Wednesday, November 29
At the moment there are a few CDs that I am savoring like a gourmet meal, gargling down like vintage French champagne. Tom Waits' "Real Gone", Rodrigo y Gabriela (saw them in concert last Sunday..how amazing were they: an absolute sound sensation and pleasure to the ears). Really liking "Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah" - they had been banned for a wee while, but they are back in full honour now and really loving them (which is good considering that we are going to see them in Feb!). Nevertheless the greatest discovery of the past two weeks have got to be the "Dresden Dolls" (www.dresdendolls.com); although their name and vaudevillian showmanship conjure the atmosphere of a smoky backroom cabaret bar in 30s Germany, The Dresden Dolls are actually a Bostonian duo who have translated a love of musical melodrama into one of the most fascinating and extraordinary musical expressions around. Brian Viglione plays drums while Amanda Palmer hammers the life out of her grand piano, singing tales of the peculiar characters that inhabit the twilight world of her Brechtian imagination. Entering their world is a joyful and intoxicating experience. I may disagree with some of the song contents, but their undoubted talent, admirable courage in presenting something refreshingly "different" and artistically creative is a real ecstatic musical experience. Out of the two albums, "Coin Operated Boy" from their 2002 debut album, is my favourite song. It is, in my opinion, their trademark: blatantly arty, ingeniously composed, exquisitely articulated and innocently sinister.. Moreover, who has never secretly (or more openly) wished that sentimental relationships were idealistically blissful like Palmer's fantasy?!
I sure did... Enjoy the video!
Saturday, November 25
My father is a traditionalist. Although a rebel in hundred and many ways, he is the last of an extint (or on the way to extinction) species: the Italian Manly Man. If something is broken, he'll fix it (even if the "thing" is my mom with kidney stones..mmmm!), if there is a cause to be fought, he will be your William Wallace in Braveheart, your Robin Hood in Sherwood forest, your Ghandi in India - and, if you mess with his daughters, he will be your pain in the ass. Yes, Mr Morra is a real man of ideals and morals, especially when it comes to food. Food is, in my father's world, the essence of life. Whenever I go back home for Christmas (in the desperate attempt to have a 'lie in' or two in the mornings), dad wakes me up at 7am every morning without fail (even on new year's day!)with the mere purpose of asking me, "What would you like to eat tonight for dinner?"..
Food is the essence of life in my dad's world. Everything is scrupulously chosen,prepared in advance and passionately cooked with scientific rigour and exquisiteness worth of poetry. My father goes to the markets:in through the tiny narrow streets of Naples on his scooter in the endless search for the perfect ingredient. He always says that when times are tough you can save up on many things, but never bargain on the quality of your food. We are forced under any circumstances (even when sick!!!) to sit around the arranged table and eat together in an act of nearly religious devotion. And, for all of my talk, I wouldn't want it any different. In as much as I criticise my father's excessive fussiness with regards to food, I think he has got a point: having food is a blessing, and as such, it should be honoured; families are a gift, and as such, they should be nurtured; why settling down for tinned spaghetti when making them yourself is, inevitably more time consuming, but a great deal tastier, healthier and cheaper? I love my dad, despite the fights he is my hero. Hence I shall keep on fighting the fight for quality food alongside him! Viva la pappa col pomodoro!!!!
Friday, November 24
Tuesday, November 21
Otis Redding, "Sittin'on the Dock of a Bay"
Monday, November 20
Saturday, November 18
Friday, November 17
"Cookie-Mania & the Wheel of Death"
At last, my sister has sent me some pictures of her time here in Manchester with our cus,Dalila. Despite the worryingly scary pictures, we actually had a pretty cool time. She is growing up and beginning to grasp that it is not "all about her" - though I guess she's forever gonna be the baby of the family. But, what can I say, I love her a lot. Here are a few pics for her week in Manchester, enjoy. xx
"Frankie & Benny's"
Tuesday, November 14
Gazing at the bright red sun going down in the Sahara desert; the mid-night sun in Lapland; the lush Irish cliffs overlooking the raging sea in winter; candid fields of nothing else but white snow; fields of sunflowers - and the list of breathtaking natural beauty could go on,and on, and on. I have always been astounded by nature's extravaganza and seemed to find it easier to connect with God and find inspiration in the midst of Creation than within the confinements of four walls. Nonetheless, I am a "city-girl", and I cannot deny it. Last night I was on the top floor at the office, I was switching the lights off before going home(just to be envirolmentally conscientious) and behold, a vision of Manchester's skyline. The city looked beautiful, somehow magic. I remember walking down Oxford Road for lectures in a constant sense of excitement and awe. I know that this sounds absurd considering I've been priviledged enough to see some of the world's wonders, but there is some magic even in man-constructed monstruosities..and a vibrant sense of vitality in God's masterpieces walking, struggling, talking, seating,living. God not only crafted a beautiful looking universe, but he also designed people like you and I, gave them intellect and the gift of uniqueness and innate beauty. The thought that me,you and the individuals who cross our paths in life are an image of the Creator himself - bring me a reassuring sense of comfort and exquisitedly profound challenges.
Monday, November 13
Saturday, November 11
Wednesday, November 8
An Unexplainable Dependence from Blogger..
Ever since I discovered this online blogging system I don't seem to be able to stop typing..and checking out my friends' bloggs..and those of their friends..or of people I have never even met before.
