29 January 2008

the "automatic" Italian citizen

The Italian embassy has details on how to become a citizen "automatically:" if you are a descendent up to the second degree (i.e. a grandchild) of a former Italian citizen, you can obtain citizenship by living in Italy for three years.

This is perfect for me, as my grandfather renounced his Italian citizenship pretty much the moment he stepped off the boat. Now the only question is whether I do it straight (i.e. pick up and move to the boot for three years) or crooked (hang out at my cousin's for a few weeks until they send somebody around to check if I'm really living there).

Either way, perbacco, I'm becoming a citizen!

28 January 2008

the joy of HDR

uccello pescatore
Inserito originariamente da paolaccio
This is my first excursion into the wonderful world of high dynamic range imaging, and this dude happened along to give me a subject...

I'm not blown away by the quality of the image, but you do get a little sense of the psychedelic colour of the ocean yesterday... all the rain water washing down made sort of a finger-painting effect on the water.

Damn, I can see myself wasting a lot of time with this new toy...

13 January 2008


I just discovered this new word: funktionslust - German for “pleasure taken in what one does best.” Having spent so much of my life as a round peg trying to cram himself into square holes, it actually took some thought to figure out just what it is that I do best. Other than napping, for example, or taking long walks.

Having spent much of my spare time in the last year trying to read L'Espresso and struggling to follow Giorgia Todrani's manic raps on Radio2, it sort of belatedly came to mind that one can actually use one's language skills to make money. I've been resisting for some time the idea of changing careers, having put so much effort into getting a computer science degree even though I have no real interest in the field (other than the ability to earn a buck). To a large extent, it's a sunk cost fallacy, but so many years struggling to find a job have made me very resistant to leaving a field where I have literally never had to look for work.

Felicitously, though, translation holds out the very real promise of being able to pull together my various strengths - language, technology, writing - in a way that may be very marketable. I'm in the process of learning what I can about breaking into the field, and meanwhile have tried my hand at doing some Wikipedia translations for free.

A new adventure! Sometimes, it's just what I need.

Ama e fa' ciò che vuoi. - Sant'Agostino d'Ippona

Delusione amara

Well, the citizenship gambits all crashed and burned, so I'm left with my original plan A: living in Italy for three years, and applying at the end of the second (the old Art. 9, comma 1, lettera a del legge 5 febbraio 1992 n. 91 deal). I don't know why it knocked me back so much, I guess it is hard to imagine both of us being able to get over there and work as stranieri for three years. The idea of getting citizenship first seemed so much easier - D even joked that she might marry me now! But as always with me it seems, the right path is the hardest path. So be it.

Chilling around the apt today with a broken refrigerator, and still shaking off the effects of a rough Friday night. We keep asking ourselves why we do this to ourselves - we both seem to have such an appetite for self-destruction.

But the sun is out! Finally! Another beautiful California January day...

06 January 2008

Home is where you wear your hat

We got back from Hawai'i on Friday morning. It was kind of a weird trip - for once I had a visceral feeling of what "neither here nor there" means. After thirty months, there's really nothing left of me there... though there are familiar people and places, nothing really resonated as "mine." So, it was nice to see a lot of people, though I spent the trip in kind of a fugue state. I do feel much more comfortable here in San Diego, though it's not exactly home in any sort of emotional sense. So here I am... at least not living out of a bag! I guess I really am a nomad by nature.

Today's big news is that I heard back from the vice consul that my Italian citizenship application has taken a big step forward: a letter was sent to the National Archives checking to see if my grandfather ever naturalised. If not, then he wasn't a citizen... therefore my dad had dual citizenship and so do I.

And then...

Me? Americano? A chi lo dici?!