Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My "Rosetta-funny" of the day

As I was studying Italian using RosettaStone® last night, I came across these pictures:

Learning the words "wet" and "dry".

Is it just me, or is the image on the top left totally unnecessary? LOL! Whose idea was this? A photo of a girl getting water dumped on her head while carrying a few cups of coffee...all to teach me that "her hair is wet". Whatever the case, it gave me a good chuckle every time it appeared on my screen --yes it was used more than once. Poor girl. Hope she got paid well.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mini countdown.

With my hectic schedule lately, everything has been so focused on my move to Italy. So the last few days, Italia has taken a backseat to this:

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Buh-bye Toronto, hello Punta Cana in 4 days!

Thanks to my amazing best friends, they convinced me to take a one week getaway for some much needed sun & sand......and a daily cold mojito to keep me company. I cannot tell you how thankful I am that they didn't let me say no. Lately, we've all been so busy with our own schedules, that we haven't had any time to relax in the city. Sometimes, it's good to get away for a few days for our own sanity.

To my fellow Torontonians reading along, you all know how long we have been waiting for Spring. We ain't even greedy! We're not even askin' for summer, but Lord, can you please give us some Spring? We've been good little Torontonians all winter long --shoveling snow, commuting to work in our heavy parkas and winter boots, waiting patiently behind snow plows, hibernating indoors, slipping & sliding on ice. Then you gotta go and hit us with wind, rain, hail and SNOW this past weekend (yes, it's April)? SO not funny.

What I won't miss about Toronto.

Hallelujah for 4-hour plane rides. DR here we cooooome. xoT

Monday, April 18, 2011

A sigh of relief.

Last week, I finally let my manager and my director know that I will be moving to Italia at the end of August. Having worked at the same company for about 6 years now, I was pretty nervous to tell them about my move. I mean, it's not typical for someone to give their employer that much notice, but due to the nature of my work, it didn't feel right not to. I was pleasantly surprised at how well everyone took it and how extremely supportive they were about my decision. Now that the cat's out of the bag, I feel so extremely relieved!

daydreamin' at work...

Lately, I've been so busy packing, organizing, spring cleaning, moving, working, working out, planning,...ugh! Sometimes I get so absorbed by all the tasks I have to do, that I forget for a split second why the heck I'm doing all of this. Then, I remember and I get overwhelmed with feelings of excitement and joy that my stomach flips over and over. Maybe for some people, this is not really a big deal. But for someone like me, it is the biggest decision I've ever made in my adult life. It's the first and last thing I think about every morning and night. It is what is keeping me motivated and happy.

I know that 4 months seems so far away, but it really isn't. Especially since I'll be taking a college course the entire summer to prepare me for teaching, trying to complete my Italian lessons and spend time with my family & friends. The time will fly by. But no matter how many things I have to do before I leave, the one thing that never changes is how ready I am. I don't have one doubt in my mind. It truly is a great feeling to know, in your gut, when something is right. When you feel 100% confident about what you want in life and secure with your decisions, it can't get better than that. I realized that when you are confident in the decisions that you make, the people around you can only be supportive. Because at the end of the day, they just want to see you happy....and if things don't work out for me? Ah, c'est la vie! Life goes on. 

"I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done”~Lucille Ball

Word up.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My new fav Italian word.

SPAZZOLINO: toothbrush
sounds like "spat-zoh-lee-noh"

I love how the Italian language can make a word such as "toothbrush" sound so sexy. No wonder it's known to be the most romantic language there is.

Another example? Scorreggia: Fart. Pronounced "skor-reh-jia", don't forget the beautiful rolling "rrrr". You don't even want to know what images pop up when you google image the English or Italian.  
A dopo! xoT

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Terni, a city for lovers

Lately I've been getting the following reaction when I tell more people about my move: "What? You're moving to Italyyyy?? Whaaaat? omg omg I'm so so jealous!"  Then proceeding question is usually, "What city are you moving to? Rome? Florence? Milan?" I tell them that I'll be spending 4 weeks in Florence taking a course, then upon completion, I will move to a small town called Terni. I usually get a blank stare, then a "Um, where the heck is that?".  So here's where I sum it up for everyone so you know where the heck it is =)

Terni is approximately a 1.5 drive north of Roma

Terni is a city located in the southern part of a region called Umbria. It's population is just over 100,000 to date. Italians typically refer to it as the "heart" of Italy because well, it looks kind of like a heart. It is also located in the center of the country. Since I'm not really a historian, I guess you can just "wikipedia" Terni and find all sorts of historical information about it if you really want to.

