Yesterday’s Daily Create C64 Yourself was a treat. The idea, run a picture of yourself through the C64 image generator. This was particularly fun for me because I have been on a real life C64 bender. In fact, we recently had our good friends Jennie and Mikhail in town, and Mikhail caught me red-handed with the Conan: Hall of Volta diskette.
Antonella’s mom gave me her old Commodore 128 to play with, and I have lost many an hour exploring this brave old world of computing. I’ve been in a bit of an alternative universe more generally since coming to Italy, 10 months ago I was worried this whole thing wasn’t going to work. Turns out I am living as well as I ever have. Our situation has been insane, and I know full well we are living far above our station thanks to Antonella’s friends and family. And while nothing gold can stay, I’ll take what may very well be the happiest time in my life for as long as it lasts.
We’ve also been really fortunate to have good friends like Shannon Hauser, Brian Lamb, Mark Morvant and his awesome family, and Jennie & Mikhail come visit Bavilla—and we’ve actually had the time and space to entertain (something I’m beginning to really enjoy). To that end, the picture I chose for yesterday’s Daily Create was not the one Mikhail took featuring me in front of a C64, well technically a C128. Instead, I chose the image below that Jennie took of me in front of the fiery pizza oven in our backyard with the modest background of vineyards and mountains. It’s crazy this is starting to feel somewhat normal. We had a pizza party Sunday night, and our friends here in Italy (Andrea, Tania, Giorgio, Claudia,) came by to hang with our American friends. It was a good time, and the pizza was insanely delicious. Jennie took this picture as I was officially handing off the baton to Giorgio (who actually grew up in this house) who was taking over the pizza oven and would proceed to make anywhere from 15-20 pizzas over the next 2 hours.*
But I love the picture because I think it captures the sense of my crazy 8-bit RealItaly. And nothing looks better in 8-bit than vineyards and brick ovens. And this simple exercise in re-framing the pixels of reality in some ways captures the way I feel about being in Italy and looking back at America through social media. It seems oddly surreal, or even hyper-real, as I peek out from a C64 reality into a retina-display nightmare of seemingly endless violence, stupidity, and abuse that comes through my various feeds. I know no place is immune to these things, but it resonates quite differently when that is no longer your context for living.
*I was simply employed to keep the fire burning for five hours before we started cooking.