Monday, October 29, 2007

Back to Basics

I haven't forgotten you, but I've just been up to my neck in muck.

One month after arriving, I've finally found a job. I have been substitute teaching in Vacaville for the past three weeks, but now I'm an English teacher at Fairfield High School! I started today and I'm teaching 11th and 12th-grade English. It's been great so far and we're all much happier that I'm earning the daily bread. Unfortunately, I need to go back to school to get a teaching credential so I've enrolled in an online program at National University and started my first course this evening. Busy Monday! I'm up way past my bedtime...

Silveyville Pumpkin Patch w/ MomThe weather here in Vacaville has been superb! Indian summer in its full regalia. Vito is doing wonderfully. He has discovered that he can chew on his big toe! Angela and grandma have taken him to the library a couple times and we're getting ready for mom & Vito's first Halloween on Wednesday. We all went to the Silveyville Pumpkin Patch to pick out pumpkins. Trick-or-treat!

Now that I have a job, I'm hoping to get back on the blogging horse at bit more regularly. Obviously, with the new job and online coursework to complete, I won't have too much free time, but I'll try to squeeze a post in when I can. Glad you came back!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

i-Outlaw 2.7 featuring Sheila E. Murphy


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Sheila E. Murphy reading at the
We were away for the summer and, just reading all of the fan mail, I know you missed us. We moved about the globe and vacationed, (and you did it, too!) but we're back in the cyberslack and it's all true. You wrote it. i-Outlaw 2.7, as you can easily see from the title, features Sheila E. Murphy and her unique blend of poetry that will render you suitable for more, so check the score. We're not leaving without you.

If you're not in the loop, ripping from her Wikipedia entry, Sheila E. Murphy, born in Mishawaka, Indiana, is an American text and visual poet who has been writing and publishing actively since 1978.
Just there, I'll turn to the issue of disjunction, the ultimate expression of freedom in my writing, that is the beginning of discovery. It is almost as though something underneath all the activity pursued actively challenges me to put two things together and to find out how they match. Because, of course, they do. They fit together or at least work together in some way. I may not know how until they are there together. And when they are, and I learn how and maybe even why they fit or match or mutually enhance, then I've begun to learn something that ensures that I'll move forward in some way I do not know until I have.
- from an interview on Tom Beckett's e-x-c-h-a-n-g-e-v-a-l-u-e-s, 2005.

i-Outlaw version 2.7 also features fine poetry, in order of appearance, by:

Luc Simonic
Jill Chan
CA Conrad
Lenore Weiss
Matina Stamatakis
Joe Green
Christine Hamm
Mathew Timmons
Paula Grenside
Carly Sachs

Spread the word far and wide. Don't forget to enter our contest to win a free book of poetry! I have books by Sheila E. Murphy, Jill Chan, Derek Motion, Jordan Stempleman, Eileen Tabios, Mark Young & Bill Allegrezza. Listen to i-Outlaw now and find out how...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Flight to America

Since my last post, we'd been busy preparing for our sudden departure from Italy and, afterwards, dealing with all of the new things which come with settling in California.

Pino, Angela's brother, drove us to the airport. It was a rainy, tearful and tense Tuesday morning, no one (including ourselves) completely at ease with our decision to leave what had become a comfortable life in Putignano. I had planned to say so many things to Angela's family, rehearsing and perfecting sentiments in Italian in my head the night before, but didn't end up saying anything at all. It's difficult to say much facing a line of sobbing family members without falling in line myself.

At the airport, we scarfed down a couple pieces of cardboard airport pizza, grabbed our bags and panini for the plane, dashed for our flight, landed in Milan after about two hours, took a short cab ride to our hotel and finally relaxed. Everything had gone smoothly and, if everything would have gone as smoothly on the the next day, we wouldn't have had anything to complain about.

Vito and Moms after SeafoodSilvia, who lives in Milan, came to our little hotel and visited with us for about an hour before ducking out to make a dinner date. She was a breath of fresh air in what had become a depressing departure, excited about our future and wonderfully positive about our new beginning. After Silvia left us, the three of us headed out to meet Nicholas for dinner. We met him at a small Sicilian restaurant and enjoyed a fabulous seafood meal. A great uplifting end to this first leg of our journey.

The next morning, after a decent breakfast of yogurt, cornetti and cappuccino in the hotel lobby café, we cabbed back to the airport and checked our luggage with some difficulty. As we needed our stroller to more easily maintain Vito, we had to make special arrangements for its transport, but it seemed to take a long time. Nonetheless, we made our flight in plenty of time and boarded the plane destined for London without further difficulty, only giving up the stroller right before climbing the portable stairway into the plane. We were about one hour behind schedule.

We were worried that we wouldn't have time to catch our connecting flight in London, but we discovered that we had a bigger problem once we arrived there. Unfortunately, when we landed in London, our stroller, which was a combination stroller/car seat was not waiting for us. No one in London could help us. We learned that, if the stroller wasn't in San Francisco, our final destination, we could file a complaint there! Not only did we have to carry Vito to the next flight all the way across Heathrow Airpoirt (Angela actually carried Vito, while I carried our backpack, computer and the large carry-on bag we had brought) but, when we would arrive in San Francisco, we wouldn't have a car seat for Vito and didn't know if we would be able to get one at the airport.

Vito on the PlaneLuckily, Angela's cellphone worked in London and, before taking off, I called my parents, who were coming to get us at the airport in San Francisco, and told them the story. They agreed to grab a car seat just in case.

We landed in San Francisco at rush hour on Wednesday evening California time but, for our biological clocks, it was really Thursday morning at about 3AM. Unhappily, our stroller was not waiting for us, nor did it appear on the baggage carousel. We filed a complaint for the missing luggage as we had been advised and then, despite the fact that my parents were waiting for us with a car seat, we could not leave without an attendant checking to make sure we had car seat waiting for us. My parents were waiting at the gate, they had a car seat, and soon we were home and safely asleep.

After a couple days, the stroller arrived, and even though an integral piece needed to attach the car seat to the stroller had broken off, the stroller was functional.

Since then, we've been busy almost every day with various activities. All of us have acclimated, although Vito seems to have come down with a cold and has been a little crabby all day today. Anyway, you're all caught up with our drama. We're fully open to and accepting positive vibes, prayers, mojo and any other magic you might be able to send our way so don't hesitate.