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Ciao, bella

I happen to love Ciao Bella passion fruit sorbetto – a lot, a lot. But I have refrained recently cuz it’s just too cold to be having ice cream/sorbet.

I’m in the mind of having some, as I’m in the midst of the whirlwind of planning/co-planning a long overdue trip to Rome. My sister and I were actually supposed to go last year, and we could just never get our schedules to mesh. She’s in school and has much more freedom than the ball-and-chain that my 5-day/week grind has turned out to be. [This 5day a week crap with 2 weeks of vaca a year – it bites.] Anyway – we’re still a tad bit undecided between March and May cuz the prices in May are astoundingly outrageous in comparison to those in March.

Initially, my sister had concerns about the temperature in March, but the longer I think about it – the more I realize that my best clothes are long-sleeved anyway. [That is so feminist of me, right? eh.  I wanna look good.]

I feel this heightened pressure now – to represent the very best of America, since our social currency is just as low as our actual currency. It’s not something new, though. It’s kinda the same feeling I’ve had all my life: I’ve got to defy the stereotypes about me – show people that there is no mold that defines me. Just because I am – a woman, brown-skinned, a Christian, American, whatever – doesn’t mean I’m weak, lazy, close-minded, stupid, or any other negative box that folks might want to put me in. This is also why it irritates me so much when people reinforce the stereotypes.

My ex-step-cousin [yeah, you read that right] is a deadbeat dad in the business of making babies. He’s not shown much interest in developing many other hobbies. Going back a bit, GHW Bush went to Japan and threw up on the Prime Minister. What’s a shame is that that is not our most embarrassing export, as a country. A so-called Christian club at my college was particularly zealous and told one of my friends that if he didn’t accept Jesus he was going to burn in hell. Never mind that he was Hindu and didn’t believe in any of that. And there’re just too many female stereotypes all around me, I don’t even wanna talk about it.

Contending with all of this can be exhausting at times – there’s the issues when you first meet someone and they associate you with whatever group and their supposed universal negative traits, and you’ve got to combat that by being yourself – which is cool, I can do that – but should you ever feel similarly…or just make a mistake. It becomes the loophole excuse to allow folks that were kinda keen on the bigot thing in the first place to go full throttle. And yeah – I can’t be responsible for their crap – but that doesn’t make anything easier. Cuz in the meantime, we’ve all still gotta live. With each other.

So, I’m super-excited to go to Italy. Even though I know more Latin than I know Italian. And I’m not actually worried that I won’t make a good impression or whatever – but I do feel the needling sensation that I’d like to be a model citizen…an informal ambassador of good will. I do love the fact that people realize that all the retardation that has been coming from our gov’t recently isn’t a true reflection on the actual constituency. We actually discussed the issues with a guy in Paris, the day ‘shock and awe’ began back in ’03. And I’ll never forget turning the corner around Big Ben and being confronted with these signs:

War commentary in London - near Big Ben

and these too:

More War Commentary - London ‘05

[actually, I found the gas pump handle to the head to be quite creative. you know, one o’ those wish-I’d-thought-of-it-first kind of deals. And the intentional misspelling of Blair was clever, too.]

So, I’m looking forward to seeing what the Italians have in store for us. But right now, I’ve gotta get some sleep so I can make it in to that j-o-b in the mornin’. Ciao.

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