Saturday, January 22, 2011

Schedules and Some Crap that Fell Out of My Brain.

I find myself referring back to my "More/Less List" more frequently now which is good, I think, because it means I'm actually trying to accomplish what I want to do.  I'm realizing there are a lot of things I'd like to fit into my day to day so I'm trying to organize my time and I've come up with a rough schedule, which now that I think about it, is kind of anal retentive.  What can I say, I'm a Production Manager by trade, schedules are kind of my thing.

I'm currently reading "Eat Pray Love" which is probably passe now that the movie is out on DVD and everyone and their mother read it like two years ago and OMG "you're just reading it now?!".... Yeah, yeah I am .  It's the first book I've read since last May when I read "Into the Wild" during our one week holiday in Mexico.  I read it in three days while lying on the beach and wished I had brought another book with me.  I've been reading "Eat Pray Love" since the beginning of this month when I declared that I was going to read more this year.  It's been weeks and I'm still not through the first section about Italy.  I'm really enjoying the book so in order to keep my goal to read more and ensure that I actually finish it, unlike Love in the Time of Cholera, I've decided that my lunch break at work is now reading time... but only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  This is where the whole scheduling thing comes into play.  Lunch breaks on Tuesdays and Thursdays is reserved for listening to Italian Language audio recordings.  

Yes, I'm listening to Italian lessons on my lunch breaks.  But no, not because I'm so inspired by this book I'm reading, though I'm finding many parrallels with myself and the author, maybe I'll elaborate on all that in another post.  My fascination with Italian goes way back... all the way back to elementary school, where two of my closest friends were Italian fraternal twins named Nick and Rita.  One of the first things they taught me was how to say 'fuck you' in Italian.  They had two gorgeous older sisters in high school and they all played soccer and their family grew tomatoes and beans in their backyard.  There was so much about the culture I really liked but I think a lot of it was because it had a lot of similarities to my own in terms of family and religion.  Food was something else altogether but that's a whole other blog post.
My first crush was on my brother's friend, Franky, when I was in grade 4.  He was Italian and he had pretty blue eyes.  My friend Samantha and I would take the long way to school in the morning and walk by his backyard.  One morning Samantha stole green beans from his garden and his mother saw us.  She yelled something to us as we took off running.  I remember being surprised that she spoke English without a trace of an Italian accent.  We never stalked him again.  

But the real fascination with Italian started when I was seven years old and my Tita Tess came to live with us after working in Italy as a nanny.  She brought with her a silver souvenir sculpture of the Vatican, a velvet wall hanging that said Firenze (Florence) that ended up hanging on my bedroom wall for years, and she gave me a pair of suede shoes in a chestnut brown that I thought were just amazing.  They had heels and were slippery and hurt like hell.  They were completely impractical and didn't go with anything a seven year old tomboy would wear but I didn't care, they were Italian shoes.  She also gave me 1000 lire that I carried around in my wallet with the intent of one day going to Italy to spend it.  But in order to do that, I knew I would have to learn to speak Italian.  I still have the 1000 lire even though it's worth nothing now.  It's one of my most cherished items.  

I remember Tita Tess' sister and niece came to visit from Italy.  They only spoke Italian and Tagalog, no English.  I was fascinated by how they spoke mixing Italian and Tagalog words in sentences like how my parents mixed English words into their sentences when they spoke Tagalog.  I thought it was cool.

This...I don't even know what to call it... love?  too strong... obsession?  way too strong... desire?  kind of....itch? hmm... sure, let's go with that.  This itch for Italian lay dormant for years and then a few years ago when I was working on Viva Pinata, my friend Rob started taking Italian lessons at UBC.  When he finished his class and decided he was going to seek adventure in foreign lands he gave me his old binder of notes and lessons.  I still have the binder but I've barely skimmed through it.  Then after Viva Pinata, someone on my Edgar and Ellen crew gave me a copy of Italian lessons by Michel Thomas.  I think the Universe was telling me I should learn this language but I only half-assed listened to the Universe, like in the annoying way my kid listens to me now.  I ripped the CD into my iTunes at work and let the lesson clips play at random mixed in with my regular music so I could listen to the lessons without fully committing to them.  This probably wasn't the best way to learn. It became this weird musical Russian Roulette where the empty barrel clicks were random songs and the bullet was an old guy schooling two English people in Italian.  The lessons would come up so unexpectedly sometimes it woud startle me.  I found it hilarious.  Then it got annoying.  Then it stopped.

Now, nearly five years later, Italian lessons come up again in this book that I'm reading, in conversation with Dan and Marc at work because Marc's taking Italian lessons and Dan is half Italian and likes talking about soccer and anything Italian, and then last Monday, Dan put the same Italian audio lessons by Michel Thomas in my Personal Folder at work.  This time I'll actually listen to the lessons in the order they were meant to be heard and see if anything sinks in.  It's not much but it's enough to satisfy my need to learn this language for now.  There are other creative needs to be met.

Back to me trying to schedule All Of The Things.  Ideally in this control freak schedule in my head, the hours between coming home from work and Nugget going to bed will consist of making dinner, eating dinner, helping with homework and catching up with Nugget on how her day went.  Knitting is now reserved for later in the evening while watching my crime drama-murder stories and snuggling with my doggy until Rutty gets back from the gym... he too, has goals to meet.  

This is as far as I got with my schedule.  I wanted to fit in some time to draw or paint or practice guitar but my brain hit its maximum capacity for crazy and I gave up trying to divide the hours in a day like a pie.  Mmmm... schedule pie.  There's a reason why I've been feeling so tired.  I like being busy but sometimes it's good to do nothing and sleep.  I should probably schedule that.

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