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Thursday, April 14, 2022

Yesterday, I did very little except go to the big Esselunga with Barbara and Gianni to get a lot of things for the house and for Passover dinner. Got tired so skipped lunch, ate not that big a dinner, and lost 1.3 pounds. Barbara made delicious pork ribs, without a sauce, but they fell off the bone. I have now lost almost 15 pounds since arriving here March 19.

Tried to buy our train tickets for Ferrara where we go with Mike and Jalayne next week, but the travel agent’s computers were down. One good lesson about living in Italy is to learn not to leave anything until the last minute because anything can happen. Barbara says someday someone will shoot me, but I have been known to quip “is the plane flying today, or is Mario pissed off his pasta was cold?” -- in which case that crew could simply decide to strike.

First thing today, starting 4 a.m Florida time, I start the final work on the two implants I am having. The tough part was done in December when I had two major surgeries so this part is mechanical and should be relatively easy. Still, show me anyone who looks forward to this kind of stuff, and I will show you a fool.

Right after dentist, we have to go to Central Market so this post might go out later in the day.


Okay, I am picking this up at 2:30 a.m. Florence time and 8:30 a.m. in Florida. The dentist was half an hour late, and the procedure just on one side took 90 minutes rather than the projected 60 It was uncomfortable but painless. The Valium they gave me probably helped and I am still a little numb from the anesthetic. The problem, and save the wiseass jokes, is that I cannot open my mouth very far.

When I was at Northwestern Law School, which was right next to the Dental School on Chicago Avenue, (a two-minute walk to Gino’s East for you Chicagoans), I needed some minor dental work and went over to the Dental School. When the Professor who treated me saw how little I could open my mouth, he gathered up the entire class to gather around me and said “here, students, is your biggest nightmare when you go into practice”.

Turned out I did not have to stop taking my blood thinner. Happy about that for the two more visits I have because I get nervous not following my doctor’s stated protocol.


I then went back to the apartment, picked up my first wife, the incumbent, and went to the Central Market. In a reasonably expeditious manner, we got everything needed for Passover and then went to visit our favorite cheese vendor. This woman and her Husband have what I think is the best cheese shop in Florence. They carry not only all the great Italian cheeses, but also great cheeses from France, Spain and other places.

This lady is very knowledgeable about each cheese, knows the salt content (some cheeses have essentially no salt) and knows the various qualities. She is very generous in terms of her time and allows us to taste everything before we buy it. I have been dealing with her for years, so inevitably, she throws in a number of little things as gifts.

The thing about Florence, and I think all of Italy, is that customers who keep coming back are treated entirely differently than the one-time tourist. One also learns the customs, such as being patient, always waiting your turn, and greeting the vendor in a friendly way. As Socrates or Aristotle said, I can never remember who, “asmile starts with asmile “. Nowadays, that requires taking down one’s mask.

We then stopped at Siena, one of the great bakeries and coffee shops, for coffee and cappuccino, and got back home just before I started writing this. If I do nothing more today, I have over 9000 steps.


Moving quickly to the top of my shit list are Senator Hawley and Governor Abbott. Take just a short look at what these two have done and are still doing, and you will more than cringe.


My friend Marc Brawer often sends me interesting things to read. This morning, it was a copy of Tom Friedman’s article in the New York Times explaining how the Ukrainian military has been able to more than hold its own against the larger, better-equipped Russian military. Even I could understand it.


Would you loan Donald Trump money?


It looks like our Supreme Court is completely running amok. The Court is not even waiting for certain issues to come before it in the normal course. Very scary.


I have enough money left to buy popcorn at the movies, but I paid my taxes this week. Frank Sinatra used to say only two people scared him -- Tommy Dorsey and his Mother. The two people who scare me are Barbara (she really doesn’t scare me, but I try not to piss her off) and Internal Revenue. I never pay anyone before I pay the I.R.S.


Go Ukraine

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