Saturday, March 31, 2007


So, here I am ready for the 1 week road trip with my parents. I rented a bright red car and we filled the huge trunk with all the possible things we will need during this week. Food, warm cloths for the Sequoia NP, light cloths for the Death Valley NP, long pants for San Francisco, two tents and hiking shoes ...Today the target was to get to the Death Valley not too late, but surprise surprise, cause a late wake up, some stop to eat, an endless line due to a very vey bad car accident on the I-15 ...... some technical stops to try to capture in a picture the wonderful landscape ...... we got to the Death Valley NP pretty late. But even the way to get there was pretty interesting. Here some of the pictures I love the most. Definitely the California freeways are really stunning for an European like me...And more we got close to the Death Valley and more we saw really wonderful scenery ...... here you really feel you are in a magical place, a placeg you have seen only in the Old Far West Hollywood movies ...:D

Friday, March 30, 2007


Today I finally got the last piece I needed, the doctor statement. The visit cost me $150, but I guess worthwhile. I found out that I don't have like TBC, HIV and other diseases which not are really welcome in a person applying for the green card. So, after months of paper work and a lot of laziness from my side, I have finally send to the lawyer, all the necessary papers to file my green card application. Now I am curious to see how many months it will take to get the green card itself. The lawyer told me that in a case like mine, it should take from 2 to 8 months. Hopefully it won't take more than that. Xing my fingers. If you can, please, do the same for me ... :)

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Hard to believe, but I have finally a plan for the road trip that I am going to take next week with my parents. We should leave on Saturday morning and in 7 days visit most of the California beauties that my parents haven't visited yet. In order something like Death Valley National Park, Sequoia National Park, King's National Park, if we will have time Yosemite National Park again and after we will go on the coast and we will visit San Francisco and finally I will drive again the Big Sur. Excited. Hopefully the weather will be good enough to enjoy these incredible places and to allow us to do some camping as well.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I didn't think about it till today when during a conference call I was introduced to the new organization that my company and my department will have starting next week. Basically I will have a new boss and most likely I will have to move out of LA. In these days I am celebrating my 4th year in LA. Probably it is really time to pack my stuff and go somewhere else. Sad to think, but one day I will have to leave my house on the beach. For sure whenever I will look back, I am pretty sure that I will remember this as one of the best periods of my life.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


These days for me is all about my parents. They have always been active people, but I guess I didn't see them in a while, so they look to me even more active than usual. So my mom is cooking all my favorite dishes and cleaning all my things. BTW ... I guess I am gaining some pounds in these days. My dad is fixing everything can be fixed in the house. My bicycle. My motorcycle. And all the other things that I never fixed in the last months. Fortunately on Saturday our road trip will start, so they will have to relax for few days. But before our road trip will start he has also time to go to ride his new bicycle. Today he went to ride it to Palos Verde, the peninsula the is just south of Hermosa. The first ride with the new bicycle of course required a picture. I guess he had to brag around with his friends back home. But this time he exaggerated a little bit and he decided to convince everybody that he is really in California adding a surfboard to the picture. The California bragging disease is definitely contagious ... :D

Monday, March 26, 2007


I guess this is one of the things that you always dream will happen to you. And when it happens you realize it is not really that pleasant. This is exactly what happened to me last week. Because my parents are here, I gave them my room and I am sleeping on the couch in the living room. And because in these days it is still kind of cold, so I am sleeping all wrapped up in my warm and nice sleeping bag. And of course because we feel safe where we live we are reckless enough to leave the door open during the nite. So the other nite I was sleeping and suddenly in the middle of the night I feel like someone is trying to sneak into my sleeping bag. I wake up. and I see this girl. Hi. Hi Sylvia (not her real name). May I? Excuse me?Are you Jason (i.e. my roomie)? No. Of course I am not. I am Andrea. Hi Andrea, how are you? I am OK, thanks. What about you? I am OK. Maybe. You know where is Jason? I guess he is sleeping in his room. And there I understand that she is a little bit tipsy. I am sorry. No problem. And I see her leave, and close the door after her. I am not sure why she doesn't go directly to Jason's room. She just leaves the house and from the outside she goes to knock to his window. I fell asleep in like 5 seconds. And I kind of forgot all this. I guess are one of thee dreams that you forget in the morning, when you wake up. But in the morning I meet my roommate. Hey Andrea, I am sorry if the crazy girl made some noise last nite. Why, what happened? I didn't hear anything. Yep, she came to knock my window in the middle of the nite. Really? And while I was telling me this, all of a sudden it popped into my mind that before she went to knock the windows she tried to sneak into my sleeping bag. Pretty funny. And possibly it was a dream. I will never know, I guess.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


