I’ve gotten quite a few questions about the origin of the name of my blog lately. Maybe others are also wondering where it came from and are just too shy to ask. Or, most likely, you haven’t given it any thought at all and couldn’t care less about my creative process.
No matter. You’re all getting an answer right now. And we’re going back to when I first moved to Italy in 2003.
I’m a journal-keeper by nature, and so it was only logical that I’d be recording my experience of making a new life in my family’s old village. Remember this was around the time of Under the Tuscan Sun, and I was thinking about at some point organizing my experiences and observations into something larger, which for the sake of argument, we’ll call a book.
So I brainstormed some names for chapters and came up with “Mozzarella Dreams,” (this because I had recently had nightmares on two separate occasions after eating mozzarella in the evening; the chapter would be about food habits); “Questi Uomini” (“these men”; chapter to discuss the culture of machismo); “The Young Girl and the Sea” (talking about my aversion to the beach despite living so close to it); and (I bet you saw this coming) “Bleeding Espresso” (about the coffee-drinking habits around here, including the no cappuccino other than first thing in the morning “rule”).
But that still doesn’t really explain where I got the phrase from, so stay with me here.
“Bleeding Espresso” first came to mind because when I was in college, there was a rather flamboyant football player who was always good for an entertaining quote. One day he let loose with: “I believe if you’d cut me, I’d bleed Duke blue.”
It immediately became a catch phrase among my friends and me because it was so over the top and hilarious. I mean, I like my alma mater and all, but that’s a little excessive. Surprisingly, it’s not as out there as I thought because when I just did a quick Google search for the phrase “bleed Duke blue,” I got 5 pages of results. And none of them were said by this particular athlete.
In any event, that phrase has always been somewhere near the surface of my consciousness, so when it came time to chapter name, I wanted something along the lines of espresso, cappuccino, and the like. I thought about just how much coffee people drink here, and that probably even I at this point would bleed espresso if I were cut.
So I scribbled “Bleeding Espresso” on the inside of a manila folder where I kept random tidbits that I wrote, brochures from travels, etc., and there it sat for a few years.
And then one fateful December night, I got the inspiration to blog, but I drew a complete blank on a name. I thought and thought for a couple days until it occurred to me to go back to the beginning of my Italian travels quite literally.
I went to the folder, and Bleeding Espresso was born. The tag line below it came a few moments later, and my name “sognatrice” (“dreamer”) came from the “Mozzarella Dreams” phrase.
So now you know.