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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Is it summer yet?

Seems like my book is starting to show up in comicbook stores here and there since at least two of my buddies have been able to get ahold of it. It has been really hard to find copies, so far, because it was nowhere to be found and even online stores were the pitts. The publishers worked really hard and I am grateful to them... good job, you guys!

So I Thought to take advantage of the nice weather and go to Rome monday afternoon, stay at Emy's until the next day, just for fun.
It wasn't so nice, after all, as it rained a bit... of course the weather would get better every time we decided to go indoor or back home, duh.
So on monday afternoon we went to see an exibit of Sebastiano del Piombo. I knew very little of this painter, friend to Michelangelo and direct competitor with Raphael... I only knew a couple of paintings of his and when you see them up close well you can notice Michelangelo's influence in some of his designs and compositions (especially in the Pietà of Viterbo). I found myself liking him more than I could think.
The portraits he painted always looked at you in a very peculiar way... some of them would look at you but not stare at you, others would not divert the eyes no matter what and were able to make you look away. There were faces that seemed so "familiar"... so alive. The Principe Doria would scare you and the Humanist guy would look at you with a sad face that said: yeah, culture is a burden... somewhat an ancient Emo fella. There was a man wearing pink and looking so manly and a guy wearing an armour who was obviously not so manly after all (his pageboy had been deleted from the painting as he looked at his master in a bizzarre/adoring way: yaoi!).
There was a painting he painted together with Giorgione and Tiziano... giorgione was miles ahead of them (almost a Sargent's painting). In the end there were drawings... being Venitian, Sebastiano never drew very much but his drawings were interesting... the last room collected paintings of people who... well, let's face it, it was a room filled with plagiarism and surrogates of the original stuff: hilarious.

After that I managed to go to the movies and watch "Sex and the city" in English. I found it cute and funny, a typical long episode from the show written with the usual verve and nice snappy dialogues. The characters were truly in roles and some of the jokes and the episodes were really hilarious. I think it's very interesting to see it in movie theaters because the whole time you are thinking you are watching a giant TV... that is a long pilot episode of some sort, after all, the writing is the typical HBO TV writing. So I found it pretty interesting to see two media mix and merge in one big experiment: a movie version of a Sex and the city episode.

On the next day I tried to go to a Spanish bookstore in Rome and ask them to get me some comics from Spain since, ridiculous as it may appear, it cost more money to get a package from Spain than getting it from Japan with EMS shipping. Yeah.
It was comical.
First I ask for the comics and I say: I am looking for 3 comics, by this author, released in these years, by these publishers.
Lady: yeah... mhhh.... here's the first publisher but I cannot find the title. Here there's not even the author, forget about it!
Deda: eeeer, well you are looking under books, while you should be looking under comics.
Lady: ah, yes.
Then she looks for the second one and luckly this one shows up pretty fast.
I am surprised to see that she is not looking on some internal server but she is using google, which she calls Goggle. O_O
The third comic is by Otaku manga... she types the name Otaka langa..
Deda: here let me type it for you.
of course she does not let me type the whole thing so no name shows up and she goes again: forget it. Oh, no, here it is. - and she opens up an "Otakuland" link.
Deda: that's a shop.
Lady: yes, if they have a shop they must have the book.
Deda: yes, if that were the publisher's shop... but it's a shop.
Lady: shops sell books.
Deda: no, this is a t-shirt's shop.
Lady: oh... yeah... then forget it I cannot find...
Then she goes and talks to her coworker and comes back after a while saying: yeah, forget it, we cannot order it from our distributor.
Deda: forget it, I'll find them

So we leave. She said "forget it" sooo many times, it drove me crazy.
No, really, I am your client could you say something like: I am sorry I don't think it will be possible bla bla bla...
While leaving Emy, who was with me, says: I wish they were like the monsù (the guy who owns the French Bookshop in Rome).
I was so furious I said: you know, I hate to say this cuz we don't always have good relationships with French people but let's give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, the French they are made of a different stuff: they are precise!

Only the afternoon before I had clearly seen what stuff we Italians are made of... while leaving the Del Piombo exhibit and going to the wardrobe there was a crowd of people in front of the counter. Imagine the mess, on a rainy day, everybody had to leave bags and umbrella and the space for the wardrobe was about 6 square feet.
So the girl at the counter, annoyed by the people shouts: If you have to pick up stand to the left if you have to deposit stand to the right.
Of course she meant her left and her right but people are too lazy to figure out this stuff... so they just randomly stand there, with tickets in their hands, all around her, and she gets reaaaally angry.
Okay so her patience had run out and her co-worker was lifting her eyebrows with a face that said: oh boy!
This one lady then shouts in a shrill voice: I want my stuff, you said to the left and I am to the left, I want my bag and umberlla.
So the girl fetches her coupons and asks her: what is it?
And the lady: a bag like this and that.
The girl leaves and she shouts after her: you better found it, because if you lost it...

