Wednesday, May 30, 2007

La Tristesse Durera

Life has been unfaithful
And it all promised so so much
I am a relic
I am just a petrified cry
Wheeled out once a year, a cenotaph souvenir
The applause nails down my silence

La tristesse durera
Scream to a sigh, to a sigh
La tristesse durera
Scream to a sigh, to a sigh

I see liberals
I am just a fashion accessory
People send postcards
And they all hope I'm feeling well
I retreat into self-pity, it's so easy
Where they patronise my misery

La tristesse durera
Scream to a sigh, to a sigh
La tristesse durera
Scream to a sigh, to a sigh

La tristesse durera
Scream to a sigh, to a sigh
La tristesse durera
Scream to a sigh, to a sigh

I sold my medal
It paid a bill
It sells at market stalls
Parades Milan catwalks
Oh, the sadness will never go
Will never go away
Baby it's here to stay
La tristesse durera
Scream to a sigh, to a sigh

-- Manic Street Preachers, Gold Against the Soul, 1993

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Monday, May 14, 2007

frankie has a baby

Image Hosted by

and sissoula takes a leave of absence.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Origanum vulgare

If I were to single out the one basic, pure, natural food ingredient I am most fond of, I think I would go with oregano.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

revised version

That last post… wasn’t what I intended it to be. All I meant to say was that I prefer to let my neighbors do the gardening. Here’s the view from the back (two points if you can spot the cat):

Free Image Hosting at

And from the front:

Free Image Hosting at

This very impressive garden is what my father calls a “truck garden” -- so profuse the goods have to be trucked out, and the water to nourish it trucked in.

It’s all so lovely, but lately, I’ve been going through a recurrent and very familiar “I can’t live in this country” phase. My work situation is a big disappointment, one I can’t fix til September. The buka’s fine (three teeth and counting) but her food is a lot of work. And she’s older now, and wigglier, and can’t sit still very long -- which means I can’t sit still very long either. But the hardest thing about having a baby, for me anyway, isn’t the food or the constant activity or even the crying or the diapers or the interrupted sleep. It’s always having to be “on,” to be funny and happy, to be at your best, and in the mood.

It can be hard to sustain.

And for all the times I complained about being alone, now I wish I had time alone. The only time I have to “rest” from the baby is, ironically, when I work. Teaching is also performing. It’s such a cliché to say I don’t know who I am anymore, but I don't. I just perform, and I get by.

I’m as good as I can be with the buka, and all the rest, I take out on other people. I say “excuse me” louder than necessary to the tourists poking along. I lost it in the supermarket yesterday when the clerk told the man behind me to get in front of me and the woman in front of me in the line. He only had three items, whereas I and the woman had already unloaded our full baskets on the conveyor belt. When it was my turn, I asked the clerk how that helped the situation, to make two people wait, in order for one person to get through faster. I don’t understand what you’re saying, she said, pushing all my buttons that hadn’t already been pushed.

The fact that I’m foreign isn’t the problem. I’m sensitive. It’s spring. Love is in the air.

Monday, May 07, 2007

nothing in common