martedì, settembre 16, 2014

Did I show off Isla de Mujeres?

I realized recently I have all of these great photos of Isla de Mujeres on my phone that I never bothered to post here.

It's an island off of Cancun and a world away. It's also gorgeous, and we did our research so we wound up at a really laidback duplex painted a sunny yellow color that fronted the beach. As in, if you live in a typical suburban neighborhood, our tiny apartment was as far away from the water as you are from your neighbor's house across the street. Which is to say, pretty darn close.

At the tip of the island is a quirky sculpture park surrounded on all sides by crashing waves. Like I said, paradise!

venerdì, settembre 12, 2014

Italian Words at the Guggenheim (Futurismo)

They also had art at the Guggenheim's just-closed Futurismo exhibit (including works by Umberto Boccioni, whom I love) but I found myself drawn to anything that showed Italian words.

The Guggenheim is such a wonderful exhibit space. You can look back at what you've seen from a distance and see the work in a different way.

There were lots of books and posters and manifestos with Italian words and I was in heaven. There must be something about seeing words in a language you love that lights up the happiness part of your brain. It winds up being like a little festish.

giovedì, settembre 11, 2014

"Mexican" coffee break

When I need a break, I remember I vacationed here this year.

Where, you ask, is paradise? In my opinion, it might just be Isla de Mujeres, off of Cancun.

martedì, settembre 09, 2014


Another chapter from the Leo journal.

Today: An inventory of the words Leo knows how to say:

Mamma, Da-da, water, ball, bath, duck, hello, more, outdoors, all done, bye-bye, no, oh no, truck, snow (!), blue, red, dog, cat, yellow, milk, toaster, bike, up, down, row, rock, bowl, flower and last but not least, thank you!

He's also said agua.....but let's hold off on the foreign word inventory for now.

Elena Ferrante Fest (in my mind, at least)

Just got a slew of Elena Ferrante titles to work through. I've done things a bit backward; I read "Storia di chi fugge e di chi resta" first. Now I need to read the first two works in the trilogy.

Oh, and I threw in "La Frantumaglia" for fun. It's a collection of interviews with Ferrante and nonfiction pieces about writing authored by her.

For anyone in New York who's interested in Ferrante, there will be an amazing talk at the Center for Fiction on Sept. 16 featuring Ferrante's American translator, Ann Goldstein, and two novelists, discussing her work.

For more information on this event, go here:

giovedì, agosto 28, 2014

Chat Hat, Chat Hat

"Chat Hat! Chat Hat."

It sounds like a foreign language, and I guess it is. But it's one I'm slowly becoming fluent in.

The phrase means: The Cat in the Hat. You know, the children's book by Dr. Seuss.

I don't know why -- I don't need to know why -- but that's how Leo pronounces the book's title. Chat -- the French word for cat, which he would never have heard from me. And then the word hat, which he knows.

He loves certain sentences from the book. For example, the sentence where the Cat says, “We have can have fun that is funny.” He shouts “Funny!” He sort of stammers it, like he's having trouble containing himself, that's how entertaining he finds the phrase.

He also likes his Bob the Builder book. And he picks up the book and says one word over and over: “Bob.” He says it so sweetly, as if Bob were our friend, our neighbor, someone we know well.

I'm recording him often but not often enough. You'd simply have to press "on" every morning and every evening.

Which is probably not possible. But I hope my brain is recording it. All of it. Every little second.

venerdì, luglio 25, 2014

"I got ya!"

“I got ya!”

That’s a subject followed by a verb and then an object. And as first full sentences go, I would say it’s good one!

Leo can string two or three words together now, no problem. But I think this is the first time I’ve heard a complete sentence.

I’m mildly embarrassed that he’s parroting what he heard me say as I chased him around the house, giggling and shouting. But it warms my little heart to hear him say it. You got me? Sounds good to me.

domenica, maggio 18, 2014

How to scare a cat

If for some reason, you need to scare a cat, here’s a sure-fire method.

Yell, "Ha!" as soon as you catch sight of the cat.

Then run toward it. And then, as you steadily approach the cat, yell, “Ha! ha!”

It helps if you stand about three-feet tall and grip something in one or both hands: a cookie, a sippy cup, your security blanket.

Fuggire o sfuggire?

Non so perché ma stamattina sono dovuta controllare il significato di queste due parole (fuggire e sfuggire), le quali uso da sempre.

E mi è sorpresa quando ho scoperto che secondo il vocabolario, hanno lo stesso significato senza la minima sfumatura.

Ma è possibile?

Io avrei detto che si può dire, "La parola mi sfugge," ma non si può dire: "La parola mi fugge."

venerdì, maggio 02, 2014

A Growing Vocabulary!

An inventory of the words Leo knows how to say:

Mamma, Daddy, water, ball, bath, duck, hello, more, outdoors, all done, bye-bye, no, oh no, truck, snow, blue, red, dog, cat, yellow, milk, rock, bike, up, down, up and down, cold, hot, bowl, flower, airplane, baby, fish, book, star, car and outdoors.