- It has Been so Long
- [Saturday 28 April]
It has been almost six months since I moved into the new flat, believe it or not. If I start looking around I can see finally a house, furniture in place, a bit of generalized mess, but a house nonetheless.
There was a missing touch, the flat lacked a TV.
I am not a great TV lover, I watch it when there is football and news, maybe some satirical program.
Still it was something that I needed to have, especially because one of the furniture that I bought has this huge space in the center devised for a TV set to be put inside.
As of yesterday this emptiness has been filled with a Samsung flat screen LCT TV.
I am surprised how newer TVs seem to be truly Plug and Play (as opposed to the Plug and Pray or Windows), after attaching the DC cable and switching it on, the TV did it all by itself and found the channels, names, Digital Channels and so on.
My memories were from another TV set that we bought when I was ten, on that TV all the settings had to be done manually, but then again, it is a long time ago.
So here it is, black, looking good but switched off...
Yes, this is the problem. I am totally not used to watching TV anymore, so it doesn't come automatically to switch it on just for the sake of it. I even forgot when this program is on or when the news are supposed to be broadcasted...
In reality my hope is that I will be able to link it to the computer to watch DVDs, and play games, because the sole use of "watching programs" might not excuse the expense for the TV itself...
Oh well, it's here, now I have one more thing to buy before I truly can call this place home. A table to have some guests coming for dinner!
- The Evil that Man Do
- [Saturday 21 April]
Francesco's wedding was quite interesting but lacked a certain twist that usually is given to such occasions.
Tricks and Jokes.
The main reason to us not planning anything was a certain lack of time needed to plan something really nice and well made, plus the fact that noone seemed interested in doing anything after all the problems that organizing a simple Stag Do took.
We were not happy about it of course and right when Elisa and Francesco left for Japan on their honeymoon, we started playing with the idea of doing something to their house.
It is custom in Italy to play tricks and jokes to the newly married couple. Most of the times they take place during the party, the night after the party or the day after, but that's the "usual" stuff, so we couldn't give a shit about it.
The first problem that we had at hand was finding a set of keys that would let us in the house.
As Franz and Elisa were away, stealing and copying their keys was not the issue, so our only target could be Francesco's mother.
A little digression needs to be made on Francesco's mother...
She knows us from a very long time, at least since I started playing RPG with Franz and the other guys more than 15 years ago.
I think that she STILL thinks that we are really bad and deviant kids, mostly because every time we had a session in Franz's house, the noise, burps, smoke from cigarettes and swearwords could be heard and felt probably in the whole block...
I even remember a time when she was opening the door of the room where we were playing just in time to hear one of my best burps ever... I remember the scene...
"Hei kids, I brought some biscu..." ROOOOOAOAAAAAARRRRRRR (goes me) "....its"
She never said anything, left the tray with the goodies and left the room smiling...
ANYWAYS, I had to go there and ask for the keys, fortunately Francesco gave me a good opportunity to go there as he called me before leaving telling me that he left an hard drive for another friend at his parent's home, and that since I was going to see the guy I should go there to pick it up and deliver it for him.
So I rang, talking about the hard drive, and then with the nicest possible voice, expression like Puss in Boots of Shrek 2, I asked if they could give me the keys so that we could play some (textual words) "Innocents tricks and jokes for when they come back"...
My very high skill in persuasion landed me the set of keys!
So it was the day before them coming back that we had to set up all the jokes and tricks, I think that pictures will do the best telling, but it was really fun thinking about all the nastiest things ever (most of which were never put in practice, so that we could still hope to have a friend called Francesco after he came back), and of course the whole set up was quite fun.
It took three hours to get the house booby-trapped and good to go.
The house was rigged with:
1. Several balloons filled with flour (when they explode is like Chernobyl but better)
2. Several meters of cooking string, set in a way that it was quite hard to pass
3. 1kg of flour tied to the string and hanging from the celing
4. bedroom closed and keys put into some apricot juice then placed in the freezer
5. Bathroom filled with balloons
6. pavement clustered with plastic cups filled with water
Apparently Francesco is planning now to have us for dinner and poison us, but set aside this minor side effect I think that they liked the jokes.
