The Bum-Fondling Chair, Gweneth Paltrow & ‘THE MOVE-IN MERGER’

Flashback: November 2014

‘Roots’ is a scary word. I don’t mean that in a 1977 miniseries’ depiction of African slavery kind-of-way starring the chap from Star Trek The Next Generation.

In this instance I haven’t found Kunta Kinte, but I did find a nice Englishman. Although I do have far less enthusiasm than James Earl Jones, and there’s no over-the-top 70’s music score playing in the background.

gwyneth-paltrow

Stop right there.

sting

I have only come here seeking knowledge, things they would not teach me of in college.

I’ve just bought a house 3 blocks from my rental and I’m moving in with Sir English. If Gweneth Paltrow were here she’d be inventing words for me like ‘move-in mergers’ and I’d have to tell her to please stop and “Go fix me some macrobiotic soba noodle salad, and while you’re at it grab the bottle of Grey Goose Vodka from the cupboard because we be goin’ on a bender.” Buying a house is a huge deal in which a certain sense of mature responsibility is required. As is living with someone you’re in a relationship with. It’s a compromise, and in my case it’s refraining from any personal grossness in the company of anyone other than my canine companions, not conjuring homicidal mania if there is a drop of pee (that isn’t mine) on the rim of the toilet bowl, and holding my tongue over the 500 tea-lights Sir English has seemed to have acquired – that will never get lit in either of our lifetimes. Unless of course we invite Sting and his mates over for a house warming and a music video shoot.

However I must admit my  sense of logic and spirit of compromise did almost waiver momentarily. The conversation/confession in question took place at ‘The Lad Cave’ aka. Sir English’s former abode. A place where stains on various surfaces have taken an oath of secrecy and mystery particles trapped in the cracks of the wood flooring could keep CSI Analysis Officers in overtime for decades. I glared in disbelief at the peeling paint and crumbling plaster barely concealed behind a wooden chest, then turned to face him standing in the bedroom doorway…

Me: I’m sorry.

Sir English: It’s ok, I’ll just move this stuff out of the way so you can vacuum this spot.

Me: No that’s not it… I am sorry for what I am thinking.

Sir English: What?

Me: If I was something like a supernatural entity with supreme control over the universe and real ‘superpowers’ , I’d tell you you’ve got 30 minutes to box all your most worldly posessions worth saving, then I’d throw something down from the heavens like a lightning bolt and burn this place to the ground.

Sir English: Oh.

Me: Sorry.

However despite everything, I was still counting my blessings as he gave me free reign to decorate our new home as I wished, while renting his flat to a friend for the time being, thus not moving all of his things. Notably he wouldn’t be taking along his pine particleboard furnishings or this literal monstrocity I fondly refer to as ‘The Molesting Hand-Chair’…

I feel dirty already.

Ick. I feel dirty already.

Thus saving me a rotator cuff injury from hauling it to a vacant lot and a few pounds on the purchase of  a can of gasoline…

And a gal’s really gotta appreciate that kind of consideration.

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Un-dead EXs and The Shocking Normality Compared to a Former Existence

Crying LifeSomewhere along my proverbial ‘line’ I all but stopped writing. The critic, aka. ‘my annoying inner Gremlin’ repeating: “What’s the point? You have nothing to say. You have a decent man in your life, you’re not poking holes in your coat pockets scavenging for loose change, there are no more tick infestations, leaky roofs, crappy blue Fiats, Italian MacDaddys, or bi-weekly public transit strikes… and no more poverty – YOU are actually now part owner of your first house!”

No more landlords called Adolf.

Casa mia.  Central heating and no more landlords called Adolf.

oracle

“What should I do, oh wise one? I’m totally boring and I suck.”

