Grab Bag

26 Sep

After my little “outburst” on Monday, I don’t want you all thinking that I’ve jumped ship and officially left the building. Nope! Still here! This country can’t knock me down that easily! (Although all those people trying to get on the bus *nearly* did!)

While I sort out all of the wonderful suggestions I received at the beginning of this month for blog post ideas, I present you with a random mixture of thoughts, photos and observations that perhaps aren’t enough to hold their own weight in an entire post.

First thought, while we’re on the topic of weight:

My Roman cats (adopted here!) wanted me to tell you that the camera really does add 10 pounds. They aren’t, how you say, fat. They are just, as Alessandro has been known to tell friends, “con le ossa grosse.” Yes, that’s it! Big-boned!

It must surely be from watching too much TV:

Random thought #2: does anyone in the department that changes English-language movie titles into Italian actually speak English? Cuz, I’m wondering how y’all might pronounce this doozy of a movie title:


Raise your hand if you just thought: “Sucks Bad.”

Well, that’s what I thought. But if you see the commercial in Italian, they pronounce it “Super Bad.” Because, astute reader, “X” in Italian is an abbreviation for “per” and here they are trying to be all clever-like and instead of just writing “Super” they went for “Sux”. So, “Superbad” in Italian? You should see when he shows the “McLovin” driver’s license and explains THAT in perfect Italian. I think something gets lost in translation, but funny all the same.

Speaking of lost in translation, let’s take a look at random observation numero tre:

That’s right, folks! SUFFER Home Furnishings. Yikes, no? I mean. Exactly HOW might one suffer? And is it any less painful because it’s pronounced SOOOO-FEEHHR?? Boh. Again, a case that seems to have missed approval by the official “run that one by a native speaker before you slap it on a big ol’ sign” committee.

Ok, enough with the numbered thoughts. I’m going freestyle here. So, if you’re ever near a little town called Piglio, might I suggest a restaurant that we found by asking a local (generally a very reliable tactic in small towns)? It’s called La Ciociara, Via Prenestina 231 (La Forma), phone 0775 595612. It’s one of those fantastic “Sunday” restaurants you find in the country, where everyone goes out for the big Sunday lunch, and it was really excellent, reasonably priced (but everything outside of Rome is starting to look reasonably priced by comparison) and as is usual with these big Sunday restaurants, there’s a ton of seating so you shouldn’t have any problems getting a table. After our homemade pasta specialties, and some excellent steak, this was the most elegant macedonia (fruit salad) I’ve seen so far during my time in Italy:

Oh, and the chocolate cake’s not too shabby, either:

I spotted these dogs across the street from SUFFER Home Furnishings, and got a little worried:

But not to worry… they were just taking a cat nap:

By the way, how are you liking that classy “fountain”?? I say, at that point, just don’t even bother putting in that little water-shooting spigot. Just make it, perhaps, something like a “reflecting pool.” See? Instant elegance.

Those few shots of Suffer and the puppies were taken in Altipiani di Arcinazzo, a small town about 1.5 hrs. outside of Rome where Ale and I take refuge as often as humanly possible!

Back in Rome, we’ve been experiencing a time warp, but it’s nothing to be alarmed about. Happens all the time! I give you “Rome time”:

And “real-world time”: 1:37 pm. Which one is correct? Cue Twilight Zone theme song.

Last, but not least: a sad day for knitters in Rome. Remember this post, when I told you about Lana Gatto? Last week, I happened to pass by as I was walking home from downtown, and was curtly informed by the sales lady that “every ball of yarn in the shop is €1.” Um, scusi tanto? That’s right, they were having a good old-fashioned going out of business sale. Needless to say, I was like a kid in a candy store and scooped up a bunch of stuff that I have no patterns for. Which is why I am happy to rely on help from folks like knitting guru Brooklyn Tweed, who I regularly drool over, and my ol’ college pal Finny Knits, who, despite the fact that she was “informed that there would be no math,” has delved into the wild world of knitting equations. This will help me on the road to designing my own patterns. Meanwhile, I am happily working on a sock and a sweater simulteneously. The incredible feats never stop around here, I’m telling you!

The floor is now open for your comments and random observations.


13 Responses to “Grab Bag”

  1. nyc/caribbean ragazza September 26, 2007 at 2:03 pm #

    I have nothing random to say but that fruit salad looks really good. I wish I had not seen such a thing before lunch.

