Posts filed under ‘Cavolate’

Itanglish Korner

Ciao Bloggisti!

One of the things I love about this country is it’s reverence for the English language. It made life as a new immigrant a lot easier for me. I found a job as an English teacher almost immediately and I could have worked night and day had I wanted to. I’ve taught hundreds of people, from kids to police officers, from senior executives to actors. Yes, English lessons have become more fashionable than a pair of Louboutins. In spite of all the teaching that’s going on, somehow Italians don’t have the best grasp of the language. And the mistakes I see are always good for a cheap chuckle. Which is why I’ve decided to inaugurate a new feature: the Itanglish Korner, a sort of Engrish alla pizzaiola . Like the time last week when I went to El Brellin restaurant in the heart of Milan’s Navigli district. A beautiful, elegant place with traditional Milanese dishes like Osso Buco and Risotto. And lo and behold, the menu was in Italian and English. Perfect! Well, not exactly. I was more than a little perplexed the description of one dish, which boasted a delicious sauce of “anchovies straining”. It took a lot of wine to get the image of constipated fish out of my mind.

And just the other day while going for a walk in town, I came across this poster for a local fair, featuring a number of “international” artists, including everyone’s favourite grunge band:

Ha! I’m torn between Perl Giem and the musical stylings of Maury & Mary. Hmmm….

Anyway, the next time I see a terribly-translated menu or any other distortion of the English language, I’ll let you know. And if you have any Itanglish you’d like to share, send ’em in. The more the merrier!

7 July 2008 at 11:13 pm 4 comments

LaToya are you okay?

Ciao Bloggisti!

Enough of Paris for the moment. Let’s talk about LaToya Jackson! Or maybe I should let the marvellous Michael K at DListed do the talking. Jacko dressed as Charo! Ha!!

I loved that post so much that I dedicated a special Disco 2000 muscial medley to that horrifying mental image.

So here’s Jacko:

And here’s Miss Charo, featuring Red Green on bongos:

So, who do you think LaToya’s inspiration was?

Poo poop pee doo!

9 May 2008 at 11:24 pm 1 comment

Chock full of political nuts

Ciao Bloggisti!

This week I feel kinda poopy. Had a bit of the stomach flu over the weekend and didn’t even want to turn the computer on. The only exciting thing that happened was that we chose our kitchen furniture for the new house. : ) Last year we moved into our place which underwent major Money Pit renovations. It’s liveable now but we’re still using the old kitchen. So we’re finally finishing things up and maybe, just maybe by the end of the summer I will have my dream kitchen. Btw, does anyone know anything about professional-style ranges? We don’t know where to begin looking. Anyhoo, while we were in the town of the kitchen store, we had a snack at a really cute, design-y wine bar. Good service, nice piadina with prosciutto crudo and rucola. Odd to find a place like that in the middle of Brianza. But I was already feeling kinda pooped and didn’t even think to take pictures of the place for y’all. And speaking of poopiness, I’m going to talk about Italian politics. How’s that for a segue?

As most of you must know by now, this weekend is the Italian General Election. It’s been a pretty ho-hum campaign for Italian standards but I managed to find some interesting and outrageous articles, soundbites and posters. Here is my election roundup:

“Mr. Ferrara’s campaign seems a cry for life in a country steeped in death and decline. Still, the campaign can be surreal. When a health inspection found that an illegal, late-term abortion had been performed on a fetus with Klinefelter’s Syndrome, whose symptoms include small testicles and large breasts, Mr. Ferrara said that was no grounds to abort. He said he, too, might have the syndrome — and anyone who doubted him could take a look.” If you’re curious here’s what Ferrara looks like (dressed, of course!)

  • The outrageously offensive poster from conservative, secessionist and anti-immigration party Lega Nord:

Translation: They were victims of immigration and now they’re living on reserves. Think about it.” WTF!!!

  • A funny albeit grotesque article from the Toronto Star on the Babe Quotient in Italian politics. A choice excerpt on the lack of good-looking female politicians on the left:

Among the worthy women of the left – one of the best-looking is transgender Refounded Communist deputy Vladimir Luxuria.” Sad but true.

And of course, since it’s Friday, I can’t forget about music. Today we have a special Election edition of Disco 2000. Oh what a selection I have for you today!! You’ll be humming the tunes for years to come.

