n i g h t i n g a l e s h i r a z / blog

june 2023
january 2023
december 2022
september 2022
august 2022
july 2022
january 2022
november 2021
october 2021
september 2021
august 2021
july 2021
june 2021
may 2021
april 2021
march 2021
february 2021
january 2021
september 2020
august 2020
july 2020
may 2020
april 2020
march 2020
february 2020
december 2019
october 2019
july 2019
june 2019
may 2019
april 2019
march 2019
february 2019
january 2019
december 2018
november 2018
october 2018
september 2018
august 2018
july 2018
june 2018
may 2018
april 2018
march 2018
february 2018
january 2018
december 2017
november 2017
october 2017
september 2017
august 2017
july 2017
june 2017
march 2017
february 2017
january 2017
november 2016
october 2016
september 2016
august 2016
july 2016
june 2016
may 2016
april 2016
march 2016
february 2016
december 2015
november 2015
october 2015
september 2015
may 2015
march 2015
february 2015
january 2015
december 2014
november 2014
october 2014
september 2014
august 2014
may 2014
april 2014
march 2014
february 2014
*april 2013
*march 2013
*february 2013
*january 2013
*december 2012
*november 2012
*october 2012
*september 2012
*july 2012
*october 2011
*september 2011
*august 2011
*july 2011
*june 2011
*may 2011
april 2011
march 2011
april 2010
march 2010
february 2010
january 2010
december 2009
november 2009
september 2009
june 2009
may 2009
february 2009
december 2008
january 2009
december 2008
october 2008
september 2008
august 2008
july 2008
june 2008
may 2008
april 2008
january 2008
december 2007
november 2007
october 2007
september 2007
august 2007
july 2007
june 2007
may 2007
april 2007
march 2007
february 2007
january 2007
december 2006
november 2006
october 2006
september 2006
august 2006
july 2006
june 2006
may 2006
april 2006
march 2006
february 2006
january 2006
december 2005
november 2005
october 2005
september 2005
august 2005
july 2005
june 2005
may 2005
april 2005
march 2005
february 2005
january 2005
december 2004
november 2004
october 2004
september 2004
august 2004
july 2004
june 2004
may 2004
april 2004
march 2004
february 2004
january 2004
december 2003
june 2003
april 2003
march 2003
what Lynda was *not* talking about, when she said it's about damn time.

So the new rule (HA) is that I can't start a new book until I have said something intelligent about the last one.  Or at least.  Until I have tried.  Of course, this may pose a problem when I finally succumb to the Italian-language Calvin & Hobbes collection at that bookstore on Via Governo Vecchio ("C'è Qualcosa Che Sbava Sotto Il Letto" -- how cool is THAT yo?) -- but oh, intelligence is such an elastic concept when you're dealing with these things...

For now, we have the second reading of The Time Traveler's Wife.  (I hear Brandi singing in my background, o lord what can I say.)


You know how, in the extra features for the DVD edition of When Harry Met Sally, Nora Ephron (or maybe it was Rob Reiner -- hm), talks about New York City being the third character in the love story?  (Alright.  Maybe you don't know how, because maybe you have never rented the DVD edition of When Harry Met Sally -- dubiously re-named Harry ti presento Sally, in Italian.  As my six-year-old-self would say: BUT STILL.)

Anyway, in this book it is Chicago that plays that uber- and under-everything third love (I was tempted to say the fourth love, with Time being the third, but then I thought no -- Time is the arch-villain, the Beelzebub, the traitorous Judas in this story).

From the Art Institute of Chicago, to the Field Museum, to the Newberry Library and Grant Park, right past Lake Michigan and the river and onward to Evanston -- with so many of these places dipping in an out of the time-pool that this story swims in.  If I loved Chicago this book would read like an ode.


Random favorites (be warned, there may be lovey-dovey cheesiness among these):

- "...cool as a Raymond Chandler murderess."

- "Without Clare I would have given up a long time ago, I never understood why Clark Kent was so hell bent on keeping Lois Lane in the dark."

- "Everything seems simple until you think about it.  Why is love intensified by absence?"

- "I wish for a moment that time would lift me out of this day, and into some more benign one.  But then I feel guilty for wanting to avoid the sadness; dead people need us to remember them, even if it eats us..."

- "I'm sorry.  I didn't know you were coming or I'd have cleaned up a little more.  My life, I mean, not just the apartment."

- "I place my hands over her ears and tip her head back, and kiss her, and try to put my heart into hers, for safekeeping, in case I lose it again."

- "He has this idea that every piece of music should be treated with respect, even if it isn't something he likes much.  I mean, he doesn't like Tchaikovsky, or Strauss, but he will play them very seriously.  That's why he's great; he plays everything as though he's in love with it."

there would be more, of course -- "had we but world enough, and time."

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[domenica 03 gennaio 2010 ore 15:53:41] []

that was *way* too long a dry spell...

I'm talking about the Random Shiraz Selection, of course.  What did you think?


Well, *anyway* -- this is Edition VIII in the series, for all of you who've patiently waited (yes, I'm talking to you all three of you).


1 - From the BBC, one of those comforting illustrations of the fact that in Italy, it's not *always* and *only* the female body that is -- how shall I put it? -- on display:

The recession in Italy has led to fierce competition between retailers, who are battling harder than ever to capture the attention of potential customers.  One shop in Rome has gone to the length of hiring a 'human mannequin' to live on a bed amongst customers.  The shop in question, '7 camicie' in Via del Corso, which sells shirts, has hired professional model and actor Paul Lahmiesc to ply their trade.

Of course, it's only a matter of time before Intimissimi, Yamamay and Tezenis follow err, "suit" -- but until then, I'm going to enjoy my walks down Via del Corso...


2 - Courtesy of The Observer, one of those end-of-the-year / start-of-the-year, list-ey articles -- 30 ways to a better life.  I'm not sure if improving your makeup technique and "swishing" your old clothes (don't ask) make for a better life, and I am a little wary of these self-proclaimed "business dragons," "style consultants," (cough) and "gurus" (sigh), but I did find some goodies, starting with this one:

Cards of Change, which now has several hundred users worldwide and a growing number in the UK ("It's hard to be exact as people are constantly losing and/or getting jobs") works a bit like an online AA meeting: people who have been laid off take their old business cards, cross out the details and replace them with optimistic messages about utilising their new-found spare time to learn to skateboard or, alternatively, by writing something poetic and proverbial about the change -- along with their new contact details.  Users then post a photograph of the new card on the site, for free.  A large number have been re-employed as a result, with Van Daele hiring two users for his own company.

A little like PostSecret, but for the Lately-Laid-Off.  I like the "naturally anonymous" one about how "I now steal the office supplies."


3 - Also thanks to The Observer article, I found The School of Life, and one of those lovely-but-slightly-nerdy pastimes that the English so endearingly call a "parlour game":

It’s the one where you choose three obscure books, read their covers aloud and ask players to write what they think is the first line.  An umpire then reads out the results with the real first line of the book buried somewhere among them, and asks the group to choose which is the real one.  I’m prepared to bet as much as a fiver that no matter how many times we play this game, the group will always mistakenly identify one of their own lines as the real thing.

Writing prompt, anyone?


4 - And the last find that I owe to the 30-ways piece (you know by now that if I can get Douglas Adams into a Random Shiraz Selection then by Trillian I will), is from outrospection, an "empathy blog" (cough), by the albeit admirably-intentioned Mr. Roman Krznaric.  (If I send you a list of people, would you do housecalls, Mr. Krznaric?)  He reminds us of a most handy tool for "expanding your empathy" and tackling "YOUR FAMILY EMPATHY DEFICIT" (uh-huh):

The film The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy features an ingenious device called the Point-of-View Gun.  When it is fired at someone, it causes them to see things from the perspective of the person who pulled the trigger.  This singular weapon was designed at the request of the Intergalactic Consortium of Angry Housewives, who were tired of ending every discussion with their husbands with the statement, ‘You just don’t get it, do you!’

Oh Mama, get me one of those.


and just like old times, previous RSS compilations can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.  Just remember that hyperlinks are like happy marriages -- not all of them last.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[domenica 03 gennaio 2010 ore 11:04:51] []

pieces of you.

I switch back to the smaller comforter, the single.  I replenish the clementines, but not the milk.  The Cheerios sit pretty uncheerily on the kitchen counter.

Outside, the Colosseo squats under the finally-blue sky.  If I were not so happy, I would shake a mental fist at this Roman sun, for how carefully she seems to have choreographed her ferie, this year.

Instead I feel a little like I did on that first permesso-visit back from purgatory (also known as Canada), when Lynda asked so warily -- how does it feel to be here, and have it not be home.

Something tells me it will be.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Marco Aurelio, Roma]
[sabato 02 gennaio 2010 ore 20:35:38] []