Friday, September 30, 2011

Flashback Friday - The Rascals - "A Beautiful Morning"

Grazie Dio it's Friday.

This week was rather... unpleasant. I had a stupid cold and heard frustrating news from LaLa land.

I woke up this morning and my cold was finally gone.

I cut through Doria Pamphili Park after an errand. I was so freaking glad to be back outside after spending all week stuck indoors.

The weather in Rome has been spectacular lately. Cool in the mornings and evenings, not too warm during the day.

I plan to enjoy as much time as possible outdoors before the rainy season hits.

The interview I did with is up. HERE it is.

I love this song. Buon weekend!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Feel Bad About My Neck, The Little Black Book Of Style, 32 Candles and more books

Here are the other books I enjoyed reading this summer.

I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK: And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman by Nora Ephron


This series of essays cracked me up. Before she became a screenwriter/director, Ephron was a celebrated writer for Esquire, New York Magazine and several other publications.

Her essay about her apartment in the Apthorp reminded me of how lucky I was to find my old apartment in NYC. She had to pay a $25,000 key fee (insane) in 1980. Her rent was $1500. Then a few years ago the city passed new laws regarding rent stablized apartments. Her rent went up to $10,000 a month, then would be raised later to $12,000 a month for a place that was falling apart. The way she writes about her old neighborhood and her move to the Upper East Side is too funny. I have friends in NYC who refuse, yes refuse, to go above 14th Street during the weekend.

AT THE ELBOWS OF MY ELDERS: One Family’s Journey Toward Civil Right by Gail Milissa Grant

Grant happens to be an American expat in Rome.

I have read many books about the civil rights movement, but it was interesting to read one set mostly in the '40s and '50s as opposed to the '60s.

I had mixed feelings while I read the book. Reading about the injustices of that time was difficult. However, the bravery of people like Grant's father is inspiring.

I wish more people knew about this era of American history. Maybe certain folks (hello, Tea Party) would think twice before running their mouths about "real Americans". Were it not for the slaves, America wouldn't be America. What do these people think would have happened to the economy (especially in the South) without free labor? Post Troy Davis' execution, I can't even get into the moral, political, and socio-economic ramifications of slavery. And yes, we are still dealing with the fallout centuries later.

While the subject matter was serious, there were many light moments in the book. It was fun to read about Cab Calloway, Lena Horne, Josephine Baker, and all the other famous entertainers who found refuge at the Grant home.


As I wrote earlier, I'm trying to rework my closet. I can't afford to add new clothes, but I could take some to a tailor and donate the clothes I don't wear.

I really like Garcia's style and advice. This little book was packed with great information and lovely illustrations by Ruben Toledo.

Garcia covered basics, when to wear what, had insider tips, and included a "Cliff Notes" section that broke down style by the decades.

A quick read and a great resource.

32 CANDLES by Ernessa T. Carter

This is the debut novel from Carter. It's about a poor, unattractive, dark-skinned girl from small town Mississippi who is constantly bullied. She becomes obsessed with the movie "16 Candles" and a new boy in town who comes from a very wealthy family.

After one prank too many, she escapes to L.A. where she reinvents herself as a singer in a funky nightclub.

Years later, the boy she had the crush on shows up Los Angeles. He doesn't remember her. She doesn't tell him who she is (or used to be).

I loved the characters who worked with Davie in L.A. There were many laugh out loud moments.

The beginning of the book is quite intense. I wasn't expecting it, since I thought it was a rom com. Her mother was a complete nightmare and the bullying was beyond vicious.


A friend gave me this book. I see why it was a bestseller. Unfortunately, I read it after the movie version came out. I kept seeing sparkly vampire Robert Patterson in my head.

The story is told in flashbacks. A young man attending Cornell has to drop out after his parents die in a car accident. Distraught, he hops on a train. It turns out to belong to a circus.

Gruen does a great job of sucking you into the world of the big top. The book takes place during the Great Depression. She captures the despair and cruelty of that time.

The love story between Jacob and Malena probably would have felt more powerful and emotional to me if I were able to stop thinking, "Reese Witherspoon and Robert Patterson? Together? WTF?"

That said, I do want to see the movie. I love Christoph Waltz and can't wait to see him play the psycho villan August.

