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

Welcome to the ‘Man-Cave’

barsThe voyage via ferry from The Netherlands to The UK was uneventful to say the least. Feeling abunbdantly sorry for my travelling companion Miss Big-Paws  – I spent most of the time sitting in the ship’s kennel room keeping her company.

Upon arrival at border control we were ushered into the ‘other’ line, where I was met by a cordial 20-someting border guard who proceeded to ask a lengthy series of questions while risking carpal tunnel syndrome by feverishly taking notes as I replied. “Yes I travelled to the Netherlands with my dog, it was easier and less expensive to go ther first. I was there 2 nights, I had dinner with a friend one night – actually a ‘Couchsurfer’ that I hosted at my apartment 2 summers ago. You know that website? Anyway, I was in Rotterdam, then came here. I don’t know how long I will be staying  – ideally 3 months maybe, but my father isn’t well… is this too much information?”

I have not packed drugs in my orifices. I am not illegally defecting from my Canadian homeland despite it’s freezing cold and snows way too f’cking much, and I’d be hard pressed to find decent employment or affordable housing there anyway.
( I didn’t say that, but wanted to.)

 Why all the notes? Was I ‘under suspiscion and considered a threat to The UK’s national security? Does Her Magesty’s Secret Service need to compile a file on me? Will middle aged men dressed incognito a la 007  be coveting my every move? I hope they at least bring martini fixings along, and look like Daniel Craig or a young Sean Connery.

jb

 Shortly after my temporary detainment from border control I was picked up by Sir English and driven the 90 minutes back to his flat. During which time we exchanged pleasantries and got reaquainted.

Upon entry into his small apartment, my eyes widened in disbelief as I had assumed he would be some sort of urban male minimalist. However I was entering another completely opposite form of quintessesntial man-cave adorned with the standard vast quantities of wall-to-wall magazines and books, dvds, testosterone art aka. film posters à la James Bond,  even car parts and anti-freeze under his kitchen table, and fittingly furnished with man-cave furnishings of the IKEA pine variety… but I was not prepared for this LITERAL decor monstrocity…

I feel dirty already.

I feel dirty already.

An item so aesthetically awful and disturbing, it could only make me cringe and feel as though I had been molested if I were to  ever sit in it.  Italy gave me crappy blue Fiats and MacDaddy Gorillas, instead England gives me pervy King Kong severed hands to fondle my ass.

Fortunately Miss Big-Paws immediately frond space, made herself at home, and appeared content enough.

shcatzcar

Is good taste subjective?
Ask Big-Paws.

Alas, let’s see how things unfold, shall we?

Posted in dating, dogs, European men, humour, single girl, Uncategorized, x-pat, x-pats | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Departures and (various) Entries…

THE PRE-DEPARTURE

dt10

There are doctors…
then there is THE Doctor.

I decided months ago I was not going to spend my entire summer in a social coma dressed in my pyjamas 24-7, sitting in bed, a Linda Blair-Cyndi Lauper hybrid, yet again watching the complete series of Doctor Who on my laptop. (Though I really do love Doctor Who  – #10 David Tennant that is.)

Soon I leave for big city, in a few more days I depart for the land of windmills, wooden shoes, and pot smoking, and then The UK. I have had mixed feeling about my 6 months stay here in the homeland. Aside from the depressing, frustrating, and creatively stifling life in  this ‘urban hemorrhoid (aka my hometown in Canada), I now realize how much I have missed my close friends from Big City. But as much as I want to be close to them I know trying to live here would be nothing more than a far-gone square-peg/round-hole epic waste of time and road to nowhere.  There is so much happening   – an entire world out there waiting, with fascinating people, things I have never experienced, and a life far less ordinary to live.

gatsby

FINALLY…
THE ARRIVAL:
THE CONTINENT

I’ve made it! Quasi glitch-free. I think I must be getting better at this… dealing with the uncertainty of travelling, late flights, heavy baggage, customs issues, knowing anything can happen and never knowing if what I find when I get there is really what I am expecting. (It rarely is.)

I first arrived to a gray and drizzling Rotterdam, complete with an assortment of bumps and bruises from attempts at lugging my cumbersome backpack wedged into a dis-assembled dog crate secured with bungee cords on to a luggage caddy.

One of several...

The result?
Legs get in the way.
(one of several)

There I was, ‘Super-Traveller meets Quasimodo’ trying to control a dog on a leash,  flipping my bangs away from my eyes, while struggling up and down stairs and sidewalk curbs, then onto escalators – along with carrying hand luggage with any other free appendage… and like a star. (The ‘doe-eyed female’ look can b=very effectively recruiting help ie. an extra hand during those tough trapped-in-the-turnstyle situations.)

DSC00043

Yes, I made Miss Big-Paws carry her own backpack.

My attempt at travelling light, effortlessly – EPIC fail. 
I have dubbed myself ‘The World’s Most Cumbersome Traveller.’
I suppose it could have been worse.

 Miss Big-Paws was not thrilled about the lack of sun and absence of pigeons to stalk from Rotterdam rooftops while stuck indoors.

