Tag Archives: Italy

Five Professions I’ve Considered Doing

1 Aug

Right now I’m pretty set in my ways when it comes to the aspiration of becoming a writer. I try to write an hour a day (which is a shameful amount, according to Stephen King), and I write a blog entry every day as well. If theater and/or photography gigs come up in my future, hey, great! I’ll soon have degrees in both of those as well! As I mentioned yesterday, I’m considering traveling a bit once I graduate college, but eventually I would like to return to grad school and get a degree in writing, ultimately making that my life pursuit.

That being said, I must admit that there are several professions I spend time thinking about taking up. I know they’re not realistic, but I sometimes wonder if in another life I would’ve gone after these jobs. Here’s a look at the five professions I find myself wondering about.

1. Comic Book Artist

I’ve always envied people’s abilities to draw. I grew up reading comic books and graphic novels – still do to this day – and it was something I kind of always wanted to do as a kid. I even doodled my own comic book around the age of seven entitled “The Puppy Squad” which was about three dogs that gained super powers and had to defeat the Evil Dr. Birdenstein (I can’t tell if I was ripping off of Mary Shelley or if I was just a really antisemitic child). I’ve flipped through my comic book recently and, here’s a shocker, it’s awful. I was a kid, but even so the drawings are crude and the storyline makes me cringe. It’s not something I’m necessarily proud of. I think I could’ve gone in the direction of comic book artist when I was young, had I taken the right classes and put enough practice into it, but besides having a sketchbook to doodle in throughout high school, I never did give my drawing skills the proper attention. True, my doodles have improved over the years, but they’re still laughably bad on many levels. On occasion I’ll draw something that I’m actually proud of, which thusly ends up in my scrapbook, but otherwise I think it’s fair to say I tucked away all aspirations of being a killer comic book artist a long time ago.

2. Veterinarian

Throughout the extent of my childhood my family went through: one dog, nine cats, one rat, one guinea pig, one hamster, one frog, four hermit crabs, three lizards, three newts, and way too many fish to even begin to remember. Most of these animals lived for a very long time (with some exceptions for the fish) and they remained apart of our family for years on end. Needless to say, I’ve been surrounded by animals all my life. I can’t pass a dog on the street without making an “Awww!” remark, nor can I see a cat and not try to pet it. It’s just the way I am. I used to say “I want to be a vet” for a very brief period of my childhood. My belief that I’d someday grow up to be one filled up the short gap of space between wanting to be a ballerina and wanting to be an actor. Truthfully, I think I would make a terrible vet. Remember the movie War Horse that came out last December? Well, in the film, there’s a scene where an entire army fleet gets killed in battle. I didn’t even bat an eye. But a couple scenes later where that one horse died? TEARS. TEARS EVERYWHERE. So I don’t think I could handle working in a profession which involved me dealing with sick or hurt animals daily.

3. Puppeteer

One of my only regrets as a Muppet fanatic is that I got into the game so late. I have a feeling, had I discovered this obsession back in high school, I would’ve begged my dad for a class or two in puppeteering. Now, this is not to say that I wont ever in my life pick up a puppet, because I’m sure one day I will, seeing as I already know all the logistics of how to operate a puppet, but I also realize that unless I happen to be uncannily good, I’m never going to be a puppeteer. Even so, I still have a great passion to someday work with the Muppets on some level, be it writer or production crew or, hell, I’d gladly get just about any Muppeteer their coffee. And I’d do it with a smile.

4. Wine Maker

The idea of giving up my life and running away to Italy has crossed my mind several hundred times since my trip last March. Ideally, in my perfect fantasy world, I run off to Italy, become a hot shot writer, live in a villa, and get a smokin’ hot Italian boyfriend. Of course, this is not realistic at all. So, in my run-off-to-Italy fantasies, I work as a wine maker. I think it’d be a pretty sweet job, and okay, maybe it’s because I really love wine, but I just find the idea of doing it kind of refreshing and simplistically perfect. Who wouldn’t want to spend every day stomping on grapes?

