Posts filed under ‘Music’

Separated at birth, aloo gobi and doughnuts

Ciao Bloggisti!

What I’m watching: Just finished watching Vieni Via Con Me. Those of you in Italy know what I’m talking about. Tonight’s episode featured specials guests Gianfranco Fini and Pierluigi Bersani. Speaking of which, the leader of the Partito Democratico bears a scary resemblance to Dharma’s dad, dontcha think? Separated at birth, people!!

 

Pier Luigi Bersani

 

Dharma’s Dad

Music of the day: I loved Avion Travel‘s cover of the song Vieni Via Con Me on tonight’s show. Actor Toni Servillo (singer Beppe’s brother) guested on vocals.  And just listen to that guitar!

Best read of the day: I’m trying to teach my son the English alphabet and he’s making great progress with Thomas the Tank Engine ABC. It’s very basic but there’s something about trains that keeps Diggy hooked. Any other suggestions for teaching bilingual kids would be most appreciated.

What I’m eating: Yesterday I cooked up a storm: a bit of Indian and Italian. My husband bought some cauliflower so I could make aloo gobi.

aloo gobi

It was good but not quite perfect. I didn’t have any cumin and I was a bit stingy with the green chilis as I’m a milk dispenser now.  My husband did manage to find some coriander/cilantro in the garden, thank goodness. It’s so fragrant and really makes a difference. I also made chick pea and potato samosas (which the kids actually ate!) as well as a dish with borlotti beans, pancetta and red wine.

Best moment of the day: Playing in front of the mirror with the baby. She’s such a giggler now! Oh, cleaning out the lint filter in the dryer was also a highlight, albeit on a different level. Very zen.


Where I’d like to go: To Tim Hortons, baby! In one month I’m going to be in Canada and you know my first stop will not be my Mom’s place but Timmy’s, to get a chocolate dip doughnut and a double double of course.

 

16 November 2010 at 2:14 am 1 comment

Conchords, Ransom, Teeth and Stew

Ciao Bloggisti!

Ecco un’altra lista:

What I’m watching: Caught Flight of the Conchords for the first time last night, dubbed in Italian mind you. I still enjoyed it immensely! It’s like a cross between Peep Show and Glee. Sigh! I wish Mark and Jez would set their woes to music.

Music of the day: I was thrilled to see Elvis Costello on Letterman the other day. I think he has one of the best voices in music and he was on the show to promote his new album, National Ransom. The title track sounds great and the band is tight, which bodes well for the rest of the album. Can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Best read of the day: I’m currently reading Stephen Fry’s autobiography, Moab is My Washpot. It chronicles the first 20 years of his life and is at times hilarious and melancholy. If you’re a Fry fan, you’ll definitely enjoy following him on Twitter.* Oh, this video is pretty cool, too.

*Stephen Fry left Twitter for a few days due to criticism he received after being misquoted in a recent article on women and sex. He’s back now, thank goodness!

What I’m eating: Yesterday I had lunch at a Sardinian restaurant and was served a teeny tiny portion of grilled tuna steak and malloreddus gnocchi with tomato sauce. Not bad but I was hungry after an hour! So hungry that I decided to make a good old-fashioned Beef Stew.

Stewie Beef!

I got the recipe from my Canadian Living cookbook. Simple and delicious. I even used some of the San Colombano. The only problem was that the kids were disgusted by the vegetables and took ages to finish dinner, or maybe it was the San Colombano that slowed them down. They were also not impressed by the pumpkin spice muffins I just baked. More for me!

Best moment of the day: Bellie’s first tooth fell out!! And she was paid a visit by the Tooth Fairy, even if in Italy a little mouse (?!) usually does the honours.

Worst moment of the day: Little Charlie puking all over me. She’s ok, her tum tum just doesn’t agree with formula.

Where I’d like to go: The China Power Station contemporary Chinese art exhibition at the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli in Turin.