Considering the weather conditions I spent most of my 2 dreary days there, indoors while snacking on ‘stroop waffels,’ battling bouts of jet lag as opposed to tip-toeing through any tulips, or taking advantage of The Netherland’s liberal pot-smoking regulations via their urban centres’ smoking venues, and of course thinking about THIS…

The Dutch dare to ask their own, and this wandering Canadian…

What polyester tops, skinny jeans and fruit have to do with coitus is beyone me. But ENOUGH? More appropriately would be:  'ANY?'  (The answer of course being NO.)

What polyester tops, skinny jeans and fruit have to do with coitus is beyone me.
But ENOUGH? More appropriately would be: ‘ANY?’
(The answer of course being NO.)

I actually had bought an adequate supply of bananas at a nearby supermarket just before I came across this retailer, however I wondered about the ‘S-word’ and what would happen when I finally got to The UK. Would Sir English and I pick up where we left off and eventually ‘go there?’ Would our chemistry have withered since we last saw each other a month before?  If it were to be become a possibility, would I end up being disoriented and clumsy from lack of practice? It’s been at least 10 months since – that being Mr. Frozen Vegetable. (An epic disaster last summer in Italy that lasted a mere pointless 15 seconds.)

I suppose if I don’t get myself and Miss Big-Paws on that ferry destined for Harwich, UK where he is picking me up in a few hours…
I’ll never find out.

Holland_route_map_SM
Thus the story continues…

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The saga of my relative homelessness, uncertain future, travel neurosis and dating a NICE man… Begins.

It’s official. I will be on a plane, blowing this popsicle stand, and off this continent come May 15.  My mandate is to scope the far corners of various hoods and revive my creativity as it has suffered from acute asphyxiation recent months, first by flying to the land of windmills, tulips, grass, and  really weird souvenirs…

Your one-stop shop.

Rotterdam, you’ve got me for 48 hours.

The Inquiry Mind: Cakes, Cannabis smoking is also legal in Rotterdam, no?

CM: Yeah. Your point? When in Rome…

DSCF2741

Where we going?

Of course I did not choose to land in The Netherlands specifically for that. It just so happens that flying directly to the UK along with my travel companion –  Miss Schatze Big-Paws, is not possible due to animal import regulations. She would have to fly cargo separately at a whopping cost of $1700.  Therefore, it is only natural for me to want to save money by flying to Amsterdam first, spending 2 nights in nearby Rotterdam (never been and much cheaper accommodation) to chill and enjoy the fruits of the city.  Technically, I should probably forsake the Cannabis, before I have to be my charming self when I arrive to meet Sir English, who has very kindly and most generously offered to pick up yours truly at the ferry docks, along with said canine traveling companion…

After all I don’t want to show up looking like Keith Richards.

The horror. Angie and me Amsterdam 2007

Or like this.
Angie and me –
Amsterdam 2007

However I shall NOT forsake my ‘other vice’ which is at par with cake…

stroopw

Heaven in a biscuit.

I give you the ‘Stroopwafel’ in all its sublime caramel goodness, in which I once had a 24-7 constant supply in my handbag during a one-week 2007 trip to Amsterdam, then later in 2011 during a stop-over – I bought an entire case consisting of 16 packages. This time around the slight danger being I arrive with a face like Keith Richards and a 2-day massive weight-gain a la Honey Boo Boo’s Mama June.

Shall I risk it?

Keith Richards....1978 AP file

Perhaps an exaggeration, but nonetheless I had further concerns.
Considering he is acting the gentleman, and offered to host me…
‘HOST:’ def.  A ‘sleep-over’ invite in a non-creepy context because I’m a sort-of tourist.

Thou shalt  wear respectable, appropriate sleep attire, as Sir English is of high moral fibre and not some slimy crappy-Fiat-driving MacDaddy creep from the old Ital hood.

Realistically I couldn’t very well bring along my regular springtime/summer sleep attire that consists of either a sheer Minnie Mouse red polka-dot baby doll, or ratty Wonder Woman T-shirt with pink gingham pyjama pants). However, seeing I DO NOT OWN respectable, appropriate sleep-gear for sleep-overs, I was forced to scavenge through local department stores only to find slick ‘sateen’ polyester robes and shorts made in china – perfect for sliding out of bed and hitting my head on a nightstand then taken away by ambulance attendants while dressed like Sugar Ray Leonard, otherwise ensembles made for a starring gigs at London burlesque shows. Therefore I was forced to comb to the far ends of cyberspace in a quest for the most fitting sleepwear.

Ka-ching!
Unassuming PJ’s reminiscent of a Japanese take out menu.

pjz

Make him think about food instead.

The saga of my relative homelessness, uncertain future, travel neurosis
and dating a NICE man…
Begins.

Posted in dating, Eating, European men, food, friendship, hook-ups, humour, internet dating, Italian men, MacDaddy, online dating, perverts, relationships, self examination, sex, single girl, social misfit, travel, Uncategorized, web dating, x-pat, x-pats | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments