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

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

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Promulgation of Hate and Violence

Like many, I'm baffled by all this hatred. So many people are missing the point. If you advocate freedom, religion, and patriotism using hatred and violence, then you are just promulgating hatred and violence. And that's not religion, it's not freedom, and it's not patriotism.

This morning I came across this quote:

“Standing, as I do, in view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.” -- Edith Cavell (October 11, 1915), on the eve of her execution.

(Edith Cavell was a British nurse, humanitarian and spy. She is celebrated for helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War I, for which she was arrested and shot by a German firing squad.)

The Thinker, Auguste Rodin
photo credit: Maria Novajosky

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Attic Door

A bump in the middle of the night
And I awoke with a dreadful fright.
Who, what, where … was it here in our house?
But then I thought, “I know! It’s a mouse!”

A mouse in our attic, but of course!
The noise I heard … why, that was the source.
But that’s not true and I knew because
The noise was made by much bigger paws.

Well, I’m not worried. At least somewhat.
The attic door is completely shut.
Until my husband is back in town …
Well, that darn thing is NOT coming down.

*from the files of very bad poetry by Bia

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Second Walk

Last winter I decided to supplement my daily morning workouts. Nothing complicated, but in the evenings after dinner, once the dishes were washed and the table was cleared, I started going on hour-long walks instead of sitting on the couch watching television or reading a book. I mentally referred to it as The Second Walk.

Then this past January Timothy started going on these walks with me. To be honest, his original reason for accompanying me was to play Pokémon GO on my phone, but after a while he came so we could "just talk" (his words).

The Second Walk has now become our thing. We walk around the neighborhood, up and down Stevens Creek Road, down to the Pavilion and on the canal. We talk the entire time. Sometimes we have an adventure, such as earlier this week when we went on our Second Walk in the pouring rain (which is precisely why we went). We put on rain jackets and baseball hats, left umbrellas at home, and walked for an hour and a half on the canal. We got muddy, and very wet, but gosh we had a good time.

My favorite thing about this time together is the randomness of topics: how his legs won't fit under the tiny desks at school, the range of his new BB gun, the judge's picks on America's Got Talent, his Christmas wish list, the movie Dunkirk and can-he-go-see-it, the deer that crossed the road in front of us, and a step-by-step explanation of how he built a hovercraft with a computer fan and the box of Nicholas' leftover engineering wires and circuit boards. Incidentally, all these topics were from one walk.

And it never fails that every time we return from The Second Walk I think . . .

If I could just save time in a bottle.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Dunkirk: Know Before You Go

I emerged from the movie theater this past Friday night thinking that Dunkirk was a really good movie. But once I returned home and did some research on both the movie and the history of Dunkirk, I realized it wasn't a good movie. It was a great movie. Sometimes, it's good to know something about a movie before you go see it.

So allow me . . .

1- Basic history of Dunkirk: In late May and early June of 1940, the advancing German army pushed back the British and French armies to the beaches at Dunkirk, France. Over 330,000 soldiers were trapped and needed to be evacuated, but since there were not enough ships to transport such large numbers the British Admiralty called on all British citizens in possession of sea-worthy boats to help in the effort. The campaign became known as the "Miracle of Dunkirk."

2- The story is told from three perspectives: land (over a period of one week), sea (a period of one day), air (a period of one hour). The timeline hops back and forth between the three perspectives, often overlapping, but eventually merge to a single moment in time.

3- A mole is a massive structure, usually constructed of stone, between places separated by water. In the movie, two concrete moles protect the outer harbor at Dunkirk. Because troops could not be evacuated from the beach shore, the moles were used as piers so the soldiers could board the ships despite the fact that the moles were not designed as docks.

[Disclosure: I mention this only because of my initial confusion. Since this was a war movie, I mistakenly assumed "mole" referred to a spy; as a result, I spent a few confusing minutes thinking that two characters were spies. Not so. Avoid my confusion.]

4- There is very little dialogue in the movie. This was done with intention by Christopher Nolan, the film's director. You are not meant to know the characters' stories -- where they are from, who they are, or their history -- as they aren't important; rather, you are meant to be with the characters in the moment as they struggle to survive.

5- The musical score is a dialogue in itself. It pounds, surges, and screams. You can even hear the underlying ticking of a clock as momentum builds. It is a powerful element to the movie.

6- After the evacuation, Winston Churchill gave his famous "We Shall Fight on the Beaches" speech to the House of Commons which left no doubt as to Britain's resolve to continue the fight on all fronts.

"We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender ... our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old." ~Winston Churchill

And now, my friends, you know. Go see the movie.