So having it seemingly together made me rather fall apart creatively, and I convinced myself that if I wasn’t a completely, socially disfunctional expat living in Italy, that I’d have nothing left to write about and eventually, that I actually couldn’t write at all. In retrospect, one of the best things that came from my ‘Blog-spew’ were other the bloggers with whom I connected, ‘My Blog-Fam’ I like to call them. The inspirational writers and lovely creative folk I loved to visit via the blogsphere and who had in turn followed me as well. A few of which are still posting, and the others all have but vanished like myself. One in particular  I idolized for her wonderful writing talent that included a carousel of vivid experiences complete with human versions of nymphs, minotaurs and unicorns. After meeting on numerous occasions. I have come to consider her my mortal oracle, overall touchstone to reality, and most importantly a friend. Last summer over tea we touched upon the subject of blogging habits. As both of us had stopped blogging on  a more regularly basis at approximately the same time. She seemed to sum it up for both of us – all in one sentence. “I’m just not that character anymore.” It was my paralyzing reality. I wondered how many of the others’ lives had also changed to an extent that they felt they just didn’t feel the need or desire to carry on. Perhaps it was that writing was like the therapy they no longer needed?  Was I was being over analytical?  Maybe they just got busy?  Regardless, if I wasn’t the rib and s cuddlescharacter anymore what did I actually have to contribute? Should I succumb to guilt and start sharing casserole recipes? Or post annoying daily photos of how unbelievably adorable my English Setters are, as I do on Facebook? Ultimately I blogged neither, as the life I was living was deemed comfortable and irrelevant and I stopped writing all together.

But alas, doesn’t it just take an ex-boyfriend you broke up with in 2001, crawling out from under his 600 thread-count marital paradise long enough to grab his iPhone and friend you on Facebook, completely out-of-the-blue, which in turn  – jet-fuels you back into some literary blogspew or perhaps more accurately – a cranky rant?

He was 'The Metro-Sexual.'

He was ‘The Metro-Sexual.’

‘Why the f’ck are YOU friending ME?’ was my first thought as I wiped the sleep from the corner of my eyes and threw back my last gulp of espresso. I was the one that wasn’t “corporate” enough for you, remember? I held on to my proverbial ark, as then came the additional flood of unwelcome flashbacks. A 3-year term of vanity, narcissism, judgement, great sex, harsh criticisms, loneliness, turmoil, great sex, neglect, my own flaming neurosis over it all, and did I mention great sex? Sadly, that was one of the few things we had going for us, and prior to the day I handed his apartment keys back to him and walked out after 3 years, the soured cream part of our relationship had already been well within its range of expiry. Did He not remember that a few months following our departure, there was the ‘break-up sex?’ Him telling me he was sorry that he didn’t accept me/tried to change me, attempting to get me drunk on several Vodka-Cran at a gay bar (not knowing that during a trip to the men’s room I informed the bartender of the ex’s transparent scheme and to please refrain from serving me anymore drinks with alcohol).  Then back at his place…

ex-boyfriend-voodoo-doll

Him: “What is this? Fuck and run?

Me: “I got to work in the morning. Sorry. It was fun. Bye!”

And most importantly, not long after – the last thing I ever said to him after he told me not to be ‘bar meat’ when he heard I had been partying with 30 US Navy Seals at a club one Friday night after work. (side note: Which was EPIC)

“Really? I thought you liked those types. Y’know… YOU wanted to be ‘friends,’ but I don’t really think I like you as a person.”

How does one forget that? Is that some sort of ‘syndrome? Does morbid curiosity over an ex-girlfriend cause confusion, blurred vision, or selective memory?

Regardless, after asking myself the same questions repeatedly to the point of mental exhaustion,  I concluded I wasn’t exactly the most grounded or sane individual back then. I was still on training wheels, trying to figure who I was and my baggage wasn’t exactly light and portable.

baggage

I decided to let it go and accept his friend request.  If he’s curious, let him look.   Maybe he just didn’t care about all that mess of the past. Maybe I shouldn’t either. People change, people grow.  I have.  A little small-talk or exchange of pleasantries never killed anyone… and I’m still alive. ;)

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Whatever happened to Cakes McCain?

cupMeet the grand master of procrastination and the poster-girl for lazy. Everyday for weeks (OK, months), I had planned my return to the blogsphere, however I just never got around to it, and felt like for the most part, life was actually too good to report back.  Even returning to ‘the old country’ for a week last February with it’s blip of inspiration via Mediterranean air, amazing food, and ever-present population of MacDaddy creeps and crappy blue Fiats were not sufficient enough inspiration to ruffle my goat and get me off my lazy rump to even remotely kick-start any half-assed creative effort.

Italian wonder-dog extraordinare: ‘Riba-Jane Pepper-Paw’

Incidentally while I wasn’t stuffing my face with Pizza Margherita and Pistachio-flavoured gelato,  I was arranging for the adoption a 3-legged canine to add to my fur-family, thus the inevitable growing number of dog-hair tumble-weeds that seem to float in suspended animation from one side of my living room to the other, and the renegade hairs that end up sticking to my underwear.

Alas, what can I say? Life is not too shabby at the moment. It’s a far yodel from my old Italian hood. My gripes are more of the ‘civilized world’ variety, and I assure you all that during my hiatus from the blogsphere I have not adopted religious fanaticism, bared my breasts in McDonald’s, or shaved my head and declared sweatpants as my standard uniform. There is no extreme angst, drama, or deal-breaking cultural differences. How could I not love a nation of tweed-wearing gentlemen that instead of using the words: fuck, screw, slam, bang – substitute them with such whimsical vocabulary as rumpy-pumpy and jiggery-pokery?

tuktuk

It has officially been 1 year in my new English hood aka. ‘The Best Place to Live in Britain 2013,’ while simultaneously travelling the road of mature relationship. Here in my own abode with my Italian hunting dogs, and no longer imposing on the hospitality of Sir English within the confines of his micro man-cave with creepy velvet hand chair. That too-close-for comfort scenario being no Von Trapp singers’ picnic for either of us, as I was forced to share space with old transit tickets, waiting-to-be-recycled padded envelopes, greeting cards from holidays past, 21 coffee mugs, several model cars, a lava lamp, and 12 months of Belinda Carlisle circa 2002.

He may be mad about you, but this man-cave is not big enough for the both of us.

'The Crappy Blue Fiat.'

Be gone blue crap-wagon!

The sight of this horrid automobile that had infiltrated my pristine suburban British neighborhood was but a gentle reminder that crappy blue Fiats and the MacDaddy Creeps that own them, have helped mold the person I am today. I have unintentionally swapped the standard  cringe-inducing Italian ‘man-child’ along with their sub-standard autos, for a plethora of slick classic cars, posh accents, costuming up for a cornucopia  of fab festivals, and more often than not often getting really inspired by all the awesomeness.

We occasionally min-road trip and do all kinds of really cool shit where I get to dress up…

traingirl2 bw copy

vintage affair may 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what now Cakes McCain? The fate of ‘Pasta for One?’ When essentially now it’s ‘Tea for Two?’  Not long ago I met my ‘blogfamily’ sister for some quality time in the big city, and we discussed just this.  Her personal take: “I haven’t written in the blog ages. Things are different now. Life’s evolved and I’m not that ‘character’ any more.” This was a notion seeming all too familiar. Was my editorial-therapy, only temporary? Was my creativity fueled by angst and frustration? Maybe I’ll think about it tomorrow…

dog and feet

 

 

Posted in dating, dating rejects, European men, hoarding, humour, Italian life, Italian men, Italy, Italy living, Life in Italy, Living in Italy, losers, MacDaddy, perverts, players, relationships, self examination, social misfit, Uncategorized, writers, x-pat, x-pats | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

It’s my blog and I’ll bitch if I want to

Recently a FB contact took a pot shot at me  in response to a quip I made on another friend’s post. The post was regarding odd couples she had observed that day, and my comment went something like this: “How about the bikini-clad girls and men in angora sweaters on Southern Italian beaches?”

The response: “I don’t know why you lived there for so long when all you do is take pot shots at Italian men every chance you get.” Adding that they had been always well dressed and most polite and respectful towards her. I am pleased for her, but that is HER experience, and it simply wasn’t mine.

Wait.
Huh?
Every chance I get?

I don’t believe I have been spending my days lingering on the edge of my seat waiting to plug in the ‘Italian dude on-the- make, douche-bag factor’ in every social interaction…

“Hey Cakes, How’s it going?”

“Hey! Pretty good.  I was with Sir English last night. He’s so lovely! He  took me to dinner, we watched a film, and he stayed over. Did I ever tell you my Ital girlfriend Tani told me never to let an Italian man in my house – not even to use the bathroom,  as he would expect to get laid if I let him in.  Sick huh?”

bbpic1 copy

The last time I did an inventory of my time management and level of preoccupation these days – It did not include Italian men, only one certain English one. However, as we rarely communicate,  I suspect this person could have read my blog –  even though my posts have been far and few between in the past year since moving to England.

And what about my blog’s content? I write this blog for entertainment. My content is (was) about my single life, my ideas and MY OWN observations. Most importantly poking fun at weird Italian men is a part of my ammo.  It in no way overwhelms and infiltrates my personal/social life. I don’t harbour an incessant need to go around repeating my past social and sexual liaisons with this particular demographic, or opinions from this blog to anyone in my social sphere, that will listen.