Things that make you go “AWWW!”: Zidane and Materazzi hugging and making up.

Laters!

4 November 2010 at 10:31 pm 1 comment

Time!

Ciao Bloggisti!

I never thought I’d quote Steve Miller (the bane of my university years) but “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future”. I can’t believe it’s already November and that my little girl is already two months old and my “big” girl just turned seven!

For the last few weeks “time” has been on my mind: the lack of, the speed of, the wasting of, the quality of, etc.

I’ve also been pondering how best to reconcile my need to write with my überbusy existence). Yes, I’m getting used to life with three kiddos but I still have the urge to create things other than babies and clutter. I’d also like to communicate in some way with the outside world because I’m cooped up at home most of the time. But how to do it in between feedings, laundry and sleeping?

The only thing I could think of that would best fit my schedule is a point-form list of what I’m doing, thinking about, reading, etc., because world wants to know! Ideally I’d like to post one every day but, come on, we all know how prolific a writer I’ve been lately 😉 I’m also going to write traditional posts (god willing!) from time to time so this new system isn’t set in stone.

Ok, here we go!

What I’m watching: My current obsession is the American version of The Office. I can’t get enough of it and I’m trying to control how many episodes I watch per day because I don’t want it to end! I have Seasons 1-5 (thanks Sue!). I was a huge fan of the UK Office and was doubtful I’d enjoy the US version but I was so wrong. The writers and actors have done a superb job with each and every one of the characters. Maybe in some twisted way it reminds me of work and is a way for me to “escape” to the office every day.

Music of the day: yesterday I enforced a No TV day and played CDs instead. A little bit of Schubert and Vivaldi but my favourite was The Beatles White Album. Perfect for a rainy day, or any day for that matter. That time spent in Rishikesh did them good. It has a bit of everything and will never let you down (well, except for Yoko’s screaming in Revolution #9. It scared the baby.).

Best read of the day: this is actually from a few days ago but I happened to read it now. I had no idea the Japanese were this crazy for doughnuts. They sound like my kind of people!

What I’m eating: I just polished off a heaping plate of spaghetti with sugo di stufato d’asino. That’s just a fancy way of saying “stewed donkey meat sauce”. I know, it doesn’t sound as good in English but let me assure you, it was yum. Oh, and last night the hubster made a divine risotto alla zucca, or pumpkin risotto. He also cooked his famous frittata, this time with turnip tops (cime di rapa). And thank god I can have a glass of wine from time to time because tonight we’re going to open up a bottle of San Colombano, the only DOC wine produced in the province of Milan.

Best moment of the day: Baby and Diggy “talking” to each other. She was even laughing a little bit. So sweet!

Worst moment of the day: My kids overhearing the expression “bunga bunga” and giddily repeating it over and over again. Cringe cringe cringe.

Well, this turned out to be longer than I thought. But it was fun!

Will I keep up with it? Only time will tell.

2 November 2010 at 3:53 pm 3 comments

Hard Act to Follow?

Ciao Bloggisti!

By now you’ve all heard about Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Boy, was that a surprise! Not that the man didn’t deserve it. Just wasn’t expecting it, is all. Am looking forward to seeing what the folks at SNL are going to make of the whole thing.

But I had an even bigger surprise a couple weeks ago. While on my way to work, listening to the fantabulous Luca Bottura on Radio Capital, I had the shock of my (relatively) young life. Bottura announced that (gasp, horror!) there was an official committee to promote the nomination of Silvio Berlusconi for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. And it was no joke! There’s an official site and everything, in Italian and Itanglish, where you can find out how to make donations to “back Silvio Berlusconi’s candidady (huh?!? Is that like becoming his sugar daddy??? Eww, no grazie!). You can also find out  why Silvio is on a par with Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Yunus and Al Gore. Truly thrilling science fiction.

But it gets more awesome. There’s even an official song/anthem, called La Pace Può (Peace Can). Are you ready for it, kids?? (warning: children, expectant mothers and diabetics are advised against watching this masterpiece)

Now be honest, did you throw up in your mouth just a little?

