These web log entries are things for which I have been musing. Before my friend Richard Stringer died shortly after Hurricane Katrina, I would discuss my musings with him. Now, I write about them here for my benefit, but they may be of interest to others.

Living without Best Friends

posted: april 25, 2018; past month: 1028 views

I’ved had at least one best friend, sometimes more than one, for most of my life. But I have gone some long stretches without one. It’s not easy when I am without a best friend. I don’t like it.

Good Photos

posted: october 7, 2016; past month: 1211 views

I enjoy photographing people. But I’m often disappointed by many photos I see on social networking sites. I wish people would take the time to make better photographs.

No Friends: Part I, Self

posted: february 19, 2016; past month: 1009 views

When you have no friends, it’s difficult to know how to get them. It’s frustrating: Everything you do seems to repel people instead.

Why We Have No Friends

posted: november 4, 2015; past month: 1229 views

There are many reasons why some have no friends. Sometimes it’s because we create barriers to allow others to be our friends. Sometimes itit’s for emotional protection. This post covers a few of them in fairly simple terms.

Life Without Keys

posted: june 23, 2015; past month: 819 views

Yesterday, I sent the keys to the apartment to the landlady. This morning I left the keys to my friend’s place where I’ve been staying. I don’expect to get replacement keys any time soon.

Starting a Slightly New Life

posted: june 23, 2015; past month: 649 views

Because of the recent changes I’ve made in my living situation, I have the opportunity to change slightly my life. I can change how I live, how I work, and how I spend my leisure. There are many possibilities that are now more easily accessible.

I am Alone

posted: september 11, 2014; past month: 700 views

In a recent episode of the popular television show, Dr. Who. there was an interesting scene that could only be done on such a show. It speaks to the sense of loneliness many of us feel at times.

A Postcard from the Past

posted: may 8, 2014; past month: 1134 views

In digging recently through a box of old postcards, I found one sent to me when I was a young man. It was from Europe, from San Marino. I remember the card and remember thinking when I received it how wonderful it would be to go to Europe.

Deleting Skype Contacts

posted: august 21, 2012; past month: 766 views

Over the past few weeks I have deleted most of the people from my Skype contact list. I have deleted friends, actual friends with whom I regularly communicate. I am down to eleven contacts in Skype now: eight colleagues, two friends, and my daughter.

I have no friends; I have no girlfriend.

posted: june 27, 2012; past month: 980 views

A few weeks ago I couldn’t suffer Facebook any longer. I deleted all of my contacts and posted a note saying I’m leaving. According to Facebook, I now have no friends. It’s kind of a neat thing to say.

What’s to Become of Me?

posted: june 27, 2011; past month: 619 views

Sometimes I think of returning to the U.S., but after being in Italy so long, I don’t feel like I can fit in anywhere. I’m not content in Italy and am frustrated when I’m in the U.S. What’s to become of me?

Alone in the Morning

posted: may 31, 2011; past month: 601 views

Since I’m not a morning person, mornings are the worst times of my days. Living without a girlfriend makes them even more difficult.

Please Find Me, Samantha Spade

posted: may 23, 2011; past month: 2247 views

Because of a feeling of loss, I’ve been watching episodes of Without a Trace. It stems out of a desire to return home, wherever that might be. It’s a complicated set of emotions, but I find some comfort in watching the show.

Basic Comforts

posted: april 4, 2010; past month: 903 views

Enjoying simple comfort foods when I’m feeling a bit down can be difficult for me in Milan. Although life’s getting easier for me, it’s not always easy living in Milan.

What Happened to Burglars?

posted: december 13, 2009; past month: 578 views

A burglar is a person who breaks into homes. It’s a perfectly good word, albeit difficult for some to say. Perhaps because it’s difficult to pronunce, a substitute word is becoming popular among Americans: home invaders.

