Thursday, October 30, 2008

School Strike

Both of my sons are home from school today because their teachers are participating in the national strike against the educational reforms proposed by Italy's new Minister of Education, Maria Stella Gelmini. For two different takes on the situation, check out these and here.

It's interesting to see how their individual choices for spending their free time differ. The activities they have chosen reflect their personalities, as do the condition of their desks...
G. is playing Spiderman on the computer. Check out that desk!!!
He takes after his mommy...LOL!

D. has invited one friend this morning and another this afternoon for marathon basketball sessions, and so started work on his homework at 9 a.m.!
That neat and orderly desk is all the result of genes from his father!

Variety is the spice of life...we wouldn't want them to be cookie-cutter kids.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Zucchero "Il Volo"

Zucchero is the name of an Italian singer, for those of you who don't already know him. Zucchero is a stage name, his real name is Adelmo Fornaciari...I'd take a stage name, too, if my name were Adelmo! This song from 1995 is called "Il Volo" or "The Flight" and I thought I'd share it with you since I've got it stuck in my head today...

Ho camminato per le strade
col sole dei tuoi occhi
ci vuole un attimo per dirsi addio...spara
Che bella quiete sulle cime
mi freddi il cuore e l'anima
ci vuole un attimo x dirsi addio...
X questo troppo amore, per noi
e questo bel dolore
Ti prego no, ti prego lo sai!

Sogno, qualcosa di buono
che mi illumini il mondo
buono come te...
Che ho bisogno, di qualcosa di vero
che illumini il cielo
proprio come te!!!

Ho visto il sole nei tuoi occhi
calare nella sera
ci vuole un attimo x dirsi addio...spara

Che bella quiete sulle rive
mi freddi il cuore e l'anima
ci vuole un attimo x dirsi...addio!

Ma dove andranno i giorni e noi
le fughe e poi i ritorni
ti prego no, ti prego lo sai!

Sogno, qualcosa di buono...

Siamo caduti in volo
Mio sole
siamo caduti in volo!

Siamo caduti in volo
Mio cielo
siamo caduti in volo!

Baby don't cry, baby don't cry
Baby don't cry, baby don't cry, baby don't cry

X questo amore immenso, x noi
e il gran dolore che sento
ti prego no, ti prego lo sai!

Sogno, qualcosa di buono...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fly Like an Eagle

Some of you may remember the little sparrow I found on my driveway a couple of weeks ago. If not, you can read the full story here.

The other day, when I took Tigro the tomcat in for vaccines, the vet was happy to tell me that Tino (as my younger son named the little bird) was alive and kicking. At the time it had seemed that he was partially paralysed because he couldn't seem to move his right leg (do birds have legs? Stick-figure legs...). Apparently, however, it was all psychological! When he was left on his own in a cage at the vet's office he got up and hopped around to take care of his "business." But, when people came around, he played dead.

I thought that was pretty odd, personally, but the vet swore it was true. She said little birds like Tino are literally petrified with fear when people touch them. They can even die of a heart attack from fear. Well, I'm glad our attempts to save him from death by cat didn't cause him to die of fear!

Some volunteers from the WWF came by the vet's office to get him and took him to a bird shelter where he is living happily ever after amidst his similars. In a cage (which I hate)...but she promised me that it's a *really big* cage that he and the other birds can fly around in.

Anyway, his fate would have been sealed if I had left him on the driveway that day. Tigro is turning out to be quite the hunter and, besides finding lots of dissected lizard bits scattered about on the patio, on two separate occasions we've found dead sparrows with Tigro using them for batting practice.

This one's for you, Tino!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Can't Stop Loving You

Here's a fun here to find out what the number 1 song was on the day you were born.

Who knows, maybe it was your parents' favourite song? Hey! It might be more interesting to do a search for the number 1 song nine months before your birthday, to see what song you were conceived to. But, then not... Maybe we don't want to follow that train of thought too far...

My birthday song is "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles. Can't beat that!

What's your birthday song?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I Kissed a Girl

"Mommy, Mommy, this is my favorite song!" says my 11-year-old son.

What?! This song that is about girls kissing girls? Which, in my opinion, is really only about titillating men who are interested in girls kissing girls, because in my own ignorant-about-the-whole-issue opinion, no self-respecting lesbian could love this song. Please correct me if I'm wrong... This song that, in any case, talks about kissing people whose name you don't know, but that's okay because they are just your experiment...

Ok, calm down. The kid probably doesn't have any idea what is being sung. Maybe he thinks it's about boys kissing girls and he's starting to be interested in that possibility...that's okay...I guess...

Usually when my kids love a song with objectionable lyrics, I explain the lyrics to them and talk about why I'm not crazy about what the song has to say. But, in this case, that's a discussion that I think could get way too complicated for his 11-year-old brain! We have talked about what being gay means, but there is so much more in this song.

My answer to his declaration was a simple, "Oh? That's nice, honey." And not another word...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Let's Play Tag

I have to thank Scintilla of Bell'Avventura for tagging me to play the 6 Random Things About Me game. Not so much because I really think anyone wants to know six random things about me, but because she has forced me to pay some needed attention to this blog...

Not that I've meant to *give up* on Amid the Olive Trees, but I have been very busy elsewhere and it's been hard enough to keep up Molfetta Daily Photo. But anyway, let's see...

1. I do a lot of work in translation of texts from Italian to English in a wide variety of fields and, as a result, know more than I should about things like evapotranspiration, aerodynamics, the use of waste water in agriculture, etc. Don't ask...

2. My feet spread out after having my first son and I wore larger shoes, but now they seem to have returned to their normal size...

3. When I'm listening to music on the radio, I have no idea if the songs are in English or in Italian unless I really stop and think about it...

4. Often throughout the day, songs related to whatever I am doing will just pop into my mind. So, I guess I associate events with music stored away in my brain.

5. Weight-lifting gives me great physical and mental pleasure. I haven't really got any muscles to show for it, but it's the process I enjoy...

6. I like getting attention, but would never want to be famous.

The rules of this game are as follows:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

I don't think I'm going to tag anyone...but if you read this and would like to do it on your blog...well, consider yourself tagged!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


After 4 long years of Taekwondo, Mr. G. has decided to take up a new sport.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you...Mr. G. the Roller Skating King!

Well, he's working on staying vertical so far...