27 June, 2007

strangers with candy

Jerri Blank: Faggot.
Chuck Noblet: What did you just call me?
Jerri Blank: Well, what did you hear?
Chuck Noblet: I'd rather not repeat it.
Jerri Blank: Then I guess we'll never know.

the inspired main character in this WONDERFUL tv series (that was later made into a film in 2005) is jerri blank, a 46 year old ex-junkie, ex-prostitute who on getting out of jail goes back to being a high school freshman at Flatpoint High. she is played by the amazing kook that is amy sedaris. and well, if you like your comedy politically incorrect, irreverent yet pertinent, effortlessly original, bit caustic. bit gross. bit cruel. touching at times. then look no further. this is a keeper.

this is what one IMDB user had to say:

Words cannot explain Strangers with Candy. You need to see it to believe it and even then you'll be scratching your head in disbelief (while laughing your ass off of course).

The premise is that of a sick and twisted after school special from hell where all of the wrong lessons are learned. (Great one from Jellineck – `if you're going to smoke marijuana you have to be prepared to spend a lot of time laughing with your friends').

It is one of the smartest, subversive and exhilaratingly un-pc shows ever. It a makes fun of authority figures, the handicapped, minorities and that's just for starters. Each episode is crammed with one-liners and sight gags so numerous they'll make your head spin.

It's all in the delivery, folks. Principal Blackman (Gregory Hollimon), Noblet (Steven Colbert) and Jellineck (Paul Dinello) are all pitch perfect. (they are the teachers, one of them married, having secret affair everyone knows about).

Narcissistic Blog Disorder

tom: do you think you have this?
f: no

to read the full article on this other conditions of online kookery, CLICK

This disorder is characterized by the creation of a blog in which the individual consistently denigrates not only the opinions of others, but the very fact that others have opinions, saying things like "nobody cares what some overpaid starlet has to say about global warming" and "nobody cares what some crusty career politician thinks is wrong with society today." Simultaneously, the individual assumes that people do care about what he or she has to say, in spite of the individual's only political or activist experience being watching the movie Dave twice.

26 June, 2007


it appear we set up a match mid-july with our valiant boys in arms.
nappy (very drunk) said: nappy san! dodgeball-san! snacks-san!
flav (very drunk) said: ole!

BUT the gist of it seems a boys against girls squad. the dates are tentatively pencilled mid-next month in the hood (aka testaccio). the team-members: our friends and neighboours. we give you food. we give you wine. you give give us your balls.

so you up for it?

Room 1408

The Dolphin Hotel invites you to stay in any of its stunning rooms. Except one

i do love hotel rooms. look no further than 2046.

this though is an entirely different proposition and the audacity of using a squeeky clean runaway-pop hit from the carpenters to uber-creepy effect...well..it titillates me no end.

mamma mia! hose me down!

i don't know WHAT it is about this fabulous baker boy, but whatever it is...

ooooffff...it's killing me. it really is.
italy is in the grips of a heatwave, incidentally. so this may just be a side effect
resuming business as usual soon, i hope

25 June, 2007

brussels...not ALL bad, i s'ppose

courtesy of the rather wonderful anna rascouet, who was rather jolly at the time these were taken.

24 June, 2007

23 June, 2007

what would i do with this, right now?

ram it up a pole's butt is what.

i have not slept a wink 36 hours straight and frankly, am about to blow a fuse. vile nation. vile people. right now i would kick them out of europe and toss then into an alternative reality of eternal soviet hell.

22 June, 2007

raking up ancient history

as EU leaders gather in brussels in what has been widely dubbed a "three-shirter" (pack three shirts because the 2-day event will drag on..), tensions are running a bit high. in an inspired turn of phrase, a great wit in our bureau called the twins holding everything up -- ``mutant teletubbies''. -- Am also told the Daily Mail ran on their front-page a 1939 snapshot of German tanks steamrolling their way into Poland. oh dear.
all i will say is no one should bite the hand that feeds it.

