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Italian Speak

My friend is sending me off to Italy with a few key phrases. I wanted to share.

Terrah,
Era un piacere incontrati oggi! (It was a pleasure to meet you today!!)
Do you speak English: Parli Inglese?
I would like a glass of red wine: (posso avere is may I have it is more formal) Vorrei (I would like) un bicchiere di vino rosso(red) bianco (white)
I’ll have an espresso: Posso (may i) avere un espresso per favore?
Where is the bathroom: Scusi, Dove al bano?
What is your name? Come ti chiami? Mi chiamo Val
Vorrei abitare con suo familia in questo villa per tre mese. .. e possibile? I would like to move with your family in this villia for three months, is that possible? Lol.. they would love you if you said that!
And the word they use for everything is PREGO .. I can’t believe I forgot that today.. they say prego for everything!!!  Hai un bellissima viaggio!! Ciao bella.. Arrivederci!! 

Sincerely,
Your Pal Val

Val, thank you for contributing to my blog and my international flare.

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Remember Show-n-Tell?

Show-n-Tell. It is a terrible activity to make children participate in. Awkward kids forced to stand in front of the entire class and display their tattered blanky or a crusty Teddy Bear. What about the kid who picked his nose while telling about his family trip to the Great Smoky Mountains?

As for my family, we kicked show-n-tell’s ass! We brought livestock into our classrooms.  Goats that guzzled milk from baby bottles and crusty pigs with manure spattered all over their slimy pink snouts. One year, my younger brother, Shane brought in a baby chick and it climbed up on top of his head and crapped all over his red hair. Yeah, we were the coolest.

I was more of a teller. Starting in kindergarten, all the way up to the third grade, I told the same story, “I am an Italian princess, “Terrah Maria una princepessa Italiano.” I’d would hold up my tiny digits and count them one by one. “My great, great, great, great, great grandfather and grandmother were king and queen of Italy so that makes me a real Italian princess.” Then I would go sit down with a smile on my face, gleaming with pride and royalty.

I was dethroned by the age of 9 in Mrs. Crawford’s class when she pulled me aside and told me that lying was not something little girls should do and that I am NOT an Italian Princess. BITCH!I remember vividly the moment she crushed my dreams. It was worse than finding out Santa Clause doesn’t really live in the North Pole. She essentially ruined the game of show-n-tell for me forever. I went home and cried to my mother, furious at her for lying to me for years.

Today, my family stands by the story of our royal ancestors. *It is important to note here that kings of this time and region are the equivalent of a U.S. Governor. So I continue to claim my imperial bloodline, with no inheritance to show and a branch of our family tree by the name of Vittorio Emanuele, my great grandfather, to the fifth degree. Legend, or shall I say, the wise book of Wikipedia, mentions that Vittorio Emanuele was King of newly United Italy in the mid-1800’s. He is buried in the Vatican, amongst the world’s great popes and kings.

Here is what I found out: (Italian: Vittorio Emanuele II; March 14, 1820 – January 9, 1878) was the King of Piedmont, Savoy, and Sardinia from 1849 to 1861. On February 18, 1861, he assumed the title King of Italy to become the first king of a united Italy, a title he held until his death in 1878. The Italians gave him the epithet Father of the Fatherland (Italian: Padre della Patria). When I arrive in Italy this Sunday, I am headed straight for the Vatican to visit my grandpa.

In your face, Mrs. Crawford! ☺

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Laid-Off & Leaving for Italy

 

Hi, my name is Terrah and I’ve been laid off two times in twelve months.  Frustrated? Disheartened? Worried?  Not at all!  I’ve taken on the attitude that my job will not define me, nor will the state of the economy deter me from fulfilling my dreams.  A very surprising merger forced me from my job as product marketing manager where I was responsible for promoting our company’s newly developed environmental sustainability program.  Just as I was getting to understand a new industry and become proficient in terms like “carbon footprint,” “corporate compliance,” and “Sarbanes Oxley,” I found myself sitting in interviews, negotiating my next salary.  