Unlike the person that made the comment (who incidentally is a native Italian woman – now living several years in the UK), I was a single expat living full-time in a foreign land where sexism and traditional roles are alive and well, and where several men have impenetrable preconceived notion that foreigners – especially North American women are easy pickins, and they – the Italians, are the best lovers in the world. Both of which fantasies they should consider surrendering.

In their infinite wisdom both my Ital gal pals Tani and Franca, told me: “The men think you are easier to take to bed because you are ‘American’ and you are free. They don’t act this way so much with Italian women.” My 2 Ital gal pals were often aghast at the behavior of men I was often subjected to. I was propositioned, followed, stalked, groped and harassed. I don’t claim it occurred everyday, but it did occur, and far more than when I was cuter, in my 20’s and lived in Canada.

But why would I want to repeatedly peg an entire demographic as hairy, cliche, or overall sleazy for that matter?

If you are even vaguely familiar with my cast here in the blog, you know I haven’t forgotten my decent, respectful Italian male friends in the ‘hood ie.  ‘Wingman,’ ‘Dog Guy,’ ‘Mr. Jesus,’ and even a few others not mentioned, for who I am very indebted to for of all their support and various acts of kindness.

I don’t expect everyone to enjoy what they read, some may even hate ‘Pasta for One.’
The solution is simple, just don’t read it.

ALL of this – It’s MY experience…
And I’ll bitch if I want to.

(And by the way – Next report coming live from Italy. xo)

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Cakes vs. Scones: The Identity Crisis

During the last few months while my mojo has been curled-up into the fetal position and I have attempted (on some level) to deal with a cornucopia of emotional shit to which I am in not willing to succumb (denial hard at work) – I have come to  a conclusion. Well, several actually. However to sum it up…

damaged-goods

I am really damaged goods.

My acute case of literary laryngitis stems from my inability to follow any text-book rules of bereavement, guilt, and an epic identity crisis that has thus paralysed me from  transcending anything remotely coherent or moderately witty from my grey matter to the keys of my black rectangle in order to grace my coveted ‘Pasta for One.’ Gone is ‘Oliver Twist with Furniture and Diamonds,’  dating hell, virtual poverty, and my former obsession with scouring my pockets in search of bus fare.

What have I become?
Life should be peaches and cream, right?

Former inmate, Paparazzi, Actor: Fabrizio Corona the quintessesntial Italian "McCreep"

The Horror.

I no longer live in a misogynist country where almost nothing functions, or serial date Italian MacDaddy creeps à la Roberto who follow me in their crappy blue Fiats and enjoy masturbating near my dining table. I am in a proper ‘relationship.’ I have a decent, sweet and  respectable English boyfriend with a magnificent penis, who was surely educated at the Emily Post School of sexual etiquette as he never uses the ‘F-word.’ (However, not that I mind its use when he has me in a ‘compromised’ position.)

I rent a small problem-free dwelling with great water pressure, from a stand-up landlord and according to ‘The Sunday Times’ newspaper  – I happen to be located in ‘The Best Place to Live in Britain.’

stambest

So should I change my name to ‘Scones Windermere’ and re-name my blog ‘Tea for Two’ while I muse over the fact I have no prospects (nothing new there), watch far too many BBC documentaries on WWII, and at times feel like a ginormous creatively void hack/waste-of-space?  Or perhaps revel in my own jadedness and document my attempts to act like a ‘functional’ member of the human race while trying not to alienate a certain individual that claims to have genuine feelings for me?

markdarcy

Am I not happy unless I am unhappy?

Last week Sir English, observing my frustration, startled me with: “Maybe Stamford isn’t edgy enough for you.” Is he right? Do I need edgy? Is earthy-tone tweed and old English vibe, raining on my creative parade?

Good grief, if Madonna can suck it up...

Good grief, if Madonna can suck it up…

Perhaps I need perspective and a pick-me-up in the form of my most adored peeps, a bit of winter sunshine and the best comfort foods in the world? 