Being a Settler

posted: december 7, 2009; past month: 557 views

Although it may seem contradictory, I enjoy moving and I have a inordinately strong need for a stable home. Most people dread moving. They hate the disruption. Whereas, I enjoy it, immensely.


posted: october 15, 2009; past month: 605 views

Despite being intelligent and self-aware, I sometimes copy the behavior of others. I don’t do this intentionally. Some mannerisms that I mimic, I don’t particular like. However, I adopt their ways all the same. It’s frustrating to me at times.

Waiting for Godot

posted: october 27, 2008; past month: 567 views

Losing my father when I was a boy was not fully within my comprehension. For years I expected him to return. I feel that way sometimes after a relationship with a woman has ended.

My Night Light

posted: september 23, 2008; past month: 580 views

I’ve been struggling for a few years to achieve a sense of home. I’ve been accumulating furniture and other items to give my apartment a feeling of completeness. I think I’ve finally found a combination that gives me comfort to sleep by.

Living on the Ledge

posted: september 14, 2008; past month: 756 views

Living in a fifth floor apartment without air-conditioning, with windows open all summer has been trying with my fear of heights. With summer ending, I’m now able to close the windows, sigh in relief and consider the stress of the last few months.

I Don’t Like to Share

posted: august 10, 2008; past month: 633 views

Although I was told as a child that I need to share, and although I am very giving, I don’t like to share. Now that I’m older and realize this, I have no problem saying that I don’t like to share.

Me as a Boy

posted: july 16, 2008; past month: 934 views

In comparing a photograph taken of me when I was seven, to the one taken a few weeks ago, I can see some similarities. For one, although I’m squarely in middle-age, I’m still the same lost boy waiting for someone to come rescue him.

Why I want Hillary to Win

posted: may 22, 2008; past month: 676 views

Although I have valid reasons for believing that Hillary Clinton and not Barack Obama is the best candidate for president, I realize that I also have psychological reasons for wanting her to win.

Seeing a Fellow’s Nuts

posted: january 10, 2008; past month: 572 views

While my mental health is better than most, I’m not completely alright. No one is. Although living alone for the last two years has helped to center me, it also seems to have given me the freedom to let various idiosyncrocies to become visible.

I Want to Go Home

posted: november 22, 2007; past month: 957 views

I want to go home, but I don’t know where home is. Home is not in New Orleans or in Milan. Both are home in their ways, but not fully. Home has not only the physical aspects, but also a state of being. It’s where I feel safe and content.

Just Me

posted: october 27, 2007; past month: 637 views

Why is it that we define ourselves in relation to others? Why can’t we just be ourselves and still be happy, and still be content? I want to feel normal being me and just me. Is that not possible?

A Beanbag of Misery

posted: october 23, 2007; past month: 595 views

I’ve let myself slump into misery today. I slid into it, comfortably. I know this state well. I don’t like it, but I know it and can deal with it. I have plopped into a bean bag of misery and don’t want anything to disturb my slumber.

A Panic of Unhappiness

posted: october 22, 2007; past month: 590 views

I am in an absolute panic of unhappiness. Having split from the girlfriend, I feel myself slipping into a pitt of misery and scrambling to prevent it. I’ve been trying to distract myself, but the unhappiness cannot be avoided and is necessary.

I’m a Jerk

posted: october 19, 2007; past month: 687 views

Recently, I broke from the girlfriend. I cried so much. I didn’t feel guilty; I just felt her pain. It’s difficult doing what I feel is right when I know it will hurt others, especially someone I love. Now I am alone again and I’m a jerk.

When Will It End?

posted: october 11, 2007; past month: 588 views

It seems that I still have mental health problems stemming in part from the hurricane. I still have a feeling of displacement and am very vulnerable. Specifically, I’m afraid of losing my home.

Relationships aren’t Performance Art

posted: september 4, 2007; past month: 496 views

Certainly I enjoy the artistic and performance aspects of a romance: playing the part of a wooer, writing poems, complementing the woman, generally doing special and romantic things to make the romance fun. However, this should not be the relationship.

