Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Italy thing... a plea

There was something that was left unsaid on the subject of Italy.

I want to go there. For a long time.

I have a steady job. I work in a great industry (although outsourcing/global economy are making that greatness a little shaky stateside). The company I work for offers stability, superior benefits, and more time off than most. I get to do technical work while surrounded by artists. These are all the things I tell myself.

But at the same time, I spend well over 8 hours a day in a dark office with no windows. It's quite common for me to stay indoors until the sun has already set. I make it work -- I make the best of weekends, make an effort to cook and read and write and walk and all those things I like to do. But it's hard to deny that it's not ideal.

I want an adventure, and I would love to be somewhere new that I'm really excited about. The prospect of finally learning Italian, the language, but also learning the culture, is almost too much to imagine. So, I want to go.

But how?

Has anyone made the leap (not necessarily to Italy)? How do you make it work?

I'll show you what has been my inspiration lately: an article in the New York Times last month about the varied culinary choices in the city of Genoa. The article is secondary though, to the slideshow. Every single image fills me with such swoony yearning. I can't believe the charm, the coziness, the juxtaposition of rustic and high style in every photo, and the tiny red mini parked on the cobblestone street.

So you see, the desire is there. The question now is just the means. Any suggestions, recommendations, job offers, would be greatly appreciated. I can provide the following skills: lightning-fast typing, perl programming, a deep grasp of the visual effects pipeline, technical writing, tap dancing at an elementary level, vocal performance at the advanced karaoke level, piano playing at the level of one who was once classically trained but is now just rusty, and napping. I thank you in advance.


  1. I just saw a want ad for a farsi speaking, rusty-piano playing, perl programming, tap dancing, cooking enthusiast to manage a Tuscan villa. They'll even throw in the use of the house Mini Cooper (old skool version, not that new stuff). Sound good?

  2. Tell me you've read Bill Buford's article in the New Yorker, about "interning" as a butcher in Tuscany? He met Mario Batali's father in Seattle to prepare for the trip (which was 6 weeks I think?) If you go, will you take me with you? I know how to use ...a DNA sequencer? UGH.

  3. brad - sounds great. but, only if they also have an opening for a barbecuing, radar-loving, engineering, nacho-eating, tailgating, large-headed man to be the houseboy!

    annie - although the butchering thing kind of grosses me out, i have deep reverence for both batali men. i shall find this article!