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Month: February, 2012

San Valentine’s Day

Doc doesn’t like San Valentine’s day. For him, every day is a Valentine’s day BUT Feb 14th, and he loves giving me unexpected presents, big or small, throughout the year.

So, knowing him for so long, I don’t expect a present on Valentine’s day. However, this year, Doc decided to buy me a present probably because he felt guilty that I indeed gave him a Valentine’s present (a gift card for a massage that was inserted in the envelop shown in the picture above).

Therefore, when he announced he was giving me a gift I started brainstorming: a pair of earrings, or a long weekend in the Hawaii, or two tickets for the Coldplay concert, or a skein of precious, soft, and unusual yarn. Nothing like that… my imagination was far from what Doc has in mind… A pair of RUNNING SHOES!!!!

“Doc, this is not a present for me; it’s a present for you. It’s like if you were to buy a LA PERLA lace underwear set for your lover… like if your dad, who loves deep fried food, were to give a deep fry machine to your mom” I told him with a shocking tone in my voice.
“Don’t worry, you’ll like them” Doc said to me.
“Well… Doc.. I appreciate your thought, but… I don’t need running shoes… Remember the 5K run we run two years ago? I almost died… I arrived that I was as red as a chili pepper… My hear was beating so fast that I couldn’t count the beats… I actually would love to dedicate more time to yoga or swimming.”
“You need to train your heart. Your Conconi’s test doesn’t lie: YOU MUST TRAIN!!! You can’t be like that at your age [ok Doc, I am NOT that old…]. You need to do something to think about your future… Yoga is fine but not like an aerobic activity… You must sweat, feel tired, spend calories… you need to feel that sore pain in all the muscles of your body after a serious work out…”

SWEATING… Sore pain… training… just at mentioning those words I tremble… To be honest, a few weeks ago Doc, who did his thesis in Sport Medicine and never stopped working out, performed the Conconi test that showed that my aerobic threshold is at about 185 beats per minute, way too much Doc thinks (just to give an example, his aerobic threshold it at about 160 beats per minute). Therefore, he decided, we need to plan and follow a rigorous “training program” so that my heart can be more efficient.

Taken to a super-fancy store specialized in running where my feet were scrutinized, taped, and analyzed by a computer to show possible defects and therefore decide which the best running shoes are  for my feet (and no, I didn’t really feel like Cinderella), I chose a pair of running shoes that Doc enthusiastically paid and gave me as his San Valentine’s present.

“You–Doc stated at the end of the day–before going to sleep should think about where and how long to go running the next day.”

I couldn’t destroy the high aspiration Doc has about my love (or lack thereof) for running and mention that:
1) when I am to go to sleep, I usually think about what I can create with my fabric and yarn stored in my craft room;
2) this training is cutting in my free time, time that I like to dedicate to my creativity in my craft room;
3) when considering working out, I prefer yoga and swimming but also tennis and skiing–these last two performed in optimal conditions of temperature and humidity;
4) in my next life, I want to marry a couch-potato man who is going to spend a lot of time on the couch in front of a TV eating popcorns, chips, and drinking beer (I am pretty sure that in such case, I’ll be an avid marathon runner…)

Now that I have my new running shoes and the Garmin, another tool that Doc gave me for Xmas 2009 and that he considers ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for a real runner because it tracks the heart rate, the calories, and the speed, I am ready for my serious training and the feeling of sore muscle pain that will permeate my body at the end of the workout.

A special touch of my running shoes is the color of their sole and laces, which reminds me of the color of Tiffany boxes. I have absolutely no outfit that matches that color; therefore, I think that I’ll charge Doc’s credit card for my next shopping.

Fashion Week

Doc loves to be pampered; he loves to feel comfortable, and whenever he travels between the East and the West Coast of the US, his company pays for a business class fare where he lets the female flight attendant pamper him.

