Posts filed under ‘Something about me’

Pumpkins and devils and Poncherello! Oh my!!

Ciao Bloggisti!

 

Just got back from a party with 20 preschoolers inside a cramped pub. And yes, that was the SCARIEST Hallowe’en I’ve ever had! But at least the kids had great time. Hallowe’en is relatively new to Italy but I’ve noticed that every year it’s growing in popularity. My son actually went trick-or-treating tonight. And to top it all off, some teenagers poured flour all over our gate and entrance because I didn’t open the door. Nice. How did they know I love to bake?

 

 

But not everyone here is in the spooky spirit. A girl in my daughter’s class didn’t attend her pumpkin and witch-themed birthday party because their family “doesn’t celebrate Hallowe’en”. Her mother explained to me how their priest is against this American celebration of witchcraft and all things evil. Then the other day the girl told my daughter that people who like Hallowe’en love the devil. What in the what?!? I almost did a spit take when I heard that!

Who knew that a simple holiday could cause so much pain and suffering? And yet this got me thinking about my own Hallowe’en agony. It happened many years ago and it’s something I haven’t shared but I think I’m ready now. I need… closure.

Picture it: Scarborough, circa 1984. I was super excited about the Girl Guides Hallowe’en party that evening. Even if I only had one stinking badge and feathered hair, I was going to wow them all with my amazing costume. I thought about something made out of a cardboard box, like a giant Rubik’s cube or a package of Kraft Dinner. It was going to be ironic and it was going to be AWESOME. That morning over breakfast I gave my father detailed instructions about what I wanted and how he could make the greatest Hallowe’en costume the Metropolitan Toronto area has ever seen. I could see his mind working and I was positive that I was going to be the corrugated belle of the ball.

I practically ran home from school to get ready for the party and, of course, to see my costume. When I walked in the door and didn’t see it waiting for me in all it’s boxy glory the living room I felt a sort of pang. I couldn’t quite place it, but something didn’t feel right. I called out to my father, asking him where my costume was. He came down the creaky stairs slowly, carrying something that looked unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Would that I could have unseen it! But, oh lord, it was too late!! He held in his hands my little brother’s CHiPs helmet with what seemed to be a paper beak, eyes and feathers glued to it. “Dad! What… is … that? And where’s my costume?!?” He proceeded to tell me that there was no boring Rubik’s cube for me. Oh no! He made his darling daughter a one-of-a-kind, 100% certified original “POLICE BIRD” costume. “WHAT THE HECK IS A POLICE BIRD?!?!?” He then started to explain how he didn’t have any boxes nor time to go out and get one. So he got the brilliant idea to make something so absurd, so nonsensical even Lady Gaga would be embarrassed to wear it. I mean, what kind of sick mind would morph Erik Estrada with a winged beast. Seriously, it was that awful. And I was going to walk into the Girl Guide party with that “thing” on my head. I was going to answer the many “What are you supposed to be?/Are you mental?” questions that were bound to come my way. Yes, I was a pariah and eventually had to leave the GTA (ok, the continent) to find a man. But it’s true what they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And this “police bird” flew like an eagle, baby!

 

Hope you all had an awesome Hallowe’en!!

 

1 November 2011 at 2:55 am 2 comments

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

Seven Weeks

Ciao Bloggisti!

Yes, it’s been exactly 7 weeks since my last post. And 7 weeks since my water broke and we made a mad dash to the hospital. It was quite benevolent timing on the baby’s part. After our August holidays I was in major nesting mode and had a long list of things to tidy up, organize, re-organize and re-re-organize. A blog post was also on that long list and I couldn’t rest until that was done. And literally a few hours after I hit the “Publish” button I woke up in the middle of the night, rolled over and … whooosh.. Niagara Falls!!

As for the birth, it took longer than I expected. I thought, “Third baby. Piece of cake! I’ll sneeze this one out!!” Well the joke was on me. I had irregular contractions for 24 hours, shared my room with a Chinese woman and her extended family, then with a translator who happened to study at my school, I ate the most nauseating hospital food ever, and in the end, just like the last time, labour was induced. Those drugs sure packed a punch because I almost gave birth in the elevator on my way to the delivery room! But I held on and our adorable little girl was born safe and sound.

During the last seven weeks my mom was here to help and get mercilessly pinched by Diggy, Bellie discovered her inner earth mother and was giving me diapering advice, the hubster temporarily gave up playing the bass to take up a new pasttime: rocking a colicky baby, I became a full-time milk dispenser and tried to get used to life as a casalinga disperata. Not so easy with three little ‘uns in the house, what with all the laundry, cooking, organizing birthday parties, school runs etc. to fit in between feedings. Thank god Mom and I cooked up a storm while she was here and we froze lots of mini-meals, from cottage pie to pasta casseroles. I am also desperately trying to fit in time to exercise with help from my postpartum, “get your blobby belly back into shape” dvd. I only manage to fit in 10 minutes here and there but I’m starting to see some results.

But the most wonderful thing about the last month and a half is little Charlie. I don’t mean to gush but she really is the sweetest little baby. And wonder of wonders, she started sleeping through the night at only 3 1/2 weeks!! I guess she understood that Mommy and Papà are just too old to haul their lazy butts out of bed for those night feedings. Whatever the reason, I’m thrilled to get a decent night’s sleep. Now she’s smiling more and starting to communicate with her little “oohs” and “aahs”. And despite all the stress and mayhem that has overtaken my life, corny as it sounds, Charlie’s gurgles and smiles have the power to make all those problems disappear.

