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

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

Friday, January 11, 2013

Life Lately: What'll ya have? What'll ya have? (in 7/8 quick takes)

1. Want to read a good book? Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Beautiful, heartwarming ... really, I couldn't put it down. It's also the kind of book that makes me realize that I am not a writer.

Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening — until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.

2. Remember how a birthday used to be just a day? Well, in our family birthdays can last a week. There's the birthday with family, the birthday with i nonni, the late presents which come in the mail from aunts and uncles, the celebration with friends. Nicholas' 18th birthday was this past Wednesday, which we actually started celebrating last weekend, and it's still not over (friends over tonight).

3. Speaking of Nicholas' birthday ... I just want to set the record straight. Remember when his cell phone fell into the ocean over Thanksgiving, and as a result he got my old one and I received a new iPhone 5? Well, we caught a lot of grief for that. Poor Nicholas, how can that be fair? Poor Nicholas, got Mom's "outdated" phone. Poor, poor Nicholas.

Well, for his birthday poor Nicholas got an iPhone and an iPhone docking/charging station complete with some state-of-the-art speakers.

So, no more poor Nicholas. Please.

4. I need some good running shoes. Really good ones. Suggestions?

5. Keyboard germs. This was Timothy's piano recital last month. One hour after this photo was taken I took him to the doctor where he tested positive for the flu. We truly had no idea, so I apologize for everyone who came after him on the keyboard.

6. What do you do to procrastinate when you're supposed to be doing something but don't feel like doing it? Personally, I call my sister.

7. This past Christmas Joe and I broke all personal records by seeing THREE movies over the holidays. We don't go to the movies three times over the course of a year, so you can see why this is a big deal. We saw Skyfall, Taken 2, and Cirque du Soleil.

But wait ... I actually saw FOUR because I went to see Les Miserables. Whoa. Four movies.

8. What'll ya have, what'll ya have? Last Saturday we took the boys to Atlanta for a Celtics-Hawks game and decided to have a pre-game meal at the Varsity. If you don't know, the Varsity is a burger joint which, the minute you walk in the door, thirty employees behind the counter are hollering, What'll ya have? What'll ya have? In an area which is steeped in tradition, the Varsity has been one since 1928. Just inside the front door is a wall of photos of famous people who dined there; in fact, a couple of months ago while we were taking a campus tour of Georgia Tech, just a few blocks away President Obama (in Atlanta on a campaign tour) was having lunch there.

So, What'll ya have? What'll ya have? Well, what we had was indigestion. Teeny tiny greasy burgers, floppy fries, and a roach on the wall.

Not my kind of tradition.

Photo: Uhm ... not impressed.

Have a great day! Be sure and visit Jen over at Conversion Diary! Now, I really should be going because I have a million things to do ... but first I'll call my sister.


Ellen aka Ellie said...

Go to a real running store, a store at which they will fit you and make you run.

Here it's Naperville Running. Everyone who works there is a runner, but they are all so encouraging because they want everyone to run. They look at your former sneakers to see how your foot leaves a mark, they measure both feet, they bring out shoes of different brands to compare and contrast, and they (they used to watch me just walk), but last time they taped me on a treadmill to see if the show fit the way my foot made its mark in its past shoe.

I have spent over $100 a pair there, but I have never regretted it. When I used to run, it's where I went. There must be something similar near you!

Research it and be fitted!

Suburban Correspondent said...

I managed to see 2 movies in the past 2 months also - a personal record! But mine were Argo and Lincoln.

tiziana said...

Sempre bellissimi i tuoi blog del venerdì, ci metto un po' a tradurli ma ne vale veramente la pena.
Ho preso nota del nome del libro, vediamo se riesco a trovarlo.
Il numero 5 e 8 mi hanno fatto davvero ridere.
Buon weekend.
PS: "no more poor Nicholas", ma fortunato Nicholas;

E said...

Have you seen Silver Linings Playbook? I know you are over your personal limit. But this one is worth the extra trip. I loved it

Do Not Be Anxious said...

Okay, I just finished Bel Canto, as you recommended. As a writer, I agree Ann Patchett has a way with words, but as a story line I felt it trite. Sorry, maybe it's a chick thing.

As soon as two women were mentioned as beautiful, I knew some character would fall in love with them, especially over time. Familiarity breeds contempt --- unless it's a hostage situation, then they call it the Stockholm syndrome. The ending was no surprise, as I could see no other as time went on. As an outline, the plot was good and the storytelling done exquisitely, but the details --- although they left out most of the "he touched me there" and "ooh, when she did that" lines typical of romance novels (thankfully) --- just were weaker than I'd like.

But then, I'm a guy.

Bia said...

I suppose I found it fascinating on many levels, none of which included the actual love story.

The book was based on true events that occurred in 1996 in Lima, Peru. Known as the Japanese Hostage Crisis, militants held dignitaries hostage for 126 days. As in the book, the militants and the hostages formed bonds and, ultimately, all the militants were killed when the military stormed the villa. Here's the link explaining the incident:

What I found wonderful was how strangers -- strangers who did not even share the bond of a common language -- can nonetheless form beautiful bonds, especially through the universal language of music (which is how it happened in the book); in a sense, the book was a testament on how we, as humans, are more alike than different.

I found the book full of hope on human nature; even though I knew that the ending would be tragic, on a grander scale that hope is still there.

Maybe that's too naive, but there you have it.

Anyway, thanks for the book conversation.