Last week, he went to NYC and as soon as he landed he told me “Did you know this week  it’s fashion week in NYC?”
“No,  I didn’t know it. Interesting… the city will be populated by all sort of good looking girls… Lucky you!” I replied.
“The flight attendant asked me if I am going to NYC for the fashion week” he added with a tone in his voice that sounded like I-am-walking-on-cloud-9-for-such-a-question.
“Well, did you tell her that at your age, the majority of the male models has already stopped modelling and has retired for at least 20 years????” I commented with a satanic twist in my voice…

From the look on his face, Doc didn’t seem to have fully appreciated my comment on his real age that he is trying to forget but I am constantly reminding him whenever he struts around….

OOPS!


Alright, I have to admit it that maybe, perhaps, probably I am wrong… It is possible and very much likely that the  topic that worries Doc, that afflicts his neurons and forces them to work all the time, that torments his sleep, that tortures his thinking, that interferes with his innate peace is not THE TRASH as I previously stated, but THE SECURITY of his mansion.

Even though 1000 Querce is one of the safest towns in the whole US with a population between 100.000 and 499.999 habitants according to Wikipedia, Doc doesn’t feel safe living in a mansion that is open on three sides and most importantly doesn’t lower his awareness level for safety.

Doc is used to reading horrific stories of burglars and criminals entering villas and mansions in Italy and robbing, kidnapping, and doing all sort of criminal activities, he does not understand how something similar doesn’t occur in 1000 Querce where the areas with gangs are not that far away from this quiet town in the Rabbit Valley

“I am shocked that criminals don’t travel in richer areas to trespass private properties” comments Doc looking outside the window.
“Well, perhaps they’re too lazy to drive” I say.
“Or perhaps they know that if caught, they’re beaten enough to make them change their mind the next time they even think about repeating the same mistake” he says with a tone in his voice that sounds like a Marine officer who would establish the death penalty for crimes starting with stealing a bicycle and up.

I actually think that the only time Doc slept with no problems was when our friend I&I came to visit us and slept on the couch in our living room, the first room when entering the front door, and therefore where on the first time to defend our mansion. I am surprised Doc didn’t give them a club and a weapon to defend themselves from probable assaults by criminals that obviously didn’t enter the mansion.

One of favorite’s activities that Doc does almost every Sunday evening is to look for on-line criminal reports of the area where he lives and read them. So far, the only documented “crimes” in 1000 Querce consist of stealing objects from the car; hense, Doc now is very careful at leaving anything in his precious car Pivotta.

However, being a particularly suspicious person (his motto is “Don’t trust anybody, never ever”) every evening Doc goes around the mansion to check that doors and windows are sealed and closed. More than once, when he looked the mansion from the outside, I overheard him saying “I would install an iron grid right here on this window” or “I should install a web cam right there on that corner to monitor the two sides of the house even from far away” or “I should put broken glasses on the top of the wall in the patio.”

In total, there were to instances where Doc feared for the worst. Once was when Doc and I went to the airport to pick up our friend I&I; we left around 1pm and when we came back around 7pm, the door of the garage was wide open. Doc trembled.

“How come the door of the garage is wide opened?” he asked with an alarmed tone of the voice.
“I don’t know. You must have forgotten to close it” I mentioned.
“No way, I closed it” he said with no hesitation.
“Well, perhaps you didn’t pay attention and didn’t push the right key on the remote control, and you didn’t close it” I suggested.

Whatever the reason, as soon as we entered the garage, Doc was in a red-level alarmed stage and so was the male I, both ready to kick the potential criminal who entered the mansion. And while the two males were inspecting the door that connects the garage to the mansion to look for possible signs of burglary, I went around the garage looking for squirrels, rabbits, or skunks that are most likely the only creatures that entered the neat garage we have. Obviously, no criminal, burglar or thief has been found and after a careful inspection, the female I and I could enter the house.

After that experience, Doc doesn’t leave the mansion if the door of the garage has safely closed.

In addition, he is only thinking of creating a Neighborhood Watch Program with the result that probably everybody will know everything of everybody. He is also thinking of becoming a VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service Program) and help police whenever needed. Then, when he will become a US citizen (around May according to his schedule), he would like to apply for Reserve Deputy Sheriff and have more police-related responsibilities without the duty of working full time as a police officer.

