Monday, November 24, 2008

Elisa Concert

The Elisa concert was really fun! I had never been to the Doug Fir, only driven by and it looked like such a small place. Downstairs is where they have the concerts. There must have been maybe 100 people. I was right up front and took some good pics, well, a lot came out blurry because I couldn't use my flash, oh well. I was able to make a video, but got caught 3/4 of the way by her tour manager and had to cut it. Of course, there had to be a few stronzos in the crowd and one plowed his way to the front when she started singing, "Gli Ostacoli Nel Cuore". The guy was obliterated and he threw himself on the stage. Elisa just kind of looked at the guy in disbelief, or maybe it was disgust??!! Then there was one guy who kept yelling, "Canta Caruso!!" and she seemed to get annoyed, and told him, "If you want to sing Caruso, why don't you come up here. We've got an extra microphone." Then there was Lucia, the "godmother" of the Italian community of Portland who had to let Elisa know, "Tutti siamo Italiani" Mamma mia...

Anyhow, at the end of the show the crowd was being shuffled out by security, unless you had a bracelet which allowed you to stay for the meet and greet. My group was sort of all huddled in the corner and we just kept speaking Spang-talian amongst ourselves and just smiled and nodded when asked if we had bracelets. They never checked, just asked. So we weezled our way into the meet and greet!! Elisa was really nice, and really humble. There were a few Italian medical professionals amongst us and Elisa commented on how she had met a young Italian doctor who had come to the States to pursue his career here in Arkansas. The guy drove seven hours to see her show and she was totally humbled by this. She said, "E veramente un pecato" that Italian professionals have to leave home to find a better life. I had a lot of fun and met some really cool people. I just wish my Italian could have been here too. Soon baby, soon!

Here is the link to the pic that was taken with Elisa. I couldn't copy it, so I have to ask the photographer about buying it from him. That's me on the right next to her :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Elisa Toffoli

Elisa is a very famous singer in Italy and also sings in English. She will be performing tomorrow here in Portland and I get to go see her!! I believe this is her first ever US/Canada tour for the purpose of promoting her CD Dancing in stores now. She is such a talented artist and I am really looking forward to her show. Her lyrics resonate in my soul and listening to her music even brings me to tears. Here is just a sample of some of her beautiful music. The first video is a short clip from the show Che Tempo Che Fa and is the acoustic version of the song Dancing, which was also featured on So You Think You Can Dance.

This second clip is the same song, but it's the full version. Get yourself some Kleenex!!

I'm going to take pics and videos of the concert and I will post them on Sunday. It's a small venue so I am hoping to get to meet her!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Love Thursday

OK, so I am actually writing this on Wednesday at 11pm, but I won't have time tomorrow and am feeling the love tonight.

In honor of my first Love Thursday posting, I'd like to post a picture of the love of my life when he just a little guy. Circa 1970 something in Milano...isn't he just the cutest little boy?? With his Peter Pan-ish collared school uniform and his cute 70's haircut. I love, love, love this picture!! Sei molto carino amore mio.

Happy Love Thursday Everyone!

Ti voglio bene mi vida!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Book Club and Sugared Walnuts

My friend Sarah invited me to join her book club and of course I graciously accepted. The first meeting was Friday night and the book for that meeting was Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg. Not normally a book I would pick up on my own but I'm an open-minded person, so why not, right? I'm actually not done with it yet. It was a little hard to get into at first, but now it's got my interest. In a nutshell, it's about a woman who is transgender, although she hasn't had the surgery, it's more about her identity. She really goes through a lot in her life and it's really terrible the way transgendered people are treated. Although this is a work of fiction, it really is quite obviously a memoir.

The other women in the book club are really cool and the hostess's husband was an absolute riot, so I had a great time!