20 June, 2007


oh dear... a wee trip to the dvd store is always dangerous for la frappa. trying to put my selfish needs on a backburner (i was there to find a present for a friend...) alas i inevitably got sidetracked and all my good intentions went down the toilet.

i emerged, giddy, with this little cracker -- if i had a million -- a SCORCHER of a comedy. the ones with the LUBITSCH touch. those sophisticated, fast and witty ones of the 1930s that i do like to bang on about if given the slighest indulgence (a bit like le duc and his trains). incidentally lubitsch was the only man who made garbo FUNNY (an achievement second to none).

A dying millionaire randomly gives a million dollars to eight different people.

the fabulous cast includes GaryCooper(``the greatest cocksman in hollywood,''wink wink nudge nudge), Charles Laughton, W.C. Fields. our great ernst doesn't actually direct. he supervises the whole eight segments. much like the conductor of a great orchestra. joseph mankiewicz has a key writing credit. ok, am in heaven.

when life is a living template

poor oats has to churn out template upon template on eco stats...as part of the daily grind. ever so often i chip in...but ever so often oats likes to veer away from the set-in-stone formulaic style and proffer novel reasons for why the economy truly sucks. it's not interestrates or oil prices. or exchange rates. no... no..

Italian consumer confidence unexpectedly plummeted in June after
Maude Krause-Jackson, the country's most aggressive mascot, ripped
her mother's wardrobe apart, exacerbating the effects of rising taxes
and higher interest rates on the household's combined income.

so now you know it. June has been BRUTAL on the krause-jackson family of two. a struggling singleparent just trying to make ends meet and cram a couple of prosecchi in the mix, to take the edge off.

STILL, you can never rule anything out..as oats, ever-watchful writes...

Italian consumer confidence rose unexpectedly in June as the
country's top women's league soccer club won their first ever match,
aided by midfielder Flavia Krause-Jackson who scored a surprise goal
from the sidelines.
``Italians are crazy about soccer and that goal by Krause-Jackson
was a CRACKER!'' said economist and Serie B fan Chuckles O'
Houlihan-Rossi. ``Especially since she was on her arse when she
kicked it. She'll never be called as useless as a fart in a jamjar again.''

19 June, 2007

"talk to the hand"

after a falling out, two old friends make up

z: i've tried to tell you. you told me to talk to the hand.
f: the hand was listening!
z: i think the hand told me f off
f: the hand said that she was always there as a PAL in your hour of need. if you had told the hand, listen: i SUCK and got sidetracked. i would have said UFF and understood.
z: i mentioned to hand. and hand was like jesuschrist can't deal with you.
f: hand is bored now

18 June, 2007


my favourite drink in the whole world. horchata de chufa: i would die for you.

something i picked off a website (www.popsych.com)
a story is told, a long time ago, of a girl in a little town that offered liquid refreshments to the visiting king of catalunya and aragon...after loving his chufa nut drink he wondered: que es aixo? and was promptly told: es leche de chufa! to which the king replied: aixo no es llet. aixo es OR, XATA! or meaning gold and xata meaning cutie pie.

'nough said. i had 5.
i chose not to dunk the FARTON (a kind of donut) into my horchata. well because the name kind of turned me off...

16 June, 2007

a spot of wagner

one act play

a few bottles of prosecco...

l: play wagner!
f: erm...excuse me? you're drunk. take a NAP. we're going out in half an hour
l: play richard! pleaseeeeeeee!
f: erm...anything in particular. i have a fair bit..
l: you know the one!

f hazards a banal guess.....
prelude and scene from act III otherwise known as the ride of the Valkyries

l is moaning/groaning/doing SOMETHING loudly and throwing her arms up in the air. maude, the teutonic, has gone NUTS.

f: right. am cutting YOU BOTH off. enough.

the end.

it's a cracking life

an EPIC walk

in what can only be described as an EPIC walk, worthy of forrest gump, lil' pea and la frappa (with maude in tow) criss crossed rome pausing only for a fruit juice, a prosecco and a slice of watermelon. seeking to dodge the gay pride, the valiant duo discovered on the last leg of the grand tour tante checche per strada. they scurried home (maude in tow) pausing only to buy a bottle of prosecco (maude lagging).

maude is now passed out.
grey's anatomy is about to be watched.

sirenes de la fetes....