Italians speak Italian

posted: august 13, 2007; past month: 666 views

In thinking about why I’m not yet fluent in Italian after nearly two years of being here, a profound thought occurred to me: Italians speak Italian. That might seem absurdly obvious, but it has been a barrier.

I was Raised to Be a Liar

posted: july 23, 2007; past month: 532 views

When I was a boy, I was shy and a bit timid. I was often afraid to provide others with information to use against me. Since I wasn’t good at being quiet — a natural talker — I would just lie to protect myself.

My Things

posted: june 26, 2007; past month: 576 views

Furniture has become a reoccuring image in my dreams. I will happen upon furniture pushed together out on a lawn, with many figurines and other decorations. My mind seems to associate these items with stability and a sense of home.

Losing Another Community

posted: june 4, 2007; past month: 558 views

When the hurricane hit New Orleans about two years ago, my community was dispersed. When I left the U.S. and came to Italy, I lost more connections. One community I took with me, though, was that of my co-workers at MySQL. It can be quite a comfort to me.

Inaudible Universal Language

posted: may 27, 2007; past month: 504 views

Whenever I go to the United States for a few weeks, when I return to Italy I find that my Italian language skills have received a boost. I think the break gives my brain a chance to sort out internal coding related to each language interpretation….

Staying Quiet

posted: february 25, 2007; past month: 623 views

When I first came to Italy, I wasn’t sure why I came here. I just knew I needed to be here and to leave the U.S. I’ve known it for a long time. I was vague as to how long I would stay. Relatives and friends from the U.S. asked me after a coupl…

Sense of Now and the World

posted: february 23, 2007; past month: 512 views

Most people seem to have a very narrow sense of now and of the world, but they assume it is a complete sense of all of modern time and all of the world. For instance, in the U.S. many Christians are very supportive of prayer in schools. They ass…

Dealing in Words

posted: december 1, 2006; past month: 591 views

It’s been a year now that I have been trying to learn Italian at the source and fluency still evades me. I continue to improve–although I’m not studying like a student but more like a child learning his first language. Of course, I’m not a chil…

Alone at Last

posted: july 24, 2006; past month: 566 views

I’ve never been very good at keeping friends. I have no problem making them, just keeping them for long. The factor which brings me together with new friends is usually the same factor by which I am able to retain them. When that factor is lost…

Throwing Temper Tantrums

posted: may 27, 2006; past month: 561 views

When I was a child, I used to be notorious for temper tantrums. No one ever seemed to have understood me during those times or why I had them. Until now, I never gave them much thought. However, I think I now know why I had them. My father die…

Nothing in Common

posted: april 29, 2006; past month: 566 views

Over the decades, I have been told that a good romantic match is a person with which one has many things in common. This has always seemed very logical to me and I have looked for women with practical aspects in common with me. However, when I h…

A Bob Newhart Life

posted: april 2, 2006; past month: 1545 views

When I was a kid, there was a television comedy show called, Bob Newhart. It named for the comedian and lead actor of the show. Newhart played a psychologist. His wife in the show, Emily (played by Suzanne Pleshette) was a school teacher…

Wanted: Passion

posted: march 25, 2006; past month: 583 views

In my despair, owing to loneliness and emotional idleness, I recently ran two advertisements regarding myself. One was in a local print publication for English speaking residents of Milan. The other on a web site made available for posting class…

Living Well

posted: march 9, 2006; past month: 677 views

Lately I have been thinking about someone I knew in high school. He was not a friend. In fact, he positively despised me and would go out of his way to offend me in very cold ways. As an example, once he shook my hand to congratulate me about h…

Sounds of the Night

posted: february 28, 2006; past month: 717 views

It seems that wherever I live in the world, I gravitate towards a night schedule. Living in Europe, though, has the advantage of putting me in synch with the waking schedule of friends and business associates in the U.S. So for the first time in…

Plot Deviations

posted: february 23, 2006; past month: 560 views

After having lived with one or more plots for so many years, despite my noble obsevation in my last posting on living without a plot, I must admit that it’s not easy going without one. I also want to admit…

A Person of Colour

posted: february 20, 2006; past month: 558 views

Much like a bird, I find that I am attracted to color. Over the years, in my house and apartments in which I was allowed to paint the walls colors other than white, I have done so and enjoyed the results.