Rosie the elephant is the bomb.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Italian Driving School Diaries - A Cinquecento, La Spezia, tears, and the Autostrada

View of Lerici from La Spezia. It's a very beautiful place. However, the drive to get there was not!

Seriously, what was I smoking when I decided to drive to Piemonte?

I stopped in La Spezia to meet my friend Megan for lunch. When I stepped out of the car, my hands were literally shaking.

One friend back in America had suggested I rent an automatic. She said driving on the Autostrada was super stressful and she has been driving stick/manual all her life.

As I struggled to get from Termini Station to the Autostrada, I was close to hyperventilating. If leaving the Center was such a nightmare, what the heck was going to happen to me on the Autostrada?

I kept stalling out. I got lost. It was a big mess. I finally made to the Autostrada and it was fine. In Italy people use the left lane correctly... to pass. I stayed on the right and nobody tailgated me.

Once I got off the Autostrada to get to Megan's, all hell broke loose. Roundabouts, hairpin turns, steep hills, I was in tears.

After a relaxing lunch and gelato (thanks Megan!), I told myself to get it together. I put on Amy Winehouse's FRANK and continued on my journey.

Got lost again. I was driving toward Milano. Once I turned around and got back on the Autostrada, I thought everything would be okay.

Nope. I was wrong. I finally arrived in Acqui Terme with its zillion roundabouts in the Historic Center and ended up in a parking lot. My friend's B&B was nowhere in sight.

I called. They were probably wondering how the heck I missed their road. Hello, I've been there before. I turned around and later saw my friend's husband on the road leading to the B&B.

I know people have had trouble getting up their driveway. It's very steep. I was told to put the car in 1st gear and don't stop. If I was too nervous to try, they would do it.

After driving for hours, I decided to go for it and made it up the bloody hill. When I pulled up, everyone started clapping. I basically rolled out of the car. I was so happy to get out of it.

After a long shower and a couple glasses of chilled wine, I was fine.

The next day I did tell my friends I didn't think I could deal with driving back.

However my return trip was a breeze, until I got to Rome. Sigh.

I missed the turn for Vatican City and ended up God knows where.

When I finally arrived in my neighborhood, I double parked and gave the man who "helps" people park a few euros. I ran to my place to dropped off my things.

I returned to my car and then zipped around the Center and even Piazza Venezia like butter. Dropping the car off was a lot easier than picking it up. Could be because I had just driven more hours in one weekend trip than in the previous two years.

A few days later I bumped into my driving instructor, Bruno. He asked me how it went. He said he was proud of me. That warmed my heart.

I'm glad I did it. I do feel more comfortable now with a stick.

I get the Autogrill hype. It's not the Italian 7/11. It's on a whole different level.

Next time I rent a car to go out of town, I might get the car from the airport or Villa Borghese to avoid the Center and EUR. Even for experienced drivers getting in and out of Rome is confusing.

The drive, except when I was freaking out, was beautiful. I loved seeing how the terrain changed from Lazio, to Tuscany, to Liguria, and then Piemonte.

The Fiat 500 is a great little car. Excellent mileage. I don't know what type of engine I had. Mine did not have a lot pick up. Merging onto the Autostrada from a gas station was a little stressful.

Nice ride.

I would like to test the Mini Cooper at some point.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Friends, Cookies and Campari – Rome’s Fashion Night Out.

Italian Vogue's editor Franca Sozzani

The delicious cookies given out at Gente on Via Babuino

Cool display at the Campari party which was held in the "Roman Holiday" palazzo on Via Margutta

A model in the archway on Via Margutta.


Leaving the party. Next stop, Stella McCartney.

Last Thursday night, Rome held her version of Vogue’s Fashion Night Out. Anna Wintour, the EIC of American Vogue, started the event a few years ago to kick off Fashion Week in New York City.

There are rumors this year will be the last one in NYC, but nothing has been confirmed.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Two of my fashion loving friends met up with me at Miu Miu and off we went.

Courtney invited a young Italian friend of hers to join us. She was super sweet and it was interesting to hear the POV of an early 20-something. I don’t know if she realized all of us were technically old enough to be her mom. Heh.

Just as I arrived at Miu Miu I saw Franca Sozzani, the EIC of Italian Vogue. She was surrounded by a ton of press.