For those of you who don’t know Italian and couldn’t grasp the pure poetry of Loriana Lana’s lyrics, here’s an approximate translation of the first verse. Barf bags ready?

Peace can,
I will repeat
these words endlessly.
And the wind will be the one to spread it
and the world shall listen.
Peace can,
see for yourself
Abruzzo wakes up in disbelief.
Snow and sun
that meet,
and your hand is here.
There is a President
always present
that will accompany us.

He put his hand where?!? Now, how can our Silvio win the Nobel Peace Prize with lyrics like that? At least Obama had Michael Franti. Berluska clearly needs our help. Let’s come up with something better so that the great man at least has  a fighting chance. Am very much looking forward to your suggestions (anche in Italiano se volete)!

11 October 2009 at 12:56 am 6 comments

Here come the sons!

Ciao Bloggisti!

Big news everyone!! As you know, I’m a Beatlemaniac so when I read this article (courtesy of Abbey Rodent), I was so happy I started doing the Pharrell McDonald’s dance in the office:

While a Beatles reunion concert is sadly out of the question, Beatle fans may just get the next best thing: Julian & Sean Lennon, James McCartney, Dhani Harrison, and Zak & Jason Starkey are getting together for a series of concerts this summer.

Calling their outing the ‘Here Comes The Sons’ Tour, the surprising Beatles siblings “reunion” came about when Julian Lennon visited Friar Park, the home of the late George Harrison, at the request of Dhani Harrison and his mother Olivia, Harrison’s widow. Olivia had come across some George Harrison demos which George had intended to send to John Lennon in the months prior to Lennon’s tragic death. Harrison had recorded the demos trying to emulate Lennon’s voice, and decided that the songs were better suited for John. After Lennon’s passing, Harrison shelved the tapes, which were later discovered by Olivia.

Listening to the songs, Olivia also felt the songs needed a Lennon vocal and invited Julian Lennon to Friar Park to hear the demos. Julian listened and liked the songs, but thought that there were some parts that needed a higher, younger vocal register than he could muster. He rang up his half-brother Sean, and emailed an mp3 of a couple of the demos to the youngest Lennon. Both Lennon’s were excited about the songs and arranged to record them at Friar Park with Dhani and Sean doing the guitar parts.

Playbacks of the songs revealed to the young Harrison and Lennon Brothers that some distinctive bass and drum parts were needed. On a hunch, they rang Sir Paul McCartney to see if he might have interest in the project. Sir Paul politely refused, but suggested that perhaps his son, James, might be the man they needed to play bass. James McCartney arrived at the sessions with Zak & Jason Starkey, the sons of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who happened to be visiting the McCartney’s in London. The six Beatles siblings then went to work on the Harrison demos, and the finished results so pleased them, they decided that not only would they release the songs, they would also record additional original material for an album release, to be followed by a brief tour of the United States.

At a press conference held at Abbey Road Studios, the Beatles siblings made an official announcement of the tour and album release. “We’re all very excited by the songs”, Dhani Harrison beamed, “Dad really wanted John Lennon to record these songs, and in a way, I feel that we’re honoring his wishes”. “I’m very humbled that Olivia and Dhani asked me to listen to George’s demos”, chimed in Julian Lennon, “and I’m very happy that Sean is onboard this project too. We’ve been talking for years about doing something together, and these songs felt just right for us. And to have Dhani, James, Zak & Jason involved makes this a very special project as well”.

“Our Dads at first were a little leery about us doing this”, said James McCartney , referring to McCartney and Starr, “but after they heard what we put together, they gave us their blessings”.

