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Archive for November, 2009

So my pop knows this guy here in Cleveland that owns a sausage factory, this joint called, “Ray’s Sausage”.  Over the years, the poor sap has sunk thousands of dollars into cleaning his place, after numerous complaints from around the neighborhood about the putrid smell.

However, to his chagrin, after sinking all that cash into janitorial services, it was discovered that the smell had absolutely nothing to do with his sausage factory. The stench emanated from the residence of James Sowell, a mass murderer of 11 women, their bodies and body parts cast about the house and back yard like gaudy Halloween decorations.

On the plus side, Ray’s factory is as clean as Pimp Don Juan at Easter Breakfast.

On the negative side (besides the destruction of life, of course) selfishly, this is real bad timing for me.  Yes… 11 lives destroyed and I’m making this about me.  You see, I’ve  always dreamed of moving back to Cleveland, and since I’m getting married, Stefi has to be on board with this move. I’m going to live where ever she wants to live, based on the sage advice from my pop, “Wife happy. Life Happy.”  So I needed to put a positive spin on the home town for the girl from Milan, Italy.

I needed an antidote for the “House Of Horrors.”  I needed the Cleveland version of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, all safe n’ cozy n’ scrumptious.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…

Ah, yes, Chagrin Falls.

The quaint little town with a quaint little Popcorn Shop which sits above a quaint little water fall.  The place is awesome.  I’d sell my parents into slavery in trade or a spacious 3 bedroom cottage, nestled deep within the shadows of the Chagrin Falls woods. But I digress…

I try not to argue with people who dog Cleveland, partly because it takes too much time to defend a major city and life is too short. However, the real I refuse to defend the town is because I like the fact that outsiders hate Cleveland. Yep. You heard me. Folks who hate Cleveland make me giddy like school girl. Why? ‘Cause I want to keep those arrogant wind-bag bastards the fuck out of my town. Cleveland is New Yorker/Los Angeleno free. All the rudeness & stupidity in my home town is as home grown as potatoes are to Idaho.

Wouldn’t have it any other way. Go Browns.

Having said that, if I want to actually turn somebody ON to Cleveland, the first place I take ‘em is to is the suburb of Chagrin Falls. As far as small town charm goes, you can’t get any better that this joint. So I booked Stefi and I a room with a fire place at the Inn of Chagrin Falls B&B. We checked in, wandered the streets, drank espresso, and soaked up the local flavor. We capped the night with a visit to one of the coolest couples I know, Bill and Loren, who had just moved to town.  Bill’s folks are originally from Sicily and he speaks Italian like a native, so Stef even had the chance to chat in her native tongue for a while.  Their kids are cute as buttons and the wine was fantastic. Stef had a great time.

My plan of brainwashing the poor girl was working like German clockwork. Slowly I was suckering her into picking up half the weight of my cross and hallin’ it up Calvary Hill. The morning we checked out of the B&B, I came downstairs and actually found Stef chatting with the owner and raving about North East Ohio; and how pleasantly surprised she was about the city of Cleveland.

Yeeeeees.  YEEEEESSSSSS.  Fall under my spell, my pretty. Only after a few days, the town was actually winning her over. Soon she would become a Browns fan and her Sundays would be ruined. We’d sit on the couch and cry, together, under Cleveland’s wonderfully diffused gray skies.

But then I made the fatal mistake. On the way back home, I needed to pop into a Walgreens. I should’ve kept her inside the car, cuddled in front of a blowin’ heater. However I got greedy and allowed her to venture out-of-doors. She stepped out of the car just as a frigid Lake Erie wind arrived on the scene. That hawk blew up her skirt and just like that my hopes were dashed.

“Uffa! I can’t live here!” She exclaimed. “You know, in Los Angeles there’s 275 days of sunshine all year…”

Fail.

Oh well… Wife happy. Life Happy. It looks like I’m stuck in sunny Los Angeles, California for the rest of my life.  (sigh)  I’ll just have these purty pictures to hide betwixt my mattress to drool over during those balmy Santa Anna nights.


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Yep.  Stefania, my girl from Milan, ITALY arrived in Cleveland and my mom had a hot plate of spaghetti waiting for her. I walked into the house and saw the 3-pack pictured Ragu Spaghetti sauce and I thought to myself…

“This is effing GOLD!”

Of course I also had a bit of panic, wondering what kind of cultural shock we were all in store for.  I don’t think Stef ever had pasta with sauce from a jar. However I had two things in my favor.

1. Momma Earls’ mad culinary skills. She doctored the hell out of that Ragu, just using the sauce as a base and then hookin’ it up with her own “flava”.  The Pasta was DOPE.

2.  Stefania is no food snob. She “gets it”. Any girl that can get down at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles just knows what’s up.  Right?  We inhaled it that spaghetti like it was nobody’s business and all was good with the world.

Suffice it to say, I absolutely love the two women of my life.

Stef arrived in Cleveland, Saturday 11/21/09 at 9:57 PM.  My boy, Curtis, and I boogied up 480 West to pick her up. I made a sign to greet her upon arrival. I know it’s wussy. Shut the hell up. Of course I missed her. While I was babbling on to Curtis, he gives me the nod to check out my 3 o’clock and there she is, draggin her carry-on bag across the floor and heading towards the baggage carousel.

Between my mom’s and Stef’s cooking (not to mention all the killer fattening restaurants and grub in this town). I fully expect to return to LA at least 15 pounds heavier.   Damn right, I’m gonna hit up some Chick-Fil-A while I’m home, too. Screw it. You only live once.

Happy Birthday, Dad!!!

Buonanotte a tutti.

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[Cover of Engagement Card given to us by Fox Feature Post Production.]

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2009

Hey, when it comes to hooking up with a gal overseas, there are a lot of cons, but it has an upside as well. For example…

“Will you marry me?  YOU WILL? Say, that’s just great!  Wow, look at the time. Gotta catch a plane. See ya next year!”

(I’m kidding. Stefi reads this blog, you know.)

“When’s the big day?”  We’re clueless on this question. Not that we’re being lazy, but the US Government has a process that makes answering this question impossible at this time.  Here’s how it seems to be going down…

1.Stefi and I apply for a Fiancé Visa after Thanksgiving. (Can’t apply for this visa and visit the US as a tourist at the same time.)

2.We wait For eight damn months to hear, “Yes”or “No”.

3.During this time, Stefi has to get a series of shots, just to make sure she doesn’t infect the West Coast of the United States of America with Ebola. You understand.

4.While Stefi receives painful injections, Greg sits at home watching old episodes of “Law & Order” and eating Taco flavored Doritos.

5.Visa is approved. Stef now has 3 months to move to the US.

6.Stef arrives in the US, we now have 3 months to jump the broom!

7. OPTION 1: We procrastinate and don’t get married in time. A bunch of Republicans toss a crate onto my lawn and shoot at it with handguns, thus venting it with “air holes”. They then ship Stefi’s butt on a slow boat back to Italy.

8.OPTION 2: Stef and I get married the minute she lands in LA, at a court house, just to get Lou Dobbs off of our backs.

9.We then have a proper wedding in Milan. (maybe? Whatever she wants. Stefi’s day)

10.  Cleveland Reception with ribs and kick ball (MY day, damn it!)

11. Weird faux joke wedding/reception in Los Angeles.

Now, how simple is that?  Time for us to meet in Ohio so she can meet the family. Red Eye flight for me tonight. I get in Saturday morning, Stef arrives later that night!

Be good, Cleveland.

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The guy wearing cop glasses is me, Greg. The dish in the cool specs is my beautiful fiancé, Stefania, who lives in Milan, Italy…  For now!

November 19, 2009

This is my first blog entry and it has nothing to do with “Reflections On The Lake”. That was the title that came with my iWeb template and I was too lazy to try to come up with anything better.  Plus the picture above was snapped above Lake Como, so it kind of works. Whatever. Screw you.

The last time I kept a blog I ended up with a pretty decent start to a manuscript, which I just finished last Saturday. So I thought I’d capitalize on my next adventure (getting married) by blogging about it, as well.  I figure if all hell breaks loose I’ll at least get some decent literary material out of it and maybe make some dough.

So let’s get the obvious bullshit out of the way…

She’s white. I’m black.

She’s Italian. I’m American.

She from Milan. I’m from Cleveland.

She’s relatively sane. I root for the Browns.

She’s hot. I’m engaged to somebody who is hot.

My life is a CBS sitcom. All I need is a job at UPS and I’m set. In the upcoming episode, Greg n’ Stefi fly to Cleveland for Thanksgiving so she can meet the family and old friends; and they can meet her. It’s all very exciting and absolutely terrifying at the same time, like having sex with Ann Coulter.

…Allegedly.

At some point during my proposal to Stef, I told her that she would either marry me or she’d end up handcuffed to a water pipe in my parents basement. Either way, she wasn’t going anywhere. She wisely chose the former. However I thought it might be a good idea to show her that water pipe anyway, just for grins and to keep her azz in check. Hence, the trip to Cleveland.

(Jus’ kidding, honey!)

Since we have to deal with the US Government to obtain a Fiancé Visa (something I fear will become a large part of this blog) we’ve got at least a good year ahead of us before we actually get hitched, so this blog won’t be going away anytime soon. Unless she wises up and dumps me, at which point this would become a blog of pure unadulterated vitriol and rage. So it’s win / win.

This is not going to be an easy transition, especially for Stefi, who is giving up the most.  It would be easier for both of us to find someone closer, at least in the same country, so we are obviously very much stupidly in love to go through all this.  And wouldn’t have it any other way.

Feel free to subscribe and read up on us. Should be fun. If you don’t subscribe, go pound sand. See if I care.

Here we go! 

Unbreakable ~ Alicia Keys


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