Monday, April 20, 2009

Why not just be rich?

Really, how hard could it be? Ha ha.

With my family for Easter, a usual subject came up, which was: why don't we all just go in together and buy a villa in Italy? As if, even all in together, we could afford it. Well, if we all sold our houses here I suppose we could. And why not, really? What's so great about here? It's no Italy, that's for sure. And really, Jim and I can work anywhere, so why live in the States, aside from family? We're always talking about renting an apartment in Rome for 6 months and just going there to live and work, and then somewhere else for 6 months, or 3, or whatever, with travels and adventures mixed in.

But beneath it all is the idea of having a home base here, even if it is just our little yellow house in sore need of landscaping. To travel and come home. Still, it would be great to have a villa in Italy. Maybe one of these:

Ha ha ha. Sure, any day now. Any of those would be an even swap with our little house :-)

Jim and I have played the "where would your villa be?" game (last time we were in Italy, a sorely long time ago) and our answer was: the Amalfi Coast.
In a lemon grove, on a cliff, with a little switchback mule trail down to a tiny beach with kayaks pulled up safe from the tide, and a ruined medieval watch tower on an outcropping.

But then, if we had that, it's where we'd always have to go on holiday. What about Borneo? India? Morocco? Thailand? Scotland? What about the Oregon Coast? (Ha ha.) Actually, in the spirit of doing what is actually possible, Jim and I just rented a little pink house at the Oregon Coast for a week later this spring. The one in the upper-left corner:
I know it's not exactly in competition with those Italian villas, but it's nearby, it's cute, and it's a skip from a wild stretch of beach, with the sky and the sea as the only distractions -- no internet, no restaurants, nothing. We will disappear there and work and cook and walk, and it will be lovely. Yay!

Off the subject, look. Polka dots!
(Isn't "Dot" a cute name by the way? And it sounds --and looks -- good with Di Bartolo: Dot Di Bartolo. I know a Dot, and she's a cool bookseller who wears knee socks. Ah, the name game. Jim and I have two names in prime contention, and I really can't decide between them! So tricky! It's not like naming a character in a story, you know? The consolation is, whatever name does not get used, I can always use in a story.) That little newborn onesie is the only baby clothing item I've bought so far (it's just so teeeeeny!), though Jim did get adorable sock-monkey romper, and my mother has been shopping plenty (for like 13 years while waiting for her slow-to-reproduce progeny to finally give her another grandchild :-) Jim also came home with Glubglub:
Even before we knew the little wiggler was a girl. He was just so taken with this little pink *quadropus*, hand-sewn by friends with vast talent for cuteness.

Quick reminders:

--Latest round of CHOCOLATE BRIBES is outgoing. Keep em coming!

--9 hours left on Lips Touch ARC auction. Auction closes at Apr-20-09 18:00:00 PDT. There are other good items, too, one I will try again to bid on as the closing time creeps nearer. I'm a bad ebay-er; I always forget and lose out in the last minutes. Phoo.

And one announcement & big congratulations: Katie Anderson won first place in the query contest put on by agent Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, and her pitch sounds awesome. I would SO read that book. I kind of have this thing for supernatural kissing books :-) Love the victory pose, Katie, and can't wait to be posting further congrats, and hopefully soon!!


Chris said...

Oh Laini - you're killing me with the photos of Italy. If I ever get to Tuscany, I may never come home!

tone almhjell said...

I want them: the villas and the baby things! And a story set in the villa you picked out, please.

We're having serious name game problems here. I'm the only one really playing, but all my castles keep getting knocked over.

So far only three (out of fifty at least) suggestions have passed the Pan censorship: Erik, Magnus and Kristian. And they're not my favourites either. Though Erik Magnus is a cool nerdy reference.

Jim Di Bartolo said...

-Hi Sweetie! Mwah!

-And Tone, Magnus!! Magnus!! Yes!! (OK, that gets a vote from me because of the nerd-factor. Google "Magnus Robot-Fighter" and you'll have all you need. Go Magnus!!! :)

lizardek said...

You're the second blog friend to stun me speechless with photos of Italian villas and the Amalfi Coast. I know where I'm lobbying for our next vacation to be!

Laini Taylor said...

Tone, I have a few things I want to send you :-) and I second the name Magnus. Very cool. I like the other two as well.

And yes . . . Italy! Sigh.

Katie said...

Laini, if you think my book sounds cool, I am so excited! (because you are The Wizard and all...)

I have had such an incredible morning that I now have a serious headache and am considering taking a nap. LOL

Glubglub is quite possibly the cutest stuffed monster I have ever seen! And your daughter will adore it - as she drags it along behind her on the Amalfi coast. aahhhh.... Or she can romp in the yard of the adorable pink house!

I was just talking about you to my kids the other day. I said, "What do you think it would be like to be the child of two really creative artists??"

And we all glazed over imagining the world of Laini and Jim. tee hee!

Thanks for the shout out! I am touched :-)

tone almhjell said...

Hahaa, Magnus Robot-Fighter is amazing! Even Pan must think so, no?

Cool idea for Glubglub: Keep him next to your skin now and then before the baby comes. Then Glubglub will smell like you - comforting - once he (she? but it feels like a he, must be the ears) moves to the little one's bed.

(Or maybe it's not cool, maybe it's something every new parent knows to do and totally old news. I'm a little clueless.)

Hardygirl said...

I'm loving the little pink house.


Lori's Lens said...

Ah yes, the Amalfi coast..I was in the neighborhood a few weeks ago..jealous? And then it's off to Ribiers, France in a few weeks.'s a tough Euro life (snicker snicker).

I went shopping yesterday with you and baby Lori in mind. I had SOOO much fun looking for the BRIGHTEST onesies I could find. I also found a great pink dress with white polka dots, which I will get her when she's a little older (1 ish)
I will send this week.

Big kiss to Jimbo!


Heather said...

Pssst....more cute things will be coming your way soon.....(shifts eyes sideways)

Stephanie Perkins said...

I'm so far behind in my blog reading! I LOVE the third picture. Oh my word. Please please please buy that orange-y yellowish apricot-y house, so I can visit you. I'll lock myself in that room on the right with the lovely patio and sleep and write and sleep and write. My only breaks will be for GELATO.