Eat Pray Love Chronicles Part Two

Posted in Book Reports by chamblee54 on April 25, 2012

Bead 019 It was a glorious Sunday afternoon. PG called Uzi, woke him up, and suggested they go to the 420 festival. This is a neighborhood shindig in painfully trendy Candler Park. Uzi is going to drive to PG, who will drive them downtown. In the half hour or so before the company arrives, PG is going to try and knock out a few beads of this book report.
PG and Uzi have a basic disagreement about how to go places. PG likes surface roads, and Uzi prefers interstates. When PG is going west on i285, he gets on at Glenridge Road. Uzi lives off Abernathy Road in Sandy Springs. The idea of taking the interstate to Uzi’s place strikes PG as insanity. To Uzi, surface roads provide access to the freeways. However, on this sunday, four lanes of I285 are shut down for road work. This is a good day to take surface roads. PG briefed Uzi on the way to go, and hopefully he will not get lost.
This is a good bead to warm up with. Miss Gilbert notes that she has not done yoga since arriving in Rome. The yoga mat will go unused until she arrives in India. It is noted that yoga rhymes with toga.

Bead 020 Gomer Pyle had a saying. His grandmother taught it to him.“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other gold”. This bead is about the friends that Miss Gilbert has made in Rome. Her favorite is a tax accountant named Luca Spaghetti.
PG was writing something once, and did not know how to spell spaghetti. Spi and spe were the logical choices. The dictionary did not yield results with either prefix. Finally, PG got out the yellow pages. He found a restaurant called the Spaghetti Store. And he has known how to spell spaghetti ever since. Since then, spell check has made this skill obsolete

Bead 021 This bead is about the pursuit of pleasure. Italians are reputed to be better at this than uptight white americans. Miss Gilbert is trying. The only museum she has visited is the museum of pasta. There is the time when she gathers a few items at a market, takes them to her place, and conjures up a meal. This is what Italians call l’arte d’arraniarsi … making something out of nothing.
There are three basic devices for playing with text… bold, underline, and italic. PG has long exploited bold and underline for breaking up text into bite sized chunks, but has a long standing reluctance to italicize. Historically, italics have been used to set apart languages other than English. The paragraph above may be the first time PG has put anything in Italics. The fact that it is an Italian word, in a book report about Italy, is a coincidence.

Bead 022 Miss Gilbert has come to Italy to pursue pleasure, but is determined to be celibate. To some, this is a contradiction. To her, it makes sense. She is recovering from a traumatic divorce, and technically still dating a toxic bf. She has been continually in relationships for years, and needs a break.
This is one arena where PG and Miss Gilbert are dramatically different. At a discussion group on Saturday, someone asked PG when his last relationship was. It was in 1988, and PG still feels he was fortunate to have had that. When you are a Zorlack, it is tough to connect with earthlings. In that same group, someone asked PG what he thought when he got off. The answer was “where is the paper towel”. This got a good laugh, but is technically not true.

Bead 023 Luca Spaghetti took Liz Gilbert to a soccer match. This is a serious sport in Italy. She sits in front of a man who expands her knowledge of Italian cusswords.
It is ironic that the word used here to describe the sport is soccer. The word is an american abomination, short for association football. The rest of the world calls it football, or the local equivalent. It is odd that Miss Gilbert goes to Italy to wallow in the language, and then uses a clumsy american phrase to discuss the european obsession. According to, soccer is sometimes called calcio (pronounced “kahltsho”) in Italy. This answer was sponsored by a listing for a urologist.

Bead 024 Liz Gilbert sees learning Italiano as being locked into a candy store. Every day is a new treat, many of them unexpected. It turns out that tree and hotel are similar in Italiano. When Miss Gilbert says she grew up on a christmas tree farm, people wonder what a christmas hotel is, and why it is grown on a farm. The favorite words so far is attraversiamo, which means “Lets cross over”. The chance to use this word sometimes means diving into the most deadly traffic in Europe.
PG has always wondered why languages have a different name is other languages. We say spanish, until we go to Buford Hiway, where it is espanol. Italian is italiano, german is deutsch, portoguese is portogues. It is one more reason to try esparanto.