So what? If she lost it what? What will you do?
Here we go into comedy, old Italian comedy from the 50's when Antonio de Curtis used to do that gag called "You don't know who I am!"

How can you underastimate the lady, she is surely someone very important only we don't know it, right? Of course her bag must have golden linen and silver handles with pearls and diamonds all over it like Cinderella's gown...

I turn around and tell Emy: definitely patience is not embedded in Italian's dna!
This other lady next to me giggles and says: nor is good organization.

Well, you see, I think good organization comes from patience... if you have no patience to organize things then you toss them around and there dies organization on a bed of impatience.

"You don't know who I am!"
Who are you, the Virgin Mary from Loreto?

We get out of there and I see... she couldn't wait. She is standing all satisfied at the corner of the street, The Virgin Mary of Loreto, as if she just won World War II and... she is smoking!
There! That's what Italians are made of... we are made of smoke... puffy smoke with a punget smell that hurts your lungs and clouds your brains and poison your ability to think, be patient and smart about things... because: her sigarettes were in the bag she coulnd't get right away... she needed her sigarette though, her drugs, to be doped and be the idiots she usually is... but at least not so aggressive, just a random idiot with smoke in their heads.

You drug addict had to be such a bitch to a girl who had been slaving off on a precarious job since 7 in the morning maybe... because of your sigarettes!
I pity you! You let your sigarettes rule you... let them rule you "till death do us part" but even so, don't break the balls of people who are working and working hard in a Country were we are all pennylessly cry and starve.

We cry and starve to survive, you obviously don't have these problems since you do have money for sigarettes so, of course, you cannot understand and even if you could at some point, the smoke killed your brains along the way so you forgot... you are too addicted to know: courtesy is always due else you are no human being.
But you are a walking bunch of tar... so you won't know.

I usually don't annoy smokers... and I don't care just as long as they don't hurt me.
We never know when we are going to die and how, at least they have decided how and when or increased their chances to die in THAT particular way... it's their choice, it's progressive suicide... it's not so progressive when you try to suicide the person standing next to you against her will.
Smokers in Italy are nothing like smokers in the U.S. They very seldom ask: do you mind if I smoke?
They smoke and puff their smoke in your face. They smoke where they shouldn't (I caught somebody smoking on a train), they don't wash the stench off of their hands before serving food (at least most of them don't).
Except few exceptions people who smoke, here, deserve to do so. If you are a polite smoker then I have no problems with you... But when their vice has to trouble other people's lives... then I am talking to tar and I don't care to offend.

On tuesday my friend and I decided to go toy shopping. Taichi, the owner of Sakurashu, remembered us and gave us a discount, so I paid 18 euros for a Heidi set. The new one. Very cute. In the end we asked him if he could get us a Toei Majokko set and he said: maybe there is.
We glared at him with scary eyes.
He froze. He must have thought: if I don't have it here, will they eat me alive like the Baccanthes?
So I dared: maybe he meant... not here but... he can order them.
Taichi: no, I might have it here but... maybe not but it will come, soon. Tomorrow.
So we asked him to put them aside for us so that she can go and pick them up soon.

That same day we went to lunch at Sushisen... and made befriended the sushi chef (although I completely forgot to ask his name). He made me inari with no seafood and we had a long conversation in Japanese/English/Italian. He was funny, felt... familiar and was extremely friendly and talkative. I hope to find him there next time. He had the typical reaction Japanese people have when they meet someone (not Japanese) who knows old anime!
So we showed him a gashapon of Astroboy he went: suuugoooooi!
So loud. It was hilarious.

At 5 pm I had to leave and go meet my parents at the train station. They were coming back from the Airport so I thought to get on the train and keep seats for them. It was a good idea, the train got pack pretty soon and they were able to travel seated after all. This lady tried to snatched the seats from me: they are not numbered seats you know.
And I said: they are not, but have been sweating in this thing for 25 minutes, this place it's like a sauna and I am keeping the seats to my parents cuz that's what children do, so move it... Next time you do it and I won't say a word.
She left.
Good for them.

So this coming weekend we are going to Greengable... I hope the weather gets nice, it's hot but it rains at times and then the temperatures goes down so you ask yourself: is it summer yet?

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