Thursday, January 24, 2008

For Maryb from Stlouey

Buon journo.
The other day when you guys flew to Paris for coffee and croissants, Maryb said the only thing that would be better would be if the cafe were in Italy. Voila! (Or however you say, here you go! in Italian.) We're in Florence on a sunny day. That bald guy in the blue shirt needs sunblock. I need a cappuchino. I have a feeling we'll be here all day, long past the point at which they start bringing out the platters of fish, the pasta, the bottles of Pinot Grigio and Chianti . . .

Also for your delectation, here's a bit more of Billy Collins to start off la dolce vita Friday--three stanzas from his poem, "Care and Feeding". . .

Because tomorrow
I will turn 420 in dog years,
I have decided to take myself
for a long walk on the path around the lake
( )

Then I will make three circles
and lie down on the wood floor at my feet
and close my eyes
as I type all morning and into the afternoon,

checking every once in a while
to make sure I am still there,
reaching down with one hand
to stroke my furry, esteemed, venerable head.



Nancy P said...

Well, it will be, in 42 minutes in my time zone.

katiebird said...

It's a dog's life.....

maryb said...

Molto grazie. Mi piace molto. Bellissimo!

AndiF said...


Furry heads. Did some say furry heads? I know from furry heads.

Besides my my regular furry heads, this furry head came by where I could watch it from the window behind the computer (which is great way to avoid doing work).

Morning all.

Anonymous said...

Love the furry heads cuddled around the wood stove, andi. And now I'm longing for gelato...and packing sunblock for Mr. Blue Shirt.

I'm off to NC for the weekend, visiting my aunt. And my sis is flying in, so it'll be fun. Will check in on Boran time. Hope everyone has a great weekend in Italia!

Rick Bylina said...

Must be an Italian Friday. Wife wakes me up with "Ciao, baby." I'm munching on left over Italian bread as I try to wake up. And my "Writer's Digest" flopped down from the Leaning Pisa of paperwork and opened to an advertisement for the Tuscany Writers Conference. Who can concentrate on writing when you're in Tuscany in June? Wouldn't it be better to have a writing conference in Fargo in early February? You'd really get some writing done then.

I'm not happy about dogs or dog's lives at the moment. There was a big pile on my deck this morning. I don't have a dog, but we do have wild dog packs in the area.

Maybe I should send the dogs to Fargo while I go to Tuscany. Sounds like a plan to me. Now if I can only find out where my muse has hidden my protagonist.

Ciao, baby. said...

Forgive me. I had to do this somewhere... and, uh, someone mentioned Yeats and, uh, someone mention No Country For Old Men.

THAT is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
- Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing


Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come. said...

Either that, or a dog. said...

Andif, the deer wishes she was one of your dogs. :-) Man it's cold here. Can you put another stick of wood in the stove? Thanks!

AndiF said...

Morning Beth, Rick, and GF.

You know, GF, to be serious for a moment, what I always worry/wonder about are the birds. How can such small things stay warm when it's so cold (it's 2 degrees here). said...

what I always worry/wonder about are the birds. How can such small things stay warm when it's so cold

They have really big hearts. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
katiebird said...

(waving) Good Morning!

AndiF said...

Just did my own passive-aggressive research.

How do birds stay warm?

AndiF said...

Oops: hi kb!

katiebird said...

Good Morning, Andi (And Mary & Beth & Rick & Ghost)

I didn't want to name, names until I had some coffee (WITH caffeine damn-it!) which I've drinking now.

Amazing what a difference it makes!

Maria Lima said...

Ah, Florence! A lovely, lovely city indeed.

I'm working/not working at home today, still fighting a migraine that is as stubborn as I am.

Going to be doing some day job tasks for a bit, then I think I shall take myself and my headache back to bed for a while. Perhaps if I dream of sun-drenched cafes and lovely Italian gelato and beautiful art, I'll feel better.

Cheers to all!

FARfetched said...

Ahhhh, Italy. I've never been to either one in meatspace, but I think I'd prefer Italy anyway. Good choice, Nancy & MaryB! Let me concentrate on this wonderful cappuccino for a moment… Yeah. Booting up now. Morning, everyone! What's for breakfast?

Andi, if only you were a writer — Mrs. Fetched learned long ago that when a writer is staring out the window, he's working.