“It’s funny in a way”, added Zak Starkey, “I’ve played with my Dad, The Who and Oasis, but playing with these guys, who are more or less as much brothers to me as Jason is, I’m really excited at the prospect of going on the road with them”. When asked who came up with the idea of calling the tour ‘Here Comes The Sons 2006′, Dhani Harrison raised his hand. “Guilty!’, he laughed, joined by the other five. “After all, I made the phone call!”, which elicited another round of laughter from the group. The tour kicks off at Irving Plaza in New York City on April 1st. More dates to be announced. Stella McCartney will be designing the stage wear for the group.

I hope the tour makes its way to Italy. That would be a dream come true.

 

Would you go to the Beatle offspring concert? Or do you prefer Offspring? Discuss!

1 April 2009 at 2:42 pm 5 comments

Addicted to DVDs

Ciao Bloggisti!
Ah! Exercising in the great outdoors, breathing in the fresh sea air, at one with Mother Nature…
Photo credit: mikebaird

Photo credit: mikebaird

BOOOORING! And dangerous. You could trip and fall down a cliff, or get cooked by those nasty UV rays or worse still, get bugs in your hair and teeth. Nah, not for me!
Sour grapes? Ok, maybe just a little but the truth is, I just don’t have the time to get out there and jog. And the idea doesn’t really appeal to me in the first place. The only way I’d run is if I was being chased by a bear wielding a large mallet. So how’s a working mom supposed to get in shape before the summer? DVDs baby!
I decided to order a couple of simple workout DVDs that I could do from the comfort of my family room. Since I’m a lazy slob at heart, I wasn’t sure I would have had the discipline to actually wake up a few minutes earlier every morning to exercise. But except for a break when the kids and I were sick, I’ve surprised myself and stuck to my regimen. The DVD I’ve been using the most is 10 Minute Solution – Target Toning for Beginners. It has five 10 minute workouts focusing on areas like arms, thighs, abs and “glutes”. I only do 10 minutes a day because of my tight schedule but I find the workouts effective even if the chipper blonde instructor sort of annoys me. When I have a few extra minutes I also do the Pilates Weight Loss Workout for Dummies but the pace is a lot faster than your classic Pilates course. Let’s hope I’ll be ready for that “prova costume” but don’t expect me to post pics of me in a bikini! Not gonna happen!!!
I could, however, post some shots of me and my guitar.
guitar-feb-2009
Nice, eh? I’ve also decided to go the DVD route with this baby. I bought the  Learning Guitar for Dummies book and DVD and while I find it difficult at times, it’s clear and teaches me basic chords and styles. I don’t know if I’ll ever be good enough to play a Beatles song but it keeps me busy. Like I didn’t have enough to do!
p.s. There’s still time to leave a comment for the book giveaway! You have until midnight (ET). The winner will be announced next week.

p.p.s the Ultimate Blog Party starts tomorrow!!

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19 March 2009 at 10:51 pm 2 comments

Blogiversary and Book Giveaway!

Ciao Bloggisti!

It’s a very special moment for me. This proud mammina is thrilled to celebrate my baby’s 1st birthday with y’all.

cake-2

Yes, Milanese Masala is a year old! Well, to be honest, the actual blogiversary was a couple of weeks ago but (surprise, surprise!) I didn’t get around to writing this post till now. Maybe it’s the change of season, maybe it’s my latent narcolepsy waking up again. Whatever it is, I’m just too exhausted to stay up late and write like I used to in the early days.

In honour of her birthday I’ve decided to give the old broad a facelift. It’s just what best friends do. You like? It’s still a work in progress but I think it’s much easier to read. I plan on improving my photos and start putting myself on a stricter schedule but I ain’t making no promises!

I guess now I should take the customary stroll down Blogiversary Lane,  look back, take stock of the past year, etc, etc. What have I learned? Well, that I’m a touch crazy to have decided to embark on a blogging career considering that a) I already have a full-time job b) we moved into our new house 2 years ago and still have a garage full of boxes to unpack and c) I have two little ‘uns, one of whom is a terremoto toddler who leaps small cabinets in a single bound.