Faisons un tour á la tour eiffel, á rencontrer cette japonaise,
tres tres belle.
Dans la main une camera en plastique, ces chaussures dernier cri,
On lui dit, You're tres chic.
On l'emmene, sûr une isle au millieu de la seine, virtuelle de cette nuit,
Cette nuit mortelle, on la prend,
On la prend par la main, et on commence.

brazilian girls. yeah!

14 June, 2007

a one-act play dedicated to my GANZ

f: i took a photo of you
g: it will be awful. yours always are.
f: this is a bit of a cracker
(she sees. she likes)

days later. a gay icon is born. the g stands for ganz.

a sicilian in tulsa

the long-awaited sequel to an american in paris
it's a musical of course. camp yet butch at the same time

all in all i would say Oklahoma! agrees with our ruggedly handsome and camera-shy misanthrope.

13 June, 2007

" a' fla' , stai a' arranca' "

it's been two weeks since i last went to calcetto practice. ahem.. i had some good reasons. trento. luxembourg. amsterdam. emily h. mina breaking down on side of the highway. erm guests (filippo is a handful). anyway. clearly it was only a question of time before i got busted.

one act play

phone rings

flavia ignores and GULPS visibly and loudly

BEEP BEEP text message
fosca: no excuses. you better be on the pitch tonight to work on your BREATHING.
BEEP BEEP prompt text message back
flavia: erm. oh i'm totally there.

and so it was i hauled my butt to the pitch, napping in the cab and grunting.
in a week's time i will have my tesserino. and a rather large bag with erm... my team uniform and erm...shin guards.
and with two weeks to go before our tournament, i reflect on the following excerpt of an article from last year:

"A nove punti troviamo anche la POL. BORGHESIANA di Stefano Zurli che si è imposta conn un netto 8-0 sulle ragazze del BLUE TEAM."

oh bollox.

one of the coolest scenes in film EVER

i worship jeff. directed by Maude lebowski....

the week so far

pisellino..he looks angelic...when he sleeps...

ganzy...rock' n' roll momma

on the corner of our favourite heroine bar: san calisto

11 June, 2007

lola lives. as does shola.

i feel better now

errr erm...

from the guardian unlimited (as always right on the money):
This is what The Bell Jar might have sounded like in Sylvia Plath's head before she put pen to paper. Just look at some of the newspaper headlines Emily Haines, singer with successful Canadian indie band Metric and a part-time member of Broken Social Scene, has had recently: "Basking in Bleakness" and "the Exorcism of Emily Haines". On Knives Don't Have Your Back, her fragile whisper lends a sympathetic air to 11 broken-down anthems for thirtysomething females everywhere. On a series of piano elegies dark like diary entries inked during anxious, sleepless nights, she sounds wounded and world-weary. Through her prism of pessimism, Haines decries success with Metric (who supported the Rolling Stones last year), domestic bliss and long-distance love. It's a drained, draining, sobering meditation on modern melancholy and loss. Imagine Phil Spector producing Ronnie Spector without the Wall of Sound. It feels spectral.