The night was a blast. We kept bumping into friends. I couldn’t believe how crowded the streets were. Red Valentino served the best cocktails.

Several stores hired DJs. The Stella McCartney store had a hot popcorn machine. Erica heard a rumor they also had cupcakes, but by the time we got there we didn’t see any.

Gente on Via Babuino served cookies (they were very cute and delicious), prosecco (in nice glasses) and appetizers. It was my first time in that store. Oh Mio Dio, why did I do that to myself? They sell Repetto ballet flats and other wonderful things.

One thing that jumped out at me was seeing so men out and about with their girlfriends/wives. People really got into the spirit of the evening.

Some of the proceeds were donated to the Red Cross. This would explain why we saw so many nurses wearing vintage Red Cross uniforms. Fashion + function.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I woke up at 1:55 a.m. to watch the EMMYs.

An intense thunderstorm rolled through Rome around 3ish and the cable went down for a few minutes. I didn't get to see Peter Dinklage's win.

Overall, I thought Jane Lynch was funny. She had some great one liners.

I was confused by Charlie Sheen's comments. Dude, it's not about you. Clearly, he's doing his apology tour. I wonder what brought the change of heart. New publicist?

Can wait for the new season of MAD MEN. When will it air, 2017?

Some favorite moments:

When the women nominated for Best Actress Comedy ran up on stage.

The MAD MEN sketch during the opening montage.

Ashton saying he was looking for the half man during THE OFFICE sketch.

I fell out over the Michael Bolton (!!) Akon/Maya Rudolf mash up.

My former boss Don Cheadle looking sharp.

Guy Pearce winning. He is one of the nicest people in the biz.

Julie Bowen, who played Amy in our movie, surprise win.

Ty Burrell's great acceptance speech.

Seeing Idris in a tux. Bummed he didn't win. LUTHER is amazing. I heard nothing but negative things about THE KENNEDYS mini-series. Did you see it? I was surprised to see how many nominations it received.

Loved Sofia, Kate and Lea's red dresses and the color of Dianna Agron's dress.

I think Gwyneth's dress would have been gorgeous if it were one piece.

I was perplexed by Julianna Margulies' dress. I just started watching THE GOOD WIFE. Great show.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flashback Friday - Earth, Wind & Fire - "September"

Last night I had my weekly conference call with my manager. She had some not great news regarding one of my projects.

I started to go down that negative road.

Then I had to run out the house to meet my friends for Rome's Fashion Night Out. One them asked me how things were going and I vented for a minute.

I stopped and not just because I had a delicious prosecco in my hand. I realized earlier in the week I had received excellent feedback about another project. I barely spoke about it. Instead I was zeroing in on cryptic comments made by one person.

Like I said, I'm trying to Live More and Worry Less. Instead of doing the whole "woe is me, why aren't things better?" rant, I focused on the moment and had a blast with my friends.

This morning I ran to Borghese Park and heard this song on the way up the hill.

Wait, I'm confused by those things in the video. Right, they are instruments!

Earth, Wind & Fire had a killer horn section. They are one of my favorite bands OF ALL TIME. Their outfits in this video are a trip. I love the enthusiasm of the bass player.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

COMMITTED by Elizabeth Gilbert, A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD by Jennifer Egan, THE CARRIE DIARES by Candace Bushnell and a few other summer reads

I read a few excellent/good books this summer. Below are a couple of them:

COMMITTED by Elizabeth Gilbert
I zipped through this book.

After her Brazilian-born Australian citizen boyfriend Felipe (they met toward the end of EAT, PRAY, LOVE) is arrested in the U.S. at the airport, they faced a tough choice. Either get married or Felipe would be barred from entering the U.S…. forever. Both Felipe and Elizabeth had gone through tough divorces. While they were committed to each other, they swore they would never marry again. The United States of America thought otherwise.

Elizabeth writes about marriage and the strain on their relationship as they live outside the U.S. waiting for Felipe’s paperwork. One little thing that jumped out at me was her comment that they were living off the fumes of her last book. While all this drama was going on, Felipe’s business was severely damaged. EAT, PRAY, LOVE had not been released yet. While Elizabeth was a respected writer (her book THE LAST AMERICAN MAN is excellent), her life completely changed after EPL became a phenomenon. As a broke writer her story gives me hope. You never know what the future holds.

The winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Price for Fiction. I get the hype. Egan wrote one of my favorite articles about the fashion industry, “Jamie Is A Girl” years ago, but this is the first novel of hers I’ve read. The book chronicles the lives of a group of friends as life takes them in unexpected directions. It jumps around in time, past, present and near future. Most of the characters are connected somehow with music, but it’s not about the music industry Some say AVFTGS more of a series of short stories and the narrative is confusing at times. The “power-point” chapter told from the POV of 12 year-old Alison Blake is brilliant.

The book has been optioned for a series by HBO. Egan said THE SOPRANOS was one of her inspirations. Can’t wait.

Yes, I read these YA books and loved them. I’m not into sparkly vampires, but books about nerdy/geeky girls trying to fit in… I’m there. These books are a wonderful palate cleanser for those who sat through SATC 2. The 17 year-old Carrie had more depth, and intelligence than the 45 year-old knucklehead caricatures in the movie.

TCD takes place during Carrie’s senior year in high school in a small town in Connecticut. Her mother has died. Her father is a good dad, but overwhelmed raising three girls alone.

SITC is set during the summer before her freshman year in college. Carrie is in NYC for a summer writing program. She meets Samantha (the older cousin of a high school classmate) and Miranda, a very opinionated young feminist. Both books have been optioned for a series on the CW. Writer Amy B. Harris is adapting. I would so watch that series.

ONE FIFTH AVENUE by Candace Bushnell
Ms. Bushnell is kicking butt this year. This book was just optioned for a series on ABC. Unlike SATC, Bushnell will be a producer on both projects. People assume she made a bunch of money on SATC. She did not. Once she sold the TV rights, she was not involved with the series.

OFA is about a very chic building in NYC and the lives of several women who live (or want to live) there. Good, soapy fun. I loved hating the humorless Mindy character. And Lola reminded me of many obsessed with becoming famous early-20 somethings I met in L.A.

FALLING MAN by Don DeLillo
This was tough read. It’s a fantastic novel about September 11th. Keith is a lawyer who escapes the rubble. He was recently separated from his wife. His young son is having major problems, post 9/11. Keith’s struggle to reclaim his life is haunting, but hopeful. Somewhat.

THE ART OF ACTING by Stella Adler
A good resource for actors and writers. The book is a little dated. However, there’s a reason Stella Adler is considered one of the most important teachers of acting in America.

DELUXE: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Dana Thomas

This is an excellent book on the $157-billion luxury industry, globalization, class and culture. I am very anti-fakes anyway, but reading about how some sweat shop factories break the legs of kids so they can’t leave made me sick. Thomas writes about how several luxury brands are not selling luxurious well-made items anymore, but just the brand. The portrayal of LVMH is scathing.

One luxury brand that walks the talk is Hermès. It’s not surprising it’s one of the few brands that is still family owned and operated. LVMH wants to buy them. I think that would dilute the brand and basically kill it. Why the heck would anyone pay serious money for a Birkin or a Kelly bag if they are no longer made by hand? In order to meet the profit margins demands of a big multi-national, Hermès would have to use cheaper labor/raw materials.

More books next week.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I cannot believe it has been ten years.

No, the passing of time does not make the events of that day less horrible.

I will never forget that day.

I will never forget calling my friend and finding out his twin was missing. He was about to celebrate his one year wedding anniversary. My mind blanked. I forgot Nigel worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. He was in the first tower.

HERE is an article about Nigel and other UK victims.

I was working out next to a lit manager on a treadmill at a gym in Hollywood when the towers crumbled. I burst into tears. I couldn't believe my eyes. Later, at the office we were trying to reach our relatives, friends and co-workers in NYC. Our boss told us to go home. The company was based in Brooklyn.

I took the NJ PATH train into those towers everyday for years. My dad worked in the towers years ago when they were being built.

From the roof deck of an old apartment, I could see the towers.

Then when I moved to 22nd and 2nd in the city, the towers were a compass. You could never get lost (well, outside the confusing non-grid streets of the West Village) if you could see the towers. You always knew where Downtown was.

I was born in NYC. Many of my closest friends live there. I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey. Most of the people in my town commuted to NYC. I think about all the children whose parents never came home. Their cars sitting at the stations.