Dang, GF, maybe I'm not as awake as I thought. Smacking me upside with poetry this early in the morning? Yeesh.

Rick, a 12-gauge is a good way to deal with wild dogs. The survivors get the message pretty quick. ;-) Seriously, though, I'm sure you know to be aware of them — they're not like coyotes, which will hide from humans given the choice.

Maria, I hope you get over that migraine soon. I'll save you a shady seat for when you're ready to join us. :-)

Time to work… cable companies breathlessly await my latest installment. :-P

Nancy P said...

Isn't it funny? Just pretending we're going to Italy puts us all in a sunny mood. I say, let's go more often! I've only been once, and it was a weather-odd trip. My boyfriend, my cousin's ex-wife, and I drove into northern Italy, from Switzerland, at night, so we couldn't see anything. Spent that night in a hotel room with 10 other, empty, beds. Drove through the (we were told) beautiful hills the next day through fog so dense we literally saw nothing except the road in front of us. Stayed in Florence where it rained the whole time.

Loved every minute. Oh, and when we went downstairs to the hotel cafe to eat the first night, the first music we heard from the jukebox was. . .you won't believe this. . .the theme from "The Godfather."

Kelly McCullough said...

Gmornin' or something like that. Not awake yet, and not getting there either. Italy is nice as was France, though I'm more an Edinburgh in springtime kind of guy. Tea and pastries eaten on the green in Princes Street gardens, maybe in the shadow of the Scott monument. A cool breeze coming in from the sea. Four more months, four more months, I just need to be patient. Oh, hey, where did all of you come from? (Waves rather sheepishly) I'll just be over here in the corner munching on a lemon poppyseed muffin.

Nancy P said...

Perfect photos for today, andif. And at least one of them is a perfect photo for tomorrow. :) Thanks.

Beth--happy traveling, happy relatives. I hope The Bad Seed isn't there.

Ghost, don't you envy how florid old poets could be, plus--lucky ducks!--they were allowed to, gasp, rhyme. He'd probably never get that poem published now.

Nancy P said...

Maryb, you inspired a happy theme.

I'll be back with more howdy's soon.

Conda said...

Hi all,

Oh, Florence--which by the way would be quite nippy today (I've been to Florence in the winter, rainy, foggy, brr.) But still, there's 4 inches of snow here...and there's art and great food and oh, I love Florence!

Kelly McCullough said...

TTFN to all.

Going off grid and into the hot tub for the weekend. Have a lovely time.

Family Man said...

Hiya Nancy and all.

Yep in the cafe Mary and I used to have many conservations in Italian. Of course mine was via Babel Fish. Once she found out I didn't know how to speak Italian, she refused to converse with me. Go figure. :)

Hope everyone has a good w/e.

FARfetched said...

LOL, FM! (Or should I say, Famiglia Uomo?)

Closing in on the weekend now… iTunes has obliged by playing "Dragosta Din Tei" (the "Maya Hi" song that people love to lip-sync to). The Dozebox on my desk is being even more of a POS than usual, today — and I have to deal with it for the moment — so I need a little levity right now.

Checking the "Short-Lived Links" box at Rick's place yesterday, I stumbled across an interesting article that turned out to be behind the NYT's registration wall. A quick Google turned up a Wired article that covers the same ground. Another creative way to publish, perhaps?

maryb said...

ah, a Tuscan writing conference. I think you are underestimating the effect of Italy on the creative juices Rick. I'd rethink the whole Fargo thing and go to Tuscany.

I like all the talk of gelato. Any trip to Italy requires a gelato-tasting every afternoon - to compare the local fare as you travel from town to town.

That's a good travel story Nancy. Hey, maybe you could convince a publisher to give you a big advance to write a travel book ... and it could be about travelling with a group of people that all met virtually and we'd all have to go with you ... ahhhh. Nice dream eh?

Yep Florence in a cold rain is still ... Florence.

ciao uoumo della familia. Non parlo italiano molto bene.

boran2 said...

Good evening all! While we're in Italy I thought that I might test drive a Ferrari if there's time.

I'll join you in that capuccino.

FARfetched said...

Boran has made some good progress with his current painting. Y'all go check it out!

Nancy P said...

Where'd the day go??

Sorry I missed saying hi to lots of friends today. I went hiking through the Italian hills, and lost track of the time.