Exceeding Your Limit–car, earthquake, gun

This week I’ve had a few occasions to reflect on the concept of risk. Earthquake, tornado, air travel, rental car.  Thursday Tizi and I went to the Bologna airport to pick up a car. At the rental car booth it always takes a while. There are documents to present, long phone calls to make (by…More

Subtracting the Negatives–Orvieto caves and a focus on feet

We have a new server at Nud e Crud, one of our favorite restaurants in Rimini. Tizi and I form attachments to servers. Dido at Passatore, Valentina at Marianna, Luccio in San Gregorio, Sergio at La Rivetta. We’re more than consumers passing through, paying for a product and service. We’re regulars now. The food, the…More

It Ain’t Me–living with the dead

Three men stand in front of a billboard in Santarcangelo di Rimini. On the board are “manifesti,” broadsheets announcing the recent leave-taking of people or the anniversaries of their deaths, often with an indication of a mass that will be said for them. For each person there’s a color photo, how they wanted to be…More

Mastery of Mystery–ashes, old friends, and the faith

We arrive in San Marino on Ash Wednesday afternoon. To get here we’ve traveled all night and through most of this day. We unload bags, turn on the water, and raise the heat in the apartment. Tizi makes a bed. We pull sheets off a couple chairs so we have a seat in the morning.…More

Keep the Rats Far Hence–new shoes, a dish of pasta, a vibe

It’s pouring rain when Tizi comes out of Marcello’s around 11:00 a.m. It’s her hair salon in Pesaro. Shortly after arriving in Italy, we go to Marcello’s, and she gets updated: the shampoo, the head message, the comb-out, the trim, the set, the poof agent, the anti-friz agent. All of Marcello’s ministrations which she so…More

America Goes Left–negotiating the Italian kiss kiss

Watch out. You’re an American in Italy, and you’re about to execute the ceremonial cheek kiss. How many kisses, one or two? That problem will take care of itself. The peril is in the prelude. In the US, at the onset of a hug (or a cheek kiss—if we did that), we tend to go…More