5. Rancher

Being a rancher is something I’ve always secretly lusted after all these years. As a kid I confused this ideal with wanting to be a farmer, which is something I never want to be. I’d always think to myself, “Boy, being a farmer would be great… except for the farming… and the whole killing animals part…” I don’t know exactly what the profession of a rancher would entail, but ideally I would love it if my main source of income came from giving horseback riding lessons. I suppose I could have some chickens and sheep, then make a few bucks selling wool and eggs. Really though, this would just be an excuse to surround myself with horses all day long.

I’ve loved horses since I was a kid. I took horseback riding lessons for two years growing up, and I’ve always been sad that I stopped when I did. I don’t think I ever wanted to get to the point where I could compete in shows or, I dunno, participate in an equestrian activities. I just really loved riding. I still really love it, though I haven’t ridden a horse in years. I’m basically a girl who never grew out of her ‘I-want-a-pony’ phase. A part of me still fantasizes about being able to own a horse someday. There’s also something so deliciously wonderful about the idea of owning a ranch out in the middle of the countryside. The thought of being in the middle of nowhere with just my books, my laptop, a huge field, and some horses? How is that not paradise?

Away I Go

22 Mar

At long last, all the waiting and wanting and yearning and longing is finally paying off. I’m off to Italy for ten days (well, nine, seeing as 24 hours will be devoted to being on a plane). The taxi just dropped us off at the airport. I guess this is me signing off until I’m back in the ol’ US of A.

As the great Charles Muntz once said: “Adventure is out there.”

Time for me to have an adventure.


Snippets of my Day

8 Mar

Today I got to kick a ball around with two of my best friends after classes were done. It was sunny and warm, and just utterly lovely. I don’t think I’ve kicked a ball since high school. I’m definitely not a sporty girl, but it was a lot of fun and oddly relaxing. I haven’t gotten to see either of these friends a whole lot this school term, so it was nice to pal around, goof off, and be silly. We also cloud watched, even though there were no clouds.

Three more pages left to go on my Moby Dick paper. Possibly less, since all that’s due tomorrow is a rough draft of the paper. I know once I get the motivation to start working on it I’ll be able to blow through it in less than an hour, it’s just finding that initial motivation that’s a bit tricky.

Fifteen more days till Italy… Gah. This before-vacation feeling is unbearable, but in the best possible way. I’m so excited for this trip, and I’m glad this feeling gets to last a bit longer. It’s nice to have something a bit off in the distance that’s worth looking forward to. Hopefully the excitement of the trip will help push me through dead week and then finals week, so  by the time I’m done with both of them I’ll be in need of a major vacation, which I’ll get to do.

I had a coffee and a doughnut today. Merg. At least I got to go to the gym.

250 pages into Clash of Kings. Ideally I’d like to be through with it before spring break, so I can bring different books with me on the trip. I don’t know how likely that is since I’m sure the next two weeks are going to be pretty busy, but I have faith. I’ve just got to read 60 pages a day, which equals out to about three chapters per day. I don’t know. Let’s see if I can manage it.

All I want to do is work on a screenplay I’ve been working on for over a year now and listen to The Mountain Goats. Blerg.


6 Mar

Seventeen more days until I get to wake up at five o’clock in the morning, groaning and whining because I stayed up far too late the night before as my father, quite literally, drags me out of bed, leads me to the kitchen, and places me in front of a bowl of cereal, which I then mindlessly eat as my brother mirrors my actions from across the table.

Seventeen more days until we stand in a long, agonizing line, still groggy from lack of sleep, removing such trivial things like shoes, earrings, belts, necklaces, and spare change and discarding all of our belongings into blue plastic trays as we cross under a metal arch, praying not to hear that agonizing BLEEP that means having to embarrassingly recheck yourself in front of everyone behind you in line.

Seventeen more days until I get to wander through the much tinier version of Powell’s Books, clutching a grande white mocha that my father bought me from the Starbucks down the green hall, sifting through the shelves of books until one catches my eye that I decide will make a good read once I’ve reached my final destination.

Seventeen more days until I get to buckle up, sit back, and soar high through the air and leave all the stress of school, worries of peers, dreads of finances far behind me.

Seventeen more days until I get to spend five hours doing nothing but reading any book of my choosing, most likely one that I’ve been dying to read all term, while also staring out the window and admiring the rows upon rows of clouds and thinking to myself “Wow. There is nothing more beautiful than this.”

