Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Do the Needful

I am going into my 3rd NYC office week and I realize from my last post that I need a serious attitude adjustment...I should be sketching away right now but I am tapped out, my friends. My creative juices are dried up. My joyful spirit is growing weak and the office politics and frantic energy of this place has taken it's toll. My team is coming down with nasty colds. They sit in front of their computers puffy eyed and dazed. I bought them fresh squeezed orange juice in an effort to say, "I acknowledge your weak states and hope this offering of immunity boost will keep you here until we finish these projects." It's bad. I should be sending them home and saving us all, but instead I bought a 200 pack of Emergen-C to push us through. I have also upped the caffeine factor significantly in the past 2 weeks. This has turned me into a total spazz. For instance, the other morning I was listening to my Ipod, jacked up on caffeine and just feelin' the beat. I bounced up the subway stairs, rockin' out a little on the inside, and busted some odd move on the final landing and just popped my leg right out of the socket and broke down to a deep limp for a good 7 blocks. Okay, so maybe I didn't exactly pop it out of the socket BUT I'm still aching in that joint area a week later.
It's just a hectic life that I chose and there was a time when I was in it to win it. Something about living in Italy has just made me soft. I can't entertain the crazy narcissists I once shrugged off with a giggle. Maybe it's my pasta habit. I haven't had a dish of pasta for lunch since I've been here. It's strictly 15 dollar salads and diet cokes. I miss bitching about lazy post office employees and scoring free dinner with my drinks...
OH, and about doing the needful...I have a friend who works with India often. They sign their emails, "Do the needful" meaning, there are a list of things that need your attention: attend to them. Just do it. Do the needful.

Monday, December 10, 2007

NYC:Take Two

It's impossible to just sit and write. There have been ten thousand things going on that deserve a good blog moment but the moments, they escape me. Even now, I continue to write this a good 3 hours after I started the first sentence. It's this frantic pace that has me in a state these days. Italy has it's dreamy aspects, no doubt but I am lucky enough to get my bacon from the states. Even with the dollar working it's way to toilet paper status, I still bring home the equivalent of 3 or 4 Italian households. At no point, will I be okay with working 40 hours a week for some pretentious Italian design house that will demote me back down to a designer level bc a director title would be beyond me (as mere common folk) and saved for some talentless family member. So, I exist in my home office bubble, working a job that is no longer the wonderful thing it was to me. I make my trips back to the states and do my meetings and office time, work with very painful personalities , still counting my blessings the whole way, bc I can have the best of both worlds.
I was actually in Florence for a full 3 months, the longest since I moved there over a year ago. I fell into a nice rhythm of morning walks, cooking lunch, simmering chicken stock, and tracking the next Sagra. I felt content, protected and even at peace. Yes, the post office still sucked, the yearing for thai food still crept up, but I did suddenly get this sense of maybe this is 'enough'.
Flash to me in NYC sitting in an office with women who wear diamonds the size of my face and have their assistants send christmas cards to their personal shoppers. A world where people around me are talking about how to furnish their second home and how I should just Fed Ex my luggage as it's such a hassle to deal with that baggage claim. Listening to how "my husband put 1000 dollars in my wallet on Weds. and it's gone (by Friday)" Knowing girl's who "work only for the clothing allowance" and lose their expense checks never to have one reissued (bc it's 'just a hassle to do that'). It's a bad teen movie staring adults. Obnoxious, awful and just plain ugly, right?
At the same time, in the past week: I have eaten too much, drank even more and bought about 4 bags full of cheap items that will inevitably end up as dust rags by the close of next summer. The days and dollars just seem to fall into this gaping, black, hole, that is never to be filled. Peace is an adjective that I have never found here. Fun, excitement,opportunity and worldly possessions, (clean hospitals with jacuzzi's for expecting mothers, I've been reading about you American pregnant women in Italy...) it's all here. Peace, not so much.
Yet, it is here that I can make a respectable living. It is also here that I have my mother, sisters and friends that could be my "village" when I have kids, yet it is here that I fear I will lose my life to that gaping, black, hole. I know, I KNOW...please, don't ask 'what about the suburbs?' I have great friends in the burbs, I went to a Christmas party this past weekend in the burbs, I am completely freaked out by The Burbs. So, as of today, I am consumed by the feeling of displacement. The lure of everything modern, fast and efficient seems like a dream....but the Hamptons and Jones beach just don't hold up to summers in Maremma...

Friday, December 7, 2007

NYC: The Life Consumer

This posting page has just been hanging out on the bottom bar of this screen for days. The minute I hit ground here, my life seems to belong to a force bigger then my little zen can handle. It's as if the floor of my cozy Florentine nest just gives way beneath my feet, leaving me to free fall, ground unseen.