Nearly six months later, my second lay-off came as quite a surprise.  It was a Monday afternoon. I was busy planning all the details for an upcoming trade-show, when I got a call from our CEO.  “Hello, Terrah, as you know, business is hard and the economy is really hurting us…we are eliminating a few positions within the company and yours is one of them.”  Scratch, caw, owww, buurrrrp, kuucccchhh, beep. I didn’t hear anything he said after that, I was just holding back tears and contemplating if I should tell my husband before he left on a golf trip with the boys.  My first reaction was to ask questions like, ” was there anything I could have done differently?” It was disturbingly reminiscent of a high-school break-up.   My former boss and I set up a meeting for an exit interview and attempted to make me feel better by saying, “you are going to be great in whatever you do, Terrah, I will serve as a reference for you.”  

REALLY?  THANKS!

This is about the time that I was able to take a deep breath and realize just how terribly caught up I had gotten in my job.  I had no balance in my life.  I was working from 7am-11pm from my home, with nobody to talk to but my dog, Lucky.  I was always under pressure and too tired to enjoy the things that truly made me happy, like spending time with my friends, visiting family and traveling.

I began to really contemplate what I wanted for my life and my career.  I’ve decided to look for a job that fits my personality and my talents as opposed to molding myself for a job.  I’ve been networking, meeting with recruiters, total strangers, dodging news about the economy and staying true to my goals.  

What I’ve discovered is that I really need a vacation, much more than I need a check in the mail or a new title behind my name.  My sudden unemployment has rekindled a long-time dream of mine;  I want to go away, for at least a month, live on an Italian Vineyard in Tuscany, learn how to cook authentic Italian meals, speak the language, squash grapes beneath my bare feet and immerse myself in Italian culture.  I believe there is great power in thoughts and words, so I have put my dream right out there for everyone to hold.  I’m hoping someone I meet will have a cousin, Jean Carlo or an aunt, Allessandra, who lives on a beautiful vineyard in Italy and wants to adopt an American woman for a couple of weeks.  

Here is a recent email I wrote to my friend, Kelly:  

Kelly, 
 
I wanted to let you know that I am available and on the market… for a job that is. I am being laid off at the end of the month from my cushy marketing job with a software company. Perhaps you might have clients or peers seeking a marketing professional with a background in journalism, proficient in product marketing, public relations, event planning and passionate about consumer insight and brand strategy. I have attached my resume and linkedin profile. Do you have anything in mind? I just need the introduction and I’ll take it from there. 
 
On a side-note, I need a vacation to re-center and refocus my energy. I’ve been caught up in the rat race of professional being and I need a safe-place to contemplate who I am and what I want for my life. My long-time dream has been to live on a vineyard in Tuscany (or any Italian province) and stay with an Italian family who will teach me how to cook authentic Italian, speak the language, teach me about the art of winemaking/harvesting/bottling and in turn I will teach them English as a second language and work around the vineyard. Do you know of anyone who can help me fulfill my dream? Cooking is an extension of family and food is something to be thoroughly enjoyed. I want to experience that for 3 weeks to a month.  Hope you can help. 

Sincerely,

Laid-off and leaving for Italy

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Euginio’s Shoe & Wine Store

True story:  My little brother, disgustin’ Justin, needed correctional shoes for his slightly awkward feet, and who doesn’t remember being pigeon-toed when they were little, right?  So, I brought him to this tiny shoe store in Hamilton called Euginio’s Shoes on Main St.  After spending a few moments chatting with the store owner, I learned that he was from Italy, not that his very distinguished Italian accent didn’t give him away and we instantly created a bond.   For the next hour we didn’t stop talking about Italy, my trip to Rome, the variety of food from Nothern to Southern and the WINE.  To my surprise, I learned that Euginio made his own wine in the basement of his home.  I was fascinated because winemaking has been a dream of mine for a very long time.  We talked and laughed like old friends while he took measurements of my brother’s feet.  Before I left, he told me to “vait uh vun segund” and walked toward the back of his tiny store.  Moments later, he emerged with a dusty, label-less bottle of homemade red wine and handed it to me.  I was elated and couldn’t thank him enough.  That day, I walked out of Euginio’s with a gift I will never forget in my left hand and my little brother walking tall and straight, in my right.  On the way to the car,  my brother said, and I quote, “my sister is the only person in the world who can walk into a shoe store and walk out with a bottle of wine.” 

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