For the book club we are all to bring a dish or dessert and wine. I decided to bring my "famous" Sugared Walnuts. They were a big hit! (Further proving the Italian's theory that I am a golosa!) So I'm going to post the recipe here for you all. These are great for the holidays or sporting events like the Superbowl, or even just to munch on while watching a good flick. NOTE: You can use any kind of nut you like, as long as it's not a nut that burns easily, i.e. pecans.


2 cups sugar
1 cup water
4 cups shelled walnuts (approx. 1 bag)
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1/4 of a stick of butter
2 tablespoons of vanilla (if you can, use the Mexican kind, it's just better!)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a medium size pot over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, cinnamon, butter, vanilla and dissolve.

Add the walnuts and continue cooking,

Stirring frequently until the walnuts are completely sugar coated and the sugar is crystallized and there is no syrup left.

Pour the mixture onto an ungreased cookie sheet, spreading and separating the walnuts as much as possible.

Bake until the walnuts are golden, about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring at 5 minute intervals.

Let them sit for a few minutes to allow them to harden.

And voila'! The finished product! They are so good while they are still warm...yum!

Please note that I doubled the recipe, so it looks like a lot in the pics but you won't have as much if you stick to the recipe I posted.

Our next meeting for the book club is on December 5th and the book is Flight by Sherman Alexie. I'm so looking forward to it!

Are you a member of a book club? What are you reading?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

iTunes Tuesdays

I love the All American Rejects. This song is a little on the sad side, but it's about new beginnings and taking a stand. I'd like to dedicate this song to my blogger buddy MissB in light of recent events in her life. Stay strong girl!

Your subtleties
They strangle me
I can't explain myself at all.
And all the wants
And all the needs
All I don't want to need at all.

The walls start breathing
My mind's unweaving
Maybe it's best you leave me alone.
A weight is lifted
On this evening
I give the final blow.

When darkness turns to light,
It ends tonight
It ends tonight.

A falling star
Least I fall alone.
I can't explain what you can't explain.
Your finding things that you didn't know
I look at you with such disdain

The walls start breathing
My mind's unweaving
Maybe it's best you leave me alone.
A weight is lifted
On this evening
I give the final blow.

When darkness turns to light
It ends tonight,
It ends tonight.
Just a little insight
Won't make this right
It's too late to fight
It ends tonight,
It ends tonight.

Now I'm on my own side
It's better than being on your side
It's my fault when your blind
It's better than I see it through your eyes
All these thoughts locked inside
Now you're the first to know

When darkness turns to light,
It ends tonight,
It ends tonight.
Just a little insight won't make this right,
It's too late to fight,
It ends tonight,
It ends when darkness turns to light
It ends tonight
It ends tonight, just a little insight
Won't make this right, it's too late to fight
It ends tonight,
It ends tonight,
When darkness turns to light it ends tonight

Monday, November 10, 2008

Slip of the Tongue...??

So as most of the world knows, the "youthful" and often tactless Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi made a remark about our new President Elect being young, handsome and even "tanned". Hmm..anyhow, here is how some Italians have responded to his remark:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

iTunes Tuesday a Day Late: Special Election Edition Barack Obama

I went for a walk today and even though the skies were gray and the ground was wet, people had smiles on their faces and the atmosphere in Portland is joyous and victorious. Last night history was made and there were fireworks, revelers in the streets. The employees at Trader Joe's were happier than usual. It felt like midnight on New Years. I've never seen anything like it, but it's good, really good. The world is happy!! A friend of mine in California sent me this and it's infectous so I had to pass it on. So rejoice, turn up the speakers and get up and dance!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Proud Day for America

We did it. My country voted in the right man for the highest ranking job in the country. I have always been a proud American, but never more so than now. Barack Obama has defeated McCain in a landslide. The people have spoken and the truth prevails. No doubt that he has a tough job ahead of him. Much like Clinton, he will have to clean up the mess that the second Bush has left behind. But true to history, I am positive that a Democrat administration will be good for our economy. There was definitely a ceiling shattered tonight. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!

I can hear people screaming in the streets!! OMG, I even hear fireworks!!