Posts Tagged With: Roccantica

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. November 22. 2012

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers drives t...

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket against the Washington Wizards in Washington, D.C., USA on February 3, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1984 to 1992. Rieti Italy (located near very close to Roccantica mentioned in a previous email). American basketball player Joe Bryant played for Rieti in the Italian professional basketball league. His son Kobe Bryant, now an NBA player, attended school there and as a result speaks fluent Italian to this day.
TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

The Thai army plans to step up monitoring soldiers’ mobile and fixed-line phones and internet activity to “keep tabs on acts of lèse majesté” for any trace of insult to the [royal] institutions well as to see if anyone was leaking army secrets to anti-government red shirt operatives.

New regulations include prohibiting  soldiers  bringing mobile phones to meetings and restricting the use the use of PowerPoint presentations.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Following my trip to the immigration office to get my re-entry permit, I decided to walk along the beach the three kilometers back to my apartment . As I walked I realized I may be going native, not Thai native but Farang native. I walk barefoot on the sand, something I long swore never to do and I wear the dreaded short pants. I also realized that since living here at Paradise by the Sea, I have begun to exercise regularly, eat heathy foods for the most part (occasional Pizza and peanut butter and jelly sandwiched excepted), get massaged once a week, have my room cleaned and keep my mind active and hold most of my worries at bay, all on Social Security. Nevertheless, I have begun to feel that sense of unease that I always feel when things seem to be going more or less right.

English: The view from the top of the ski jump...

English: The view from the top of the ski jump at the Olympic ski jump venue in Salt Lake City, Utah for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Taken by Reywas92 on April 6, 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I guess the metaphor for my life is something like that old Wide World of Sports commercial, “The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.” I picture my self, skis over my shoulder, trudging to the bunny slope, pissed off that I am here in the cold doing this, probably because someone has goaded me into it. I happen upon the steps to the ski jump. Curious about what it looks like from the top, I mount the steps, strap on my skis and stand at the edge of the jump looking down and realize my mistake. Unable to decide between my fear and the shame and hassle of climbing back down the stairs I suddenly feel the pressure of a hand on my back and hear the voice of the starter, “Hey buddy, shit or get off the pot.”

Out of sheer embarrassment I launch myself down the ramp and feel the wind bite against my face as I descend. I hit the end of the jump perfectly and spring off into space. I lean far over the ends of my skis. Loose bits of clothing pressed back by the wind stand straight up behind me as though stiffened with super glue.

I land flawlessly, hear the cheering. Then removing my skis and seeing my future as a famous ski jumper full of wine, women, money, drugs and what have you, I run back up the steps, climb to the top and this time without encouragement launch myself again.

Three quarters of the way down, I fall on my ass, tumble a few times and smash over the edge of the jump landing below in a heap of fractured bones and broken dreams.

I awake in the hospital, realizing my ski jumping career is over, so I call the nurse for a booster shot of morphine and drift into a haze where I see myself walking along a beach searching for the perfect wave, the seventy year old surfer dude, with bleached blond spiked hair…Yes “to sleep perchance to dream”, Ay there’s the little nubbin, perhaps if I rub it hard enough my lingam will rise….

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. From the Princess Bride:

Fezzik: “I fight gangs for local charities and stuff.”

b. – Traditional Viking Battle Song

We come from the land of the ice and snow,
where the midnight sun and the hot springs flow.
The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands,
to fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!
On we sweep with threshing oar,
our only goal will be the western shore!

(What are the circumstances in your life that would prompt you to shout out, “Valhalla, I am coming!”?)

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
– Thomas Edison

Ciao…

Categories: October through December 2010, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th November 15 2010

Laura Rees as Lavinia in Lucy Bailey's 2006 pr...

Laura Rees as Lavinia in Lucy Bailey’s 2006 production at Shakespeare’s Globe; note the ‘realistic’ effects and blood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1995: A critic with too much time on his hands while reviewing Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus determined that the play,“…has 14 killings, 9 of them on stage, 6 severed members, 1 rape (or 2 or 3 depending on how you count), 1 live burial, 1 case of insanity, and 1 of cannibalism—-an average of 5.2 atrocities per act, or one for every 97 lines.”

(Sounds like the typical summertime Hollywood blockbuster movie to me)

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

Chao Phyra River

Chao Phyra River (Photo credit: Rodney_F)

The Thai authorities in response to the recent flooding of the capital have announced that instead of spending more money on things like sandbags, they intended to invest in constructing a series of underground viaducts to channel future flood waters from the city into the Chao Phyra river that runs trough Bangkok.

What they failed to mention was that Bangkok used to have a perfectly adequate system to channel off flood water in its canal system. The canals were filed to make roads thereby causing many of the current problems plaguing the city, not the least of which is periodic flooding.

