Link (noun): Not Just a Video Game Hero

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Monday, 15 November 2010 at 11:38

So, on the one hand I have been single for just over a year now. Say it with me: Awwwwwwww! But, on the other hand, I'm living in Italy, so who gives a flying ****?

It's Monday, and not a lot has happened since I last blogged, in all honesty. I believe I went to buy a book last week, and was told it has been out of print for a while. The conversation basically ran:
"Hi, I'm looking for Parini's Odes, edited by Dante Isella..."
"Okay, let me have a look" *typing* *waiting* "Well, that's been out of print for a while, I'll find you another if you like..."
"Can you try Stefano Carai?"
*typing* *waiting* "Carai isn't in stock, but there's one by Tatti...which is in the Bookstore of the University of Trento. I can order that for you, if you'd like?"
"Nah, I'm good. Can you recommend me another one?"
"Well, who's your professor? Cremante, right?"
"Welcome to Pavia...." (said in the most knowing fashion, before selling me a €13 book that is mostly poems I don't need, when he could have just sold me the cheaper Odes, without the Il Giorno cycle included...)

In fact from that point on, I was unable to buy any book recommended to me. In fact, it's almost as if they sell out of these books in the first trimester, before the profs even recommend their favourites! (At this point, it would be worth noting I changed my spell-checker back from Italian to English as I didn't trust my spelling of 'recommend'. Huzzah for my English gradually failing me.)

What else has been done in the last six days since that really, really, really pointless list blog? Actually not much at all. I've drunk more coffee than is probably healthy, I've bought an Italian audiobook of Dante's Commedia, just so I don't waste my time pausing on words to get the pronunciation right, I've finished reading High Fidelity (best book ever, in the trashy Romance genre anyway), and have started reading The Castle of Crossed Destinies which is what I assume the Canterbury Tales would be like if told through Tarot Cards.

As of today there are five weeks remaining of my 2010 Italy sojourn. I get a lot of questions about "When are you back?" so I shall just state for the record: 22nd December I fly back, but I'll probably arrive so late home that I may as well say 23rd. I am home until January 4th, and am flying back January 5th at lunchtime. The silly thing is: January 6th is Epiphany. If anything is running in Italy that day, I'll be surprised. Beyond that, things worth mentioning:
1. I expect plenty of Christmas-time escapades. I'm only really back for a week-and-a-bit, ya dig. I need you to make me think that coming home for more than just Christmas was a worthwhile idea.
2. I'm trying to get people to come out for my six days off in December. If you stay in Milan, you could get a nice, cheap hotel (€40 a night?) and get the nice, cheap train to Pavia (it's literally like €3). No, I'm serious. Do it. Otherwise, I'll be spending those six days in Tuscany -- staying in Florence, doing a day in Siena, coming back via Pisa. It'll be annoying spending six hours on trains just to get to Florence for €15, but that's the price I'd have to pay (literally and metaphorically)
3. Forbidden Planet = best place for useless crap. Just look at all the potential Scott Pilgrim nonsense I could own! I'm determined to have a roller-skating Ramona and a t-shirt that says "Let's Make Out" though. I love my pointless to-the-point t-shirts. It'll go well with my "If you can read this, it's dark and you should kiss me" glow-in-the-dark failure t-shirt.
4. NaNoWriMo is back up and running, at a snail's pace. I'm at 8500 words. NaNo Stats estimates I will reach 50000 in January at this rate; that's not good for the NaNo front, but it's good for the story front as I can just take my sweet time. So far, it sounds terrible, but who cares; it's not like I'm going to suddenly become a published author overnight, right?
5. I have discovered the written exam for Linguistics is actually quite difficult. Not because of the points it makes, but because it's in Italian. The thought of asking the Professor if we Erasmus could use a dictionary is silly, because what dictionary doesn't contain phonetic spellings that could help us cheat!? I may just have to book an appointment with her at some point, just to allay some fears that I'm not going to suck at it. Curious about it? Here's the .pdf

And on that note, I really have to get off my behind, now, and go into town. I feel like I'm going to get no studying done with this laptop on, so I'll head to the café, have my lunch in the company of Francesco and Savino, and then go sit in the University bar for two hours or so, trying to plough through a bit of Dante, or some Linguistics. I really don't know.


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