Get a Grip and Follow Some Basic Rules!


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Well, I forgot my camera on Sunday. I’m the Worst, officially.

We didn’t do much, though. Only Giacomo, Sep, and I went anywhere. Paul and Dean (Paula Deen?) stayed home to do work for their job and masters program, respectively. The three of us hopped in the Mini and journeyed our way down the island to Campo nell’Elba (one of the municipalities). We drove through lots of little towns and ended up at a beach called Marina di Campo. (This might all be incorrect, by the way, I was super tired and half-sleeping a lot of the time we were driving and ignoring things while I was awake.) for example, I have not one clue as to what the beach we finally settled was named. My best guess is Punta Masselone (Dell’ogliera). Sep has pictures on his camera (that I took) of what we did there, which was essentially nothing on my behalf. Sep, however, taught two Italian boys to skip rocks, build Carons, and smash small docks with big ones. He can also snap small stones between his fingers like a cherry pit or bottle cap, which mesmerized the children. One in particular was very entertaining. He’d torn an enormous hole in his pants but didn’t care about it one bit. If he’d get more than two skips of whatever stone he’d just tossed in the water, he’d do this victory dance thing. It was carefree, proud, happy, and wonderful. I think Sep had fun teaching him all that stuff as well, despite the language barrier.

We had dinner in Portoferraio after the match between the Mexicans and the Dutch. The Dutch won, which upset Paul. I got a calzone, and it was delicious, but before we ordered I heard someone order a margherita and decided I wanted one too. I nonchalantly voiced this to the group, thinking maybe I’d be the one to go order at the bar for everyone. Instead, Giacomo piped up with, “you can’t drink a margherita at a pizza place for dinner, it’s beer or wine. Get a grip and follow some basic rules!” None of you know Giacomo’s mannerisms, but I can assure you it was absolutely hilarious. His facial expression was that of amused horror that I would consider breaking the norm of wine with dinner. It’s been a thing ever since. Giacomo himself was late for breakfast this morning and when he arrived we all kind of threw the saying back at him, informing the professor why it was funny at the same time.

So, Sunday was normal and boring but relaxing. Yesterday we went to a beach near the house with a smaller but just as fun jumping rock. The water was a little cloudy so we didn’t do much swimming, but we did do a lot of playing with this adorable pug that was running rampant on the beach. It’s owners were quite ineffective at keeping him close, and as you can see he really wanted to explore and pulled like he wasn’t ten pounds on his leash to get his Person to move. It was very sweet. He’d come up to us and get scratches and make the most ridiculous sounds with his tongue lolling out. Such a cutie. We meandered down the beach to a further rock later in the day and, upon our return to his spot, found him fiercely and intensely playing with another small dog, racing up and down the beach. It was quite comical because neither dog was big enough to get up over the seaweed wall down by the waves, so every time they tried one would inevitably fall over on its back and have to try again. Hilarity ensued.

I made Penne all’arrabbiata, Pollo in salsa di Fegato, and baked Melanzane (eggplant) last night. It’s hard to make chicken in liver sauce look appetizing, but I tried. It’s Avis’ favorite dish, I think she enjoyed it. The pasta was good too. It’s supposed to be spicy, but this isn’t a very spice-friendly crowd for some reason. Both Paul and I were wishing it was spicier, but Avis specifically said, “This is quite good, I like that it has a little bite to it.” To myself, I was thinking, “what bite?” But I knew that the spice level was good for everyone else. I guess the Spicy Tolerance Training I’ve been giving myself throughout college has been working.

Tonight I have to get dinner ready early so we can make it to town to see the USA vs. Belgium match. I’m making a pasta I’ve already mastered, zucchini of some sort (lightly battered and fried, maybe?), and this weird pork roasted in milk recipe that is apparently wonderful. I’ve been instructed to not overcook the pork. Ive been given three meat thermometers. I’ve been thinking to myself whenever the Professor mentions something about it, “I know guys. I haven’t forgotten the Pork Bricks either, it was only two days ago.” Won’t make that mistake again. Actually, I probably will, but they’ll live.

Also, last night was the 9785763987651986th time I cursed the stupid stove in the stupid kitchen that doesn’t have a deep enough oven or wide enough cooktop. Yesterday the wind blew the flame out underneath my pot of water for pasta that I was trying to bring to a boil. I didn’t notice it was out until 8:15 when I normally put the pasta in to cook. Dinner was about twenty minutes late as a result, which bothered me to no end. Can’t happen tonight; the stakes are too high. Depending on which team loses, the respective fans are swan diving off the tall jumping rock at the beach I’ve mentioned before. I don’t want to miss a second of the game!

I’ll inform you soon on whether the three meat thermometers prevent my milky pork roast from being tough. Get excited.

By the way- those plums took me a Very Valuable hour to pit. I boiled them with nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, honey, and Not Enough Sugar. The “compote” aka watery, pectin-less jam is very tart without sugar. Oh well. They’ll live. I like it! It’s surprising!

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