Killing Batteries: We get more press before breakfast than most people get all day

I love breakfast in Italy for three key reasons:

1. Wicked

2. Good

3. Coffee

It’s one of the simple, given pleasures of being here. You can walk into the crustiest, backwater, hilltown train station café, order an 80 cent café macchiato (‘stained coffee’, an espresso shot, with a dribble of milk) and it’ll be better than anything you can get for less than US$5 in America. I think about this coffee all day. At night, sometimes I’m too giddy to sleep, because I can’t wait to have that first coffee in the morning. Also the walls are pretty thin, so you can hear it when anyone in the building decides to do a procreation training session. And since this is Italy, that’s pretty often and, needless to say, boisterous.

So, I usually wake up in a good mood in Italy, because I know in 10 minutes I’m going to be gripped in the first of several coffee multiple orgasms. But today was extra satisfying because people on two blogs decided to say nice things about me while I was asleep.

Truth be told, I was expecting the love from My Year of Getting Published, because I wrote the interview last week. Liz Lewis, the woman behind the blog, is about where I was three years ago, determinedly scootching one body part after another through the crack of the door to the travel writing industry. Except she’s far more prepared than I was. She seems to be at ‘armpit’ already and advancing quickly, whereas I’ve been stuck for a good long while at ‘balls’.

Anyway, Liz was like “Will you do this interview?” and I was like “Well, I need some time, because there’s a badger with the Lonely Planet logo tattooed on its forehead halfway up my ass.” And she was like “Coo. Whenever.” Then I looked at the next thing I had to do for the Tuscany manuscript (expand coverage on the floor mosaics in Siena’s cathedral) and suddenly writing about myself seemed even more tantalizing than usual. Anyway, she posted the interview today and earned my undying admiration because she hardly cut anything off the ridiculous amount of material I turned in (Liz, I want you to edit my memoirs) and she spelled my name right, something that Lonely Planet only manages to do 87% of the time.

The same can’t be said for Jaunted, however, when they honored me with the title “Travel Blog Star” late yesterday. They spelled my name wrong two out of four times, including the blog tag, and kind of misquoted me on the subject of wearing shorts in Italy (they posted the wrong ranking scale), but I’m gonna let that go, because they run a wonderfully distracting multi-author blog and this is like the third time they’ve given me a nice bit of free publicity.

Besides, at the end of the day, the blame for all those misspellings of my name ultimately lies with my parents. What were they thinking? Well, I’ll take a little blame. I had the chance to change my name to “Brad Pitt” when I was 18 and I frittered away the opportunity and now some other jackhole is using it.

Anyway, between the three coffees and the spike in my hit counts, I couldn’t be happier. Welcome new readers! Here’s a brief Killing Batteries jargon primer you should absorb:

“Cookie”: [koo k-ee] noun – Def: Leif’s Disneyfied synonym for “fucking nutcase”

“Jackhole”: [jak -hohl] noun – Def: A medium intensity personal insult, without resorting to actual curse words that Leif invented, which can also be used as a term of endearment under very careful circumstances (see “bastard” in Aussie slang dictionary)

“The delicate art of…”: [thee del-i-kit ahrt uhv…] – Def: A tongue-in-cheek descriptive tag that Leif attaches to anything he sucks at