Seventeen more days until I get to explore a different, exciting airport that I haven’t been to in years, begging my dad to buy my brother and I lunch at a nice restaurant and then snooping around stores to see if I can find a possible birthday gift for my roommate.

Seventeen more days until I get to spend eight hours high up in the air reading, playing sudoku, listening to music, writing, watching whatever’s on the television monitors, and possibly forcing myself to gt at least a couple hours of sleep before landing.

Seventeen more days until I’m in Italy.

Seventeen more days until happiness.

Forty-Five . Forty-Five . Forty-Five

7 Feb

There’s just too much. Too much going on. Cutting actors, upcoming talks with exes, mounds of homework, finance worries, tests to study for, and life being a frustrating, convoluted mess. Through it all, there has been positively one thing that has been keeping me together all day… Well, okay, two things, if we were to include coffee, which we really should. But the main thing keeping me together today is this:

These are a handful of places I am visiting/could very well be visiting over the upcoming spring break. All places in Italy. Cortona, Siena, Rome, Assisi, Cinque Terra, Portofino, etc. All so beautiful, so wondrous, so much grander than anything else I’ve got going on in my life right about now.

Just forty-five more days.

Eight Places I Would Rather Be Right Now

29 Jan
  1. Curled up in my family’s beach house in Cannon Beach, sitting on the old couch in the living room that we’ve had since god knows when, watching the rain and the wind whip back and forth outside in an elaborate destructive dance, sort of wishing it was nice enough to walk the beach but secretly thankful for an excuse to stay indoors, the newest John Green novel open on my lap, my cat nuzzled up against me with her head resting on my right thigh, wearing my favorite blue sweater and grasping a mug of hot cocoa, and a fire going in the fireplace for the first time since I was a small child.
  2. Running through Disneyland, holding your hand, tugging you towards Splash Mountain or Indian Jones, making you buy ridiculously overpriced Mickey Mouse ears to match my Minnie ones, standing in line for a good twenty minutes to have our picture taken with Donald Duck, having you hold me while I cry at the end of Fantasmic or World of Color, letting me buy you one of those Mickey Mouse ice cream bars, and kissing you under the fireworks.
  3. Climbing the steep hills of Cortona, Tuscany, camera already filled with hundreds upon hundreds of pictures, the Italian language buzzing in my ears, the sun peeking through the slowly dispersing gray clouds, the sun flowers swaying gently in the cool spring breeze, the smell of mozzarella pizza wafting through the air, and the cathedral bells ringing out in the plaza signifying that it is time for lunch.
  4. Hailing down a cab in New York City, standing outside the apartment I have been living in for over a year that is everything I’ve ever dreamed of and more, headed on my way to someplace fresh and exciting where friends are waiting for me, a large purse slung over my shoulder that contains various objects like an in the works screenplay and a nutrigrain bar for just in case of emergencies, sporting tall black highheel boots and a snazzy matching pea coat, and I can see my breath fogging up the air around me.
  5. Riding a horse through a field of tall grass, the wind in my hair, my heart pulsing the the beat of the horse’s hooves as they gallop, the feel of the mare’s sturdy torso betwixt my legs, and that utter loss of every single care in the world I’ve ever had that accompanies me whenever I ride.
  6. Eating out at the Mandarin Cove in Portland with my family, fighting about just how much food we’re allowed to order, complaining to my dad about school, discussing the newest developments in certain TV shows with my brother, gobbling down every piece of general tso’s chicken along with every other food to grace my plate, and leaving only enough room for the fortune cookie which, as always, leaves me with not so much a fortune as a proverb, which my brother is sure to make fun of, as usual.
  7. Out in a cabin in the woods, where I am constantly surrounded by nature and I am able to walk and concentrate and lose myself and meditate on life and everything that comes with it, and it is a place where I can relearn how to breathe and reteach myself how to be myself.
  8. Hogwarts…I feel like I don’t need to go into detail on this one.

Or, y’know, I think I would gladly settle for being curled up in bed with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream watching O Brother Where Art Thou.

Instead, I am stuck at work doing homework that teaches me things I will never need to know in life.


A Beautiful Reunion.