Today I was surpraised in discovering that the "Blogger Fever" is not exclusively my personal prerogative, but many others appear to be caught in the epidemic. So I have asked myself what could possibly make blogging so popular, nearly addictive? The answer is simple: we all long for human contact.
I know it sounds absurd that one looks for human contact over the internet (where there is virtually no contact at all) - however, I believe this is paradoxically true. Just think: most of us write a journal and may always had inclusive of dreams and frustrations and thoughts that in that private dimension become the outward expression of internal stirrings. Now imagine to have the possibility of expressing the real you with a reduced risk of confrontation,shame and embarrassment.It is the pinnacle of human relationships: expose yourself to the world without shame!
I am reminded of the movie "Crash"(2005). I am fully aware that many of you will have criticism of some description towards this film - and trust me, I acknowledge the Americanisms in it (big time) and the cliques and pretencious acting, but I do love the concept behind it. People every day every where fight for acknolegment; we long for respect and are desperate after human contact..increasingly more in our fast-moving, careless and always-too-busy society.
So "BLOGGOMANIA"..could it be the cure for people's indifference or is it going to be another pretty mask to conceal our longing for human contact and inability to relate to one another?!
Whichever way: I AM LOVIN' IT!
Tuesday, November 7
Stereotypes are the essence of our society; and we all so easily judge and attribute labels for people we all pretenciously know better than..
This concept intrigues me and often irritates me especially when it is the product of begotted and ignorant church members. Stereotypes or more likely "not fitting in them" was the reason why I was ostracised as a teenager, criticised as a growing woman and fought against as an adult by those one would have expected the greatest support from.
I left my country,my family and my comfort zone behind in the persuit of God's sovreign calling upon my life: the search for better and greater things where a pure, genuine and biblical concept of Christian faith is persued rather than a life of apparences and cliques and etiquet..and for that, I was looked down upon.
There are times when I look at my life and I can see where they are coming from: I am not married, not in a serious relationship, not living at home; I don't have a normal job, I like Japanese food and have a nose ring; I wanna travel the world whilst loving to live in Salford..in other words: I am different. Different from stereotypes, but proud to be me. And even prouder to know that God loves me exactly for who I am.
Nonetheless, I look at women from the past, icons of feminility and rapturing beauty and I wish contemporary women had preseved some of that charm and class..or should I say: "I wish I could be bothered more with the way I portray my feminility..." I mean, consider Grace Kelly, Greta Garbo, Bridgitte Bardot, Gina Lollobrigida, Audry Hepburn, Monica Bellucci, Sofia Loren..their grace, their delicate features, smoldering smiles, elegant walks, perfect hair(even straight out of bed!), lovely longette skirts (never revealing too much but always looking very desirable)..MAN: we have gone a long way from that!!! In fairness, I doubt Grace Kelly ever had three jobs on the go, I guess Monica Bellucci never attempted to walk 3 miles to work in those sexy high heals and did Audry ever had a bad hair day?!? Just another thought!
However, all these excuses do not suffice: gotta get myself sorted and bring something of that classical beauty and charm back..
Sunday, November 5
There are particular seasons of life when, although my life is so closely intertwined with my faith, I feel the urge to persue increasing closeness to God, when humanity ceases to matter as much as usual and I begin to be drown to the divine more and more.. It was bizarre at church this morning when suddenly despite all of my concerns and fears, I just could not pray the usual "spiritual shopping list" to God, but I had to simply worship Him for who he is and I loved it! It is like Jesus' words in the gospels when he urges us to seek his kingdom first and he shall add all those things we so strenously worry about unto us,,,without our aid! And it is not about being "airy fairy" or detached from reality - but it is a spirit freeing act: through worshipping God and seeking Him before anything else we are putting Life into perspective because, in the end of the day, he is the one who is in charge of it all! And living carelessly (without cares) in the knowledge of his supreme kingship inspires me to live my life to the full..Every person I meet is suddenly transformed into the image of the Creator and even annoying interruptions become, as Stefan would say, "HOLY MOMENTS"!
Friday, November 3
Last night I went to watch the latest Borat movie at the cinema: the content is plain wrong (no question asked), but I was ever so amused by an exaggerated projection of certain aspects of our society..like the things that many think but no-body dares to say them as they are..just a thought. Meanwhile,I leave you to have a little taste of Borat's Cultural Learnings.
Wednesday, November 1
Thanks to Surfy-Dude Steve for bringing this wonderful song back to my mind. As my notorious childhood hero, Kermit the Frog,used to say, "It is not easy being green"..and the older I get the more meaning these words acquire. Green is my favourite colour, but other than the lush Irish valleys, green represents to me the colour of social awareness and activism: it is the colour of those who ackowledge that the world is terrible at times, but live in the proactive hope that a difference can be made; and "I have a dream" and I believe that change can happen.Nonetheless, I cannot hide my frustration when I have to travel 50 miles in my car to get organic produce (thus producing even more carbon-dioxide and increasing pollution levels!..which was the original reason for me going organic!) or walking 7Km back and forth from work every day in the cold, only to be breathing in even more fumes from the flippin' vehicles on the road! Or buying eco-friendly products and never being able to find them at the coop because it's only WALMART stores that stock up on that kind of products!MADNESS! Indeed,my dear Kermit, being green ain't easy, but I am an optimist still and, despite it all, I believe that one by one changes can be made..and if nothing should ever happen, I'll go to heaven knowing that I have done my best to make the world a slightly better place and perhaps inspired others to do the same.