Living Without a Plot

posted: february 17, 2006; past month: 631 views

Perhaps it’s the plight of being a writer, a reader, and generally a human in a literary conscious world, as well as having lived in the success and goal planning ways of the U.S., but without realizing it I have led my life with always one or more…

Italians Don’t Count

posted: february 12, 2006; past month: 593 views

When speaking Italian to Italians who don’t speak any English at all, I’m free to experiment, to speak my awful Italian. I’m free to make mistakes and probably sound like I’m drunk. I don’t mind sounding foolish all that much. However, if the p…

Would it Were Night

posted: february 6, 2006; past month: 561 views

Sometimes I wish the Earth wouldn’t rotate, I wish the Sun wouldn’t rise and set every day. I know that’s an impossible wish because of the requirements of gravity to life, but I still grow tired of it. Because each day starts and ends, we’re gi…

Think, Think, Think…

posted: february 6, 2006; past month: 508 views

Learning Italian has been frustrating to me. Not that there’s anything particularly difficult about the language, but learning a new language is a chore. People tell me in their attempt at wisdom, that I must learn to think in Italian. That bit …

As Lonely as Lighthouses

posted: february 4, 2006; past month: 699 views

I came to Italy to finish what I began years ago, perhaps more than ten years ago. What that is, I’m not sure that I can say. That is to say, I’m not sure I can quite articulate it. It’s not that I lack the words, necessarily, but that I have n…

Italian Reality

posted: january 15, 2006; past month: 588 views

Living in Italy, amongst people speaking a language foreign to me and a cultural system which is peculiar as well, living here post Hurricane Katrina, after having my family and friends and community scattered, after having lost or given up all of…

Milan So Far

posted: december 14, 2005; past month: 623 views

As for Milan, I’ve only been here since the end of October. I took one course in Italian in college a few years ago. While I was in Boston, I met with a tutor, a professor from Harvard who teaches Italian there three times a week for about…

Another Father Lost

posted: december 5, 2005; past month: 566 views

One of my best friends, Richard Stringer died today of cancer. My father also died from cancer, but when I was three years old. Although my mother remarried when I was seven, my step father wasn’t a sufficient substitute for father. Not that he…

Conquer or Be Conquered

posted: november 20, 2005; past month: 583 views

In recent months I’ve been living in Italy, in Milan. I’ve been here for exactly one month. I’ve rented an apartment within the old city (the Porta Romana section) and am enjoying it–as well as grinding my teeth constantly in frustration. I’m quickl…

Fritzy Boy!

posted: october 6, 2005; past month: 552 views

I have an amazing follow up story regarding my recent hurricane experiences. Before the storm, my daughter (almost 10 years old) and my former wife left town and ended up in Houston, Texas where they now rent an apartment–they’re staying there unti…

Godfather Found

posted: september 27, 2005; past month: 578 views

My cousin (who’s also my godfather) has been missing for eleven days now. He stayed for the storm in a neighborhood where the levee broke. The levee broke by his neighborhood during the last big hurricane which hit New Orleans in 1965–he was livin…

Rhythm of Community

posted: september 20, 2005; past month: 556 views

I fared pretty well compared to others, but I still have a lot of pain I’m working through. The pain is the loss of my childhood neighborhood for one. That has had a poetic and mental effect on me. Also, I’m starting to realize that there’s anothe…

Hurricane Katrina

posted: september 1, 2005; past month: 499 views

I stayed for Hurricane Katrina. It was a pretty rough storm, but I survived. My apartment is on the third floor in a suburb of New Orleans, less than two miles from where the levee broke and flooded New Orleans. However, I was on the other side of…