Wednesday, September 30, 2009

cheap blogging trick..

Yeah, I'm resorting to cheap blogging tricks.

I promise to wax philosophical about something tomorrow or maybe the day after...or maybe the day after that, but in the mean time enjoy this video I found the other day while looking for German music. No, I can't explain the connection between German music and this rap, just relax and go with it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A little something to think about

Three grass widows got together last night to break bread. Actually it was shrimp gnocchi in a tomato cream sauce but, well, whatever. With spouses in Hungary, Dusseldorf and Puglia, Claus, Ralph and I shared a lovely evening of food and friends.

Ralph doesn't like speaking English. I don't know how to speak German (apart from, of course, "lecker!" or, my favorite, "kostlich!".) We spent the evening speaking Italian. An Italian would probably disagree, but to us it was Italian. We understood each other...well, sometimes Claus and I had a tough time comprehending Ralph (in any language) but that's just a Ralph thing, nothing to do with language skills.

We spoke about music and movies, families and house projects. We made plans to go to a flea market tomorrow. You know, normal dinner conversation among two Germans and one American speaking Italian.

At one point Claus brought up that famous myth about America almost being a German speaking country. If you don't know it, you can read about it here

Then the dude got a little philosophical, "how would that have changed the entire mentality and outlook of your nation, Lynn? Just imagine the effect on America as a whole, in every aspect of life, if the forefathers had voted German as the official language? Wow."

(Actually what he really said was something more like this "how change all think and look of peoples of your country, Lynn? You imagine the effect of America of all ways if America's daddies make speak German the Americans" - none of us are so fluent with the subjunctive or conditional tenses in Italian...and for a couple of us, the simple past tense ain't so simple either...but I digress)

Wow is right. Give that a little ponder.

Then, try to picture all the Cubans in Miami speaking German. Or a Texan oil man. Or a Chicago Puerto Rican. Or a New Orleans jazz singer. Or a Wyoming rancher.

Yeah, that had us laughing, too. Rolling on the floor laughing, actually.

Now ponder this: why is that so funny?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

40 and Shameless, or not shameless enough

Damn. I've been in this country too long.

Let me explain...yes, yes, hold your horses...I'll get to the Miss Italia thing from the last post.

When you are a foreigner in a foreign land you have certain freedoms. If you weren't born in the country you've chosen to live in, no matter how long you are there you can get away with a lot of things you wouldn't normally be able to in your own mother culture. I'm not talking about robbing a bank or speeding, you still get busted for those types of things (although in this country, apparently you can park illegally if your car has foreign plates because the system doesn't know where to send the ticket). I'm not talking about breaking the law but rather doing things that are, well odd or even down right weird, or rather shameless.

Of course, the natives notice when we foreigners do strange things but then they just write it off -- "she's American", they reason. As if that explains everything. There's a small community of Italians here, known as my friends, who have a really strange and completely wrong idea of what an American is because they're basing it on their only two known examples...David and me.

So I'm explaining all this to get to the Miss Italia thing.

Yesterday, after finding out about the celebrity sighting in Maberga (and after blogging to you guys about it) I grabbed my camera and the dogs and we ran up the hill.

Of course I realized that Miss Italia and her entourage were going to know that I'd heard they were up there in Old Maberga from neighbor Oreste, whom they'd just met, and that's why I'd come running like some foolish, amateur paparazza to get some stupid amateur photos of the beauty queen. But "who cares?!" I thought, "They can blame this foolish behavior on my being a foreigner - an American, even! For all they know, we have no pride. That's cool with me. Let them think we're all shameless idiots and in the mean time, I'll just ask if I can get a nice photo of Miss Italia to share with my blog."

So I ran all the way up there, breathless with camera set, dogs ready as props...and...and... I chickened out. I didn't ask for a photo.

I felt like a shameless idiot. I've been here too long. I've grown shame. Next thing you know I won't be wearing my potato printed sheet skirt in public any more. Damn.

So the foolish (and cowardly) girl who ran a kilometer up hill with her dogs to ask for a photo of someone who's not actually all that famous instead pretended to be on a walk with her dogs and, um, making photos of them?

I know. I know. It's embarrassing. And I didn't just toss the ball a couple of times either. I stayed there a LONG time, still pretending to play catch, hoping to get the opportunity for a photo without having to ask, you know, on the sly.

Here's what I got...(Anybody remember the movie Fletch?)

These are her photographers...

'Course I also got some nice photos of the dogs...

And this crocus...

And neighbor Oreste's nice pumpkin...

Naw, I haven't been here too long. For one thing, I haven't yet started taking this view for granted...

Oh yeah...I also snuck this photo of them leaving as they drove past my house, obviously while hiding behind the beads of my front door.

I hope they didn't see me.

On a completely unrelated note - although not totally unrelated since I feel shame for having overlooked these family members again this year...I'd like to wish a big Happy Birthday do all fellow Cornwells with September celebrations, past and future:

sister-in-law, Rosanne - Sept 14
brother-in-law, Paul - Sept 15
myself, Lynn - Sept 16
dog, Ruffino - Sept 18
brother-in-law, Kevin - Sept 26
sister-in-law, Florence - Sept 29

Wow. That's a lot of Cornwellian celebrations. I hope you all had/have great birthdays full of family and friends...or alone, if you prefer.

Here's what I did on my big day because the rain squelched my outdoor dream day...

Yeah, it's a fort. Here's the inside...

Anyway, hope the rest of you Cornwells have/had as cozy of a day as I did. Happy Birthday, everyone.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Maberga News Flash

Friends, I'm here to tell you that Maberga has hit the map.

There are 3 photographers up in the old village of Maberga Soprana making photos of...are you ready...Miss Italy.

Should I go up there and make some photos for you guys?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reflections on a rainy day...

I woke up from a lovely, rainy day afternoon nap today with a conversation I had with my dad on my recent trip to Wisconsin on my mind.

As a worrying father who continues to believe, 40 years on, that his daughter's safety and well-being is inversely proportional to the number of miles she lives from her parents' house, my dad asked me the usual question, "Do you want to move back (to the US)?"

The usual response, "I don't rule the possibility out, but at this time - no, I don't want to move back."

Usually this question is followed up by a long sigh (dad) and a list of reasons that Italy, Maberga in particular, is a mighty fine place to be (me).

This year there was no sigh but rather a follow up question, "Are there any, umm, how can I say it, conveniences that you are missing?"

This question kind of caught me off guard. I mean come house now has stairs connecting the two floors, I have (almost constant) running water, switches to turn the lights on and off (some are even 3 wayers!), and with the most recent renovations and upgrades I've got roofs that keep water and bugs out and heat in. I've even got high speed Internet now.

The only thing that popped into my head was, "I'd really like to install one of those shower nozzle hooks above our tub so I don't have to hold the shower head in my hand the whole time I shower."

A hook. That was all I could think of.

Here are some "conveniences" that you won't find in Casa Cornwell (in no particular order):
--a microwave
--central heat
--a dishwasher (other than myself)
--satellite tv
--a tv
--air conditioning
--a fridge that dispenses cold water and ice from a hole in the door
--a clothes dryer
--a garbage disposal

Apart from the last one, and that shower hook, I can't say that I really miss any of those things.

I'm not sure exactly why I thought of this conversation upon waking up from my nap today. Maybe because in my former life (pre-Maberga) when I did have all of the above mentioned conveniences the one thing I didn't have was the time to take a lovely, rainy day afternoon nap on a Tuesday in September.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Safe and sound and home again

I'll be back up posting again just as soon as I've digested (literally and figuratively) from the past two weeks in the US.

Happy Sunday