Thursday, 28 February 2008

Wine, Water and Milk

Mads wasn't a rude person by nature, but Simona had come at the wrong time. When she asked to stay a Mads house it was just 3 days before her Open House party, so suitcases and drama were not what she needed. She was already trying to find a solution to her current problem at hand.

She had less than 24 hours for the big reveal, and nothing was going according to plan. Not only had the guest list grown from 20 to 70 overnight, but it was raining out. Actually it wasnt just raining, it was POURING.

So while the rest of the world was moving in continuous motion, Mads hit a brick wall built of the following materials:
  • 3 pounds of new computer, which unbeknownst to her, was not pre-mixed
  • 10 tons of Windows Vista, which was not only defective, but not compatible with ANY OF THE OTHER MATERIALS ON SITE
  • 6 crates of Cambridge Exams and no lorry to deliver them in time
  • At least 8 slabs of pre-cut flu...all of which fell off the crane and directly Mads head
  • 4 invoices for photos that she couldn't use...that thus remain unpaid

And so time passed, faster than normal. But alas, Mads' ability to finally connect to the Internet and download the manual for her camera brings us two steps closer to a full reveal...

But Not Quite Yet

Until then, enjoy a few short stories about the guests...

Wine, water or milk. An evening of confusion, diversion, improvisation and laughter.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Wine, Water and Milk

What I can tell you is that there was a party last night. I wont elaborate much until the photographer gets back to me with the photos.


There were enough characters in last nights event to keep this little blog going for years to come...

Chapters in the saga to look forward to...

Wine, Water and Milk
Say Hello
Who Brought the Lobster?
Ringing in My Ears
Dogs New Best Friend

Monday, 18 February 2008

Overdose and Implications

Zikulman trotted down the stairs and Mads waited until she heard the slam of the iron doors before she proceeded up the stairs.

As she approached her apartment, she realized that her door was slightly opened. Fearing the worst after a string of burglaries in the past few months and being the proud parent of a completely useless dog, Mads dug into her bag for the illegal pepper spay she had bought on Ebay

Being a big fan of any detective/cops reality show, Mads assumed the position of spray out, safety clip released...And gave the front door a kick.

The entrance was normal...

Mads was about to step into her home when Simona crossed her path.

Simona was an old friend of hers meaning she had known her before moving to Italy. They had met during Mads undergraduate studies and shared a room in a co-op that should have been closed down years before.

Simona was an incredibly interesting person, but borderline annoying/insane. She was a modern hippie which meant that reality was not of particular importance to her.

Don't get me wrong, Mads is all for liberal thinking. She graduated from UC Berkeley and went at least 2 years without shaving her legs. But then she needed to get a job and pay the bills. Call her a sell-out, but if shaving her legs, washing her hair and putting on a suit meant that she no longer had a voice, then so be it.

Anyways, Simona comes from money. Ironically her family is in the oil business and while she refuses to accept a job from them, she has no problem accepting a monthly allowance. She justifies it by using the money to lead a cleansed life filled with organic food, herbs vs pharmaceuticals and regular retreats. Her home is also very green and earthy. It embodies the natural elements of the world in a very stylish and contemporary way.

Elle Decor Italia June 2007

Elle Decor Italia June 2007

Elle Decoration Austria Jan 2008

Elle Decor Italia Nov 2007

Elle Decor Italia Nov 2007

Elle Decor Italia June 2007

Elle Decor Italia Nov 2007

While loosing herself in the aura that is Simona's home, Mads was suddenly reminded of the situation at hand.

"Simona, what are you doing here?"

Simona smiled, cocked her head to the side and reached out to give Mads an Italian double kiss. Mads noticed the underarm hair peeking out of Simona's blouse and in an effort to avoid physical contact, took a quick step back and barked,

"Wait! Why was my door open?!?"

"Madonna!, I had to leave it opens. Ferre was a lot of negativity that need escaping. I needed to relax myself. Particularly in my condition"

Mads look of annoyance prompted additional comments from Simona

"I'm being so proud of you!"

"Proud? Why?!?"

"Yes, We Can! Yes, We Can!"

"Uhhhh...Are you referring to Obama?"

"Yes, I Am! Yes, I Am!"

"Okay...Okay...I get it. But what does that have to do with me?"

"Because you and your peoples will electing him and he will make America the better!"

"Me and my people?!?!"

"Yes! Barak peoples! You should all standing together! Just like wif da Martin Luther King!"

"Barak people?....Oh...Ok....I get it. You mean BLACK People. It's B-L-A-C-K. They are two different words, cara mia."

"Oh dear..."

Simona looked up pondering the mistake and mouthed out the spelling while using her index finger to write the two words in the air above her*

Mads, whose patience had completely run out not only with Simona but with the European OBSESSION with Obama, sharply cut into Simona's not so intellectual moment

"So, listen. Can you tell me exactly why you are here, minus the political commentary?

"Yes, I can"

Mads at this point wanting to assassinate Obama herself, let out a sigh of annoyance that obviously got Simona's attention.

"Okay, Bellissima amica mia, you know when you have sending me a Christmas card and you have been wrote that if I ever needed you I could always be counting on your friendship?"

"No, not really"

"Well, that's why I brought it just in case you had been forgetting. See? It's here! Guarda!"

Damn! Mads had stupidly written those words 3 years before.

"Well, now I am needing your help. And I am not BLACK, B-L-A-C-K, but I'm still a friend. So remember what it is meaning to saying Yes, We Can!"

With a long blink and the nod of her head, Mads gave Simona the OK to continue.