My parents came here to visit me, but of course it is also true that they want to see around. Discover new places. Visit interesting cities. Today we decided to go to San Diego. San Diego is just 160 miles south of LA, just 12 miles to the Mexican border, and it is definitely worth a visit. Myself I was in San Diego the last time probably more than 1 year ago. So today we headed south. First stop just south of San Clemente, where my dad feed the squirrels and I finally took I picture with my parents ...More south we visited La Jolla, a very nice surfing spot. And in San Diego the Cabrillo National Park. Lots of history here. Cabrillo was the first European to see this coast and he sailed up to San Francisco. But he veer saw the bay. Apparently because of the fog. Not difficult to believe! In the park there are also a lot of WWII memorabilia. And my dad, as a former military Morse code machine operator, didn't miss a picture there ...And here some other random picture of the nice day, that at a certain point became also sunny ...If you are curious, the last picture has been taken in front of the Coronado hotel, where the 1959 movie with Marilyn Monroe "Some Like It Hot" was shot.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


The unplanned shopping day ended in this way. With my dad proudly showing his new case, with inside his new little toy ... a carbon fiber bicycle ...The schedule for the day was completely different, though. The plan was to wake up early and drive to San Diego. Of course everybody were up on time but one. And of course the one who couldn't wake up was me. And when I finally woke up I proposed to change plan. What about if we are going to Santa Monica? We can go to San Diego tomorrow. So we took a relaxed long breakfast and we drove to Santa Monica. Jill was waiting for us in Santa Monica. My plan was to walk in 3rd Street. But on the way there my dad spotted a bicycle shop and he wanted to stop to check the prices. Inside he spotted this carbon fiber bicycle. The price was super discounted and with the good conversion Euro - Dollar of these days looks like he had a very good deal. He went to test it in the Santa Monica 5th Street ...... and he came back very very happy. So he took a picture with his personal fan club ... Jill, my mom and Tina ... a lovely fan club ...and he decided to buy it. According to my dad the bicycle cost him like 50% of what was going to cost him in Italy. So if you need to make a good buy, I guess you want to come to US. Don't forget, though, to leave some room in your luggage for the bicycle case when you will have to bring it back.

Friday, March 23, 2007


The name of the game is guitar hero. It is a playstation game. And Leif lately is completely crazy about it. And of course all the house has to listen to his performances. But it is not bad, it is actually pretty funny. Almost entertaining. Basically you play a kind of wireless guitar following the directions of the game on the screen. And you score based on your skills. My dad tonite was curious about it, so he went to check out why Leif liked it so much ...And after that he challenged Leif to play a real guitar. And even if Leif is not the best guitarist I have seen, I have to admit that he is pretty good. The funny part came when he played songs that my dad knew. They were in English. Of course some of them were Beatles ones. My dad knew the melody, but he couldn't really recall the English words. Pretty funny to listen ... :o ...Definitely Leif is our guitar hero. We will have to use his skills next time we will organize a party. Before he will get too tipsy, though. After that he will be kinda useless with a guitar in his hands. Actually almost dangerous, I guess ... :D

Thursday, March 22, 2007


"I saw your dad cleaning your bicycle yesterday" or "I heard your parents are here" or "It is true your mom is here? And does she really cook home made Italian food". I have to admit it. In these days I feel like the agent of a couple of Hollywood stars. And it is nice. My parents are becoming popular among my friends. One of the reasons, I guess, is that my mom can cook some really awesome Italian food. And my friends love Italian food. And they want to taste homemade Italian food. And of course I want to share with the the happiness to have them here. So I am inviting friends for lunch or dinner everyday now. Tonite has been pretty nice. Jill, Loy, Jason, Mary and Christina were here ...This picture is far from being a good one, but a part of the poor picture we had really some good time. Some gourmet food. And awesome wine. And of course I loved it. Tonite I felt like when my mom was preparing my birthday parties, and I was inviting my friends ... :D

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I am a guest on this planet. I really believe it. So it is easy, for me, to think it, say it and even write it. It means also that sooner or later whoever asked me to come here will call me back. I don't know when it will happen. But I know it will happen. I will die. Maybe a cancer. May be something else. But it will happen, I know. Of course I know. But today when I was told by my parents that a good friend of mine back in Italy has a cancer it was so difficult to accept. It is hard to accept that the friend you were used to play basketball in the gym, the friend who shared with me notes of the high school math classes has few chances to survive to the next few maths. When I was told today about this, I just thought to take all my savings and go to live in Thailand or Nepal or somewhere else and just do what I love to do. Most likely I want do it. At the same time I am thinking. What does exactly means that I am a guest on this planet? Probably that I don't own what I see, I touch. And that probably I don't own my life. Strange to think. But probaby it is true.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


