Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

“Spring has sprung!” said the bumble bee.

"Sweet April showers 
  Do spring May flowers."  
 - Thomas Tusser,  A Hundreth Good Pointes of Husbandrie.

"In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
  When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
  Sweet lovers love the spring." 
 - William Shakespeare, It was a lover and his lass.

"And Spring arose on the garden fair,
  Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
  And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
  rose from the dreams of its wintry rest."
 - Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant. 

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:  when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."  
- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.

"A little Madness in the spring 
 Is wholesome even for the King."
- Emily Dickinson

"Don't you know what that is? It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! It seems to you that mainly what you want is to get away; get away from the same old tedious things you're so used to seeing and so tired of, and set something new. That is the idea; you want to go and be a wanderer; you want to go wandering far away to strange countries where everything is mysterious and wonderful and romantic. And if you can't do that, you'll put up with considerable less; you'll go anywhere you can go, just so as to get away, and be thankful of the chance, too."
- Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, Detective.

Which quote do you prefer? My favourite is, without any doubt, Mark Twain's!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Silver Wattle

International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day is marked on March 8 every year. It is a major day of global celebration of women. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements.
The first IWD was observed on 19 March 1911 in Germany following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. The idea of having an international women's day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions.
Events are scheduled to take place in more than 100 countries around the world on March 8, 2011, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.  
In the United States, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 to be "Women's History Month", calling Americans to mark IWD by reflecting on "the extraordinary accomplishments of women" in shaping the country's history.

The mimosa (technically, the Silver Wattle) is the symbol of the celebrations of Women's day in Italy and Russia.

[Taken from Wikipedia]

Thursday, March 3, 2011

From Gentleman to King

Sunday, February 27, 2011: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded the golden statuette for Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role to the fabulous Colin Firth.
I think he fully deserved it and earned it with a really nice, clean, professional and elegant interpretation of Bertie/Prince Albert, Duke of York/King George VI in "The King's Speech".

Colin gave one of the best acceptance speeches of this year's Academy Awards: 
"I have a feeling my career's just peaked. I'm afraid I have to warn you that I'm experiencing stirrings somewhere in the upper abdominals which are threatening to form themselves into dance moves, which joyous as they may be for me, they would be extremely problematic if they made it to my legs before I make it off stage.
And he concluded: "Now if you'll excuse me I have some impulses I have to tend to backstage."
Simple and funny!
He partied so hard that he forgot his award in a bathroom, but fortunately an attendant handed it back to him. 

I have a soft spot for Colin Firth since my mum introduced me to his wonderful role of Mr. Darcy in BBC's Pride & Prejudice (1995). And like this character, he has such gentlemanlike manners... 
I cannot but wish him to continue this flawless career in the best way possible!!!

At home studying "History of English"... March 3, 2011 on Twitpic

At home studying "History of English"... March 3, 2011 on Twitpic

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Wanderer

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog - Caspar David Friedrich (1818)

" ... none 
by traveling over known lands 
can find out the unknown."

William Blake 
(From: Principle Four of 'All Religions are One' - 1795)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
["For this was Saint Valentine's Day, 
when every bird cometh there to choose his mate"]
Geoffrey Chaucer, Parlement of Foules (1382)

To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime, 
And I a maid at your window, 
To be your Valentine. 
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes, 
And dupp'd the chamber-door; 
Let in the maid, that out a maid 
Never departed more.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5
Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, 
thou art every day my Valentine!
Thomas Hood

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Super Bowl XLV

Can you believe that I got to see the  
Super Bowl only today?!? 
No television and twitter for two days. In Italy that's enough to not spoil the winner team!
Anyhoo ... 

 my compliments to the  
Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers (QB) and Clay Matthews (OLB)

who played really well, especially in the first half of the game!

 And here's what I think is the best commercial of this Super Bowl!
Enjoy it!