So that's it, we can call the wedding closed now,
and they lived happily ever after....
- [Friday 20th April]
It's quite late at night, I have just been back from yet another match of five a side football, the sport that costed me one of the the two crossed ligaments of my right knee, and endless pain to muscles, back, bones, ankles and so on...
Still I play.
You could say that I am masochistic, that I am not cut for it, that I am a wussie-wingy-curly-gay player (as the lads in Radstock loved to call me), but I still go.
Today I am really shocked at the effort that I put into playing, mostly because the teams that see my football related efforts are terribly crap, and (forgive the non modest comment), the average level is way below my standard.
In the past I would have screamed at the players getting upset for a missed passage or a bad position, now, I walk away the pitch, almost always loosing the game, sometimes even without having scored goals, and yes I still hate it, but I do not vent my rage...
The fact is that I hate loosing, I am quite bad at loosing to be honest.
This year marked my return to the football field, after the surgery, so no big deal about the result. From next season I'd love to find a better and more competitive team, to go back to those old times when a match wasn't over in the first 20 minutes...
The fact is that I need the challenge, the competition. I have tried gyms and running, but it doesn't really stick to me...
And the other thing that I hate is seeing that I AM getting old, and that some of the things that I managed to do in the past are not coming as natural as before.
On the other side "experience" is certainly increased and now I am more balanced, and sometimes I even play better than 5 or 6 years ago... :P
- A late Party
- [Saturday 14th April]
Although my birthday was on the 2nd of April, due to the Easter holidays and other general problems we had to postpone the party until the 14th of April.
This year it was quite strange for me to be in Italy, as during the latest seven years I was always somewhere else for the 2nd of April, so to have all the family reunited to go out for some lunch was an event for me.
I have to say that normally I do not like my birthdays too much, I remember when I was a kid all the hustle-bustle that went into organizing them, with all my little friends at home.
The first thing that I seem to remember is the fact that the house would turn into a total mess, and being at the centre of the attention made me feel terribly un-at ease!
Call me strange, but that's the way it is really... :P
Anyway the lunch was good, we went into the countryside, near the place that we have on the hills (which rob has seen when he came to Italy), to a Sicilian restaurant, run by people coming from Palermo. The food was absolutely brilliant, and they even made this very special cake called "Cassata". It was the first time that I had the pleasure to eat it... Totally great, although a bit on the heavy side (this is an euphemism)...
Chiara managed to join the lunch and then in the afternoon we had a spot of shopping in the centre of Florence, then in the evening me Gianfranco and Federico went for some beer and a stroll in the center of Florence.
Lovely day, took a lot of bad thoughts away from my mind, which is good! :D
- Easter Holidays
- [8th-9th April]
Easter is that kind of holiday that I can't really put my finger on, I mean, it's an holiday allright so it's good, but unlike Christmas it really lacks all the sparkle that the December festivity period has.
Having said that, strong of the Italian saying "Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi" (Christmas with your relatives, Easter with whoever you want), I have had the Easter lunch at Chiara's place, together with her parents, and some friends that they invited over.
All in all a good lunch, we had the classic lamb, potatoes and greens.
Chocolate eggs were also quite present, I think I must have put at least a good stone after the lunch.
The rest of the holiday (mostly Monday 9th) was spent at home to do some long due cleaning of the flat.
Armed with vacuum cleaner, mop, several types of soaps and detergents the war to germs and dust started quite early and ended after lunch.
The afternoon featured another five a side football match, and then a quite evening at home, doing nothing at all...
- Japanese blues
- [4th April]
Well it's time to catch up with the work related news at least.
The past couple of months as I wrote in an earlier post shed some scary light on the job that I have started with the Japanese multinational company.