23 Jan

In almost exactly two months I may very well get to return, once more, to Cortona, Tuscany. This had been the plan almost a year ago, but due to expenses and the fact that he’s currently trying to put two kids through college, my dad nixed this idea at the end of last summer. I’ve been bugging him though, as of late, about where we’re going. Spending last spring break in Disneyland made me realize just how much I miss vacationing with my family, which is still a somewhat strange concept to me. My family hasn’t vacationed much since, well, our last trip to Italy back during mine and Anthony’s junior year of high school. To be fair, we were sort of at that age of rebellion and angst and not listening to rules and basically being annoying teenagers who constantly fought with our parent, so extravagant vacationing stopped pretty swiftly around that time (also due to college, expenses, free time, etc.), but Disneyland gave me a new perspective. Since I’ve grown up, my father and I have garnered a pretty great relationship, and my brother and I barely fight as much as we did back in the day. I think our Disneyland trip was a really great experience for us as a family (except for when we were trying to sleep, since we shared a room and we’re a family of snorers, so someone was always grumpy and sleepless). We all get along a whole lot better now, and I really do chalk that up to the fact that Anthony and I are no longer angsty, ridiculous high schoolers.

So I’ve been eager to see if we were going to go somewhere together again. I’ve been heavily impressing on the fact that I’ve been aching to go somewhere out of the USA, and I guess my dad took the hint. Last time we were on the phone I brought up spring break and he asked me where I wanted to go. My response was, “Well, somewhere warm would be nice. Oh! And with a beach!” He then swiftly responded with, “Well, I don’t think there’s a beach in Italy, so I guess I better plan for something else…” I then flipped out upon hearing this. Of course, this trip’s not set in stone, but it sounds like it’s very much going to happen so long as nothing leading up to the break falls through.

It will have been five years since I was last in Cortona, but I can still remember it so vividly. The steep hills. The language. The cathedral. The sunflowers. The food. The wine. The sunsets. The quaint shops. The everything.

It would be an understatement to say that I am excited.

I am excited to return to Italy as a woman, no longer the naive child that I was when I first ventured there. I am excited to be able to explore the city all on my own, no longer in need of my father’s watchful gaze. I am excited to go back to the restaurants we dined at. I am excited to see if the nice British chap still works at Cafe 500, where my brother and I bought hot cocoa from every day of our stay. I am excited to drink good wine. I am excited to actually have money of my own to spend, no longer depending on my father to fund me. I am excited to be totally girly in Italy, unlike my last visit when I was still incredibly tom boyish. I am excited to wear dresses. I am excited to stay in the exact same villa we stayed in before. I am excited to stand on the balcony, at night, taking in the quiet nightlife of the village. I am excited to hike up the hills beyond the town. I am excited to photograph anything and everything I see. I am excited to go out drinking with my brother, just like he promised we would if we ever returned. I am excited to see if I can catch the eye of a cute Italian boy. I am excited to sit in Cafe 500 and just read and write. I am excited to start reteaching myself basic Italian over the course of the next two months and use it as much as possible in Cortona. I am excited to interact with the people. I am excited to see the sunflowers once more.

Yes. I am so very excited.

But most of all, I am excited to re-experience Italy. Last time I went I was sixteen, and while I was wowed and dazzled by the foreigness and culture, I didn’t really retain any of it. I was in Italy, but it never really hit me. I walked around with my dad, poked around some shops, spent a day or two taking hundreds of photographs, but thinking back on my experience I realize I spent a lot of time cooped up in my room reading. I also was at the computer center every other day catching up on facebook and myspace, when I could have been doing something far more marvelous with my time. I was a baby then; I hadn’t matured. I had a very weak perception on life, and I didn’t fully appreciate the great gift that was given to me: the gift of culture.

Well, this time is going to be different. I’m going to walk the entire city, by myself. I’m going to go in all the shops (not a difficult task, seeing as it’s a small town). I’m going to not touch a computer (yes! you heard me!) the entire time I am there. I’m going to still read, but instead of reading in my tiny room, I will read in/on/by cafes, restaurants, street corners, fields, fountains, so I can take in the atmosphere will I indulge in a good book. I’m going to take so many pictures and eat so much food and have so many adventures. I’m most excited for the adventures, I think.

But most of all, if we go, I am going to have an incredible time.

Now I just have to hold my breath and pray that it will, at last, come true.