ThirdCulture

Former architectural conservator, current writer and editor, future supermodel. OK, one of those is a lie.

The Bet

A's best friend, Ettore, became the proud papa' of a girl today. Aida was born in Venice, Italy, and although I don't have any information other than a text announcing her entrance into the world, I'm sure she is a breathtaking little free spirit. How else would you describe the offspring of a freelance photographer and a belly dancer?Now, about A and Ettore. They've been best friends since they were born exactly four months apart in the same hospital. Ettore was born on April 20, 1974, and A came along on August 20 of the same year....more

On Music

If you thought that you couldn't be moved to tears (tears of pain, not laughter) by a cartoon, then you've never been an Iranian expat watching Persepolis.The movie-length cartoon, based on the graphic novels (or comic books?) of the same name, tells the story of a young Iranian who lives through the Revolution, moves abroad, moves back to Iran, and goes back abroad again....more

I'll Put it On My Eyes

My family had been living in the U.S. for just over a year when we moved into an incredibly cute duplex in a working class town 20 miles south of San Francisco. The house had a front yard filled with wood chips, a sunny eat-in kitchen, and hardwood floors throughout.We had moved to Northern California from Irving, Texas, not too long before. In Texas, we first lived at my aunt's house (for...two months? Three? The details are fuzzy) and then a hopelessly depressing apartment....more

As American as Peanut Butter

I have no idea who came up with the phrase "as American as apple pie," but I can assure you that no one outside of the U.S. considers apple pie to be as American as Americans think it is.Peanut butter...well, that's a completely different story. I don't think there's anywhere else in the world that uses as much peanut butter as the U.S., if they use it at all. Or if they even know what it is....more

Thanksgiving in April

The other day I was walking to work when a bus drove by, the side of it practically screaming the new spring Gap ad with the following slogan: “Be Bright.”...more

Natale con i tuoi

[NB: I actually started writing this on January 1. I then got distracted.]The Italians have a saying: “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi.” A rough translation goes something like this: Christmas with your parents (or family), Easter with whomever you want.As a good Italian, A has lived by this rule most of his life. Of the 37 years he’s been on this earth, he has spent 34 with his family. This last Christmas marked only the third year that he was not in Italy with the whole gang....more

An Italian Thanksgiving

I’ve already written a fair amount about my least favorite American holiday. So it’s only fair that I dedicate as much blog space to my favorite one: Thanksgiving.What’s there not to love? The whole holiday is about food (and that whole being thankful thing). I love it all: the Brussel sprouts, the green beans, the various pies, mashed potatoes, the stuffing (oh, the stuffing), and of course, the turkey....more

Marathon Pants

My marathon pants are one step away from total disintegration. And it makes me sad. The pants in question are not pants used to run a marathon. They’re the jeans that I fit into after I completed my first (and so far, only) marathon. That was almost three years ago, or more than a lifetime—my daughter’s lifetime, that is.The pants were also my post-preggo goal pants. The ones that would confirm that I had pretty much lost all my baby weight....more

My Brilliant Second Career

Green Thumb?

When A and I were looking for a house, we were generally in agreement on the majority of the details we hoped it would possess, but none more than this: we didn’t want a big yard.I mean, really. It’s so much work. Who wants to be shackled to their home every weekend, mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, and pruning the bushes?...more
@victorias_view Thanks! Either it'll be lots of salad for us...or for the snails. SOMEONE (or ...more