I am sure his applications will be accepted and he will be very committed in doing his “job” and keep an eye on the quiet town of 1000 Querce where not too much happens. So, be aware 1000 Querce criminals: if I were you, I would become a saint when Doc takes over in his watching-duty. Compared to Doc, Chuck Norris looks as peaceful as Santa….

An Impossible Task

A few weeks ago, Doc had to face one of his most terrific fears, a nightmare that he couldn’t postpone anymore, a torment worse than the mosquito that flies around you in a hot and humid night in the summer… No, not a ghost, not the mosquito, or a long shopping list from his wife (by the way, I am not the shopper between me and him; but this topic will be the topic of a future posting). The fear/nightmare/torment was the hair cut.

Doc has his FIRST appointment to have his hair cut in 1000 Querce. For Doc, that moment has the taste of fear as if he had in front of him a guillotine ready for his head.

For his look, Doc is an extremely predictable human being. Since he was a little more than a toddler and until he lived in R, a town located outside Torino that he calls “the most beautiful place in the world,” Doc had his hair cut by the same barber, and when he retired, by the barber’s son who was trained by the father and knew Doc, his needs and preferences for hair matters.

Then, at 34 years old, Doc moved to the US, and the pain (aka calvary) started …

At the beginning, he went to some barbers located near the place where we live with the result of cursing like crazy as soon as he was out and able to look himself in the mirror; then, thanks to the Italian mafia-connection in Boston , he found Mario, a barber from Italy that cut hair as Doc wanted it to be. However, to Doc’s disbelief, a few years later Mario’s saloon underwent some internal restructuring and was closed for several months and Doc’s most feared nightmare was back: looking for another barber.

After months of trials and errors with catastrophic results, I sent Doc to my hairdresser Chris, knowing that if he had cut hair’s Doc as he liked, Doc would have become his most faithful customers (indeed, and knowing Doc, that was the way that it ended in spite of his initial skepticism). So, for years, every 3 to 4 weeks, Chris was in charge of Doc’s look making Doc a very happy Doc, who had found  THE perfect barber since his arrival in the US (and departure from his beloved Italian barber).

The love-story lasted about 7 to 8 years, until Doc moved to Philadelphia. To be honest, at the beginning, Doc living in Philadelphia was not a problem because I kept living in Boston for about 1.5 years after he moved, and Doc came to Boston every other weekends and therefore Chris could keep taking care of Doc’s hair. Then, one day in Fall 2006, I stated “I am moving to Philadelphia” and a feared look appeared on Doc’s face (not sure if it was because he had to look for another barber or for having to once again share the house with me…)

Nonetheless, I  move to Philadelphia and for a few months after I moved, Doc and I used to drive to Boston for the weekend and sure enough, these trips were deliberately planned when his hair had to be cut. Then, with no more trips to Boston, he finally has to face his nightmare once again. For several years, the search for THE perfect barber went on and with it some cursing and swearing and bad words (obviously in Italian because they have more flavor). After 3 long years, Doc finally found THE perfect barber 200m from home, but once again, a few months later Doc moved to 100o Querce, in Southern California.

Forgotten the idea of planning weekends in either Boston or Philadelphia, in these past 5 months since the move, Doc has postponed as long as possible the search for THE perfect barber. He also went to Italy and had his hair cut there twice, once upon his arrival and once the day before his departure. Then, after 2 moths from the last cut, Doc started feeling like Cousin Iit and could take it no more: It was time to face reality, to combat his fear, to show courage and have his hair cut.

Upon an accurate search on Google, reading gazillions of reviews, evaluating pros and cons, he found the name of a lady specialized in hair cut for men and made his first appointment. I am positive to state that Doc has found THE perfect “barber” on his first shot. He went to the appointment explaining he wanted his hair cut like him, and she was very good at pleasing Doc’s requests.  I am delighted to report that Doc is a happy, and most importantly I have my groomed Doc back.