Bead 025This bead is about a walking tour of Rome. Miss Gilbert set out strolling, not knowing where she was going to go. In many cities, this can be dangerous. The finale was Augusteum, a grand mausoleum built for one of the Caesars. It has fallen into disrepair, and is now partially buried under the dirt of the ages.
April 25 is ANZAC day. This is a remembrance of the young men who were slaughtered at Gallipoli. This siege was ninety seven years ago, and not one person out of ten thousand can tell you why. Yesterday was Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. It is a shame when a people’s sacrifice is remembered in proportion to their skill at publicity.

Bead 026 The Italian postal service is not efficient. Miss Gilbert shipped a box of books to Rome, and is wondering when they will arrive. Some of her friends say not to worry, it is in the hands of G-d. Nothing humans can do will affect it.
The same can be said about the critters that regulate spam. PG got two invites to join an internet service today. They were from the same person, who is a nice man that PG is not in close contact with. One of the invites was addressed to Luther, and one to Cam. PG’s “real” name starts with Luther Campbell. Most of his life, he has been called Cam. In the last two years, he has started to use Luther. The name of the person connected to the invites is Ed, who calls PG Cam.

Bead 027 Miss Gilbert takes her friend Sophie on a day trip to Naples. The line in corny movies is see Naples and die. The ladies give it their best shot. They do to a place said to have the best pizza in Naples, and possibly the world.
There is a picture with this feature of a Checkers hamburger stand on Buford Hiway. In an act of mercy, this facility has been closed. When Miss Gilbert went to Italy to eat fabulous food, PG went to Buford Hiway to get gutbomb (spell check suggestion:gumbo) burgers.
In 1994, Richard Nixon died. The liberal media did not have him to kick around any more. One day PG noticed an enormous flag at half staff. It was at Checkers. PG was probably the only person who made the connection.

Bead 028 The rebound bf is David. Miss Gilbert can’t live with him, and can’t live without him. One day, she sends him an email to break up. Later in the day, she receives a reply, telling her that he agrees this is the best thing to do. Miss Gilbert then gets a phone call from Giovanni, wondering where she is. Miss Gilbert starts to cry hysterically when she tries to tell Giovanni the story. He is totally sweet and understanding, but does not kiss her.
One problem with writing on a computer is the distraction of the internet. You never know when you are going to miss something on facebook. Like this: I think the remains of the recent emotional cataclysm are gone. Got up, gave myself an amusing haircut, did some watering and transplanting on the Flats, and went for a long (by recent standards) run in the lovely morning. Clomped along, concentrating on the green, the growing, the flowering, the scented, and when I came to a particularly generous patch of sky, looked up and said, “Wow, And it’s all MINE.” I’ll share, of course. So, yeah, back to reasonably happy. Then a bird shat on me.
There is an old saying … I don’t know whether to shit or go blind. Ray Charles said to use ex lax.

Bead 029 Miss Gilbert has one sister. She is older, knows more things, and is named Catherine. For a long time the two did not get along, but finally are starting to bond. Catherine comes to Rome to visit Liz, and they go for an educational romp around the city.
In the last sentence, bond was originally typed bone. E is above d on the keyboard, and this is an easy mistake to make. Bonding and boning are similar concepts, but different in some crucial ways. If it turns out that the sisters are boning each other (is that possible without male participation), then the movie will be a lot more fun.

Bead 030 This bead is about children. Miss Gilbert thought for a while that she wanted them, and then decided that she did not. There is an attic apartment awaiting her in sister’s house, and a future as the family flake. This is not an appealing prospect. Perhaps she can write blog posts. It is good to remember that easy writing makes tough reading. Stream of consciousness is a lot more fun to write than to read.

Bead 031 Miss Gilbert drops out of Italiano (spell check suggestion:Totalitarian) class, and starts to travel with a vengeance. Meanwhile, at his group on saturday night, someone asked PG where he would go if money was no object. This threw PG for a loop, because travel fantasy has never been a part of his lifestyle. This might be a function of being perpetually single. If you don’t have anyone to go with, what is the point of going anywhere. The one dependable travel companion PG has is Uzi, and they are limited to road trips within a few hours of Atlanta. Finally, after stumbling and harrumphing, PG said he might enjoy going back to Seattle, to see where he had been in 1980.