Umbria, the heart of Italy

Now if you are wondering if there will be running water, or electricity, or if people drive cars --yes, yes and yes. I won't even lie, the questions in my head weren't far off before I went to visit myself last year. It's like when people from the States ask me if I've ever lived in an igloo or ride a sleigh to work. I kid you not! Anyways, you can picture Terni like your typical suburb which is not too far from a major city. There is shopping, nightlife, restaurants, bars, you name it. And to my single ladies who plan to visit, don't worry --there's enough eye candy to keep you busy while we're strolling around eating gelato in the piazza. =P

I will mention one of the most endearing things I find about Terni is that its patron Saint is San Valentino (Saint Valentine). This not only endearing, but also ironic for me since I made the decision to move all the way to Italy for love (there, I admitted it!) to a town whose patron Saint is the "Saint of Lovers". Now, I'm not typically one of those "lovey dovey" type of girls. If you ask anyone that knows me, I'd probably be the last person you would expect to not only leave Toronto, but to leave Toronto for love! Don't get me wrong, I didn't wake up one day deciding I'm going to leave my life behind, buy a ticket and leave. I took a pretty bumpy ride to get here. I won't get into all the details in this entry, but if you have questions, feel free to ask!

Basilica di San Valentino

Over the last year, I have truly learned that life is just too damn short to let a little thing like distance get in the way of possibly the greatest love I may ever experience. Call it cheesy if you will, but I have been through enough relationships to know that what I have right now is one in a million. I'm sure I will go through major ups and downs, and I do not in any way, expect for things to turn out like a romance novel. However, I will give myself and my relationship every chance it deserves by keeping my chin up and my spirits high.

Mille grazie to all my friends & family who support me. And for anyone out there in a long distance relationship, I hope this has inspired you in some way....even the tiniest bit!

Ciao! xo T

Will practice ever make perfect?

So I've been practicing Italian using my handy Rosetta Stone® language learning software. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's basically a proven method of learning a language naturally (with no English in my case), using only images. Kind of like when you were a kid and you didn't know how to speak at all. Don't let this fool you. It's not as "easy" as it sounds. You still have to put forth effort and keep on practicing.

I purchased Level 1, 2 and 3 thinking I would be the eager beaver student who would whiz through all levels in maybe a month tops.....wait...did I forget to mention I purchased the CDs exactly 1 year ago today? Uh, yah. Did I also mention that each "Level" has four "Units" to complete? And each "Unit" has approximately four "Lessons"? And each "Lesson" has a few modules to complete. Um...

Frustrated? A little. I've always been one of those procrastinators all throughout my university days. I would put off studying until the very last minute, then stay up all night for a week learning formulas and memorizing mounds of textbook babble. I really thought that this behaviour was something I'd leave behind in my 20s. I guess it kinda still stuck with me. The problem is, you can't cram learning an entire language in a week or two.

I've realized that I have to give myself time to practice. It's just so frustrating when all I want is to open my mouth and have the words just fly out! And when you're learning sentences like "La mela è sul computer" (translation: The apple is on the computer), all I want to do is smash my laptop wondering "when the HECK am I ever going to tell someone that the friggin apple is on the friggin computer??!". This is just my naturally impatient side coming out. I guess I just have to take it one step at a time....or should I say one module at a time. 

Learning "and" vs 'but".

I promise, I will have  more exciting entries to come as I get closer to August. And for those of you that have tried Rosetta Stone, don't be shy and leave me a comment on your experience. Perhaps you can give me some hope! Ci sentiamo presto tutti! Ciao! xo T
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