I feel like everything changed in America after the attacks. Certain political leaders lied and we ended up in a war we had no business being in. Saddam had NOTHING to do with 9/11. Was he a dictator? Did he need to go? Yes, but we should have been focusing on Afghanistan, but they don't have oil.

President Bush received a briefing in late September that said there was no connection between Saddam and the terrorists. Yet, Cheney still went on news shows saying there was.

When GWB said during his infamous press conference that either people were with us or with the terrorists, it was a sad day for American diplomacy.

After the attacks, the world was with us. There were victims from over ninety countries on that day. He went ahead and attacked Iraq despite the concerns from many of our closest allies and the UN.

When some Republican congressmen decided to change the name of French Fries in the Congressional dining hall to "Freedom Fries", I was horrified. How immature. These were grown ass men. What was happening to my country?

Also, cutting taxes to the rich while engaged in two wars was stupid. Our country will be paying for the mistakes of the early/mid 00s for decades.

Post 9/11, things in America still seem very "unsettled" to me. I hate the direction my country is going in. The disparity between wealthy and poor is the greatest in the Western world. This is not good. Our infant mortality rates are unacceptable.

I have never seen such partisan politics before. The influence of the radical fundamentalists in the Republican party freaks me out. Where are the moderates? The Republicans I grew up with were not crazy.

That there are people running for President who do not believe in the separation of church and state is a problem. If I hear any of those fools talk about 9/11, I will scream. They hate NY and say the "cultural elite" are not real Americans. Then they have to gall to use that day to wave the American flag and talk about patriotism.

Did any of them lose a friend or family member that day? How dare they talk out of both sides of their mouth. I am dreading next year's election. It's going to be ugly.

Enough of this gloom and doom. True, NYC can be big pain in the butt. It's not an easy place to live. The pace, it's expensive, the surliness of some of its residents... it's a grind sometimes.

But I love NYC, even when I don't. Always have, always will.

The opening credits to Woody Allen's MANHATTAN. Those cowards who thought their actions would destroy my city were mistaken. I'm grateful to all the heroes who tried to rescue people, help people, and comfort people that day.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Piemonte 2: Electric Boogaloo - wine, ravioli, stars

The first time I went to Piemonte was two years ago on my birthday.

This year I stayed in the Terrace Room. The room is amazing. They just finished it earlier this year. I could live in the shower. For real.

My birthday started out with:
A lovely way to start the day.

Then, like my last trip, I went to a wine tasting.

My friend's husband is an excellent guide. He really knows a lot about Piemontese wines, but speaks about them in a way that is accessible.

Another guest joined us and off we went. We drove to the area of Piemonte called Langhe. This is some serious wine country. Home of the Nebbiolo grape.

We stopped by Ca' del Baio. Micha went to pick up a some cases, but it turned into a impromptu wine tasting. Valentina was wonderful. She is the great granddaughter of the founder. 1000 CORKS has a listing of where you can buy their wines in America. Their wines are very, very, good. Loved their Barbaresco and their Moscato.

The next was vineyard CANTINA DEL GLICINE located in the tiny charming town of Neive. There is a nice video on their website. It takes a bit to load.

The cantina has been in existence since the 1600s. I had a great time and tasted some excellent Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco and Moscato wine. There was one white wine Roero Arneis, that I wasn't familiar with. I'm kicking myself for not buying a bottle.

For my birthday dinner I had these:

Mere words cannot describe how delicious these ravioli were. The sauce was made from the pan drippings of the roasted meat used for the fillings. Super light, and full of flavor.

That night, after dinner, I sat on "my" terrace with a glass of wine. I looked up. The sky was packed with stars. I even saw a shooting star. It was so relaxing and peaceful.

Thanks to my friends, I had so much fun on my birthday I forgot to be in a bad mood.

I adore the area. It's interesting to me that one of the best (if not the best according my wine expert friends) wine regions in Italy is so undiscovered by the busloads of American tourists who go to wine tastings in Tuscany. We saw one American couple. That's it. We did see quite a few cars with French, German and Swiss plates.

Maybe it's because most of the Piemontese producers are small?

Sitting on the terrace hearing nothing but the wind through the trees, I wish I had a house in the country. A place to sit and write. I would love to own a place in Piemonte. After the drive, I realized it's too far from Rome. Way too far.

