100 Things About Me

The obligatory blogger list so you can get to know me better:

  1. I’m 30.
  2. And I’m OK with that.
  3. Really.
  4. I think I would be slightly less OK with that if I weren’t in a serious relationship.
  5. That’s admittedly pathetic, but it’s the truth.
  6. I hear a slight tick of the biological clock.
  7. But not enough to go ahead and get knocked up.
  8. I’d like to have 3 children if it’s in the stars.
  9. All of my high school girlfriends got married waaaaay before I had my first serious boyfriend.
  10. And I’m OK with that.
  11. Really.
  12. My parents’ divorce was final on my 3rd birthday.
  13. I grew up in a house with my father and his parents.
  14. But I have an extremely close relationship with my mother.
  15. Seriously, we have that weird thing where we literally feel each other’s pains even though we’re an ocean apart.
  16. It’s freaky.
  17. I have one older brother.
  18. I didn’t know at the time, but now I realize that he shielded me from a lot of the chaos happening at the time of our parents’ divorce.
  19. I’ve never thanked him.
  20. My brother has created a lovely family despite our relationship role models, and I hope that I will too.
  21. I miss my niece and nephew more than words could ever express.
  22. I wish my family would visit me.
  23. Oh, I live in southern Italy.
  24. In my ancestors’ village.
  25. It’s on a hilltop that is charming, quaint, and all those typical “small Italian village” adjectives.
  26. It can also be annoying as all hell because nearly everyone is related.
  27. And up in your business.
  28. But I love it.
  29. And I love my life with my fiancé, P, and doggie Luna.
  30. Luna was a gift from P and is also called Luna Balloona.
  31. Or Sboopers.
  32. Or Luna Balloona Sboopiter Boppiter Boopiter.
  33. I like nicknames.
  34. I once had a dog named Maverick.
  35. A.k.a. Mavericka-Rony-Ravy-Doodle-Noodle-Bug.
  36. I never said I was normal.
  37. I love P because he plays along with these silly names.
  38. We have pet names for one another.
  39. Yes, it’s disgusting.
  40. No, I’m not going to tell you what they are.
  41. But I will tell you that we address each other as “Amore” or “Amò.”
  42. Yes, that, too, is disgusting.
  43. We only use our proper names in moments of displeasure.
  44. So far in making this list, I’ve only cried once, but smiled many times.
  45. I’ve become a drop-of-the-hat crier.
  46. I don’t know when it happened.
  47. I used to make fun of my mother because she cried so easily watching movies.
  48. Now I’m my mother.
  49. And I’m OK with that.
  50. Really.
  51. I’m writing this list before I even have a blog.
  52. But I promise it will appear in its original format (with any edits for age references) when I finally do take the plunge into the blogosphere.
  53. I have a law degree.
  54. But I don’t practice law.
  55. I did pass 2 state bar exams on the first try, though.
  56. So there.
  57. I’ve never wanted to practice law.
  58. I always wanted to be a writer.
  59. I wish I would’ve had the courage to pursue it from the moment I arrived at Duke.
  60. Ah yes, I graduated from Duke University (with honors, if you’re interested).
  61. If you went to UNC, you know where you can go.
  62. No, I still won’t wear crybaby blue.
  63. Even though I don’t really follow what happens at my alma mater very much.
  64. Except for the lacrosse rape scandal.
  65. I can’t believe that made it into my 100 things about me.
  66. I wish the Duke Gardens were still a walk away.
  67. But the Ionian Sea ain’t half-bad either.
  68. Before Duke, I was valedictorian of my high school class.
  69. Which is cool to say and all, but it means precisely nothing.
  70. Especially when your high school is in Podunk, PA.
  71. Not that I don’t love The Region.
  72. If you’re from there, you know what I’m talking about.
  73. If you’re not, you’ll never get it.
  74. Sorry der butt.
  75. I lived in Philadelphia for five years.
  76. I love the Phillies, the Eagles, cheesesteaks, the Art Museum, and the Italian Market.
  77. The rest I could do without.
  78. If I eat potato chips, I want a Hershey bar.
  79. If I eat popcorn, I want red licorice.
  80. I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches, but I’ve never tried peanut butter and pickle.
  81. I’m saving that for when/if I’m pregnant.
  82. I’m a pretty good cook.
  83. I have a knack for knowing what a dish “needs.”
  84. I’m also a pretty good baker.
  85. It was almost guaranteed that I’d cook and bake well as both my mother and paternal grandmother are/were excellent cooks and bakers.
  86. I read a real, real lot.
  87. This is an odd hobby in Italy because it’s considered anti-social.
  88. Reading has helped me learn Italian, as has watching crappy Italian television.
  89. Italian television often simultaneously annoys, entertains, and offends me.
  90. I came here knowing how to say only “ciao” and “buon giorno.”
  91. P speaks no English (except for “how are you?” and “wow”).
  92. This was a big incentive to learn Italian.
  93. I can now even speak the local dialect when pressed.
  94. But I feel kinda silly doing so.
  95. It’d be like a foreigner coming into The Region and asking if “Dey got dem dere haluski at da Ack-a-me.”
  96. It’d just be weird.
  97. I know I’ll never be considered a true paesana here.
  98. And I’m OK with that.
  99. Really.
  100. Because I’ll always be a Coal Cracker.
37 Beans of Wisdom to “100 Things About Me”
  1. laxlaw

