martedì, marzo 24, 2015

Found photos (Southern Italy edition)

In the age of the digital photo, you 'forget' some of the photos you've taken. Here are some 'found' favorites of Southern Italy.

giovedì, marzo 05, 2015

The Book of Moods

I feel sometimes as though I could write an entire book about my moods. Is everyone this way?

Join me as I indulge this fantasy.

I could write it along the lines of Bridget Jones' Diary, but oriented, in my case, for the (ahem, older) mother of a toddler:

Sleep: 7 hrs, 45 min sleep
Caffeine intake: 1.5 caffelattes
Time to write: 1.5 hours solid work
Mood as of 8 a.m.: "It's A Wonderful Life" (last scene, obviously)

Then you could do a night-time edition:

Sleep: 7 hrs, 45 min sleep
Caffeine intake: 1.5 caffelattes
Total time writing: 4 hours
Exercise: Ran three miles
Book I'm Reading: Henry James' "The Portrait of A Lady"
Alcohol in-take: Two glasses of red wine
Wine quality:
We were drinking aglianico so fan-fuckin'tastic
Funny things Leo said: "Whatta happened?" and "Look at that Mommy face!"
Mood as of 8 p.m.:
This feeling should be illegal

Alternative version: when I sleep a little less than I should, sometimes I find the gates of perception are nonetheless wide open, and I'm stumbling from one thought to another, and one prospect to another, with boundless hope and good will.

6 hrs, 15 min sleep
Caffeine intake: 2.0 caffelattes
Time to write: 1.5 hours solid work
Songs listened to: "No Government" by Nicolette on the way back from daycare, then Springsteen, then Gianna Nannini's "America"
Read some Italian? Yes; finished third book in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan series
Mood as of 10 a.m.: Hallucinating about taking over the world (and hence needing and wanting to write down every thought)

Just me?

mercoledì, marzo 04, 2015

From the Leo Journal (Nina Simone edition)

The last two evenings, Leo has jumped up after dinner to say, “Let’s listen to some music.”

He runs over to the boom box on a corner bookshelf in the kitchen and begins fiddling with the knobs. He knows which CD is his – a children’s album of Woody Guthrie songs from my friend, Margie – but he’s also curious about my jazz CDs.

The first night, he listens to the song "Take Me Riding In the Car," and shouts out certain words: Back seat! Blow the horn! There's a frog in the car!

Then he looks at Nina Simone’s face on one of my CDs and decides he wants a listen. I cue up “My Baby Just Cares For Me,” one of my favorite songs, and try to dance him around the dining room. He’s not having it.

But he likes the next song, “Don’t Smoke In Bed.” On the second night, he begins playing his CD, then says, suddenly, with perfect enunciation and recall, “Don’t Smoke In Bed.” I roar with delight, and he says, again, “Don’t smoke in bed, Mommy."

lunedì, marzo 02, 2015

Menefreghismo! Yes!

There's an incredible new nonfiction book by the Economist's John Hooper called The Italians.

How do I know it's incredible? According to a book review in The New York Times, he explains concepts like "menefreghismo"!

For the uninitiated, it means not giving a crap about something; the phrase "non me ne frega niente" is something you hear every day, every day, in Italy. Typically 'niente' might be replaced with 'un cazzo' -- that kind of thing.

In fact, menefreghismo sums up the attitude of vast numbers of people, including just about anyone in public office.

Finally, the REAL Italy. Not just gondolas. Please tell me there's a chapter on the tredecisima!

Read The New York Times' book review here.

**ciao ciao ciao ciao ciao ciao**

giovedì, febbraio 26, 2015

Look at that face!

"Found" dialogue:

"Look at that face," he says. "Look at that Mommy face."

My two-year-old. Leonardo.

Then he adds, "Mommy happy? Mommy happy?"


martedì, febbraio 24, 2015

Nicolette - No Government

I love this song so much by the British/Nigerian singer, Nicolette. Listening to it, I feel as though I'm committing a crime or telling a lie, its beat is so infectious and sinister.

giovedì, febbraio 19, 2015

OK, so I have a thing for trays

This tray is part of my "Italian tray" collection. Yes, the collection has subcategories.

This tray was actually a gift for Il Nostro Inviato.

I was delighted to see an article about trays in the New York Times' Home section today. As the article says, they "corral" items that would otherwise be clutter and also convey a sense of service, if used for drinks or food.

Unlike the trays featured in the Times, my trays all come from thrift stores! Even the one from Italy!

venerdì, febbraio 13, 2015

Sesame Street: Leonardo da Crunchy's "The Muncha Lisa"

This is what we've been watching this morning. "The Muncha Lisa"? Oh Lord, too funny.

We discovered this video just as we'd been looking the past few weeks at a calendar of Leonardo Da Vinci paintings, including, of course, the Mona Lisa.

I can only imagine that comparing the two -- even just the names -- made the discovery that much sweeter for my Leonardo.

And for this Italophile, the accents on the Leonardo and Mona Lisa puppets are hysterical! And spot-on.

mercoledì, febbraio 11, 2015

C'era una volta a Firenze

Più che una biblioteca, fu una chiesa per i libri.

Libreria Condotta was a delightful little bookshop not far from Piazza della Signoria. The type of bookstore with those old ladders left leaning against the shelves, which of course lined the place from floor to ceiling.

The owners were incredibly knowledgeable, and even a bit intimidating. I always had the sense I was interrupting something very important whenever I asked a question.

But they had everything, so many delicious Italian novels.

It's now a winebar. Ah, the remembrance of things past! Past and now lost forever.