces out of my Chthonic self, politely managing the situation trying to get the best out of it.  How very adult, you may consider.  How very adult my ****!  I could kill with my very own hands now!

ToBeContinued

 

P.S.  The writing on the picture is ancient Greek saying “know thyself” and it was written on the entrance at the temple of Apollo at Delphi.  And if you don’t Apollo nor Delphi, you should read more, darling!

I am a cat

Yes, sometimes I believe I am. Perhaps it’s because I’m curious. Perhaps it’s because I tent to be independent, loving my privacy, often hiding in dark, nice, clean spaces. Or perhaps it’s just because I’m lazy, and I think that a life spent on taking sunshine, lying on a sofa, it’s a good way to live.

The fact is that during the past week I tripped over cat’s world for three times.  Perhaps it’s my karma, trying to tell me that’s time, for my new home, to have a cat. While I still have to work hard to convince myself about that, here’s the signs.

First: I received a discount coupon from my fav ever very design – extremely expensive – litter box. I know, a sloppy sign but a sign indeed.

Bob The cat
Bob The cat

Second:  During lunch time I don’t usually indulge in something trivial such as having a proper healthy lunch.  Oh no, thanks. I prefer doing great harm to myself having just a cappuccino (which has not the same size as at Starbucks) and then literally run into a book shop, where this time I found “I am a cat” (Wagahai wa Neko de Aruby Japanese writer Natsume Soseki. It’s a shame I can’t read Japanese, it’s one of my goals in this life. So, exceptionally, I took the Italian translation and started to read it immediately. Inside the book shop. And no, we are not at Barnes and Noble. In Italy you can’t read a book sitting on the floor. You get into the shop, you find what you were looking for, you buy it and then you can read it. Somewhere else. Book shops are not really friendly here around, as a matter of fact you will never find an armchair or even just a stool where to sit.  And then they complain that nobody’s reading anymore. Well, back to the book, I can’t believe it’s a novel wrote on 1905. It’s just so contemporary, funny, witty and… moderne. By chance I run into one of the most important writer of Meiji’s era who opened to my the early steps of Modern Japan throughout a cat’s voice. A masterpiece.

Third: Last year,  while my husband was living in London, he sent me a picture of a man and his cat on a train. The unusual thing is that the cat was sitting on the train seat and that he was behaving as a dog.  Well, now that man just hit the newspaper as he’s written a novel based on his life as ex drug addict, homeless, street-artist-playing guitar in Covent Garden shared with Bob (the cat).  Except that something like this would never happen in Italy – can you imagine some homeless person living in Stazione Centrale hitting major media because wrote a book, not to mention that it’s pretty impossible spotting people walking cats instead of dogs in Italy (the Province of Europe) – I am amazed by the fact that people were actually queueing to have the cat’s signature on their books.

Do I have to wait till the ninth sign – as the cat’s lives – or should I be already convinced?

Sometimes you just need a pause.

It’s not really Springtime yet, but there’s something in the air. When it’s Saturday, the sun it’s shiny there’s a part of you still feeling excited like a teenager with the prospective of a whole week-end off.

And, for who may wonder, YES I was empty handed as many of you with the Marni for H&M affair.  For all of you out there – drop dead bitches – I hope you’ll gain so much weight the blue dotted 60’s look tailleur will never ever fit you again.  Beside this “tiny” annoyance the week-end brought me the wonderful gift ever: see not just one but two unseen for a long period of time-couple of friends.  And not just anywhere but at a bar that I can -reductively- call cozy, that one of them just opened.  The atmosphere, the details, the dishes, the coffee cups, the tiny vintage clothing corner was just perfect.  Perfect for those who need a certain kind of feeling in their life. For those who need not too feel there’re in Milan but in a cosmopolitan city by change called Milan.  Yes, a Pause, sometimes, is just what you need.

 

www.pausemilano.com

The first one

So, this is the very first post in English.

To all my worldwide English-speaker friends, please, be kind with me for all the mistakes I’m going to do.  Despite my love for studiyng, reading, listening and so on there are still things that I’m unable to use correctly. But you all, out there, point out every single oversight, misunderstanding, incorrect pun I may make.  I have to confess that I learned English, well, American English (yes, there are big differences between UK and US English, let’s be honest) only when I moved to New York; till then I was an happy “just”-French-speaker.  It took me a little while before being able to actually speak, about six months, during that interregnum I’ve been blushing every single time a clerk was asking if needed something or a waiter if I wanted more coffee, stuttering every single word.  But at the end that moment, THAT moment arrived:  when the words came out of my mouth without thinking, automatically and it was magic. I was going up and down Manhattan trying to find fences – yes, fences – for my very wild and smashed backyard but apparently the so-called very helpful customer care desk at Home Depot were all trying to drive me crazy, sending me here and there by chance. So after my third stop at the Third Avenue store, when the clerk assured me that in that particular branch in Queens (!!!) there were actually fences available out of season (then I learned that fences are actually a seasonal product!) I suspiciously looked at the man and abruptly asked:”For sure or for maybe?”  I know, I know it’s not a very memorable scene but at the time it looked like I had achieved the top of the understanding-and-speaking-right-away slippery and tricky hill.  And that was my first achievement.  After a bit of time I was sure that my mastering a third language had improved when I was able to deal with customer care (of any kind) by phone.  But that’s another story.

