Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Better Than Being on a Bagel

Dear Ashley,

I'm on a roll! And, if my mom was here she'd reply "That's better than being on a bagel." Why? I'm not really sure. I guess 'cause there's a hole you can fall through.

Anyway, I really am on a roll. I wrote 4,000 words yesterday, bringing my total count up slightly over 31,000 words. And the best part: it was decent. Not fantastic, but I had one good line roughly every thousand words. Which, I think, shows improvement. Five years ago when I wrote the first 50,000 words of The Smell of Rain there was one line in it that I liked.

Now I've got maybe six lines that I like in 31,000 words. Go me!!

I have a few minutes before I have to get ready for work, so I think I'll quickly tell you about Italy. Then I have to go pick up a dog and bring him to his groomer, do my walks, and then go get him and bring him home. I'm a little annoyed at the last minute-ness of this; it felt like she made the appointment and then yesterday emailed my boss and was like "oh btw, can you do this? thanks." It makes me feel a little more like a Nanny than I'd ever wanted to feel.

Whatever. Focus. Italy:
Ben's been working at Liberty Bellows, the accordion shop here in Phila, apprenticing as an accordion technician, right? Right. He really enjoys it, he has a passion for accordions, and he's getting really good at it. Apparently ALL the really high end accordions are made in one place: Castelfidardo, Italy. If you google it, it looks like a really cute little city.

There was an article in the New York Times recently, about how all of the people who build these things are getting old, and they have a hard time getting young people interested in learning the trade. But there is most definitely still a market, because China is mass producing crap accordions, and if even a small fraction of the people who buy those continue with the instrument, then eventually they'll want a nice one, and they'll come to Castelfidardo looking for one.

Borsini, one of the accordion makers, offers a six week intensive internship at their establishment. Ben wants to go do that, and then possibly stay on there, or at another of the accordion building places and hone his skills. Because there are no teaching jobs in New York, and there won't be in a year when he's done with Teach For America, either.

So he came home the one day was like "I've been thinking about Italy..."
And I was like "SOLD!"
As you know, my obsession with Italy may be even more intense than his obsession with accordions.
We're still talking, and the Italian economy may crash harder than ours did soon, so we're waiting to see what happens with that, but there is a possibility that this time next year, I may be off on my way to teach English or something in Italy.

Dream. Come. True.
I could write one of those travel memoirs that are like crack to me. And when you finish in Budapest, you could come to Castelfidardo for awhile if you wanted :)

Brainstorm! That might be the answer! The Borsini internship provides Ben with a place to stay and food and such, and I wasn't really keen on finding a hostel by myself. That's it. You're coming to Italy with us.

Off to the dog groomer now (woot.)

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