Also they did not mention that like New Orléans, significant portions of Bangkok are below sea-level and merely directing more water into an already constrained system will do nothing to prevent flood waters from backing up from the river on to the city’s streets except perhaps to shift the areas of the city subject to flooding from where they are currently to along the densely populated riverside.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Nothing much has occurred during the past few days. I am still feeling under the weather. I occupy myself with the usual breakfast at the café, walk along the beach, swim in the pool and then rest in my apartment as I try to kick whatever it is I have.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

TOO MANY JOES (CONT.)

ELISA

I guess it is appropriate now to break into JOE’S story to say a little about his wife Elisa, my grandmother. After all she had as great an influence on my imagination as did my grandfather JOE.

Elisa Bargellini, was born in a small village called Roccantica

Roccantica RI

Roccantica RI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

located in Sabina about 60 kilometers northeast of Rome. She was one of 12 children. Which number of the 12, I do not know. I also do not know the date of her birth, perhaps around 1890 of so.

Ultimately, most of the children emigrated from the town, four went to Australia, four to America and four remained in italy.

The house that she was born in had two large rooms, a bed room with a heavy wood beamed ceiling and a kitchen-living area with a large fireplace built into the wall that separated the two rooms.

Many years later, during 1968 through 70, I was living in Rome and rented one of my relatives apartments in the town. There I would spend my weekends.

Every night, I would leave my apartment and climb the steps that served as streets in the village and visit the house in which my grandmother was born. Philomena, my grandmothers sister still lived there with her son Mauro and her daughter in law Rosanna.

Whenever I arrived, I would usually find Philomena sitting by the fire with three of her women friends, her daughter-in-law puttering around in the background. Mauro was usually at the little café he ran in the village. The only light in the room came from the fire.

I would take my accustomed seat on the floor to the right of the fire, partially inside of fireplace cavity and lean back against the warm stones.

There would also always be an empty extra chair set out.

I would sit there and listen to the old women talk about the day’s gossip but mostly about their real or imagined aches and pains, their faces glowing red in the glint of the light from the fire.

Every so often there would be a knock on the door and someone from the town would enter and take the empty chair. The visitor would be offered coffee and biscuits. Then between sips of coffee they would relate their tales of the day’s happenings.

When they had finished, each visitor would get up, politely thank the women for their hospitality and leave and the women would go back to their discussions until the next knock on the door intervened.

My favorite visitor during those nights was the village blind man who arrived every evening at about the same time. He began talking even before knocking on the door, shouting out his helloes and continuing his patter as he opened the door and walked into the room. Since the empty chair was always in the same place every night he would walk directly over to it, feel for it with his cane and sit down. He always wore dark clothing and had a great round face that hung there in the flickering firelight like a benevolent Jack-o-lantern. He was a wonderful story-teller.

Roccantica (RI), 2006

Roccantica (RI), 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He would tell, in great detail and animation, about his wanderings that day along the paths in and around the village. He would tell of the different sounds made by the small animals as they slithered away when he walked by. He described the songs of the birds and what they ment to him and how they made him feel. The touch of the wind on his face and the feel of the plants that grew along side the path as he took them into his hands would fill him with delight. Every conversation he had during the day was recalled precisely and because he was by necessity inquisitive, contained a tale of its own. Then once he was finished, he would rise from his chair and tap his way to the door and leave. After he closed the door he would shout out to us inside that he would see us all again tomorrow. Then there was silence except for the hiss of the burning logs as we all meditated on his absence until after a while the analyses of the medical symptoms that accompanies aging would begin once more.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

1. The wisdom of Miracle Max:

Miracle Max: You got any money?
Inigo Montoya: Sixty-five.
Miracle Max: I’ve never worked for so little. Except once, and that was a very noble cause.
Inigo Montoya: This is noble, sir. His wife is… crippled. His children are on the brink of starvation.
Miracle Max: Are you a rotten liar?
Inigo Montoya: I need him to help avenge my father, murdered these twenty years.
Miracle Max: Your first story was better.
The Princess Bride

2. Yiddish for beginners (from Wikipedia):

bagel: a ring-shaped bread roll made by boiling then baking the dough.
blintz: a sweet cheese-filled crêpe.
bris: the circumcision of a male child.
boychick: boy, young man.
bubkes (also spelled “bupkis”): emphatically nothing, as in “He isn’t worth bubkes” (literally ‘goat droppings).
chutzpah: nerve, guts, daring, audacity, effrontery.
dreck: (vulgar) worthless material, especially merchandise.
dybbuk: the malevolent spirit of a dead person that enters and controls a living body until exorcised.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”
Thomas Jefferson

Categories: October through December 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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