The daughter of Canadian poet Paul Haines, she was born in New Delhi and raised in Canada, surrounded by experimental art and musical expression. Her early influences included Carla Bley, Robert Wyatt and PJ Harvey. She attended the Etobicoke School of the Arts. Her early solo act consisted of just herself (blindfolded), and a piano. She appeared in the 2004 dramatic film Clean, in which Metric played themselves, performing their song Dead Disco, followed by a small speaking role for Haines.
And now she's made her debut solo album proper. Written and recorded over four years in Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto and New York, Knives Don't Have Your Back features contributions from Scott Minor of Sparklehorse, Broken Social Scene's Justin Peroff, Stars' Evan Cranley and Metric's Jimmy Shaw. A zillion miles from Metric's danceable solution, it's an intimate, subtle collection of haunting piano-driven tunes complemented by soft string and horn arrangements. Several songs were recorded back in winter 2002, while Haines was mourning the death of her father. It was produced by John O'Mahony (the Strokes, System Of A Down). And sleevenotes are courtesy of the aforementioned Soft Machine drummer. "Haines doesn't take a predictable route to the inside of your head," he writes. "No grandstanding. She's a true daughter of the revolution, and has inherited wisdom beyond her years."

The buzz: "At its most haunted, the album is reminiscent of Elliot Smith's final compositions, with Haines' voice sunken and drifting."

The truth: You know Holocaust by Big Star? Knives... is an album of songs like that, only sung by a girl who casually deploys phrases like "sexual suicide" and "there's a bullet in the gun" like she's ordering a latte.
Most likely to: Push you over the edge if you're that way inclined.

Least likely to: Get much iPod action round Peter and Jordan's gaff.

File next to: Sylvia Plath, Laura Nyro, Thom Yorke, Elliot Smith.

oddly not drifting to virtual amsterdam (yet).............

bored and at work

one-act play

f: there is a tibetan hamlet set in the himalayas! (*)
o: *nonplussed roll of eyes*

f: i have the faculty! (**)



"read between the lines"

``I was raised in the good book of Jesus, 'Til I learned to read between the lines''

so from what i've just listened not entirely sure her music is quite my cup of tea, though am loving the comparisons with joni mitchell and carole king. and the fact that she kind of slinked off into relative obscurity. and this particular description of her by Jorge Luis Fernandez in a 2003 article entitled the black christmas of Laura Nyro

``While listening to her voice, most people believed she was black. But no, Laura was white; more precisely surnamed Nigro, of Italian descent. Though she wished to be black, that was out of question. And she expressed her frustration with strong piano staccattos. And a powerful, unpredictable voice always fluctuated between tenderness and violence.''

an irish citizen

thanks to nellie Mulcahy (my granny), a mad old thing, it would appear that i am in fact irish (among other things). am quite thrilled at the thought, i must say, and will be proudly flagging my passport hither and thither all over the world. ireland. land of faeries.

10 June, 2007

note to totties

please bring this to country ASAP for summer viewing. it's good old-fashioned fun for all the family to enjoy. and it has come out on DVD in the UK. (ahem).

lady v: i promise we WILL watch beyond convent walls in due course. got an extra nun outfit for you.
alberto: i promise i will bring you your brokeback cowboy hat back (disclaimer: i'll do no such thing...) and not expose myself in public.

beach bunnies

hoorah. summer has officially begun. first day of the beach. nothing but a towel. some sliced watermelon that soon turned TEPID. a comic (that was read) a book that stayed firmly shut. lots of unsightly bodies strutting about. 4 hours later...


oats: colouring unchanged. poised and dignified.
flav: lobster red and lets face it rather giddy and looking a bit spastic/retarded


lucinda matlock

I WENT to the dances at Chandlerville,
And played snap-out at Winchester.
One time we changed partners,
Driving home in the moonlight of middle June,
And then I found Davis. 5
We were married and lived together for seventy years,
Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children,
Eight of whom we lost
Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick,
I made the garden, and for holiday
Rambled over the fields where sang the larks,
And by Spoon River gathering many a shell,
And many a flower and medicinal weed—
Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all,
And passed to a sweet repose.
What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,
Anger, discontent and drooping hopes?
Degenerate sons and daughters,
Life is too strong for you—
It takes life to love Life.

09 June, 2007

tales of a precocious three-year-old

the actors:
tiziana age 3
nunu (granny) age 40
leandro (cousin) age 23

act one:
tiz is a bit naughty and gets a sound beating
a few hours pass, a haughty and resentful tiz goes to her mother

tiz: but did or did you not tell me that you prayed to the madonnina to have your tiziana?
nunu: but of course i did!
tiz (before a dramatic exit): then keep her and treat her well!

act two:

tiz gets a box of chocolates.

nunu: tiziana, these are for you but you can only have two a day!
tiz: ok
nunu: put your hand on your conscience and promise
tiz: i do

(she has three)
an hour later

nunu: tiziana!!!!!!
tiz (sheepish): yes....
nunu: how many chocs did you have?????!!!!
tiz (defiant): TWO
nunu: no you didn't!! don't lie!!!!!
tiz (defiant): i had TWO
nunu: put your hand on your consience. now. and tell me how many did you have
tiz: i had TWO. but my consience says three.

(beating ensues)

act three:
cousin leandro is studying. tiz is playing and making lots of noise

leandro: stop all that. sit and be quiet! you're bothering me
tiz (miffed, grabs a book and opens it)

5 minutes later

leandro: what are you doing?!
tiz: i am READING
leandro: don't be ridiculous.
tiz: i am READING
leandro: then read something out to me
tiz: i can't. i don't want to disturb you

La Mennulara


chi è — o piuttosto — chi è stata la "mennulara", al secolo Maria Rosalìa Inzerillo? Intorno a questo interrogativo si snoda, per più di duecento pagine, l’opera prima di Simonetta Agnello Hornby, una matura signora di origini palermitane, ormai naturalizzata inglese per matrimonio, e che da trent’anni svolge l’attività di avvocato nel quartiere londinese di Brixton, dove vive per lo più a contatto con la comunità di colore e con quella musulmana, occupandosi principalmente dei diritti delle donne.

Ed è proprio da questa molteplicità di stimoli — la sicilianità, per usare un termine caro a Leonardo Sciascia — unitamente a quel lucido distacco da luoghi e persone, in lei maturato dopo anni e anni di lontananza dall’ambiente d’origine, che solo può consentire una serena visione dei fatti, non disgiunti dalla frequentazione con la parte più debole e "scoperta" della comunità londinese — quelle donne, originarie dal "terzo mondo", i cui diritti da sempre sono stati calpestati e offesi — che il romanzo della Agnello Horby trae una linfa, cui peraltro non fanno di certo difetto le molte letture, delle quali di sicuro l’autrice deve essersi alimentata nel corso di questa sua "duplice esistenza", caratterizzata in gioventù dalla luce e dai sapori mediterranei, indi dalle austere brume nordeuropee.

Se, a tutta prima, la mente può riandare a certi gialli del già citato Sciascia, sia per quel certo andamento di tipo "cronachistico" che, fin dalle sue prime pagine, connota l’intero romanzo, sia per certi "spaccati" d’ambiente, di cui giusto in quegli anni — l’autrice colloca nel settembre ’63 la morte della "mennulara", sulla quale l’intera trama del libro è imperniata — anche il cinema si impossessa, specie nella cosiddetta "commedia all’italiana" (tipico esempio ne è quel Signore e Signori di Pietro Germi, gustosa quanto impietosa satira della provincia veneta), con il procedere della lettura, non possono non venire in mente certi scorci degni della grande tradizione degli scrittori siciliani: da Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa con il suo Gattopardo — si pensi, a questo proposito, alla descrizione del fatiscente Palazzo dei Principi di Brogli — a Federico De Roberto con I Viceré; non sono stati pochi i critici, i quali hanno sottolineato a questo proposito il fatto che anche il libro della Agnello Hornby inizi proprio con un decesso, quindi con un funerale — come nel grande affresco sulla decadenza della nobile famiglia siciliana dei Francalanza Uzeda, immortalata dall’autore verista — e di cui peraltro il cinema non ha tardato, anche in questo caso, ad impadronirsi, specie riguardo a certe rappresentazioni di maniera sulla mafia italo-americana come nel film Fratelli del regista Abel Ferrara.