Go! You Packers! Go!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

W.B.Yeats - The Symbolism of Poetry (an excerpt)


I was writing once at a very symbolical and abstract poem, when my pen fell on the ground; and as I stooped to pick it up, I remembered some phantastic adventure that yet did not seem phantastic, and then another like adventure, and when I asked myself when these things had happened, I found, that I was remembering my dreams for many nights. I tried to remember what I had done the day before, and then what I had done that morning; but all my waking life had perished from me, and it was only after a struggle that I came to remember it again, and as I did so that more powerful and startling life perished in its turn. Had my pen not fallen on the ground and so made me turn from the images that I was weaving into verse, I would never have known that meditation had become trance, for I would have been like one who does not know that he is passing through a wood because his eyes are on the pathway. So I think that in the making and in the understanding of a work of art, and the more easily if it is full of patterns and symbols and music, we are lured to the threshold of sleep, and it may be far beyond it, without knowing that we have ever set our feet upon the steps of horn or of ivory*.



*The gates of horn and ivory are a literary image used to distinguish true dreams (corresponding to factual occurrences) from false. The phrase originated in the Greek language, in which the word for "horn" is similar to that for "fulfil" and the word for "ivory" is similar to that for "deceive". On the basis of that play on words, true dreams are spoken of as coming through the gates of horn, false dreams as coming through those of ivory.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Who Knows Where The Time Goes (by Sandy Denny) - Eva Cassidy

Across the evening sky all the birds are leaving
Oh but then you know it was time for them to go
By the winter fire I will still be dreaming
I do not count the time

For who knows where the time goes
Who knows where the time goes

Sad deserted shore your fickle friends are leaving
Oh but then you know it was time for them to go
But I will still be here I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time

For who knows where the time goes
Who knows where the time goes

I know I’m not alone while my love is near me
I know that it’s all until it’s time to go
All the storms in winter and the birds in spring again
I do not count the time

For who knows where the time goes
Who knows where the time goes

Who knows where the time goes
Who knows where the time goes


Sunday, January 30, 2011

2011 Pro Bowl - Who's playing?

Head coach: Bill Belichick (New England Patriots)


* Tom Brady, New England
Philip Rivers, San Diego
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis

Running Backs
* Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville
Arian Foster, Houston
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City

* Vonta Leach, Houston

Wide Receivers
* Andre Johnson, Houston
* Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
Brandon Lloyd, Denver
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City

Tight Ends
* Antonio Gates, San Diego
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville

* Nick Mangold, N.Y. Jets
Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh

* Kris Dielman, San Diego
* Logan Mankins, New England
Brian Waters, Kansas City

* Jake Long, Miami
* Joe Thomas, Cleveland
D'Brickashaw Ferguson, N.Y. Jets


Defensive Ends
* Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis
* Robert Mathis, Indianapolis
Jason Babin, Tennessee

Interior Linemen
* Haloti Ngata, Baltimore
* Vince Wilfork, New England
Richard Seymour, Oakland

Inside-Middle Linebackers
* Ray Lewis, Baltimore
Jerod Mayo, New England

Outside Linebackers
* James Harrison, Pittsburgh
* Cameron Wake, Miami
Terrell Suggs, Baltimore

* Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland
* Darrelle Revis, N.Y. Jets
Devin McCourty, New England

Strong Safety
* Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh

Free Safeties
* Ed Reed, Baltimore
Brandon Meriweather, New England 


Shane Lechler, Oakland

Kick-return Specialist
Marc Mariani, Tennessee

Billy Cundiff, Baltimore

Montell Owens, Jacksonville


Head coach: Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons)


* Michael Vick, Philadelphia
Matt Ryan, Atlanta
Drew Brees, New Orleans

Running Backs
* Michael Turner, Atlanta
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
Steven Jackson, St. Louis

* Ovie Mughelli, Atlanta

Wide Receivers
* Roddy White, Atlanta
* Calvin Johnson, Detroit
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia
Greg Jennings, Green Bay

Tight Ends
* Jason Witten, Dallas
Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta

* Andre Gurode, Dallas
Shaun O'Hara, N.Y. Giants

* Jahri Evans, New Orleans
*Chris Snee, N.Y. Giants
Carl Nicks, New Orleans

* Jason Peters, Philadelphia
* Jordan Gross, Carolina
Chad Clifton, Green Bay


Defensive Ends
* Julius Peppers, Chicago
* John Abraham, Atlanta
Justin Tuck, N.Y. Giants

Interior Linemen
* Ndamukong Suh, Detroit
* Jay Ratliff, Dallas
Justin Smith, San Francisco

Inside-Middle Linebackers
* Patrick Willis, San Francisco
Brian Urlacher, Chicago