    You made me tear up. Quite a bit. Really.

    Also, very personal for you, bella.

    How come I didn’t make the top 100???

  2. sognatrice

    You’re turning into my mother too! Anyway, Monsieur M didn’t make the top 100 either, so you’re not in bad company 😉

  3. katerinafiore

    OH Michelle, you are very funny! I liked learning more about you. And yes you made me a little sad when u brought up missing your family. Cuz i know i will be feeling the same way sometime when I am in Florence. I hope we can be there for each other if ever feeling down. thanks amica!


  4. Anonymous

    Ciao! I found your blog via Nicki in Positano. I like your writing and POV. I find it encouraging that you learned Italian so well and quickly after moving overseas. I am struggling through Intermediate level 2 (the grammar is killing me).

    I am also writing and like to read about other writers’ experiences (esp. if they are a newbie like me)

    Anyway I’m glad I found your blog.


    (for some reason Blogger won’t except my password on your site)

  5. Anonymous


    I am a lurker on your blog. Found yo as I want to start a blog in 2007. Today I must thank you for leading me to Ciobar…it is as good as you wrote!
    We cerainly need a balance on Christmas….more like the US but still some of the Italian. It is under celebrated here in Sicilia but over the top in the USA! I DO miss some seasonal music on the local radio stations.
    Sharon living in Sicily
    Born in Maine…USA

  6. Christine

    Hey, I just followed you over from GG’s at redredwhine based on your moniker and ho boy! Italy, I am so so jealous. I have family there, entirely too much and I give you credit for actually living in your family’s ancestral villa, sweet Lord, visits to my mom’s birthplace (Sciacca, Sicily) are daunting enough. One can’t sit on the beach without everyone in the town coming up to you to tell you that they lived next door to your mom, or watched her once, or that they’re related to you, or someone married to someone related to you, or that they lived next door to your 8th cousin 25 times removed, etc.

    Whoa, I ramble. Anyway, good for you! From an Italian American, currently in Philadelphia, and law school.

  7. sognatrice

    Katerina, thanks for your kind words…and for an excuse to finally spend some time in Firenze! You’ll be so busy chasing those kids around, you won’t have (too much) time to get homesick.

    NYC, I’m glad you found my blog too; and now I’m glad I found yours. Italian grammar is *not* your friend no matter what anyone says. I haven’t taken any formal classes, so I’m wading through the verb tenses, etc., on my own. It’s not fun.

    Sharon, I’m so happy to know that I’ve led at least one person to the light (of Ciobar). I think I’ll make some now as the wind is kicking up and that makes me chilly even though I can’t actually feel it–do you feel it there? Is it the scirocco? The tramontana? They’re so schooled on their winds here!

    Christine, ciao cumara 😉 I’m lucky (?) in the sense that my family left here so long ago, no one remembers them. But I still have some cugini who have claimed me as their own anyway–and make me feel guilty that I don’t visit more. Ah, don’t you just love Italians? Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Shan

    I love 100 things lists. You learn a lot in a short period of time. Thanks for sharing.

  9. american girl in italy

    ciao! Glad you started a blog! I can’t wait to read it! I love the look of it! And I’ll take that cappucio! haha


  10. Shirley

    Brava.. what a list! I think I would have trouble finding 100 things to say about myself. Anyway nice to know more about you, and enjoy reading your posts.

  11. Laura B.

    Oh, no! You are a Dookie! Good thing I didn’t read this until I had already read your other posts so that I didn’t form an unwarranted negtive opinion about you. 🙂

    (Um, Go Heels!)

  12. laughing_crow

    Western Pennsylvania coal country…that’s home for me and always will be. I travel quite a bit around the eastern US, and find myself homesick for green hills and winding two lane roads within a few days of travel. Referring to your “100 Things”, yes, I get it and that’s why I’m still here.

    I’d like to wish you well in your new home, gumba. Have you told your new friends there it’s surprising how many Italian Americans are living in this region?

    Gotta go…I’m off to the Ack-a-me for some food an ‘at, and afterwards, I’ll red up the house.

  13. sognatrice

    Laura, I like to think I hide my Dukiness rather well; I believe you’ve confirmed that I’m successful 😉

    Laughing Crow, actually I’m from northeastern/central PA, but we all have a lot in common. My town back in PA is essentially the village where I live now replanted in America–same last names and everything. It’s freaky, and yes, I tell them all the time here about how many Italians we have back there (especially when someone questions my cooking ability!). Glad you found me, and enjoy some of those cold winter nights for me 🙂

  14. Eileen

    First chnace I’ve had to look at the blog and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Monsieur M has already made it on there! By the way – you look great in the picture : )

  15. Pink Lemonade Diva

    1st time reader (from that Orange & Purple ACC univ.) currently living in Phila. My BF is from here and he just used the term “coal cracker” for the 1st time in the 4 years I’ve known him, yesterday. How funny to see it here again.

    Will be checking in; it sounds like you’re on a lovely adventure.

  16. Elizabeth

    You are a writer. You need to write. Its ok not to live up to all those expectations of being a lawyer and at the top of everything. If you need to hide out in Calabria to find your voice, do that. But don’t get lulled into sleep in your Southern Italian village. At some point you will need to rejoin the rest of the world and confront yourself in it.
    big hug.

  17. Frances

    Quite a list.
    I grew up with my father and his family; my mother left when we were young. My father’s was a first generation Italian-American; both his mom and dad were from Sorrento. I love the doggie names!
    Catch you later
    PS I just may get that valet hat you commented about!

  18. Waspgoddess

    For the longest time I couldn’t understand why bloggers had these lists, but I’ve changed my mind over the last few weeks, as I’ve noticed what a brilliant way it is to get to know someone. I enjoyed reading yours very much, even though all the stuff about The Region passed me by.

    It’s inspiring that you came to Italy knowing so few words. Even I know more 🙂

  19. JennDZ

    That is just too funny! hee hee
    I am so glad for you expat bloggers! Not that I am one, but might be one day…everyone tells me when I get to Rome, I will never come back!
    However, my grandmother was from Calabria, somewhere….and even though I have not moved to Southern Italy, I just moved to the Southern US, FLA, to live with my whole family, who is always up in our business…but I also love it!
    And my fiancee, Roberto and I are always getting tons of crap because we always sweet talk to each other, and also reserve our given names for moments of emergency! Love it!

  20. Karen Beth

    Wow! What a beautiful blog and what a beautiful life you seem to have! I’m so happy to have found it. Mind if I subscribe?

  21. chris & erin

    I wasn’t sure if I ever told you how entertaining your list was…but I enjoyed both of them and it began the encouragement for me to finally pull on together – seemed fun!
    So I finally did (and mentioned yours)
    my 100 things

  22. Henry

    hi, am an Italian in England! not sure how I came across your blog but i did! my name is Federica, lived in Italy until age 10 when my parents divorced and was dragged to France by my mother… let’s just say I prefer Italy! Even though i could not live with some of the constant intrusions by family and friends… I guess that’s why I have chosen to live in my kind of “switzerland” (England) for a bit of peace and in order to b myself!
    I married H 3 years ago but we’ve been together 14 years. We have a 2 year old boy and in your blog you mention wanting 3… my suggestion is go for it, it is priceless (and would have thought an unparalled experience to draw on for anyone, especially a writer) x ciao

  23. sognatrice

    Wow, I realize now that I wasn’t a very good responder in my early blogging days…so I’ll catch up slowly…

    Eileen, glad to see you around 🙂

    PLD, that’s too funny about the “coal cracker” term; I won’t ask in what context it was used 😉

    Elizabeth, thank you for your kind words (and hug)!

    Frances, Sorrento is lovely; I hope you’ve gotten to visit!

    Waspg, I know by now you’ve done your list too, and it’s wonderful 🙂

    Jenn, we share a lot in common, right down to our love for food 🙂

    Karen Beth, please subscribe!

    Chris & Erin, great list; thanks for the mention!

    Henry/Federica, I’m happy you’ve found my blog too; congratulations on your wonderful family! Hope to see you around here more!

  24. Wendy

    Your list just made a perfect day even better. Thank you.

  25. grace

    This is a great way to know you!

  26. Born in Carbondale

    I just wandered into your blog (via Expats in Italy linking), and this is the first section I’ve read. I’m guessing “the region” is…NEPA. Yes? Now I shall go and wander the rest of your blog, to see if I can discern whether my guess was right. Or wrong.

  27. sognatrice

    Born in Carbondale, I’ve been to your birthplace many times, so I’d have to say that yes, your guess is right 🙂

  28. Anonymous

    Ciao it’s Federica again. I wondered whether any of you have any tips on raising kids with other languages in the house. Even though i am fluent in both italian and french i am really struggling to speak enough italian to my son Jacob and am worried it is going to be too late… I know it is my fault but being in England, with an English husband and evrything around me in English i just find it so hard to carry on an entire conversation in Italian and therefore Jacob uses 90% english with the odd italian word such as “GAKI” = GRAZIE – “LAKKE” = LATTE “CIUCCIO” = DUMMY …
    Anyway, hope all is well in Italia, i just got back from france but missing summer evenings hanging out by the fountain in the squares in italy, eating ice creams and chatting to friends… those were proper holidays! ciao ciao, buona notte – p.s: when i was little i used to eat what they called chocolate salami in italy whoch is a crushed biscuit, chocolate cake which does not need baking and which gets rolled into a sausage shaoe and put in the fridge, does anyone have a recipe?

  29. sognatrice

    Federica, I don’t have kids yet, so I really don’t know what to tell you. They say that the native tongue parent should speak that language with the child, but I can already see just from talking to my dog that it’s going to be difficult for me to speak English with a child all the time; my OH doesn’t speak English, and we’re in Italy, so this is an Italian-language house. It’ll sure be a challenge. Maybe if you can find some learning materials on Amazon or something–videos/books/tapes in Italian? I’ll definitely be supplementing my children’s language learning with those because I can already see how difficult it’ll be to keep up with the English.

    I’ve never heard of the chocolate salami…I’d love a recipe too!

  30. Anonymous

    ciao, i have found a recipe for the chocolate salami and thought i’d share it! (follow link below)
    Jacob’s in bed and i am sitting at the computer looking for an elusive toy which comes from a favourite cartoon on english tv for him! how sad for a saturday night but my husband is working away and so am stuck inside! the weather (how english to talk of the weather) has been so terrible that it feels like the middle of winter at times and no doubt you ve all heard of the floods we’ve had here in England… we’ve even lit a fire the other night! mind you i dont know what’s better because some of my family live in Sicily and they’ve been suffering with 50 degrees recently! that’s no fun either! still struggling to speak much italian to my son but he has now got Peterpan and Robinhood on italian dvd’s so he is at least getting a bit of vocab that way! I’d love to hear about daily life in italy for you, I often wonder whether i could live there again because even though i would love my son to grow up with italian culture i feel very much at home here now… i feel england is a place where people are allowed to be whoever they are without too much prejudice or interference, I also find it has a fast-paced way of life which makes it exciting most of the time! we’re thinking of moving house because we’re running out of space, we sell antiquarian books on the internet from home (www.byblos.uk.com) and the books are taking over our living space but the orices here are crazy and so we’re not sure we can afford an extra room – Italy would allow us a bigger house for sure! must go now but will try and remember to come and chat again soon cause it’s great to have found this site! ciao e buona notte x federica

  31. Anonymous

    HELLO TO YOU… NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL AN EXECELLENT JOURNAL. i am so glad that i ever found all of you. and thanks for all that you do for old dad.stop n for coffee any time.

  32. sognatrice

    *Hi “Dad”! Thanks for visiting…I’ll be over soon for coffee 😉

  33. Chris

    Hi Michelle-So glad you forwarded me this blog.I hope we can stay in touch.You mentioned moving into a new house?? Are you getting rid of the one I visited you at?? It was so unique. I tell everyone of your wonderful hilltop town. It was the highlight of our trip to Italy a few years ago-Ciao Chris

  34. sognatrice

    *Chris, so happy you’ve come over to have a look. I’ll be sending you an email shortly 🙂

  35. girasoli

    I received a few compliments on the idea of a list of “100 things about me” after recently posting my own list. I just edited my post to add a link to your blog since my idea came from you.

    I loved reading this list last year. I recently read the list again and that was what inspired me to do a list of my own. Thanks!

    Girasoli, glad to have been a part of your post! I look forward to reading it 🙂

  36. 01.13.2010

    My first blog on my first post was a list of 100.

    Your list is great. It’s funny. I think if you can get your reader to smile they will be hooked. I tell my students when they say they can’t write that anyone can write a list. It’s true. Well done.



    Lists are definitely a great way to get the creative juices flowing; looking forward to reading yours 🙂

    .-= Julie Angelos´s last blog ..74th day blogging with 1650+ visitors. WT? Cranking out fresh smiley blog content daily. =-.

  37. Calabriamia

    This was great! Thanks for sharing it with us. Love this blog as well. We have similar stories and, to me, this is just awesome.

    Glad you appreciated 🙂

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake