An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

While the cats (Nonno & Nonna) are away, the mouse (Timothy) does play ...


Dear Nonna and Nonno,

While you have been away for three weeks Nicholas has been taking care of your house. Very, very good care. Here's the proof:

1. WHILE NICHOLAS WAS HARD AT WORK TAKING CARE OF YOUR YARD ...






2. A LITTLE MOUSE WAS CLIMBING ON NONNO'S TRUCK;




3. LOOKING FOR GOODIES IN NONNA'S DEEP FREEZER...



(TA-DA!!);



4. GETTING A POPSICLE;



5. JUMPING ON YOUR BED;



6. AND RAIDING THE CANDY BOWL IN THE PANTRY.



7. AND BECAUSE HE WAS TIRED FROM ALL THAT FUN, HE THEN TOOK A NAP IN NONNO'S CHAIR (WITH LIPS STAINED WITH RED POPSICLE).



8. SEE? WE'VE BEEN TAKING EXCELLENT CARE OF YOUR HOUSE! AND HERE IS THE FINAL VIEW AS WE'RE DRIVING AWAY ...




Love,
The Mouse



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Where in the World is Nonno?

I would wish my father a Happy Father's Day, but I can't.

He's not here.

A week ago he and my Mom flew to Venice, boarded a luxury cruise liner for a 12-day Mediterranean cruise, and we haven't heard from them since.

Until last night.

In their email they mention visiting Turkey, Ephesus, Bodrum, Athens, Kotor, and Montenegro. Evidently people are nice, food is good! (note the exclamation), and in a few days they will be with our Italian relatives for the remainder of their vacation.

THEN, my Dad ends the email with this (and we know it's Dad because he has a birichino sense of humor):

Love to all of you. We think about you on occasion.

I may be wrong, but I think they are having way too much fun.

Anyway, Dad, Happy Father's Day ... wherever you are!

Nonno & Timothy overlooking the Bay of Naples
Italy 2012


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In Which I Get Mad at Thomas Hardy

Recently I was in the mood for a good BBC drama, so I checked out the DVD series Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Having read Thomas Hardy in college, I was familiar with the story and knew it would contain plenty of drama, angst, and human nature to feed my mood.

And so it was. This version was so excellent and compelling that I was drawn into the story. Then, at the very moment Angel leaves Tess, I suddenly realize that I couldn't remember how the novel ended. I remember everything that happens in the rest of the story, but just not the ending.

Why? How could I not remember the ending? I mean, I wrote a paper on it, for goodness sakes! I thought and thought. What happened in the novel? Surely Angel returns. Does he fight for Tess' honor? Does Tess get revenge on the unctuous Alec D'Urbervill? Does Angel forgive Tess?

Unfortunately, I know Thomas Hardy, and his novels aren't ... happy. Chances are this was going to end very badly, and I just couldn't stand it. I turned off the DVD.

Then I got mad. Would it have hurt the man (Thomas Hardy, that is) to have written one happy ending? Would it have killed him to allow Tess to finally find happiness? I fretted, and fumed, and worried.

That evening I returned to my movie and, sure enough, a tragic ending. But, oh, the story was so good that I watched it again, sad ending and all.

Dear Mr. Hardy,
My apologies.
It would appear you knew what you were doing, after all.







Monday, June 4, 2012

Falling off the Love Radar

When Timothy found out his cousin was coming to stay with him this week, he thought summer school would be dismissed.

Uhm ... no.

But before you think I am an ogre, I did tell my sister that school would be somewhat relaxed , but that Timothy would still read and write in his journal every day. No problem! she said; in fact, she wants Thomas to keep a journal, too.

So this morning we sit down, and Thomas just doesn't want to journal. He wants worksheets, too. Timothy looks at him as if he's absolutely crazy.

"What worksheets?" I ask.

"The ones you wrote about on your blog," he replies.

My heart goes pitter-patter. He reads my blog :)))

Well, I couldn't disappoint. School was officially in session, and while in Thomas' eyes I'm a nice auntie, with Timothy ... well, I have fallen off his love radar.

After working for a while they picked their journal topics out of the basket. Thomas' topic (Describe your favorite stuffed animal and explain why it's your favorite) was perfect because Thomas is the King of Stuffed Animals; Timothy's topic was worrisome: Describe you Mom and Dad.

Oh, dear.

In Timothy's words: They are nice. They play a bunch of games with me. Mom and Dad like playing Pokemon with me. Dad is the oldest, Mom is younger. Mom has brown hair. Dad has short hair. My Dad is funny because he makes an Angry Birds face. My Mom makes good couscous.

Whew. I'm not sure, but I think couscous just may have saved me.

I'm not a complete ogre, after all.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ode to a Cousin

Nicholas and Jonathan were born 22 months apart, and have always been the best of friends.

But then came Timothy. In the beginning they were smitten and thought that everything he did -- pooping, drooling, crawling -- was cute and adorable.

But not anymore. They soon discovered that Timothy had a mind (and a voice) of his own and, especially now that they're in high school, he annoys them all too easily. Oh, they still love him, and they will often drive him to Target to buy him Pokemon cards, or wrestle with him in the family room, or play basketball together in the driveway; they really do still pay attention to him but, according to Timothy, it's not enough.

They won't play with me!

They said they would play with me but changed their minds!

They didn't play with me long enough!

They haven't played with me all day!

Oh, the drama.

Then this past weekend I had the idea to invite his cousin, Thomas, to come spend the next five days with us. It's a win-win situation because Thomas' older brother is in New York City all next week, so now the two cousins can console each other on having older brothers who ignore them.

It's been three hours since we picked up Thomas, and the two of them are already worried that five days isn't going to be long enough.

I wish we lived closer.

I wish you lived in my neighborhood.

I wish you lived right next door.

Gosh, who needs brothers when you have a cousin?

Timothy's First Communion

Hilton Head, August 2011
 
Hilton Head, Thanksgiving 2011
Nonna and Nonno bought the boys these turkey hats,
and they wore them everywhere. Oh, the attention they received!


Friday, June 1, 2012

Is it Too Late for a Quick Take?

~1~ I hope not, because I am going to talk about doughnuts, the British accent, and nudity.

~2~ Last week I watched A Room with a View. I had forgotten how much I liked this movie, and while I don't generally espouse nudity in movies, the skinny dipping scene with George, Freddy, and the Mr. Beebe always has me rolling on the floor with laughter.

At the Pensione Bertolini.

~3~ I originally saw this movie with someone I was seriously in love with but who is now a Franciscan priest.

~4~ As long as we're discussing the British ... I recently borrowed Season 1 of Downton Abbey and was hooked. Then I languished for two weeks waiting to borrow Season 2. Today in Costco I caved and bought it.

~5~ Guess what I'll be doing while Joe and the boys watch the Celtics play tonight?

~6~ Oh, and about the British accent ... when I graduated from high school my parents sent me to Italy all by myself. Three weeks later I returned home, bringing with me my aunts, uncles, and a cousin. The trip back involved an overnight stay in London and, since I was the only English-speaking person in the group, everyone depended on me to get us to the hotel. I asked directions from a proper English gentleman, but BLIMEY! if I understood a word of it. Not one word. My relatives thought this was terribly funny.

~7~ Since today was National Doughnut Day -- and yes, we got our free doughnuts -- here are some words of wisdom:  An optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist sees the hole.

Now go visit Jen at Conversion Diary for some more Quick Takes ... she is trying to decide what to wear for a television appearance.