Outside Linebackers
* Clay Matthews, Green Bay
* DeMarcus Ware, Dallas
Lance Briggs, Chicago

* Asante Samuel, Philadelphia
* Charles Woodson, Green Bay
DeAngelo Hall, Washington

Strong Safety
* Adrian Wilson, Arizona

Free Safeties
* Nick Collins, Green Bay
Antrel Rolle, N.Y. Giants


Mat McBriar, Dallas

Kick-return Specialist
Devin Hester, Chicago

David Akers, Philadelphia

Eric Weems, Atlanta 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ronald Reagan Quote

"  The future doesn't belong to the faint-hearted; 
it belongs to the brave."

Ronald Reagan 

delivered 28 January 1986.

Friday, January 14, 2011

When will my life begin? - Tangled

This Monday, after an exam at the University, Max and I had our post-exam typical meal at Burger King (we love its chips!!!) and then we spent a wonderful afternoon in the center of Milan. The weather was not fantastic, but at 2.30 p.m. we entered the cinema next to the Duomo and bought two tickets to see Tangled. I've been longing to see it for nearly two months and I had almost given up. But Milan has everything, like every other big and busy city, "old" movies included. There were only ten of us in the cinema! There we sat, relieved and relaxed after all the study of the previous days. And the movie was amazing! I mean, I know it's not one of Disney's best, but it's really worth watching! The characters are really well-built: I loved Maximus, the horse, the pub Thugs, Pascal, the little chameleon! 
   But most of all I liked her! She is a prisoner in her own house, always watching through the window the rest of the world, but never being in it. She keeps wondering when her life will begin, she dreams to be able to see nearer the lights she sees once a year up in the sky.
"What is it like Out there where they glow?". She has everything, except a door. Or at least this is what she thinks. But as soon as her feet touch the ground, she understand the infinite beauty of everything out there. She leaves her safe tower to discover the colored world, with her hair flying, her heart pounding. And then, under a wonderful sky full of lanterns, she discovers love. She sees the light, the true place she belongs to, "warm and real and bright".

I want to have her bravery, I want to leave my tower, as safe as it could be, I want to be completely free and to discover where I'm meant to be.

Look at the world - so close, and I'm halfway to it!
Look at it all - so big - do I even dare?
Look at me - there at last! - I just have to do it 


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Foggy day, foggy day

Foggy day, foggy day... 
You cut off the view of mountain peaks 
from my little window. 
You suffocate my dreams in all this 
Yet you manage to keep me inside a room
filled with all my illusions.
Foggy day, foggy day,
when will you go away?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why do all my dreams extend just around the riverbend? - Pocahontas

Last week I watched Pocahontas, after more than ten years since the first time I saw it. I think it has a different flavour than the other Disney's movies. It is not only about love and overcoming obstacles to get to the other. It also tastes of freedom!
While watching it, or listening to its soundtrack, one can almost feel the wind blowing through the hair, the sweet smell of woods and the bubbling of the river against rocks, its water fresh and clear.
And then I realized something:
I would love to be Pocahontas! I'd really love it!
I envy her: so self-confident, so trusting in fate, wild and peppy...
So I started wondering: would I ever be able to be like her?
Will I ever feel that free?
I'm sure to have the capacity of suffering anything for Love. I know I'm a passionate lover, and even if I usually have a meek temperament, I turn out to be quite daring for the ones I'm attached to.
This, at least, we have in common.

Another similarity may be the fact that I've got a cat instead of a raccoon. She actually has the same grayish color and eats the same as Meeko does but my chubby cat prefers to get stuck under my comforter, rather than running through the woods.
But I do not have her freedom, in the same way that I haven't got Grandmother Willow to help me see my way. I cannot hear the voice of the wind around me.
I guess that life is, after all, very different from movies, especially Disney's ones.
But I've decided that I won't stop listening, because you never know "what's around the riverbend, waiting just around the riverbend"...

Well, as you can see, I found a lot of images and I didn't know which one to choose, since I liked them all. Apart from the movie's images I also find other nice fan creations. So, icing on the cake, here are the two heroes of Pocahontas, in a slightly sexier way

and Twisted Pocahontas (by Jeffrey Thomas). 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Virginia and Massimo

Happy 2011 

to everyone!!!

Bûche de Noël made by me and Max