12 October 2010 at 12:22 am 3 comments

Work in progress…

Ciao Bloggisti!

Just a quick post to see how you’re all doing and so they don’t shut down my account ;).
Lots of things have happened over the last few months and I don’t know where to begin.

But thanks to the panino, I’ve been having problems sitting down for long stretches in front of the computer. So instead of writing, I’ve been sprawled on my sofa like a walrus, catching up on episodes of 30 Rock and Modern Family. And of course, now I’m busy with the World Cup and I’m loving it! And it’s all people are talking about over here. It’s football, football, football all the time. “Constant, dizzying, 24-hour, year-long, endless football!”

Yes, sometimes it’s a bit much but I have to argue that there are some intellectually, spiritually and culturally-valid aspects to the game. And that’s just what I’ll talk about in my 2010 World Cup Sexy Ugly list… coming soon….

I also have to update you on the panino’s progress in my next post. What I can tell you now is that the little bun is now turning into a giant loaf of Altamura and is a SHE 🙂 Here’s a sneak preview:

22 weeks - April 2010

To be continued….

18 June 2010 at 12:48 am 3 comments

Little Panino and Lapo’s Big Fail

Ciao Bloggisti!

Just wanted to update you on what’s been going on this week. First of all, I have a cat problem. I’m not sure if I already shared but I have two lady cats, Beppa and Sausage (don’t ask) who are 11 years old. Still sprightly despite reaching cougar age, they were living a peaceful life until some neighbourhood cats decided to invade their kitty home. They eat their food and sleep in their little cat hideaway under the stairs. But the worst part is that one of them, who I’ve dubbed Mel, is a male and is, ahem, marking his territory in their room. Which means my girls and their room now stink of Eau de Smelly Mel. What to do? Spray him back with Eau de Silvio? Befriend him? Send him to Vicenza? Any advice would be welcome.

And speaking of cats, there’s one that I have to let out of the proverbial bag. The big project I mentioned in the last post, the one that’s sucking all of my energy is actually a baking project. Yes, my friends, there’s a little panino in the oven! Four months along but he/she is rising nicely. So this, hopefully, explains my paltry posting activity over the last few months. Of course, the first trimester was exhausting. I spent most of my evenings passed out on the sofa. And boy was I ever nauseous! More than in the first two pregnancies combined. But on the whole, things seem to be progressing well. I even did a 3D ultrasound last week, which was pretty amazing. And since I’m a veteran, I’ve been feeling the baby kick for a while now. I have absolutely no idea how we’re going to handle everything with three kids but I’ll think about it when the time comes. So that’s big news number two.

Other interesting news this week comes courtesy of the NBA. I’m not sure if you’ve heard but the L.A. Lakers have a new star player: Lapo Elkann! Lapo is the late Gianni Agnelli’s grandson and is an “industrialist”, “international playboy”, “best-dressed bon vivant” and other things which I probably shouldn’t mention here. Let’s just say he’s not the brightest light in the Agnelli family.

So why is Lapo such a basketball superstar? Well, during a recent Lakers game against the Toronto Raptors, he actually tipped a loose ball away before Toronto guard Jose Calderon could make an out-of-bounds save. You have to see it to believe it:

Of course, our international-man-of-misery Lapo was mortified, as his Italian pals Bargnani and Belinelli actually play for the Raptors. But he just had to do something to protect his sunglasses. Or maybe he thought he was playing dodgeball. Anyway, I apologize to my fellow Toronto fans on his behalf. Scusate!!

Of course after this, there’s no way Lapo will ever become a member of the Handsome Men’s Club. I’m sure Matt Damon has something cruel and unusual in store for him. Mwah ha ha ha haaaa!!!

May you have a handsome weekend!!

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12 March 2010 at 1:12 am 4 comments

Festivus – Masala style!

Ciao party people!

My name is Linda and I would like to welcome you to Milanese Masala’s one-of-a-kind, extra-special, supercalafragilistic (etc., etc.) contribution to the Ultimate Blog Party. Please, have a drink on me! What’s your poison?

drink-march-april-2008

I had such a blast at last year’s party and made so many new blogging buddies that I decided that I couldn’t miss out this time around. A big thanks to the ladies at 5 Minutes for Mom for organizing the shindig.

For those of you new to Milanese Masala, basically it’s the rantings and ravings of a Canadian expat working mom in Italy. I talk about life in the Boot, from food to music to politics and soccer and much much more. If you want to find out more about me you can read my party post from last year’s UBP or the article I wrote for the Toronto Star a while back.

This year I thought I’d celebrate in a different way. I wanted to do a sort of Festivus, you know, the Costanza family celebration from Seinfeld.

Life ain’t easy these days for moms, or anyone for that matter, so if you’d like to do an Airing of Grievances here’s your chance to lash out. And for all those Supermoms out there, you can regale us with stories of your Feats of Strength. For example, I have eyes in the back of my head, I can tell the exact consistency of my son’s poop even before changing his diaper just from the smell and I can make a mean Carbonara.

And speaking of Italian food, I’m giving away a $30 care package of local delicacies for the Ultimate Blog Party so don’t forget to choose my yummy prize.

As for my picks, I wouldn’t mind the following International giveaways: 37, 49, 1, 51, 55 and 63.

So come on and celebrate Festivus – Masala style! Can’t wait to read your comments.

A presto!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

21 March 2009 at 11:44 pm 9 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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