To make long things short, I have realized that not only the job type has much changed from what I thought it was agreed, but the money side was also quite a lot less than what I asked in the first instance.
This is all due to a strange commission system that they forced on me, and that accounts for slightly more than 20% of what I originally asked them.
As this commission has not produced any income whatsoever in the past seven months, I have basically worked at a discount for quite a long time.
Of course I complained about both situations, and recently I received the reply, which is (strangely) quite negative.
They basically agreed to re-discuss the commission base of my salary, in order to make it a bit more "sure", but on the other side they denied all my other requests, on the basis that even if they didn't put in the contract it was kind of assumed that I should have acted as an employee for them, meaning that I have to do what they ask me with no question.
So in the end the general feeling is that I am not earning what we agreed, and I have to do a lot of other jobs that I was only partly aware of, as we discussed about them but they were never "formalized".
I am growing tired of this treatment. Couple that with the fact that my contract is on an yearly base, and there you go, I wonder if I should even bother continuing...
There are good sides mind you.
By the way the business is pressed on I get a terrible workload from September to March, then another couple of trips to Japan but generally a lot easier March-August spell.
There have been days where I have done little work at all, just bumming around the house, or doing other things.
Of course if I was to be an employee it would be impossible to do such things.
But on the other side having free time is not exactly what I long for, I'd love to be more busy, and of course to earn what I think I deserve...
In short I will open up again for possible job offers, even if it means going back to selling fabrics, this Japanese company has been a disappointment so far, I have been mistreated, put down, paid less than what they told me they wanted to give me, burdened with a lot of extra-contractual requests...
This is the way they work, now I know, but frankly speaking is not the way we work in Europe. Fine, I love Japan and understand the Japanese way, but it's clear that unless I lived there it is not possible for me to comply with it.
Good experience, yes, it was a good experience, gave me a lot of tools that I didn't have to avoid traps like these in the future, but on the other side it feels like a defeat. I really believed in this job.
having said that, as I have no other tangible offer I have to strive to make things work, maybe more time will make things better, though I strongly doubt it...
- Birthday Boy
- [2nd April]
Well, well... it appears that by the Binary Numeric system I have turned 100000, which in return makes me 1012 Ternary-wise, 112 by the Quintal, 40 years old in Octal, and a whopping 20 in Hexadecimal.
Since I like computers and technology and I am generally great, I hereby decide that the Decimal Numeric System is outdated and the world will switch from NOW, to Hexadecimal.
Apart from this massive mind wank I did nothing special for my birthday, so there is very little to report.
Oh well, I never liked birthdays anyways! :P
- Fracesco's Wedding
- [31th March 2007]
And so it was the DAY. My best friend Francesco getting married with Elisa, after a long story together they decided to go for the big step together!
[Click here to read more...]
- Lox, Lorenzo... ME!!
- A little introduction about the author and the blog itself. Plus contacts and CVs... You never know!
- A Selection of the best pictures that I have taken all over the world during the years, all nicely indexed by year and geographical area. Jolly good!
- History of this Blog
- A collection of all the articles that I have wrote so far, divided by month/year.
I have had the bad idea of writing my e-mail address on the board before, so this time I'll try to prevent some spam to get to me by putting this little image.. Let's hope it does the trick!
A reminder to Myself
Left and right
Like day and night
That's what makes the world go round
In and out
Thin and stout
That's what makes the world go round
For every up there is a down
For every square there is a round
For every high there is a low
For every to there is a fro
To and fro
Stop and go
That's what makes the world go round
You must set your sights upon the heights
Don't be a mediocrity
Don't just wait and trust to fate
And say, that's how it's meant to be
It's up to you how far you go
If you don't try you'll never know
And so my lad as I've explained
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
You see my boy it's nature's way
Upon the weak the strong ones prey
The human life it's also true
The strong will try to conquer you
That is what you must expect
Unless you use your intellect
Brains and brawn, weak and strong
That's what makes the world go round