Viene da chiedersi, entrati a questo punto in medias res, quale peso abbia giocato effettivamente il ruolo della presenza mafiosa nell’intera vicenda: di certo non casualmente l’autrice palermitana fa iniziare il racconto nel settembre del ’63: in effetti un anno chiave nel delinearsi di quella strategìa, che — mettendo in atto la strage di Ciaculli, avvenuta il 30 giugno del ’63 per mano dei due clan rivali delle famiglie mafiose dei Greco e dei La Barbera — avrebbe dato inizio a quelle annose "guerre di mafia" protrattesi fino agli anni Ottanta, segnando parimenti il passaggio dalla mafia di tipo rurale degli anni Quaranta/Cinquanta — quella, per intenderci, del latifondo e della lupara, della strage di Portella della Ginestra e di Salvatore Giuliano — a una di tipo urbano, concentrata essenzialmente sulla speculazione edilizia, nonché foriera di quei traffici di droga e di quei maneggi nell’alta finanza, che ne hanno rappresentato la caratteristica saliente fino ai nostri giorni e i cui echi non difficilmente si possono scorgere nella filigrana della narrazione.

Va da sé che sarebbe tuttavia, a questo proposito, piuttosto riduttiva la definizione di romanzo di mafia, parlando della Mennulara: è pur vero che, fin dalle prime pagine — quelle per l’appunto nelle quali vengono descritte le esequie della donna, morta a soli 55 anni — campeggia la figura di Don Vincenzo Ancona, boss del paese, abbigliato anche in chiesa con la classica coppola come da manuale, che ormai giunto in tarda età incute ancora terrore nei suoi compaesani… che rapporto c’è stato fra lui e la "mennulara"? E come ha fatto quest’ultima — lei di famiglia miserrima, lei che fin da bambina era stata una "raccoglitrice di mandorle" e che all’età di quindici anni era entrata come serva (criata) nella casa dell’avvocato Orazio Alfallipe, preservando la di lui moglie, Adriana, dalla solitudine — una volta passato a miglior vita il consorte — e salvando Gianni, Carmela e Lilla — i tre figli della coppia — dalla rovina economica? Chi è stata realmente questa donna? Un angelo oppure un demonio? Una santa o una profittatrice? L’amministratrice accorta di casa Alfallipe o una donna dai costumi facili?

Via via che se ne raccontano le sorti e le vicende, in uno scenario quasi pirandelliano di asserzioni e di smentite, la Agnello Hornby delinea veramente un personaggio degno della tematica dell’autore dei Sei personaggi, di Uno, nessuno e centomila e di Così è (se vi pare)… Peccato che — almeno a detta dell’autrice stessa, nel corso di una recente intervista — non sia, almeno per adesso, in procinto di regalarci un altro "caso letterario", così come è avvenuto per questa sua opera prima, davvero prestigiosa.

guarda cu sugnu e nun guardari cu era

tits and tiz

so far so good...

and after a 10 km walk that saw maude pass out in a heap (and hauled home in my arms), la mamma (45kilos) tucked into a mountain of bufala, and them unfathomably...a cannolo siciliano. and inquired after a wee gelato...god bless.

07 June, 2007

magnificent. skittish.emily

the buildup

not sure i am up to descriptions but this is the only time i went totally out of my way to make it to a concert. and i would do it over and over and over again. it was simply amazing. the location. the atmosphere. the time. the light. the music. and of course her.

amsterdam II

it's not what you see. it's what you notice.

a bulldog. lust. greta. a cinema being ripped apart. chess players. X. the house of a baroque violin prodigy