Saturday, March 25, 2006

You know you're a resident of the ghetto if.....

It is T-8 hours to my comprehensive exam for my master's degree.
About 4 hours ago, I called Papa John's to order a pizza. It seemed the student-cramming-for-a-test thing to do. It is also something that I never do. I seriously may have never had a pizza delivered to this place. Maybe once my first year here, but maybe not. I don't remember.
At any rate, the nice girl who answered the phone when I called Papa John's had to inform me that they don't deliver to my area after dark.
As I listened to gunshots about 1 1/2 hours ago (like a whole gun being emptied rapid fire), I just nodded my head and thought, "Yes, that's why I couldn't get a pizza tonight." When Thomas called to see how the studying was going and I told him the story, his immediate reaction was "You do live in the ghetto!"
"Yes," I replied, "that pretty much confirms it."

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Lately, I have been listening to Italian music radio at work. I would listen to it at home too, but somehow my computer here can't bring it up. You can see if your computer will do it by clicking to RadioItalia here. Good luck.

Anyway, there is this crazy commercial for non-stick spray with this nutty song that gets stuck in your head and really is as annoying as irretrievable popcorn hulls between your teeth. The saving grace in this commercial is the use of the verb disincrostare - to remove a baked on crusty mess. I told my students about it today and one of them just smiled and said that she loves the way Italian has crazy words like that.

I must agree with her. I love it too.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Jon Stewart - Hooray!

I had a good time watching the Oscars last night. Why? Well, if you didn't read the title of this post: Jon Stewart - Hooray! Shall we compare last night's awards to last year's? My rundown of the 2005 ceremony is here. Please refresh yourself, I will make comment:

1. Jon Stewart doesn't have to yell at us to be funny. His opener had me rolling - not hitting mute like last year. The whole bit with George Clooney was great.

2. George Clooney also gets the best acceptance speech of the night award. Do you think he might get to be sexiest man alive again? He certainly beats this year's winner. And he has a lake district house in Italy.

3. Dolly Parton. 'Nuff said.

4. I can't imagine what I would have cooked for the best picture nominees had I thrown a party this year. Racist ethnic foods for Crash? Fancy western hors d'oeuvres for Brokeback Mountain? I might have had to resurrect my smoking cigarette cake for Good Night and Good Luck. That might have been fun.

5. Martin Scorsese wasn't up for anything this year. Hooray.

6. I didn't see Puffy there. I'm sure he was there, but I didn't see him. I didn't miss him. But a torch-wielding mob needs to hunt out the people who thought that the pimp song was the best of the year. Was it just a bad year for music?

7. Jon Stewart cracked me up.

And that's it. Until next year.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Republishing: Amilynne is Brilliant

I originally published this on the new Amilynne & Melissa collaborative Blog of Blood. Amilynne then informed me that if I was going to brag about her it had better be in the traditional context of this blog. So I am republishing the following, which I originally published Friday, Feb. 26 on the Blog of Blood. Then I'll go erase that post--so you'll only be able to see me brag about my sister here:

Amilynne is Brilliant

As the Olympics finish tonight and Neve and Gliz become a footnote in history, there is something of much more consequence about which to write: Amilynne got a perfect score on her Language and Literature PRAXIS test. She is too modest to tell you herself. But if you ever need to know which novel has a coffeehouse named for one of its characters, she is the one to ask.

It's so nice to have a sister who is perfect. I just don't have to worry about being perfect at all, I have Amilynne to do that. I can just live my life and enjoy the warm glow of her brilliance and let it reflect off and bounce around and do acrobatic tricks.

On a completely different note, sort of, please check out the last page of the March issue of Smithsonian for an article about the words English hasn't borrowed from other languages.