My parents are here. I would have expected that having my parents around my place when I am used to live by myself could have been a kind of strange. But actually it is not at all. It is really the most natural feeling ever. You really feel loved. And you really feel like a kid. Or maybe like a king. Which is actually the same. This is at least what I am feeling. In these days I feel like a kid. My parents are here in my place and they are taking care of everything. And they do it with so much love, that I can't really say no. They are not even complaining the weather is not as good as it should be. They are repeating they came here to visit their son, not to visit the sun. Silly parents. My mom decided that I am not roning my shirts well enough, so she did it for me ... ehehehe ...And my dad still remember that he bought some basil seeds two years ago when he came here. He even remember where he stored them. Of course I never used them. So he pulled them out. He went to the local supermarket to buy some ground to fill a vase that we have in the porch. And he seeded the basil. So in few weeks I will have fresh homemade basil for my pasta and my pizza. I think there is nobody who can love us as much as our parents do. This reminds me a story that my grand grandpa was used to tell to his 7 kids. One of them was my grandpa. The story or catch phrase makes pretty much like this ... "A mom and dad can feed and take care of 1, 2, 3, 10 even 20 kids but not even 20 kids can take care of their parents when they become old". In a way it is a sad catch phrase. In an other way it is also true that is the way it goes. We become selfish and we forget who really love us for what we are, and not for what we have. I hope it won't happen to me.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Finally they are here. I waited for them for almost two years to see them back here and visit me here in LA. they landed yesterday nite @ LAX. Even if the weather in these days looks like winter German style rather than Spring Southern California, they found immediately in front of my place the chance to understand that they were in California ... :) This is my neighbour car, and of course the guys in the picture are my dad and my mom ...And they had a serious sweet welcome. This is the welcome cake they had from Tina tonite for dinner. If you can't understand Italian, "Felice Vacanza" means "Happy Vacation". Hopefully it is going to be as sweet as the cake ...They will be here for 3 and 1/2 weeks and of course we don't really have a plan. Probably we will spend 2 weeks here in LA and we will make 1 week road trip. The road trip will be something like Death Valley, Napa Valley, San Francisco, Big Sur and Sequoia National Park. Basically I would like to show them something they didn't see yet here in California. But we haven't decided yet. Advance planning is definitely not among my skills ... :D

Sunday, March 18, 2007


OK. This is gonna be cheesy. I hope you won't mind. I think it perfectly matches my mood of the last weeks. So better I will write it straight. Stanley & Elizabeth are that kind of people who make you believe that real love exists. That love is forever. And that love is timeless. So you will wonder who Stanley and Elizabeth are? Stanley & Elizabeth is this wonderful couple ...I saw them today for the first time in my life and I loved them. They were dancing today in the Hermosa pier or the follow up of the St. Patrick day party. They were so nice that whoever passed by stopped there to watch them. Everybody. They were like shining there. Like a magic couple. Smiling and dancing like angels. Even the singer at the end did cheer them and thanking them for the show they gave. And two little sisters were so attracted from what Stanley & Elizabeth were able to transmit that they went to dance themselves. It has been really so sweet. Seem like these 2 generations, distant something like 80 years were able to communicate without any word ...At the end Stanley & Elizabeth came to seat beside Tina & I. So we start chit chatting and I ask him where he was from and other useless questions. He came out they are originally from Jamaica. that explains a lot about their dancing skills. He is a WWII veteran. Like my grandpa. Two different sides of the barricade, though. At least for some years. We were laughing about it with Stanley. Nice that war is only in the museums, where it belongs.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


It has been really a great green green day today. Everything was green. Our mood was green. Hats were green. I am pretty sure most of the panties were green. The dollars that the bar did today were definitely green, big time green. At a certain point I had the feeling that also the sky was green, but I guess that was just one of the side effects of the alcohol. We really had a lot of fun. Here is the Irish band, but unfortunately for us the city didn't manage to hire the U2, but we can't complain ...Party were everywhere. It is good to have a St. Patrick on Saturday. Everybody could just relax and drink and drink and drink and drink ... And here my parties in crime for most the day, Yann & Leif. Here is a happy Leif finally relieved from one of the side effects of all the beer we got ...Definitely a great day, and we weren't even in Ireland. We were in Hermosa. A beach community in California. I think I want to go to Ireland one day for St. Patrick day.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Tomorrow is St. Patrick day. The biggest excuse of the year to get drunk. So what do you do the nite before St. Patrick day? I guess you just drink. And get drunk. Not sure why Tina and I weren't really in a drinking mood. We just drink water. What a shame. But Dan, Leif, Emily and Mae were in an other mood. So we went to the Pitcher House here in Hermosa. These are the pictures that I can show where everybody were sober and smiling ...... of course not all of us got sober to St. Patrick day ... but that I think is part of the game.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


March 15th. I think I will remember this day for some time. I should mark it in my calendar as the perfect coffee day. Everything started this morning in Starbucks. They called it Starbucks Coffee break. A tall freshly brewed coffee for free if you were there between 10AM and noon ... not sure why they did it, but they should do it more often. They are definitely making way too much money selling hot water for $2 a glass. Anyways. I have to admit that the free coffee taste much better than the same coffee when you have to pay it. And apparently I wasn't the only one to think that way. This is the line today at my SBUX ...