Bead 032 The next stops on the tour are Florence and Venice. A friend from Seattle joins the show in Venice. In contrast to the rhapsodies about Venice that Erica Jong dispenses, Miss Gilbert seems to feel sorry for the place.
PG saw Erica Jong give a book tour talk once. It was in a former foreign car dealership in Buckhead, that enjoyed a second life as a bookstore. The audience was very feminist, full of women who got off on asking questions that included the f word. She did not say anything about Venice.
In March 1990, Tom Robbins made an appearance at the same Buckhead bookstore. PG got there after the reading, and saw the line of people getting books signed. At one point, Mr. Robbins stood up, and turned around, the the delight of manbutt admirers.
When PG got home from seeing the levis of Tom Robbins, there was a message on his machine. A longtime friend said he had something important to tell him. He had aids. Two years later, when PG got back from Amsterdam , there was a message from longtime friend’s mother.

Bead 033 There is a concept that you can choose one word to describe a major city. For Stockholm, conform. For New York, achieve. For Atlanta, marketing. For Rome, sex. All caps are used in this chapter, but PG is tired of shouting. When everyone is shouting, nobody is heard. People think that their wonderful opinions become more true when they express them with more volume.
The original version of this paragraph ended with the words “PG begs to differ.” When the image was saved and previewed, the word differ was on a line by itself. This is known as a widow, and looks bad. PG decided to eliminate the phrase, “PG begs to differ”. When someone begs to differ, that phrase can usually be eliminated without affecting the meaning of the paragraph.
The images for this feature were originally edited to a four to three format. They were intended to fit the monitor of PG’s computer, which was set to 1024×768. In the time since then, PG has discovered the joys of the golden rectangle. This means that pictures 720 pixels wide will be 447 pixels tall. This is the golden mean, a size which mathematicians sing the praises of. The golden mean is quite possibly an Italian discovery.

Bead 034 The nickname for Silvio Berlusconi is l’idiota. When an American talks about George Bush, Italians say they have one too. In this chapter, Luca Spaghetti has an american style thanksgiving for his birthday. It turns into a tearful, drunken feast.
The pictures for today’s post come from a variety of places. PG takes his camera wherever he goes, and then edits the results. Sometimes the folders are full of usable material. Other folders have a good picture or two. A few months ago, PG reviewed the list of folders, and put an x beside the ones that did not have a lot of good material. While picking pics for this post, PG took images from seven folders deemed not worthy of use. It is a dog’s breakfast, with shots taken in Piedmont Park, the Flying Biscuit, the Norfolk Southern tracks, and a restricted property.

Bead 035 All of this decadent eating has a cost. Miss Gilbert cannot fit into any of her clothes. She buys some jeans for the remaining time she will be in Italy. Soon, she will be an Indian ascetic, and losing weight will be relatively easy.
While assembling this feature, PG dropped by an arrogant Jesus worship blog. The blog has a device where you can check on a star, or number of stars, to “rate” the post. Since PG is banned from commenting at this facility, he clicks one star, usually without the unpleasant experience of reading the post. Nothing personal, just business. The blogger is question (or is that questionable blogger?) observed this rating. “And the first rating: 1 star! I’m looking forward to the one-star rating army to come and tell me how shameful this post is — I hope they can enumerate the shamefulness for me so I can improve myself in the future.”
PG sent a tweet in reply “@Frank_Turk Maybe if you allow one star reviewers to speak they could tell you why.” The absolute worst thing that could happen is for the ban on commenting to be lifted, and to invite PG to “enumerate the shamefulness.” If this was to happen, then PG would be required to read the post in question.

Bead 036 In the last bead about Italy, Miss Gilbert goes to Sicily and eats fabulous food. Part one of this cycle was posted a few days ago. PG is beginning to wonder if this chapter by chapter business is really a good idea.

8 Responses

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  1. Cal said, on April 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Part Deux was, to my surprise, even better than Part One! Please keep it up.

    • chamblee54 said, on April 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Thank you. I don’t know how India and Indonesia are going to turn out. It is too late to turn back.

      • Cal said, on April 26, 2012 at 1:54 pm

        And I look forward to your delightfully bizarre commentary/free associating on those parts of her book.

      • chamblee54 said, on April 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm

        Thank You. It has been fun, and it gets easier as it goes along.

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