So why in the hoo ha did I start blogging in the first place ? Truth be told, despite my busy life, I really love writing and I thought what better outlet to spew my senseless ramblings in than a blog. Plus, it would get me in the habit of writing regularly (or so I thought). I was also muchly inspired by my pal Joanne at Frutto della Passione. She’s taught me so much and helped this tech numbskull out on many a occasion. Thanks Jo! And of course, there’s a great community of expat bloggers that I wanted to get to know better. I “met” so many cool people because of my blog and for that I’m grateful.

Now, on with the shoe…

To celebrate my blogiversary I wanted to subject you to a meme that I did on FB. Some of you have probably already read this but for those who haven’t, it’s a way for all you newbies to get to know me a little better. Here are 25 Random Things About Me:

1. I believe humour and music can save your soul…

2. … so at the ripe old age of 30-something, I’ve decided to learn to play the guitar! Funny, eh?

3. I am slow at everything except driving.

4. Yet I was picked to be a part of a 4×100 relay team in Gr.8

5. I’m crazy for cats. They are the smartest, coolest, calmest, most beautiful animals in the world.

6. I’m a plant killer. I love flowers and gardens so I’m hoping to change my homicidal ways.

7. There’s nothing sexier than talking to a man who’s actually listening to you. A sense of humour don’t hurt either.

8. It’s terrible but I love gossip, from reading it to doing it. All harmless but it’s a bad habit I hope to kick.

9. I’d like to be a writer. Of some sort. I think.

10. I used to throw cutlery from our 6th floor balcony when I was a toddler.

11. My 2 yr old is obsessed with dinner knives. Coincidence?

12. I once sang The Greatest Love of All in an audition for a high school musical. I vaguely remember people chuckling during my heartfelt performance. I didn’t get the part.

13. I’ve had a love affair with the city of Paris ever since I first went there at 16 and did everything possible to live there, which I finally managed to do at university.

14. I think dictionaries are cool

15. Is there anything better than hugging a baby/child who’s just woken up, all toasty and warm?

16. If you want to ride in my car you have to listen to music. My music. Unless you’re a kid which means you can choose from either Raffi or Sharon, Lois & Bram.

17. If I had the chance to meet one famous person it would have to be Paul McCartney.

18. I’ve been married twice. To the same guy. Still waiting for that engagement ring, though.

19. I’ve been to India five times.

20. I used to have straight hair when I was a kid. My hair started going all wonky at puberty. I was so desperate to fix it I even had two perms when I was in high school. No joke.

21. I love lists. I love it when a plan comes together. I absolutely hate it when they don’t, especially if it’s due to somebody going back on their word.

22. I’m a terrible procrastinator. I really should be doing something else instead of writing this list.

23. I used to collect dryer lint.

24. My people can’t dance. Well, that’s what my father used to say.

25. I really wish I could have heard him say that to his grandkids.

I am also commemorating the blogiversary by doing  my very first giveaway. Yes, you read right! I am giving away an autographed copy of renowned novelist and translator Tim Parks‘s latest book, Dreams of Rivers and Seas.

bmimg_123291_9781846551147l_th

As Jane Shilling of the Sunday Telegraph says, Dreams of Rivers and Seas is “a love story (or rather several love stories), an oblique and engrossing mystery, but above all a story about language and its limitations.”

If you want to win a copy of the book, all you have to do is post a comment from today (17 March) till Thursday 19 March. You can leave any comment you wish (be nice!) but it would be nice to hear  about your experiences with language limitations or even read what you have to say about the meme or even do your own. The winner will be chosen randomly from all those who posted comments. I will send the book anywhere so all you international lurkers can start speaking up for a change!

Can’t wait to read your comments!

p.s. Don’t forget about the Ultimate Blog Party 2009 at 5 Minutes for Mom from 20-27 March. I’m doing a giveaway there too!! Yes, la sciura è impazzita!

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17 March 2009 at 1:57 am 10 comments

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