All proud of my free coffee, tonight I went to work not in SBUX, as usual, but in a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf shop. You know for a change. Trying to improve their market share. And there you go. Instead of the usual paper glass, I was asked if I wanted the coffee in the glass. So, I got a real glass for my coffee. A very nice one. A very nice gift of them. But now I have a doubt. Should I have returned the glass? Ehehehe ... too late, I guess. And once again, the taste of free stuff can't be matched ... :O

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Every year, in this period, it is the same panic for me. It is starting in January and it is over only in the middle of April. It is time of tax return. My brain just shuts down and doesn't want to think about it. So, while I am Xing my fingers I am just giving all my papers to someone who is claiming to understand something of all this impossible jungle of laws and shortcuts. I call him my tax wizard. I am not sure if it is just my finger Xing, probably not, but like a miracle every year I get something back. So, today my tax wizard call me and he told me I will have back almost $1,000 (minus the tax wizard fee). I am definitely richer than yesterday, but considering how Wall Street is going, I am not sure if I will ever make enough money to buy a B&B in Tuscany ... but who cares ... at least my tax return panic is almost over ... I just need to mail all that stuff and for an other 9 months no headaches ... :D

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Dreaming California. I guess this is what everybody do. At least, this is what I was used to do when I was not living here. But now that I am living here, I am dreaming - of course - something else. Being somewhere else. Visit new places. Take my backpack and get into a bus to somewhere else. So ... why not the last frontier? Yes, the last frontier ... this is the dramatic Alaska state nickname. The last frontier. It has been a dream for me for several years now. I thought to go to visit it since I moved here to the US. 4 years have passed and I have not been there yet. Probably because of my little attitude to plan anything and because of the fact that you can visit Alaska only 4 months of the year. But 2007 seems like the good year. Tina and I are planning to go there for 10 full days of vacation in August - September. Using the labor day long weekend I can just use 5 days off from work and make 10 full days of vacation. There is a lot to see in Alaska. Especially National Parks ...I don't think we will be able to see all the Alaska beauties in 10 days. But at least a part of it. Probably we will fly LAX - Anchorage (i.e. the capital). It is like almost 6 hours flight. From there we will make a loop. In the loose plan we have at the moment, there are a lot of things. A night in Anchorage. A train to Denali. Hiking and camping in the Denali NP. Fairbanks. Hike on some glacier. Whale watching in the Kenai Fjords NP. And more and more. Dreaming Alaska! I am definitely excited. Big time excited!

Monday, March 12, 2007

100 over 60

So today I went for a physical test for my green card. I don't know yet the results. Xing my fingers I don't have some funny disease. But definitely the funniest part came when the nurse had to measure the blood pressure. She tried 3 times. She changed arm. She changed ear. She did beat on the sensor. At the end she looked at me in the eyes. Are you OK? Yes. I mean, I would rather somewhere else than in a doctor office, but a part of that I am OK. Your blood pressure is really low. Like? Like 100 over 60. Ehehe, I know it is normally pretty low. Yes, high blood pressure is not among your problems, waking up in the morning must be though for you. Yes, it is! Probably I should it as excuse when I get late to the office in the morning ... :)

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Poor Leif. This is the way he had to hide himself drinking beer on the beach today. Like in the best Hollywood movies, the people here drinks out of paper bags. He didn't really drink out a paper bag, but almost. He had to carry the beer in a paper bag and he had to pour the beer in a plastic cup and drink like a thief ...... not sure what's wrong between this country and alcohol. Definitely something happened somewhere. I can't believe that this country which built on German, English and Irish root can't allow his citizens to drink in public. And don't even try to go to Utah, here they call it the "dry state", there are more chances to win the lottery than find a liquor store. I am thinking now. Here in US the world is clearly divided between good guys & bad guys. It is also true that the bad guys drink & smoke. It is equally true also that the bad guys go to jail, at least this is what I read on the papers. Now, the really bad guys, of course, go straight to the electric chair here. And of course because they are really really bad guys they have to drink and smoke a lot. But here you can't drink and smoke in public. But probably these guys have also a last will. So are they giving to those poor inmates in their last minutes? No alcolhol, no smoke. Probably a Big Mac menu ... :O ... poor guys.
/* Begin GOOGLE ANALYTICAL Feb.17.2009 */
/* End GOOGLE ANALYTICAL Feb.17.2009 */