Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Dreaming of professional development

Painting restoration courses in Florence.

One-year course

This course offers a comprehensive and accelerated program, giving a unique opportunity to acquire a wide range of knowledge and techniques related to your field of study.

 Along with practical classes of your major subject - combined with challenging homework and assignments – our Basic Art Lessons will provide you with fundamentals of arts and design.

 Furthermore, you will broaden and enrich your artistic experience - looking beyond the borders of your specialty – through our weekly guided Art Visits and monthly Art Stages.

 Through this program, you will not only acquire a solid foundation in your study area, but also develop specific, advanced skills, immersed in a stimulating learning environment. Moreover, you will have the chance to learn basic business practices, to start up you career as young professional. Diplomas are issued to those who pass the final exam.

At least I'd be able to save the airfare.


Monday, January 11, 2016

So long to the Thin White Duke

You all know I left home at fifteen. The course of my life has been steered entirely from that one act. Looking back I think it was actually a perfectly sensible decision, but at the time... well... best not to think too much about it. I went from being a rather sheltered child to being the only one in charge in the space of a week. (I was a ward of the state, but being in the "care" of social workers and being on my own amounted to the same thing.)

At the time I mentally divided my life into two parts, the before leaving and the after, and it is still a pretty sound description. On the cusp of my 50th birthday, I am now at last at peace with it all. But at the time... Hm.

There were a lot of people and things that helped me survive along the way, and it might sound weird, but Bowie's music was one of them. I was raised very strangely by a woman I now understand was a pathological narcissist. One of the things narcissistic mothers do, especially to daughters, is to try to insert their own personality into the child, to make her a living replica of herself a kind of puppet. I had no sense of identity when I was 15 and broke away from her. Music was one of the ways I started the process of creating a person, an identity that was separate from my mother's.

One day, I went to visit my friend and she played her Bowie albums, starting chronologically with Hunky Dory.

It was the first time I'd come across something that I really liked that my mother knew nothing about. It was the start of me becoming me. It took a long time, but here we are.

David Bowie's music, for the next ten years, was playing as the soundtrack of that entire development, and will forever stand in my mind for that period of creating independence and identity.

Which is a bit funny considering ...


Wednesday, January 06, 2016

20 + C + M + B + 16

You really do have to be in Italy for a while to really get it.

Last night, after drinks I said good night to my friend and started walking home through the very quiet streets.

It was chilly and a dense heavy fog had settled on the town, so thick I could not see to the end of the road. I flipped my collar up and shoved my hands deeper into my pockets. The main street, normally bustling in warmer weather, was ringing in its silence, the only sound was my own shoes.

As I approached the Rome Gate, and passed the antiques shop, I was suddenly approached by a woman in a big pointy black hat with a long crooked nose who came as if by magic out of the fog. She was dressed in a long skirt with many carefully sewn-on patches, and wore a woolen shawl around her shoulders. She brandished the big twig broom she was carrying and came over to me with her arms stretched out.

She said, "EElaree! Auguri!"

I replied, "Befana!! Auguri!"

We kissed each others' cheeks and laughed and I went home happy with my Epiphany blessing from the old lady who still searches for the Christ Child.


Sunday, January 03, 2016

___k the Innernet!

Hey it's me!

I've been doing research on the internet about why the internet is bad for you.

When I was a kid, my elders called the television a number of derogatory nicknames, “the gogglebox,” “the idiot-box.” I remember that serious parents took to heart the warnings of the documentaries and books that children’s TV time should be strictly rationed. They were worried about kids sitting in front of the screen all day while Leave it to Beaver was still being made. What would Ward and June have thought of kids taking the TV with them wherever they went? I know an orthodox Jewish rabbi in New York who has nine children and still refuses to get an internet connection at home. I asked him about it once, and he said it wasn’t the porn, he just didn’t want his children growing up to be idiots.

Yeah yeah...shut up.

What, you think I didn't notice?