Please, don’t go

 

Proprio nei giorni in cui tutto sembra che ti cada addosso, proprio quando hai perso il conto delle cose che devi fare-sbrigare-ricordare-ricordargli capita un evento fuori contesto, qualcosa che sbalestra il tuo rodato self absorbed bioritmo post-moderno. Un’amica che parte. Se ne va. O, meglio, torna a casa. Ma quando casa corrisponde con San Francisco, il fatto che ella scompaia dal tuo quotidiano ha qualcosa di inaccettabile. Come un lutto. Ancora non mi capacito di come such an American girl sia sopravvissuta a Milano per quasi tre lustri e di come sia inesorabilmente ancora innamorata dell’Italia. Oppure sì, forse perché capisco  – avendo vissuto molto all’estero – mi sono chiari i motivi che all’improvviso possano aver preso il sopravvento. Così, ex abrupto. Solo, ad un certo punto, il quadro nel quale sei in prestito, che adori, che ammiri, non è più sufficiente. Hai necessità di tornare nel quadro a cui appartieni. Sapere tuttavia di non avere più un pezzo della “mia” America qua vicino, mi fa sentire ancora più lost in translation di quanto già non mi senta. Recentemente Hilary – che è una Scrittrice Pubblicata (categoria di cui mi occuperò ad un certo punto) – ha scritto un simpatico post nel quale descrive le cose che le mancheranno di più, enumerando fra queste un dentifricio. Curioso. Un’altra amica, che vive in un lussuoso appartamento in Tribeca (NYC), mi ha spesso incaricato di spedirgliene di vagonate della stessa marca. Lei sa benissimo che potrebbe trovarlo da Bigelow*** ma preferisce riceverlo direttamente da casa mia. La capisco, io continuo a chiedere di ricevere peanut butter cups di una celebre marca di dolciumi industriali (Hershey’s) ad una povera amica costretta a spedizioni improbabili, è un po’ come se a noi chiedessero di spedire in Australia dei cioccolatini Kinder. Per capire il livello di profondo sconforto emozionale che un trasloco intercontinentale è in grado di provocare. Anche oggi, anche nell’epoca del 2.0, nei giorni in cui tutto sembra facile – se sei un turista – il trasferimento in un altro paese è ancora un’impresa. Sei in un altro paese. Non sei nel tuo paese. Tutto è diverso e non necessariamente friendly. È anche tutto nuovo ed esaltante e questo, per un po’, serve da anestetico contro i sicuri disagi ai quali andrai incontro; tuttavia, da che ti alzi al mattino a che ti corichi la sera, sei sola con te stessa in un altro universo, sotto un altro cielo. E questo, solo chi l’ha vissuto lo può capire. Così, ad un certo momento, out of the blue, ti coglie il sacro fuoco del rientro (no, a me non è capitato questo, NdR) e non gli puoi resistere, è come se ti mancasse l’aria, come se tutto ciò che ti circonda perdesse senso. Peccato che lei è parte di quel circondario che mi circonda(va) e saperla lontana mi rattrista.

So, HBW please, come back.

M*

*** lussuosa profumeria nel West Village di New York, celebre per la qualità dei prodotti in vendita e rinomata per l’offerta di prodotti, al punto da diventare modo di dire: “WHEN YOU CAN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE ELSE… CALL BIGELOW”

 

Incipit

 

Killing Snobbery. Che nome è mai questo? Vi chiederete. Noi due, le Autrici,

abbiamo deciso di intraprendere una battaglia personale contro tutto ciò che è di cattivo gusto, volgare, ipocrita, pacchiano: snob appunto, cioè sine nobilitate. No, non siamo nobili, se è questo che vi state chiedendo, come se solo i ranghi di sangue blu potessero occuparsi di tale argomento. Siamo due borghesi – sì, lo ammettiamo con una punta d’orgoglio –  folgorate dalla frase di Dostojewski: la bellezza salverà il mondo. In una novella società italica che non conosce il sentimento della vergogna, siamo convinte che i buoni modi, l’educazione, il rispetto e la nobiltà d’animo siano ingredienti fondamentali nella costruzione di una società più bella. La nostra è una rivolta reazionaria dunque, armate di bon ton vinceremo la guerra contro il modello imperante: il burino arrogante fieramente ignorante.

Siamo due anarchiche della mediocrità.