The first is about the centre-left party Partito Democratico and its leader Walter Veltroni. The unofficial anthem is a takeoff on the Village People’s YMCA and is called “I’m PD” (even if they sing “I AM PD”). After seeing the video, I’m sure you can understand why the Village People protested against the improper use of their fine song.

Très hokey and cheesy but not as vomit-inducingly bad as this piece of… of…. musical poo. Silvio Berlusconi‘s official campaign song, “Meno Male Che Silvio C’è” (Thank Goodness for Silvio) was specifically made to incite feelings of pride and hope in Italy’s future with our pal Silvio. A future of ice cream and call centres. Yes, thank goodness for Silvio!!

My ears!! My eyes!! After seeing those videos I don’t know if I’ll be well enough to vote this weekend. Wish me luck!

Buon weekend and happy voting !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11 April 2008 at 5:45 pm 4 comments

Election Cavolate!*

Ciao Bloggisti!

Something rare and extraordinary is happening here in the Bel Paese. No, it’s not a meteorite crashing into the Uffizi or civil servants actually acting civil for a change. Nooooooo! It’s election time!!! Ok, so it’s not so rare or extraordinary in this neck of the woods. In fact, this time round it’s downright yawn-inducing. Apart from the nasty catfight between Mussolini’s granddaughter and an aspiring queen of the black-shirts, Italian politicians have yet to display the over-the top drama they’re famous for (remember the mortadella-filled fall of the last government?). Things are so tame that there doesn’t seem to be much difference in the messages of the leaders of the two main parties, Walter Veltroni – head of the Partito Democratico, and Silvio Berlusconi – at the helm of the Popolo della Libertà.

But one clear message that Silvio is sending out is that he is afraid of a face-to-face debate. Yes, this champion of “liberty” and democracy has decreed that he will not participate in debates during the election campaign. Maybe his handlers are afraid that he would lose his cool and make rude comments about what starlets are good for or that he is the next best thing to the son of the Lord (he’s actually said it folks!). In any case, this country, which is one of the eight most powerful nations in the world, will not see their leaders in a debate during this crucial time.

Instead, on Monday they opted for a bizarre one-sided debate, which saw the candidates field questions from journalists, separately, all by their lonesome. Veltroni wasn’t even allowed to be in the studio at the same time as Berlusconi! Can you imagine that happening between Hillary and Obama? Or between Mugabe and the person he tried to steal the election from? Ok, bad example.

Here’s a clip showing the end of Berlusconi’s “debate” and Veltroni’s entrance. There are a few things to look out for here: Berlusconi’s frightening hairline (is it sprayed on?), the way he touches the female journalist’s neck on his way out (blech!) and the technician removing Berlusconi’s padded cushion from the chair before Veltroni comes in (poor wittle Silvio). Priceless!

If you can read Italian, here’s an excellent article from La Repubblica describing what went on behind the scenes.

Despite all this, I’m still pretty chuffed about voting in an Italian election for the first time. And every vote counts. So if you happen to be an Italian citizen living abroad don’t forget to let your voice be heard. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, check out my expat pal at Bleeding Espresso for some useful tips.

Happy voting!!!

*For an explanation on what “cavolate” means check out my previous post.

3 April 2008 at 12:59 am 4 comments


Do not adjust your monitors, people. You are not having an alphabet acid flashback. This is an actual clip of long lost rapper Coolio performing a modern version of the Volo dell’Angelo in January during Carnival celebrations in Venice. This, my dears, is a prime example of what I adore about Italy. The economy is in a slump, the government is in tatters, the garbage situation in Campania is tragic but rest assured, Italians will always do something so head-shakingly absurd to restore my faith in this nation. These are the WTF moments of insanity that I like to call cavolate (pron. ca-vo-lah-tey). Literally, it means in the manner of a cabbage (?) but it’s just a nice way of saying in the manner of a dumbass. And the dumbass artistic director of the Venice Carnival decided it would be a super idea to invite a has-been gangsta rapper to do the prestigious Volo dell’Angelo (Flight of the Angel). It’s one of the oldest Venetian traditions dating back to the 16th century, where a man (originally a Turk) would climb a rope to the top of the bell tower in St. Mark’s square and then perform acrobatic feats from the tower all the way down to the loggia of the Doge’s palace. The acrobat would then offer the Doge flowers or poetry. Poetry such as “I’m a loced-out gangsta, set-trippin banger, and my homies is down, so don’t arouse my anger, fool!” Apparently the Doge was cool like that. God I love this country!

6 March 2008 at 10:45 pm 3 comments

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