  2. zeva September 26, 2007 at 6:05 pm #

    SUXBAD?!? (BTW, I saw it in english and am DYING to know how they dealt with the McLovin situation!)
    OMG, that’s is both horrible and hilarious. Yeah, they really need to work on their title translations. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine! They tend to give English movies either a stupid title or over-explain the movie plot through the title. Ex: “Little Man” was “Quel nano infame”. “Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind” was “Se mi lasci ti cancello”. Gimme a break (=

  3. Tui September 26, 2007 at 10:38 pm #

    Lol! I actually thought that movie was pronounced ‘Sucks Bad’! Very funny post… along the line of Suffer Furniture, I saw a place called Comas Sweets, which makes me think you’d need a shot of insulin before taking a bite. Your cats are adorable, btw, and your food photos are making me drool. 🙂 Tui

  4. Jackie September 26, 2007 at 11:37 pm #

    Ha! Love the SuXbad! I hadn’t seen that yet!

  5. finnyknits September 27, 2007 at 1:10 am #

    Um, it appears that Betsy has retrieved her food from Pavel’s toothy grasp because it’s getting harder to tell them apart. Big boned indeed. As is Rocket. She is also big-furred, big-pawed, big-faced and big-tailed. Or, in laymens terms, she is just big.

    I can’t wait to cuddle them – they look so sweet all curled up there!

  6. Wanderlust Scarlett September 27, 2007 at 1:22 am #

    That was too funny. Of course it says sucks bad. You nailed it on the head.
    The food looks divine, and I’m thrilled for you that you got yarn for a euro! YAY!

    Missed it around here, I’ll be back soon.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  7. Michael Kovnick September 27, 2007 at 9:03 am #

    Oh my god! You got me laughing uncontrollably with SUXBAD… I hadn’t caught that yet… and before my second cup of coffee, too. Kudos!

    In fairness, these things work in reverse, too. I remember when Paola first saw a VW Jetta in the states. She uncontrollably (I didn’t speak Italian yet) and said VW would never even think of using that name in Italy. Of course, they did and Italians had the opportunity to buy a ‘Throw Away VW’ Jetta… Getta la.

  8. Shelley, At Home in Rome September 27, 2007 at 12:25 pm #

    I just knew that some of you would share my sense of humor on the whole Suxbad issue. The first time I saw that commercial I was like, nice movie title people… and had I not heard the announcer actually SAY the title, I never would have known just how clever they were *trying* to be.

    I never thought about Jetta being heard as “getta” — that’s great, esp. since many Italians like to refer to American culture as the “usa e getta” (disposable) culture… disposable cars, even! What will those crazy Americans think up next? 🙂

  9. Shelley, At Home in Rome September 27, 2007 at 12:29 pm #

    PS Finny… Betsy HAS gotten bigger, it’s not an illusion. Since Pavel has this genetic illness (that you know about) that unfortunately infects his gums and the pain causes him to stop eating about once a month, we have to take him to the vet every month, and when he stops eating his food, Betsy tries to get in there and eat for two. I usually catch her and take the food away, but she has gotten a bit, shall we say, husky, in the bargain.

    And to think, I carefully measure out their light/indoor cat cat food and they get less than what they should for their weights… it is sooo hard to get fat cats on a diet. It’s all because my father in law once took care of them when we were in the States for 3 weeks, and we found out he actually COOKED them entire meals in addition to their cat foods (what can you expect from a former restaurant owner)… and that’s how they became “more to love.”

  10. Isma September 27, 2007 at 3:15 pm #

    I just LOVE your cats !Looks so hard to be a Roman cat… 😉
    And grrrrrr about Lana gatto , didn’t know that (I just discovered it 2 weeks ago…)
    By the way , what about grabbing a cup of coffee some day …?

  11. Cyn September 28, 2007 at 9:41 am #

    From my big boned cats to yours,
    the camera really does add 5 kilos! Loved the photos of your babies.

    I too have had a few “I hate Italy” days as I fight with the police for a visa that I applied for back in February. Hang in there kid and keep your chin up. Italy is a wonderful and beautiful country but there always has to be a little ying to go with the yang!


  12. Jeff September 28, 2007 at 2:21 pm #

    I like the photos of the cats too but are they every awake!!! HHHHHAA!

  13. Kataroma September 30, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    Shelley – I’m not a knitter but if you need a new shop, there’s an old fashioned looking yarn shop near the Piazza Vittorio markets which might be worth checking out. I once went in there just to check it out and it appears to be run by an old couple. It’s stacked floor to ceiling with multicolour wool. Can’t remember the address exactly but next time I pass by I’ll make a note.

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