n i g h t i n g a l e s h i r a z / blog
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura...

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...and wondering if i should start a Weekly Web WTF?
just maybe.
(found courtesy of fussy.org.)

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[thursday 22 february 2007 at 08:15:22] []

again, why i love Europe.

from ANSA (and courtesy of VCN-Rome):

The third edition of Italy's national 'M'illumino di Meno' (lights down) campaign, follows a similar initiative staged at the start of the month in France.

The lighting will be cut at 6pm for half an hour at Roman sights like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Senate, the Lower House and the Palazzo del Quirinale, the official residence of the Italian President.  Saint Mark's Square in Venice will be plunged into darkness too, as will Milan's Duomo, the Arena of Verona, Siena's Piazza del Campo - the venue of the famous Palio horse race - Florence's Palazzo Vecchio along with many other famous monuments.


my favorite part?  "Some 6,000 restaurants around the country, meanwhile, are using the symbolic blackout as an opportunity to create a romantic candle-light atmosphere."


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[friday 16 february 2007 at 09:51:53] []

her response...

...when i asked how the tonsilitis was coming along:

I slept solidly for 2 days, it was like a film where the girl lays herself down to rest on Friday evening and doesn’t wake up until Monday morning, through out the weekend her hair grows long and unruly, she sleeps with a smile on her face (untrue as I was burning like crazy) and flowers grow, ivy covers the walls, the city gets older and she wakes up, untouched by the 3 day aging of the city.  Winter has turned into spring (not really true), and enemies are now friends.  The war is over and lovers have disappeared.

In my story, i arose with a swollen throat and snuck a peak down.  One large tonsil and one large, plaque-covered tonsil.  I began to gargle salt water, turning my film into an italo calvino story about a girl who pours three copious tablespoons of salt into a small glass.  She fills it with water, and swirls it with a spoon.  Every fifteen minutes, she gargles a mouthful of the salty water and haphazardly spits the mixture into the sink.  Each time she does that, the water descends through the pipes into the tiber river, which is by her home.  Her right tonsil is still plaque-covered but hurts less, so she decides to go outside only to open her front door and find that the street is now part of the river, which is now part of the ocean, and her palazzo is a little island.  And that is how the mediterrannean was formed.


so.  gelato, anyone?

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[tuesday 13 february 2007 at 16:33:06] []

delayed disgust.

i don't know why the BBC site had this on its top list of European stories last week (since the article itself is datelined Thursday, 21 September 2006).  but still:

A 2003 Vatican document on the issue of cohabitation rights for gay couples says "those who would move from tolerance to the legitimisation of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalisation of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil".

it inflames me to think that i shared a metro stop with the people who probably wrote this document.
then i think, how it's unlikely that any of them actually *used* public transport.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[sunday 11 february 2007 at 20:48:59] []

let them eat cake.

a good thing about me-not-writing, sometimes, is me-reading.  from A TRANQUIL STAR by PRIMO LEVI, in this week's New Yorker:

Once upon a time, somewhere in the universe very far from here, lived a peaceful star, which moved peacefully in the immensity of the sky, surrounded by a crowd of peaceful planets about which we have not a thing to report.  This star was very big and very hot, and its weight was enormous: and here a reporter’s difficulties begin.  We have written “very far,” “big,” “hot,” “enormous”: Australia is very far, an elephant is big and a house is bigger, this morning I had a hot bath, Everest is enormous.  It’s clear that something in our lexicon isn’t working.

If this story must be written, we must have the courage to eliminate all adjectives that tend to excite wonder: they would achieve the opposite effect, of impoverishing the narrative.  For a discussion of stars our language is inadequate and seems laughable, as if someone were trying to plow with a feather.  It’s a language that was born with us, suitable for describing objects more or less as large and as long-lasting as we are; it has our dimensions, it’s human.  It doesn’t go beyond what our senses tell us.  Until two or three hundred years ago, small meant the scabies mite; there was nothing smaller, nor, as a result, was there an adjective to describe it.  The sea and the sky were big, in fact equally big; fire was hot.  Not until the thirteenth century was the need felt to introduce into daily language a term suitable for counting “very” numerous objects, and, with little imagination, “million” was coined.  A while later, with even less imagination, “billion” was coined, with no care being taken to give it a precise meaning, since the term today has different values in different countries.

Not even with superlatives does one get very far: how many times as high as a high tower is a very high tower?  Nor can we hope for help from disguised superlatives, like “immense,” “colossal,” “extraordinary”: to relate the things that we want to relate here, these adjectives are hopelessly unsuitable, because the star we started from was ten times as big as our sun, and the sun is “many” times as big and heavy as our Earth, whose size so overwhelms our own dimensions that we can represent it only with a violent effort of the imagination.  There is, of course, the slim and elegant language of numbers, the alphabet of the powers of ten, but then this would not be a story in the sense in which it wants to be a story; that is, a fable that awakens echoes, and in which each of us can perceive distant reflections of himself and of the human race.


the fable ends, far too soon.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[sunday 11 february 2007 at 11:55:27] []