June 2007 Archives

Hi again

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Remember that time I wandered into our basement after living in the building 6 months and learned suddenly that we had laundry?

Yeah so I was going to the corner store and found it closed for siesta, but stumbled upon an internet point literally a block away. This is much easier than walking to the library, and honestly, I think sometimes I'm willing to pay a euro to save myself an hour walking.

Things are still incredibly busy and incredibly wonderful. I had this whole post written up on my computer at home, which I may bring back later to put online. May.

Some highlights of late include swimming in the Adriatic, getting a terrible sunburn on my back (I will never, never learn), and climbing on a balcony with a mosaic conservator to stand within arm's reach of the gorgeous wall and ceiling mosaics at San Marco, some of which I actually touched. Un-freaking-believable.

My painting is going alright, and I have come up with lots of ideas for when I return. It's a bit strange because I thought I was basically done with oil painting, and now I am absolutely craving it.

I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around with my camera then doing some reading (today is the first weekday I've had off since getting here), but I will try to be back online soon.


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Since the library I am in closes in mere minutes, I wanted to very quickly say I am both alive and happy here in Venice. Actually happy barely begins to describe the levels of intense joy I feel every waking moment I get to walk around and see such beauty and magnificence.

My roommates are awesome, and we've been going on lots of spur of the moment excursions. I love when people are flexible and down for anything - it makes wandering around a pretty spectacular adventure.

My classes are fantastic, and I am really excited for the projects I'll be doing here, which I hope to blather on about soon. My nerdistry knows no bounds lately, and because I am learning so much here, I have a feeling I will have to just gush for a while.

I will try to put together a proper post soon (maybe even tomorrow). It is dependent on paying for Wifi access here at the library, and no one seems to know how to take my money exactly. Anyway, once I work that out, expect lots of photos, stories, etc soon.

Hope you all are having a wonderful summer, and if you are anywhere within five miles of my cats, please head on over and pet them for me? I miss their soft little bodies more than I ever imagined I could.


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I'm leaving for Italy this afternoon. Actually in just a few hours. And I am not really done packing yet. "Anxious" does not even begin to describe the levels of vacillating cold panic and soaring exuberance I feel moment to moment.

It may be a few days before I am able to sort out internet access once I am in Venice, but expect exciting things once I do.

In case you don't hear from me until August, have a great summer!


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This time tomorrow, I'll be in an airport waiting for my plane to Venice. Eeeeeee!

I'll try to find some time to update weekendy stuff before I go, but that packing thing probably isn't going to do itself, so it may have to wait.


Also if you are in the NY area, a bunch of us are meeting up at Schnack tonight - call Eric if you wanna join us.


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Yesterday afternoon I had a simultaneously strange and extremely commonplace experience at the art store. It was a gorgeous day out, I was wearing a new skirt, and I was probably more than a bit cheerful because I was on my way to buy art supplies.

They have security guards at the front door who ask you to put your bags into lockers, and I usually say hello to them and ask how they're doing during this exchange. Yesterday, the guard working was a particularly friendly one whom I've seen many times before. He seemed to recognize me, as he said hello with a big smile and "How are you today?" Now obviously when someone greets me so warmly, I smile and try to return the friendliness. We got into a brief exchange about the beautiful weather, he said it was his day off tomorrow, and I said oh good, I hope you get to enjoy more of the same.

No big deal, right?

So I walk into the store and started looking at a display of inks, when the guard comes over. I was mildly worried that I'd done something stupid, but instead he said "I just wanted to let you know that you are the first pleasant person to come in here all day."

It was around 4:00, and they'd be open since 8 am.

"Really?" I said incredulously, "I can't imagine being unpleasant on such a lovely day." He continued to say nope, I was the only one, and the nearby cashiers nodded and said it was true.

I felt so confused because really, how could people be unpleasant when they're in an art store on a sunny day? Further, what is gained by being unfriendly to the staff in such a store when it takes almost no effort to smile or exchange a few kind words? In this case, I think it was more disturbing that pleasantness was remarkable.

Now, I have always had a habit of erring on the side of politeness if I can, and despite all my neuroses, anxieties, and preoccupations, I tend to be a pretty upbeat person. Both therapists and estheticians have noted that my face is fixed in a seemingly permanent smile, and yeah, I usually walk with a bit of a bounce in my step. It's possible that too many years of working in customer service oriented jobs has intensified my warmth and friendly demeanor among the public, but I really find that people treat you better when you are kind to them. Also, being on the receiving end, I've seen that nothing takes the wind out of one's sails and sours a day like a rude or grumpy customer, even when I was aware that it was rarely personal.

Eric accuses me of phoniness or insincerity because I thank everyone who helps me, I wish people nice days, and if someone goes out of their way to do something that I appreciate, I tell them so. I don't think this is abnormal behavior, nor should it be considered so rare and surprising.

In my old neighborhood, all the bus drivers recognized me because I said good morning and asked how they were doing as I got on, and I thanked them and wished them a nice day as I got off. Considering how much grief and hostility they experienced on a daily basis, I kind of thought I owed them a smile, especially since being cheerful cheers me up. All the cashiers and employees at the stores I regularly frequent know me and smile when they see me. I like being someone who makes other people smile.

But really, why is this weird? Is it so hard to be pleasant? I just don't see what could be so miserable about someone's life that it's totally impossible to muster a smile or a common courtesy or two. Don't we owe each other that?

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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