February 7th, 2006


I'm back, still being appreciated

I wonder if there's something I can do for Luckie that will convince her I *am* paying attention to her. Poor baby is still following me everywhere, hopping onto the desk, walking up to me and grabbing my legs to hug me, and making goo-goo eyes at me every chance she gets. I keep picking her up, cuddling her, petting her, head-butting her, and gave her nice wet, meaty cat food, and she's still here purring and meowing at me... um no, now she's ON my laptop! LOL. Need attention much?! He he.

Meanwhile the combination of jetlag and Luckie jumping all over me, throwing toys in my face and meowing a lot woke me up around 4:30. I resisted actually getting up 'til 6:30, mostly by burying my head in the pillows. Finally I had to give in. Now it's daylight and I'm wondering which of the million things on my To Do list I should do first. *thinks* OK, put clothes in the dryer wins. Next: shower.
sideview, obamame_sideview


Was checking my hometown newspaper today and came across a surprising obit:

Stephanie Cinelli

Stephanie was a member of my class in school. She was born with spina bifida and was really tiny but tough. From high school she went on to do a lot of work for the deaf and earned a degree in Sign Language Interpreting.

Favorite Italian Words & Phrases

I'm going to be making a lot of posts about Italy, coming up over the next few days, but for now I'm starting with a quickie, copying down a list I compiled during the trip:

Favorite Italian Words and Phrases

Meaning a passageway that goes under wherever you're at (literally an "under-passage"). You see this sign at railway stations, pointing to the stairs where you go down from the platform to reach other platforms.

fare bella figura
"Making the good/pretty figure," i.e. strutting your stuff down the streets and sidewalks of, say, Florence.

Cleaners. I like it because the word root comes from the Italian for "clean."

Not only do I like the word, I like the thing it represents :)

Sounds a lot better than the English, "Florence." A lot of Italian place names sound great, but this one in particular stands out to me.

Highway. I like the way it sounds so big and powerful, like AK-47 or something.

Usually written "SALDI" in big letters, as it means "sale." I like this word for obvious reasons!

Ticketing area, like at a train station. I love how the Italians can take anything can make it an "eria." Like lavanderia, cafeteria, etc. If there was a place that sold cat meat, they'd call it a gatteria. Or if it sold toilets, it'd be a toiletteria.

bambino / bambini
Baby/kid and the plural. It's just so cute!

panino / panini
Sandwich. Like capucchino, I like the word AND what it represents!

and finally the phrase I probably noticed most:

vietato fumare
Meaning... smoking prohibited. Italy recently passed national anti-smoking legislation and AMEN! to that. Signs are posted prominently in every restaurant, bar, coffeeshop, bakery, etc. It's also banned from the train. Thank you very much! Last year in Germany Caleb and I rode on a smoking car and it was totally bogus, even though only half the car was smoking, which is stupid anyway b/c not like smoke won't move around in a train car!
sideview, obamame_sideview

Jetlag, randomisity

Jetlag. Man, I hate it. The day after getting back from a trip, I wake up in the morning feeling pretty good, but then around noon, it all starts to fall to pieces.

Today I puttered around doing small stuff and then around noon went to the allergist. Felt fine until I left the building; then I was cold, my foot hurt, the bruise on my right shin hurt, I had a headache, and worst of all, I was all kinds of dizzy. Despite this, I pressed on and went to the allergist, then to Kroger for some groceries. I nearly fell over 3-4 times, just from stumbling in dizziness. Everything seems kind of dreamlike, yet I feel really heavy.

Don't worry though, anybody, I'm home now, the world is safe. I'm thinking I may wind up napping later but for now I'm going to sit a spell catching up on the avalanche of emails dumped on me in my absence.


Other bits and pieces:

At Arts Center MARTA station today, I came face to face with a woman who must have been at least 7 FEET tall! OMG, I thought she was on stilts. She was skinny as a signpost, too. My first thought: "Where the f*ck does she find clothes?" I mean, the length and then being that thin?! I was still reeling from that shock (which it is, as I *never* come across any women taller than me) when I sat down on the 23 bus and there was another woman who, sitting down, was like a head taller than me. Only this woman wasn't skinny, she was built like a grizzly bear. Huge! She was like the Incredible Hulkess or something. Man! So for a few minutes I felt really "small.:

Just had a lovely sandwich out of the German bread Dagmar gave me; Caleb and I each got two small loafs / large rolls of sunflower bread she picked up during her trip to Germany. I made two little sandwiches out of the big roll, with swiss cheese, tomatoes and honey. Delicious!

Bernice, security guard who works the 7-3 shift in my building, loved the postcard I sent from Riva del Garda. Yay.
sideview, obamame_sideview

Two Friday Fives

This past week's

1. What is your favorite specialty restaurant (Italian, Mexican, Thai, etc.)?
Baraonda, here in Atlanta. It's Italian. Really authentically Italian, I must add.

2. What do you order to eat there?
Despite the wonder of their pizzas, I don't order them that often. Instead I tend to order their pasta, like a lovely penne dish they do. I love their "verdura" panino, which is roast vegies with cheese, heated in the wood-fire pizza oven. I love their "soup of the day" choices too... have had many good soups there. Their fried calamari is great too and then there are the imported European fruit juices, like pear and apricot. And their gelato -- OMG. Basically, I love it all.

3. What is your favorite specialty food or dish to cook?

Almost all the food I cook is "specialty," as I don't favor the "typical" "American" diet of meat or frozen food or whatever. I cook dishes from all over, including many places in Europe, plus North Africa, the Middle East, India, Thailand, China, etc. What's my favorite? Well, it sounds really dull, but I love the vegetarian shepherd's pie I make. I've done it many, many times and it's always good. Mmmm, do I love that blend of mashed potatoes, salty mushroom gravy and tofu "meat." Does English count as "speciality"?

4. If you could travel to the home country of your favorite specialty food, what would you do there?

Since I seem to go to England, Germany and Italy regularly, I'd say this aspect is covered :) And what do I do there? Walk around a lot, shop, take pictures, and eat.

5. What is your worst experience with a specialty food restaurant?

Hmmmmm... probably the pizza place I found in Georgetown once. That place needed to get reported to the health department, let alone reported as deserving of zero stars. Next to that, I'd say I've had numerous issues with the soup at Chinese restaurants, which often seems rather toxic.

And the week before that....

1. First time you cooked for someone else?

I was probably 5 or so and made my mom scrambled eggs. It was one of the first things I was taught to cook, soon as I was tall enough to use the stove.

2. First time you threw up in someone else's toilet?

I don't think I've ever done this.

3. First time you did anything illegal?

I shoplifted I haircomb from a local drugsstore when I was like 5.

4. First time you saw snow/the ocean (whichever is more exotic)?

Ermmmmm.... Seeing as I kind of grew up in a very snowy place quite near the ocean, and went in the snow and ocean before I could walk, I'm sure... can't really say.

5. First thought when I say "crumple-horned snorcack"?

Seahorses f*cking.
sideview, obamame_sideview

Strike / Counterstrike

It's a wonder I didn't see this one coming:

Paper to run 'Holocaust cartoons'

(CNN) -- An Iranian newspaper says it is going to hold a competition for cartoons on the Holocaust to test whether the West will apply the same principles of freedom of expression to the Nazi genocide against Jews as it did to the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, The Associated Press reports.