Monday, August 31, 2009

Peace out August...

It's like someone pressed a massive button and pow, the Italians are back.

I'm glad. While I didn't miss the insanity that is Rome traffic, I missed my friends and the energy of the city.

The two expats friends who were still in town, were over the whole Ferragosto situation by August 16th. Ha.

Last week I went to lovely Piemonte for my birthday. I have to go though a billion photos before I can post about it.

It was a great birthday, thanks to some very special people.

I'm excited about the fall.

Perhaps it's something left over from our back-to-school days but I always feel recharged going into fall. Not to mention I'm so sick of this hot weather.

I can't wait to start cooking again. When it's 103 F outside and you have no AC, the last thing you want to do is turn on an oven.

The Serie A season has started. Let's hope Roma has a better year than last year. They have lost their first two games. Zero points in the rankings! Mamma mia. This is no way to start the season.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Siamo in Ferie/We're on Vacation!

Well the blog is. I'm still working. Tears.

Last summer was my first in Italy and it blew my mind to see EVERYTHING shut down on August 15th which is Ferragosto.

Ferragosto is a Catholic holiday celebrating the Assumption of Mary. Before christianity it was the day the Roman Empire celebrated the gods, in particular Diana. The word Ferragosto is based on the Latin words for "Holidays of the Emperor Augustus." The month of August gets it name from the Emperor.

I hope everyone has a great vacation.

See you in September.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rome in mid-August, Aperol spritz and no traffic.

Yesterday my friend A. rode past my apartment and yelled from the street,"Come down and let's go for a ride." She had just finished a scooter tour. She had a gorgeous white Vespa and an extra helmet.

Since it was 6:30 ish and I'd been working all day, I thought why not being spontaneous? I changed, put on a scarf and off we went.

It was SURREAL. There was no traffic on Lungotevere, the main street that runs along the river. During rush hour, it's stand still traffic.

Yesterday? Niente, nada, nothing.

We couldn't believe it. Rome has really emptied out (except for the tourists.)

After zipping around the Aventine Hill, we went to a bar on the Gianicolo hill.

Aperol spritz, a perfect summer drink.

Rush hour traffic yesterday.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Too broke for a spa trip…Aveda Caribbean Therapy to the rescue.

I recently went to the Aveda store next to the Spanish Steps.

When I first moved to L.A. I used to receive gift certificates to Burke Williams Spa for my birthday/Christmas all the time.

I went to the one in West Hollywood. However, the prices kept going up and I found it too crowded.

A friend who was a writer on Will & Grace told me to try a masseuse at the Four Seasons her fellow writers loved.

Since I was not a writer on one of the top five shows on television, I thought she was tripping.

In fact, it was only a few dollars more than the same massage at BW. After receiving a gift certificate for massage at the Four Seasons, I never looked back. Quiet, clean and with a kick butt massage it was the perfect stress reliever.

Last week friend was in town after visiting the Amalfi Coast and went to the spa at Hotel de Russie. She said it was excellent.

Well a spa day for me will be in my apartment. I’m thinking about doing it this Saturday when everyone I know will be gone for Ferragosto. I’m also going to try and not work all day. A day at the spa does not include working. Kind of defeats the purpose.

I love this product from Aveda. It, along with Origin’s Ginger Scrub, are excellent exfoliators. They also smell fantastic.

You have to stir it up before using and the tub gets slippery so take extra care getting out.

I haven’t finalized the “menu” for my spa day. I'm going to make bruschetta and something light. I assume it will still be too hot to cook.

Have you ever done a “spa day” at home? What did you do (or didn't do..i.e. work, cleaning etc.)?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Julia & Julie opens nationwide (in America) tomorrow.

I have nothing to do with this movie. I haven't seen the movie or read the script. However, several of my friends have and loved it. Julia & Julie will close the Rome Film Festival late October. I believe the movie will open in France and the rest of Italy that week.

I'm sure if the movie does well the frat boys in Hollywood will say it was a fluke. As you know, women never go to the movies and what man would want to see such a film?

I had to stop reading certain movie websites/blogs because the bashing of Nora Ephron was getting on my nerves. Yes her last few movies didn't do well. So what? Male directors are allow a few strikes or singles before they are kicked to the curb.

I hope this movie exceeds all expectation. Julia Child didn't become JULIA CHILD until she was 49. Think about that. She grew up during time when women's roles were very narrow.

Her influence on American cooking cannot be underestimated. Because cooking was seen as women's work (this is pre-chef as celebrities) it was undervalued. Julia never spoke down to housewives (most American women back then did not work outside the home) and encouraged people to throw out canned mushroom soup casseroles and embrace French cooking...from scratch.

I found her recipes very complicated but I adored her anyway. I used to watch reruns of the old shows on PBS when I was a child. She made cooking seem fun. When I was older, I read more about her life story and it was inspirating.

The first weekend of a movie's release is very important.

Here is the TRAILER. The movie is based on two true stories. Have great weekend!

Monday, August 03, 2009

"Let me tell you about a couple of three things." Phil Leotardo

A favorite quote from the SOPRANOS.

Today my parents have been married for 46 years. That's a long time.

German blogger Andre Wegner asked me some questions. The answers (in English) are HERE. Grazie Andre.

It's still hot.

I need to wear wrap dresses more often. Went a small party Saturday night. Didn't get home till late. It was a GREAT party. I tried to speak Italian but everyone knew English. They were being polite by speaking in English but I asked them to switch to Italian. I will never become fluent if all the Italians in my life speak to me in English. I met some amazing new people. Too bad everyone is leaving for the summer. First time I wore the dress since buying it at a boutique on Larchmont (L.A.) two years ago. I think the dress might be magical. I will wear it again.

Yesterday I had breakfast with one of my closest L.A. friends. She 's traveling in Italy with friends who are celebrating a big birthday. She said she can't believe I actually live here. Sometimes I don't believe it either. She brought presents: ESSENCE magazine with fine ass Idris Elba on the cover, the latest issue of American ELLE DECOR magazine, enough Crest toothpaste to last until 2011, manila file folders and Sudifed among other things.

I strongly dislike Glenn Beck.

I might have to hijack this truck. I cannot find the Rustica chips anywhere. That's a problem.