"Allora, I'm in pregnant. With Zikulman's baby. He have asked me to marry him, but our new house wont be ready for another in 3 months and the house I'm living now isn't correct for my condition"

Mads was slowly digesting the implications of this. Now it was clear why Moody Mitch was in such a good mood and why Sinthia was spitting fire just minutes before. Everything was starting to make sense and Mads was finding herself in the middle of it all. And then Simona's final request hit like a gong 2 centimeters from her ears...

"Can we come for staying with you? Just until we can be moving onto our place?"

Mads head cleared astonishingly fast. There was silence and the room came back into focus. And with a voice as clear as a pistol firing in the desert she replied,

"No, You Can't!!"

* This event actually took place. I can't make this kinda stuff up...

Thursday, 14 February 2008

I Hate Thursdays

As the Director of Studies I should be exempt from the 'Crap Classes'. The ones that give you more stress than gratification.

Put frankly, the ones with zit-faced, BO ridden, back talking pre-pubescent kids.

Somehow I got stuck with such class, and by 7pm Thursday Evenings, not only has all my make-up worn off, but my nerves are burnt to a crisp. Aside from the contraceptive like effects of spending 3 hours with 11-15 year olds, I rarely find any positive points.

But sometime between climbing the walls and aiming spitballs at the back of my head, one of my little 11-year old rugrats produced this:

I dont know why I love this letter. It just made me smile and laugh and kinda love this kid.

Until, of course, he puts crazy glue on my chair again.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

I Remember

I remember my life in America.

I remember the looks I would get. You don't belong here.

I remember walking to my friends house in Darien Connecticut and being repeatedly pulled over by the police and being repeatedly asked where I was going and who I worked for.

I remember food shopping when a woman cut in line. I remember my mother pointing it out and the woman responding, “Niggers think they own this place”. I remember wondering what the word Nigger meant but being too afraid to ask.

I remember being encouraged by my hippy English teacher to enter into a Shakespeare recitation contest. I remember preparing and pouring my heart into it. I remember an elderly woman with a sweet smile and silver hair coming up to me at the end and congratulating me on my bravery. I remember her looking me dead in my eyes, hands on both of my shoulders and telling me to go home and tell all of my friends about what I had done. She had assumed I was from the Ghetto. I was raised in private schools in Marin County California and Fairfield County Connecticut. I remember wishing she had just told me I had done a good job and left it at that.

I remember telling everyone my father was dead because I was too embarrassed to be just another Black kid who's father wasn't in her life.

I remember falling in love and being told that it was not suitable for me to be anything other than her son's friend. I then remember her smiling and offering me cookies.

I remember my mother telling me that I would have to work twice as hard as all the others. I remember her saying that while I will always be seen, I will never be recognized or rewarded. I remember her being right on far too many occasions.

I remember the surgeries, the pain, the seizures.

I remember giving up on it all.

I remember my mother by my side.

I cant do this.

Yes You Can.

I remember leaving this earth. It was not like they said. There was no light. It was calm and dark and I could hear the surgeons speaking

I cant stop the bleeding.

I cant control the pressure.

I remember thinking

Yes You Can.

And when I came back, I remember my mother words

You did it. I knew could.

I remember loosing all hope in America. I remember not caring anymore. I remember giving up, never to return home again.

Then I heard the words again...

Yes We Can.

And I heard the song and the speech and for a split second I stood in my stance, with my hands on my hips and head held high...

Because for the 1st time EVER IN MY LIFE...

I was proud to be American. I was proud of my country. I was moved. I was fundamentally part of something that I was so far from. Part of a country I have always felt separated from.

I can put aside everything for a real movement. Those shivers that run up and down my spine are not those of fear. They are those of excitement.

There has been a vast aura of inspiration rotating recently.

People are fighting the odds.

The power to inspire.

Can you feel it?

Yes, I can.

Friday, 1 February 2008

He's So Cool

He was still at least two floors up, but the smell and smoke from his cigarette was already bitch slapping MAds in the face. She let out a little cough, just to clear her throat. Before she saw a face she heard his voice again,

" You are so pre-dic-table, you know."

Without even being able to get a remark off, Pierre Zikulman swung around the banister with a tilted head and a sly smile. He greeted MAds with a cigarette in hand and a delicate point in her direction, "I sink it was you zat brought zis re-vo-lu-tion of anti-smoke to Europe, wiz your Stupid little cough and Ugly dis-a-pro-val!....Am I bozering you?" The final words punctuated by a long drag on the newly lit fag.

MAds was about to Give The Speech but then decided that rolling her eyes and muttering an effective Whatever would suffice.

You see, Pierre Zikulman was that stereotypical Frenchman that has pretty much ruined it for all French people internationally. He was arrogant, self righteous, a little stinky, and always over eager to insult a person in the most mundane of circumstances. Having said that, he was also a very successful fashion photographer which allowed him to travel extensively and, unfortunately, perpetuate the stereotype on innocent and defenseless nations.

His success also allowed him the pleasure of beautiful residences in the top fashion cities in the world. My favorite is his eclectic flat in Milan. Dark and heavy like the winter fog or the summer heat...But with a punch of creativity and spirit that will always keep him and this city one step ahead of the rest. Combine this over exaggerated French ego-centric arrogant attitude with that level of style and you get this knockout apartment

AD Italia 2007

This room put him on the map. As with his photography your eye is shocked and drawn as if he is whispering in your ear where to look next. Its a maze and in some kind of complicated code you follow and are able to decipher the message and reach the end without any missed turns.

AD Italia 2007

As you can see Zikulman takes every opportunity he gets to showcase his work...and himself.

Elle Decoration Austria 2008

And his inspiration room is right out of left field. He claims the colour and vibrance take him to another level of creativity in the house. The other rooms just hint at what can be possible...He says that this one screams it.

Man, he is so cool.

But why is he back after such a long absence? Who called him and what does he want?...