YES! It’s going to be one week back in the Italian hood from January 31st!
I can do that because ‘Oliver Twist with Furniture and Diamonds’ is no longer ‘in the house’…
I AM.

tallyho

 

Posted in affirmations, blog, bloggers, boredom, cake, dating, depression, Eating, European men, friendship, grieving, guilt, humour, Italian life, Italian men, Italy, Italy living, Life in Italy, Living in Italy, losers, love, MacDaddy, perverts, positive thinking, relationships, self examination, self help, self loathing, sex, single girl, social misfit, travel, Uncategorized, writers, x-pat, x-pats | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A lost Mojo, Neurotic Salad and the gross misuse of ‘Mactac’

I might be this guy…

tumblr_m6koeuECW61r5c2fso1_500

OK I am PROBABLY this guy…

Peter Whitman (Adrien Brody) with a simmering melancholy during his journey in Darjeeling Limited –  Used his dead father’s razor, and wore his prescription glasses  rendering him almost legally blind. Although I was tempted, as I had 3 pairs at my disposal,  I currently have opted for an enormous brown suede wrangler’s hat, souvenir t-shirts from his trip to China in 2002, decrepid leaking rain hat circa 1950, and a white leather belt from the 1970’s I will have to have cut back about 12 inches. Fortunately I didn’t go as far as to save the numerous pen knives or one of the 12 sets of nail clippers, but will probably end up keeping the autoharp he (my father – the school principal) saved from the elementary school that was set for demolition. Even though no one in my family played any instruments or was remotely musically inclined.

We weren't exactly living in Nashville.

We weren’t exactly living in Nashville.

Except for my mother who I hear dabbled in piano, and in the late 70’s painted ours white and covered it in red and black floral ‘Mactac.’ I believe it was the last time she ever Mactac-ed anything as my father forbade any further self-adhesive abominations. Nonetheless the autoharp was spared a crushing demise and further damage via Mactac, and collected dust in the bowels of my family’s home for at least 15 years

DSC00340

I saved these.

I could very well be developing Joan Crawford tendencies as well.
(But aren’t they just so posh?)

 Peter Whitman failed attempts to come to terms with his own father’s death. Peter’s use of his father’s sunglasses and razor symbolizes an excessive material attachment and the need to shed his excess baggage, both literal and metaphoric, in his spiritual quest.’ 

Regardless of my varied mini-obsessions of saving odd, random items… wrapped in an overall epic package of responsibility, I managed to find solace in the fact I found a kick-ass real estate agent who is über positive, brings Indian food from her restaurant to our meetings, and encouraged my brother and I to battle like barbarians the mass piles of junk accumulated over my parents’ lifetime

DSC00309

5+ loads to the city dump plus numerous trips to charity shops…
The horror.

Then August 1st, off to Great Britain I went with my 5-year visa in-hand, thinking I’d be able to breathe, chill, move on and keep up appearances.

the expat goes uk

Honestly I am a lousy actress, my feeble attempts in front of Sir English hopefully are not overly transparent. I don’t know if it’s the jet lag, the grief, the stress of being technically ‘homeless,’ the paralysing fear of being in a relationship where I could inevitably get my heart catapulted back into the Moulinex – or all of the above tossed together like a neurotic crazy-salad. But one day not long ago, like a little message from beyond, while sorting the books in the family library – I happened to randomly open a very worn copy of my father’s favourite book to the page of his favourite poem that he read to me when I was 6…

dadsbookMaybe for now that is all I need to remember.

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2+ months: Sex, death and champagne.

I had a good month…
That was all the time I actually spent in the UK with the lovely Sir English.

We drank champagne and ate cake…

bp and c

Made-out on the banks of some river while being ogled by intrusive sheep…
Frolicked with Miss Big-Paws in meadows like cool Anglo-Saxon VonTraps …

bp meadow-horz 2

Chilled in London…

DSC00180 ps bw 2

Had morning sex, crumpets, and pancakes several mornings in a row…
Saw a production at the theatre…
Took in local historical sights and museum openings…

dwtar

Look what showed up at the local museum…
If only it worked.

Dressed in costume to attend one of London’s biggest costume parties…

me and mr t

Me, Sir Rupert The Black,  and my new friend Mr. Tumnus…
I would have taken him home and made a pet of him if I could.

But of course that was all before I received the news that my father had passed away. No matter how well prepared  I thought I was for the inevitable – I wasn’t. I was/am flattened. I have been back in hometown purgatory for 6 weeks now, and aside from dealing with some sort of my own personal warped version of grief, I am back to square one and certifiably in the bell jar.

I applied for a UK Visa. Within 10 days it was in my hand.

Here we go again.

Kill me now.

Kill me now.

I am up to my eyebrows in responsibility I can’t possibly handle. I am off packing all kinds of shit I will probably regret and hate myself for later, all to move to another f’cking country and start all over again NEXT WEEK.

What the fuck am I doing?

Posted in cake, dating, depression, dogs, European men, friendship, grieving, guilt, hook-ups, humour, materialism, relationships, self examination, self help, single girl, social misfit, travel, x-pat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments