We Are the 99 Percent


Uno (1). Sleeping in. Dave and I designated Wednesday as our “off-day” for morning work-outs. The extra hour of sleep felt delicious.

Due (2). Reading another chapter in La Bella Lingua, by Dianne Hales. She reveals that in Italian “Chicago” (chi – cago) sounds close to “I poop here” – ha ha. I often tell people that I am from Wisconsin, then, when a confused/bemused look appears on their faces, I say “It’s near Chi-cago.” This worked with Spanish speakers over the years. Now I know why Italians laugh when I say it.

Tre (3). Maki is happy, happy, happy in our new home. It is amazing how much happiness pets give us, I am glad to see him happy now.

Quattro (4). Intense dreams. All of my life, my dream world has influenced me. When I am experiencing major changes in my life, my dreams become more intense. Usually, they remind me to savor life – which makes each day more special and meaningful.

Cinque (5). Agriturismo! We dined at the Murgo Winery & Agriturismo last night, also known as la Tenuta di San Michele. One of Dave’s colleagues initiated the dinner and we were thrilled to find out it is about a 15-20 minute drive from our house. Italy subsidizes agriturismos, who in turn promise to serve food that is made from ingredients grown on the farm (at least a prescribed percentage of the ingredients grown there). It is social-rural tourism at its best! (Pics below)

First, a display of locally grown and produced wines.

Vibrant and flavorful extra virgin olive oil grown and produced by Murgo, too!

Olive oils infused with (L to R) “Aglio” (garlic), “Limone” (lemon), “Basilico” (basil), and “Peperoncino” (chile pepper).

The antipasti spread of cured meats and local cheeses to accompany the wine and olive oil tasting that preceded dinner.

I am honored to support the hard-working farmers who planted, nurtured, and harvested the fruits that produced such wonderful products. Italians complain about their government (just like everyone else), but this project shows the beauty and progressive vision of putting people to work on meaningful projects. Delizioso!


The Occupy Wall Street movement got me thinking about U.S. unemployment culture. In Sicily, unemployment is historically and currently high (20-40%). Perhaps because of its ubiquity and longevity, Sicilians accept unemployment as an undesirable, but very real, possibility. In the U.S., unemployment is scorned by employers and peers, and most who endure it battle feelings of shame. How unfortunate. High unemployment rates indicate a social problem, not an individual failing; and, ostracizing the unemployed creates tears in our social fabric. The OWS group “We Are the 99 Percent” is working to mend those tears, and I support them. Do you?


Filed under 5-100, Adjusting, Awesomeness

6 responses to “We Are the 99 Percent

  1. Monica

    I agree with YOU (of course!) and I agree with the ideals behind the 99% thing. However I cannot, will not and should not agree with that terrible group of people in Seattle right now who are, in the name of OWS, are disrupting businesses, harassing passers by who are also in this society, and attacking police officers who are trying to keep everyone safe. They are making the area unsafe to be in and I won’t be surprised when the violence and vandalism increase and looting starts. I do know it is a small percentage of the group, and yet it is the loudest, most visible percentage, and it makes us all look bad. It is disappointing and not in line with the beliefs of the larger group, though the larger group seems to do nothing to disengage those acting like idiots. I think they are poopy heads. And that is my official answer! (I am tired, I may regret that one in the morning!)

    • Yes, there are always the few who try to ruin the bunch – it happens in every arena, no?

      The frustration I have with the movement as a whole is that it seems to be about tearing apart the corporate greed without replacing it with something else. I am much more motivated and inspired by movements of creating something new, or promoting a new method of doing business/governing/etc. Simply criticizing is interesting for a moment, not much more. I am still learning about the movement, so maybe I’m missing something.

      Mostly I hope that this sparks a new national conversation about how our national integrity has been sacrificed in the face of the opportunistic capitalism touted as a point of national pride. Since when is making 300% more than your workers the goal of capitalism? Why is that something any nation should aspire to? Gimme a break. It isn’t socialism to call for fair wages. Executives need to take a step back and use the big brains that purportedly got them to their positions of power – you can live without X luxury because the world is a different world than it was when you set your eyes on that prize. Suck it up, like the rest of us have had to do.

      I’m not tired, Monica (so no excuse for my rant), I’m fired up! Geesh.

  2. I work with an Italian girl, and as soon as I read that about Chicago I asked her and she laughed and said yes! She said it means literally “I shit there.” So funny!!

  3. Katie T

    I have a soft spot for lost in translation humor. I also like your discussion of the different ways in which the unemployed status is perceived. And finally, I am going to be having salami and hard cheeses at some point in my day tomorrow:)

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