Yes, it's true I have no money now, but things are going to get better. And I will buy a house one day. It might not be until I'm sixty and it might be super tiny, but it will happen.

In the meantime, it's nice to know there are places where you do feel at home.


At Cantina del Glicine.

One of the best known producers in Italy.

I have to ask Diana for the name of this restaurant. UPDATE: See Diana's response below.

More Piemonte photos are on my FLICKRpage.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

My Own Top Chef Challenge: Farro Salad with Roasted Mushrooms and Parmesan

Add farro to the list of foods I have never cooked before moving to Italy.

To be honest, I don't think I ever ate farro until I moved here.

I love barley. I know mushrooms and barley are a good flavor combination.

I checked my cookbooks and the internet for a farro/mushroom recipe. I found one on a favorite cooking blog, Food52

The recipe and a very nice photo are HERE.

The only modification I made was to add less than 6 tablespoons of olive oil at the end.

This salad was DELICIOUS. The next day I ate it cold and it was yummy that way as well.

I'm definitely added farro to my must-have-it-in-my-pantry-at-all-times list.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A bellissimo buttery yellow from Piemonte (via America and Germany)

I returned to Piemonte for my birthday. As a gift to myself, I bought this lovely bud vase and a bowl made by the very talented Diana Strinati Baur. Diana is an American who moved to Germany, then to Italy.

In this POST Diana talks about her long creative journey.

It's quite inspiring.

The photo below includes some of Diana's other pieces. I DIE for the yellow dessert plates with the pretty edges.

Someday I will place an order for those plates because I believe one day I will live in apartment and/or have a house big enough to entertain in.

For further information about her work/purchasing check out her BLOG.

I wanted to buy white Gerbera daises, but the flower stand only had yellow.

True, it is more expensive to buy something handmade. To me it's worth it.

There is no other vase on the planet that looks like this one. Diana could make fifty more vases using the same colors and the same method, yet each one would be unique.

I appreciate the time, creativity and love that went into every single piece.

This color cheers me up.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Operation "Live More, Worry Less" is in effect.

I hope everyone had a great summer. The locals are starting to return to Rome.

I'm looking forward to fall. It's time for a fresh start and I must make some changes in my life.

I don't know if it's the business I work in, being the first born of Caribbean parents with high expectations, being a Virgo, a New Yorker/Jerseyite, an anal retentive American or what, but I have a bad habit of winding myself into a super tight ball of stress.

This year, I really went over the edge. And for what? It's not like anything changed. I have to let go of my control freak ways and get a grip.

This will be hard for me to do. It's so against my nature. I always have a plan. Only recently did I stop with the whole five, ten, fifteen year plans.

Last week I celebrated another birthday. I realized I have a big one coming up in a few years. Do I want to look back on this decade as the one where all I did was worry and stress the hell out?

I'm at the age where friends are starting to lose their parents, or are battling cancer. Instead of wallowing in self-pity about what is not in my life (a house, a man, a savings account, financial security, my next job, a Birkin, etc.) I am going to do my best to appreciate what is in it.

I had a long talk with my parents about my work/money situation. They are very understanding and supportive. Without them I would have to forget about Hollywood and call it a day. Many people assume that because JUMPING THE BROOM was a hit, I must be rolling in dough or have a billion jobs lined up. That is not the case. Not even close. Post JTB I had a big wake up call. I will get into that in few weeks. I need to let the rage subside a bit.

At first I wasn't going to go away for my birthday weekend. Instead I planned to hold on to the birthday gift from my parents for living expenses.

Then I thought about it. What is a living expense, only rent, food, bills? Of course I can't/won't go crazy spending money I don't have. I'm not irresponsible.

The other extreme I was following, budgeting every single euro wasn't healthy either. I have to find a middle ground. The only things that are certain in this world are death and taxes. What I feared and stressed out about the most happened and yet I'm still here.

As I sat on a TERRACE on a hill in Piemonte I made a vow to myself to live more, worry less.

I'm not sure how things will go. I feel I did take a major step in the right direction last weekend.

I will write about Piemonte next week. I have a bunch a photos to go through. Grazie mille to Diana & Micha for making my birthday weekend so special.

If you have some good advice or links about how to become less of a control freak, I'm all ears.

UPDATE: Several friends have sent me the link below.